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I would like to express just how thankful I am to be celebrating five years of the Rahway International Film Festival this year.  Five years is a big accomplishment and we would not have gotten here without our talented filmmakers, our wonderful volunteer staff, and our beautiful audience.  From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank you all for your support through the years.  Having said that, I know that there has been some confusion as of late in regards to our departure from Rahway and our new name, Big Dreams & Silver Screens.  In order to clarify, I feel it best to review our history and see what has brought us to this point.

Rahway International Film Festival was founded and first held in June of 2013 in Rahway, New Jersey.  We began modestly as a one night screening of independent and international short films at the Union County Performing Arts Center’s Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts.  It is there that we grew over four years to become the festival that we are today, spanning three days, showcasing both short and feature length independent films from across the world and giving voice to those who have a story to tell.  

We had been operating as a small, sole proprietorship as we cautiously learned the ins and outs of the festival business.  After four successful years, we felt it time to take the leap and incorporate as a Non Profit, 501(c)(3) in the state of New Jersey.  We are now operating as Big Dreams & Silver Screens Inc, a non profit organization dedicated to the education and advancement of independent filmmakers and independent film.

UCPAC’s Hamilton Stage and the City of Rahway will forever have a special place in our hearts. Our departure is bittersweet but change begets growth and we are excited at the opportunity to evolve and grow as we move forward as Big Dreams & Silver Screens.  The new Non-profit will bring more educational programs and more film screenings throughout the year, in addition to our annual Youth and Independent Film Festivals.  We wanted to celebrate our fifth anniversary by honoring our namesake, but we will continue to operate as Big Dreams & Silver Screens in our sixth year and moving forward.

These new developments have led us to relocate to the James Ward Mansion in Westfield, NJ where we will be celebrating our fifth anniversary on September 22-24, 2017.  We have not gone far and we hope that this move will only serve to invigorate our mission.  We continue to open our doors to all patrons who appreciate the art of filmmaking, near or far.

I would like to thank you for your support in this time of transition.

Most Sincerely,

Gina Marie Rodriguez
Founder + Festival Director


Gina Marie Rodriguez

Founder & Festival Director, Rahway International Film Festival

Executive Director, Big Dreams & Silver Screens

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