More than 40 films showing in-person on New Year’s Eve with on-demand access available through January 3
The 30th annual First Night Morris County New Year’s Eve arts celebration event on Friday, December 31, 2021 will feature its first-ever in-person Film Festival, screening more than 40 films on five screens at AMC Theaters in Morristown. Beginning at 6 p.m., the Film Festival’s carefully curated selection of short films, feature films, and Thomas Edison Film Festival selections are suitable for a wide range of audiences, and will include a Film Festival Discussion and Awards segment at 7:30 p.m. As a bonus, a majority of the films are available on-demand through January 3, 2022 via the First Night Morris County website or mobile app.
Under the direction of Executive Board Member and Film Festival Director Mark Boutros, MFA, and Chairman, Walter Deutsch, the offerings built on the virtual Film Festival offered last year and were expanded to include the Thomas Edison Film Festival selections and feature films chosen specifically for the First Night Morris County audiences.
Film genres and themes include animation, documentaries, family and relationships, genre-bending, identity changes, imaginative, into the future, space & technology, and films for younger audiences.
Below are the films and genres included in the First Night Film Festival. Please see the online schedule at FirstNightMorris.com for detailed descriptions of each as well as venues, screening times, and on-demand availability.
All Ages - Animation Series 1
Thomas Edison Films brings us animated films about change: Changes in a butterfly, changes in life, changes in how we teach children, and changes forced on us by outside influences.
All Ages - Younger Audiences
We bring you some talented animated filmmakers. Remember Saturday morning cartoons and the social and political undertones? The stories presented here will deal with bullying, paying it forward, nuclear arsenals, and simply magic in a format for young and old.
All Ages - Documentary Series 1
Travel with these filmmakers to the inner city. The streets of New York, the subway lost and found below, the street art that comments on social issues, and the role of working women are all presented in this Thomas Edison Film Festival segment.
All Ages - Transition
A female city doctor goes on her annual visit to the family village to retrieve her daughter and administer medical care to the villagers. A visually stunning journal of the differences between city and rural life in the Taiga of Mongolia.
All Ages - Hamlet/Horatio
The film begins at the instant of Hamlet’s death. Hamlet watches his life flash before him while his soul transcends all earthly conflict in his final moments. Hamlet/Horatio is from the perspective of Hamlet’s confidante, Horatio. To fulfill his promise to a dying Hamlet, Horatio takes on the role of the film’s director to expose the corruption permeating throughout the court in Denmark.
All Ages - Animation Series 2
Growing and becoming in charge can be difficult for children and adults, and spirits, too. Miracles do happen and the human connection to the past provides encouragement for the future in this Thomas Edison Film Festival selection.
All Ages - Documentary Series 2
Courtesy of the Thomas Edison Film Festival, Documentary Series 2 focuses on children, education, and work. Teaching literacy in the South to enable voter registration, the challenges of being a single parent, the use of children in the circus, and our ability to rethink our relationship with animals are all topics presented here.
All Ages - Behind the Curtain
Ever wonder how First Night Morris County comes to life? Check out Behind the Curtain for First Night Morris County 2022. This year’s series features three 10 to 15 minute discussions.
- Session 1: Beyond the Program: How First Night Morris County is Programmed – Part One featuring Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts and Craig Schlosser of First Night Morris County.
- Session 2: Beyond the Program: How First Night Morris County is Programmed – Part Two featuring Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts and Craig Schlosser of First Night Morris County.
- Session 3: Featured Partner – The Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) featuring Ed Kirchdoerffer, Mayo Performing Arts Center. Video production courtesy of Kraus Marketing.
All Ages - Film Festival Discussion and Awards
Join First Night Morris County Film Festival Director and Board Member, Mark Boutros, for an interactive discussion regarding this year’s Film Festival. During the program, Mark will announce the First Night Morris County 2022 Film Festival winners and share insight on the festival’s future direction.
All Ages - Family and Relationships
All relationships are complicated, whether they are based in human contact, spirited feelings associated with the deceased, or one that is programmed into a non-life entity to create emotional attachment.
All Ages - Identity Changes
Some changes are harder than others. Some involve simply new IDs, some involve a change of attitude, some are contrived, and others are not based upon reality.
All Ages - Genre Bending Series 1
The human nature of being seen and heard and the psychological boundaries are tested. Whether it is being connected with people, objects, or the desire for affection and recognition, we all want to be valued. This film block is courtesy of the Thomas Edison Film Festival.
All Ages - Genre-Bending Series 2
Dreams are important and the juxtaposition of time, space, imaginations, and reality are all a part of these films. Visit Iceland, the frozen land of Finland, and magical villages and towns that are part of this Thomas Edison Film Festival selection.
Teen & Adult - Into the Future
Film makers specialize in “What ifs?”. Is it good to be able to travel into the future? Can my communication assistant alter what I see and hear without me knowing? And what would an alien team think about us if they were sent here to study our society? See and find out.
Teen & Adult - Space & Technology
What does the future hold?…Travel through space to create a new colony, the rise of the robot world, or a change of attitude towards each other are all considered in this three-film set.
Young Adult & Adult - Imaginative
What if you could change your offspring because of a fatal flaw, would you? Learn about the beginning of an idea, or how monsters deal with their psychological flaws to be a better “person.”
All Ages - Midnight Countdown
Welcome in the New Year with the First Night Morris County 2022 Midnight Countdown by joining us in-person or virtually as we bring in the New Year with a digital countdown, a 30-year anniversary tribute, and a chance to join in as we sing the New Year’s classic, Auld Lang Syne.
“After the success of last year’s virtual-only film festival, we are incredibly excited to partner with AMC Theaters in Morristown to offer in-person film screenings in a safe, family-friendly environment as part of this year’s First Night Morris County event,” said First Night Executive Board Member and Film Festival Director Mark Boutros. “We are equally as excited to be able to reach even more attendees by making the majority of the film festival programming available on-demand on our website and mobile app through January 3 for those who prefer to attend virtually.”
The Film Committee, which consists of Advisory Board Members Ayne Klein Chasid, Jane Kurek, Jessica Offer, Mark Boutros, Walter Deutsch, and Intern Adam Tang, assembled the festival featuring 40+ films. The festival is organized into specific category segments for short films and feature films, each having their own performance blocks. Most movies are suitable for All Ages, some for Teens & Adults, and one is for Young Adults & Adults.
“Building this year’s First Night program to include an in-person film festival was a top priority,” said First Night Chairman, Walter Deutsch. “Independent films and filmmakers are such an important part of the Morris County arts community, and we are proud to celebrate their contributions alongside our agenda of 50 performances taking place at 15 venues throughout downtown Morristown, as well as the selections available on the live stream and on-demand.”
All First Night attendees have access to the film festival, all in-person performances, live stream, and on-demand capability included in their admission, plus complimentary parking, free shuttles, a mobile app, and a midnight countdown to welcome in the new year.
Performance access is limited by seating capacity. All attendees ages 12+ attending a performance are required to show proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of the event start time. Masks are required to be worn inside the venues except while briefly consuming concessions.
About First Night Morris County
First Night® Morris County, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, seeks to foster the public’s appreciation of visual and performing arts through an innovative, diverse, and high-quality New Year’s Eve program which offers the community a shared cultural experience that is accessible and affordable to all with Year-Round Community Development through FNM365.