Montclair Film has joined the North to Shore festival for an inaugural film program for Atlantic City. The festival will take place from June 9 to 11. The festival will open with the film “Primal Scream,” which was filmed in Atlantic City from 1983 to 1985. The film was directed by William J. Murray and was released on home video in 1987. 

The film is the story of an Atlantic City-based private investigator, Corby McHale, played by Ken McGregor, who is immediately thrust into the chaos of an international, intergalactic energy clash. Though filmed in Atlantic City, the film has never been shown in the city. The evening will also include “Made a Movie, Lived to Tell,” a short documentary about the making of “Primal Scream” and will feature a post-screening Q&A with the filmmakers.

On Saturday, June 10, the award-winning film “Earth Mama” will be screened as the festival’s Centerpiece Film at 7:30 p.m. The film, directed by Savanah Leaf, follows  24-year-old Gia played by Tia Nomore, a pregnant single mother struggling to make ends meet while fighting for custody of her son and daughter, who are in foster care.”Earth Mama” is an A24 release.

The program also includes special screenings on Saturday, June 10, of “A Compassionate Spy” by documentary filmmaker Steve James, who is also responsible for “Hoop Dreams.” The documentary short “I Am Not Your Hero,” directed by Kelley Kali, will feature a panel discussion about contemporary challenges for BIPOC healthcare providers, and will be presented in partnership with Whole Health Pavillion. Laura Moss will also offer an update on “Birth/Rebirth,” a Shudder release. 

On Sunday, June 11, the festival closes with Anton Corbijn’s “Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis) at 3:30 p.m. The film tells the story of Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey "Po" Powell, the creative forces behind the album art design studio Hipgnosis, responsible for some of the most recognizable album covers, including classic albums by Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Paul McCartney. 

“We are thrilled to bring this extraordinary selection of films to Atlantic City, and to join the community in celebrating the inaugural North to Shore festival,” said Montclair Film’s executive director and co-head, Beth Gottung. “From powerful non-fiction stories to dramatic movies that speak to our contemporary experience, we look forward to building connections with one another through the art of film.”

All screenings will take place at Dante Hall, l14 North Mississippi Ave, in Atlantic City, NJ.  Tickets are available to the public by visiting

Alongside these films, an opening night party with Atlantic City native and composer Joe McGinty and The Loser’s Lounge, will be taking place on Thursday, June 8, at the Anchor Rock Club in Atlantic City, and free community screenings of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on Friday, June 9, and “Top Gun: Maverick”  on Saturday, June 10. Both films will be presented by Montclair Film and will be held on a beach. 

“Our North to Shore team can’t imagine more creative, thoughtful and effective partners than our friends and colleagues at Montclair Film,” said John Schreiber, president and chief executive of NJPAC, which is producing the North to Shore Festival. “The events these experts have curated for this exciting festival weekend in Atlantic City will draw thousands of fans to our celebration, and we’re grateful for their participation.”


A full description and schedule for each film is below.

Friday, June 9



“Primal Scream,” 40th anniversary premiere

Directed by William J. Murray

Produced by Howard Foulkrod
Cast: Kenneth McGregor, Sharon Mason, Julie Miller, Joseph White
USA/ 85 minutes

7:00 p.m. 

Dante Hall

14 N. Mississippi Ave., Atlantic City

“Primal Scream” is set in an imagined future of 1993 (the film was actually shot in 1983), a terrifying, volatile new energy source known as Hellfire is being mined in outer space. Conflicting, nefarious interests (from the corporate side, run by a seemingly buttoned-down heroin addict – to a collection of wild-eyed, interplanetary eco-extremists) wish to co-opt this deadly material for their own evil use, leaving the world in peril. Into this mix falls Atlantic City-based hot-shot private investigator Corby Mchale (Ken McGregor), who is immediately thrust into the chaos of this international, intergalactic energy clash. With the help of his friends and former colleagues, including bonkers sidekick Nicky Fingers (Joe White); hard charging, devilishly handsome former boss Frank Gitto (Jon Maurice) and former police partner/ex-wife Sam Keller (Sharon Mason), Corby makes his way to the heart of the dispute, risking all to save the world … from the comfort of his seedy Atlantic City neighborhood.

“Made a Movie, Lives to Tell”

Directed by William J. Murray, Keith Reamer

Produced by William J. Murray, Keith Reamer

USA/ 46 minutes


“Made a Movie, Lived to Tell” revolves around the making of “Primal Scream,” an obscure 35mm feature shot in Atlantic City and originally known as “Hellfire.” Filming began in 1983. The crew was young, inexperienced, and hopeful. While making the film took a toll on the cast and crew – there were fights and recriminations – it also resulted in lifelong bonds among those involved. The documentary is as much about the emotional residue of the making of “Primal Scream” as it is about its actual production, people wrestling with the lingering, bittersweet afterlife of a long-completed, yet highly imperfect, creative journey.

Q&A With Directors William J. Murray and Keith Reamer follows the screening.

Saturday, June 10

“I Am Not Your Hero” 

Directed by Kelley Kali

Produced by NanaEfua Afoh-Manin, Capella Fahoome, Bettina Fisher, Kelley Kali, Christine Simmons

USA/ 39 minutes

12:00 p.m.

Dante Hall

14 N. Mississippi Ave., Atlantic City

“I Am Not Your Hero” is a film by director Kelley Kali, delivering an urgent message inspired by Black women physicians that need to be heard – now. This nonfiction short film taps into an urgent narrative and national conversation about the expectations and roles of Black women in contemporary society. The film connects viewers to the lived experiences of Black women physicians and the heightened tribulations they experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the twin perils of health inequities and systemic racism that plague America’s medical system. We will meet a cohort of first-generation BIPOC doctors who don’t come from privilege but rather worked their way up from historically underserved and under-resourced communities. Caregivers and frontline health workers, the women in the film are committed to upholding their oath of service, no matter what obstacles come their way.  

A panel discussion follows the screening.
Presented in partnership with Whole Health Pavillion.

“A Compassionate Spy”
Directed by Steve James

Produced by Steve James, David Lindorff, Mark Mitten
USA/ 101 minutes

2:30 p.m.

Dante Hall

14 N. Mississippi Ave., Atlantic City

A tale of espionage, romance, and profound moral questions, A Compassionate Spy follows the remarkable story of Theodore Hall, a University of Chicago graduate who was plucked at the young age of 19 to work on the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb. But soon after he joined the group, he passed crucial military secrets to Soviet intelligence. Oscar- nominated Chicago filmmaker Steve James (HOOP DREAMS and ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL) has crafted a deeply humanist documentary, combining polished reenactments of Theodore Hall’s life in the 1940s and ‘50s and intimate interviews with his longtime partner Joan Hall, who fled with him to England to evade the FBI. The film tells their fascinating lifelong story of love, intrigue, and the lengths to which some people will go to try to save the world.

Directed by Laura Moss

Produced by Mali Elfman, David Grove Churchill Viste

Cast: Judy Reyes, Marin Ireland, Monique Gabriela Curnen, LaChanze
USA/ 98 minutes

5:00 p.m.

Dante Hall

14 N. Mississippi Ave., Atlantic City


Laura Moss’ “Birth/Rebirth” is a psychological horror film about motherhood and creation, inspired by Mary Shelley's “Frankenstein.” The film is centered around a single mother and a childless morgue technician who are bound together by their relationship to a re-animated little girl. A terrifying look at grief and parenthood, “Birth/Rebirth” sets a new standard of fear for independent horror films.


“Earth Mama”
Directed by Savanah Leaf

Produced by Sam Bisbee, Savanah Leaf, Shirley O'Connor, Medb Riordan, Cody Ryder

Cast: Tia Nomore, Erika Alexander, Keta Price, Doechii
USA/ 97 minutes

7:30 PM

Dante Hall

14 N. Mississippi Ave., Atlantic City

Savanah Leaf’s deeply compassionate “Earth Mama” is the story of 24-year-old Gia (Tia Nomore), a pregnant single mother struggling to make ends meet while fighting for custody of her son and daughter, who are in foster care. She embraces her Bay Area community while figuring out the fate of her family.


Sunday, June 11

“Patrick and the Whale”
Directed by Mark Fletcher

Produced by Wolfgang Knöpfler, Walter Köhler
Subject: Patrick Dykstra
Austria/72 minutes

1:00 p.m.

Dante Hall

14 N. Mississippi Ave., Atlantic City


For years, Patrick Dykstra has dedicated his life to traveling the globe, following and diving with whales. Over the years, Patrick has learned how whales see and hear, how they perceive other creatures in the water, and how they behave at close quarters. He has a finely tuned sense and knows how to act when within touching distance of a whale – what to do, what not to do and when. This allows him to consistently get closer than anyone else alive – a truly unique skill. Patrick recently experienced a life-changing event. In Dominica, he had a close encounter with a female sperm whale. She seemed to be curious about him, coming within touching distance, pulsing him with her sonar. She studied him as he studied her. Using stunning underwater footage, “Patrick and the Whale” explores the fascinating nature of the sperm whale, attempting to shine a light on its intelligence and complexity, as well as highlighting its current and past relationship with humankind. 


“Square the Circle (The Story of Higgnosis)”
Directed by Anton Corbijn

Produced by Trish D Chetty, Ged Doherty, Colin Firth

UK/ 101 minutes

3:30 PM

Dante Hall

14 N. Mississippi Ave., Atlantic City

Celebrated photographer, creative director and filmmaker Anton Corbijn's first feature documentary, “Squaring the Circle (The Story of Hipgnosis),” tells the story of Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey "Po" Powell, the creative geniuses behind the iconic album art design studio, Hipgnosis, responsible for some of the most recognizable album covers. They formed Hipgnosis in Cambridge during the ferment of the 1960s and became rock royalty during the boom time of the ’70s. They conjured into existence sights that no one had previously thought possible, produced visuals which popularized music that had previously been considered fringe, and were at the white-hot center of the maddest, funniest and most creative era in the history of popular music. During this period, record companies didn't dictate to acts like Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Paul McCartney what their LP covers should look like –- Storm and Po did. They made money; they lost money. They did great things; they did silly things. They fell out bitterly; they made up. They never played a note, but they changed music. The film features brand new interviews with Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Graham Gouldman of 10cc, Noel Gallagher, and many more.