Brian O'HalloranPress release from Count Basie Theatre

The Count Basie Theatre has revealed the films that will compete in its second-ever Project FX statewide student film festival and competition, taking place at the Red Bank theatre on Sunday, April 17.

The competing films – ten entries from Garden State high schoolers, and an additional ten entries from students attending New Jersey colleges – are viewable now at and The public can have their say by “liking” or “sharing” the films on Facebook, which will figure into each film’s final score.

Films will also be viewed and voted on by a panel of esteemed adjudicators, including Sony Pictures Classics co-founder and Middletown resident Tom Bernard; Oscar winner Timothy Hutton; Oscar nominated screenwriter James Schamus, legendary broadcast journalist Dan Rather, Clerks and Mallrats star Brian O’Halloran (pictured), United Talent Agency Independent Film Group head Rena Ronson, Breaking Bad cinematographer Peter Reniers and others.

The Project FX Festival will also feature a panel discussion featuring industry experts and a discussion / audience Q&A on breaking into Hollywood and the motion picture industry. Entry into the festival is free, though advance tickets must be obtained by visiting

High school and college finalists are vying for the ultimate grand prize: a paid internship with Sony Pictures Classics’ offices in Manhattan. Second place winners in each category will receive Sony video cameras, while third-place finishers will receive a $500 cash prize.

Take it here for a full list of competitors with video links. A list of judges is included below.

Paul Bernard                         Director/Producer

Tom Bernard                         Co-President, Co-Founder, Sony Pictures Classics

Bonnie Bernstein                 Howell native and ESPN / Fox Sports host

Alex Biese                              Entertainment Reporter, Asbury Park Press

TJ Bryan                                 Radio Host, WJRZ-FM; owner, Shoreflicks

Nena Danevic                      Film Editor

Etta Rudolf Denk                Senior VP, Bank Of America

Timothy Hutton                  Academy Award Winner (Ordinary People); actor (Taps, The Falcon and the Snowman, ABC’s American Crime)

Kate Lear                              Broadway producer (Catch Me If You Can) /daughter of the legendary Norman Lear

Brian O’Halloran                 Actor (Clerks / Mallrats)

Nick Paleologos                  Executive Director, NJ Council of the Arts

Adam Philipson                  President / CEO, Count Basie Theatre

Dan Rather                          CBS Evening News / 60 Minutes, AXS TV’s The Big Interview

Peter Reniers                      Cinematographer, Breaking Bad

Rena Ronson                      Partner, United Talent Agency; head of UTA’s Independent Film Group

Linda Safran                       National Board of Review of Motion Pictures

James Schamus                 Screenwriter, producer (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon/Brokeback Mountain)

Maureen Van Zandt         Actress (The Sopranos, Broadway’s Hair)

Michael Vickerman         Writer; producer of the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award-nominee Tut

Alycia Yerves                     Multimedia Manager, Two River Theater