MFF’s popular live CONVERSATION SERIES presents eclectic guests including:

Michael Moore & Dangerous DocsMoore returns to interview a distinguished group of documentary filmmakers whose work is being shown at the festival.

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Homegrown: A Conversation with Kristen Connolly and Ben Rosenfield, actors who grew up right here in Montclair.

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Patrick Wilson & Friends. Patrick will be joined on stage by theater and television actor Christian Borle to discuss the creative process, films, acting, and whatever strikes their fancy over an engaging, energetic and unscripted hour.

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A special day of conversations is also scheduled, co-presented by the Blackhouse Foundation, where acclaimed filmmakers share their insights across a variety of crafts. 

Writing and Directing with Nelson George. Writer and director Nelson George shares clips from his work-in-progress about the black ballet dancer Misty Copeland; and talks about his new book on the history of Soul Train.


Editing with Sam Pollard & Lewis Erskine. Two acclaimed editors – Sam Pollard and Lewis Erskine – share tales of solving story problems.


Producing with Lisa Cortes. Lisa Cortes’s career spans helping to launch Def Jam and producing Precious. She shares her expertise in producing bold projects.

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Filmmaking in New Jersey. Why aren’t more films and TV shows produced in New Jersey? In this conversation, key stakeholders discuss the factors including more competitive tax incentives in other states.

The New Golden Age of TV. Television dramas command more serious attention from critics and audiences than ever before. This conversation explores where the field is headed. In Person: AMC executive Joel Stillerman and Actor/Director Tony Goldwyn along with other television producers, writers and directors.

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Masters of Horror & Suspense: Why We Love Scary Movies. Mark Fitzmartin shows clips from a variety of PG-13 horror and suspense films to show how directors tap into our primal fears.

Digital Distribution and the Filmmaker. Noted area filmmakers take us inside the process of getting their independent films funded, produced, and distributed.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Film School. Chuck Workman, head of SUNY Purchase’s Film School and director of What is Cinema? leads a panel discussion about film school.