LIGHTS! CAMERA! MONTCLAIR!

Move over Tribeca! There’s another film festival planting firm roots in the tri-state and it’s attracting A-list celebrities and major headlines. We have your preview of the Montclair Film Festival.

For more information on the Montclair Film Festival, click here. 

Aired on April 30, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

BEN STILLER, STEPHEN COLBERT, THE GREAT OLYMPIA DUKAKIS, JUST SOME OF THE NAMES AT THE FILM FESTIVAL.

WITH OVER 150 SHORTHAND FEATURE FILMS, MUSICAL PERFORMANCES, IMPROV COMEDY AND SO MUCH MORE.

IT HAS EVOLVED OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS.

AND IT IS SOMETHING SO MUCH MORE THAN ANYONE ANTICIPATED.

HERE ARE MY GUESTS.

WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU.

LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW THIS GUY GOT STARTED.

YOU SEE FILM FESTIVALS AROUND THE COUNTRY AND THE GENESIS IS OFTEN DIFFERENT.

I'M A NEW JERSEY KID.

GREW UP ON THE JERSEY SHORE.

STILL LIVE ON THE JERSEY SHORE.

VERY FAMILIAR WITH MONTCLAIR.

IT IS A GREAT TOWN.

HOW DOES THIS GET STARTED?

WELL, WE BASICALLY THOUGHT IT SEEMS LIKE SOMETHING WE CAN TRY TO ACHIEVE IN A COMMUNITY LIKE MONTCLAIR THAT HAS HAD A LOT OF PEOPLE LIVING THERE.

AND THIS WAS RIGHT AFTER THE RECESSION OF 2008.

AND WE'VE SEEN SEVERAL OF THE NONPROFITS THAT HAD SHUTTERED OR MOVED.

SO WE FELT IT WAS A BIT OF AN ECONOMIC BOOST.

IT HAS GOTTEN MUCH BIGGER.

IT WOULD SORT OF BRING TALENT TO OUR TOWN AND GIVE A BOOST TO THE RESTAURANTS AND THE RETAIL IN THE TOWN.

IT IS AELOUSLY DIVERSE COMMUNITY.

I THINK THERE'S A LONG HERITAGE OF DIVERSITY IN MONT CHAIR.

THERE'S A WIDE RANGE OF HOUSING.

WE HAVE REALLY BIG HOUSES AND CRAZY MANSIONS BUT WE ALSO HAVE SUBSIDIZED HOUSING AND WE'RE CLOSE TO NEWARK.

WE'RE PART OF THE SAME COUNTY.

MONTCLAIR HAS A REPUTATION OF BEING A VERY OPEN AND PROGRESSIVE PLACE.

WE'RE ONE OF THE FIRST COMMUNITIES, INTEGRATE MARRIAGES, SAME-SEX MARNRIAGES, THEY'RE PRETTY COMMON AND HAVE BEEN FOR A LONG TIME.

IT PROVED TO BE THE RIGHT PLACE.

WE WERE SURPRISED AT HOW RESPONSIVE THE COMMUNITY WAS.

ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS THINKING, ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS WE DID IN 2011 BEFORE WE STARTED.

WE SHOWED A DOCUMENTARY CALLED PAGE ONE ABOUT 'THE NEW YORK TIMES.'

AND IT REALLY FEATURED DAVID CARR, THE WONDERFUL JOURNALIST WHO LIVED IN MONTCLAIR AT THE TIME.

SO WE HAD A WONDERFUL SCREENING AND HALF 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' SHOWED UP BECAUSE THEY ALL LIVE IN MONTCLAIR.

THAT'S FUNNY.

DAVID CARR STOOD UP.

HE WAS REALLY FUNNY.

HE SAID GIVEN THE DETERMINATION THESE PEOPLE HAVE HAD TRYING TO GET ME TO THE SCREENING, THEY'RE GOING TO PUT ON ONE HECK OF A FILM FESTIVAL.

TOM, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF PUTTING SOMETHING LIKE THIS TOGETHER.

WE SAID IT HAS GROWN OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS.

150 DIFFERENT SHORT FILMS, FEATURE FILMS.

WHAT IS THE SELECTION PROCESS?

HOW DO YOU DECIDE IN.

WE HAVE A REALLY GREAT TEAM.

MYSELF AND TWO OTHERS.

THERE ARE TWO WAYS.

WE STARTED RIGHT AFTER LABOR DAY.

THAT IS THE START OF THE NEW YEAR FOR THE NEW WORLD.

IT WILL KICK OFF AT THAT TIME.

THAT'S WHEN THE NEW FROM FILMS AND THEN WE HAVE A BLIND SUBMISSION PROCESS WHERE ANYONE WHO WANTS TO CAN SEND UP THEIR FILM UNSOLICITED.

SO WE'RE GOING TWO DIRECTIONS AT ONCE.

WE'RUTKING THINGS THAT WE CAN GET OUR HANDS ON.

THE FILM BUSINESS IS VERY TIMELY.

WE WORK WITH THE NONPROFITS.

WE KNOW THEIR CALENDAR TWO YEARS IN ADVANCE.

THE ORCHESTRA KNOWS WHAT THEY'RE PLAYING IN 221.

WE KNOW THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE FILM FESTIVAL BECAUSE OF HOW FILM WORKS OF THE WE'RE IN A VERY SPECIFIC WINDOW.

SOME OF THEM WILL PREMIER THIS SEPTEMBER.

FLIPGS OPENING IN APRIL THAT HAVEN'T BEEN SEEN YET.

WE START LOOKING FOR FILMS IN OUR WHEEL HOUSE FOR OUR PROGRAM.

I WOULD THINK THE SELECTION PROCESSES, YOU DESCRIBE I AS A DELIGHTFUL DILEMMA FOR YOU.

YOU HAVE SO MANY CHOICES AND YOU HAVE TO PICK.

ABSOLUTELY.

IT IS A REAL BUMMER BECAUSE WE LOVE SO MUCH OF THE WORK.

WE'RE SPEAKING TO FILMS THAT HIGHLIGHT DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COMMUNITY.

WE'RE PREMIERING A FILM CALLED TOKEN.

I SHOULD MENTION THE YOUR CAREER, A WONDERFUL CAREER AS AN ACTOR, IN THE HOBBIT.

OBVIOUSLY STEPHEN COLBERT, A TOLKIEN EXPERT, THEY GOT TOGETHER AND GOT TO SEE AN ADVANCE SCREENING BECAUSE THEY WANTED TO GIVE NOTES ON THE ACCURACY OF THE ACTUAL FILM.

HEY, THEY WANTED ME TO GIVE NOTES.

THEY ASKED ME TO DO A Q AND A WITH THE TALENT.

THEN THEY WANTED TO BEAM IT INTO CINEMAS AROUND THE COUNTRY.

INYES IF THEY DO IT AT THE MOMONT CHAIR FILM FESTIVAL.

WE'VE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE.

I VOLUNTEERED YOU TO DO THAT.

SUPER EXCITING THOUGH.

200 THEATERS.

YES.

ONE OF THE GREAT ADJUNCTS, THE GOOD ONES, NOT ONLY DO YOU GET TO SEE THE FILMS BUT THEIR CONVERSATIONS.

WHAT ABOUT SOME OF THE CONVERSATIONS THAT WILL TAKE PLACE?

WELL, WE HAVE TWO KINDS.

WE HAVE LONG EXTENDED CONVERSATIONS WHICH ARE USUALLY BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE.

SO FOR EXAMPLE, STEVE WILL BE WITH MINDY.

WE'RE SHOWING THE FILM SHE WROTE LATE NIGHT AFTER.

BUT THEY'LL HAVE EXTENDED CONVERSATION FOR ABOUT AN HOUR, HOUR AND A HALF.

AND HE'S DOING WITH IT BEN STILLER.

WE ALSO HAVE GREAT Q & As.

OUR AUDIENCES LOVE IT.

ONE THING MONT CHAIR HAS IS A DISCERNING AUDIENCE.

I GOT TO DO A BOOK SIGNING.

IT WAS REALLY ENGAGING.

THEY HAD GREAT QUESTIONS.

THAT'S REALLY OUR MISSION.

THE POWER OF STORY.

BEING A COMMUNITY, COMING TOGETHER, HAVING A DIALOGUE.

IT BUILDS EMPATHY, CONNECTION, IT ALLOWS PEOPLE TO THINK AND BE TOGETHER.

I THINK IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT.

WE OFTEN SAY THE GREAT VALUE OF THEATER AND FILM IS TO HELP US THINK.

ABSOLUTELY.

AND LOOKING AGAIN AT THE LINEUP THAT YOU HAVE, I'M SURE IT WILL DO THAT.

A GREAT TOWN.

THIS IS FANTASTIC.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR SPENDING SOME TIME AND TALKING WITH US.

AND A REMINDER FOR YOU, THE FILM FESTIVAL WILL BE KICKING OFF ON MAY 3rd.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT US AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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