Montclair Film Festival to Honor Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis - Getty - H 2016
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The director will also provide commentary during a live screening of his beloved film 'Love Actually' and participate in a conversation with longtime festival supporter Stephen Colbert.

Screenwriter and director Richard Curtis is set to receive the Montclair Film Festival's first filmmaker tribute, it was announced Thursday.

Curtis' credits include the memorable British rom-coms Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary, About Time and Love Actually, which will also be screened at the New Jersey film festival, during which Curtis will provide live commentary on the making of the beloved 2003 film.

He will also participate in a conversation moderated by Stephen Colbert. The Late Show host is a longtime supporter of the fest (his wife Evelyn serves as vice chairman of the festival board and has been involved with the gathering since its early days) and has frequently conducted high-profile interviews in support of the annual event.

“I’m so delighted to be part of the festival,” Curtis said in a statement, “and excited to have a chance to be on stage with Stephen Colbert — and looking forward to undermining Love Actually with my scurrilous memories and revelations about the low quality of the filmmaking, and quite how many members of my own family are in it, including my mother-in-law.”

The daylong Curtis celebration — co-presented by BAFTA New York, Universal Pictures and Working Title Films — is set for April 30, with a portion of the proceeds from each event benefiting Red Nose Day, which raises money to help children living in poverty in the U.K. since 1988 (and since last year in the U.S.). More of Curtis' films will screen during the festival, the fifth edition of which is set to take place April 29-May 8.

“The Montclair Film Festival is thrilled to honor Richard Curtis at this year’s festival," said executive director Tom Hall. "Mr. Curtis’ wonderfully romantic, comic films showcase a deep empathy that is only exceeded by his personal warmth and generosity. We look forward to a fantastic tribute on April 30.”

Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley added: “While Richard is undoubtedly one of the finest filmmakers of this generation, more importantly, he is a lifelong humanitarian. Love Actually is one of the most beloved movies in the studio’s canon, and we are so honored to be a part of this celebration of his work. We thank him for both what he has done behind the camera and for his tireless championing of global social justice.”

BAFTA New York chairman and MFF board member Luke Parker Bowles, who will produce the event, said, “The infamous 'special relationship' between the United States and the United Kingdom has born fruit in many diverse and exciting forms, not least in the shared love of each other’s comedy styles in film and television. In Richard Curtis, we have the opportunity to celebrate and discuss this mutual respect with a man who has created some of the seminal works of comedy over the past 40 years and continues to do so. We are thrilled to celebrate him, his life, his work and his philanthropy at this year’s festival."