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Q&A with Matt Smollon, SOMA film festival mastermind #somafilmfestival #mattsmollonmovies

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From Thursday, March 9 until Sunday, March 12th the SOMA film festival will hold court at SOPAC and the Maplewood Theater.  I’m looking forward to attending the second year’s events which look to build upon last year’s successful maiden voyage. It’s the brainchild of South Orange resident, Matt Smollon.
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Below is some Q&A with Matt and find a link to the full website farther below.
1  what gave you the idea to do the SOMA filmfest?
It started with a conversation with Laura Bessey who used to work at SOPAC – Our daughters are friends. I asked her, “why doesn’t SOMA have a film fest?”  She said put something together and pitch to SOPAC.  I comprised a deck, consulted some friends who worked/ran film festivals, and presented. They gave the go ahead and we were off to the races.
2  were you always a writer and producer?
No. I worked in marketing, advertising, and PR for many years at companies like the NFL and Wiley Publishing.
3  name your three favorite films  
The Godfather 1 and 2, Tender Mercies, and Scarecrow.
4  who’s the biggest actor or director you’ve met and what were they like in person?
Harrison Ford and he was a very down to earth guy.
5 what’s the last film that made you tear up?
‘Fire at Sea,’ a documentary in this years festival.
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6  who’s your favorite band/singer?
The Who
7  if you could have three people at a dinner party who would they be?
My dad, mom, and sister who have all passed.
8  what’s your favorite place in the world?
Maine.
9  whats the biggest challenge building the filmfest?
Managing all the elements, venue, filmmakers, sponsors, and everything in between.
10  who’s your favorite sports team?  and if it isn’t a new york team or a team from the area you grew up in, explain why you are not a carpetbagger 🙂  I was born in Brooklyn, and was RAISED a huge Mets fan.  Been in SO for 10 years, no carpetbagging here.

link to SOMA film festival website

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SOMA Film Festival in February!

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Here comes the SOMA Film Festival, a new three day experience being held February 12-14, 2016 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC).  Weekend passes for the Festival are only $45-$55 and are on-sale now at www.SOPACnow.org/soma-film-festival. Long & short form narrative and documentary will be shown and an opening reception is to take place Friday, February 12 where audiences will be able to mingle with their fellow film-lovers, as well as film industry professionals. The fest is sponsored by Barnabas Health.

Festival Founder, Maplewood resident, Matthew Smollon, knows there are many entertainment professionals in Maplewood and South Orange so it seemed like an ideal place, given its proximity to New York City, and its rich cultural tradition. “Creating a film festival seemed like an organic next step for these communities” said SOMA Festival Founder, and Maplewood resident Matthew Smollon. “I am confident in the quality of innovative and exciting independent films that will be shown, and that our first year will prove successful and become a long standing tradition for years to come.”

Smollon assembled an advisory committee of actor John Michael Higgins, writer/director Steven Kampmann, President of Grasshopper Films Ryan Krivoshey, documentary filmmaker Ben Niles, actress Christianne Noll and NY Latino Film Festival Director Elizabeth Gardner Potter.  They have helped to shape the Film Festival in its inaugural year and evaluate submissions, and the final list of selected films will be available in January.  Smollon is creating many exciting opportunities during the course of the Festival for discussion between film artists and audiences.

The films will be screened in the intimate 438 seat-theatre at SOPAC, noted for both its excellent sound design and comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.  Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.SOPACnow.org or by calling (973) 313-2787. More information is available at www.SOMAfilmfestival.com. The Festival is still taking submissions and filmmakers should visit www.filmfreeway.com for further information.

 

 


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