SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The Loft at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) was alive with excitement at the opening night reception for the SOMA Film Festival 2 on Thursday, March 9.

Mark Packer, Executive Director of SOPAC, welcomed all, and shared that the SOPAC staff and directors were all excited to be part of opening the second season of the SOMA Film Festival.

Packer's remarks were followed by Matt Smollon, Founder and Director of the SOMA Film Festival, adding his welcome and thanking the sponsors whose support made the film festival possible.

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Smollon also introduced some of the film festival organizers, and several film producers and directors. Smollon stated that the SOMA Film Festival had grown, with this year's festival showing increases in both attendance and the number of films being viewed since the festival's inaugural year in 2016.

Smollon introduced Justin Edelman, Director of Outside Community Partnerships at RWJ Barnabas Health, who was raised in South Orange. Edelman spoke of fond memories of the town, and how when Smollon first approached Barnabas Health last year, they agreed to become the main sponsor of the festival, and based upon last year’s success, continued this year. Edelman said, "the SOMA Film Festival is a wonderful addition to the cultural life of the community."

Attendees at the opening night reception had ample time to mingle and meet other participants and supporters, as well as discuss the films which would be showing throughout the weekend at the SOMA Film Festival.