Garden State Film Festival Enjoys Atlantic City Debut

The recently completed Garden State Film Festival was held in Atlantic City after years in Asbury Park. Organizers were so pleased with the resort—which had several other big events running at the same time—that they declared Atlantic City the festival’s permanent home.

The Garden State Film Festival recently completed its first appearance in Atlantic City and judging be the reviews, it was a complete success.

Diane Raver, the founder and executive director, told the local Press of Atlantic City that she expects the festival to locate in the resort permanently.

“We’re here for good. This is our home now,” Raver said. “You can’t shake me away with a stick.”

Raver told the paper that she got full cooperation—especially from local union workers—throughout the resort while presenting the festival, which showed films in four venues.

The festival premiered in Atlantic City this year after moving from Asbury Park, which hosted the festival for 11 years.

The awards presentation for the festival brought a Hollywood red carpet atmosphere to the Boardwalk attracting celebrities such as Ed Asner, Bebe Neuwirth, Laura Dern and Diane Ladd, Dern’s mother. Ladd presented her daughter the festival’s “Independent Spirit Award.” Neuwirth, of “Cheers” fame, received the festival’s “Wave of Excellence” award.

The festival was part of a big weekend for Atlantic City which included a popular beer festival at the city’s convention center which drew 20,000 people and an annual April Fool’s Half-marathon.