The Monmouth Film Festival returns to the Two River Theater in Red Bank beginning on Thursday, August 8th and running through Sunday, August 11th. This year’s event features a full program of more than 100 films, expert panels, celebrity guests, musical entertainment and a red carpet reception and networking event. Here’s the breakdown:
Thursday, August 8th The festival kicks off with the ‘Sounds of Sinatra’ Performance and Cocktail reception. Renowned Sinatra performer Michael Martocci takes the stage with his 18-piece swing orchestra to sing all of your Frank Sinatra favorites. He’ll be joined by special celebrity guests throughout the evening (you’ll have to be there to see who!) and the show will be emceed by Actor and Comedian Jeff Norris! Select premium orchestra seating includes the opening night Cocktail reception.
Friday, August 9th “A Celebrity Talk with Sinbad” a live event featuring an intimate discussion with actor and comedian Sinbad! News 12’s SallyAnn Mosey moderates. Red Carpet Networking Event and Digital Film Expo with Blackmagic Design: opening night guests will have an opportunity to mingle with filmmakers, actors, film artists, industry professionals and fellow movie lovers. Screenings of feature and short films begin tonight, including the Hulu film “The Amazing Johnathan Documentary”; what begins as a documentary following the final tour of a dying magician – “The Amazing Johnathan” – becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey as the filmmaker struggles to separate truth from illusion.
Saturday, August 10th Today’s featured screenings include some of our many New Jersey premieres: Olympic Dreams, a romantic comedy starring Nick Kroll (Sausage Party, Big Mouth, Parks & Recreation) and Alexi Pappas – in the Olympic Athlete Village, a young cross-country skier bonds with a volunteer doctor after her competition ends; 17 Blocks, a powerful documentary directed by Davy Rothbart using two decades of intimate home video to tell the story of the Sanford family of Washington, DC, whose struggles with addiction and gun violence eventually lead to a journey of love, loss, and acceptance; and the spotlight film Low Tide, a coming-of-age thriller set on the Jersey Shore, directed by Holmdel native Kevin McMullen, and starring Shea Whigham (Homecoming, Boardwalk Empire, Fargo) and Jaeden Martell (It, It: Chapter Two, Midnight Special).
Other events today include a Film Industry Discussion featuring panelists Nancy Leidersdorff of Nickelodeon; Greg Mourino of Blue Sky Studios; NBC producer Gail Barringer; and Emmy award-winning cinematographer Tor Johansen. There will be an all-day Film Expo with presentations and demos by vendors including Blackmagic Design, Fujifilm, Cineroid, BoxCast, Angelbird, Unique Photo, OZEN Camera Support, Backstage, New York Film Academy, and more! Filmmakers take note: there will be free Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 editing workshops offered throughout the day, giving you a deep dive into the industry’s fastest growing editing and color grading software. Be sure to also check out the famous Blackmagic Design Production Van parked alongside the red carpet on your way in!
Sunday, August 11th: A full evening of screenings including our NJ Veterans Film Block. Features this night include the NJ Premiere of The Field Afar: The Life of Fr. Vincent Capodanno – a documentary about a Catholic Priest who received the Medal of Honor for his valor as a chaplain to the Marine Corps during some of the most harrowing battles of the Vietnam War. Directed by Tim Moriarty (House of Cards, Luke Cage, Blue Bloods) and Jake Ehrlich. Also screening Burning Cane, a drama directed by 19-year-old Phillip Youmans starring Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Selma, Treme) – amongst the cane fields of rural Louisiana, an aging mother struggles between her religious convictions and the love of her son.
Short films tonight include the New Jersey Premiere of Vietnam Aftermath, a documentary produced in partnership with the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial, directed by Holmdel native Tom Phillips, which deals with the experience of Vietnam veterans after they returned home and the struggles that many of them still deal with today. Other short films with a NJ connection include Come Here Often?, a bittersweet and charming film about a chance encounter of a man and a woman in a park that might not be a chance encounter after all, directed by Atlantic Highland’s Michael Boylan; ROCKS! The Musical, a hilarious, pun-filled animated musical about a lonely rock who learns not to take his life for granite (pun intended); Still Plays With Trains, a documentary by Academy Award-winning director, cinematographer and producer Ross Kauffman (Born into Brothels, In a Dream, E-Team) – the film captures one man’s passion to share the joy of childhood by recreating his 10th birthday with a 3000 square foot replica of the old Lackawanna Railroad in his basement.
Other Sunday events include Free New York Film Academy Workshops (‘How to Pitch’, ‘Audition Techniques’, ‘Producing the Film’), the NJ High School Filmmaker Showcase, and of course the Annual Awards Ceremony and closing night reception.
In just four years, the Monmouth Film Festival has become the go-to summer event for cinephiles in NJ. No other area festival gives film lovers and filmmakers alike so much in-person access to cutting edge cinema, the people who make it, and the tools they use to make their artistic visions come alive on the screen. Last year’s festival was a huge success, and this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better!
Tickets to the 2019 Monmouth Film Festival—including event passes starting at $65—are on sale now. VIP passes give you unlimited access to the festival including exclusive access to the Ray Catena VIP Lounge. To purchase tickets, and to learn about the full lineup of this year’s films, workshops, events and guests, visit www.monmouthfilmfestival.org and facebook.com/monmouthfilmfestival.
You’ll want to follow Monmouth Film Festival to get the most up-to-date information about its slew of events, which can be found through the link below!