Tom Hall is a busy guy.

The executive director of the Montclair Film Festival has spoken about the 2019 festival, which runs May 3-12, at several parties at Montclair Film’s home at Cinema505, 505 Bloomfield Ave., for sponsors and advertisers.

There are more than 150 films and conversations in the 2019 festival.

The opening film this year is “Wild Rose,” which will screen at the Wellmont Theater on Friday, May 3. Hall said that after the team saw the film in Toronto, “all hands were on deck” to schedule the story about an ex-con, reunited with her family, who dreams of moving to Nashville.




Mindy Kaling will come to Montclair for a conversation with Stephen Colbert and a Q&A after the film “Late Night,” which will play Saturday, May 4, at the Wellmont. Hall said Kaling audited Colbert’s show to write the script.

Also playing on Saturday, May 4 is “The Apollo,” which will also play on opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival.

“Tolkien,” which plays on Tuesday, May 7, at the Wellmont, is a very special event: the Q&A with Stephen Colbert which follows the drama about J.R.R. Tolkien will be broadcast in hundreds of cinemas nationwide.

“‘Dead Poets Society meets World War I adventure romance,” Hall described the film.

Other events to look for are:

  • Stanley Nelson’s documentary “Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool,” directed by Stanley Nelson (Friday, May 10, at the Wellmont), presented in partnership with Jazz House Kids;
  • A family centerpiece, “The Elephant Queen,” follows Athena, a mother elephant who protects her herd (Saturday, May 11, at the Wellmont), co-presented by The Nature Conservancy;
  • Emerging Filmmaker winners, shot by student moviemakers in grades 6-12 (Saturday, May 11), co-presented by Gelotti.

Meanwhile, a “super secret special screening” is scheduled for Sunday, May 5.

“I can’t, I’m contractually obligated not to tell what it is,” Hall said. But, he said, the screenwriter has previously attended the MFF, and the director has won an Academy Award.

Check the website,, for clues, and for more information.

Gwen Orel

Tom Hall speaks about the 2019 MFF lineup on Sunday, April 7. COURTESY NEIL GRABOWSKY