Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Atlantic City Cinefest adds Stockton’s City Campus To Venues for 12th Festival

            The 12th annual Atlantic City Cinefest adds Stockton University Atlantic City Campus to Dante Hall Theater as its 2019 venues. The film festival, which runs Oct. 4 to 6, screens some 70 shorts, documentaries and feature films, many from New Jersey filmmakers. Tickets are on sale now. Visit
"Stockton University has been a proud partner of the Atlantic City Cinefest, through Dante Hall Theater, and the Noyes Arts Garage since 2012,” said Stephanie Clineman, Artistic Programming/Theater Manager for Dante Hall. “For the past seven years, the two locations have served as the main screening venues and centralized hub of event activity, throughout the festival weekend. 
“We're excited to announce that this year, the partnership will include Stockton’s newly constructed Atlantic City Campus. In addition to Dante Hall, we will be screening films inside of the spacious and stylish, Fanny Lou Hamer Event Room, located in the Academic Center, and in a screening room in the beautiful Residence Complex, along the Boardwalk.”
            The first Ursula Ryan Lifesaver Award will be presented during the Oct. 6 awards ceremony. Named after the late owner of Weist-Barron-Ryan, the iconic Pleasantville acting school and casting agency, the award recognizes lifetime achievement.
Former Lifesaver Award winner, Blanche Baker, returns as writer and director of a musical, “Make America Safe,” a satire on the gun culture. Baker, a co-star of “Sixteen Candles” as the loopy bride sister of Molly Ringwald’s character, will also participate in the annual filmmakers panel Saturday Oct. 5 at Dante Hall. The panel, which also includes South Jersey filmmaker and animator, and festival trustee, Sebastian Foxworth, and trustee and Weist-Barron-Ryan operator, Stefanie Ryan, trustee Jack Skyyler, filmmakers Mark Clauburg and Keith Vaile. Trustee Ned Eckhardt, a retired Rowan professor, will again emcee.
            “As a filmmaker I learned a lot from the excellent panel discussions at Cinefest. The intimate setting of the festival encourages interaction with audience, filmmakers and actors. It is a well run festival with an interesting selection of films across genres. I love it!” Baker said.
Her short answers the question: what if guns were not just a right but a requirement? “What if the motto ‘If everyone is armed there will be no more crime’ became the law of the land? `Make America Safe’ takes a sardonic look at this possible future where rights trump reason,” she said.
As in past years, the Cinefest will present a mix of films, including comedies, dramas and animation, along with documentaries. The lineup includes a lot of annual returning filmmakers: locals like Anthony Picciotti, Vaile and Phil Barnett, North Jersey filmmakers: Clauburg and Larry Rosen, and trustees Skyyler and Foxworth.
For the first time, we will feature blocks of films from students at two high schools
around the state: Northern Burlington Regional and Middletown North.
"We're really excited to showcase our students work from Northern Burlington and to be a part of the AC Cinefest for the first time," said video production teacher James Dowd.
Christopher Cullen, TV film production teacher at Middletown, says this is a great opportunity for students.
“Not only do they have the chance to meet others with their same interest and artistic abilities, but have the chance to network with filmmakers who have been in the industry and get to experience all aspects of a film festival at an early age,” Cullen said. “Being able to screen their work in front of the public to show what they can do is the most rewarding for these students  I think it is amazing that film festivals give these young talented filmmakers a chance to express themselves and screen their work."

Tickets are priced at:
Single block @ $5
Daily Pass @ $25
All Festival @ $40

Check the Facebook page to see when the schedule goes up.

Video promo by Anthony Picciotti:

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Celebrate Labor Day 2019 With AC Cinefest


Celebrate Labor Day with Cocktails and a Cruise

Usher in Labor Day weekend with the annual Atlantic City Cinefest Happy Hour Cruise fund-raiser aboard the iconic Cruisn 1 on Friday evening, Aug. 30. The one hour journey around the back bay departs the dock at Historic Gardner’s Basin at 6 p.m.  Boarding begins at 5:30 p.m.

“We had a great time last year and raised a lot of funds too,” says Joelle Sokolic, president of the non-profit Cinefest.

The Cinefest is partnering with Atlantic City Cruises to raise funds for the 2019 event, Oct. 4 to 6. The organization earns 50 percent of each ticket sold on behalf of the festival. 

Tickets for the cruise only are:
  • $20 for adults
  • $15 for seniors 62 and over
  • $10 for children 5 to 15. 

A full cash bar is available or patrons can purchase the Cruise-n-Cocktail Package for $40, which includes house drinks, wine, beer, and soda. 

"This calm water cruise is ideal, a relaxing cruise with great music and specialty cocktails that heads behind Brigantine Cove and into the Golden Nugget Marina,” says Captain Jeff George, president of Atlantic City Cruises. "What a great way to start the Labor Day Weekend."

To reserve a place on the cruise, contact Joelle Sokolic, 609-515-2189 or To pay in advance and insure a ticket, contact Joelle to arrange for payment via Venmo. If spots are available, you can pay at the dock prior to the cruise. Cash only.

Atlantic City Cinefest, presented by Downbeach Film Festival, celebrates the art form of independent moviemaking. For more information, visit

Cruisn 1 is operated by Atlantic City Cruises located at Historic Gardner’s Basin, 800 N. New Hampshire Avenue. For more information, visit

Monday, March 11, 2019


No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
**2019 London Independent Film Awards – Winner – Best Feature Film**
**2018 Jersey Shore Film Festival – Winner – Best Suspense Thriller, Best Actress**
**2017 Atlantic City Cinefest – Winner – Best Feature, Best Cinematography, Best Actor**

Viva Pictures will release the upcoming horror film THE SAMARITANS On Digital and On Demand on April 16, 2019.

Watch the Official Trailer:

THE SAMARITANS is a new horror flick that stars Keith Collins (The Meat Puppet, The Evangelist), Doug Bollinger (Waltzing Anna, Mail Order Bride), Timothy Laurel Harrison (Out of My Hand), and Annelise Nielsen (The Brink of Us). The film was written and directed by Doug Bollinger and was based on a story by Keith Collins.

THE SAMARITANS tells the story of four co-workers who get together to finish a project at their manager’s home. They haven’t actually met face to face and they discover they have more in common than the new App they are perfecting. As they piece together their histories, they realize that each of them has a deadly secret that could reveal a way out or seal their fates. Their pasts have provoked a vengeful force to show them the errors in their ways. The home they have been summoned to becomes their court and their prison. Can they prove that history doesn’t repeat itself? Can they redeem themselves before time runs out? Will they figure out their fateful bond before revenge has its way with them?
A Statement from the Filmmakers:
We (like most filmmakers) believe that our film is different. It is not different because of the content (which we do think is pretty darn good). It stands alone in a crowded field of indie horror/thriller because of the how we did it. This film could be marketed as the "next big thing" or "scary" or "creepy" but that would be just like any other marketing campaign. It is all of those things but the fact it was made in such little time for such little money is very rare.
Six people. One weekend. Two rooms. That's all it took for The Samaritans team to shoot this micro-budget thriller. The tense mood was created with one light, four actors, and no more than three takes on any setup. The creative team consists of Doug Bollinger, Keith Collins, Cory Green, and Matt Grego. The entire feature film was shot in a four day weekend. This intrepid group of dedicated filmmakers did nothing but eat, sleep, and shoot to create what is sure to be one of the most talked about indie thrillers of the year. 

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*Editors note: We've followed the progress of this film and highly recommend this as a must see. knowing now that The Samaritans was made in such little time with only six people is astonishing! One of the most thrilling pieces of art, captivating, scary and purely frightening, this film deserves all the attention it gets as we here give it 4 STARS.