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 1010, 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 2017 (see below) Past Schedules Archive

Spring 2017 Schedule 

Screening Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. in Calcia 135, University Hall Room 1010, or at another location as listed.

Jan 24 | Jan 31 | Feb 7 | Feb 14 | Feb 21 |Feb 28 | Mar 14 | Mar 21 | Mar 28 | Apr 4 | Apr 11 |Apr 18 | Apr 25 |

Jan 24 - Sam Pollard - Director

Two Trains Runnin'

sam pollard

SAM POLLARD is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost thirty years. He recently completed as Producer/Director a 90-minute documentary titled The Ground On Which I Stand: August Wilson for the PBS series American Masters.

His first assignment as a documentary producer came in 1989 for Henry Hampton's Blackside production Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads. For one of his episodes in this series, he received an Emmy. Eight years later, he returned to Blackside as Co-Executive Producer/Producer of Hampton's last documentary series I'll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community. For the series, Mr. Pollard received The George Peabody Award.

Between 1990 and 2010, Mr. Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee's films: Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers, and Bamboozled. As well, Mr. Pollard and Mr. Lee co-produced a number of documentary productions for the small and big screen: Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, a biographical sketch for HBO for which Mr. Pollard received an Emmy, Four Little Girls, a feature-length documentary about the 1963 Birmingham church bombings which was nominated for an Academy Award and When The Levees Broke, a four part documentary that won numerous awards, including a Peabody and three Emmy Awards. Five years later 2010 he co-produced and supervised the edit on the follow up to Levees If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise.

Two years later Mr. Pollard completed as a producer/director Slavery By Another Name a 90-minute documentary for PBS that was in competition at the Sundance Festival in 2012 that same year he completed editing on the feature length documentary Venus and Serena that was televised nationally on Showtime.

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Jan 31 - Marya Cohn - Director

SCREENING - The Girl in the Book

girl in the book

Marya Cohn is a writer /director and filmmaking professor. She wrote and directed the feature film, The Girl in the Book, starring Emily Van Camp and Michael Nyqvist, which premiered at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival, was released by Myriad Pictures and Freestyle Releasing in December 2015, and is currently available on Netflix, itunes and Amazon.  Her short film, Developing, starring Natalie Portman and Frances Conroy, screened at Sundance, won grand prizes at the Belgian Festival Mondial du Cinéma de Court Métrage and the St. Petersburg Message to Man Film Festival, and aired on The Sundance Channel and Channel 13’s Reel NY. She has also directed plays at The Here Theater, Rattlestick Theater, Dixon Place, Vital Theater, HB Playwrights’ Foundation and Theater, The Women’s Project, New Georges, NADA 45, and the playwrights’ unit at EST. Marya teaches screenwriting at Montclair State University and is a filmmaking mentor for Vermont College of Fine Arts’ non-resident MFA program. She received her MFA from NYU’s Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television  and her BA from Harvard University.

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Feb 7 - Candy Straight - Producer & Amy Fox - Writer



Amy Fox With two feature films and over a dozen theatre productions to her credit, Amy Fox's crisp, quirky writing continues to attract the attention of audiences and critics. Time Out New York has called her “a ferocious talent” and The New York Times has praised her “warmth of understanding.”

Her most recent script, Equity, commissioned and produced by Broad Street Pictures, will premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Equity stars Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas and Alysia Reiner and is directed by Meera Menon. The film follows a top female investment banker who leads a controversial tech IPO, amidst the pressures of the post-financial crisis, Wall Street world.

Amy's previous feature, the Merchant Ivory Film, Heights, also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005, starring Glenn Close, James Marsden, Jesse Bradford and Elizabeth Banks.

Amy’s plays have been produced by the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, and other theaters around the globe. Her work has been recognized by the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kilroys, and the Alfred P Sloan Foundation.

Amy was a member of Youngblood for five years and is currently a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Amy writes screenplays and plays from her home in New York City. She is on the screenwriting faculty of the NYU/Tisch Graduate School of Film and Television. She is originally from Boulder, Colorado.

Candy Straight

EQUITY is an independent feature film that will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2016. The film is competing in the US Drama competition. EQUITY is about a female investment banker, fighting for a promotion while leading a controversial tech IPO in a world where regulations are tight but pressure to bring in big money remains high. Cast: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), James Purefoy (The Following, ROME), Alysia Reiner (OITNB, Rosewood, How to Get Away with Murder) and Sarah Megan Thomas (Backwards).

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Feb 14 - Crystal Moselle - Director

SCREENING - The Wolfpack


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, Nowness 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's new project for Miu Miu, That One Day, just had its world wide premiere at The Venice Film Festival. The film features a crew of teenage skateboarders named The Skate kitchen.

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Feb 21 - Diana Legon - Writer / Director & Jorge Perez - Director of Photography

SCREENING - Quizás, quizás, quizás


Jorge Luís Santana Pérez is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist and founder/president of the FIVAC, International Video Art Festival in Camagüey, Cuba. He is a member of the National Guild of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) and also the founder and director of the cultural center CEDINM in Camagüey. He has been exhibiting work since the early 1990s.

Diana Rosa Pérez Legón is a film director and producer at FIVAC, International Video Art Festival in Camagüey, and also a member of the National Guild of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC). She has been directing and producing documentaries, short films and video art installations since the early 1990s.

Culturally, 2016 was considered the year of the United States-Cuban thaw because of the warming in the relationships between the two countries. “Quizás, quizás, quizás” documents an encounter of the musical group “Golpe Tierra” from Madison, Wisconsin with various Cuban musicians, students and bands in Camagüey, a province in inland Cuba. This one-week suggestive cultural exchange (sponsored by the Madison-Camaguey Sister City Association) allows us to enjoy good music while offering a firsthand authentic vision of Camagüey’s local musical panorama.

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Feb 28 - Joe Foley - DP/Producer & Art Jones - Writer /Director

SCREENING - Forbidden Cuba


Art Jones - Writer / Director / Head Producer

Art Jones heads Great Jones Productions in New York, making films that make change. As writer, director and producer, Art fuses filmmaking with grassroots community- building to spur wider reach and social action. His narrative films, "Dodgeball" (1995), "Going Nomad" (1998) and "Lustre" (2004) have played on HBO and PBS, in theaters, and in small communities across America. Jones’ recent documentary, "The Blood in this Town," focuses on Rutland, Vermont, a struggling blue-collar town now rallying to revitalize itself. Through national outreach, Jones has shared Rutland’s revitalization know-how with hundreds of other hard-hit towns and cities. Art is a native New Yorker and Brown graduate who lives in Brooklyn and serves as Adjunct Professor of Film at Hunter College / City University of New York. He has been nominated for the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards / Los Angeles. His narrative project, “Forbidden Cuba” - the first American feature filmed in Cuba since 1959 - has been the most challenging he’s ever attempted; he has both the scars and inner joy to prove it.

Joe Foley - Co-Director of Photography / Producer

Joe Foley has been working in film for two decades and has shot 15 features. Filmmaking has taken him all over the world from Morocco, Helsinki, Singapore, Cambodia, and Bali to Paris and South Pasadena. Even though he has shot music videos in Ghana, television in Seoul and corporate videos in Shanghai, he found no location as exotic or as captivating as Cuba. The colors and designs there are magical and the people are incredibly warm and inviting. Working with the international team on “Forbidden Cuba” was a dream come true (if your idea of a dream is to shoot for 19 days straight and eat grilled lobster every other night). It was an amazing experience that continues to give.

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Mar 14 - TBD

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Mar 21 - TBD

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Mar 28 - TBD

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Apr 4 - Doug Elkins - Choreographer

SCREENING - A Hundred Indecisions


Doug Elkins (Choreographer/Artistic Director) is a two-time New York Dance and Performance (BESSIE) Award-winning choreographer and 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Creative Arts Fellow. He began his dance career as a B-Boy, touring the world with break dance groups New York Dance Express and Magnificent Force, among others. Doug is a recipient of significant choreographic commissions and awards from the NEA, National Performance Network, Jerome Foundation, Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation, Dance Magazine Foundation, Metropolitan Life/American Dance Festival, Hartford Foundation, Arts International, The Greenwall Foundation and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. In 1994, he received a Brandeis University Creative Arts Medal, sharing the stage with author Philip Roth and photographer Nan Goldin. In 2006, he was honored in New York City by the Martha Hill Award for Career Achievement; in 2010, he was honored in Boston with an Elliot Norton Award for Choreography (for Doug Elkins & Friends’ Fräulein Maria, a loving deconstruction of The Sound of Music).

Doug has taught and choreographed extensively in the US and Europe and has created original work for Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company, Flying Karamazov Brothers, MaggioDanza, Pennsylvania Ballet, Union Dance and CanDoCo of London, as well as a number of university dance companies and the renowned Mini & Maxi of Holland. His theater work includes collaborations with Joanne Akalaitis and Philip Glass, Robert Woodruff, Pavel Dubrusky, Annie Hamburger, Molly Smith, Craig Lucas, David Henry Hwang, Barbara Karger and Michael Preston (including Fräulein Maria), Anne Kauffman, Arin Arbus and, most recently Janos Szasz for The Master & Margarita at Bard SummerScape.

A graduate of SUNY/Purchase, Elkins received his MFA in Dance from Hollins University/ADF in 2007. His tenure at The Beacon School on the upper west side of Manhattan is the subject of Where the Dance Is, a short film by Marta Renzi. In fall 2013, he became a full-time faculty member at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey.

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Apr 11 - TBD

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Apr 18 - TBD

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Apr 25 - TBD

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