The 17th annual Garden State Film Festival will be held in Asbury Park from March 27 to 31.

Festival founder and organizer Diane Raver says the event has always had a special significance for New Jersey because film was born here in Thomas Edison's lab in Menlo Park.

"It occurred to us that having an all-encompassing event in the state of New Jersey was long overdue," she said.

"[The film industry) went on to 49 film studios in Fort Lee and hundreds and hundreds of productions that are shot in the state every year. This will be our 17th event and we're very proud, of course, of that of that legacy as well."

Raver says this year's event will feature 247 films from 22 countries shown in 10 venues. A schedule of the titles is available here. 

"Most films run the festival circuit and then they go to distribution because they rack up as many wins as they can get and then they can get more money when that goes theatrical," she explained.

Some of the films screened at the festival have won Academy Awards. Others have been broadcast on PBS or Showtime.

All sorts of films will be featured, including feature length, documentaries, shorts, trailers and music videos. More information on the Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park can be found at

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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