Newark International Film Festival 2017

Festival Kickoff Gala – Haynes building – downtown Newark, NJ.

The 2nd annual Newark International Film Festival (NIFF) kicked off in first class. The black tie event, complete with red carpet, stilettos, smooth lapels, elegant gowns, familiar celebrity faces and tasty hor d’oeuvres, was an excellent way to begin the festivities.  We (me and wife) enjoyed ourselves immensely.  I served on the selection committee as “script reader”.  I read 6 full-length feature scripts in 4 days.  I was also the announcer (Voice of God) at the Awards Ceremony.  There were 806 submissions to the film festival from 66 countries on 6 continents. The categories were: full-length features, short films, documentaries, original web series and best script.

Celebrity Interviews

This year’s host for the festival was the amazingly beautiful Eva Marcille.  Her warm, bubbly personality was the right touch for the festival as she participated in interviews, panels, workshops and lit up the stage during the awards ceremony at Newark Symphony Hall.  Her co-host that evening was comedian Rob Stapleton. 

Panel Discussions

Actor Lorenz Tate (wearing the hat) sits in on panel discussion. 


Kenneth Gifford (far right), founder of the Newark International Film Festival, stands by as  actors discuss the industry, sharing their knowledge and experiences with an attentive audience at this workshop. 

Screening – Shaquille O’Neal’s CityPlex 12

Saturday afternoon at the Shaquille O’Neal CityPlex12 – one of 5 Venues where films were played.  Photo above is of the male cast members of “The Yaku and the Undefeated”.   I was in 2 films (“The Yaku and the Undefeated” and “The Fearless One”) that were accepted in the festival. 

Awards Ceremony

(Some backstage photos – Newark Symphony Hall)

Backstage at Newark Symphony Hall on awards night.  The place was buzzing with excitement, both backstage as well as the audience that night.  Many awards were given out to well- deserving talented artists before an enthusiastic audience. The event was a phenomenal success! 


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