When the Garden State Film Festival makes its inaugural appearance in Atlantic City April 3-6, it will make use of several city landmarks, including Boardwalk Hall, the Chelsea Hotel and Dante Hall.
Resorts Casino Hotel and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel will also host festival activities, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority announced Wednesday.
The Garden State Film Festival was launched by Diane Raver in 2003 in Manasquan, Monmouth County. From 2004 through 2013, the festival took place in Asbury Park, where it drew 35,000 people last year, and resulted in more than $800,000 in economic impact.
The CRDA has agreed to provide $300,000 in subsidies to the festival over three years.
“This location offers a broader palette than we’ve ever had,” Raver said in a statement. “In addition, the support from CRDA allows us to become a major player on the international film festival circuit.”
Raver said she is cross-marketing the festival with partners including the Steel Pier, Richard Stockton College, the Chelsea, Resorts, the Taj Mahal and others. Outreach efforts are also underway to team with local restaurants and businesses.
“Any main event in this unique city by the sea impacts and is impacted by the casinos (and) hotels, the restaurants, the outlet stores, the Boardwalk shops, the rolling chair operators and the taxi companies,” said Francesca Santoro, general manager of the Chelsea Hotel.
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