Everybody who was anybody in the 1980s showed up to Montclair Film Festival’s “I Want My MFF” party last Saturday night at the Wellmont Theater. Guests came as the Material Girl, Robert Palmer girls, even Devo (gotta love those energy dome hats) and danced the night away to music by The Loser’s Lounge with very special guest appearances by Patrick Wilson (that man can sing!), Warren Zanes and Stephen Colbert at the 1980s-themed dance party fundraiser to benefit MFF programming.
Montclair Film Festival (MFF) board president Evie Colbert started the night off, joined by MFF executive director Tom Hall, telling an enthusiastic crowd that completion of its new home at 505 Bloomfield Ave. was both “on time and on budget” and would open April 1. Colbert announced that the organization was in the middle of a 2.5 million-dollar campaign and that they had already raised $2 million.
Hall spoke about the expansion of MFF into year-round programming including screenings, master classes and collaborations with Montclair community partners, mentioning this film collaboration with students and Montclair Animal Shelter. “Montclair Film Festival refuses to let financial need stop kids from participating and gives opportunity to students from all financial backgrounds to open doors to personal expression,” Hall added. He also thanked the crowd, joking, “even if you are talking over me, I’m so glad you are here.”
Hall introduced actor Patrick Wilson, joined by his wife, author Dagmara Dominczyk. The couple, who are MFF advisory board members, worked the crowd during an auction, getting the audience to step up and pay for much needed items and equipment to outfit MFF’s new home, which will include a screening room, educational space and offices.
Then, it was time to party! In between drinks and nostalgic bites — White Castle hamburgers, chicken fingers, Sicilian slices, even Ritz crackers with Cheese Whiz — party goers packed the dance floor and grooved upstairs on the Wellmont’s balcony, as they enjoyed an 1980s dance party with music by The Loser’s Lounge and some special guest appearances.
Wilson, complete with rocker wig, belted out Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” and then came back to sing David Bowie’s “Modern Love.”
Favorite moment: Warren Zanes and the Zanes Family Band totally rocking Cameo’s “Word Up” and Zanes getting pulled off stage by his young performers.
Stephen Colbert also made special cameo, singing (and dancing!) to Talking Heads’ “Once in A Lifetime.” On his way off the stage, Colbert joked that, although the night was for the Montclair Film Festival, any leftover monies raised would go to “victims of the Bowling Green massacre.”