This Weekend in Red Bank, NJ: It's the Convergence of Hollywood, NYC Film, European influence, and raw Home Grown NJ Talent, all Here in New Jersey; The International Monmouth Film Festival. 

RED BANK, NJ:  Can you feel it? There's a palpable buzz in New Jersey as final preparations are being made for one of the state's most popular annual weekend events. This weekend the International Monmouth Film Festival (MFF) will be held August 10-12, again at The Two River Theater, in Red Bank, conveniently located right near the NJ Transit Red Bank Station.  

It's not too late to reserve your tickets now click here.  You can buy individual movie tickets for as low as $10. and the best deal is a VIP pass. For only $75. the pass covers everything for the entire weekend, including the networking event and delicious buffet dinner Friday evening, with the THEO sponsored Red Carpet Step and Repeat Event.  Reservations are limited for Friday's kick-off movie screening of A Shot in the Dark; the amazing true story of a former local Saint John Vianey student who is blind, and as a high school wrestler attempts to win a State Championship.... we don't want to be a spoiler and tell you any more, come see for yourself... See trailer here. The VIP evening includes a three hour catered networking Red Carpet event.  Guests will enjoy the fun Partners in Sound NJ #Selfie Social Photo Booth sponsored by Diane Turton, Realtors. Models will walk the Red Carpet with you, along with the producers, directors and actors featured for the festival.  

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Talented folks will be attending from  New Jersey, NYC, across the U.S. and the globe.  Film makers and industry executives will generously share their insight and artistic creations. Check out the free workshops here.  It's a weekend rich with an abundance of film screenings, industry panel discussions, free workshops, and so much more.

Featured companies in attendance will include the world's most trusted casting resource; Backstage, the New Jersey Film Commission and the renowned New York Film Academy. The founder, award winning filmmaker, Holmdel's Nick Marchese believes everyone should have an opportunity to attend the event if they wish to; "My dream was to create an easily accessible international film festival comparable to the best in the country, but host it right here in Monmouth County. A part of that dream is sharing the experience with my local community. So that is why we keep the ticket cost affordable with discounts for our Military and seniors. Our ticket cost starts at $10 and even our VIP passes offering entry to everything from the catered launch event to every option over the entire weekend is only $75. a person. That includes 3 days and covers everything including exclusive access to Investors Bank VIP lounge. We offer free workshops, and open the event to the entire community to enjoy."  You can see ticket information and purchase VIP passes by clicking here.  TEAK in Red Bank is offering MFF guests exclusive discounted drink specials all night long after the event on Friday 8/10, DJ/Dancing. 

For the 2018 MFF, Marchese received all genres and lengths; Features, Shorts, Trailers, Screenplays, Student Films, TV Pilots and Web Series.  Marchese comments, “Top quality true independent cinema is what MFF is all about. We have an amazing selection of films this year, I'm so excited to share them. Last year was a major success and this year promises to be even better, built on the stable growth of the previous two MFF's. We had so many film makers and film lovers from across the country and the globe participate last year and this year we have even more. Last summer we had a 90-minute Industry Expert Panel, which was free for students, and an amazing experience for anyone to take advantage of. We had guests from television networks, professional film actors, published authors and entertainment executives and lawyers and most are coming back and we have steadily gained new interest from the professionals. MFF is very invested in education of the youth in our community and helping students build their experience hands on.  I strongly encourage anyone interested in film making to attend our free workshops. We still have some room.  I'm looking forward to meeting you and hearing about your film ideas and your love of the art.”  Check out the amazing trailers, that you can see too by clicking here.  Check out the free film workshops here

Nick Marchese, a 2013 graduate of Holmdel High School received a bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Making from Montclair University and is the founder of the successful Monmouth Film Festival (MFF).  The weekend long 2017 MFF hosted screenings of 39 short films, 5 feature films and 4 film trailers. The films were selected from local, national and international communities including Poland, South Korea and Italy. Marchese is an award winning independent filmmaker and his work has screened at festivals across the country including New York City and Los Angeles. Wanting to give back and invest in his local community, Marchese has created according to many critics ‘a dynamic local film festival that has quickly arisen to the level of longtime established film festivals.’ To quote film critic Joan Ellis on the Monmouth Film Festival, “The production quality, scripting, and acting in all of the films was extremely high and the subject matter refreshingly original.” Video below is a recap of the 2017 MFF.



MFF is very much a grass roots company.  It did not start with a corporate network but as a nonprofit, driven with passion from Marchese and fellow film makers and entertainment colleagues, all sharing the same goal of enriching the film industry in our local area. Tapinto spoke with David Schoner, the Director of the New Jersey Film Commission who commented, “The Monmouth Film Festival is such an important component of the film industry in New Jersey. I can’t say enough great things about the professionalism of Nick Marchese. With him as the president, everything that The Monmouth Film Festival does is first class. The 2017 festival was a huge success and I know Marchese and his team have grown that success for the upcoming one. He’s young but has the management skills and vision of someone far beyond his years and experience. He’s one of those people that you meet and immediately know this is an extraordinarily passionate person who is capable of turning anything he focuses on into a great success.” 

When The Monmouth Film Festival comes to Red Bank this August,  as it did the previous two summers, the town is buzzing with industry talent. In traditional movie premiere style, the red carpet is rolled out and it’s Hollywood style as the flashbulbs go off and the mingling begins! Among many industry giants in attendance at last year’s MFF were the New York Film Academy, Backstage and American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Fujfilm.  It's a 3 day event filled with a rich action packed agenda of film industry networking and a total immersion into the film world. Click here for the noteworthy talented 2018 industry panel lineup that includes an Emmy-nominated producer, Senior VIACOM executive, New York Film Academy Casting Director, .... Marchese comments, "Every speaker on our industry panel is dynamic and passionate about the film industry and so excited to share their knowledge with the MFF guests and participants. I only dreamed of local opportunities like this when I was a student, and I'm so happy to bring this talent to our community, offering all ages the opportunity to learn from the proven experts in the film and television profession." 

Marchese comments, “MFF is a non-profit so everyone currently involved is a volunteer.  We all have the same drive because everyone working together each has a passion for the industry and is dedicating their time as a volunteer.  That is why I believe the MFF has quickly grown in the way that it has.” When asked who inspires and influences him Marchese responds, “My father was always my inspiration, he has the ability to never give up. He taught me to keep trying and always told me ‘if someone closes the door you open a window and climb in’. My dad’s drive and passion gave me the confidence. He built a construction company (R. Marchese Construction) from the ground up. My mom Mary can tell you that from a young age I would write plays and she would encourage me and the family would act them out. I used to always keep a journal to write my ideas and I loved telling stories and jokes. I think the most genuine thing you can do is make someone laugh and when you get to sit down and write a story and it turns out the way you want it to then it’s an honor and a privilege. It’s so inexpensive today to make a short film. The technology today is so accessible, even with apps on our phones, but it’s the story that has to be meaningful. If you don’t have a story that is valuable then don’t make the film.”  Video here is from the 2017 MFF Industry Expert Panel.


Marchese graduated from Holmdel High School in 2013, where he studied television and film with nine-time Emmy nominated anchorman Mr. Bryan DeNovellis. Marchese says, “The television program at Holmdel High School is wonderful.  When Mr. DeNovellis came to Holmdel, he brought an industry experience to the classroom that made it so valuable. Most importantly he brought us real world experience from his reporting and the best part about him is that he really cares about his students. He breaks barriers in the classroom to truly immerse his students in the television and film industry. He is such a valuable asset to the school and to the community, and I was really lucky to have him as a teacher and now I’m so lucky to have him participate in the MFF.”

At last year’s event Holmdel High School teacher Bryan DeNovellis joined his former Television student at the MFF and volunteered his time as the moderator of the Industry Expert Panel.  DeNovellis says, “Nick is a tremendously talented young man. I knew he was destined to do great things when I worked with him during his senior year…it was like having another teacher in the room.   Nick was writing, directing, and editing his own short films. While it’s not uncommon for high school students to produce short films, it was his work ethic, and quality of editing and videography that set Nick apart…  His enthusiasm for filmmaking is off the charts.  He would spend every free hour planning scripts and crafting films… There were times I would sit back and just admire how he took control of the entire process….  I don’t use this phrase often but Nick ‘has it.’ To this day, whenever Nick asks me to work with him on a project I know it’s going to be first class.  As for the MFF, I always knew Nick would have success…but even I was surprised Nick would have success so quickly…He was able to bring in critically-acclaimed independent award-winning films…. These were filmmakers that had their films screened in film festivals around the country and even the world.  Nick was able to work his magic… and as young as age 22 Nick was rubbing elbows and networking with award-winning director, Kevin Smith and actors like Taimak (who participated in last year’s MFF)… A year older now, Nick is clearly today not your average 23 year old.” 

As part of his giving back initiative Marchese has internship opportunities available for hardworking high school and college students. That enables him to give back to the high school that he believes nurtured and encouraged his interest in film. Holmdel High School Senior and Monmouth Film Festival intern for the second year in a row, Thomas Anderson comments, “Interning for the Monmouth Film Festival taught me about what it takes to be a filmmaker.  Working with Holmdel graduate Nick and being able to ask him questions and learn from him was incredible.  The experience helped me improve my knowledge of the craft and build connections that will be extremely helpful in the future.” 

The Monmouth Film Festival is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. If you would like to support their mission by making a donation you can here. For more information about the Monmouth Film Festival click here. For information about the Two River Theater click here

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