MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Film Festival in its seventh year, boasted about 25,000 attendees at this year’s screenings, this according to Governor Phil Murphy who took the stage Saturday at the Wellmont Theater prior to the Q&A session for the closing night film, The Believer.
The Believer is a documentary resulting from a quest by Dan Reynolds, of the band Imagine Dragons, to raise awareness of the rising suicide rate among teens in the state of Utah. He postulates that the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ (Mormons) policies with regard to same sex unions contributes to that rise.
Tom Hall, Executive Director of the MFF welcomed Governor Murphy to the stage. The governor immediately set about complimenting the extraordinary success of the festival. His words were met with eager applause, as was his statement referring to the New Jersey’s film and television production tax credit, “...by the way I’m going to sign a law within the next few weeks that will give the financial incentives back.”
Murphy told the crowd that the producers just last year filmed a movie in Montclair called DeLorean (a documentary about the famous automaker) starring Alec Baldwin. Murphy said we [in New Jersey] have the artists and the art DNA. “This is a great state not just to watch films but we gotta get back to doing what we used to do really well -- and make them in New Jersey.”
As Murphy turned the stage over to Stephen Colbert he told the crowd he had walked up to introduce himself to Colbert several years in the White House a few years ago. He joked “we’ve seen each other since, but needless to say, it hasn’t been in the White House.”
Following the Governor’s remarks Colbert took the stage and moderated a Q&A session with Dan Reynolds, Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees), director Don Argott, and producer Sheena Joyce.