Become a Volunteer for The 6th Montclair Film Festival

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The 6th Montclair Film Festival is around the corner. Interested in joining an amazing team of volunteers?

Come check out one of two Volunteer Information Sessions to find out how you can volunteer and what is required. Current volunteers can come and find out what’s new for the 2017 festival. New volunteers can come see what it’s all about.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 from 7pm – 8pm at the Montclair Public Library auditorium.

Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 4pm – 5pm at Cinema505 at 505 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair. Continue Reading

A New Name For Montclair Film Festival To Better Reflect Its New Identity

BY  |  Monday, Mar 13, 2017 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Film

The Montclair Film Festival just announced the launch of its new name and identity —Montclair Film. The name was changed to better express the organization’s year-round commitment to a wide range of film and education programming.

The Montclair Film Festival (MFF), the annual event taking place this year from April 28 – May 7, 2017, will retain its name as the organization’s signature program.

“We are incredibly proud to introduce the world to our new name and identity,” said Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall. “With our new home opening its doors, the moment was right to be ambitious and build the proper branding framework to support the entirety of our organization’s mission.”

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The Montclair Film Festival Announces Benefit Event With Stephen Colbert and John Oliver

BY  |  Monday, Sep 19, 2016 10:02am

Montclair Film Festival

Every November, Stephen Colbert is joined by a very special guest for Montclair Film Festival’s annual fundraiser event held at NJPAC,. Past guests have been Steve Carell, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, and J.J. Abrams. Today we found out! MFF just announced that John Oliver, host of HBO’s “”Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” will join the stage on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 8 pm.

“Wow, That Was Weird: A Post-Election Evening With Stephen Colbert and John Oliver” will feature the pair in an hilarious, on-stage exchange on everything from their comic influences to the political season that will have concluded with the November election.

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Montclair Film Festival Named One of the Coolest Film Festivals in the World

BY  |  Friday, Sep 09, 2016 12:15pm

MFF Founder Bob Feinberg, President of the Board Evie Colbert and Director Tom Hall Photo courtesy of Neil Grabowsky, Montclair Film Festival.

MFF Founder Bob Feinberg, President of the Board Evie Colbert and Director Tom Hall. Photo: Neil Grabowsky, MFF just posted a list of “The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World,” and Montclair Film Festival made the cut:

The arts-friendly township of Montclair has a number of famous residents, including Stephen Colbert, an ardent patron of this festival, and—formerly—the late Bruce Sinofsky and David Carr, whose names grace some of MFF’s prizes. Certainly, the key to this festival’s burgeoning success is its people: its executive director, “the great Tom Hall,” has “worked the same magic here he did with Sarasota Film Festival: transforming a smaller regional festival into a genuine destination,” says a panelist. With ace programming, fun extras (last fall saw a “Celebrity Nerd-Off” fundraiser between Colbert and J.J. Abrams) and only five years under its belt, this is one to watch.

Congratulations to Tom Hall and MFF!


Montclair Film Festival Open For Film Submissions

BY  |  Monday, Aug 29, 2016 1:45pm

Montclair Film Festival

Calling all filmmakers! The Montclair Film Festival has just announced the opening of its annual film submission process. With three competitive categories in fiction, non-fiction, and low-budget independent filmmaking, as well as programs in six non-competitive categories including fiction, non-fiction, world cinema, short films, New Jersey films, and student filmmaking, the Montclair Film Festival is seeking diverse films that represent a wide-range of stories, styles, and experiences.

The MFF’s recent attendees included Jonathan Alter, Stephen Colbert, Barry Crimmins, Richard Curtis, Jonathan Demme, Abigail Disney, Richard Gere, Bobcat Goldthwait, Sam Green and Yo La Tengo, Barbara Kopple, Margo Martindale, Oren Moverman, Stanley Nelson, Norman Reedus, Rob Reiner, James Schamus, Princess Shaw, Michael Showalter, Mavis Staples, James Strouse, Ron Suskind, Roger Ross Williams, Patrick Wilson, Alex Winter, and many more.

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#MFF16 Jon and Tracey Stewart Bring Star Power For Animal Rights and MFF’s Screening of “Unlocking the Cage”

BY  |  Tuesday, May 10, 2016 11:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Unlocking the Cage

Last Sunday afternoon, Jon Stewart arrived for Montclair Film Festival’s screening of “Unlocking the Cage” at Bellevue Theatre with wife Tracey and friends Stephen and Evie Colbert to shine a spotlight on an issue which is near and dear to his heart – compassionate and humane treatment of animals.

Addressing the audience, Stewart explained how, thanks to Tracey, the importance of animal rights has been a learning experience for him and his mind has been opened. Having purchased a 12-acre farm in NJ to harbor abused farm animals, and now about to partner with Farm Sanctuary,  the Stewarts often get the question “how can you talk about animal rights when people don’t have their rights?”  Tracey’s response is  “can’t society do two nice things – by doing that it will elevate all of us”

Unlocking the Cage

“Unlocking the Cage” tells the story of animal rights lawyer Steven Wise who for 30 years has championed animal rights in the courts, and has recently filed multiple lawsuits attempting to change the legal status of  chimps in captivity from a thing/animal with no rights to a “person” with legal protection to grant them freedom. Wise makes his case with affidavits from primatologists around the world affirming the high functioning cognitive abilities and self consciousness of chimpanzees and gorillas.

The sad stories of Tommy, Kiko, Merlin – chimps in captivity as pets in NY state – are difficult to watch.

And while some may find the idea attributing personhood to a chimp outrageous, Wise clearly differentiates the legal meaning of personhood from human being.

Whales, dolphins and elephants are also grouped as cognitively complex, however Wise’s strategy, as explained in the film, is to kick the door open on this issue, one species, one state at a time.

The documentary is a wild ride and begs the viewer to look at these sentient beings through a different lens, suggesting that they are worthy of respect and humane treatment.


After the screening, filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, and attorney for the Nonhuman Rights Project Elizabeth Stein, spoke about making the documentary – and the court room drama depicted in the film. Pennebaker sat with me later discussing his work, saying that the making of this documentary was a “life-changing” experience. “Because of Steve’s work, animal rights is now taught at over 100 law schools in the country. It’s going to take a long time to make people change, but I think that in maybe 50 years, we won’t be eating meat.”

Steve Wise and Jane Goodall are on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project, which, according to its website is “the only civil rights organization in the United States working to achieve actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own.”  Kevin R. Schneider, Executive Director, was in the audience and told me years have been devoted to legal research and now there’s room for volunteers of all backgrounds to participate..”sharing the information on social media, grass-roots movements.”

If you missed this documentary, watch it on HBO, coming this July.

#MFF16: Five Things Montclair Learned About Norman Reedus

BY  |  Monday, May 09, 2016 10:30am

Norman Reedus

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Cecchini, MFF

The lines waiting to get in to The Wellmont Theater to see Norman Reedus in Conversation with AMC President of ​Original Programming and Montclair resident Joel Stillerman, snaked down Bloomfield Avenue then down several blocks on North Willow. Two women were waiting at the front of the line at 8:30 am to grab the best seats at the general admission event:

This was no ordinary Montclair Film Festival event, it was The Walking Dead fandom at its finest.

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Montclair Film Festival 2016: And The Winners Are… #MFF16

BY  |  Sunday, May 08, 2016 1:01pm

Montclair Film Festival 2016: And The Winners Are... #MFF16

The Montclair Film Festival (MFF) today announced the festival’s 2016 Audience Award winners. Taika Waititi’s HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE took top honors in the Narrative Feature category, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU won the Documentary Feature category, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s SONITA won the audience prize for World Cinema, and Kahane Cooperman’s JOE’s VIOLIN taking home top audience honors in the Short Film category.

“Without our incredibly generous audiences, there would be no Montclair Film Festival,” said Executive Director Tom Hall. “These awards are a wonderful way to deepen the connection between our filmmakers and film lovers.” Continue Reading

Montclair Film Festival Announces Additional 2016 Festival Education Programs

BY  |  Friday, May 06, 2016 1:15pm

Montclair Film Festival Adds Special Guests: Gilbert Gottfried and Ras Baraka

This week, Montclair Film Festival (MFF) announced the complete slate of education programs taking place at the 2016 MFF. These programs join the previously announced Young Voices: A Community Conversation program, presented by Partners For Health and taking place May 3 at 7:00 PM at the MFF’s Audible Lounge, located at 544 Bloomfield Ave, and the MFF’s Emerging Filmmakers Competition (EFC) screening, taking place Saturday May 7 at 11:00 AM at the Wellmont Theater:
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The Weekend: All About Mom

BY  |  Thursday, May 05, 2016 10:30am

Montclair Film Festival

This weekend it’s all about moms and there are many nice events for Mom to enjoy her special day. Want to take her out for a nice meal Check out our dining guide here.

Don’t forget about:

Here are more ways to spend Mother’s Day weekend:
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Featured Comment

A great looking building for Montclair Center with appropriate height, massing and details. Bravissimo!

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