MONTCLAIR FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2017 PROGRAM
 
John Turturro, Bill Nye to join Stephen Colbert in the festival’s 2017 Conversation Series, presented by Audible
 
Zoe Lister-Jones (BAND AID), Michael Angarano & Ari Graynor (AVENUES), Stanley Nelson (TELL THEM WE ARE RISING), Jean Doumanian (UNA), Dolores Huerta (DOLORES), Steve James (ABACUS), Bettye LaVette (AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS), Kenny Anderson (MR. CHIBBS), Azazel Jacobs (THE LOVERS), Oren Moverman (THE DINNER), Brett Haley (THE HERO), and over 150 artists to attend
 
Special Screening of SACRED to feature live musical performance of selections from the film’s score, post-screening performance by Lee Ranaldo to accompany premiere of HELLO HELLO HELLO : LEE RANALDO : ELECTRIC TRIM
 
April 3, 2017, MONTCLAIR, NJ – Today, Montclair Film announced the full program for the 6th annual Montclair Film Festival (MFF), taking place April 28 – May 7, 2017 in Montclair, NJ and featuring over 150 films, events, discussions, and parties, with over 150 filmmakers and industry guests attending.
 
Additionally, the festival will offer two special live music presentations. Thomas Lennon’s SACRED, featuring selections from the film’s score performed live under the direction of composer Edward Bilous in a post-screening presentation at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University on Monday, May 1. Legendary guitarist and songwriter Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) will perform following the Friday, May 6th screening of Fred Riedel’s HELLO HELLO HELLO : LEE RANALDO : ELECTRIC TRIM. 
 
Today’s films join the previously announced Opener STEP, Closer BAND AID, Centerpieces PATTI CAKE$ and TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: AMERICA’S BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, and Restorations of George Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and Andrei Tarkovsy’s STALKER in the festival program.
 
“This year, we have been fortunate to find filmmakers who are making work that gives depth and shape to the vital conversations of our time,” said Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall. “The festival is an opportunity for bringing audiences together with these incredible artists, so that, together, we can enjoy and engage with the images, ideas, and insights that are illuminated in these wonderful films.”
 
2017 FILM COMPETITIONS AND JURIES
 
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
The Documentary Feature Competition features cinematic non-fiction films that examine the diverse possibilities of the form. The winning film in this category will be awarded the 3rd Annual Bruce Sinofsky Prize for Non-Fiction Filmmaking.
 
CASTING JONBENET, directed by Kitty Green
CITY OF GHOSTS, directed by Matthew Heineman
FOR AHKEEM, directed by Jeremy S. Levine, Landon Van Soest
THE REAGAN SHOW, directed by Pacho Velez, Sierra Pettengill
STRONG ISLAND, directed by Yance Ford
 
2017 Documentary Jury: Joe McGovern (Entertainment Weekly), Dan O’Meara (VP, Special Projects & Documentary, NEON), Rosie Wong (Sundance Film Festival)
 
FICTION FEATURE COMPETITION
The Fiction Feature Competition highlights the MFF’s most ambitious, auteur-driven fiction films.
 
AFTERIMAGE, directed by Andrzej Wajda
CLASH, directed by Mohamed Diab
THE COMMUNE, directed by Thomas Vinterberg 
GOOK, directed by Justin Chon
LADY MACBETH, directed by William Oldroyd
 
2017 Fiction Jury: Arianna Bocco (EVP, Acquisitions, IFC Films), Ashley Clark (Critic), Robert Eggers (director, THE WITCH)
 
FUTURE/NOW COMPETITION
The Future/Now competition celebrates American, low-budget independent filmmaking by first or second time directors who are creating innovative, challenging films. 
 
BEACH RATS, directed by Eliza Hittman
FITS & STARTS, directed by Laura Terruso
MENASHE, directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein
THE STRANGE ONES, directed by Dustin Guy Defa
PERSON TO PERSON, directed by Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff
 
2017 Future Now Jury: Eliza Berman (Deputy Culture Editor, TIME), Holly Herrick (Head of Film & Creative Media, Austin Film Society), Dan Nuxoll (Artistic Director, Rooftop Films).
 
NEW JERSEY FILMS COMPETITION
The New Jersey Films competition this year focuses on non-fiction films directed, produced by, or featuring New Jersey talent. 
 
ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM, directed by Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard
ALL WE NEED IS ANOTHER CHANCE, directed by Corbett Jones
HELLO HELLO HELLO: LEE RANALDO: ELECTRIC TRIM, directed by Fred Riedel
SUPERGIRL, directed by Jessie Auritt
SWIM TEAM, directed by Lara Stolman
 
2017 New Jersey Films Jury: Raphaela Neihausen (Co-founder & Executive Director, DOC NYC, STRANGER THAN FICTION), Charles Poekel (director, CHRISTMAS, AGAIN), Tom Roston (Writer).
 
The winners, including the 3rd Annual David Carr Award honoree, will be announced on Saturday, May 6th. The festival’s Audience Awards will be announced on Monday, May 8th
 
2017 CONVERSATION SERIES, PRESENTED BY AUDIBLE
 
The MFF’s annual Conversation Series, presented by Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken word entertainment, features in-depth discussions with leading voices in the cinema and television arts. This year’s line-up features: 
 
John Turturro, star of this year’s critical hit The Night Of, appearing in a Conversation moderated by Stephen Colbert on Sunday, April 30
 
Jonathan Alter headlines the festival’s Conversation “True Or False? The Challenge of Reporting In the ‘Fake News’ Era” on Sunday, April 30;
 
Bill Nye, appearing with his new film BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY,  joining Stephen Colbert for an extended post-screening discussion on Saturday, May 6;
 
2017 Emerging Black Voices Fellows Iyabo Boyd (producer, FOR AHKEEM), Sabaah Folayan (co-director, WHOSE STREETS?),  and Yance Ford (director, STRONG ISLAND), discussing their work on Saturday, May 6;
 
Thom Powers visiting Cinema505 at the Investors Bank Film & media Center for a live recording of his podcast Pure Nonfiction on Sunday, May 7;
 
The American Black Film Festival, gathering key alumni to discuss career-building for African Americans and the film festival experience on Sunday, May 7.
 
Additionally, the festival will open Cinema505, located inside the Investors Bank Film & media Center at 505 Bloomfield Ave in downtown Montclair,  at 11:00 AM each weekend morning of the festival for complimentary coffee and moderated conversations, sponsored by Java Love Coffee Roasters. 
 
Further Conversations may be announced at a later date. 
 
2017 FILM HIGHLIGHTS
 
Highlights from this year’s films playing out of competition include 
 
ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL with director Steve James attending
AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS, a sneak look at the upcoming PBS series AMERICAN EPIC, with singer   Bettye LaVette attending
AVENUES, the directorial debut of star Michael Angarano (World Premiere), with Angarano and co-star Ari Graynor in attendance
BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY, with Bill Nye attending and a post-screening Q&A with Stephen Colbert
THE DINNER, with writer director Oren Moverman attending
THE HERO, with director Brett Haley attending
THE LOVERS, with director Azazel Jacobs attending
MEAGAN LEAVEY, directed by Gabriella Cowperthwaite
PAINT IT BLACK, with writer director Amber Tamblyn in attendance
UNA, with producer Jean Doumanian in attendance for a post screening Q&A with Film4’s Daniel Battsek
WHOSE STREETS? with co-director Sabaah Folayan attending
 
Tickets for the Montclair Film Festival are available now for Montclair Film members, with public sales beginning Friday, April 7. Tickets and memberships may be purchased online at montclairfilmfest.org or by visiting the festival’s new Box Office, located inside the lobby of the Investors Bank Film & Media Center at 505 Bloomfield Avenue in downtown Montclair.  
 
A select set of images are available for download and use at:
 
ABOUT MONTCLAIR FILM
Montclair Film, a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, nurtures and showcases the talents of filmmakers from around the region and world. Montclair Film unites, empowers, educates, and celebrates our region’s diverse cultural heritage and robust artistic community by presenting engaging programs and events all year long. The sixth annual Montclair Film Festival will take place from April 28 through May 7, 2017. MFF 2017 is made possible through generous support from Investors Bank; Audible; Hackensack Meridian Health; the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; Ashenfelter, Slous, McDonough, Golia & Trevenen, LLP; Chubb; Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage; and William H. Connolly & Co., and others.  Our programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism and New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For information about Montclair Film, visitwww.montclairfilmfest.org
 
ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible was created to unleash the emotive music in language and the habituating power and utility of verbal expression. Audible content includes more than 350,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is also the provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes Store.
 
THE FILMS OF THE 2017 MONTCLAIR FILM FESTIVAL
 
OPENING NIGHT FILM
STEP
Director: Amanda Lipitz
 
DOCUMENTARY CENTERPIECE 
TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Director:  Stanley Nelson
 
FICTION CENTERPIECE
PATTI CAKE$
Director:  Geremy Jasper
 
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
BAND AID
Director:  Zoe Lister-Jones
 
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
CASTING JONBENET
Director:   Kitty Green
 
CITY OF GHOSTS
Director:  Matthew Heineman
 
FOR AHKEEM
Director:  Jeremy S. Levine, Landon Van Soest
 
THE REAGAN SHOW
Director:  Pacho Velez, Sierra Pettengill
 
STRONG ISLAND 
Director:  Yance Ford
 
FICTION FEATURE COMPETITION
AFTERIMAGE
Director:  Andrzej Wajda
 
CLASH
Director:  Mohamed Diab
THE COMMUNE 
Director:  Thomas Vinterberg 
 
GOOK
Director: Justin Chon
 
LADY MACBETH
Director: William Oldroyd
 
FUTURE/ NOW COMPETITION
BEACH RATS
Director:  Eliza Hittman
 
FITS & STARTS
Director:  Laura Terruso
 
MENASHE
Director:  Joshua Z. Weinstein
 
PERSON TO PERSON
Director:   Dustin Guy Defa
 
THE STRANGE ONES
Director:   Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff
 
NEW JERSEY FILMS COMPETITION
ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM
Director:  Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard
 
ALL WE NEED IS ANOTHER CHANCE
Director:  Corbett Jones
 
HELLO HELLO HELLO : LEE RANALDO: ELECTRIC TRIM
Director: Fred Riedel
 
SUPERGIRL
Director:  Jessie Auritt
 
SWIM TEAM
Director: Lara Stolman
 
FEATURE FILMS
 
ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL
Director:  Steve James
 
AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS
Director:  Bernard MacMahon
 
AMERICAN VETERAN
Director: Julie Cohen
 
AVENUES 
Director:  Michael Angarano
 
BENDING THE ARC
Director:  Kief Davidson, Pedro Kos
 
BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY
Director:  David Alvarado,  Jason Sussberg
 
BLAME
Director: Quinn Shephard
 
BRAVE NEW JERSEY
Director:  Jody Lambert
 
BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Director:  Viktor Jakovleski
 
BURDEN
Director:  Timothy Marrinan, Richard Dewey 
 
CHAVELA
Director: Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi
 
CHUCK
Director:  Philippe Falardeau
 
THE CINEMA TRAVELERS
Director:  Shirley Abraham, Amit Madheshiya
 
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON
Director:  David France
DINA
Director:  Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles
 
THE DINNER
Director:  Oren Moverman
 
DO DONKEYS ACT?
Director:   David Redmon, Ashley Sabin
 
DOLORES
Director:  Peter Bratt
 
ELIÁN 
Director:  Tim Golden,  Ross McDonnell
 
FOR GRACE
Director:  Sebastian Armesto
 
HERMIA & HELENA
Director:  Matías Piñeiro
 
THE HERO 
Director:  Brett Haley 
 
INFINITY BABY
Director:  Bob Byington
 
INTO THE WHO KNOWS!
Director:  Micah Barber
 
LETTERS FROM BAGHDAD
Directors: Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl
 
A LIFE IN WAVES
Director: Brett Whitcomb
 
LOST IN PARIS
Director: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon
 
THE LOVERS
Director: Azazel Jacobs
 
MAUDIE
Director: Aisling Walsh
MEGAN LEAVEY
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
 
MOTHERLAND
Director:  Ramona S. Diaz
 
MR. CHIBBS 
Director:  Jill Campbell
 
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)
Director:  George A. Romero
 
NO MAN’S LAND
Director: David Byars
 
PAINT IT BLACK
Director: Amber Tamblyn
 
PARADISE
Director:  Andrei Konchalovsky
 
PARIS CAN WAIT
Director: Eleanor Coppola
 
SACRED
Director:  Thomas Lennon
 
SPETACCOLO
Director:  Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen
 
STRANGER IN PARADISE
Director:  Guido Hendrikx
 
STALKER (1979)
Director:  Andrei Tarkovsky
 
THE TEACHER  
Director:  Jan Hřebejk
 
THIRST STREET
Director: Nathan Silver
 
THROUGH THE REPELLENT FENCE: A LAND ART FILM
Director:  Sam Wainwright Douglas
 
TROPHY
Director:  Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz
 
THE TRANSFIGURATION
Director:  Michael O’Shea
 
UNA
Director: Benedict Andrews
 
THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN
Director: Jennifer M. Kroot
 
WHOSE STREETS?
Director:  Sabaah Folayan, Co-Director Damon Davis 
 
SHORT FILMS
 
SHORTS:   DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
 
116 CAMERAS
Directed:  Davina Pardo
 
DANGEROUS CURVES 
Director:  Merete Mueller
 
EDITH+EDDIE
Director: Laura Checkoway
 
GUT HACK
Director: Mario Furloni, Kate McLean
 
LOS ANGELES PLAYS NEW YORK
Director:  John Wilson
 
PORT OF ENTRY
Director: Andrea Meller, Marisa Pearl
 
SHORTS:  DREAM SHORTS
 
BLACKOUT 
Director: Jordan Baseman
 
BUSINESS
Director: Kati Skelton
 
CLEAN HANDS
Director: Lauren DeFilippo
 
DEEP BLUE
Director: Joe Nankin
 
IT’S A DATE
Director: Zachary Zezima
 
KAIJU BUNRAKU
Director: Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer
 
KOOKIE
Director: Justin Harding
 
SHOT
Director: Aemilla Scott
 
SHORTS:  FICTION SHORTS
 
AMERICAN PARADISE
Director: Joe Talbot
 
FOX
Director: Jacqueline Lentzou
 
FRY DAY
Director: Laura Moss
 
THE SAURUS
Director: Drew Maynard
 
PLAIN AND SIMPLE
Director: Raphael Ouellet
 
THEY CHARGE FOR THE SUN
Director: Terence Nance
 
VALENCIA
Director: Logan George
 
SHORTS:  LUNAFEST SHOWCASE 
 
ANOTHER KIND OF GIRL
Director:  Khaldiya Jibawi
 
FAMILY TALE 
Director:   Patricia Beckmann-Wells
 
FREE TO LAUGH
Director: Lara Everly
 
THE HONEYS AND BEARS
Director: Veena Rao
 
JOIN THE CLUB
Director: Eva Vives
 
NANNY
Director: Diane Weipert
 
NKOSI COIFFURE 
Director: Frederike Migom
 
PARTNERS
Director: Joey Ally
 
THE THIRD DAD
Director: Theresa Moerman Ib
 
SHORTS:  MONTCLAIR SHORTS
ACE
Director: Morgan Kahn Nichols
 
THE BAKE SALE
Director: Susan Skoog
 
LIGHTNINGFACE
Director: Brian Petsos
 
MOMTRESS
Director: Liz Samuel, Jeremiah Kipp
 
TWENTYSOMETHING
Director: Avital Siegel
 
SHORTS:  NEW JERSEY SHORTS
CAT KILLER
Director: Wes Jones
 
COWTOWN
Director: Greg Kohs
 
DEKALB ELEMENTARY
Director: Reed Van Dyk
 
I AM YOUR FRIEND
Director: Nicholas Payne Santos
 
LILY
Director: Mimi Jeffries
 
MOVE ME
Director: Gabe Crate
 
UNPRESIDENTED
Director: Jason Giampietro
 
 
SHORTS: FOR ALL AGES
 
THE ALAN DIMENSION
Director: Jac Clinch
 
AUTO
Director: Conner Griffith
 
BIRDLIME
Director: Evan DeRushie
 
FROLIC ‘N MAE
Director: Danny Madden
THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH
Director: Ceylan Carhoglu, Ryan King
 
I, DESTINI
Director: Destini Riley, Nicholas Pilarski
 
POST NO BILLS
Director:  Robin Hays, Andy Poon
 
SANCTUARY
Director: Ashley Seering, Cory Byers
 
SCENT OF GERANIUM
Director: Naghmeh Farzaneh
 
 
STUDENT SHORTS
 
FARES
Director:  Thora Lorentzen
 
HOLD ME (CA CAW CA CAW) 
Director: Renee Zhan
 
ORIGIN
Director:  Jordan Nikolic
 
PRIA
Director: Yudho Aditya
 
THE SANDMAN
Director:  Lauren Knapp
 
SUBMARINE
Director: Mounia Akl
 
SHORTS: TRUE OR FALSE? THE LURE OF THE FALSE NARRATIVE
 
JFK TO PIZZAGATE: SHADOWS OF CONSPIRACY
Director:  Retro Report 
 
LIES, LEAKS, AND CONSEQUENCES
Director:  Retro Report 
 
LIEBECK V. MCDONALD’S: THE BIG BURN
Director:  Retro Report 
 
THE SUPERPREDATOR SCARE
Director:  Retro Report 
 
UNRAVELING ZERO TOLERANCE
Director:  Retro Report 
 
VACCINES: AN UNHEALTHY SKEPTICISM
Director:  Retro Report 
 
SHORTS BEFORE FEATURES
 
BALLOONFEST
Director: Nathan Truesdell
 
EVEREADY
Director: Paul Szynol
 
PARAFFIN
Director: Emily Hubley
 
RABBIT HUNT
Director: Patrick Bresnan
 
SPIRAL JETTY
Director: Ricky D’ambrose

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Clayton Davis
Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of AwardsCircuit.com. Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times, CNN.com, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.