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Here at Big Dreams & Silver Screens, Inc, we believe that film can reach the mind and soul in ways nothing else can.  For this reason, we offer seminars and workshops intended to engage and educate aspiring filmmakers and on-camera talent.


Additionally, we present films that strive to promote equality, champion the oppressed and promote open-mindedness.  


Our intent is to call attention to and encourage the artistic endeavors of women and minorities, whose work is often overlooked, and in so doing, fully advocate for equality.

Big Dreams & Silver Screens, Inc is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization that falls under category 501(c)(3).



Giving Back

Gina Marie Rodriguez

Board President
Executive Director

Steven Hayet

Board Treasurer

Debra Markowitz

Board Trustee

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Stacy Ignacio

Board Secretary
Assistant Director

David Schoner

Board Trustee

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Six years of laughter, smiles, tears and heart ache thanks to a bounty of eclectic and beautiful moving pictures have brought us here.  Six years celebrating the art of filmmaking and the love of movies have led us to the James Ward Mansion in Westfield, NJ.  Six years I have spent producing and directing this festival that is so dear to my heart and yet, it is our first as the Westfield International Film Festival.

Our goals, as filmmakers know all too well, are rarely ever reached by traveling a linear path.  Our story is no different.  The Westfield International Film Festival  (formerly known as Rahway International Film Festival) began as an intimate one night only affair in the city of Rahway, NJ in 2013.  Things have changed quite a bit since then.  We are now proud to host our four day festival, under the umbrella of our Non-Profit organization Big Dreams & Silver Screens Inc, in the exquisite and unique James Ward Mansion in Westfield, NJ.  The mansion offers everything that we had been searching for, a chic, elegant and intimate setting in which our filmmakers and guests can revel in new worlds on screen .  We pride ourselves on our “small, but warm” festival, as one of our guests Lars Doppler (Actor, “Hear the Silence), from Germany described. 

Festival guests, much like Lars, travel far and wide to join us and it is an honor that we do not take lightly.  We work hard to offer a sophisticated event that will both entertain and educate our audiences.  It is within our organization’s mission to call attention to and encourage the artistic endeavors of women and minorities, whose work is often overlooked, and in so doing, fully advocate for equality.  As a woman and a minority in today’s America, it is exceptionally important to me and to my Assistant Director, Stacy Ignacio, that we champion works that Hollywood often will not; that we provide a platform to amplify the voices you may otherwise not hear.

Movies have helped to shape my view of the world and I hope that in sharing my passion, Big Dreams & Silver Screens and the Westfield International Film Festival will introduce you to stories that will do the same for you.

Most Sincerely,

Gina Marie Rodriguez
Founder + Festival Director

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