Films and Filmmakers Series

Films and Filmmakers is a program of the The Film Institute at Montclair State, an initiative of the College of the Arts. The program features weekly visits of filmmakers who come to speak about their work and profession. The series, open to both University students and the general public, welcomes audience questions while being a unique forum to hear inside stories from some of the most innovative filmmakers working in the field today. The Film Institute at Montclair State is kicking off its inaugural year with a busy schedule of programs and screenings. Topical new films, introduced and discussed by their creators, will screen on a succession of Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in Calcia 135, University Hall Room TBD, or at another location as listed.

Events are free and open to the public providing we have seating.  For more information, contact the director of the series: Professor Roberta Friedman at (973)655-7282,, or  

Current Schedule for Fall 2016 (see below) Past Schedules Archive

Fall 2016 Schedule 

Screening Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. in Calcia 135, University Hall Room TBD, or at another location as listed.

Sept 13 | Sept 20 | Sept 27 | Oct 4 | Oct 11 |Oct 18 | Oct 25 | Nov 1 | Nov 2 | Nov 15 | Nov 22 |Nov 29 | Dec 6 |

Sept 13 - MICHAEL SLOVIS (executive producer, director, director photography)


Preacher Michael Slovis
(Executive producer, director of AMC's Preacher Michael Slovis)

As a Director of Photography Michael Slovis photographed films and television, including five seasons of the widely recognized Breaking Bad. Nominated seven times for Outstanding Cinematography Emmy Awards, he won once. He has directed The Walking Dead, ED, Rubicon, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 30 Rock, Law and Order SVU, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Hell on Wheels, Grace Point, Elementary, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Man in the High Castle, The Affair, The New Yorker on Amazon, Hulu’s The Path, and is now Executive Producer/Director of AMC’s Preacher. Michael has lived in Montclair with his wife Maria for 31 years.

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SEPT 20 - TOM LEESER (digital media artist)


*Please note the special location: Calcia Hall Room 135

tom leeser

Tom Leeser is a media artist, educator, curator, and writer. He is Program Director of the Art and Technology Program and Director of the Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Tom received his BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). His film, video, online work, interactive installations, and public performances have been exhibited at Eyebeam, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, MachineProject, the Mount Wilson Observatory, MassMoca, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, The Fowler Museum, Redcat Theater, The Kitchen, The Millennium, Siggraph, and film and video festivals worldwide, with support from Art Matters, Creative Time, and the Daniel Langlois Foundation.

Recent projects include: DryRun, a public art and sound/poetry project for the City of Santa Clarita, History Refused to Die and The Futures Project at the Alabama Contemporary Center for the Arts and the Los Angeles Filmforum. He is an editor and producer for the web-based journal and curatorial project

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SEPT 27 - NATALIA LEITE (writer, director, actor)


Co-sponsored by the  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Center at Montclair State University.

natalia leite

Natalia Leite is a writer/director/actor, born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her feature film debut, Bare premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2015, starring Dianna Agron (Glee) and Paz De La Huerta (Boardwalk Empire). The film was released by IFC in US theaters nationwide, and by Paramount Pictures in the UK. She often deals with sexuality in her work, which has been described as having “emotional intelligence and sensitivity” (LA Times), and as “cementing the reign over highly stylized and sexually progressive dramas” (Slant). She is a frequent contributor to Vice Media, creating original content like the provocative Vice show, Every Woman. Together with Alexandra Roxo she created the acclaimed series Be Here Nowish. Natalia was listed in 2015 as one of Indiewire’s Filmmakers To Watch and has been featured featured in The Sunday Times, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Vogue, among other publications. She is currently directing her second feature film MFA starring Francesca Eastwood (Outlaws & Angels) and Kevin Durand (X­Men).

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OCT 4 - SKIP LIEVSAY (sound technician)

SCREENING - SELECTED EXCERPTS (featuring films by Ethan and Joel Cohen)

Skip Lievsay movie slideshow fall 2015

Skip Lievsay is one of the most accomplished sound technicians in the film industry today, having worked on more than 150 feature films, with notable directors such as Joel and Ethan Coen, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Alfonso Cuarón, John Sayles, Terrence Malick, and Jonathan Demme. In 2007, he was nominated for Sound Mixing and Sound Editing Academy Awards for No Country for Old Men, and, in 2010, in the same categories for True Grit. In 2013, he won the Academy Award for Best Sound for Gravity, being nominated in the same category for Inside Llewyn Davis.

From Fargo to The Big Lebowski and No Country for Old Men, the sounds of Coen brother films are exhilarating, incorporating an array of music composition and inflections of sound to add to the all-encompassing world of their movies. Academy-Award Winning Sound Mixer Skip Lievsay will discuss the creative process behind their films as well as the collaborative relationship with Ethan & Joel which has endured and prospered across so many films.

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OCT 11 - LESLIE MCCLEAVE (producer and director)


How Sweet the Sound: The Blind Boys of Alabama

Filmed over the course of ten years, How Sweet the Sound is the first film to tell the story of this legendary gospel quartet. The Blind Boys of Alabama met as children in the 1930’s at a state-run segregated vocational school and would become one of the last great gospel quartets, traversing the famed “gospel highway” and beyond. As the surviving band members recount their unlikely success story, we see a rare, frank view of life on and off the road with these renowned performers, now in their 70’s and 80’s.

Leslie McCleave’s previous work includes the supernatural, environmental-awareness tale Road, which won the Outstanding Performance Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was acquired by Showtime, iTunes, and Snag Films. Her narrative short films, Avenue X, Blixa Bargeld Stole My Cowboy Boots, and Meeting Marty have screened at numerous festivals and venues including New Directors/New Films at the Museum of Modern Art, Berlin International Film Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Lollapalooza, and have received top awards at the Sundance, Locarno, San Francisco, and South by Southwest Film Festivals. Her films have been broadcast nationally and internationally on Sundance Channel, Showtime, Film Four UK, TV2000 and PBS. In 2011 she created the 5-screen, 9/11 documentary installation cedarliberty, (with Elena del Rivero), presented at the International Center of Photography in New York City and at the New York State Museum in Albany. Her work has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Irish Film Board and the Sundance Institute. How Sweet the Sound is her first documentary feature.

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OCT 18 - TIM K. SMITH (director, editor)


tim k. smith sex and broadcasting

Tim K Smith, a 20 year film and TV veteran, started his career serving coffee on Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and has since worked in every aspect of the filmmaking process. He has spent the last 10 years focusing on his love of documentaries which has included his collaborations as editor of Morgan Spurlock’s Comicon Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, co­producing and editing two films for HBO including the critically acclaimed Kevorkian and editing Quest for Honor, the Oscar short­listed documentary following the plight of Kurdish woman in Iraq. Sex and Broadcasting marks his directorial debut, a feature length documentary about New Jersey's WFMU, the world's strangest and most unique radio station, and one man's attempt to keep it alive in the face of recession, the persistent threat of commercial media, and the challenges that come with keeping a rebellious group of outsiders together.

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OCT 25 - ANTHONY TARSITANO (writer, director)


anthony tarsitano lost cat corona

Anthony resides in New York City with his wife and producing partner, Deborah. With an extensive career in media and advertising already in place, Anthony and Deborah founded City Squirrel Films in 2007. In 2013 he wrote and directed Ice, starring Kevin Corrigan—World Premiering at the Academy®-qualifying TriBeCa Film Festival and International Premiere at the Academy®-qualifying Raindance Film Festival in London. Ice garnered a Jury Award at the Academy®-qualifying USA Film Festival, and Best Narrative Short at the Berlin Independent Film Festival and Phoenix Film Festival. In 2008 he wrote and directed Calling it Quits, starring Dennis Boutsikaris, Jessica Hecht andBob Clohessy. The film traveled the domestic film festival circuit 2008- 2009 garnering awards for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Ensemble, Best Story and Best Cinematography along the way. From 1990 to present Anthony has also written and directed numerous Television & Radio spotsfor MasterCard, Citibank, Quicken Loans, Amica Insurance, 21st Century Insurance, and Nickelodeon, and others.

Lost Cat Corona, starring Ralph Macchio, Paul Sorvino, and Gina Gershon, is about a play it safe guy must search for his wife's missing cat,bringing him face to face with the colorful, wacky, and sometimes,the more dangerous element of his neighborhood,forcing him to confront his fears and rethink his M.O.

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NOV 1 - BEN SYNDER (playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker)


ben synder 11:55

Ben Snyder is a playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker. His plays have been produced at Center Stage New York, The Vineyard Theater, Crossroads Theatre, The Apollo Theater, New York Stage and Film, and at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Over the past decade, The Hip Hop Theater Festival has presented his plays at venues including The Bronx Museum, P.S. 122, The Harry Dejur Playhouse, The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, and Summer Stage. Ben’s work has been nominated for an NAACP Theatre Award. Ben’s films have screened at the LA Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, The Cannes Film Festival, Aspen Shorts Fest, Austin Film Festival, and been featured on the PBS series On Story.

He wrote and directed the feature film, 11:55, featuring Julia Stiles, Elizabeth Rodriguez, and David Zayas. His original TV pilot The Come Up, starring Michael K. Williams (The Wire) and Andre Holland (The Knick), recently participated IFP’s Screen Forward Lab. Ben was the Story Consultant for the award winning documentary The Wolfpack. Most recently, he was hired to develop a miniseries for Channel 4 (England) and Lionsgate Entertainment, a half-hour comedy for rapper T.I., and has been commissioned to adapt the solo-shows of John Leguizamo into a feature script. He is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, a former fellow at The Juilliard School, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. Ben is a member of Labyrinth Theater Company.

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NOV 2 - Margarita with a Straw with Broadway actress Ali Stroker

SCREENING - 6:30PM - 9:30PM - Leshowitz Hall, Chapin Hall 

A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery.

ReelAbilities Montclair is part of the largest disability film festival in the country and is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The festival will feature cutting edge and sometimes controversial films that challenge assumptions and promote discussion about ability and disability.

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NOV 15 - KATHY ROSE (multi-media performance artist)


kathy rose
(Kathy Rose in Queen of the Fluids)

Kathy Rose’s work has evolved from her early drawn animated films of the 1970’s, through her unique, pioneering performance work combining dance with film in the 1980-90’s, to her current surreal performance video spectacles and installations, with influence from symbolist art and the Japanese Noh theater. Rose received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Performance Art in 2003, and in 2005 was awarded a New York State Council on the Arts grant in Video (Media & New Technology). Rose has toured extensively in live performance throughout the United States and Europe, giving performances at the Museum of Modern Art’s Cineprobe series, Kennedy Center, Serious Fun at Lincoln Center, Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain, the Walker Art Center, and other venues. Her video installation works have been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum,  Aldrich Museum,  Cooper Union, and others.

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Nov 22 - Crystal Moselle (director)

SCREENING - The Wolfpack

Nov 22, 2016

Crystal Moselle is a New York based director best known for her Sundance, Grand Jury Prize award winning documentary, The Wolfpack. In the past she was a producer on the critically acclaimed documentary film, Excavating Taylor Mead. In the last decade she has been working with short-form storytelling for publications such as Vice and The New York Times, where she created a series called "Something Big, Something Small," featuring talent such as Pharrell Williams and Shepard Fairey. Later collaborations with Pharrell included, “Meet the Bae’s,” a series profiling the artists back up dancers. Moselle is also a regular contributor for “Nowness” creating original work including viral sensation, "Shapeshifting," on a pack of 14-year-old Ballerinas.

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NOV 29 - INGRID JUNGERMANN (writer and director)


Ingrid Jungermann
From the film Women Who Kill, and director Ingrid Jungermann)

Along with several short films, Ingrid co-created the acclaimed webseries The Slope, and created the WGA-Nominated web series F to 7th, featuring Amy Sedaris, Michael Showalter, Gaby Hoffmann, Olympia Dukakis and Janeane Garofalo. Her work has screened at various film festivals around the world, including the Tribeca Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival and Outfest. Ingrid, who earned her MFA at the NYU Graduate Film School, was one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 Faces of Independent Film and Out Magazine's 100 People of the Year. Her debut feature film, Women Who Kill, premiered in competition in the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, where she won Best Screenplay. She is currently in development at Showtime for a half-hour comedy version of F to 7th.

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Dec 6 - INGRID JUNGERMANN (writer and director)


Throughout her prolific career, Beth B has produced over 30 films within the documentary, experimental, and narrative genres. B worked in television as an Executive Producer, Producer, and Director for eight years. She has mounted large-scale media installations for the Hayward Gallery and the Wexner Center and created a theater production for BAM’s Artist in Action series. Her films have been shown at museums and cinemas worldwide as well as film festivals including: The New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Nuremberg Int’l Human Rights Film Festival, DOC NYC Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival and many others.

Currently, Beth B is releasing her new feature documentary film, CALL HER APPLEBROOG, with Zeitgeist Films as distributor. The film had its world premiere at The Museum of Modern Art at Doc Fortnight and opened at the Metrograph Theater NYC as well as other theatrical venues. The film reveals renowned artist Ida Applebroog’s groundbreaking artwork that has been a sustained enquiry into the polemics of human relations, but more intimately, it is about her dramatic struggle to overcome adversity. Her personal story is one that Beth B knows well—Ida is her mother and colleague.

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