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Films and Filmmakers Fall 2015

Fall 2015 Schedule

SEP 15 – YAEL MELAMEDE (director)


Honesty poster

Moderated by Susan Skoog

Yael Melamede is the co-founder of SALTY Features – an independent production company based in NYC whose goal is to create media that is provocative, vital, and enhances the world. Melamede’s newest film and directorial debut, “(DIS)HONESTY – The Truth About Lies,” is based on the work of behavioral scientist Dan Ariely. The film premiered at the Full Frame and Hot Docs film festivals before being released in May 2015 to great critical acclaim. Melamede’s recent productions include the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Inocente, directed by Sean and Andrea Fine, and Desert Runners, directed by Jennifer Steinman and the winner of multiple audience awards in the US and around the world in 2013-14. Other producing credits include: When I Walk, written and directed by Jason Da Silva and Alice Cook; Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, written and directed by John Krasinski – based on the book by David Foster Wallace; The Inner Life of Martin Frost, written and directed by Paul Auster; and My Architect, directed by Nathaniel Kahn and nominated for an Academy Award in 2004. Melamede trained and worked as an architect before becoming a filmmaker.

SEP 22 – LISE RAVEN (director)

SCREENING – award-winning KINDERWALD (2014)

Kinderwald poster Still from Kinderwald

Lise Raven is an award-winning filmmaker who enjoys making both narrative and documentary films. Raven’s first feature film, LOW, screened in over 30 international film festivals. In 1995 she helped to found the Slamdance Film Festival, after which she wrote and directed three films for the SHOWTIME network. In 2000 Raven moved to Berlin, Germany after being awarded the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm Artist Residency in Film. While in Europe, Raven’s feature film project, Snipe, was funded by the Irish Film Board.  In 2011 she worked with the Philadelphia Museum of Art to create a short video that was included in the Roberto Capucci: Art Into Fashion exhibition. Raven’s 2014 award winning feature film Kinderwald is the second part of The Kinderwald Trilogy, a trilogy of films that are inspired by fairy tales about children lost in the woods. Raven is working on the third part of the trilogy which is inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Match Girl. Raven is currently an Associate Professor of Film at Montclair State University in the College of the Arts, School of Communication and Media.

SEP 29 – CARLOS F. GRASSO (director)


Asphalt Serenade poster and Carlos Grasso

Carlos is a filmmaker, writer, musician, designer, sound and jumpsuit aficionado, but not necessarily in that order. A filmmaker since his teens, he produced, co-directed and co-wrote the label’s pioneering MTV show, The Cutting Edge (1983-89), which featured many future stars of music including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, R.E.M., Public Enemy, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, Los Lobos, Nick Cave, Public Image, Dwight Yoakam and L.L. Cool J., the first television appearance for many of them at the time. The Cutting Edge was also the first national TV show in America to feature hip-hop as an emerging pop culture movement.

A New Orleans resident, Carlos continues to be active as a scriptwriter, filmmaker, live video mix performer, designer and artist who has exhibited at various galleries and exhibitions. Despite a satisfied life as all of the above the story has wound down to Dumfuxx, a fervent stew of film, music and art – a culmination of his life’s interests. He had always wanted to be a musician, and now a vusician, and figured now’s as good a time as any to start a band and embark on this experiment of living cinema and sound. His latest project is Asphalt Serenadethe Micro-Movie on Vine, a series of condensed, six-second episode loops posted weekly and intended for viewing in a ‘hand-held’ theater experience.

OCT 6 – Jorge Luís Santana Pérez & Diana Rosa Pérez Legón

Jorge Luís Santana Pérez & Diana Rosa Pérez Legón

Visiting artists from Festival Internacional de Videoarte de Camagüey, Cuba


Co-moderated by Professor Beverly Peterson and Professor Raul Galoppe

Co-sponsored by Global Education

LOCATION – The Feliciano School of Business Lecture Hall 101

Jorge Luis 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 UNEAC.  She has been directing and producing documentaries, short films and video art installations since the early 1990s.

OCT 13 – BEN CHACE (writer/director)


Sin Alas Still

Co-moderated by Professor Beverly Peterson and Professor Raul Galoppe

Ben Chace is an American filmmaker and musician from Providence, Rhode Island. He attended NYU’s Gallatin School where he began experimenting with documentary filmmaking. After graduating he co-directed his first narrative feature Wah Do Dem, which won the Jury Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2009, and was named one of the top 10 films of 2010 by Artforum. Ben continues to write and perform music with his band, Bird Dog, which has released three EPs, several music videos and appears frequently at clubs around New York City. Sin Alas is his first feature length effort as a solo writer/director.

OCT 20 – SEAN BAKER (writer/director) & DARREN DEAN (producer)


Tangerine poster and Sean Baker

Director of Tangerine Sean Baker

Darren Dean

Producer Darren Dean

Co-moderated by Professor Roberta Friedman and Brian Edwards, Coordinator for the LGBTQ Center

Co-sponsored by the LGBTQ Center and Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences

Sean Baker is a writer/director known for the Spirit Award nominated films TAKE OUT, PRINCE OF BROADWAY and STARLET(winner of the Robert Altman Spirit Award). His latest film TANGERINE (2015), shot entirely on an iPhone 5S, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has received critical acclaim after its release in July by Magnolia Pictures. He is also one of the creators of the long running comedy television show entitled Greg the Bunny and its spin-off Warren the Ape. Darren Dean is an  award-winning writer-director-producer who, along with frequent collaborator Sean Baker, was nominated for the John Cassavetes Independent Spirit Award in 2009 for co-writing and producing the indie darling, PRINCE OF BROADWAY. His follow-up as producer, 2011’s celebrated international co-production, KINYARWANDA, yielded the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance, as well as earning him an NAACP Image Award nomination. His most recent film, the Baker-helmed TANGERINE has garnered rave reviews out of the Sundance Film Festival and opened nationwide on July 10, 2015. Dean is also an instructor at New York Film Academy.

Sean will also be conducting a workshop on Wednesday, October 21st about shooting a feature film with an iPhone 5s.

OCT 27 – DAVID THORPE (director/journalist)


Do I sound gay poster

Moderated by Susan Skoog

Co-sponsored by the President’s Commission on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity and the LGBTQ Center

David Thorpe is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. His first feature documentary, Do I Sound Gay?, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014 (Runner-up, People’s Choice Award) and has gone on to play dozens of film festivals worldwide. In Summer 2015, IFC Films/Sundance Selects is releasing Do I Sound Gay?theatrically in 27 cities and on pay-per-view in the U.S. The film has received widespread critical acclaim, including praise from The New York TimesThe New YorkerEntertainment WeeklyThe Washington Post and NPR, which called Do I Sound Gay? “a compelling portrait of internalized homophobia and liberation.”  Who Sounds Gay? a short film that Thorpe made for the New York Times‘ “Op-Doc” series, spent two days on‘s “Most Emailed” and “Most Viewed” lists. Thorpe has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including, Watch What Happens Live, CNN’s Headline News, “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” KCRW’s “Press Play with Madeline Brand” and HuffPost Live.

In addition to his film work, Thorpe spent five years as communications director at the pioneering AIDS nonprofit Housing Works in New York City. For nearly two decades, he was also a freelance journalist, writing about gay life, AIDS, and popular culture for publications such as Jane, OUTTime Out New York, New York, POZ and O, the Oprah Magazine. For more information, visit


Filmmaker/director/actor Orson Welles remains one of the most discussed figures in cinematic history. The Film Institute at Montclair State celebrates the centenary year of Welles’s birth with two events:

NOV 2 – Featuring JAMES NAREMORE, the author of the book THE MAGIC WORLD OF ORSON WELLES

Lecture: WELLES AT 100

*Location: The Alexander Kasser Theater, at 7:30 p.m.

Image of James Naremore

Moderators: Film Studies professors Art Simon and Janet Cutler 

RSVP Here!

Mr. Naremore, a foremost authority on Welles, has just completed a new and revised edition of his book, The Magic World of Orson Welles. His recent book includes a new section on the unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind. Naremore analyzes the political and psychological implications of the films, Welles’s idiosyncratic style, and the biographical details–both playful and vexing–that impacted each work.

~~~~related event~~~~~

NOV 3 – CHUCK WORKMAN (writer/director)


* held in Chapin Hall building, in the Leshowitz Recital Hall, 7 p.m.

Image of Chuck Workman

Co-moderated by Professor Art Simon

RSVP Here!

Chuck Workman is a former President of the International Documentary Association, was a Commissioner of the Santa Monica Arts Commission, and is a member of the Grants Committee of the Motion Picture Academy. He has lectured at 30 universities and media arts centers and is currently a Distinguished Artist and Coordinator of the Film Program at Purchase College in New York.  Workman has written and directed numerous fictional films, including the 1986 short Precious Images, which won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short and has become the most widely shown short in film history. He has also written, directed and produced several documentaries, including SuperstarThe First 100 Years, The Source, and Visionaries, all of which have premiered at the top film festivals around the world. He recently completed a feature length film essay What is Cinema?, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival, and his most recent film is Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles.

Workman is known for directing and editing short films and openings for twenty Academy Awards presentations and two Emmy Award shows, work that has earned him his own Oscar and Emmy nominations. He has also created trailers for Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, American Graffiti, Paris, Texas and other major films.

NOV 10 – ELLEN GOOSENBERG KENT (director/producer)

SCREENING – Academy award-winning CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1 (2014)

Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Crisis Hotline poster

Co-moderated by Professor Harry Gaines

Since 2001, more veterans have died by their own hand than in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one veteran dies by suicide in America every 80 minutes. While only 1% of Americans has served in the military, former service members account for 20% of all suicides in the U.S.

Based in Canandaigua, NY and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Veterans Crisis Line receives more than 22,000 calls each month from veterans of all conflicts who are struggling or contemplating suicide due to the psychological wounds of war and the challenges of returning to civilian life.

This timely documentary spotlights the traumas endured by America’s veterans, as seen through the work of the hotline’s trained responders, who provide immediate intervention and support in hopes of saving the lives of service members.

Director/Producer Ellen Goosenberg Kent won the Academy Award this year for Best Documentary, Short Subject, for Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1. Her previous honors include four Primetime Emmys, a Peabody Award and numerous other awards for excellence in documentary film and television. Recent credits include Wartorn and Alive Day: Home from Iraq, both for HBO with executive producer James Gandolfini. Her films have spanned a broad range of important issues, including Addiction: The CBT Approach, climate change: Too Hot Not to Handle; our relationships with animals: One Nation Under Dog and Going, Going, Almost Gone and young people in crisis; I Have Tourettes, Brett Killed Mom, and How Do You Spell God?  

 SKIP LIEVSAY (Academy Award-winning sound re-recording mixer / supervising sound editor/ sound designer)



 ‌Inside Llewyn Davis poster

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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Kaia Rose Climate Countdown

Co-moderated by Prof. Roberta Friedman and Regina Cornwell

In only a few weeks, global leaders will gather in Paris for a major climate summit to decide what our future is going to look like – but most citizens don’t even know this is happening.

Climate Countdown distills the complexity of UN negotiations and climate action into concise and conversational “post-it” sized episodes. We are on a journey to discover what is actually being done to help make 2015 a game-changing year for the climate crisis.  With each episode, we build a better understanding of how the pieces fit together and how we, as citizens, can be engaged and empowered as we countdown to Paris.

Kaia Rose is an independent filmmaker based in New York and director of Climate Countdown, a web-series that maps out the ecology of climate solutions.  Kaia was the lead producer and studio manager at the BAFTA-winning production company ArthurCox in Bristol, England for four years, where she produced a variety of projects, from the BAFTA-nominated Disney Jr series Nina Needs To Go to the publicly funded digital archive project A Time Traveler’s Guide to Bristol Zoo. She has produced, line produced, and production managed a wide range of commercials for such renowned companies as Aardman Animations and directed, shot, and edited short films, promos, web-series, behind-the-scenes videos, and experimental work. She is a graduate of the Drama Department at the University of Bristol where she studied Theatre, Film & TV.

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Life of an actress poster

Director of photography Ben Wolf and editor Dan Lowenthal will be joining the discussion.

Life of an Actress The Musical is an independent musical film that is also intended to function as an “out of town tryout” towards Broadway. Thus the sound and feel of the film is somewhere between a live performance and a traditional film musical. The film willbe released broadly in early 2016. The film stars a number of well-known Broadway performers including: Orfeh (FootlooseSaturday Night Fever and Tony Nominated for Legally Blonde), Taylor Louderman (Bring It On and NBC’s Peter Pan Live), Allison Case (Mama MiaHairHands on aHardbody and Mathilda), Bart Shatto (The Civil WarDracula and Les Miserables) and Xavier Cano (Grease).

Paul Chau is a film producer & director and a Tony-nominated Broadway producer. Films include Life of an Actress The Musical and Another Soul which is currently in post-production. Broadway shows include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliffe and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Harry Connick, Jr. Paul also has over 20 years of experience in banking and corporate finance. Support for the arts include being a former member of the Lincoln Center Business Council, former Board Member of the Asian American Arts Alliance and teaching seminars and classes at various institutions. Paul has a BA from SUNY at Stony Brook.

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‌‌I believe in unicorns poster

Following a screening of I Believe in Unicorns, Professor Roberta Friedman will moderate a discussion featuring the film’s director Leah Meyeroff.‌

Davina is an imaginative and strong-willed teenage girl who often escapes into a beautifully twisted fantasy life. Having grown up quickly as the sole caretaker of her disabled mother, she looks for salvation in a new relationship with an older boy. Davina is swept into a whirlwind of romance and adventure, but the enchantment of her new relationship quickly fades when his volatile side begins to emerge. I Believe in Unicorns takes us on a road trip through the stunning and complex landscape of troubled young love.

Leah Meyerhoff is an award winning filmmaker whose debut narrative feature I Believe in Unicorns was released theatrically in 2015 after premiering at SXSW, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival and additional awards from Woodstock Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, First Time Fest, Tribeca Film

Institute, IFP, NYU and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. Meyerhoff’s previous work has screened in over 200 film festivals and aired on IFC, PBS, LOGO and MTV. She is a fellow of the IFP Emerging Narrative Labs, IFP Narrative Finishing Labs, Tribeca All Access Labs, and the Emerging Visions program at the New York Film Festival. Meyerhoff is also the founder of Film Fatales, a female filmmaker collective based in New York with over a dozen local chapters around the world. She holds a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University and an MFA in Directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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Presented by the Montclair Film Festival and The Film Institute at Montclair State

Location: Montclair State University, University Hall, Room 1070, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 a.m.

Behind the screen poster

The Film Institute at Montclair State and the Montclair Film Festival have partnered once again to present the “Behind the Screen” program for 2015. The program consists of a full day of filmmaking workshops and panels that are free and open to the public, and held on Montclair State campus.

Welcoming industry professionals to speak about various aspects of directing, producing, and the development of film and television programming, the program is created to give students and film enthusiasts a behind the scenes look at how their favorite films and televisions programs are made.

Speakers include Michael Slovis of Game Of Thrones, Tim Squyers Life Of Pi and Joel Stillerman The Walking Dead, Kahane Cooperman of The New Yorker Presents, and Tom Hall of the Montclair Film Festival, to shed light on the ins-and-outs of their fascinating creative industry.

Register here to attend this free event.

For more information on the event visit:

Sponsored by the Montclair Film Festival, The Film Institute at Montclair State, and Shine Global.

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DEC 8 – ROBERT FURMANEK (archivist)


Location: Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas 4* (260 Bellevue Ave, Montclair, NJ 07043), 7 p.m.

*Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas 4 is conveniently located 2 miles south of Montclair State University’s campus and is accessible by bus and train. For more information, please visit NJ Transit Trip Planner, and view map for location and directions from campus.

3D rarities poster

3D Rarities contains more than 2 ½ hours of archival treasures presented in high-quality digital 3D.  All 22 films have been stunningly restored and mastered from original materials by technical director Greg Klintz.  Meticulously aligned shot by shot for precise registration of the left/right elements, these historic 3D motion pictures have never looked this good.

In 1990, Bob Furmanek realized a majority of the world’s 3D film heritage was on the verge of being lost forever. In response, he founded the 3D Film Archive, an organization dedicated to rescuing, preserving and restoring our stereoscopic heritage. Over the next two decades, Mr. Furmanek preserved over fifty 3D films, and at one point, the Archive held the largest collection of vintage stereoscopic elements in the world.  Over the past 25 years, he has worked with NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures, MGM/Park Circus, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, George Eastman House, the British Film Institute, the Stanford Theater Foundation, UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Museum of Modern Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Most recently, Mr. Furmanek helped ensure the preservation of the 1954 feature GOG, and has spearheaded the home video release of the 1966 film THE BUBBLE through Kino and his own compilation of historically-important 3D shorts entitled 3D Rarities through Flicker Alley.

Train Departing from Montclair State station (2 options)

Depart : MSU at 6:03 PM Board : Train 6258 toward NEW YORK PENN STATION

Arrive : UPPER MONTCLAIR at 6:11 PM

Depart : MSU at 6:39 PM Board : Train 262 toward HOBOKEN

Arrive : UPPER MONTCLAIR at 6:46 PM

Train Departing from Montclair Heights station (2 options)

Depart : MONTCLAIR HEIGHTS at 6:06 PM Board : Train 6258 toward NEW YORK PENN STATION 
Arrive : 

Depart : MONTCLAIR HEIGHTS at 6:43 PM Board : Train 262 toward HOBOKEN

Arrive : UPPER MONTCLAIR at 6:46 PM

Bus from Montclair State:

Depart : RED HAWK GARAGE/Kasser Theatre (near shuttle stop) 6:18 PM

Board :  Bus No 28 to NEWARK/MONTCLAIR STATE U. Exact Fare $1.60

Arrive :   BELLEVUE AVE at 6:27 PM

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