Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for! Of course the Monmouth Film Festival (MFF) wants you to enjoy their amazing short blocks, where you get to transport into a variety of films for the length of your average movie. However, sometimes you need more time with the characters to really connect with them, and the MFF understands that. If you are one of those people you definitely want to check out the feature films at this year's festival! Now you can sit with your favorite people and stories for the whole ride!
THURSDAY, August 8th
Trans athletes have to work harder than their cisgender peers in order to thrive in their field, while also having the courage and resilience to face daily harassment and discrimination. They have found sports as a way to channel the negativity around them and gain a sense of self-worth and validation. This film is their urgent, articulate plea for acceptance.
17 is the distance in blocks between the home of the family shown and the Capitol building in the center of Washington. Using two decades of intimate home video, this touching and heartbreaking documentary tells the story of the Sanford family whose struggles with addiction and gun violence eventually lead to a journey of love, loss, and acceptance. The Hollywood Reporter says it "packs a potent emotional punch."
FRIDAY, August 9th
Lila has built a fragile tranquility in the Catskill mountain home she shares with her husband Edgar and their teen daughters. After the girls leave for summer adventures, Edgar reveals the birth of a child with another woman leaving Lila to a season of explosive loss and reconfiguration. Lila lashes out exploring grief, anger, and desire with a younger man. As Lila's world overturns, those who count on her likewise come undone.
As the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories approached its 50th year, Hurdle reveals an important and intimate story emerging from the hearts and actions of Palestinian youth. The new generation responds to a world of walls, checkpoints and arrests in an unexpected and inspiring way.
It begins as a documentary about “The Amazing Johnathan,” a uniquely deranged magician who built a career out of shock and deception in the 1980s—but becomes a bizarre story about the unravelling of his documentarian. After Johnathan is diagnosed with a terminal heart condition and given one year to live, he’s forced to retire his act. Cut to three years later: Johnathan is not dead, much to everyone’s amazement, and documentarian Ben Berman films the illusionist on an epic comeback tour. But as their mutual journey kicks off, Johnathan drops a bombshell that sends the film spiraling into uncertainty. Embracing this unforeseen obstacle, Ben delves deeper to determine what is truth and what is illusion.
SATURDAY, August 10th
This romantic comedy, directed by Jeremy Teicher and co-written by and starring Nick Kroll (Sausage Party, Big Mouth, Parks & Recreation) and Alexi Pappas, follows a young cross-country skier as she bonds with a volunteer doctor in the Olympic athletes village. This film was filmed on location in the actual Olympic Village at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics with three people comprising the entire cast and crew. Real Olympic athletes, including Jamie Anderson and Gus Kenworthy, also make their way into the film as additional characters.
This coming-of-age thriller follows Alan, Red, and Smitty as they spend high summer on the Jersey Shore roving the boardwalk and getting into trouble, but the discovery of good old fashioned treasure sets the friends on an escalating course of suspicion and violence. This film stars Shea Whigham (Homecoming, Boardwalk Empire, Fargo) and Jaeden Martell (It, It: Chapter Two, Midnight Special), directed by Holmdel native Kevin McMullen and distributed by A24.
Released in 1995, Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls was met by critics and audiences with near universal derision. But Showgirls’ reputation has been resuscitated in the intervening 24 years, and conceding one’s admiration for Nomi Malone’s sordid tale is no longer the admission of questionable taste it once signified. You Don't Nomi brilliantly draws on archival footage of Showgirls’ production, revealing interviews with the major players, and surprisingly thoughtful conversations with the cinephiles who are leading the charge in the film’s redemptive journey from a notorious flop to cult classic.
SUNDAY, August 11th
Amongst the cane fields of rural Louisiana, this drama, directed by 19-year old Phillip Youmans and starring Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Selma, Treme), is about an aging mother struggling between her religious convictions and the love of her son. The Hollywood Reporter says it "would be a noteworthy debut even from a director twice Youman's age."
This documentary tells the life story of Vincent Capodanno, 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, while serving as a conscientious objector giving peace to soldiers. Directed by Tim Moriarty (House of Cards, Luke Cage, Blue Bloods) and Jake Ehrlich.
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