Move over, Cannes and Sundance. The next great annual film festival debuts this weekend right here at the Jersey Shore.

Deklofenak, ThinkStock

There are 58 films scheduled during the first annual Boardwalk Film Festival in Asbury Park - chosen from about 1,100 entries that flowed in from 70 countries, says Festival Director Kevin McLaughlin. He says each was considered carefully, adding that gratuitous violence has no place in his family-friendly extravaganza.

"There were several that I started watching, and they looked pretty good, and then somebody pulls out a gun and they disqualify themselves because of that rule," said McLaughlin. "They don't fit with what we're doing."

Among the films making the cut is 'Quiet Please', the story by Director Jeff Gould on Misophonia, which you can see more information and a preview by clicking the link below.

Screenings take place at the Jersey Shore Arts Center in Ocean Grove, and at The Saint, a more intimate and informal setting, placing the festival, literally, on the northern and southern ends of the city.

McLaughlin sees the festival as a showcase, not merely for the films,but for Asbury. "It's a chance for people to see what's happening there and how the city is coming back to life in a big way," he said..

The arts have long been an important part of Asbury Park, McLaughlin adds so this weekend is an ideal way to celebrate that and meet some of the local filmmakers.

"Every screening is going to have at least one of the filmmakers there for Q & A afterwards, so that's another social aspect of it," said McLaughlin. "That people get to talk to other filmmakers and film lovers."

The weekend watch-a-thon wraps up with an award ceremony and a post-film party at the Saint, Sunday night.

A film actor and auteur, McLaughlin is taking his first fling at a major showcase event, gauging other festivals to find the best components for viewers and presenters.

"We'll be focusing on doing it right and trying to present films in a way that really respects the film, the filmmaker, and the viewer," said McLaughlin.

Plus, it's a chance to rub elbows with the people who created the movies being screened, and to learn something about where all that creativity has its source.

"You may find yourself suddenly on the film festival circuit because it's kind of addicting," said McLaughlin. "When it's done right, it's a great time."

You can view a full list of films and ticket prices at

Sign Up For The WOBM Newsletter