The first annual Montclair Film Festival will take place at multiple venues across Montclair from May 1 – 6, 2012. There will be 45+ films and 50+ special guests in attendance. To download a schedule, click here or view the full line-up online at montclairfilmfest.org/films-and-events.
Welcome Letter from MFF Directors
Why Montclair for a film festival? We get that question a lot. When the MFF board first approached us to be festival directors, we were hugely impressed by the depth of community support behind their efforts. As longtime Manhattan residents and relatively new parents, we were strongly attracted to Montclair as a place to raise a family where the arts and cultural diversity are taken seriously.
We’re frequently struck by how much great talent comes from New Jersey. For the past seven years, Thom has served as a programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival where he’s hosted Jersey-connected guests such as Chris Rock, Bruce Springsteen and Bruce Sinofsky. Together we run the screening series “Stranger Than Fiction” at IFC Center
in Greenwich Village, where we regularly encounter Jersey filmmakers and cinema lovers. So Montclair made a lot of sense.
We set out to curate a festival that encompasses what makes this place special. Among the highlights:
- Comedy: Since Jersey has always thrived on humor, MFF dedicates a section to showcasing a wide range of comic sensibilities from Johnny Carson to Kumaré and holds a conversation with provocateur Michael Moore
- Women: MFF celebrates the accomplishments of women directors in fiction films
- such as Hysteria, The Perfect Family, and Your Sister’s Sister; and documentaries such as First Position, Last Call at the Oasis, Lemon, and We’re Not Broke. We also honor two great actresses Olympia Dukakis and Kathleen Turner in person for Special Presentations
- African-American stories: As the New York Times noted in December, we’re witnessing a new movement “of young black filmmakers telling stories that complicate assumptions about what ‘black film’ can be.” MFF showcases these voices in films such as An Oversimplification of Her Beauty and The Prep School Negro. African-American stories are also prominent in titles such as Undefeated and Brooklyn Castle.
- New Jersey Spotlight: MFF proudly waves the state flag with a section devoted to Jersey filmmakers and topics. But that’s not all. Jersey ties occur throughout the festival, including Tiger Eyes (based on a Judy Blume novel); conversations with producer/author Michael Uslan (The Boy Who Loved Batman) and actor Patrick Wilson; a Q&A with supermodel Pat Cleveland (About Face); and more.
We have big ambitions for this festival. We’re glad you can join us for its first year!
Raphaela Neihausen & Thom Powers
“I am thrilled there is going to be a first-class Film Festival in Montclair which will serve the huge community of arts lovers in Northern New Jersey.”
- Stephen Colbert, Actor & MFF Advisory Board Member
“These guys are going to put on a heck of a festival!”
- David Carr, New York Times Media Columnist
“For over 17 years our Whole Theatre Company was located in Montclair, we drew audiences from all over Essex and the surrounding counties. To have an international Film Festival based in Montclair is exciting and we know it will receive the same strong support from the North Jersey arts community that we enjoyed.”
- Olympia Dukakis & Louis Zorich, Actors & MFF Advisory Board Members
Follow this link to a New York Times piece about festival directors Thom Powers & Raphaela Neihausen, and their cheerleader Stephen Colbert.