Mayor Ras J. Baraka Gears Up for September Debut of the First Annual Newark International Film Festival

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With submissions from 800 directors, producers and film enthusiasts, representing more than 50 countries, the Newark International Film Festival will feature screenings of approximately 100 features, shorts, docu-series and documentaries in a dozen venues throughout the City of Newark from September 9 – 11, culminating in an awards ceremony on Sunday, September 11 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)

Newark International Film Festival
We are proud to provide Northern New Jersey and New York City residents and visitors access to independent film screenings, panel discussions around the business of filmmaking, workshops and more.

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today the countdown for next month’s three-day, inaugural, international film festival for independent filmmakers, film aficionados and aspiring creatives. With submissions from 800 directors, producers and film enthusiasts, representing more than 50 countries, the festival will feature screenings of approximately 100 features, shorts, docu-series and documentaries in a dozen venues throughout the City of Newark from September 9 – 11, culminating in an awards ceremony on Sunday, September 11 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). Passes for the festival, sponsored by The Newark International Film Festival, range in price from $50 - $200 and are available for purchase online at newarkiff.com or onsite at 744 Broad Street between 9 am and 7 pm.

Festival highlights include 1) screenings of independent films and shorts from around the globe, 2) workshops for aspiring filmmakers, producers, actors, directors and writers and 3) panel discussions featuring music producers, executives, managers, casting directors and on-air talent. Weekend celebrity participants include John Gibson of the Motion Picture Association of America, FOX-TV hit-series Empire stars Tasha Smith and Tobias Truvillion, VH1 on-air personality and producer Sway Calloway, actor, producer and writer Hill Harper, casting director Winsome Sinclair and producers Warrington Hudlin and Bob Sumner to name a few.

“We are proud to partner with the Newark International Film Festival and provide Northern New Jersey and New York City residents and visitors access to independent film screenings, panel discussions around the business of filmmaking, workshops, comedy shows and a ‘filmed in Newark’ Scavenger Hunt with cash prizes,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “We are especially excited about our first-ever International Youth Film Festival that will feature works written, produced and directed by young adults and teens. This 3-day-international film festival has something for people of all ages and walks of life. We are bringing the art and business of filmmaking to the masses.”

Newark is the perfect location for this type of event because of its accessibility and affordable venues. The festival will showcase many of the City’s cultural hot-spots including Newark Symphony Hall, The Newark Museum, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Taste Lounge and the CityPlex Theater. Directors, writers and producers will converge on Newark from all over the world and the City’s airport, train station, light rail, hotel and hospitality industry make coming to and staying in the City a breeze.

The festival’s closing award-ceremony will include presentation of the ‘Hannibal Goodwin Award for Innovation in Filmmaking.’ This award honors Hannibal Goodwin, a Newark-based Episcopal rector who, in 1887, filed the first patent for celluloid film. A total of 20 awards will be given in a variety of categories including best short, best film, best youth film, best directing, best editing and best writing.

“We are thrilled to launch Newark’s first annual International Film Festival” said festival founder Kenneth Gifford. “In addition to the screenings and workshops that will take place during the weekend, we are also hosting a deep-dive panel discussion about the docu-series The Women in the Room. The series explores the impact that female executives and managers have had on the hip-hop industry. This panel is one example of the many diverse events that will take place during this jam-packed weekend.”

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MEDIA NOTE: To secure media credentials for the festival, please email cmccants(at)eimpactconsulting(dot)com with media outlet and individual name, individual cell phone and individual email address by September 8 OR call 973-337-2028 and supply the requested information. An email confirmation will be sent.

About the Newark International Film Festival: Founded by Kenneth Gifford, Director of the Office of Film & Television for the City of Newark, the Newark International Film Festival showcases the wonderful work of filmmakers across the globe. It is committed to educating and training young minds about the film industry, while exposing youth to the industry’s broad spectrum of career and entrepreneurial opportunities. The organization’s focus is to promote Newark as a premier filming destination by bringing agents, managers, producers and industry executives looking for clients and content to the City.

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Cheryl McCants

Sadae Williams
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