NEW JERSEY: The American Film Industry was born in New Jersey and presently the Garden State hosts Film Festivals that attract visitors from all over the country and abroad.  Many locals look forward to attending the film festivals every year and many films feature the best of local talent.  

Howell Township resident Christopher Boncimino’s short film “Leo” will be screened at the 18th Annual Garden State Film Festival, taking place in Asbury Park, NJ from March 25-29.  This will be the second consecutive year Boncimino will have a film in the festival following the 2019 screening of his short “One Last Cup.” 
 
His 2020 entrant, “Leo,” centers on a man with Asperger’s syndrome and his fascination with Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous flying machine.  The film’s dialogue is 1/2 in Italian, Boncimino said he wanted to make “Leo” in part to touch upon his Italian heritage.
 

Sign Up for Middletown Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.


“Leo” was filmed throughout NJ,  in towns such as Lyndhurst, Holmdel, Wayne, Newark, Clifton, and scenes were shot at the Art Factory Studios in Paterson. It was also created to pay tribute to New Jersey’s legacy as the birthplace of the American filmmaking industry in Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratories where he invented the first film cameras and projectors, to Fort Lee, where the original studios were founded.
 
Boncimino is an alumnus of Howell High School’s Fine and Performing Arts Program with a concentration in Video Technology, and he is currently pursuing a film degree at Montclair State University.


 
In addition to Boncimino, the production team features New Jersey natives producer David W. Schoner Jr. (Cedar Grove) and producer Jeff Pinedo (Middlesex Township).  Cast members include Garden State residents Matthew Serra (Vineland), Justin Shilling (Jersey City) and Victoria Taylor (Colts Neck).
 
Producer Schoner is Associate Director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, for which he has assisted with such recent films as the billion-dollar-grossing “Joker,” which filmed in Newark and Jersey.  Schoner has also produced the award-winning films “Murder Reincarnated” and “A Dangerous Place,” which were distributed by Screen Media, Netflix, Amazon and York Entertainment.
 
The Garden State Film Festival celebrates independent film and offers a forum where local filmmakers can exhibit their work.  It was created to pay tribute to New Jersey’s legacy as the birthplace of the American filmmaking industry in Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratories, where he invented the first film cameras and projectors, where the original studios were founded. Click here for information about the upcoming Garden State Film Festival.