Film Festival expected to be a hit again when staged this summer

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By VASHTI HARRIS
Staff Writer

The Monmouth Film Festival prides itself in being a matchmaker.

And for that reason, this nonprofit organization is the star of the show.

The Monmouth Film Festival, which is just a few months off its successful premier film festival that was held in December, is preparing to hold its second event on Aug. 10-13 at the Two River Theater in Red Bank.

Submission categories include Feature, Short, Student films of all genres, Screenplays, Trailers, TV Pilots and Web series, according to Monmouth Film Festival’s press release.

The festival will feature an Industry Networking Event and an Industry Film Panel, which are two exclusive events aimed to promote, connect and educate current and aspiring artists.

Last year’s panel included guests from all corners of the industry, including producers, distributors, filmmakers, directors and more, according to the press release from the Monmouth County Film Festival.

“The Monmouth Film Festival aims to promote, connect and educate filmmakers,” Nick Marchese, the Monmouth Film Festival founder and its president, said. “This is exactly what both our networking event and film panel do. The networking event is a great opportunity for filmmakers and artists to mingle, exchange contact information, promote one another and ultimately work with each other.”

He is proud of what his organization is able to accomplish.

“So many artists call New Jersey home, specifically Monmouth County and our event helps give flight to artists ideas by giving them the chance to meet their neighbors in the industry and inevitably work with each other. Though online communities like Facebook and Twitter, even LinkedIn, can be useful for meeting people to work with, there’s nothing like physically showing up to a vibrant and diverse environment and shake hands with another artist who may be exactly who you were looking for, and vice versa.”

The Monmouth Film Festival, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, which according to its website, is designed to promote and connect filmmakers from all over the state and country.

“Part of our mission is to join together film-lovers with filmmakers. We want the public and residents of New Jersey and the Tri-state area to see just what the name ‘Monmouth Film Festival’ means [which is] the finest quality independent cinema. It is our goal to have audiences believe in our programming and look forward to what we have to offer each year we return,” Marchese said.

After the success of the company’s first film event, Marchese said that he is excited about the company holding its second annual film event.

“When I gathered our team and pitched the idea for this festival, we didn’t know what we should expect come the inaugural event. Each step of the way I was amazed and humbled to see the incredible progress and feedback we were receiving. The initial event received critical acclaim for its presentation and top quality programming, rave reviews from fans and filmmakers [and] rating up in the top 100 reviewed festivals on FilmFreeway in year one,” Marchese said.

As a nonprofit, the Monmouth Film Festival welcomes the help of local businesses and friends across Monmouth County and New Jersey to help grow its mission of educating and inspiring filmmakers, according to a press release.

“We would not be going on to our second annual event without our wonderful and generous sponsors. The Monmouth team and I can’t thank them enough. Nonprofits like ours rely solely on the contributions made through donations and sponsorships. Every dollar helps and we are truly grateful for all the contributions we have received thus far,” Marchese said.

He continued to show his appreciation.

“We offer many great perks for sponsors ranging from advertisement packages to premium reserved seating and VIP passes. I can’t stress enough how grateful we are for our sponsors and supporters; trust me when I say without them we wouldn’t be here.”

Marchese also says that the festival is not just for filmmakers but film-lovers as well when asked if non-filmmakers could attend the upcoming film festival.

He also highlights the fact Monmouth Film Festival does not just host a annual film event but also offer year-round events and workshops.

“Also, as a nonprofit, outside of the festival, we offer year-round workshops and events that everyone is welcome to join. All of this information can also be found on our website and social media, we recommend signing our mailing list in order to receive all the updates and special offers,” Marchese said.

For more information on submissions visit www.monmouthfilmfestival.org/submissions.

For more information on becoming a sponsor and donation information visit www.monmouthfilmfestival.org/sponsor.

To learn more about the Monmouth Film Festival organization go to www.monmouthfilmfestival.org.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapersmediagroup.com.