The lineup for the twelfth Montclair Film Festival has officially been released.
For those who do not know, the Montclair Film Festival is an annual celebration of film that takes place in downtown Montclair, from Friday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 29. They feature a wide variety of movies, plus Q&As and other events. If you are interested, this article will be a great starting point.
The festival opens up with a bang on Oct. 20, with A24 and Nicolas Cage’s “Dream Scenario.” The film is followed by a live Q&A with the film’s writer and director, Kristoffer Borgli.
From there, it is off to the races, with Saturday and Sunday being the most packed days of the entire festival. Saturday, Oct. 21 includes multiple rounds of short films, the Jon Batiste documentary “American Symphony,” for which Batiste will appear at a Q&A after the film, in addition to high profile films like “All Dirt Roads Taste Of Salt,” “About Dry Grasses” and “May December.” The night ends with the the Porta Filmmaker Party, a great networking event for people wanting to get a foot in the door in the film industry.
Sunday, Oct. 22 kicks off with a Q&A about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) moderated by Stephen Colbert. Other highlights for the day include screenings of the 1938 film “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” the animated film “Robot Dreams,” a few documentary highlights, and ending the night with Alexander Payne’s new film, “The Holdovers,” which has been getting strong reviews from critics thus far.
The first weekend might be over, but the rest of the week still has a ton of gems. Monday night features films like “Evil Does Not Exist” and “The Promised Land.” Tuesday night at 8 p.m. features musical performances of famous movie songs, which promises to be a fun event. That night and Wednesday also feature one of the festival’s most intriguing films (in my opinion), a 3D documentary on painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer. The addition of a 3D aspect will likely make it one of the most immersive films of the festival.
Thursday night’s main attraction is another event, StorySLAM. This event will let participants pitch their ideas and concepts in front of a live audience. The theme for that day is plot twists, which will make this event go in a ton of unexpected directions.
Friday night has two big events. At 7 p.m., you can stop downtown to check out the Montclair State University students’ short films showcase, including films by Montclair State students Seth Imperial, Sabrina Hassock, Jose Saborit and many others. It is a great opportunity to support our student filmmakers. At 8 p.m., over at the NJPAC in Newark, you can see a Q&A with legendary director Martin Scorsese, again moderated by Stephen Colbert. This will be a fantastic event for getting an insight into the “Goodfellas” director’s creative process.
Saturday features two panels about the past and present of filmmaking hosted at Cinema505. The day will also feature a bunch of shorts and films ranging from foreign language dramas to animated kid’s movies to documentary features. It will be a wide-ranging day with a ton of options to pick from!
Unfortunately, Sunday, Oct. 29 is the final day of the film festival. That will not stop it from being a packed day, however. Films like “Zone of Interest,” “Eileen” and “The Settlers” decorate the roster for the day, but there is also a ton of short and feature-length films to check out as well.
If you want my opinion, I would recommend going to as much as you can. I went to a bunch of showings last year and had a blast, and I hope to do the same this year. If you are interested, tickets are on sale now for the general public and can be purchased on the Montclair Film website. It’s a great event for those who love watching movies, those who want to make movies themselves and everyone in between.