Tag Archives: Garden State Film Festival


Derek's Friends

Jersey City NJ–“Derek’s Friends” — a comedy by Jersey City filmmaker and McNair HS sophomore, Joseph G. Sexton will screen this weekend at the 2017 Garden State Film Festival in Atlantic City.   Joseph w rote, directed & played the lead in this film which had its world premiere August 2016 at the Oscar-qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival, where the RIIFF jury awarded Derek’s Friends the FIRST PRIZE KidsEye International Film Award.

Joseph G Sexton Previously, Joseph won accolades for another one of his movies, “The American Dream” a documentary on immigrants, which was awarded second prize in the 2015 C-SPAN StudentCam competition and aired on national television. A longer version of that film screened at Loews Historic Theater, and at the Gala Opening Nite of the 2015 Golden Door International Film Festival.  Prior to that, Joseph produced “The Colors of Timothy,” a comedic mockumentary which garnered a nomination for Best Regional Short Film, and a personal scholarship for Joseph –all from the Golden Door International Film Festival.  More recently, Mr. Sexton was the recipient of the James Gandolfini Filmmakers of Tomorrow Award.

Derek’s Friends is a narrative about a boy who must let go of ‘peculiar’ friends in order to move onto the next stage in life. The film screens this Saturday, April 1st, at the Dante Hall Theater in Atlantic City.


New Jersey Actor “Joe Sernio” on the Road to Success

By Evelyn Bonilla

Joe Sernio
In the very beginning Sernio’s journey was far off the acting road, a graduate of Chubb Institute, twice to be exact, once with a computer networking degree and the other with a technical support degree he began his life in information technology. But it would be his love of acting and the passion in his heart to follow his dream that would push the young Sernio onto the acting lane. Now several independent films later and former roles on daytimes soap operas Sernio is now following his life’s true passion.

He has received acclaim for his acting and the films he has been a part of; have received a compilation of awards. In retrospect, if you were to watch some of the characters he portrays on film you could see that Sernio has hone his craft and has brought to the film screen an “intensity and dynamic” to his acting.

Sernio has starred in such independent films as “The Roadhouse” Repetition of Change”, “Mourning on Charlotte Street” and currently he has a role in a new film entitled, “A Dance with Andrea.” Sernio is truly dedicated to his films, but in his spare time he is devoted to helping others develop their acting skills as well. Presently he is working with well-known actor Vinny Pastore of Sopranos fame. Pastore has formed a theater company entitled, “The Buffalo Theater Group” which will work on developing new screenplays in addition to reviving iconic works by various playwrights. Continue reading New Jersey Actor “Joe Sernio” on the Road to Success




Asbury Park, NJ
The Tenth Annual Garden State Film Festival is scouting candidates for their annual Robert Pastorelli Rising Star Award. The award is named after the late award winning actor and co-founder of the GSFF, Robert Pastorelli who was instrumental in bringing this prestigious event to the State of New Jersey.The award will be presented at the Garden State Film Festival Black Tie Awards Dinner on March 25th, 2012 at The Crystal Point in Pt. Pleasant , NJ.The Robert Pastorelli Rising Star Award is open to all present or former New Jersey actors, regardless of age or union affiliation Eligible candidates must have been born or raised in New Jersey and have an undeniable passion for the art form and have made inroads to the industry through hard work and determination. The deciding committee will be looking for a progression of work in theater, commercials, television, and film. Submissions should be sent to GSFF Pastorelli Award C/O 1310 Winding Brook Road, Spring Lake, NJ 07762. Postmarked no later than December 1, 2011, and should include a headshot, resume, references and demo DVD, or website address if available. Submitted materials will not be returned to applicants. Continue reading GARDEN STATE FILM FESTIVAL SCOUTING CANDIDATES FOR ANNUAL ROBERT PASTORELLI RISING STAR AWARD