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A Montclair Community Conversation

A roomful of people, either involved in projects dealing with the issues of hunger and homelessness, or interested in being enlightened filled the Audible Listening Lounge for the Community Conversation on Hunger and Homelessness in Montclair. The presentation was inspired by Montclair Film Festival’s screening of Time Out of Mind starring Richard Gere as a homeless […]

Colbert and Gere, Illuminating Convo

Cinema, the philosophy of life, and a truth universally acknowledged that every mother loves Richard Gere: in an extremely lively, funny, and illuminating chat on Saturday at the Wellmont Theater, Stephen Colbert and Richard Gere discussed and debated everything from Gere’s newest film (Time Out of Mind, about homelessness, which premiered directly after this In Conversation series) […]

Montclair Filmmakers Discuss Craft

Tuesday night a collection of up-and-coming filmmakers joined The Montclair Film Festival and the In Conversation audience for an intimate discussion about their films, filmmaking, and the benefits of working at their craft in the Montclair area. The crowd gathered early to chat with one another and to come and meet the Montclair Filmmakers panelists; Daryl […]

Black Voices in Film Sheds Light

Conventional wisdom has held that films featuring black actors or focusing on black themes aren’t commercially viable. However, recent successes in black-themed films, from both Hollywood and independent productions, have proven such thinking wrong, while simultaneously revealing some issues. Black Voices in Film, part of Montclair Film Festival’s In Conversation series invited Pete Chatmon (Writer/Director, Black […]

Sex & Broadcasting: Freeform Radio

“I knew that this New Jersey film belonged in this New Jersey film festival,” said Director Tim K. Smith, introducing his film Sex and Broadcasting to the Montclair Film Festival audience. Originally entitled Freeformer Death, Smith later explained that he changed the name of the film because many original audience members did not know that […]

Most Likely to Succeed a Success

Education, it is an integral part of growing up. Whether a young adult is going to school just to learn, or is going to school to get into college so that he or she can get a better job, the question that Most Likely to Succeed is asking is “What are our children learning, and […]

Alter on Media & His TV Series

A highlight of Montclair Film Festival’s In Conversation Series this year has been to listen to Johnathan Alter. Alter is an award-winning author, reporter, columnist, and television analyst. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, and spent 28 years at Newsweek, where he was a longtime senior editor and columnist and wrote more […]

MFF’s Happening House Party

House Party is Montclair Film Festival’s annual tradition of connecting filmmakers and film watchers together with great music, delicious food and a fabulous party atmosphere! The DJ really got the party started and gathered everyone up to do “The Wobble” dance. The Audible Lounge was a blank canvas that was transformed into Club #MFF15 . […]

Nina Simone’s Life and Legend

Outspoken, determined, and bursting with talent, the brilliance of an artist like Nina Simone only comes around once in a generation. The Queen of Soul was not only iconic for her music, but was incredibly prominent for her activism during the civil rights movement. However, despite all of her talents, Simone would eventually find that […]

The Nation: An Icon of Old Media

As a mom, I search for ways to support my toddlers in discerning the world around them. To distinguish and strategically sift through myriad messages that are both competing for and congesting their attention. Although I didn’t come to this particular movie searching for solutions to my parental dilemma, by the end, it certainly gave me […]

Let’s Get Very Semi-Serious

Laughing hard, deep from the belly, with many others nearby feels really good. Such laughter became a repeated experience for the audience watching Very Semi-Serious, directed by Leah Wolchok. This film focuses on Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of The New Yorker magazine since 1997, and the process he uses to select great cartoons. Although the […]

Some Kind of Spark Motivates

Music takes each of us to a different place. For some, it’s motivating. For others it’s comforting. And, if you happen to be a music student struggling to achieve the mastery of a particular instrument, it can be totally intimidating and frustrating. This is the meat of Ben Niles’ wonderful documentary, Some Kind of Spark, […]

Western: Poetic and Intimate

In 2010, documentary filmmaking brothers Bill and Turner Ross ventured deep into Texas on a quest to chronicle the true west in the 21st century. One question in particular nagged them: Did the Old West as portrayed in the classic westerns of their youth still exist? What they discovered was that, yes, the Old West […]

Nelson on The Black Panthers

When looking up the word vanguard it says the following: a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas. When looking up the word revolution it says the following: a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system. What a fitting title for Stanley Nelson’s film The Black […]

Second Mother/Que Horas Ela Voltar?

The Portuguese title of the The Second Mother–Que Horas Ela Voltar?–means: what time will she return, or when will she come back? Both the original and the English names illuminate different aspects of this Brazilian film, starring Regina Casé, one of the country’s most vibrant and interesting actresses. The Portuguese title remains vague about exactly […]

The Truth Behind the Lies

Director Yael Melamed’s film, (Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies, is a fascinating study of human behavior. Much of the film revolves around the work of Israeli professor Daniel Ariely, who has written several books with regard to irrational behavior. This film studies human being’s capacity to lie and their ability to justify their lies. Through […]

MFF Presents Narrative Shorts

“Audiences give the most important lifeblood to artists,” and festivals such as the Montclair Film Festival give encouragement to filmmakers, explained director Bruce Smolanoff to a crowded movie theatre. Smolanoff, who was one of the creators behind the short film Muck. Indeed, Smolanoff was not speaking to a half empty room, as the community of Montclair […]

Battsek, Humble and Determined

Award winning documentary producer John Battsek joined The Montclair Film Festival and the In Conversation audience at our own Audible Listening Lounge for an intimate discussion about his career in the documentary industry. Introduced by his brother, Daniel Battsek (a Montclair resident and film producer), John made the trip “Across the Pond” to promote his […]

7 Chinese Brothers: Dukakis Delights

“You wanna f**k or you wanna fight?” Olympia Dukakis’ Grandma growls towards the beginning of 7 Chinese Brothers, an introspective look at the ramblings of an Austin ne’er-do-well, directed by Bob Byington. It’s a fine shorthand for the film’s message: do you want to participate in life or do you want to continue to wring […]

Call Me Lucky: Full of Heart & Soul

If comedy equals tragedy plus time, then Barry Crimmins is living and breathing proof. A man closely resembling Fidel Castro, he was at the pinnacle of the ‘80s and ‘90s Chicago comedy scene. Crimmins literally opened the door for his fellow funnymen, including director Bobcat Goldthwait, as we see in this shocking and stunning portrayal […]

Touching Insight into Autism

Ah, yes. The comfort zone. That warm, safe place in our heads where everything is familiar, in control. No fear, no anxiety . . . no personal growth. Performance experts urge us to reach outside the comfort zone. They tell us it’s critical to push ourselves if we want to truly engage life and each other […]

NJ Shorts 1, Diverse and Funny

Montclair Film Festival’s presentation of NJ Shorts 1 is an eclectic collection of five short films celebrating the diversity and humor of New Jersey voices. The films ranged from a sobering look at Rick Barry’s idiosyncrasy that made him a basketball legend (The Charity Stripe) to the overzealous fire-spitter known as Tony “Volcano” Valenci (Down in Flames), who goes […]

In My Father’s House: Ties that Bind

An abandoned son, a homeless father, the ravages of addiction, a suffering community, patterns of abuse and neglect, the healing power of a solid marriage, and the extent to which forgiveness and redemption can be won are just a handful of the themes explored in Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s incisive documentary In My Father’s […]

Kidz Shortz, Completely Original

This year, the Montclair Film Festival screened 19 winners of the Kids Shortz contest. Some of the shorts were cute, others were funny and some focused on the editing, yet all of them were completely original. Two of the shorts that had me (along with the rest of the audience) laughing out loud were A Series […]

Girls’ Show, Agony and Ecstasy

In the films’ opening scene, a janitor ambles across the quiet gymnasium of Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls, sweeping the floor and pulling out the bleachers. “I get that it’s the biggest thing in their lives right now, but I don’t understand it,” he shrugs. He is, of course, referring to Girls’ Show—the […]

Bobcat the Happy Auteur

Don’t ask him to do the voice–Bobcat Goldthwait is not the 80s pop culture icon you’re thinking of. Gone are the signature mullet, the raspy delivery, and the neurotic stand-up act. In its place is Bobcat the filmmaker, an older, wiser, more humble Bobcat, who, at age 52, has finally discovered his true passion–directing. On […]

Tears of God, Existentially Creepy

A late night crowd gathered for The Montclair Film Festival’s only horror offering of 2015, Tears of God. People grabbed their popcorn and other goodies and settled in with high hopes for a good old scary ride. Have you ever had a hankering for a horror movie that invokes the feelings that the old Hammer Horror […]

Wilson and DeHaan Chat it Up

Actors Patrick Wilson and Dane DeHaan regaled an enthusiastic audience of fans during a wide-ranging and enlightening Montclair Film Festival Conversation about the art of acting, their love for indie filmmaking and their new projects. Wilson’s impressive film credits include Hard Candy (2005), Little Children (2006), Watchmen (2009), The Switch (2010), Young Adult (2011), The […]

Christmas, Again in May

As Christmas rolls around, again, the Christmas tree stands begin to appear in vacant lots and sidewalks with an array of firs or pines for sale. For many, the holiday brings to mind a time of celebration, but Christmas is also a commercial enterprise with materials to buy and jobs to occupy. Noel (Kentucker Audley) […]

Opening Night Highlight Video

On May 1st, 2015, the Montclair Film Festival kicked off its fourth year Opening Night with a screening of “Hello, My Name is Doris” at the Wellmont Theater.

Time Out of Mind’s Realism

“Am I homeless? I don’t exist!” cries George (Richard Gere) as he hits the nadir of despair near the end of Time Out of Mind, a powerful and emotional character study about one man’s desperate struggle with homelessness in New York City. Written and directed by Oren Moverman (who also wrote and directed The Messenger […]

An Opening Night to Remember

“There has got to be more to life than going to lectures at the YWCA and stealing cheese!” bespectacled protagonist Doris erupts at her longtime friend—and seemingly at the world—and the packed Wellmont Theater collectively roared with laughter. It is one of several poignantly hilarious scenes in director Michael Showalter’s charming and deeply affecting dramedy, […]

Inside the Film Edén

Inspired by writer-director Elise DuRant’s own childhood experiences in 1980’s Mexico, Edén is an intimately rendered film about coming home. Nine-year-old Alma is forced to leave Mexico with her artifact-smuggling father, John. Years later, after her father’s death, she returns to Mexico to confront the man responsible for their emigration. But she finds more than she […]

MFF Announces Entire 2015 Slate

MFF launches the David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking, and the Bruce Sinofsky Prize, honoring Documentary Competition Winner Over 150 films and events taking place during the 10-day festival April 1, 2015 – The Montclair Film Festival (MFF) today announced the festival’s inaugural competition lineups and main slate selections for the 4th annual […]

2015 Kidz Shortz Winners

Announcing the 2015 Kidz Shortz Winners Cinemaniacs- Grades 4-6 Individual, Grand Prize ONE NATION Anthony Hobbs Baltimore, MD Our Lady of Victory School   Cinemaniacs- Grades 4-6 Individual, Honorable Mention STRANDED Talia Cohen-Vigder Montclair, NJ Watchung Elementary   Cinemaniacs- Grades 4-6 Small Group, Grand Prize A SERIES OF BAD IDEAS Milena Testa, Grace Bayne Glenridge, […]

Golden Night at MFF Oscar Party

by Beth Wilensky Montclair Film Festival celebrated the Academy Awards by bringing Hollywood Glam to our 5th Annual Oscars’ Eve Party last Saturday. It was a snowy night (again!) but that didn’t stop the over 200 guests who arrived at The Loft in Montclair to walk the red carpet and party like the stars do in Hollywood. […]

MFF Mourns Bruce Sinofsky

Montclair Film Festival friend and local resident, Bruce Sinofsky passed away on February 21st from complications stemming from diabetes. Read more about Bruce and his work in this Variety article, Bruce Sinofsky, Oscar-Nominated Documentary Filmmaker, Dies at 58. And in this Baristanet interview from October 2013, Coffee With…Bruce Sinofsky. MFF screened his film Mettalica: Some Kind of Monster in 2012 […]

MFF Mourns David Carr

The Montclair Film Festival mourns the sudden loss of our friend and contributor, David Carr. A well-known and respected columnist for the New York Times, Carr focused on media issues including print, digital, film, radio and television and lived in Montclair, New Jersey with his family. For more about Carr’s life and career, please view the NY […]

Little White Lie

This special free screening, in celebration of Black History Month, is presented by the Montclair Film Festival in partnership with the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence and the Montclair Public Schools. Saturday, February 28th Glenfield Middle School 25 Maple Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042 Doors open at 4:15 pm Film begins at 5 pm (71 min.) […]

Seymour: An Introduction

Please join us for this special screening of Seymour: An Introduction, directed by Ethan Hawke. Monday, February 9, 2015 7:30 PM (84 min) Bellevue Theater Mr. Bernstein will join us for a Q&A following the screening. Seymour Bernstein was a promising concert pianist whose career lead him to transforming himself from performer into one of the finest piano […]

Poster Contest Winner Announced

Montclair resident and graphic designer Amanda Ansorge’s design has been selected by the festival to serve as the MFF’s 2015 Festival Campaign. The design, selected from dozens of submissions to the festival’s annual Poster Contest, features a beautiful text treatment and swirling imagery against a bright yellow background and marks an exciting new direction for […]

The “Stevphens” Together Again

Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell delighted a packed house for almost two hours at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark Friday night. This Montclair Film Festival “Conversation” was our fourth annual fundraising event with Stephen Colbert and will benefit next year’s Festival, which will run from May 1-10, 2015. After a heartwarming introduction by Mr. […]

MFF and MAM Present 90s Films

Come As You Are: Films of the 90’s The 1990’s saw the explosion of independent cinema in America, with artists of all stripes taking to filmmaking as a way of telling new stories. This series focuses on diverse, engaging films that framed the era, launched the careers of important new artists, and defined the 90’s as a […]

Film Submissions Now Open

Submit Your Film To The 2016 Montclair Film Festival! Celebrating our 5th year, the Montclair Film Festival has established itself as New Jersey’s leading film non-profit, with hundreds of screenings, events, education programs and community partnerships providing a unique opportunity for our diverse audience to connect with filmmakers working in all different genres and forms. […]

What Kevin Smith is Thinking, Really

So what is Kevin Smith thinking? This Jersey boy is happy to tell you. He’ll even tell you that he had gastrointestinal issues on his red eye flight from Los Angeles. He also will tell you he found out upon arrival that Tina Fey had been sitting behind him the whole flight. Fortunately, his fans […]

Colbert and Taymor: Hakuna Matata

Even before the conversation between Julie Taymore and Stephen Colbert at MKA Sunday afternoon had begun, the nagging question in more than one audience-member’s mind had been addressed: would the interviewee be overshadowed by the interviewer? MFF Artistic Director Thom Powers made light of the situation, deadpanning of Colbert’s necessary qualifications: When it’s one of […]

Colbert and Itzkoff Talk Network

The screening of Network was followed by a lively discussion between Montclair resident and TV favorite Stephen Colbert—himself an expert satirist of the likes of CNN—and Dave Itzkoff, culture reporter for the New York Times and author of Mad As Hell: The making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in America. […]

MFF Receives NJ Arts Grant

The Montclair Film Festival announced today the receipt of a $15,000 grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in support of the fourth annual spring film festival in 2015. The grant recognizes MFF’s contributions to the artistic landscape of New Jersey and the festival’s continued commitment to diverse films, programs and events. […]

Tom Hall Named MFF Exec Director

The Montclair Film Festival announced today the appointment of Tom Hall as Executive Director of MFF. This newly created position will serve to replace both founding Executive Director Raphaela Neihausen and founding Artistic Director Thom Powers. For more information about this exciting news, please read the full press release here.  

One on One Features MFF 2014

One-on-One with Steve Adubato has produced four half hour shows with footage and interviews from this year’s festival. Thursday, June 26th: Montclair Film Festival: No No: A Dockumentary  5:30pm on WHYY 7pm on NJTV 12:30am on WNET Tuesday, July 1st: Montclair Film Festival: The Rule 7pm on NJTV 12:30am on WNET Wednesday, July 9th, Montclair Film […]

Summer Series Pics!

Check out these great pics from the outdoor screenings of Hairspray, the Musical, Annie and the Blind Side, part of the MFF’s 5th Annual FREE Summer Series presenting movies under the stars. The next screening will Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Thursday, August 7th at 9 pm, Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton Avenue, […]

Montclair Raised Actors Come Home

by Kimberly Cecchini Is it surprising that Montclair, which was ripe for a film festival that has already demonstrated success in its toddler years, was also the childhood home of two more rising stars? Actors, Kristen Connolly , known for her role as a Congressional staffer on Netflix’s House of Cards, and Ben Rosenfield, who […]

What Cinema is to Chuck Workman

by Joyce Kaffel “He won an Oscar for his film, Precious Images, and created many of the wonderful montages we see at the Oscars,” said Daniel Battsek, chairman of the Montclair Film Festival artistic committee, when he introduced Chuck Workman, on hand for the screening of his documentary, What is Cinema. In contrast to his […]

President of the Bronx

by Jessica Gonzalez A rather presidential face appeared at the Bellevue Clearview Cinemas on Sunday afternoon. No, it wasn’t Barack Obama—but close. It was Luis Ortiz, the stunningly accurate Obama impersonator and subject of Ryan Murdock’s amazing first documentary, Bronx Obama. This feature-length doc is, in many ways, a tale of the American Dream, although admittedly […]

An American Promise, Yet Unfulfilled

by Jessica Gonzalez American Promise, a new documentary by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, chronicles the journey of two young boys as they navigate the uneasy waters of being black in the predominantly white New York private school system. Shot over the course of 13 years, the film explores the question of unconscious prejudice and […]

Black Photographers, Black History

by Merve Fejzula Ten years in the making, Through A Lens Darkly was clearly worth the wait to the full crowd at the Montclair Film Festival on Saturday evening. Director Thomas Allen Harris attended the screening at the Clairidge Cinema on May 3 for the film’s New Jersey premiere. Shola Lynch, curator at the Schomburg […]

Op-Docs: Shorts that Cover it All

by Bill Battle Op-Docs has become a premier on-line series of short documentaries presented by The New York Times. Currently, there are 111 videos from 85 directors. Since their debut in 2011, Op-Docs’ honors include a Peabody Award, a News and Documentary Emmy nomination and a World Press Photo Award. Returning for the second year to […]

The Front Man: Meaning of Success

by Denise Ford Sawadogo The Front Man is one of those films that make those on the seemingly endless quest to reach their goal question their beliefs and values. Is what you considered to be a measure of success really a true measure of success? On one level The Front Man is about obtaining your […]

Ivory Tower: Learning at What Price

by Merve Fejzula Around the country thousands of high school students and their parents are finalizing decisions about college and Montclair Film Festival’s screening of Ivory Tower at the Montclair Kimberly Academy on Saturday, May 3 could not have come at a better time. The film stitched together many narratives, from the struggles of a poor […]

Whitey: Unbelievably True

by Bob McGee Whitey: The United States vs. James J. Bulger, is a documentary by Joe Berlinger about the life and criminal career of the infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger who was able to allude law enforcement for 17 years. The story of Whitey is a tangled web of a story–like trying to separate tangled wires–some of which […]

Unorthodox: Against the Grain

Unorthodox, closed out the Montclair Film Festival to a sold out crowd. Several movie patrons resorted to the floor to catch the Anna Wexler and Nadja Oertelt documentary. Unorthodox follows three Modern Orthodox Jewish teens spending a gap year in Israel before returning to attend college in the US. A high percentage of teens participating […]

Next Year Jerusalem: Courage for Life

by Caroline Purcell Clark On Sunday May 4th, moviegoers gathered at The Clairidge Theatre to view Montclair’s own David Gaynes’ documentary, Next Year Jerusalem. This unique film details the experience of “eight nursing home residents [that] are given one last great adventure, a trip to Israel.” In all honesty, I had a pre-conceived notion that the […]

Nelson George: His Body of Work

by Karen Backstein From producing the Chris Rock Show to directing such films as Finding the Funk, All Hail the Beat, and Brooklyn Boheme, the multi-talented, Brooklyn-born Nelson George has explored various facets of African-American culture. On Saturday, he came to the Audible Lounge to kick off a series of three panels presented in conjunction […]

E-Team: Activists for Humanity

by Kimberly Cecchini The crisis arm of the Human Rights Watch is a small subset of the organization charged with investigating the most severe war crimes around the world. These fiercely brave individuals insert themselves into precarious situations to conduct painstaking research on potential “crimes against humanity” through multiple interviews and crime scene investigations. Careful […]

MFF Filmmakers Party: Place to Be

by Karen Backstein Montclair met Hollywood as the filmmakers who help make the Montclair Film Festival what it is came out to party and socialize with audiences on Saturday night at MFF’s Filmmakers Party at the new Audible Lounge. Throughout the two-story loft-like space, music played, drinks flowed, plates of food got devoured, and people […]

Exposed: Freedom to be Yourself

by David Polinchock There was quite a mixed audience at hand for the 9:30 screening of Exposed on Saturday night at the Clairmont. I’m honestly not sure who I was expecting to see in the audience, but it almost seemed like a regular Saturday night at the movies. Exposed follows a group of burlesque performers […]

House Party Video!

Check out Montclair Film Festival’s 2014 House Party video featuring highlights from the fab event!

Wilson and Borle: An Easy Rapport

by Steven Seighman “We have an easy rapport,” joked actor Christian Borle about his friendship with Montclair’s Patrick Wilson, who’d just asked him a question in the voice of famed arts interviewer James Lipton during his Patrick Wilson and Friends at the Montclair Film Festival. In a talk on Sunday afternoon at the Montclair Art […]


by David Polinchock I was asked to cover Jammed at the last minute and hadn’t really done any research before heading over to theater on Saturday night. When I got into the theater, I found a very enthusiastic crowd waiting for the movie to begin. The lights went down and the audience was definitely ready […]

The Internet’s Own Boy

by David Polinchock I’ve followed the story of Aaron Swartz, so I was interested in seeing The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, to learn more abut what happened and about Aaron as well. He certainly had a great impact on the digital world that we live in today and through his death, his […]

A Bird, A Grouch, The Man

by Jessica Gonzalez Given that Sesame Street has been on the air for 45 years, there are few people in this country whose lives haven’t been touched in some small way by Big Bird and his friends. But what is known of the man behind the bright yellow feathers? And how did he come to develop one […]

Sandy Unites a Shore Community

by Alison Crisp Stockley Making its New Jersey premiere, Landfall: The Eyes of Sandy, chronicles the hours before and months after Superstorm Sandy as it hits the Jersey Shore and devastates the tight-knit community of Long Beach Island (LBI). First-time documentary director A.D. Pearson and producer Corinne Ruff, a long-time resident of LBI, combine stunning […]

A Time for Burning: Transports You

by Nancy Rachmiel The 1960s was a decade full of political and social change. Being born in the early 1960s, most of the documentaries I have seen regarding this era were compilations of news footage with voice-over narration. The perspective was historical just through the passage of time. In A Time for Burning, directed by […]

Dinosaur 13: Fighting for Sue

by Joseph Palestina It was a packed house for the Montclair Film Festival’s last film of the week. The energy inside the theater was as vibrant as ever. Moviegoers of all ages filled the seats to watch Todd Douglas Miller’s first feature docudrama, Dinosaur 13. It wasn’t a surprise that this film was the buzz […]

Supermensch: What a Guy

by Bob McGee Mensch: A Yiddish word, meaning a person of honor and integrity. Director Mike Myers of Saturday Night Live fame and such movies as Wayne’s World and the Austin Powers series, describes Shep Gordon as the “nicest person I ever met”. After seeing Mr. Gordon at the Bellevue Theater on Saturday night, it is easy to see why […]

Masters of Horror & Suspense

by Christopher Dixon Mark Fitzmartin loves horror movies, and on a beautiful Saturday afternoon he decided to let us all in on why we all love them too at Montclair Film Festival’s free panel Masters of Horror and Suspense – Why We Love Scary Movies! At one point or another we have all been frightened […]

Intramural: Finds Humor in Sports

by Christopher Dixon On a cool spring day, the crowds showed up for this highly anticipated film, and there was rampant discussion about the stars (Kate McKinnon and Beck Bennett). The crowd was ‘amped’ for Intramural. Yelp, a special sponsor, made an appearance at the event to get everyone extra excited by handing out complimentary items and […]

NJ Shorts: The Unexpected

Rendering a succinct anecdote is the main attraction of the short form and in particular short films. But if that is not available to the filmmaker, obfuscation will always do. Both tracts were on display tonight at NJ Shorts: The Unexpected at the Bellevue Theatre, part of closing night celebrations for the 2014 Montclair Film […]

No Cameras Allowed: Life Captured

by Caroline Purcell Clark Rarely, does a film come along that so aptly and exquisitely describes a period in one’s life, but after seeing James Marcus Haney’s No Cameras Allowed, I am confident that Haney has successfully struck that perfect note. The film captures moments of youth, passion, and ultimately life. MTV, which has recently […]

Advanced Style: In Living Color

by Kimberly Cecchini Spiky pink hair, fiery orange curls and oversized silver cuffs. No, Advanced Style is not about adolescents experimenting with their identify, it’s about mature women asserting their character through the art of fashion. In a culture that equates aging with fear, each of the women highlighted in this documentary confidently and unabashedly […]

Dangerous Acts…Challenging Times

by Nancy Rachmiel It is not often that I see a film and the content is completely ripped out from the current headlines. Such is the case with Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus, directed by Madeleine Sackler. Ms. Sackler’s film follows members of The Belarus Free Theatre as they draw the ire […]

On the Road Again with Jordan Brady

by Joyce Kaffel  The weather couldn’t have been worse, rain pummeling the streets with a heavy, chilly downpour, still, the die-hards came out to the Bellevue Theater to view comedian Jordan Brady’s film, I Am Road Comic. He made it on the tails of his 2010 documentary, I Am Comic, a compilation of more than […]

A Place to Belong: A Place to Become

by Tanya Manning-Yarde I remember the lessons learned as both member and president of the local youth chapter of the National Council of Negro Women where I grew up. The strengthening of sisterhood through bringing divergent points of view into focus on a common goal. Learning the importance of outreach, of volunteering, to make a […]

Finding Fela: Music is the Weapon

by Tanya Manning-Yarde In the biopic, Finding Fela, the finery and flaws of the iconic Afrobeat composer, multi-instrumentalist and activist are unfolded. Director Alex Gibney creates a mosaic picture from the shards of a complex complicated man. Extracted from almost 1,000 hours of archival footage, interviews of those impacted by his life, and artifacts of […]

Tricked: The Horror of Sex Trade

by Jennifer Fidlon-Bugat Tricked recounts the unvarnished and heart-wrenching tale of America’s sex trade, a thriving multi-billion dollar business that ensnares underage girls and young women from all walks of life. Through the voices of the victims and their families, the pimps, the johns, and the cops, the documentary’s co-directors, Jane Wells and John-Keith Wasson, […]

A Life Outside: A Love for the Surf

by Kevin Walter A Life Outside, director Catherine Brabec’s beautifully lensed doc chronicles the five decades a group of boyhood friends spend dedicating their lives to surfing the Jersey shore. A Life Outside is part buddy pic, part eco-activist warning, and in large part, a history of the sport itself from the sleepy indulgence of […]

Kidz Shortz: Young Filmmakers Shine

by Jessica M. Freeland May 3rd, a perfect spring day for strolling along the town of Montclair and partaking in all the activities it has to offer, like getting a good deal at a thrift sale, or filling-up on free samples of ice cream or olive oil, even catching a trolley! Yes, a trolley! For […]

MFF 2014 Opening Night Video!

Check out this absolutely fabulous recap of Montclair Film Festival’s Opening Night Screening and Gala on Monday 28th. It captures the excitement, joy and fun of a truly memorable kick-off to our 3rd Annual Festival!

No, No: A Dockumentary: A Journey

by Bill Battle Today, perhaps professional baseball player Dock Ellis is best remembered as a pitcher who, in 1970, just may have thrown a no-hitter under the influence of LSD. Of course there is so much more to a life and what makes Dock Ellis’ story so compelling, is portrayed in the wonderful film, No, […]

I Am Eleven: A Time of Innocence

by Nancy Rachmiel I Am Eleven, directed by Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey allows us to join her on her six year journey around the world interviewing eleven year-olds. In her own words she narrates her reasons for making the film and choosing the age eleven. She explains she was in a very low period in her […]

Art and Craft: The Ether of Perception

by Joyce Korotkin A complex documentary with many subtexts, Art and Craft is a deeply empathic portrayal of schizophrenic master forger Arthur Landis, who for more than 30 years took on the simulated role of philanthropist (which he felt to be his calling and addiction) by donating his own masterfully forged works of art to […]

Pollard & Erskine: A Cut Above

by Joseph Palestina Editing is undeniably one of the most crucial elements of the filmmaking process, if not the most important. In front of a focused and eager audience at the Montclair Film Festival, film editors Sam Pollard (Mo Better Blues, Clockers) and Lewis Erksine (Freedom Riders, The Murder of Emmett Till) were able to […]

Fort Tilden: A Biting Satire

by Jennifer Fidlon-Bugat “You need to think about yourself first and other people’s bikes second.” This line, spoken by Harper (played by Bridey Elliott) to her roommate and best friend, Allie (played by Clare McNulty), as they abandon a bicycle borrowed from a neighbor on their way to the beach, perfectly encapsulates the self-centered worldview […]

The Dog Digs Deep

by Kevin Walter “There’s only one star,” John Wojtowicz announces during The Dog, his engrossing bio-doc produced and directed by the team of Allison Berg and Francois Keraudren, which played last night at the Clairidge, “and its me!” He spends the rest of the film trying to convince the audience his case is not without […]

FranSoronprfbs (Try to Pronounce It)

by Merve Fejzula If the title character of Frank would have seen the sold-out crowd gathered at the Montclair Film Festival’s screening Friday evening, he may have been elated. Or perhaps Frank would take a moment to have a breakdown. With Frank or Frank, you can never tell what to expect. The romp of a […]