Arts & Entertainment

Local Sponsors and Talent Join Forces for Second Annual SOMA Film Festival


SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The second annual SOMA Film Festival is set to take place from March 9 to March 12 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) in South Orange.

Now in its second year, the event is expanding in scope by adding a second venue, the Maplewood Theater, another full day of programming, and launching a new Kids Program geared towards children who are ages 4 to 10 that will feature all original animated shorts.

According to SOMA Film Festival organizers, there are many sponsors supporting the event and demonstrating the strong support of the SOMA community for independent filmmaking.

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“Without our sponsors, this festival doesn’t exist, they’re as important an element as anything,” said Matt Smollon, South Orange resident and the Director of the SOMA Film Festival.

Smollon stated that RW Barnabas Health will once again serve as the title sponsor of the Festival, with additional local sponsors including: Christine Coster of State Farm, Rena Spangler of Weichert Realtors, Seton Hall University's College of Communications and the Arts, BCB Bank of South Orange, Jeff Lake Camp, Seven Point Wellness, Supreme Dental Associates, and Able Baker

"Thanks to this generous support, local filmmakers will have an opportunity to showcase their work as well as expand their network," said Smollon.

In addition to sponsors, the SOMA Film Festival has attracted local talent, who will be participating in the festival, and showing the following films:

  • Feature length film Colby directed by Livingston native Alex Markman.

  • Shy Guys by NJ native Fredric Lehne (whose other credits include Men in Black, Zero Dark Thirty) starring Tony winner Reed Birney.

  • Matthew Borello (South Orange resident) and Seton Hall University alumni with his short Coffee Break.

  • The short film Case #5930 featuring South Orange resident Richard Stephen Bell and Maplewood's Jenny Turner Hall.

  • Summit resident Lisa Reznik’s short Head-to-Head.

In addition, Maplewood resident Chris Danuser’s short script Mayflower has been named a finalist in the short script contest, which offers a $1,000 prize.

The Festival is also dedicated to engaging the next generation of local film talent, said Smollon. Cinema Ed will highlight local young filmmakers from Columbia High School and other area high schools. Additionally, Seton Hall University will have its own programing showcasing the work of current students and alumni.

To learn more about the SOMA Fest Festival, visit

TAPinto SOMA is a media sponsor of the SOMA Film Festival.

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