top of page

/previous editions/2023

/press release 2023

June 6th, 2023 - Last Sunday marked the closing night of the New Jersey Independent Film Festival. The festival, now in its third year, once again a brought a four-day showcase of independent cinema from around the world at Cranford Theater. This year, the festival also introduced a new online section, the OFF ON Selection, which remains available for streaming until 11 June.


“We are so excited to welcoming the talented award-winning filmmakers to our community to give exposure to their incredible artwork,” says Festival Co-Host Jenny Subjack Piezas. “Every evening is a different collection of films in various mediums that are impactful in different ways. Storytelling has a transformational power on those who bear witness. It increases empathy, and makes people feel more connected and less alone in their human experience. That, to me, is very exciting and what our human race needs most! As Host, facilitating a group discussion at the end of each evening with the filmmakers is an incredible experience because we get a window into the many elements involved in making the films, what inspired the work, etc. The audience also has the ability to ask questions as well. It’s a magical four days of creativity, connection and fun. And of course we get to dress up and walk the red carpet! What could be more fun than that!?”


The New Jersey Independent Film Festival is pleased to share with you today the 2023 award winners. This year's official selection was carefully selected out of almost a twelve hundred submissions from around the globe, with 39 films making it to the final selection. The jury members have chosen to award the following films:


Best Narrative Feature Film: COURAGE (Mexico) by Rubén Rojo Aura

Best Narrative Short Film: DEEP BLUE (Canada) by Franie-Éléonore Bernier

Best Documentary Feature Film: LOST BOYZ (USA) by Johnny Sweet

Best Documentary Short Film: LIMBO (USA) by Alex Ramsey

Best Animated Film: THERE'S A BISON ON THE PRAIRIE (USA) by Morgan Miller

Best Experimental Film: MARIS B653 (Italy) by Debora Vrizzi

Best Super Short Film: JUST LISTEN TO THE STORM (France) by Hannah Papacek Harper

Best LGBTQ+ Film: I LOVE YOU DON'T LEAVE ME (USA) by Alex Leombruno

Best Music Video: ISAIAH M. BROWN - ROSE COLORED (USA) by Michael Sapieja

Best Connecting Cultures Film: I NEVER HAD DREAMS OF MY SOn (Ukraine) by Jason Blevins

Best Latin American Film: HOLESTEPPER (Peru) by Sergio Fernández Muñoz

Best New Jersey Film: AWAKEN HER (USA) By Kerri Lynn Miller

Bess Actor (m/f/x): MARTA AURA In “COURAGE”


Congratulations to all!


The festival would also like to give a big shout-out to its sponsors! Thank you Stage Craft Studio, Hickory & Hill, Tree City, Ambéli Greek Taverna, Dittrick's Wine & Liquors, Anthem, Cory Mathews, Augusta Mae, Vanilla Bean Creamery, Breadsmith, Mizu Sushi, Playa Bowls, Poke House, Waves Salon, Delice Macarons, Vinny's Pizza, and Dreyer Farms.


Today, a new Call for Entries has been launched on FilmFreeway for the next edition of the New Jersey Independent Film Festival, which will take place June 6-9, 2024. Submit your film now (*local filmmakers can submit for free until the Early Bird Deadline on June 24, 2023).


See you all next year!

/official selection 2023


2020 (USA) by Tom Bessoir

A Fugue (UK) by Charles Jimenez

Armored Saint - A band of brothers (UK) by Russell Cherrington

Atmospheric Marginalia (USA) by Adam E. Stone

Awaken Her - The Short (USA) by Kerri Lynn Miller

Candle (UK) by Charles Jimenez

Circle (USA) by Phillip Kaminiak

Courage (Mexico) by Rubén Rojo Aura

Deep Blue (Canada) by Franie-Éléonore Bernier

Dragon (USA) by Dane Cree, Lisa Poppe

Encounters lost in time (Portugal) by José Manuel Fernandes

Freewheelin' (Norway) by Finn Walther

Generation (UK) by Riccardo Fusetti

Hermanita (USA) by Hisonni Mustafa

Holestepper (Peru) by Sergio Fernández Muñoz

I Love You Don't Leave Me (USA) by Alex Leombruno

I Never Had Dreams of My Son (Ukraine) by Jason Blevins

Isaiah M. Brown - Rose Colored (Official Music Video) (USA) by Michael Sapieja

Just Listen to the Storm (France) by Hannah Papacek Harper

Kidd With A camera (USA) by Warren Malcom Christopher Sherard

LCAW - Heart Of Glass (Germany) by Nathan Ceddia

Lights Out, Berlin! (Germany) by Dimitris Argyriou

Limbo (USA) by Alex Ramsey

Lost Boyz (Not Specified) by Johnny Sweet

Maris B653 (Italy) by Debora Vrizzi

Moscow State Circus (USA) by Joshua Van Horn

Ode to my Body (USA) by Luca Mancuso

Ousmane (Canada) by Jorge Camarotti

Re-Membering: Meditation on a Triptych (Sweden) by Amra Hećo

Rebirth (Sweden) by Nils Agdler

Safe as Houses (Ireland) by Mia Mullarkey

Score (USA) by Chris Zou

secant (Not Specified) by 

She Survived (USA) by Judi Polanco

The Big Wash (Italy) by Giorgio Caporali

The Dream Machine (France) by Michael William West

There's a Bison on The Prairie (USA) by Morgan Miller

Things That Didn't Happen (USA) by Joshua Kaufman

Where do we go from here (Italy) by Antonello Schioppa

bottom of page