Aaron Sorkin will appear in conversation with Stephen Colbert at Montclair Film Festival 2020. COURTESY MASTERCLASS

Montclair Film Festival, which will take place largely virtually, Oct. 16-25, has announced its talks, panels, Audible Storyteller events, and its special screenings. The full schedule will be announced on Friday, Oct. 2.

Tickets for Montclair Film members go on sale on October 5, with public tickets on sale October 8. To become a member or purchase tickets, please visit

The Storyteller series presented by Audible will include a 2020 Filmmaker Tribute Conversation with Aaron Sorkin moderated by Stephen Colbert, a conversation  with actress Sienna Miller, and a conversation with Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, as well as director Max Barbakow, and writer Andy Siara to discuss “Palm Springs.” All conversations will be available online beginning Oct. 17.


The festival will also present “The Lost Pilot Series, Episode 1: Sometimes Live,”  a staged reading of an unproduced pilot, presented with Stephen Colbert an Friends as well as Kingsley Ben-Adir (“One Night in Miami”) and Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”), who will be presented with the Festival’s Breakthrough Awards, and featured in Conversation.  This event will take place Sunday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Panels at MFF will include “Preserving the Legacy of Cinema: 30th Anniversary of the Film Foundation;” “Creating Equity & Opportunity in Documentary Film;” “Fostering Change: Philanthropy & Impact Filmmaking;” “Hungry to Learn: Food Insecurity in New Jersey;” and “New Jersey Filmmaking in a Post-Covid Environment.” All will be available in Montclair Film’s Virtual Cinema.

Regina King’s “One Night in Miami” will close the festival on Sept. 24. at 9:30 p.m. Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” will open it on Friday, Oct. 16, at 9:30 p.m. Derek DelGaudio’s “In and Of Itself,” directed by Frank Oz, and Francis Lee’s “Ammonite” are MFF Centerpiece films. The opening, closing and centerpiece films will screen at the MFF’s Carpool Theater drive-in, with the Virtual Centerpiece screening on MF’s Virtual Cinema platform, powered by Eventive.

A still from “Nomadland,” directed, written and co-produced by Chloé Zhao. COURTESY MONTCLAIR FILM


The festival will open on Friday, Oct. 16, at 9:30 p.m. with a screening of Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland.” Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.






The MFF closing film is Regina King’s “One Night in Miami…” which will screen on


Saturday, Oct. 24, at 9:30 p.m. The film is about a night in 1964, when four icons of sports, music, and activism gathered to celebrate one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. Underdog Cassius Clay, soon to be called Muhammad Ali, (Eli Goree), defeats heavyweight champion Sonny Liston at the Miami Convention Hall, and Clay memorializes the event with three of his friends: Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom, Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). Based on the award-winning play of the same name, “One Night in Miami…” is a fictional account inspired by the historic night these four formidable figures spent together.

A still from “Ammonite,” starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. COURTESY MONTCLAIR FILM

On Saturday, Oct. 17 at 9:30 p.m. Francis Lee’s “Ammonite,” starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, will screen as the Festival’s Fiction Centerpiece. In 1800s England, acclaimed but unrecognized fossil hunter Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) works alone on the rugged Southern coastline. With the days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now searches for common fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother. When a wealthy visitor entrusts Mary with the care of his wife Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), she cannot afford to turn his offer down.

MFF’s Non-Fiction Centerpiece, Derek DelGaudio’s “In & Of Itself,” directed by Frank Oz, will screen on Saturday, Oct.  24 at 6:30 p.m., and will feature a live, socially distanced, in-person Q&A with Frank Oz, Derek DelGaudio, and Executive Producers Stephen and Evelyn Colbert. MFF writes: “In & Of Itself” is a performance film unlike any you have seen before, capturing Derek DelGaudio’s intimate, mind-boggling story of identity and illusion. Filmed live and harnessing the collective experience of the audience to create an allegory of the events, ideas, and roles that define who we are, DelGaudio uses his skill as a storyteller to craft a moving story of redemption, one which forces us to explore the boundaries of our own identity.”

On Tuesday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. on MFF’s Virtual Cinema, will present “Minari,” directed by Lee Isaac Chung, as the festival’s 2020 Virtual Centerpiece. The film follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. MFF writes, “The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks.”