Stephen Colbert’s Montclair Film Festival is pulling out all the stops for its 4th edition this May. The New Jersey-based film festival has announced its official selections for its opening, closing and centerpiece screenings and they include major award-winning titles from this year’s biggest festivals, including Sundance Grand Jury and Audience Award Winner “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and SXSW Audience Award Winner “Hello, My Name is Doris.”
“We are truly honored to bring these remarkable films to the Montclair Film Festival,” said MFF Executive Director Tom Hall. “These are movies that our audiences will love, and we could not be more excited to support these wonderful filmmakers and showcase their work.”
The special screenings include:
“Hello, My Name is Doris” – Opening Night Film (May 1, 7:30 PM, The Wellmont Theater)
Director: Michael Showalter
Cast: Cast: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Stephen Root, Jack Antonoff, Natasha Lyonne, Tyne Daly.
Sally Field makes a triumphant return with her leading performance as Doris Miller, an unassuming office worker living in her childhood home despite the recent death of her mother. After Doris finds inspiration in the ideas of a self-help guru, the arrival of a handsome new co-worker named John (Greenfield) heralds a new obsession. Can Doris catch John’s eye, find happiness and move forward? Or are her dreams destined to remain just beyond her reach? Director and co-writer Michael Showalter will be in attendance, with more special guests announced soon.
“Mavis!” – Documentary Centerpiece (May 8, 8:00 PM, The Wellmont Theater)
Director: Jessica Edwards
Featuring: Mavis Staples
“Mavis!” is the first feature-length documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, the Staple Singers. The feature follows her unrivaled career through dynamic live performances, archival footage, captivating storytelling and interviews with friends and collaborators. She occupies a singular place in American music: a soldier of love and peace whose fight continues; her message of equality is needed now more than ever. Director Jessica Edwards and subject Mavis Staples will join Stephen Colbert for a post-screening discussion.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” – Narrative Centerpiece (May 9, 6:30 PM, Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper School)
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Molly Shannon, Connie Britton, Nick Offerman.
Greg Gaines (Mann) is an awkward, self-deprecating high school student determined to coast through his senior year as anonymously as possible. He spends most of his time remaking bizarre, spirited versions of classic movies with his only friend Earl (Cyler) – and avoiding social interactions like the plague. But Greg’s plans are foiled when his well-meaning mother forces him to befriend Rachel (Cooke), a classmate who’s been diagnosed with leukemia. Special guests will be announced soon.
“Unexpected” – Closing Night Film (May 10, 7:00 PM, Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper School)
Director: Kris Swanberg
Starring: Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean, Anders Holm, Elizabeth McGovern.
With the Chicago public high school where she teaches scheduled to close, Samantha (Smulders) decides it’s time to plan for the future. But when Sam discovers she is pregnant, everything changes, including her relationships with John (Holm), who wants to build a family with Sam, and Jasmine (Bean), one of her brightest students. Despite her personal and professional struggles, Sam remains determined to have a baby on her own terms while supporting Jasmine in her quest to attend college
The 2015 Montclair Film Festival runs May 1-10. Tickets go on-sale Wednesday, April 8 for Members and Sponsors, with public sales beginning Monday April 13. The full 2015 program will be announced on Thursday, April 2. Click here for more information.