The Montclair Film Festival has announced the opening, closing and centerpiece films for its 2023 edition, which takes place Oct. 20-29, as well as some of its honorees and attendees.
Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at The Wellmont Theater, the festival will open with “Dream Scenario,” written and directed by Kristoffer Borgli and starring Nicolas Cage. The festival describes it as “an inventive comedy, filled with unpredictable twists and turns … and visionary insight into the unsettling power of contemporary celebrity.” A question-and-answer session with Birgli will follow the screening.
Oct. 21 at 3:30 p.m. at The Wellmont Theater, director Matthew Heineman will be honored with the festival’s 2023 Documentary Filmmaker Award after a screening of his “American Symphony,” which is about the musician and composer Jon Batiste and his attempt to write a symphonic composition while his wife, writer Suleika Jaouad, battles leukemia. A question-and-answer session with Heineman, Batiste and Jaouad will follow the screening.
Oct. 21 at 7:30 pm., Todd Haynes will be honored with the festival’s Director Award after a screening of his “May December” — co-starring Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman and Charles Melton (Portman plays an actress who is portraying Moore’s character in a movie) — at The Wellmont Theater. A question-and-answer session with Haynes, moderated by Stephen Colbert, will follow the screening.
Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. at The Clairidge, writer and director Raven Jackson will be honored with the festival’s Breakthrough Writer Director Award after a screening of her “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt,” described as “A lyrical, decades-spanning exploration across a woman’s life in rural Mississippi.” A question-and-answer session with Jackson will follow.
Oct. 22 at 2:30 p.m. at The Clairidge, directors Heather Courtney, Princess A. Hairston and Chelsea Hernandez will be honored with the festival’s David Carr Award for Truth in Filmmaking for their “Breaking the News,” which is about The 19th*, a digital news start-up striving for race and gender equity.
Oct. 22 at 3:30 p.m. at The Wellmont Theater, Roger Ross Williams’ “Stamped From the Beginning” — based on Ibram X. Kendi’s 2016 book, “Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” — will screen as the festival’s Documentary Centerpiece. A question-and-answer session with Williams will follow the screening.
Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m., Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” a comedy starring Paul Giamatti as a prep school teacher forced to “babysit” some student over a Christmas break, will screen as the festival’s Fiction Centerpiece, at The Wellmont Theater.
As previously announced, Stephen Colbert will interview Martin Scorsese at NJPAC in Newark, Oct. 27, as part of the festival.
Pablo’s Berger’s “Robot Dreams,” based on Sara Varon’s graphic novel about the friendship between a dog and a robot, will screen Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. at The Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper School, as the festival’s Family Centerpiece.
Christian Friedel will be honored with the festival’s Breakthrough Performer Award, Oct. 29 at 3:45 p.m. at The Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper School, when his “The Zone of Interest,” loosely adapted from the Martin Amis Holocaust-set novel, screens.
The festival’s closing film will be William Oldroyd’s “Eileen,” which will be shown Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m at The Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper School. The film co-stars Anne Hathaway and Thomasin McKenzie and is described by the festival as “a neo-noir that upends audience expectations with each new twist and turn.”
Tickets go on sale Oct. 2 at 10 a.m. for Montclair Film members, Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. for the general public. For information, visit montclairfilm.org.
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