Glenn Carstens Peters via Unsplash

Montclair Film is collaborating with PBS to present a six-week television series featuring independent films created by filmmakers from New Jersey and surrounding areas.

The “Front Row Festival” airs Thursdays, Sept. 9 through Oct. 14 at 10 p.m. on New Jersey PBS.

Each hour-long episode features either a full-length documentary or a collection of short films and conversations with the filmmakers.

“We’re incredibly proud to be partnering with NJ PBS on their exciting new series,” Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall said in an announcement from the nonprofit group. “Front Row Festival brings the work of filmmakers and subjects to public television audiences throughout New Jersey, and we are thrilled to be able to showcase these wonderful films on NJ PBS.”




The festival starts Sept. 9, with “Exploring life with Emily Hubley,” a compilation of animated shorts directed by Emily Hubley. In “And/or” an artist struggles to navigate the territory between despair and epiphany. In “Brainworm Billy,” a young man is haunted by a famous comedian. In “Faith, Hey,” artist/filmmaker Faith Hubley drew a self-portrait in her journal every day for the last decades of her life. Years later, her daughter revisited specific memories and dreams, and considered a relationship altered by death. In “Her Grandmother’s Gift,” a grandmother discusses past and present attitudes toward menstruation. In “Pigeon Within,” late-night encounter with what may be her guardian angel causes a young woman to second guess her reality.

Montclair Film is also the organization responsible for the Montclair Film Festival, this year rescheduled from the spring to Oct. 21 through 30 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Montclair Film also recently signed a long-term agreement with the owner of the closed Clairidge Cinemas in Bloomfield Avenue, planning a grand opening to coincide with the festival. The theater, previously owned by Bow Tie Cinemas, closed during the early pandemic shutdowns and never reopened.

Montclair Film saw its home on Bloomfield Avenue devastated by floods from Ida, it said on Facebook Thursday. Its classrooms and concourse level were badly damaged. But the organization said it was determined to still host the 10th annual Montclair Film Festival and to reopen the Clairidge.