Montclair Film Festival’s eighth outing was an unqualified success: roughly 28,000 people attended the more than 140 events over the course of 10 days, from May 3-12, according to an email from Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall. That is the largest audience ever, Hall said, not even counting the audiences worldwide who were watching the streaming of “Tolkien” on May 7.

On Saturday, May 11, Montclair Film announced its jury prizes in a ceremony at Cinema505, Montclair Film’s home at 505 Bloomfield Ave.

Four competitive categories had prizes: Fiction, documentary, Future/Now, and New Jersey Filmmaking. In addition, a junior jury, made up of 15 area high school students, gave an award. Other awards included the Audible Storyteller Award, The Inaugural Mark Urman Award for Fiction Filmmaking.

Audience awards were announced on Monday, May 13.





Some of the big winners:

The overall Fiction Feature Prize went to “Monos,” directed by Alejandro Landes. Hélène Louvart receive a Special Jury Prize for Cinematography in “A Family Submerged.”

“Honeyland,” directed by Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, took home the Bruce Sinofsky Award in the festival’s Documentary Feature competition. This award was established in memory of Bruce Sinofsky and was presented by Mr. Sinofsky’s daughter, Claire Sinofsky. A Special Jury Prize was awarded to Luke Lorentzen for Cinematography in “Midnight Family.”

“Mickey and the Bear,” directed by Annabelle Attanasio, received the inaugural Mark Urman Award For Fiction Filmmaking in the festival’s Future/Now competition, which honors emerging low-budget American independent filmmaking. This film also received the Audible Storyteller Award, a new award which comes with the opportunity to discuss the development of an original audio work with Audible. A Special Jury Prize was given to Zora Howard, for Writing and performance in “Premature.”

Director Ken Spooner with Layla, the subject of “Life with Layla,” at the Montclair Film Festival awards ceremony on Saturday, May 11. “Life with Layla” won in the New Jersey Awards Competition. NEIL GRABOWSKY/MONTCLAIR FILM

“Life with Layla,”  directed by Ken Spooner and Mike Mee, took home the New Jersey Films Award.

“Mossville: When Great Trees Fall,” directed by Alexander Glustrom, took home the fifth Annual David Carr Award for Truth in Non-Fiction Filmmaking, which honors a filmmaker, selected by the festival, who utilizes journalistic techniques to explore important contemporary subjects and is presented in honor of Mr. Carr’s commitment to reporting on the media. The award was presented by Mr. Carr’s daughter, documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr. Erin Lee Carr’s film “I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth vs. Michelle Carter” screened at MFF later that day. “Mossville: When Great Trees Die” also took home the Junior Jury Award. The Junior Jury awarded a Special Jury Prize to Patrick Bresnan for cinematography in “Pahokee.”

The audience awards, announced on Monday, May 13, celebrated four films with winners for the Fiction Feature category, the Documentary Feature Category, the audience prize for World Cinema, and the Short Film category.

Awards wait to be picked up. NEIL GRABOWSKY/MONTCLAIR FILM

The full list of MFF awards:

Fiction Feature Competition Winner: “Monos,” directed by Alejandro Landes

Special Jury Prize: Hélène Louvart, for cinematography in “A Family Submerged”

Bruce Sinofsky Prize for Documentary Feature Competition Winner: “Honeyland,” directed by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska

Documentary Feature Competition

Special Jury Prize, Luke Lorentzen, for cinematography in “Midnight Family”


Future/Now Competition, presented by the Horizon Foundation For New Jersey

The Mark Urman Award For Fiction Filmmaking, “Mickey and the Bear,” directed by Annabelle Attanasio

Special Jury Prize: Zora Howard, for writing and performance in “Premature”

The David Carr Award For Truth In Non-Fiction Filmmaking: “Mossville: When Great Trees Fall,” directed by Alexander Glustrom

The Audible Storyteller Award: “Mickey and the Bear,” directed by Annabelle Attanasio

New Jersey Films Competition Winner: “Life with Layla,” directed by Ken Spooner and Mike Mee

Junior Jury Award: “Mossville: When Great Trees Fall,” directed by Alexander Glustrom

Special Jury Prize: Patrick Bresnan, for Cinematography in “Pahokee”


Montclair Film Festival Audience Awards

Fiction  Feature: “Premature,” directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green

Documentary Feature: “Other Music,” directed by Rob Hatch-Miller and Puloma Basu

World Cinema: “Yesterday,” directed by Danny Boyle

Short Film: “Mack Wrestles,” directed by Erin Sanger and Taylor Hess