The Montclair Film Festival (MFF) just announced the Opening, Closing and Centerpiece selections for the 2016 festival, taking place April 29 – May 7, and they’re inspiring!
“Each of these wonderful films is a rich portrait of a life transformed by the urgent need to find one’s true voice and engage with the world,” said MFF Executive Director Tom Hall. “These are stories that are sure to inspire and move audiences, and we are incredibly proud and honored to feature them at our festival.”
Here are the opening, closing and Centerpiece selections for the Montclair Film Festival 2016:
OPENING NIGHT FILM: Life Animated (USA/91 Min)
Friday, April 29, 7:30 PM, The Wellmont Theater
Q&A with Director Roger Ross Williams, subjects Owen, Walt, Cornelia, and Ron Suskind, moderated by Stephen Colbert.
Director: Roger Ross Williams / Producers: Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman
Life Animated is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn’t speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, and brotherhood. Directed by Academy Award® winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, Life Animated is the story of a family’s love, struggle and triumph, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive.
DOCUMENTARY CENTERPIECE FILM: Presenting Princess Shaw (Israel/80 Min)
Friday, May 6th, 8:00 PM, The Wellmont Theater
Q&A with Princess Shaw
Director: Ido Haar / Producers: Liran Atzmor, Stephen Apkon
By day, Samantha Montgomery cares for the elderly in one of New Orleans’ toughest neighborhoods. By night, she writes and sings her own songs as Princess Shaw on her confessional YouTube channel. Meanwhile, in Israel, a composer, musician and video artist named Kutiman creates video mash ups of amateur YouTube performers. When Kutiman discovers Princess Shaw’s raw, vulnerable vocals online, the pair of artists unwittingly begin a journey that will bring them together from across the globe, transforming their lives forever. Presenting Princess Shaw is the story of the birth of an unlikely star who will make you believe in the power of dreams.
NARRATIVE CENTERPIECE FILM: Indignation (USA/110 Min)
Saturday, May 7th, 4:30 PM, The Wellmont Theater
Q&A with Director James Schamus
Director: James Schamus / Producers: Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Rodrigo Teixeira
Based on the novel by Philip Roth, Indignation is the story of Marcus (Logan Lerman), a working-class Jewish student from Newark, attending a small liberal arts college in Ohio. It’s 1951, and while the Korean War rages half a world away, life in America offers its own discontents; Marcus is infatuated with a fellow student named Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon), his parents don’t approve, and his struggles with the administration at his college lead him on a collision course with the conservative values of the day. James Schamus’ Indignation is a masterful reminder of the power of fighting for your ideals.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM: Miss Sharon Jones! (USA/93 Min)
Saturday, May 7th, 7:30 PM, The Wellmont Theater
Q&A with Director Barbara Kopple and members of The Dap Kings
Director: Barbara Kopple / Producers: Barbara Kopple, David Cassidy
Two-time Academy Award® winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple returns to the MFF with Miss Sharon Jones!, a portrait of one of the most fiery and talented performers working today. In 2014, on the eve of the band launching a new album, Ms. Jones faces her greatest challenge yet; a cancer diagnosis that brings her career to a stand still. Miss Sharon Jones! documents the singer’s battle to not only heal her body but continue to drive the Dap Kings toward the musical summit. Miss Sharon Jones! is filled with incredible performances, laughs, tears and plenty of inspiration.
The full program for the Montclair Film Festival will be announced on Tuesday, April 5. Tickets for MFF members go on sale Tuesday, April 5, with public tickets on sale Friday, April 8, at 11 am.