PROJECT FX, the Count Basie Theatre's NJ Statewide Student Film Festival, Extends Submission Deadline and Announces All-Star Panel of Industry Judges

Share Article

Esteemed adjudicators include Oscar winner Timothy Hutton, 'Clerks' star Brian O'Halloran, Oscar nominee James Schamus (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Brokeback Mountain), Sony Pictures Classics co-president Tom Bernard and Others; Entries now being at PROJECTFXBASIE.COM; Finalists announced and public voting begins March 10th; Festival date set for April 17th at Red Bank, NJ's Count Basie Theatre

“Last year’s crop of PROJECT FX entries contained true, cinematic gems – works from students I’m certain will have long careers in film.” - Tom Bernard, Co-President, Sony Pictures Classics

The Count Basie Theatre has extended its entry deadline and announced its panel of esteemed judges for PROJECT FX, its statewide student film festival presented by Bank Of America and Sony Pictures Classics.

Students aged 16-25 and presently enrolled in a Garden State-based high school or college now have until midnight on March 1, 2016 to enter their films at The top vote-getter in each category will win a paid internship experience with Sony Pictures Classics in New York, as well as a screening during the first-ever Indie Street Film Festival in Red Bank in July.

The Basie has also announced its 2016 panel of esteemed adjudicators:

Tom Bernard, Co-President, Sony Pictures Classics
Bonnie Bernstein, Howell native and ESPN / Fox Sports host
Alex Biese, Entertainment Reporter, Asbury Park Press
TJ Bryan, Radio Host, WJRZ-FM and Owner, Shoreflicks
Nina Danevic, Film Editor
Kate Lear, Broadway producer and daughter of the legendary Norman Lear
Robert O’Connor, Founder and Creative Director, FilmOneFest
Brian O’Halloran, Actor (Clerks, Mallrats)
Timothy Hutton, Academy Award winning Actor (Ordinary People)
Nick Paleologos, Executive Director, New Jersey Council on the Arts
Adam Philipson, President and CEO, Count Basie Theatre
Rena Ronson, Partner, and Head of UTA Independent Film Group at United Talent Agency
Linda Safran, Member, National Board of Review of Motion Pictures
James Schamus, Screenwriter and Producer (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Brokeback Mountain)
Maureen Van Zandt, Actress, The Sopranos, Broadway’s Hair
Michael Vickerman, Writer; producer of the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award-nominated Tut
Alicia Yerves, Social Media Manager, Two River Theater

On March 10th, the Basie will reveal twenty films - ten entries from Garden State high schoolers and an additional ten from students attending New Jersey colleges – as finalists for the competition. The public will have an opportunity to cast votes by “liking” or “sharing” the films on Facebook – a tally which will figure into each film’s final score. Voting will also consist of scores from the judge’s panel, as well as an audience vote at the April 17th festival.

The PROJECT FX Festival will feature screenings of all twenty student films, as well as a Q&A panel featuring some of our esteemed judges.

“Last year’s crop of PROJECT FX entries contained true, cinematic gems – works from students I’m certain will have long careers in film,” said Tom Bernard, co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics, when the Basie announced the fest’s return last fall. “I am excited to see what we will find at this year’s PROJECT FX.”

High school and college PROJECT FX finalists are vying for the ultimate grand prize: a paid internship with Sony Pictures Classics’ offices in New York City.

Second place winners in each category will receive Sony video cameras, while third-place finishers will receive a $500 cash prize.

For more information about PROJECT FX or other Count Basie Theatre events, contact Jonathan Vena at jvena(at)countbasietheatre(dot)org


The Count Basie Theatre’s primary mission is to serve the people of the State of New Jersey by providing a broad spectrum of quality entertainment and education programs that reflect and celebrate the diversity of the region; foster understanding and appreciation for the ennobling power of the performing arts, creates opportunity for cultural enrichment for people at all economic levels, and honors the memory of Red Bank native and renowned jazz pianist William James “Count” Basie. The Count Basie Theatre has hosted an array of world-class artists, including Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend, Crosby Stills & Nash, Ringo Starr, Tony Bennett and Ariana Grande. Count Basie Theatre programming is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jon Vena
Count Basie Theatre
+1 732-224-8778 Ext: 107
Email >
Visit website