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Spring 2011 Schedule

Montclair State University, Film Program
Visiting Filmmakers Coordinator: Roberta Friedman 973-655-7282
TUESDAYS from 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: University Hall, Rm 1040 (unless otherwise noted)
open to all – admission free

January 25, 2011 – SOPHIE TAKAL, producer/editor/actor, and LAWRENCE MICHAEL LEVINE, writer/director/actor. GABI ON THE ROOF IN JULY

Sophie Takal – Producer/editor/actor

Lawrence Michael Levine – Writer/director/actor

Producer/editor/actor Sophie Takal, and writer/director/actor Lawrence Michael Levine, screen their award-winning independent feature Gabi on the Roof in July. A portrait of young New York and the misguided hopefuls who can’t afford to live there but do anyway, the film is an edgy, character-driven ensemble comedy about ex-girlfriends, sibling rivalry and whipped cream set in a city that’s constantly in flux.

February 1, 2011 – JON ALPERT, award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker.

Jon Alpert is a winner of three Primetime Emmy awards, eleven News and Documentary Emmy awards, one National Emmy for Sports Programming, four Columbia DuPont awards and a Peabody Award. Alpert has traveled widely as an investigative journalist, and has made films for PBS, HBO, and NBC. In 1972, Alpert founded the Downtown Community Television Center. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2009 in the Best Documentary Short Subject category for his film China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province.

February 8, 2011 – ABEL FERRARA, legendary American independent filmmaker.

ABEL FERRARA – director

KEN KELSCH – cinematographer

“Abel Ferrara’s movies usually revolve around crooked cops, psychotic killers, victims hell-bent on vengeance, petty criminals and criminal masterminds, drug addicts, adulterers, and alcoholics. He has been called a ‘scuzzmeister,’ ‘a virtuoso of grunge,’ and far worse. He tells violent and vulgar stories and, amidst the gore, often asks the deepest religious or moral questions. Answers are never provided.” (

Some of his films include The Bad Lieutenant and Pallbearers.

Ken Kelsch. DP Kelsch is a graduate of Montclair and a prolific cinematographer. Kelsch has shot all Ferrara’s films, and credits include features, documentaries and televisions series.


Since 1981, the annual Black Maria Film + Video Festival, which takes its name from that of the world’s first motion picture studio built by Thomas Edison in 1893, has been an international juried competition and award tour, and has been fulfilling its mission to advocate, exhibit and reward cutting-edge works from independent film and video makers. The festival is known for its national public exhibition program, which features a variety of bold contemporary works drawn from the annual collection of 50 or more award-winning films and videos. Excerpts will be shown from the 2011 Black Maria Film + Video Tour.

February 20, 2011 – MONTCLAIR UNDERDOG FILM FESTIVAL: OSCAR-Nominated Short Films.

Back by popular demand, this event features a marathon of documentary and animated shorts nominated for this year’s academy awards in their respective categories. Admission is $10 for one session; $15 for both sessions; and free for students and faculty with valid I.D. Sponsored by the Montclair Arts Council and The Film Program, Department of Art and Design at Montclair State.

NOTE: this screening will take place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in UNIVERSITY HALL Room 1070.


February 22, 2011 – MATTHEW O’NEILL

Matthew O’Neill has been a producer and director at Downtown Community Television Center since 2001. He has worked on documentaries for HBO, PBS, the Discovery Channels and others. For the 2006 documentary he produced and directed with Jon Alpert for HBO – Baghdad ER, he won a Columbia DuPont Award and three Primetime Emmy Awards for Nonfiction Programs – including “Best Directing” and “Best Cinematography”. His work closer to home has been award five New York Emmy Awards including prizes for “Best Political Journalism” and “Best Societal Concerns Program”.

Get your movie online!

Watching movies and television on the Internet is the wave of the future and it’s happening now! Montclair State University Film Forum and the Broadcasting Department present a panel discussion on the realities of Internet Distribution for film and television.

Learn about what on-line delivery can mean for your movie.

  • How do you reach an audience?
  • Can you actually make money at this?
  • What kind of shows and films are successful online?
  • What role does social media play?

These topics and more will be discussed on Tuesday, March 1, 7-10PM in UN1040. Susan Skoog, Screenwriting and Film professor for the Montclair State University Film Program, will moderate the discussion.

Panelists include:

Aaron Sonnenberg, the Content Operations Manager for, one of the most successful online television networks.

Steven Beckman, Head of Content Acquisitions at Cinetic/ FilmBuff, a NY based company which releases video content to platforms such as cable video-on-demand, iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and more. Recent releases include the Edward Burns directed feature “Nice Guy Johnny” and the Academy Award nominated documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop”.

Ingrid Kopp, filmmaker and Editor-in-Chief of Shooting People, a networking organization for independent filmmakers.



An Emmy and Writer’s Guild Award-winning writer/producer, Michael Price has worked on ten seasons of THE SIMPSONS, currently serving as Co-Executive Producer. He has written 11 episodes of THE SIMPSONS (My Mother The Carjacker, ‘Tis The Fifteenth Season, Mommie Beerest, My Fair Laddy, Yokel Chords, The Boys Of Bummer, Funeral For A Fiend, E Pluribus Wiggum, How The Test Was Won, American History X-Cellent, and The Fool Monty) and served as a script consultant on THE SIMPSONS MOVIE. He won an International Animated Film Society “Annie” award for his work co-writing music and lyrics for the musical episode Yokel Chords, for which he also had the honor of directing the guest vocal performance of the legendary Stephen Sondheim.



Julia Reichert has been an independent filmmaker since 1970. With her partner, James Klein, she made many innovative films, including Growing Up Female, the first documentary about women from a feminist perspective; Union Maids, one of the first oral history films; Methadone: An American Way of Dealing, which challenged government policies on heroin addiction, The Last Truck, about the closing of a General Motors plant, and Seeing Red, a documentary film about American communists which earned them their second Academy Award nomination. She is a founder of New Days Films, a cooperative of filmmakers who do their own distribution.



Sara Nesson is the Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker of the documentary, POSTER GIRL. Sara has spent the last three and a half years shooting and directing POSTER GIRL and IRAQ PAPER SCISSORS. Both films intimately follow Iraq War Veterans as they as they embark on an unusual healing journey while coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).



Coleen Fitzgibbon was active as an experimental film artist under the pseudonym “Colen Fitzgibbon” between the years 1973-1980. She is best known for co-founding the New York based Collaborative Projects, Inc. (Colab) in 1977 through 1981, along with artists Kiki Smith, Jenny Holzer, Liza Bear, among others. Fitzgibbon has screened her work at numerous international film festivals and museums, including The Toronto International Film Festival 2009, Museum of Modern Art, EXPRMNTL 5 at Knokke-Heist, Belgium, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, Anthology Film Archives, and Millennium Film Workshop.



Wendy Jo Cohen is a writer, producer, and director. Her latest film, “The Battle of Pussy Willow Creek” is described as “doing for American History what Spinal Tap did for rock and roll”, as it tells the story of the most pivotal engagement of the Civil War – an against-all-odds battle in which an opium-addicted LGBT Colonel, a geriatric Chinese expat, a nerdy escaped slave, and a sociopathic teen-aged prostitute saved the Union in its most dire hour.

If you want to suggest an artist for next semester, e-mail or contact Roberta Friedman at the Department of Art and Design at 973-655-7282 or, via e-mail, at