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The Rahway International Film Festival, a Big Dreams and Silver Screens production, is a non profit festival first held in June of 2013 in an effort to create a warm and welcoming home for independent filmmakers and fans of film in New Jersey and the surrounding area.  First held at the Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts in Rahway, NJ for the last four years as our namesake, but we will continue to operate as Big Dreams & Silver Screens Film Festival moving forward.


Our fifth season has taken us to the neighboring town of Westfield, NJ where we now call The James Ward Mansion home. The move has provided a beautiful space in which we are happy to honor our hard-working filmmakers whom we feel deserve the full red-carpet treatment. Click here to read our Director's Statement regarding the move and rebrand.


We annually showcase short films, feature films and music videos while offering seminars and networking opportunities to those interested in the film industry.


As a women-led film festival in a primarily male-dominated film industry, we are dedicated to showcasing an equal ratio of films by female and male filmmakers in a leading role (Director/Writer/Producer), in keeping with our mission of presenting films that promote equality, awareness, & open-mindedness. We are excited to offer some of the best emerging artists. The festival has proven to be an impressive starting ground for filmmakers, including RIFF alum and 2014 Audience Choice Award winner, Temi Tokosi who was selected to attend the Creative Minds Film Institute at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.


We are committed to enhancing the creative community in the tri-state area and providing a platform for international storytellers to not only share their work but enjoy a place to forge new relationships for collaboration. To read some testimonials by attendees, please visit our Testimonials page.


Our mission is to provide an opportunity for artists worldwide to showcase works that educate, and inspire equality, empathy and awareness through film.

We believe that film can reach the mind and soul in ways nothing else can.  For this reason, we present films that strive to promote equality, champion the oppressed and promote open-mindedness.


In keeping with equality, we seek to present an equal ratio of films created by male and female filmmakers in a leading role (Director/Writer/Producer) from around the world.






Rahway International Film Festival, a Big Dreams and Silver Screens Production, will now call Westfield, New Jersey home. The James Ward Mansion, an architectural wonder in Westfield, will host the 5th Anniversary of RIFF in 2017.  The New Orleans Style mansion offers the perfect setting in which filmmakers can celebrate their latest creations with elegance and class.  

The James Ward Mansion is a short 5 minute walk from NJ Transit's Westfield Station, which serves the Raritan Valley Line, 40 minutes from New York Penn Station (with transfer at Newark). 


For address and directions, visit our Contact Us page!


Rahway International Film Festival is glad to be a part of the bustling downtown district of Westfield, NJ - one of the "happiest cities in New Jersey"!  The town offers one of the most vibrant shopping and dining destinations in the state, which gives our audiences plenty to do in between screenings and parties!

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