Summit filmmaker selected for Garden State Film Festival

ASBURY PARK, NJ — New Jersey’s Premier Independent Film Festival is celebrating its 21st anniversary Thursday, March 23, through Sunday, March 26. The internationally recognized Garden State Film Festival celebrates the independent film genre by bringing a carefully curated and enriching selection of original works from locally produced filmmakers as well as from around the world.

Among the selection of more than 230 feature length and short films, videos, documentaries, comedies, children’s, thrillers, student films and “home-grown” films shot in New Jersey, the Garden State Film Festival has announced that the film “A Holocaust Journey: Lessons We Learned,” directed by Summit resident Lisa Reznikwill, will be screened at this year’s festival. Cheer on your hometown heroes who have put so much time and talent into these productions.  

“We are extremely proud to present ‘A Holocaust Journey: Lessons We Learned’ as a part of our 21st annual Film Festival and to share this work with our global audience,” said Lauren Concar Sheehy, the festival’s executive director.

“A Holocaust Journey: Lessons We Learned” will screen on Saturday, March 25, in the screening block, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., at the Cranford Theater, 25 North Avenue West, Cranford.

The film presents a group of students with their professors who traveled to Berlin and Poland, with the aim of trying to comprehend the reality of the Holocaust. Viewers experience the tragedy of the Holocaust through the eyes of non-Jewish college students who educate viewers on issues raised as they experience them. The film includes informative testimony of a remarkable Holocaust survivor, Pinchas Gutter, who traveled with the group.

The filmmaker can be contacted by email at [email protected].
Also screening is the film “No Way Out,” also on Saturday, March 25, in the screening block, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., also at the Cranford Theater, Cranford.

The film is about Jack, a young man suffering from sleep deprivation who is studying for an exam. After receiving some bad news and falling asleep, Jack finds himself greeted by disturbing figures in a reality separate from his own.

The filmmaker can be contacted by email at [email protected].
“The upcoming 2023 festival adds a new venue and a return to an in-person only event to experience 237 films from 23 countries over four days in nine venues hosting parties, professional panels, events, special honors and more,” Sheehy said.

The entire program of this year’s selections will be presented in multiple venues in the Asbury Park area, with special events and screenings each night. A full day of screenings will also be presented at The Cranford Theater in Cranford on Saturday, March 25, starting at 10:30 a.m., with the last screening ending at 11 p.m. The film schedule indicates which films have subtitles available for universal-access for the hearing impaired. Free on the website is the GSFF “Cinema for the Ears” series for those with visual impairment. Featured is Daniel Meyer’s epic conclusion to the trilogy “Fading Kingdom’s Part Three: The Garden.” You can check the schedule at for showtimes and to see which films are screening at which venue.

Following 2022’s successful event, this year’s 21st anniversary celebration will include world premieres, celebrities, industry panels, parties and networking, along with entertainment for all. Catch the not-to-be-missed panel, Behind the Lens with Ron Vidor, cinematographer on blockbusters such as “Jaws,” “Stand by Me” and “Romancing the Stone,” just to name a few, on Saturday, March 25, at 9:30 a.m., in the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel Johnny and June Room.

Founder Diane Raver said, “The GSFF is action-packed and there is something for everyone! Come one, come all. It only happens once a year and we don’t want you to miss it.”

Asbury Park highlights include the famous red-carpet gala on Friday, March 24, at Asbury Lanes. The event includes a cash bar cocktail reception and light fare with industry professionals, red carpet photos and a film screening starring Ron Perlman of “Sons of Anarchy,” Oscar nominee Harvey Keitel of “Pulp Fiction,” Elias Koteas of “The Thin Red Line” Joel David Moore of “Avatar” and newcomer Emma Ho of “Code 8” in the action-drama “The Baker.” Tickets to this event are limited and are available on the website

Saturday and Sunday offer a schedule packed with films for every viewer, plus industry related workshops. Winners of the festival’s Movie Music Competition will have their musical compositions played before the live screenings. The festival concludes with a black-tie-optional awards reception at The English Manor, 1 English Lane, Ocean Township, on Sunday, March 26. All events are open to the public.

This year’s winning Feature Length Screenplay Competition winner is Kelly Byrne with “Curly’s Camp for Girls (and Boys).” The reading of the winning screenplay by professional actors will take place on Sunday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, 1401 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park, in the Oval Room on the second floor. The GSFF Screenplay table read is presented by partner Project Write Now. A ticket is required and available at