The Montclair Film Festival (MFF) is one of my favorite May in Montclair events — film, parties, and Montclair love all wrapped in in 10 days! If I had more babysitting, time and stamina, I’d attend almost all of the more than 150 films and events. But alas, I don’t, so I’ve narrowed it down to my top ten.
Here are my top 10 film and event picks at the 2015 Montclair Film Festival:
1) Hello, My Name is Doris and the Opening Night Film Party at The Wellmont: MFF kicks off the 4th annual Festival with Michael Showalter’s comedy-drama starring the wonderful Sally Field, followed by a fun party with craft beer by the New Jersey Beer Co., cocktails, and desserts by The Little Daisy Bake Shop. It’s the perfect start to my favorite Montclair event.
2) In Conversation with Richard Gere: I don’t think I need to say much more than “Richard Gere.” But if, for some reason, you need more to be encouraged to buy tickets to this event, Gere will join Stephen Colbert for a career-spanning discussion of his passions and work, both on and off the screen.
3) Time Out of My Mind: Again, Richard Gere people. I’m most looking forward to seeing this film by Oren Moverman. Time Out of My Mind shows a real and raw look at homelessness. It’s also edited by the talented Alex Hall, who happens to be a Montclair resident.
4) Ceremony For This Time: This film makes me Montclair proud. In 1995, filmmaker Cara DeVito made a short documentary called CEREMONY FOR OUR TIME. The film, featuring students from Montclair’s Glenfield Middle School’s performing arts program, showcased the value of arts education and aired all over the country. In CEREMONY FOR THIS TIME, Montclair resident and filmmaker Daryl Ferrara, returns to Glenfield to examine the impact of the school’s performing arts program on the performers in the original film and to track the current state of the arts at Glenfield.
5) House Party: I love to dance and the annual MFF House Party, a celebration of the strength and diversity of Montclair, is the place to do it.
6) The Boy And the World: The only festival film for families with young kids (Note to MFF: Next year offer more please!) The Boy And The World follows Cuca, a young Brazilian boy who ventures from his simple countryside home into a neon-infused, carnivalesque metropolis in search of his father.
7) Sleeping With Other People: This film, which sounds like a modern version of a personal favorite When Harry Met Sally, stars Jason Sudeikis (I love him from his work on SNL, especially his dancing skills) and Alison Brie (she played Pete Campbell’s wife Trudie in Mad Men).
8) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: This coming-of-age film deals with teenage awkwardness, friendship, and cancer. With stars such as Molly Shannon and Nick Offerman, the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and Montclair resident Nora Skinner as executive producer—I have great expectations for this one.
9) Mavis: This feature-length documentary focuses on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, the Staple Singers. And Mavis Staples will join Stephen Colbert for a Post-Screening Q&A!
10) Filmmaker Party: This party is for the true stars of MFF—the filmmakers. The Filmmaker Party brings the best and brightest filmmaking talent and film industry professionals to Montclair for a night of cinematic revelry.
So there it is, my top 10 picks. What are you excited to see or attend?