Jersey City rolled out the red carpet at the Loews Theatre the past four days for the 7th annual Golden Door International Film Festival.
“I had a dream , I woke up and I presented it to some Jersey City folks and they loved the idea and we started planning literally the next day – and that was back in 2010,” said GDIFF Founder Bill Sorvino.
“I wanted to shout out a dear friend who passed away, Beanie Gaughan, who was very instrumental in the early stages of getting it together actually. Back then was 2011, it was our first year, now were on our 7th year and here we are.”
Michele Sorvino, Bill’s wife, talked about the philanthropic aspect of the film festival.
“We not only have a bunch of films that we screen here in Jersey City, but we also have a philanthropic part of the film festival, which we raise awareness for autism through filmmaking and we highlight either people with disabilities or just sort of spreading the word of the message about autism, disabilities or just people being slightly kinder.”
Christian Keiber, GDIFF judge, praised the quality of the feature films, ranging from a film about human trafficking to a documentary about Hudson County corruption – based on a book, Five Finger Discount, written by Jersey City born and raised author Helene Stapinsky.
One highly anticipated film that debuted at the GDIFF, “Young Blue Eyes,” a period piece about Frank Sinatra, featured the acting debut of Domenica Cameron-Scorsese – the daughter of critically acclaimed director Martin Scorsese.
“I got involved with the film, kind of funny, went home to mom’s for Christmas, wound up reading part of a Kitty Kelley unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra, but I really liked this opening story she had,” began Rich Rickaby, the director of Young Blue Eyes.
Although he initially did the script “as a lark,” friends convinced him to adapt the screenplay into a short film and he submitted it to the GDIFF.
Martin-Scorsese’s directorial debut, “Almost Paris,” also screened during this year’s festival.