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All the Buzz on Film Festival Awards, Celebrity Tributes and the Film Awards Season.

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2019 Garden State Film Festival Announces Drew Henriksen As This Year's Screenplay Competition Winner For "A Brooklyn Christmas"

The 2019 Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) is thrilled to announce Drew Henriksen as this year’s Screenplay Competition Winner for “A BROOKLYN CHRISTMAS.” The GSFF Screenplay Competition was instituted to recognize the importance of the writer as the foundation for a really great film. There will be a live reading of this screenplay on Saturday March 30th 12:00Noon-2:00p.m. at The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park, 1401 Ocean Avenue, Oval Room on the 2nd Floor. Mr. Henriksen will be honored at a black-tie-optional Awards Banquet at The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel on Sunday, March 31st.  The script reading is FREE, with the suggested donation of the purchase of a screening block ticket $15 to be used over the GSFF weekend. This wonderful event IS included in the weekend pass.

 “A BROOKLYN CHRISTMAS” takes place one Christmas Eve in the late seventies, when suave wise guy, Tony C., loses his life saving a young boy from being hit by a truck.  He finds himself before Saint Peter who has taken the form of a dentist.  In the heavenly office, we meet Horatio, a bungling apprentice angel. After his judgment, Tony and Horatio are sent back down to Brooklyn to help guide a young fireman Jerry, through the season after losing his beloved wife.  Both would-be angels land at the Brooklyn firehouse with some heavenly paperwork.  What Tony does not know is that only he can see and hear Horatio, putting him in some awkward situations. In true Martin and Lewis-style, they not only help Jerry, but the entire community. Being inexperienced with firefighting, Tony has Horatio put out any fires before they even start, which keeps him out of his way. In the mix, Tony meets Bernie.  She’s a single mother and police detective, the perfect match for Jerry.  He and Horatio plot to bring the two together and then we find out that Bernie is the daughter of his mob friends Benny and Minnie.  To make matters more complicated, Mia, the owner of Brooklyn’s best Jewish bakery, recognizes Tony from the old days.

Drew Henriksen is the author of the Dragon Tales & Stories trilogy, Dragons & Wolves, The Dragon & The Detective, and Dragons and Science by ArcheBooks Publishing. Draghi & Lupi, the Italian translation, is currently on shelves in Europe. His dark western, Power of Prayer, has been playing throughout America.  It won Best Short film at IOWF, a Golden Remi for Best Western at Worldfest Houston and APEX in Tucson, Best Western at Southern Shorts, and the Finishing Fund Grant at the Long Island International Film Expo.  Mr. Henriksen’s Screenplay American Gunslingers won best screenplay at the 2018 World Music International Film Festival and his TV pilot script won best screenplay at 2018’s Web, Television & Film Festival.


After years of being a laboratory supervisor for North Shore University Hospital, he began teaching science at Amityville Memorial High School in New York and an adjunct professor of forensic science for Syracuse University. Studying the martial arts he is now a Sensei, 4th Dan Master black belt. Mr. Henriksen’s Martial Arts work has gotten him stunt work and fight coordinator credit in several films.  Drop by his website, or look him up on Facebook or IMDb.   

GSFF’s spectacular FIVE-DAY 17th Anniversary Celebration runs from March 27 to March 31, 2019 at multiple venues in Asbury Park.


The Festival’s events are listed along with the complete film-screening schedule on the GSFF’s website at:


Now in its 17th year, the Garden State Film Festival, is New Jersey's premier independent film festival® and was founded to promote the art of filmmaking on all levels by showcasing a wide variety of film, video and animated works, as well as provide educational programs in the creative arts to the public by industry leaders.


The Garden State Film Festival anticipates over 20,000 attendees this year and promises its most exciting event yet! For more information, please visit


About The Garden State Film Festival:

The Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) was envisioned by 25-year film industry veteran Diane Raver and the late Hollywood actor Robert Pastorelli in 2002 and launched the following year. Since 2003, thousands of films have made their public premieres, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have attended; and the total infusion of cash to local businesses since inception exceeds $5million. It is held in Asbury Park and surrounding area. The GSFF is a 501-c-3non- profit organization. For more information about the Garden State Film Festival, contact:


For social media updates on the GSFF, please visit the sites below:








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