Montclair Film
The 2018 Montclair Film Festival’s opening film, on Thursday, April 26, will be Rachel Dretzin’s “Far from the Tree.” COURTESY MONTCLAIR FILM

Montclair Film announced the lineup for its seventh annual film festival, which will take place from April 26 to May 6. Montclair Film Festival 2018 will include more than over 160 films, events, discussions and parties, with over 150 filmmakers and industry guests attending.

The opening film, on Thursday, April 26, will be Rachel Dretzin’s “Far from the Tree.” Dretzin will attend, with subject and prize-winning author and journalist Andrew Solomon, who wrote the book from which the film was adapted. The film explores how parents and children work to reconcile profound differences within the context of their families.

The closing night film on Saturday, May 5, will be Don Argott’s “Believer.” Argott, producer Sheena Joyce, and subject Dan Reynolds, who is the lead singer for the band Imagine Dragons, will appear or a post-screening Q&A moderated by Montclair’s Stephen Colbert. The film tells the story of how Reynolds, raised within the culture of the Mormon church, formed Imagine Dragons, one of the biggest rock and roll bands in the world. Dan comes to a crossroads when he witnesses fellow members of the Mormon church spurned due to their sexual orientation. Since 2008, teen suicide rates in Utah have skyrocketed, which many people attribute to the Mormon church’s official stance regarding same-sex relationships.

For the festival’s Narrative Centerpiece, director Brett Haley returns to the festival with his new film “Hearts Beat Loud,” starring Nick Offerman and Toni Collette. All three will participate in a post-screening Q&A.

The festival’s Documentary Centerpiece, “The Gospel According to Andre,” will feature a post-screening Q&A with director Kate Novack, producer Andrew Rossi, and the film’s iconic subject, André Leon Talley. The film unites André’s childhood experiences with his grandmother and the black church with his rise as a global taste-maker at magazines like Women’s Wear Daily, W, and Vogue, to tell the story of his transformational career.

This year’s Storyteller Series, presented by Audible, features conversations with the leading voices in the festival’s program and includes Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz in Conversation with Stephen Colbert (April 28), Nick Offerman in Conversation with Patrick Wilson (May 5), 2017 MacArthur fellow Taylor Mac in Conversation (May 5), Emmy Award-winner Jeff Daniels in Conversation with Colbert (May 5), Tony and four-time Academy Award-nominee Ethan Hawke in Conversation with Stephen Colbert (May 6), and Emmy and Globe winner Toni Collette in Conversation (May 6). The program will also feature the festival’s first annual StorySLAM, presented in partnership with Red Nose Day USA and featuring surprise guests (April 28), and a Master Class with screenwriter Richard Wesley (May 5).

Silas Howard and star Claire Danes will appear for a Q&A following a screening of their new film “A Kid Like Jake “(May 5), and legendary writer and director Paul Schrader for an extended Q&A following a screening of his latest film, “First Reformed” (May 6).The festival also announced films in its Documentary, Fiction, Future/Now, and New Jersey

Film competitions, to be awarded at a ceremony on May 5, as well as the complete lineup of feature and short films in the festival program. This year’s MFF grstures competitions and juries for documentary feature, fiction feature, furture/now (for indie and first-time filmmakers), and New Jersey Films. A complete list is available at montclairfilm.org.

Tickets for the Montclair Film Festival are available Monday, April 9, for Montclair Film members, with public sales beginning Friday, April 13. Tickets and memberships may be purchased online at montclairfilm.org or by visiting the festival’s Box Office, located inside the lobby of the Investors Bank Film & Media Center at 505 Bloomfield Ave.