Golden Door Film Festival
The Golden Door Film Festival is a film festival in Jersey City, New Jersey inaugurated in 2011. The four-day festival takes place in Fall, and shows features, documentaries, and shorts. The opening and closing night awards ceremony are located at the 1929 movie palace Loew's Jersey Theater at Journal Square with many screenings and other events at various Downtown venues. The festival was founded by actor, producer, and musician Bill Sorvino. There are competitive awards for features, shorts, documentaries, student works, LBGT-themed films and the Women in Cinema-Alice Guy Blache Award for female directors.
America's Golden Door
The Statue of Liberty National Monument, comprising Liberty Island and Ellis Island, is located in the Upper New York Bay opposite Liberty State Park in Jersey City. "I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" is the last line of "The New Colossus," the poem by Emma Lazarus. Many immigrants passed through the city's Communipaw Terminal and it is sometime's referred to as "America's Golden Door". The festival's name is inspired by the emigrant experience.
The first festival took place October 14–17, 2011. Forty-three films were shown and there were eighteen categories for competition. Lifetime achievement awards were given to Academy Award winner Leon Gast and Paul Sorvino. Night Club (2011) by director Sam Borowski won awards for best feature, best director of a feature, best male lead in a feature (Ernest Borgnine), best female lead in a feature (Natasha Lyonne), and best acting by a supporting actor/actress (Sally Kellerman). Life! Camera Action... & Another Day Another Life also picked up several awards.
Fifty-three films were screened during the 2012 festival held October 11–14, 2012. Two new categories for competition have been added, the Student Filmmaker Award and the Women in Film-Alice Guy Blache Award, named for Alice Guy-Blaché, the narrative film director whose studio was located in Fort Lee, the birthplace of America's first motion picture industry at the beginning of the 20th century. Guy-Blaché is also considered a pioneer in the business.
The 2013 festival opened October 10 with the documentary Fall to Grace about former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey.. Armand Assante was given a lifetime achievement award. Sorvino announced that he would be working with Saint Peter's University to develop a film institute.
The 2014 festival was held September 16-21 throughout Jersey City, with its opening night and awards ceremony at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre. Autism awareness has become one of the philanthropic missions of the festival. Tommy Hilfiger on the board of Autism Speaks, became a sponsor of the festival in 2014. and kicked off the event. The two opening films the were Six Letter Word, a short about autism, and The Odd Way Home. There were 92 films shown during the festival.
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