This morning, MFF announced its full line-up for the sixth annual Montclair Film Festival, which will take place from Friday, April 28 through Sunday, May 7, and include more than 150 films, events, discussions and parties, with over 150 filmmakers and industry professionals attending.

Tickets for the Montclair Film Festival are available now for Montclair Film members, with public sales beginning Friday, April 7. Tickets and memberships may be purchased online at or by visiting the festival’s new Box Office, inside the lobby of the Investors Bank Film & Media Center at 505 Bloomfield Ave.

John Turturro, Bill Nye to join Stephen Colbert, while  and Jonathan Alter will headline a “Fake News” panel, in the festival’s 2017 Conversation Series.

Amanda Lipitz’s ‘Step’ opens the Montclair Film Festival on Friday, April 28. Photo courtesy of Montclair Film Festival.

Some of the artists attending include Zoe Lister-Jones (“Band Aid”), Michael Angarano & Ari Graynor (“Avenues”), Stanley Nelson (“Tell Them We Are Rising”), Jean Doumanian (“Una”), Dolores Huerta (“Dolores”), Steve James (“Abacus”), Bettye LaVette (“American Epic Sessions”), Kenny Anderson (“Mr. Chibbs”), Azazel Jacobs (“The Lovers”), Oren Moverman (“The Dinner”), Brett Haley (“The Hero”).

Additionally, the festival will offer two special live music presentations. Thomas Lennon’s “Sacred,” featuring selections from the film’s score, will be performed live under the direction of composer Edward Bilous in a post-screening presentation at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University on Monday, May 1. Legendary guitarist and songwriter Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) will perform following the Friday, May 6th screening of Fred Riedel’s “Hello Hello Hello: Lee Ranaldo : Electric Trim.”

Last week, MFF announced its opening, closing and centerpieces and key events, including the opening film “Step,” the closing film “Band Aid,” centerpieces “Patti Cake$” and “Tell Them We Are Rising: America’s Black Colleges and Universities,” and restorations of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” and Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker.”


The winning film in this category will be awarded the third Annual Bruce Sinofsky Prize for Non-Fiction Filmmaking.

“Casting JonBenet,” directed by Kitty Green
“City of Ghosts,” directed by Matthew Heineman
“For Akheem,” directed by Jeremy S. Levine, Landon Van Soest
“The Reagan Show,” directed by Pacho Velez, Sierra Pettengill
“Strong Island,” directed by Yance Ford

2017 Documentary Jury: Joe McGovern (Entertainment Weekly), Dan O’Meara (VP, Special Projects & Documentary, “Neon”), Rosie Wong (Sundance Film Festival)

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“Afterimage,” directed by Andrzej Wajda
“Clash,” directed by Mohamed Diab
“The Commune,” directed by Thomas Vinterberg
“Gook,” directed by Justin Chon
“Lady Macbeth,” directed by William Oldroyd

2017 Fiction Jury: Arianna Bocco (EVP, Acquisitions, IFC Films), Ashley Clark (Critic), Robert Eggers (director, “The Witch”)

The Future/Now competition celebrates American, low-budget independent filmmaking by first or second time directors.

“Beach Rats,” directed by Eliza Hittman
“Fits & Starts,” directed by Laura Terruso
“Menashe,” directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein
“The Strange Ones,” directed by Dustin Guy Defa
“Person to Person,” directed by Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff

2017 Future Now Jury: Eliza Berman (Deputy Culture Editor, Time), Holly Herrick (Head of Film & Creative Media, Austin Film Society), Dan Nuxoll (Artistic Director, Rooftop Films).


“Acorn and the Firestorm,” directed by Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard
“All We Need Is Another Chance,” directed by Corbett Jones
“Hello Hello Hello: Lee Ranaldo: Electric Trim,” directed by Fred Riedel
“Supergirl,” directed by Jessie Auritt
“Swim Team,”directed by Lara Stolman

2017 New Jersey Films Jury: Raphaela Neihausen (Co-founder & Executive Director, DOC NYC, “Stranger Than Fiction”), Charles Poekel (director, “Christmas, Again”), Tom Roston (Writer).

The winners, including the 3rd Annual David Carr Award honoree, will be announced on Saturday, May 6. The festival’s Audience Awards will be announced on Monday, May 8.



The line-up for MFF’s annual Conversation Series, presented by Audible features:

John Turturro, star of this year’s critical hit “The Night Of,” in a conversation moderated by Stephen Colbert on Sunday, April 30;

Jonathan Alter headlines the festival’s Conversation “True Or False? The Challenge of Reporting In the ‘Fake News’ Era” on Sunday, April 30;

Bill Nye, appearing with his new film “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” joining Stephen Colbert for an extended post-screening discussion on Saturday, May 6;

2017 Emerging Black Voices Fellows Iyabo Boyd (producer, “For Akheem”), Sabaah Folayan (co-director, “Whose Streets?), and Yance Ford (director, “Strong Island”), discussing their work on Saturday, May 6;

Thom Powers visiting Cinema505 at the Investors Bank Film & media Center for a live recording of his podcast “Pure Nonfiction” on Sunday, May 7;

The American Black Film Festival, gathering key alumni to discuss career-building for African Americans and the film festival experience on Sunday, May 7.

Additionally, the festival will open Cinema505, located inside the Investors Bank Film & media Center at 505 Bloomfield Ave in downtown Montclair, at 11 each weekend morning of the festival for complimentary coffee and moderated conversations, sponsored by Java Love Coffee Roasters.

Further Conversations may be announced at a later date.

A scene from ‘Abacus.’ Courtesy of the Montclair Film Festival.


Highlights from this year’s films playing out of competition include:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” with director Steve James
“American Epic Sessions,” Aa sneak look at the upcoming PBS series “American Epic,” with singer Bettye LaVette
“Avenues,” the directorial debut of star Michael Angarano (World Premiere), with Angarano and co-star Ari Graynor
“Bill Nye: Science Guy,” with Bill Nye and a post-screening Q-and-A with Stephen Colbert
“The Dinner,” with writer director Oren Moverman
“The Hero,” with director Brett Haley attending
“The Lovers,” with director Azazel Jacobs attending
“Meagan Leavey,” directed by Gabriella Cowperthwaite
“Paint It Black,” with writer director Amber Tamblyn
“Una,” with producer Jean Doumanian in a post screening Q-and-A with Film4’s Daniel Battsek
“Whose Streets?” with co-director Sabaah Folayan