The Westfield International Film Festival (formerly Rahway International Film Festival), a Big Dreams and Silver Screens production, is a nonprofit film festival first founded 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. We annually showcase short films, feature films and music videos while offering seminars & networking opportunities to those interested in the film industry. First held at the Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts in Rahway, NJ, we retained the town’s name for our first five years as the Rahway International Film Festival.
Now known as the Westfield International Film Festival, we are located in the neighboring town of Westfield, NJ where we call The James Ward Mansion home. The move has provided a beautiful, unique, & exclusive space in which we are happy to honor our hard-working filmmakers whom we feel deserve the full red-carpet treatment.
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. We also offer seminars and workshops intended to engage and educate aspiring filmmakers and on-camera talent.
Our intent is to call attention to and encourage the artistic endeavors of all, with special attention to marginalized groups, and to promote equality and intersectionality.
As a women-led film festival in a primarily male-dominated film industry and in keeping with our mission of equality, we seek to present an equal ratio of films created by male and female filmmakers (Director/Writer/Producer/DP) from around the world. We also present the annual “Woman in Film Award” to honor and celebrate women in the film industry who exemplify our definition of success.
We are committed to enhancing the creative community in the Tri-State area and providing a platform for both local and 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 read below.
To learn more about our parent organization, Big Dreams & Silver Screens, please visit the BDSS page.
To learn more about our first five years as the Rahway International Film Festival, please visit our former website www.rahwayfilmfest.com.
I was so happy and proud to be part of a program that was so inclusive. Forgive me for being blunt, but I have sat in the audience of other festivals and seen programs filled with the stories of people with one color face and of one gender. Your festival was the polar opposite of that. It celebrated the crayola coloring box that is truly our world and sang the songs of many ages and faiths. As a woman making films I most especially felt the power of our stories in the room.
Writer of "How Do You Type a Broken Heart", Nominee for Best Short Screenplay / Best Short Narrative Drama, WIFF 2018
I cant say enough good things about this festival- starting with the organizers... who go above and beyond to make sure that the filmmakers have a great experience, and they truly put their heart and soul into the festival- It felt like a home away from home. The festival took place at the James Ward Mansion in Westfield - it's a very exquisite place and it felt very private and selective. They also have great taste in the selection of their films and I was so grateful to be a part of it. I met incredible, talented filmmakers- was inspired by their work and hope to work with them one day. The volunteers are super nice and eager to help and to make the festival a great experience. Highly, highly recommend them and looking forward to go back again.
Director of "D-Love", Winner of "Best Feature Film" & "Best Female Filmmaker" of RIFF 2017
[The Westfield International Film Festival] is a great NJ film festival. Positive programmers, good communication, extremely helpful. The programs were well curated and the venue was beautiful.
Miguel J. Soliman
Director of "Desde el Principio", Winner of "Best Actress" of RIFF 2017
This is a really well run festival. They put the filmmakers first. It's also very well promoted in the community with posters and signs and they have a great support from the locals. [The] festival director is really on top of things. A lot of care is put into the producing of the festival and it shows in the final product.
Director of "The Wedding Invitation", Winner of "Best Screenplay" & "Best Female Filmmaker" of RIFF 2016
Thank you for what you're doing for NJ and the Union county area, we need this here and you and your team [are] definitely filling the void!
Director of "The Will to Want", Winner of Audience Choice Award of RIFF 2014
Interested in becoming a volunteer?
Be a part of the team! We are looking for people with an interest in film, party planning, marketing and/or the entertainment industry. Send us an email at email@example.com and we can find a role for you!
Check out our Volunteer Page for available roles and descriptions.