MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Montclair Film Festival (MFF) has announced the 2017 program as follows:

John Turturro, Bill Nye to join Stephen Colbert in the festival’s 2017 Conversation Series, presented by Audible.

The 6th annual MFF will be taking place April 28 - May 7, 2017 in Montclair and featuring over 150 films, events, discussions, and parties, with over 150 filmmakers and industry guests attending.

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Additionally, the festival will offer two special live music presentations. Thomas Lennon’s SACRED, featuring selections from the film’s score performed live under the direction of composer Edward Bilous in a post-screening presentation at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University on Monday, May 1.

Legendary guitarist and songwriter Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) will perform following the Friday, May 6th screening of Fred Riedel’s HELLO HELLO HELLO : LEE RANALDO : ELECTRIC TRIM.

The films join the previously announced Opener STEP, Closer BAND AID, Centerpieces PATTI CAKE$ and TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: AMERICA’S BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, and Restorations of George Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and Andrei Tarkovsy’s STALKER in the festival program.

“This year, we have been fortunate to find filmmakers who are making work that gives depth and shape to the vital conversations of our time,” said Montclair Film Executive Director Tom Hall.

“The festival is an opportunity for bringing audiences together with these incredible artists, so that, together, we can enjoy and engage with the images, ideas, and insights that are illuminated in these wonderful films.”

2017 FILM COMPETITIONS AND JURIES are as follows:

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION

The Documentary Feature Competition features cinematic non-fiction films that examine the diverse possibilities of the form. The winning film in this category will be awarded the 3rd Annual Bruce Sinofsky Prize for Non-Fiction Filmmaking.

CASTING JONBENET, directed by Kitty Green

CITY OF GHOSTS, directed by Matthew Heineman

FOR AHKEEM, directed by Jeremy S. Levine, Landon Van Soest

THE REAGAN SHOW, directed by Pacho Velez, Sierra Pettengill

STRONG ISLAND, directed by Yance Ford

2017 Documentary Jury: Joe McGovern (Entertainment Weekly), Dan O’Meara (VP,

Special Projects & Documentary, NEON), Rosie Wong (Sundance Film Festival)

 

FICTION FEATURE COMPETITION

The Fiction Feature Competition highlights the MFF’s most ambitious, auteur-driven fiction

films.

AFTERIMAGE, directed by Andrzej Wajda

CLASH, directed by Mohamed Diab

THE COMMUNE, directed by Thomas Vinterberg

GOOK, directed by Justin Chon

LADY MACBETH, directed by William Oldroyd

2017 Fiction Jury: Arianna Bocco (EVP, Acquisitions, IFC Films), Ashley Clark (Critic), Robert

Eggers (director, THE WITCH)

 

FUTURE/NOW COMPETITION

The Future/Now competition celebrates American, low-budget independent filmmaking

by first or second time directors who are creating innovative, challenging films.

BEACH RATS, directed by Eliza Hittman

FITS & STARTS, directed by Laura Terruso

MENASHE, directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein

THE STRANGE ONES, directed by Dustin Guy Defa

PERSON TO PERSON, directed by Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff

2017 Future Now Jury: Eliza Berman (Deputy Culture Editor, TIME), Holly Herrick (Head of

Film & Creative Media, Austin Film Society), Dan Nuxoll (Artistic Director, Rooftop Films).

 

NEW JERSEY FILMS COMPETITION

The New Jersey Films competition this year focuses on non-fiction films directed,

produced by, or featuring New Jersey talent.

ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM, directed by Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard

ALL WE NEED IS ANOTHER CHANCE, directed by Corbett Jones

HELLO HELLO HELLO: LEE RANALDO: ELECTRIC TRIM, directed by Fred Riedel

SUPERGIRL, directed by Jessie Auritt

SWIM TEAM, directed by Lara Stolman

2017 New Jersey Films Jury: Raphaela Neihausen (Co-founder & Executive Director, DOC

NYC, STRANGER THAN FICTION), Charles Poekel (director, CHRISTMAS, AGAIN), Tom

Roston (Writer).

The winners, including the 3rd Annual David Carr Award honoree, will be announced on

Saturday, May 6th. The festival’s Audience Awards will be announced on Monday, May

8th.

 

2017 CONVERSATION SERIES, PRESENTED BY AUDIBLE

The MFF’s annual Conversation Series, presented by Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken word entertainment, features in-depth discussions with leading voices in the cinema and television arts. This year’s line-up features:

John Turturro, star of this year’s critical hit The Night Of, appearing in a Conversation moderated by Stephen Colbert on Sunday, April 30; Jonathan Alter headlines the festival’s Conversation “True Or False? The Challenge of Reporting In the ‘Fake News’ Era” on Sunday, April 30; Bill Nye, appearing with his new film BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY, joining Stephen Colbert for an extended post-screening discussion on Saturday, May 6; 2017 Emerging Black Voices Fellows Iyabo Boyd (producer, FOR AHKEEM), Sabaah Folayan (co-director, WHOSE STREETS?), and Yance Ford (director, STRONG ISLAND), discussing their work on Saturday, May 6; Thom Powers visiting Cinema505 at the Investors Bank Film & media Center for a live recording of his podcast Pure Nonfiction on Sunday, May 7; The American Black Film Festival, gathering key alumni to discuss career-building for African Americans and the film festival experience on Sunday, May 7.

Additionally, the festival will open Cinema505, located inside the Investors Bank Film & media Center at 505 Bloomfield Ave in downtown Montclair, at 11:00 AM each weekend morning of the festival for complimentary coffee and moderated conversations, sponsored by Java Love Coffee Roasters.

Further Conversations may be announced at a later date.

2017 FILM HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights from this year’s films playing out of competition include

ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL with director Steve James attending

AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS, a sneak look at the upcoming PBS series AMERICAN EPIC, with singer

Bettye LaVette attending

AVENUES, the directorial debut of star Michael Angarano (World Premiere), with Angarano and

co-star Ari Graynor in attendance

BILL NYE: SCIENCE GUY, with Bill Nye attending and a post-screening Q&A with Stephen Colbert

THE DINNER, with writer director Oren Moverman attending

THE HERO, with director Brett Haley attending

THE LOVERS, with director Azazel Jacobs attending

MEAGAN LEAVEY, directed by Gabriella Cowperthwaite

PAINT IT BLACK, with writer director Amber Tamblyn in attendance

UNA, with producer Jean Doumanian in attendance for a post screening Q&A with Film4’s

Daniel Battsek

WHOSE STREETS? with co-director Sabaah Folayan attending

 

Tickets for the Montclair Film Festival are available now for Montclair Film members, with public

sales beginning Friday, April 7. Tickets and memberships may be purchased online at

montclairfilmfest.org or by visiting the festival’s new Box Office, located inside the lobby of the

Investors Bank Film & Media Center at 505 Bloomfield Avenue in downtown Montclair.