Open main menu

Montclair Film[1] is a community-based film nonprofit most well known for organizing the annual Montclair Film Festival (MFF) held in late April, early May in Montclair, New Jersey, the festival showcases new works from American and international filmmakers, and has year-round events.[2] The festival features a program of films in the Fiction, Non-Fiction, World Cinema, Short and Student Filmmaking categories. The 2018 Montclair Film Festival took place from April 26 to May 6, 2018.[3]

Montclair Film Festival
Montclair Film Festival logo
At the Wellmont Theatre during MFF15
LocationMontclair, New Jersey, U.S.
Festival dateLate April, early May



The idea for a film festival was formed when WNET-TV Vice President and General Counsel Bob Feinberg, a Montclair resident, gave a tour to an associate considering a move to the New Jersey city. Known as a place where arts and culture flourish, his associate asked “Where is the film festival?” Feinberg set out to establish MFF, hiring veteran festival programmers and directors Thom Powers[4] and Raphaela Neihausen[5] and developing a Board of Directors composed of many of Montclair’s prominent residents, including film and media professionals, philanthropists and community leaders.


Inaugural festival, May 2012Edit

Modeled after popular film festivals around the country that have revitalized small arts-oriented towns like Montclair, MFF organized to deliver innovative programs to regional film enthusiasts who flocked to its two independent arts cinemas. Relying on the expertise and connections of many industry insiders who reside within the community, and maximizing its impact by collaborating with many of the region's prominent arts organizations, MFF was born.[6] The inaugural festival in May 2012, originally estimated to attract 5,000 visitors, reached 7,500 motion picture enthusiasts, arts patrons and cultural tourists. Over 45 films and XX guests were in attendance including actors Oliver Platt,[7] Kathleen Turner,[8] Olympia Dukakis[9] and Patrick Wilson, filmmaker Michael Moore and author Judy Blume. Early screenings of art house successes included The Oranges, Your Sister’s Sister, 2 Days in New York and Robot and Frank.[10]

Second annual festival, May 2013Edit

According to The New York Times, MFF, the winner of the Discover Jersey Arts 2012 People’s Choice Awards for favorite film festival, is “A film festival with more of everything.[2] Over one week in May 2013, at seven venues across one community, the festival nearly doubled in size and attracted more than 14,000 attendees to 80+ films and events including selected world and New Jersey premieres.[11] The Montclair Times noted, “If last year’s inaugural festival was like an indie hit, then this year’s outing is a glossy sequel.” In addition to offering films by emerging filmmakers, the festival provided opportunities to see some of the year’s most critically acclaimed films first in Montclair with post-screening discussions and conversations [12] with special guests including directors, producers and actors, and occasions to hear from promising new artists from the film industry. A favorite film category, NJ Spotlight, offered a platform for dozens of talented and lesser-known filmmakers from New Jersey to exhibit new work.[12][13] Prominent guests included a return visit from Michael Moore, Harry Belafonte, Darlene Love, Lake Bell, Ice-T, Alex Gibney and The New York Times’ David Carr.

Films screened included the critically acclaimed Twenty Feet From Stardom, The Attack, Blackfish, Frances Ha, The Act of Killing, The Spectacular Now, Dirty Wars, In A World, Kings of Summer, Computer Chess, Still Mine, Stories We Tell and Valley of Saints.

Third annual festival, May 2014Edit

MFF14 presented among others the Chef with Jon Favreau.[14]

Fourth annual festival, May 2015Edit

MFF15 opened with Hello, My Name Is Doris with Sally Field and showed among others Time out of Mind with Richard Gere.[15] Among the listed supporters for MFF15 are Susan V. Bershad, MD, Evelyn and Stephen Colbert, Christina and Brian Clarkson, Mindy Cohen and David Bershad.[16]

Fifth annual festival, May 2016Edit

MFF16 opened with Roger Ross Williams' film Life, Animated, documenting the story of Owen Suskind and his family. Following the film, a panel discussion was held with Advisory Board Member Stephen Colbert, members of the Suskind family, film creators, and Gilbert Gottfried, who appeared in the film. Other films shown included ... The festival closed with the film Miss Sharon Jones!, documenting the story of Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings as Jones fought cancer.

Year-round programsEdit

Montclair Film also presents a growing schedule of dynamic educational and public programs[17]/and events for audiences across the region including: Free Summer Series Under the Stars; Kidz Shortz Filmmaking Competition and Workshops for youth ages 9–18[18] Free African American Heritage Month screenings; The Underdog Festival at Montclair State University featuring screenings of rarely seen Oscar-nominated shorts; Behind the Screen: Media Career Day for high school and university students;[19] Screenings with industry insiders and up-and-coming stars; Festival Poster Competition; Community-wide art projects for youth; Networking events for industry insiders and newcomers; Celebrity Fundraiser (with Advisory Board Member Stephen Colbert),[20] Oscars’ Eve Party, Trivia Night and more.


  1. ^ "Montclair Film". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  2. ^ a b Tammy LaGorce. "A Film Festival With More of Everything". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  3. ^ "Montclair Film Festival 2018". Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  4. ^ "Innovative Filmmaking At The Montclair Film Festival « CBS New York". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  5. ^ Gilmore, Georgette (2013-04-10). "Coffee With...Raphaela Neihausen, Festival Director of Montclair Film Festival - Baristanet | Baristanet". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  6. ^ "All eyes on Jersey at the debut of the Montclair Film Festival". 2012-05-02. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  7. ^ Galant, Debbie (2012-05-02). "Montclair Film Festival, a "Baby Bird," Takes Flight - Baristanet | Baristanet". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Montclair Film Festival: Welcome home, Olympia Dukakis". 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  10. ^ "THE first MONTCLAIR FILM FESTIVAL in New Jersey concludes on Sunday with a lineup that includes a King and a Boss". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  11. ^ Davis, Clayton (2013-04-29). "Top 10 Anticipated Films from 2013 Montclair Film Festival! | The Awards Circuit - By Clayton Davis". The Awards Circuit. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  12. ^ a b "In Conversation: Montclair Film Festival filmmakers draw the curtain back". 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  13. ^ "Montclair State University's young filmmakers showcased at Film Festival". 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  14. ^ MMF14 film lineup
  15. ^ MM15 Film Guide Archived 2015-05-26 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Our 2014-2015 Supporters". Montclair Film Festival. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  17. ^ George, Liz (2013-08-05). "Behind The Scenes at Breaking Bad | Baristanet". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  18. ^ "Montclair Film Festival announces second annual Kidz Shortz filmmaking competition". 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  19. ^ "Free day of media seminars for students". 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  20. ^ [1][dead link]

External linksEdit