key films

Montclair Film has announced the opening, centerpiece and final films of this year’s Montclair Film Festival.

Amanda Lipitz’s “Step” will open MFF on Friday, April 28. Stanley Nelson’s “Tell Them We Are Rising: America’s Black Colleges and Universities” will be MFF’s documentary centerpiece, screening on Friday, May 5. Geremy Jasper’s “Patti Cake$” will be the festival’s fiction centerpiece, screening on Saturday, May 6, and Zoe Lister-Jones’ “Band Aid” will close the festival on Saturday, May 6.

Each of these screenings will take place at the Wellmont Theater, 5 Seymour St.

In addition, Montclair Film and the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) announce a new partnership, Emerging Black Voices.
The festival will also address the “Fake News” phenomenon in partnership with Retro Report (, and will present new restorations of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” and Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker.”

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Amanda Lipitz’s ‘Step’ opens the Montclair Film Festival on Friday, April 28. COURTESY MONTCLAIR FILM FESTIVAL

“Night of the Living Dead,” in a new restoration by the Museum of Modern Art and The Film Foundation, will screen on Saturday, April 29, at the Wellmont Theater. Special guests will be producer Russ Steiner, who also played Johnny in the film; actress Kyra Schon, who played 11-year-old Karen Cooper, and the film’s sound recordist Gary Steiner, who oversaw the movie’s restoration.

On the same day, MFF will present Mosfilm’s restoration of “Stalker.” This will be the first film screened in Cinema505, Montclair Film’s new theater in its new building, the Investors Bank Film and Media Center, at 505 Bloomfield Ave.
The partnership with Retro Report also includes the premiere of their latest film “Zapruder,” which examines the way media stories can shape the public conversation, as well as a panel discussion titled “True or False? Reporting in the Age of ‘Fake News.’”

Emerging Black Voices, a partnership of Montclair Film and the American Black Film Festival, was created to build opportunity for African-Americans in the film and television industry. Emerging Black Voices’ inaugural fellows — Iyabo Boyd (producer, “For Akheem); Sabaah Folayan (director, “Whose Streets?”), and Yance Ford (director, “Strong Island”) — will meet with industry advisers Jeff Friday (founder & CEO, ABFF Ventures, LLC), Patrick Harrison (director, New York programs and membership, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), and Julie La’Bassiere (founder & CEO, Tall Bird Marketing & Strategy.)

Tickets for the 2017 Montclair Film Festival go on sale for Montclair Film members on Monday, April 3, at 10 a.m., and to the general public on Friday, April 7 at 10 a.m., at or at the festival’s new Box Office, in the lobby of the Investors Bank Film & Media Center.
The full program will be announced on Monday, April 3, according to the release.

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