Founded in 2005, the Highbridge Film Festival was created by the Asbury College Media Communications department faculty Jim Owens, Greg Bandy, and Jeff Day as a way to showcase student films. Traditionally, the festival has accepted about a dozen films, often including work from students in Asbury's Script to Screen class, and provided a venue to premiere special presentations from the department.
Production and promotion of the festival is also largely handled by students from Asbury's Special Events Seminar class, who theme, advertise, direct, and help facilitate the evening under the instruction of Professor Greg Bandy.
Since its inception in 2005, the festival has grown from a small campus event to one of the largest attractions for the university year-round. In 2007, the location for the festival was changed from Doddridge-Holland Theater to Hughes Auditorium in order to accomodate increased attendance from students, locals, and out-of-state visitors.
By its second year, the Highbridge Film Festival had already started a tradition by inviting professionals from the film industry as special guests to the competition for judging the entries. In 2008, these judges included Bruce Broughton, an Emmy award-winning composer, and Erik Lokkesmoe, a founder of the marketing firm DIFFERENT DRUMMER.