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4th Annual Golden Door Film Festival

Rumer Willis & Chris Marquette in Odd Way Home

Running from Thursday, Sept 18th to Sunday Sept 21st, 2014, the 4th Annual Golden Door Film Festival returns to Jersey City. This year’s festival is the largest so far, with more submissions, films, venues and bigger names. 

With just short of 100 films being shown at eight different venues across Jersey City, the fest includes a reprise of the opening night films at the Washington Park Live festival on Saturday Sept 20th.

Pgolden-doorrior to the actual event, a gala kickoff party hosted by Tommy Hilfiger takes place at the Historic Landmark Lowe’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City’s Journal Square on  Tuesday, September 16th, from 7 to 9pm. There will be other red carpet events, and seminars taking place over the four days of the film festival. 

Among the venues showing films during the festival are: 

  • The Westin Hotel
  • The Brightside Tavern
  • The Hudson County Community College Culinary Center
  • The Panepinto Galleries

The Festival also includes three after-parties at The Bistro At Grove Square (16 Newark Ave), taking place in the all-day filmmakers’ lounge being hosted by the wine bar. 

The annual film festival provides an ideal forum for filmmakers, distributors, agents, actors, and others in the film industry local and beyond, and also film lovers to make new contacts and network over the four days of the festival. This year among the corporate sponsors is for the first time fashion house Tommy Hilfiger. 

While this festival is about film it’s also about another message — to increase awareness about autism. The Festival’s co-founder and director is actor and Jersey City native Bill Sorvino who has two children that have struggled with autism. Although nine-year Sofia has grown out of it, Sorvino’s five year old son Luca still struggles with the disorder. In fact, as part of the festival Autism Speaks will host a talk with their disability advocate and author Kerry Magro and Sonia Zayas, occupational therapist and CEO of Sensory Kids & Social Minds, regarding what it means to grow up in treatment and become a functioning adult at the autistic children's center Sensory Kids & Social Minds on 158 Newark Avenue on Sunday, September 21st at 10AM until noon.

The Both opening night films address autism. The Off Way Home directed by Rajeev Nirmalakhandan and a short 16-minute film Six Letter Word directed by Lisanne Sartor. Both films feature Rumer Willis the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. In In the Off Way Home Rumer Willis plays a bad girl wanting to rob a house and winds up with an autistic guy in her car who she has to take care of as they drive cross-country. This film will also be screened for residents in Jersey City’s Heights Arts District at Washington Park Live! on Saturday, September 20th at 7PM. In the short film Six Letter Word also starring Rumor Willis, she plays a mother who goes to extreme lengths in order to pay for treatment for her autistic son. 

paul-sorvinohomeFor Sorvino, growing up in Jersey City and fostering a love of family and the community meant launching the GDIFF within reach of the house he grew up in,  where his parents still reside. In creating the fest, he has fulfilled a lifelong desire: “Our overarching dream is to see Jersey City as a nexus for film production.  I do believe we are on well on our way to accomplishing that.”

Presented this year by fashion giant Tommy Hilfiger and Autism Speaks, attendance at the GDIFF is an opportunity for local filmmakers and the film-going public in NJ and the tri-state area to enjoy a stimulating four-day event while creating awareness and raising funds for autism research.

The organizers carefully curated and collated different film genres and seminars to include something for about everyone,with breathtaking views of the New York City skyline as a backdrop.  Among the films featured are one that fit into categories as diverse as Asian American, Women, Alternative, Dramedy, Disability Culture and Coming of Age.

Look for local filmmaker John Trigonnis, author of Crowdfunding for Filmmakers at the seminars, (included with the festival ticket) and Italy’s Per Mano Ignota (For Hand Unknown)film, making an appearance.

For more information about the Golden Door Film Festival and for a full schedule visit:

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