SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - A release from the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) announced that the inaugural SOMA Film Festival, sponsored by Barnabas Health, will be held February 12-14, 2016.

The SOMA Film Festival will be a three-day event taking place at SOPAC (One SOPAC Way, South Orange), and all films will be screened at SOPAC's 438 seat theater. 

The SOMA Film Festival will feature long and short form narrative and documentary films from around the world. Matt Packer, Executive Director of SOPAC, stated, “SOPAC is proud to partner in this exciting new venture. Film is such an important part of artistic expression and we welcome this opportunity to be a cultural destination for not only the performing arts, but for cinematic art as well."

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Weekend passes for the Festival are $45 to $55 and can be purchased online here or by calling (973) 313-2787. An opening reception is scheduled for Fri., Feb. 12, with industry professionals in attendance. The SOMA Film Festival will also provide opportunities for discussion between film artists and audiences.

SOMA Festival founder and Maplewood resident Matthew Smollon explained, “Maplewood and South Orange have long been known by entertainment professionals as the ideal town to live, given its proximity to New York City, and its rich cultural tradition. Creating a film festival seemed like an organic next step for these communities." 

Smollen continued, “I am confident in the quality of innovative and exciting independent films that will be shown, and that our first year will prove successful and become a long standing tradition for years to come.”

Smollon has put together a committee of industry professionals to evaluate film submissions, and the final list of selected films will be released in January. Two documentaries that were recently shown at the Tribeca Film Festival –Among the Believers and In Transit were selected early in the process and are already scheduled for screening. 

The Festival is taking submissions through the "Late Deadline" on January 10, and filmmakers can click here for further information.