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Montclair Film presents the inaugural Montclair Film Summer Showcase

originally published: 05/14/2024

Montclair Film presents the inaugural Montclair Film Summer Showcase

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Montclair Film, New Jersey's leading film non-profit, presents the inaugural Montclair Film Summer Showcase, taking place June 27-30, 2024 at The Clairidge Cinema in Montclair, as part of the Prudential Presents North To Shore Festival. The program will feature the season's leading independent, documentary, and international films prior to their theatrical release. The films join the previously announced Conversation With Stephen Colbert and Paul Giamatti on June 29 at NJPAC in Newark as Montclair Film's signature programs during this year's Prudential Presents North To Shore Festival.

Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story, directed by Peter Ettedgui and Ian Bonhôte, is set to open the showcase on Thursday, June 27 at 7:30pm at The Clairidge cinema in downtown Montclair, NJ. Christopher Reeve rose to fame portraying the Man of Steel in four Superman films and played dozens of other roles that displayed his talent and range as an actor, before being injured in a near-fatal horse-riding accident in 1995 that left him paralyzed from the neck down. After becoming a quadriplegic, he became a charismatic leader and activist in the quest to find a cure for spinal cord injuries, as well as a passionate advocate for disability rights and care. Super/Man is an unforgettable, moving, and vivid telling of Reeve’s remarkable story.

On Friday, June 28, A24’s Sing Sing will screen as the showcase’s Centerpiece Film, beginning at 7:30pm at The Clairidge. Directed by Greg Kwedar, Sing Sing is the stirring true story of resilience, humanity, and the transformative power of art, starring an unforgettable ensemble cast of formerly incarcerated actors. Divine G (Colman Domingo), imprisoned at Sing Sing for a crime he didn’t commit, finds purpose by acting in a theatre group with other incarcerated men. When a wary outsider joins the group, the men decide to stage their first original comedy. Sing Sing will open in theaters July 12.

The Closing Film of the showcase is Dawn Porter’s Luther: Never Too Much, screening on Sunday, June 30 at 7:00pm at The Clairidge. Luther Vandross began his career in the background, using his prodigiously gifted voice in support of artists like David Bowie, Roberta Flack, Bette Midler, and more. But when he finally was given his chance to shine in the spotlight, his undeniable talent earned platinum records and accolades, yet he struggled to break out beyond the R&B charts. Dawn Porter’s film profiles this intensely driven artist who overcame personal and professional challenges to secure his place amongst the greatest vocalists in history.

Other Summer Showcase highlights include 1-800-On-Her-Own, which profiles singer, songwriter, and DIY pioneer Ani DiFranco, Nathan Silver’s hilarious Between The Temples, starring Jason Schwartzman and Carol Kane, Natalie Rae and Angela Patton’s award winning documentary Daughters, Sean Wang’s delightfully rebellious Didi, Dori Previn: On My Way to Where, directed by Dianna Dilworth and NJ filmmaker Julia Greenberg, Annie Baker’s Janet Planet, starring Julianne Nicholson, AJ Schnack’s Majority Rules, and many more.



 
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Individual film tickets for films in the Montclair Film Summer Showcase are now available to Montclair Film members online at theclairidge.org or in person at the Clairidge box office. Tickets for North 2 Shore E-Club members are on sale May 16 at 12:00pm, with public tickets available beginning Friday, May 17 at 12:00pm.  A full list of films and more information about this event can also be found online at theclairidge.org and montclairfilm.org.

This special Summer Showcase is presented as part of the Prudential presents North To Shore Festival, featuring all the talent, diversity and creativity that New Jersey has to offer, packed into three extraordinary weekends of performances, screenings, parties and conversations in three of the state’s most iconic cities. Hosted by Asbury Park, Atlantic City and Newark, the North to Shore Festival brings together events at more than 100 venues for an over-the-top showcase of Jersey excellence, aligned with Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy’s vision of a celebration worthy of the Garden State’s long legacy of innovation in the arts, film, and technology.

“We are so grateful to have the opportunity to share these extraordinary films at our first ever Summer Showcase,” said Montclair Film Artistic Director and Co-Head Tom Hall. “As proud partners of the Prudential Presents North To Shore Festival, we look forward to welcoming audiences from all over the tri-state area and beyond for a weekend of filmgoing, conversation, and community.”

OPENING FILM - Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve StoryDirectors: Peter Ettedgui, Ian Bonhôte. The inspirational story of the actor Christopher Reeve who, after an accident  left him paralyzed, became a powerful advocate for people with disabilities.

CENTERPIECE FILM - Sing SingDirector: Greg Kwedar. A community of incarcerated men unite to create a unique piece of theater that will transform their lives.

CLOSING FILM - Luther: Never Too MuchDirectors: Dawn Porter. A beautiful portrait of the life and work of iconic musical performer Luther Vandross, from childhood talent to worldwide fame.



 



 
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The Films

1-800-On-Her-OwnDirector: Dana Flor. Singer, songwriter, and guitar goddess Ani DiFranco’s D.I.Y. ethos inspired a generation of musicians, but came at an unexpected cost.

20,000 Species of BeesDirector: Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren. An achingly tender story of a family’s path to acceptance of a young child whose gender expression defies their expectations.

Between The TemplesDirector: Nathan Silver. The hilarious story of a cantor at the end of his rope who finds new inspiration when he takes a late life convert to Judaism under his wing.

Break The GameDirector: Jane Wagner. After coming out as trans, world-record-holding gamer Narcissa Wright loses her massive fan base. To win them back, she sets out to break a new record and livestreams every minute of her quest.

CrossingDirector: Levan Akin. Lia, a world-weary former schoolteacher from the nation of Georgia, heads to Istanbul to fulfill her recently deceased sister’s last wish – to find her long lost daughter, Tekla.

DaughtersDirector: Natalie Rae and Angela Patton. Four young girls prepare for a special Daddy Daughter Dance with their incarcerated fathers, as part of a unique fatherhood program in a Washington, D.C., jail.

DidiDirector: Sean Wang. In 2008, an impressionable 13-year-old Taiwanese American boy learns what his family can't teach him: how to skate, how to flirt, and how to love your mom.

Dory Previn: On My Way To WhereDirectors: Dianna Dilworth, Julia Greenberg. A chronicle of the genius of songwriter Dory Previn on her journey from classic Hollywood movie lyricist to cult singer-songwriter.

Green BorderDirector: Agnieszka Holland. At the border between Belarus and Poland,  a Syrian family fleeing war find themselves stuck with dozens of other families, at the mercy of the military.



 
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A House Is Not A DiscoDirector: Brian J. Smith. A curious and empathetic look into the present-day life experiences of those who live, work, and pursue a season of pleasure in the world's most radically queer, "homo-normative" community: Fire Island Pines.

Janet PlanetDirector: Annie Baker. 11-year-old Lacy spends the summer of 1991 at home, enthralled by her own imagination and the attention of her mother, Janet.

Last SummerDirector: Catherine Breillat. Anne, lives in perfect harmony with her husband Pierre and their six and eight-year-old daughters, in Paris, until  Théo, 17, Pierre's son from a previous marriage, moves in with them.

Majority RulesDirector: AJ Schnack. The story of how ranked choice voting transformed electoral politics in Alaska and, if given the chance, might just help save American Democracy.

Maya And The WaveDirector: Stephanie Johnes. World-champion Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira battles against monster waves as well as chauvinism in the field of competitive surfing.

My Old AssDirector: Megan Park. An 18th birthday mushroom trip brings Elliott face-to-face with her wisecracking 39-year-old self.

A Photographic MemoryDirector: Rachel Elizabeth Seed. A filmmaker ventures into the archives of her photographer mother to construct a personal story of love, loss, and finding someone in the work they leave behind.

PreconceivedDirector: Sabrine Keane, Kate Dumke. An examination of the pervasive but overlooked presence of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, exploring the complex role of deception, finances, faith, and privacy.

Skywalkers: A Love StoryDirector: Jeff Zimbalist; Co-Directed by Maria Bukhonina. Angela Nikolau and Ivan Beerkus, a pair of Moscow daredevils who have made a career out of scaling some of the world’s tallest buildings. They’re also in love, which means their date nights are a touch riskier than yours.

SugercaneDirectors: Emily Kassie, Julian Brave NoiseCat. An investigation into the Canadian Indian residential school system that ignited a reckoning in the lives of survivors and descendants.

Widow ClicquotDirector: Thomas Napper. After her husband's untimely death, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot flouts convention by assuming the reins of their fledgling wine business, revolutionizing the champagne industry to become one of the world's first great businesswomen.

XCLD: The Story Of Cancel CultureDirector: Ferne Pearlstein. An exploration of the evolution of Cancel Culture, from its history in different forms, to its contemporary genesis on Black Twitter, to where it is today.

Montclair Film, a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization connects filmmakers from around the region and world with audiences by presenting films and year-round programs that engage, educate, and entertain through the power of visual storytelling. The 13th Annual Montclair Film Festival will take place from October 18-27, 2024. All programs are made possible with funds from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism, as well as the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Montclair Film Festival is supported in part with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Montclair Film provides unique and meaningful ways to engage with diverse, creative, and sophisticated audiences and seeks sponsors for its signature film festival and year-round film, education, and community programs that attract more than 100,000 annual attendees and generate more than 900 million media impressions yearly.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States.  It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts.  NJPAC has attracted more than 10.5 million visitors since opening its doors in 1997, reached almost two million children and families through its education and community programs, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

The Prudential Presents North to Shore Festival, launched in 2023, features all the talent, diversity and creativity that New Jersey has to offer, packed into three extraordinary weekends of performances, screenings, parties and conversations in three of the state’s most iconic cities. Hosted by Asbury Park, Atlantic City and Newark, the North to Shore Festival brings together events at more than 100 venues for an over-the-top showcase of Jersey excellence, aligned with Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy’s vision of a celebration worthy of the Garden State’s long legacy of innovation in the arts, film and technology.

In 2024, the festival will launch in Asbury Park from June 10 to June 16, swing down the shore to Atlantic City June 17 through June 23 and conclude in Newark from June 24 through June 30.

Once again, both global headliners and artists who make their homes in each festival city will take the stage in front of an audience drawn from across the state and around the region. The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will again produce the festival, in partnership with a cohort of other live entertainment presenters and producing partners.


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