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Department of State

NJ Motion Picture & Television Commission

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

Bulletin Board

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Press Release – November 9, 2021

Fennick Studio Props Evolves its Inventory of Vintage and Multiples of Props

Prop house increases business while cataloging its 80,000 sq. ft. warehouse space on a new e-commerce site

Passaic, N.J. - Fennick Studio Props’ collection of period pieces and props in large quantities for institutional and business sets, from tanker desks to television cameras, catalogues its 80,000 sq. ft. of inventory space on a new e-commerce website.

Clients have become accustomed to Ron’s ability to source hard-to-find items at a moment’s notice, a talent he learned from his twin brother and owner of Lot 76, an antique market on East Houston Street in Manhattan. Ron Fennick began acquiring a cult-like following of set decorators and prop masters when he started Fennick Studio Props in 2014. Now, the business is keeping up with the fast-past nature of film and television production by cataloging inventory, which allows clients to create “set lists” and submit requests for rentals virtually.

While the website temporarily serves as an introduction to the prop house’s massive inventory, as props are being uploaded aisle by aisle, clients can still get a historically informative tour of the space when they come to the warehouse. One such client that frequently stops by is New Jersey resident Rena DeAngelo, who shopped from Fennick Studio Props to decorate the films The Woman in the Window, The Goldfinch, and The Post.

“I didn’t have to go to Los Angeles for West Side Story because of this prop house,” said DeAngelo about decorating the film. “They have a collection that rivals all the prop houses in L.A., and that’s something to be said.”

Passaic County is a great location for a prop house that needs enough space to constantly grow its collection and provide an accessible commute to clients who are working in New Jersey, New York and other neighboring states. New clients are often shocked at the large quantities of props they can choose from to fill an institutional set, such as rows of stainless steel prison tables, Steelcase file cabinets to dress an office floor and courtroom seating. Other popular categories include restaurant dressing, telephone booths, tandem seating and industrial props.

"New Jersey's film and television industry has been growing exponentially in the last few years," said Steven Gorelick, Executive Director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. "We need sufficient infrastructure to meet the demands of the industry, and having a large, well stocked prop house such as Fennick here goes a long way towards making the state a complete filmmaking destination."

Fennick Studio Props was created with the “antique dealer mentality” of pursuing the hunt, and this mentality fuels Ron’s passion for helping clients who are just as eager to fulfill a specific vision.

“I’m constantly adding new vintage inventory to accommodate set decorators’ requests. The more inventory that is added, the easier it is for set decorators to find the items they need,” said Ron. “We work with the best of the best, and I always say that we’re just doing our best.”

“Keep ’Em in the East”
Kazan, Kubrick, and the Postwar New York Film Renaissance Richard Koszarski Columbia University Press

The year 1955 was a watershed one for New York’s film industry:
Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront took home eight Oscars, and, more quietly, Stanley Kubrick released the low-budget classic Killer’s Kiss. A wave of films that changed how American movies were made soon followed, led by directors such as Sidney Lumet, William Friedkin, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese. Yet this resurgence could not have occurred without a deeply rooted tradition of local film production.

Richard Koszarski chronicles the compelling and often surprising origins of New York’s postwar film renaissance, looking beyond such classics as Naked City, Kiss of Death, and Portrait of Jennie.

He examines the social, cultural, and economic forces that shaped New York filmmaking, from city politics to union regulations, and shows how decades of low-budget independent production taught local filmmakers how to capture the city’s grit, liveliness, and allure. He reveals the importance of “race films”—all-Black productions intended for segregated African American audiences— that not only helped keep the film business afloat but also nurtured a core group of writers, directors, designers, and technicians. Detailed production histories of On the Waterfront and Killer’s Kiss—films that appear here in a completely new light— illustrate the distinctive characteristics of New York cinema.

Drawing on a vast array of research—including studio libraries, censorship records, union archives, and interviews with participants—“ Keep ’Em in the East” rewrites a crucial chapter in the history of American cinema.

RICHARD KOSZARSKI is professor emeritus of English and Cinema Studies at Rutgers University. He was formerly a curator at the Museum of the Moving Image and is the founder and editor emeritus of Film History. His many books include Hollywood on the Hudson: Film and Television in New York from Gri_ th to Sarnoff (2008).

“Richard Koszarski is a bold historian, a meticulous researcher, and a spellbinding storyteller. “Keep ‘Em in the East” masterfully displays all his talents. Only Koszarski could so deftly weave together industrial history, political infighting, social conditions, personal and very human biographies, and pointed appreciation of films as different as Naked City and Tall, Tan, and Terrific. ... “Keep ‘Em in the East” permanently reshapes our understanding of American film as an art, a business, and a cultural force.”
—David Bordwell, author of Reinventing Hollywood: How 1940s Filmmakers Changed Movie Storytelling

“A valuable (and long overdue) work of cinema scholarship. It broadens the parameters of American film history to include the boroughs of New York, where independent artists thrived far from Hollywood’s picture factories. Koszarski’s exemplary research shows that New York’s influence extended beyond Broadway’s influential writers, directors, and performers; it included a whole cadre of cinematic talent who’d have a profound impact on American movies.”
—Eddie Muller, host of TCM’s Noir Alley

“In this reassessment of the role of New York City in the history of film, “Keep ’Em in the East” restores the city’s filmmaking reputation with impeccable research and enthusiasm. No one would dispute that Richard Koszarski is the only film historian who could have written this book.”
—Jeanine Basinger, author of The Star Machine

“Absorbing and enlightening. The dramas and disasters are expertly told and brilliantly researched. The book is a pleasure to read.”
—Kevin Brownlow, author of The Parade’s Gone By ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 28, 2021


Studios Will Include State-Of-The-Art Post Production Facilities As Well As Production Offices

October 20, 2021 – Independent film and television production company Phiphen Pictures will open Phiphen Studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ a boutique, state-of-the-art post-production and production office facility in 2022. Phiphen Studios was created by a group of award-winning filmmakers upon seeing the need to support New Jersey’s vibrant film community and recognizing the opportunity to help it grow.

Phiphen Studios will consist of a production office space tailored for the completion of projects as well as a 25-seat 4K theater available for screenings, special events, and presentations. It will house multiple private offices, executive suites, a conference room, and kitchens. It also will include boutique offline edit rooms adaptable to DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, and Avid Media Composer. The audio department will be comprised of two mix rooms outfitted for 5.1 mixing and voice recording, while also offering full-service sound design, editorial services, and mixing, including ADR and VO. Other services will range from Online Editorial to Color Grading to Mastering.

With the recent reinstatement of New Jersey’s film and television 30-35% tax credit (plus 2% diversity bonus), this marks a significant moment for new business in the state and highlights New Jersey’s commitment to the film community, not only in the tri-state area, but world-wide. “We are very excited to welcome Phiphen Pictures to our fast-growing production community,” said Steven Gorelick, Executive Director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission. “A top-flight post-production facility such as this is essential to the critical infrastructure that the state is working to build.”

“We are enjoying a record year for motion picture and television work In New Jersey, and the arrival of Phiphen Studios further demonstrates our attractiveness as a production destination,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The word is out and the people making decisions on where to film are clearly taking notice.”

Phiphen Studios C.E.O. Jane Oster Sinisi added, “As a proud New Jersey native, opening the studio is a dream come true. We have the unique opportunity to support the local film business in the state, while providing a state-of-the-art facility to filmmakers from around the world. We are grateful to the state of New Jersey for their ongoing support of the film community.”

“We are very excited to embark on this expansion of our business, which will allow us to continue to support filmmakers in an even bigger way,” said Phiphen Pictures Founder Molly Conners. “We’re thrilled to begin this new chapter and provide a foundation for filmmakers to flourish.”

Be on the lookout for more news soon.

About Phiphen Pictures
Phiphen Pictures is an independently owned film and television production company founded by award-winning producer Molly Conners. The company creates content across all genres and budget levels, supporting innovative talents and telling bold stories for a global audience. Phiphen has produced Netflix’s Like Father, starring Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer. They have received an Emmy nomination for producing the short-form comedy television series It's Bruno, currently streaming on Netflix. Recently, Phiphen produced IFC’s dramatic thriller Centigrade starring Genesis Rodriguez and Vincent Piazza, Netflix's science-fiction thriller Stowaway with Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette as well the medical thriller The God Committee starring Julia Stiles and Kelsey Grammar.

Betsy Rudnick PR
C: 646-864-6463

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 28, 2021
CONTACT: Neem Basha,, 917-843-9398


The event was one of the world’s first in-person festivals since March 2020

Creators and supporters are heaping praise on the festival for its “creator-first” approach

Among the honors given at the festival, a 10-year-old boy born with Chiari malformation was honored with the first “Excellence and Courage” Award

The festival gave fiction podcast creators their first “film festival experience”

MONTCLAIR–– The New Jersey Web Festival (NJ WebFest) held its third edition on September 16-19, 2021, making it one of the first in-person festivals to take place since March 2020. The highly-acclaimed festival, ranked one of the “Top-100 Best Reviewed Festivals” in the world based on filmmaker reviews on Film Freeway, welcomed creators from all over the United States, as well as global creators from New Zealand, Canada, Czech Republic, South America, and France, among other regions.

This year, the NJ WebFest made history as the first web festival to expand to include Fiction Podcasts, giving this massively popular art form a film festival experience for the first time and paving the way for more industry professionals to learn about the fiction podcast medium.

The four-day festival included a series of workshops hosted by prominent writers, actors, and industry leaders, including a talkback with “Love Life” Co-Showrunner Rachelle Williams, and Masterclasses with Emmy-Award winner Chris Cluess and longtime TV producer Dan Pasternack. The festival also presented more than 225 screenings of web series, fiction podcasts, music videos, and trailers from all over the world.

The closing award ceremonies and receptions for both the Web Series and Fiction Podcast divisions of the festival were held at The Manor in West Orange, NJ, on Sunday, September 19th. Seventy total awards were presented at the highly-acclaimed galas. The list of winners features an eclectic list of projects, highlighting the variety of submissions the festival receives annually. Photo galleries of the events can be viewed on the New Jersey WebFest Facebook page.

“It has been a turbulent year-and-a-half, and that is what made this year’s edition of New Jersey WebFest bigger than ever,” said Neem Basha, NJ WebFest founder and president. “We celebrate creativity always, but this year, we celebrated creativity that has survived chaos and confusion. We are living through a pandemic, but on the week of the festival, we were there to show love to each other and value each other’s work. Our tagline is ‘Feel the Magic,’ and this year, it was more accurate than ever. We all felt it.”

NJ WebFest also presented a special honor called the “Excellence and Courage Award” to a 10-year-old boy, Steven Spice, who was born with Chiari malformation, an inoperable condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. Basha learned of Spice’s story when he came across the boy’s YouTube web series where he interviews famous professional wrestling stars. Spice’s never-give-up attitude impressed the festival team, but he was unable to attend the festival in person, so the NJ WebFest sent representatives to present him with the award at his home in Toronto and officially announced the award with a video package played at the gala.

Reviews have been pouring in since the festival. Here are some samples:

This festival is a must! Neem and his team are so passionate about creators and they do everything they can to support them in this festival! Amazing energy, excitement, and so much heart.
- Ashley Monique Menard, “The Art of Blowing It”

The NJ WebFest has an incredibly warm, inclusive, supportive atmosphere. It didn’t feel like a competition at all, but rather a big party for like-minded nerds to celebrate each other.
- Third Person, “Midst”

The entire festival and communication with the organizers was such a great experience. Not only was it fun, but it was educational with all the great panels they had. If you have a web series, you HAVE to submit, you will not regret it!
- Narmar Hanna, “The Luxury Rental”

Wow! Just wow! NJ WebFest is spectacular! Super well organized and a gala award night that you'll never forget. The organizers are fun and care about artists. We were so grateful to be a part of this festival. Absolutely worth the admission fee. #FeeltheMagic
- Kelsea Edgerly, “Stuck!”

The 70+ five-star reviews can be viewed on the festival’s Film Freeway page.

Neem Basha, an award-winning filmmaker and alumnus of several web and film festivals, founded the New Jersey Web Festival in 2017. The fiction podcast wing of the festival is chaired by Ned Donovan, a multi-hyphenate award-winning creator who brought the fiction podcast brainchild to Basha in 2019.

Submissions are open for 2022. Web series, fiction podcasts, music videos, trailers, and pilots can submit their projects at

CONTACT: Anne Thornton

Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy™ Wins Telly Award

Named Silver Winner for Non-Broadcast Nature/Wildlife in 42nd Annual Award Program

HUNTERDON COUNTY, N.J.Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy™ announced today that its episode “Hot Sauce” has been named a Silver Winner for Non-Broadcast, General-Nature/Wildlife in the 42nd Annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards honors excellence in video and television across all screens and is judged by leaders from video platforms, television, streaming networks and production companies.

In 2020, Thornton “Thor” Giese developed his own series of experiential science videos, Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy™, which was picked up by the Emmy-winning Into the Outdoors network which currently airs on PBS in 27 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The science academy tackles the elements of earth, air, fire and water in fun and relatable ways. Exploring these elements through science, history, language, food and great stories, Thor taps into his experience as an archaeologist and museum educator to bring the subjects alive for the audience.

“I am so blown away and honored to be recognized with a Telly Award. In 2020, I had just gotten a dream job with New Jersey Fish & Wildlife when the position was frozen due to the pandemic. I then switched gears and created the Outdoor Science Academy,” Thor Giese said. “To have gone from that to this in just a year is remarkable, and validates all the hard work my team and I have done to create fun, engaging and educational science videos. The Telly Awards recognizes some of the best work in the business, and I am so proud to be a part of their esteemed list of winners.”

The winning episode, “Hot Sauce,” features Thor sharing the history of hot chili peppers, why hot peppers are used and shows him making his own sauce (in fast motion!).

“In the face of a year like no other, Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy™ has continued to defy the limitations of our new world, in continuing to create compelling and engaging work”, said Telly Awards Executive Director Sabrina Dridje. “This year’s submissions doubled down on what we already know about the industry. Creativity cannot be stopped. Collaboration will always prevail. New ideas and stories will always find a way to break through to an audience.”

This year saw the continued expansion of new categories to reflect and celebrate new forms of producing work in light of the past months’ restrictions and limitations. New categories included Remote Production, Virtual Events & Experiences and an increase in animation categories.

Last year, The Telly Awards attracted more than 12,000 entries from top video content producers including Adobe, Adult Swim, the BBC, Condé Nast, J. Paul Getty Museum, PBS, Playstation, RadicalMedia, T Brand Studio, Ogilvy & Mather and The Walt Disney Company.

The full list of the 42nd Annual Telly Awards winners can be found at

To watch Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy™, tune into Thor's YouTube channel.

On his website, Thor features his science and cooking segments, as well as recommendations on books, podcasts and other ponderings.

About Thor Giese & Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy
With a degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado in Denver, Thor worked as an archaeologist on numerous digs and excavation sites, as well as served as a resident educator at Dinosaur Ridge, an outdoor museum in Colorado known as one of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossil localities. Easily educating over 200,000 museum guests in his time, Thor learned how to make science come alive and connect with others.

Combining his love for science with a passion for education, beginning in 2020, Thor developed a series of experiential science videos, Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy™, where he tackles the elements of earth, air, fire and water. Exploring these elements through science, history, language, food and great stories, Thor is entertaining and educating viewers of all ages on our great big world of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Learn more about Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy™ at or follow on social media at:

About The Telly Awards
The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards receives over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Entrants are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council — an industry body of more than 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks, reflective of the multiscreen industry The Telly Awards celebrates. Partners of The Telly Awards include Ghetto Film School, We Are Parable, LAPPG, NAB, Stash, Storyhunter, NYWIFT, Production Hub, IFP and Social Media Week.

Wall to Wall, a Warner Brothers Company, is casting families wanting to embark on a fun immersive historical journey for a major American Network. They are looking for family units from all kinds with different backgrounds, and diverse interests.

Filming will take place next summer, where the families will live as their forefathers did before them, giving up modern comforts, overcoming the challenges of the past and taking on the beautiful American wilderness.

Have you and your family got what it takes to overcome the challenges of the past? Could you survive for months on end in the beautiful but unforgiving American wilderness?

For more information and how to apply, go to:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2020

COVID Can’t Stop One Actor and Filmmaker in NJ: B.Lee Productions Opens New Studio

NUTLEY, NJ – NJ-based actor and executive producer, Brittney Lee Hamilton, opened THE STUDIO at B.Lee Productions this past weekend to help bolster the suffering arts community during the pandemic.

THE STUDIO at B.Lee Productions is a creative oasis in the heart of Nutley, NJ (just 13 miles from Manhattan), offering film and theatre production services, private voice/acting lessons, small group classes, self-tape audition sessions, intimate live events, and private screenings.

With so many actors and creatives leaving NYC for the cheaper rents in NJ, Brittney Lee Hamilton is hoping to offer her community a haven to coach and tape their auditions, perform for a small audience, and keep their creative juices flowing.

Brittney's short film, #PrincessProblems, has won a multitude of awards as it makes its way through the festival circuit. Most festivals have gone virtual due to the pandemic, which creates an obstacle to the necessary networking opportunities they provide. This led Brittney to blaze her own trail and move forward with opening THE STUDIO to cement her place in the NJ film community and eventually pitch #PrincessProblems as a TV series.

As an acting and vocal coach, Brittney has a strong following of child and teen students in the area, some of whom she even cast in #PrincessProblems. "There are so many theatre programs for children in NJ, but not many TV/Film programs for kids as young as 6. At THE STUDIO, I can offer extensive acting (for TV, Theatre, Musical Theatre, & Voiceovers) and film production training at a young age to cultivate the children's talents and appreciation for the arts early in their lives."

Safety is the number one priority at THE STUDIO. By keeping the classes small, safety guidelines can be easily enforced, while allowing the kids to engage with their peers in a creative setting. For more information, visit, and

Heather Buckley announced that after Dread Central posted an article introducing her newly minted inclusive horror studio, Black Mansion Films, its first campaign on GoFundMe met the funding goal within a mere five hours.

Buckley stated, “We saw this massive outpouring of support from the horror community. It was an undeniable endorsement that people want stories told from new perspectives.” In fact, nearly 3x the original goal was raised in four days.

Major contributors included Tara Ansley, co-owner of FANGORIA magazine, who wrote, “Women In Horror. Fund Women.” Some contributors, such as actress Kristina Arntz, returned to donate multiple times, as funding doubled and then tripled. Producer David Tripet added, “I believe in Heather, and I want to see more genre films made by women and minorities. I can’t wait to see what she and her team create!”

The funds raised will be used for early development, specifically to package the film INSIDE from Writer/Director Elise Salomon, which has already attracted significant interest. Buckley plans to keep the funding campaign open for the next stage of development, and you can check it out here.

About Black Mansion Films
An inclusive film studio founded in 2020, Black Mansion has a meticulously curated slate of character-driven narrative features and television projects, all in the elevated genre space with timely themes. The Black Mansion slate is repped at WPA by Partner, Brian Goldberg. Founder and CEO, Heather Buckley, has been involved with the genre film community for over 20 years. As a journalist, she has written for Fangoria Magazine and Her production credits include The Ranger and Blood & Flesh, The Reel Life, and Ghastly Death of Al Adamson as well as over 175 short-form documentary interviews with prominent actors and directors in the genre space for physical media.

Media Contact
Adina Eaton | 201.736.5745 |

The Commissioners and Staff of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission extend our sympathy to the family of Governor Brendan Byrne, who passed away on January 4th. Our Commission was created in 1977 under Governor Byrne’s leadership, thanks to his remarkable vision, and with his unwavering support. Governor Byrne’s wisdom, knowledge and wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed. His many accomplishments, including the establishment of the NJMPTVC, have improved the state in ways that are immeasurable.




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