Tell Montclair Film to change the dates of its 2020 festival!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!

As a result of COVID-19, Montclair Film recently announced that it’s rescheduled its annual festival for the week of October 16-25, 2020 – the exact same dates as Montclair Design Week, for which planning has already been underway since November 2019. MDW had notified film festival organizers of its dates long in advance, hoping to work together to avoid a scheduling conflict, but the organizers went ahead, without even notifying MDW of their decision prior to making a public announcement. This act undermines community and the great collaborative spirit of Montclair.

Montclair Film states in its own strategic plan that it intends to build and deepen community partnerships. Planning its festival during the same dates as another previously scheduled event in the town directly contradicts this. Their Executive Director claims the dates were chosen to avoid competing with other film festivals,  which makes their decision to overlap with another NJ film festival all the more confounding.

MDW's mission is to use the power of curiosity, innovation, and engagement to celebrate our community’s creative capacities, and to mobilize them into equitable outcomes. While only in its third year, the reception that MDW has received so far has been overwhelmingly positive. In a time when all community organizations are hard hit by this pandemic, this is a time to support one another, and not add unnecessary burden.

MDW would be glad to work together with the film festival in organizing a series of events, just like MDW has partnered in the past with numerous other local groups, including the Montclair Literary Festival, Bike Walk Montclair, Montclair State University, Dance on the Lawn, Montclair Center BID, Jazz House Kids, Diffvelopment and PEAC Institute. But scheduling both activities at the same time is logistically unfeasible: it weakens the volunteer pool, distracts the attention of potential sponsors and attendees, and forces people to make difficult choices about which event to attend. This undermines everyone.

We the undersigned are calling on Montclair Film to do the right thing and reschedule their film festival to a different week when all residents, patrons, donors, sponsors, and volunteers can benefit. Be a good community partner, and please move your dates!