The Montclair Film Festival announced its inaugural line-up today and it’s impressive. The festival, which will take place May 1-6, will feature over 45 films with live participation by special guests including Kathleen Turner, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Moore, Patrick Wilson and Oliver Platt.
The Audience Award winner at DOC NYC, First Position changes our perception of ballet by following a diverse group of student dancers as they compete for scholarships at the Youth America Grand Prix. First time director Bess Kargman follows six students from varied backgrounds (including a Sierre Leone war orphan adopted by a New Jersery family) as they strive to achieve their dreams. Even if you’re not a ballet aficionado, you can’t help rooting for their hard work to pay off. Courtesy of Sundance Selects.
See First Position on Saturday, May 5 at 11:30 am at The Clearview Bellevue Theater. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online here.
The Audience Award winner at SXSW, Brooklyn Castle looks at how chess transformed an inner city school where a majority of students’ families live below the poverty level. The school I.S. 318 has the most winning junior high school chess team in the nation. But a series of recession-driven public school budget cuts now threaten to undermine those hard-won successes. The film follows several of the school’s players and makes us acutely aware of why schools deserve greater resources.
See Brooklyn Castle on Sunday, May 6 at 2:30 mm at The Clearview Claridge Cinema. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online here.
Other offerings in the Family category are the Oscar-winning Undefeated about an inner city high school football team; Tiger Eyes adapted from a Judy Blume novel; the original King Kong playing under Classics; and NJ Shorts 2: Power of Youth that includes a short about the Drums of Thunder.