Description & History

We Are Independent Film

Golden Door Film Festival was founded upon the premise that every film that is selected for our program and it’s respective filmmakers should have the opportunity or “Golden Door” to be on equal footing with all others. Whether an emerging or established artist, you will treated like a star.  We are an elite festival but we are far from elitist!

We Are Independent Spirit

The name Golden Door Film Festival was derived from the poem by Emma Lazarus which adorns the base of the Statue of Liberty (in Jersey City, New Jersey waters!). The final line of that poem reads “I lift my lamp beside the golden door”.  Jersey City, New Jersey is that golden door and Ellis Island (also in Jersey City waters) served as the door to opportunity for several decades. Set with the backdrop of the beautiful New York City skyline, this four day film festival holds the opportunity for filmmakers, actors and crew to network with colleagues and share their work with the public in the heart of the NYC indie filmmaking landscape.

We Are…Jersey City

Screenings, after parties and gala celebrations all take place within some of the most beautiful local treasures Jersey City has to offer. Located immediately next to downtown New York City, yet firmly entrenched in New Jersey, Golden Door Film Festival is an indie filmmakers dream come true. Our festival affords all filmmakers the opportunity to be on an equal plane. It is indeed foremost among our important missions to do so. Additionally, we wish to bring focus to this great city’s resurgence as a player in the film industry within the NY metropolitan area.


In addition to providing a forum for independent film makers, in 2014 we  established a
philanthropic arm dedicated to raising awareness about Autism.  The festival program included an Autism Awareness seminar, films by autistic individuals and films centered on the subject of Autism; all elements were both informative and very well received.  It has been noted by Autism Speaks, one of our generous sponsors,  that our organization is the first and only film festival with an entire segment dedicated to raising awareness about Autism.



About the organization

Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City

Michele Sorvino
Executive Director
Organization’s website: