Montclair Film Festival 2013: Wrapping Up, Looking Forward

Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen. Photo: Montclair Film Festival
Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen. Photo: Montclair Film Festival
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.

Cinderella screening. Photo: Montclair Film Festival
Cinderella screening. Photo: Montclair Film Festival

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.

Darlene Love and Bob Feinberg.  Photo: Montclair Film Festival
Darlene Love and Bob Feinberg. Photo: Montclair Film Festival

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.

concussion montclair film festival

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.

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.

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  1. Opening night with the great Darlene Love will be hard to top. I’m such a fan of MFF and all it brings to Montclair, it’s hard to pick favorites. My husband loved taking his 81 year old mother to see Harry Belefonte at NJPAC and he loved the House Party. I loved that they offered a matinee (First Comes Love) that I could catch without having to get a babysitter and more family movies that we enjoyed with our girls. My 9 year old is still talking about how cool Magic Camp was and my 5 year old loved Cinderella.

    And I enjoyed way too many of the MFF signature cocktail at the Filmmakers party.

  2. hope they have another “house party” next year!
    i enjoyed director jared flesher’s documentary “sourlands,” about nj farmers dealing with the challenges of climate change.

  3. I loved the festival.. so glad this is happening so close to me. I saw about 9 films, favorite was Spectacular Now, close second CRASH REEL.

    My major gripe is the size of the screen at MKA. It’s so small… the best seat to be in was in the front row or else it’s basically like watching your television.

    I personally also wish for more edgy films.. however I can understand why that wouldn’t fly in Montclair. But overall I loved it.

  4. “The Patience Stone” was quite edgy,or hard to categorize, and glad I saw it. I don’t know if it was sold out but the theater seemed filled. Thank you MFF! Great putting it all together.

  5. “In a World . . .” was great. I’d been waiting to see that since reading about it during Sundance. And the Michael Slovis discussion was amazing.

  6. I saw two things: Computer Chess and the In Conversation with Ice-T.

    Computer Chess was a great movie that showcased nerd/programmer/chess culture in a uniquely hilarious way, and the way it was shot with old cameras really made you think you were watching a true 80s chess program competition play out.

    Ice-T’s Q&A was hilarious, too. He’s got a great perspective on his past, hip hop, relationships, and the balance of being grateful for where he is at today but also recognizing his great work ethic and talent. I saw a few moms cringing and looking at their kid whenever he let out them cuss words, but what were they thinking bringing their lil cherubs to that event?

    I wish I could have seen more stuff, but my best friend HAAAAAD to move that weekend and I HAAAAAD to help her. Best friends – am I right?

  7. Zipper made me cry. A cautionary tale about how a greedy developer with the aid of elected officials was able destroy an iconic neighborhood. Our town council and planning board should be forced to watch it.

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