Montclair Film Festival Rescheduled for October With Mix of Drive-In, Virtual Screenings (Exclusive)

Montclair Film Festival
Stephen Colbert and Richard Gere at the 2015 Montclair Film Festival

The Stephen Colbert-supported New Jersey event was originally set for May before it was postponed as the scope of the coronavirus pandemic became clear.

The 2020 Montclair Film Festival, which was postponed from its original dates of May 1-10 as the scope of the coronavirus pandemic was quickly becoming apparent in early March, is forging ahead with a rescheduled edition of this year's event, to take place in October, featuring a mix of drive-in and virtual screenings as well as special events and conversations.

The 9th annual New Jersey event will take place from Oct. 16-25, with the full program schedule and venues to be announced on Oct. 2 and tickets going on sale days later.

“In the months since we were forced to postpone the Montclair Film Festival, our team has been working hard to research and prepare for the opportunity to bring the festival back,” said Montclair Film executive director Tom Hall said in a statement. “It is critically important to us that our festival represents the best possible experience for our filmmakers, patrons, and sponsors, because we will need their full support as we try new things together. Back in March, we intentionally postponed the festival and did not cancel, because we knew then that, with a little time and patience, we could explore new opportunities and learn from the changes taking place in the industry and our community. As the festival continues to take shape, we’re confident we can deliver an exciting, vibrant event. We look forward to sharing our full plans soon.

Late Show host Stephen Colbert has long supported the New Jersey festival, with his wife, Evelyn Colbert, serving as president of the board of Montclair Film, which presents the festival.

Montclair's move pushes the New Jersey event into what's shaping up to be a different fall festival season amid the ongoing pandemic as the Telluride Film Festival has been canceled and Toronto is proceeding with a mix of mostly virtual and limited in-person screenings. The Venice Film Festival is still set to take place as a physical event in early September.