It’s easily the coolest thing to happen to Montclair and now that it’s wrapped for 2013, we asked Montclair Film Festival’s Bob Feinberg, Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen to share their experiences and give us a hint at what might be ahead for #MFF14.
What was your favorite moment from MFF13?
RN: For me it was introducing the 1950 Disney classic Cinderella. It was the first time my three-year old son was in a theater to watch a movie and he was accompanied by my parents. It was a rare treat to have them all there, and poignant that they were watching a film that meant so much to me when I was a child.
TP: Seeing so many great talents at the festival: Harry Belafonte, Darlene Love, Ice-T, Michael Moore, Lake Bell, not to mention local directors Dawn Porter and Stacie Passon.
BF: Listening to Darlene Love rock the house on Opening Night; watching the little princes and princesses march into the theater for Cinderella; sharing the love at screenings of Gideon’s Army and Concussion with hometown Filmmakers Dawn Porter and Stacy Passon; and seeing the filmstrip themed kids posters ALL OVER TOWN.
What were you most surprised about this year?
BF: Thirty-five SOLD OUT screenings, virtually no parking problems (thanks to the town declaring a parking meter holiday on Sat) and me having a beer at the Filmmakers Party.
RN: We doubled our capacity and to our great relief, the audiences also doubled in size! This year we had attendance of almost 14,000.
What, if any, lessons were learned for next year? Anything you want to do differently or change?
BF: People will come to midday screenings during the week! We’ll have more of them next year.
TP: We’re still collecting feedback from festival goers, staff, volunteers and filmmakers that will go into making improvements for next year. I can’t point to anything dramatic, mainly small adjustments behind the scenes.
Any preliminary ideas/plans for next year already taking shape?
TP: Indeed, I’m headed to Cannes this week where I’ll meet with producers and agents from around the world to hear what’s coming up and to spread the word about what’s happening in Montclair.
BF: Yes! The MFF Board has already met to get started. We’ll be circulating surveys online soon to get more info from retailers and ticket buyers.
Anything else you’d like to add regarding the festival and future plans?
BF: We are always looking for new volunteers and we will soon announce summer screenings. THANK YOU Montclair for showing us so much love. With your support, MFF is on the road to becoming a cultural fixture on our landscape.
That’s a wrap on #MFF13. Thanks to the audiences, staff, filmmakers & 600+ volunteers who made it happen!
— Thom Powers (@thompowers) May 6, 2013
What was your favorite? Was it Ice-T? Concussion? Gideon’s Army? Darlene Love and Twenty Feet from Stardom? Cinderella? The incredible Janet Mino in Best Kept Secret? Dangerous Michael Moore? And what would you do differently next year? One of my favorite moments was laughing back to back, firts at Lake Bell’s In A World, and then watching the hysterical Daily Show writers riffing on movie moments at The What-Is-It. Oh, and I’m going to plan better so I definitely don’t miss this party.