Kee Kee Buckley and Janice Kovach (RTFF founders) with volunteers during 2017 River Town Film Festival. Photo Credit John Bohnel

Starting on January 8, 2018, the River Town Film Festival  will begin to accept film submissions for their 2018 event. From documentaries to shorts and narrative feature films, filmmakers from around the globe are encouraged to participate.

The River Town Film Festival will span three days; opening Friday, September 7th with screenings of short and feature-length films (narrative and documentary) continuing throughout Sunday, September 9th. The Closing Ceremony will be capped off by a rock and roll performance by THE ORCHESTRA starring ELO Former Members.

The festival will take place September 8 – 9, 2018 at the Red Mill Museum Village, an iconic Hunterdon County fixture that is nestled beautifully in the town of Clinton, New Jersey along the South Branch of the Raritan River. The continuing theme of this festival is to explore community through film, art and music. The films accepted often have an abstract association to community yet harness the potential to deepen awareness and insight by inviting dialogue and relationship. Last year, the festival featured community found in films about human trafficking, the foster system, a rural community in New Mexico where the only thing to do is eat pie, and even about the elves at the North Pole.

“We are seeking films that enhance our understanding of community, invite dialogue and encourage relationship. The films may have an abstract association to community; yet harness the potential to deepen awareness and insight. We aren’t talking about Leave it To Beaver or The Brady Bunch. In the past our films found community in the most surprising, but ultimately gratifying, places,” said Co-Founder Kee Kee Buckley.

A nationally recognized panel of distinguished film industry professionals will review selected submissions and determine the winners. They include Ernest Thompson (Oscar-winning screenwriter of ON GOLDEN POND); Executive Producer Marc Rosen (Sense8); Marc Reid (CFO of Lakeshore Entertainment); TV writer Lynne Litt (LOST, LAW & ORDER, THE PRACTICE, NCIS NEW ORLEANS); Virginia Longmuir (EVP of RatPac Entertainment); and Producer, Director, Actor and Composer Allan Nichols (DEAD MAN WALKING, THE PLAYER, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE).

From Best in Show and Audience Choice, to Best Short and Best Feature, there are some exciting awards that up and coming filmmakers can win during this high-energy festival. Also, the River Town Film Festival committee is presently considering the recipient of this year’s Ernest Thompson Community Engagement Award, which is given to a celebrity that gives back significantly to their community.

Q&A with Director Bill Jersey from 2017 River Town Film Festival. Photo Credit John Bohnel

A short drive from New York City and Philadelphia, downtown Clinton makes a wonderful weekend getaway. This award-winning town exudes such an extraordinary level of community spirit and its main street is lined with locally owned restaurants, boutiques, one-of-a-kind stores, and a contemporary art museum. Surrounded by rolling hills and a beautiful countryside, Clinton draws visitors from all over the globe.

“Clinton is the embodiment of community and I’m excited for the opportunity to share the town with all of the festival participants. We are thrilled to host the 2018 River Town Film Festival. It is an amazing opportunity not just for the town, but also for the residents and business community,” commented Co-Founder Janice Kovach, the mayor of Clinton.

Film entries will be accepted through June 30, 2018, with early bird discounted submission fees until March 8, regular submission fees until June 6, and late submission fees for films submitted thereafter until June 30. Filmmakers can submit their films for consideration through the festival’s website:

River Town Film Festival, Inc. was established in 2017 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit company. The festival was co-founded by Mayor Janice Kovach and producer, director, writer, Kee Kee Buckley to support emerging, visionary filmmakers with fresh and inspiring voices, to embrace and promote the theme of community, and to engage Hunterdon County communities with remarkable cinematic, art and music experiences.

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