Media Contact: Cheryl McCants,; 646-872-2377



Star-Studded Award Ceremony to Close First Annual Newark International Film Festival

100 indie films, celebrity appearances, and presentation of Innovation in Filmmaking Award


Newark, NJ – September 11, 2016 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka will participate in tonight’s Newark International Film Festival Awards Ceremony at the historic Newark Museum Theatre from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Awards will be given for 18 categories, including best short, best film, best youth film and best directing. Comedian and actor Craig “Fig” Figueiredo hosts the affair, with award presentations from dance legend and choreographer Savion Glover, R&B/hip-hop artist Shareefa “DTP” Cooper, singer/songwriter Christopher Williams (“Changes”), actor Eric Payne (“School Daze,” “Juice”), screenwriter/playwright Richard Wesley (“Uptown Saturday Night”) and others.


Hundreds of media professionals, television and stage actors, and film stars attended the festival’s VIP Industry Opening Night Party, hosted by WSA Casting. Celebrity guests in attendance throughout the weekend include John Gibson of the Motion Picture Association of America, actor Lamar Rucker, FOX-TV hit-series Empire cast members Tasha Smith and Tobias Truvillion, VH1 on-air personality and producer Sway Calloway, actor, producer and writer Hill Harper, casting director Winsome Sinclair, and many more.


The awards show and the entire international film festival, supported by Newark-based Panasonic Corporation of North America, is open to the public. “Panasonic is excited to work with the City and the Newark International Film Festival and bring film back to its birthplace,” said Terri Seeney, Director of Corporate Outreach at Panasonic Corporation of North America. “The festival is a great way to honor Newark’s prolific artistic history as the city continues to celebrate its 350th anniversary.”


Beginning Friday, September 9 and continuing through Sunday, September 11, the inaugural Newark International Film Festival (NIFF) has unleashed 100 independent films by 90 filmmakers from 50 countries on downtown Newark. In addition to the screenings, dozens of cultural hot spots and landmarks in the area will host a dazzling lineup of workshops, panels, activities, and events.


“This festival is absolutely amazing,” said festival founder Kenneth Gifford. “To have film makers, taste makers, film aficionados and celebrities come out from all over the world and support the arts in Newark demonstrates the power of film and storytelling.  We are excited about tonight’s festivities and look forward to doing it all again next year.”





About the Newark International Film Festival: Founded by Kenneth Gifford, Director of the Office of Film & Television for the City of Newark, the Newark International Film Festival showcases the wonderful work of filmmakers across the globe. It is committed to educating and training young minds about the film industry, while exposing youth to the industry’s broad spectrum of career and entrepreneurial opportunities. The organization’s focus is to promote Newark as a premier filming destination by bringing agents, managers, producers and industry executives looking for clients and content to the City.


About Panasonic Corporation of North America: Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and solutions for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. As part of continuing sustainability efforts, Panasonic Corporation of North America relocated its headquarters to a new facility, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ.  It is the first newly constructed office tower in Newark to earn both LEED Platinum and Gold certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council. Learn more about Panasonic at


Similar Posts