SOPAC Hosts New SOMA Independent Film Festival February 12-14

by The Village Green
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The following is from the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC):

The inaugural SOMA Film Festival, sponsored by Barnabas Health, will be held February 12-14, 2016 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC). Long and short form narrative and documentary films from around the world will be shown during the course of the three-day Festival. Weekend passes for the Festival are only $45-$55 and are on-sale now at An opening reception will take place Friday, February 12 where audiences will be able to mingle with their fellow film-lovers, as well as film industry professionals.

“Maplewood and South Orange have long been known by entertainment professionals as the ideal town to live, 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 a committee of industry professionals to evaluate submissions, and the final list of selected films will be available in January. Two documentaries that were recently shown at the Tribeca Film Festival – Among the Believers and In Transit were selected early in the process and are scheduled for screening. 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. “SOPAC is proud to partner in this exciting new venture. Film is such an important part of artistic expression and we welcome this opportunity to be a cultural destination for not only the performing arts, but for cinematic art as well,” noted Mark Packer, SOPAC’s Executive Director.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at or by calling (973) 313-2787. More information can be found at The Festival is still taking submissions and filmmakers should visit for further information.

About SOMA Film Festival

The SOMA Film Festival is dedicated to presenting unique, and aspiring filmmaking from around the world.

SOMA is an acronym for South Orange and Maplewood, two towns that are a short train ride from New York City and that pride themselves on artistic expression. It is home to numerous actors, actresses, filmmakers, cinematic and theatrical professionals.

These two unique communities invite filmmakers into an environment where they can show their work to a highly receptive audience who both appreciate their creative endeavors and understand first-hand the immense effort it takes to make a dream come true.

In addition to Matthew Smollon 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 have helped to shape the Film Festival in its inaugural year.

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