Stephen Colbert Q&A, James Schamus Film Highlight First Group of Montclair Fest Screenings (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'Indignation'

Roger Ross Williams' 'Life, Animated,' is set to open the festival with Barbara Kopple's 'Miss Sharon Jones!' serving as the closing-night film.

The Montclair Film Festival has selected its opening and closing night screenings as well as which films will serve as its narrative and documentary centerpiece films.

The festival will kick off with Roger Ross Williams' Life, Animated on Friday, April 29. The film tells the real-life story of the autistic son, Owen, of Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia, who memorized dozens of Disney movies and turned them into a language to express his emotions. The director and his subjects will participate in a post-screening Q&A with Late Show host, Stephen Colbert, a longtime supporter of the festival.

James Schamus' Indignation will serve as the festival's narrative centerpiece film, screening during the day on Saturday May 7, with the former Focus CEO director participating in a post-screening Q&A. The movie — starring Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts and Montclair's own Ben Rosenfield — was adapted by the novel by New Jersey's Philip Roth.

Ido Haar's Presenting Princess Shaw will be the documentary centerpiece film, screening Friday, May 6. The closing night film will be Barbara Kopple's Miss Sharon Jones!, the documentary about the soul singer, which will screen the night of Saturday, May 7. Both of those screenings will also feature Q&As with the films' subjects, with Kopple, Jones and the latter's band The Dap Kings on hand for the closing night event.

“Each of these wonderful films is a rich portrait of a life transformed by the urgent need to find one’s true voice and engage with the world,” MFF executive director Tom Hall said in a statement. “These are stories that are sure to inspire and move audiences, and we are incredibly proud and honored to feature them at our festival.”

The fifth annual Montclair Film Festival is set to run from April 29-May 8. Love, Actually director Richard Curtis is already set to be honored by the fest. The full lineup will be announced on April 5. More information about the festival is available here.

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