The Jersey Shore will once again be hosting the 11th annual Garden State Film Festival in April.


The event is dubbed one of the largest and most respected film festivals on the east coast that Executive Member Lori Draz says began in a single theater in Asbury Park, and has now evolved into a five-venue event that has 155 films, shorts, documentaries, music videos and animations being shown over a three-day weekend with seminars.

Draz says this year, the festival will kick off with a pre-celebration party on Thursday April 4th to not only let folks know that the Jersey Shore is open for business, but to honor Superstorm Sandy heroes.

"What we're doing for this one night only is a buy one get one free ticket so that you bring your hero with you. They get a free ticket anyone who was your hero whether it was the person that held your hand at night time or came and dug the sand out of your basement. It's open to firemen, to Boy Scouts, you name it, whoever your hero was we want to treat them to a night on the town."

Draz says two-time Oscar nominated actress Diane Ladd will also be there conducting a seminar about the industry and answering questions as well as receiving the Festival's Independent Spirit Award during their annual Black Tie Awards Dinner on Sunday April 7th at the Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant.

The event will also feature casting calls, parties and seminars where you can discuss the films with the film-makers themselves. There's even Pin-Up Girl Look-A-Like Contest following a movie about Pin-Up Girl Betty Page.

Draz says you can go to one movie and be perfectly happy, but she suggest that you immerse yourself in the weekend.

"Get that weekend pass that lets you go walk in and out of anything that you want all day long, stay, talk to the film makers, go to the seminars, come to the parties, by the end of the weekend you will have made a million friends."

Get the details about the film schedule, ticket information, sponsor offers and lodging online or you can send an e-mail.

For more information about the Garden State Film Festival, contact: Lori Draz.

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