scafaria sarandon-Event includes chat and The Meddler film-

PHOTO:  The Meddler writer/director Lorene Scafaria, a Holmdel native, with star Susan Sarandon.  Photo credit: Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock

Atlantic Highlands, NJ --- The Atlantic Highlands Arts Council’s popular series of special movie screenings continues with its June 25 showing of the current comedy hit The Meddler, starring Susan Sarandon. As a special bonus, the Council will also show their exclusive pre-taped Skype interview with Holmdel-born writer/director Lorene Scafaria. Scafaria agreed to a Q&A with Council members Jon Crowley (television network executive and producer, Impractical Jokers, Marriage Boot Camp) and Joan Ellis (local film critic), to discuss the film, which grew out of Scafaria’s real-life relationship with her own quirky, perhaps intrusive, but loving and well-meaning mother. The result is an entertaining and enlightening companion to this funny, heartwarming comedy.

The evening will begin at 8:30pm with the interview screening at The Arts Corner in Atlantic Highlands. After that, viewers will stroll across the street to be treated to the classic movie theater setting of downtown’s Atlantic Cinemas for the film screening of The Meddler. Refreshments will be available at both locations.

Organizer Corinna Thuss said, “Come to this one-night event and find out how this Jersey Shore native turned her relationship with her mom into a film with a ton of Oscar buzz!” Additionally, said Thuss, “the Q&A will include Scafaria’s true stories of growing up in the Holmdel area, which provided moments of inspiration for the script.” [Scafaria] also discusses how she merged these stories with some necessary fiction to create the full storyline. Of her own career, the multi-talented Scafaria reveals “how this local Jersey girl made good in Hollywood.”

This film, her second as director, is based on Scafaria’s real-life experience as a busy Los Angeles filmmaker who suddenly finds herself living with her move-in ‘smother’ mother from New Jersey. The Meddler is both funny and touching from beginning to end, highlighted by Sarandon’s wacky and wonderful performance as the meddling mother with a great big generous heart. Crowley said, “It is a first-rate comedy delivered by an inventive cast of actors [including Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong] who know how to find the humor in situations familiar to all of us.” In addition, The New York Times review said that “for mom Marnie (Sarandon), it is also a ‘coming-of-later-age’ story in which a buttinsky, but hopelessly irresistible, New Jersey mother learns how to cut the cord one funny, poignant snip at a time and discovers herself in the process.”

Tickets are $20. Seating is limited; advance purchase is recommended. Tickets will also be sold at the door, pending availability. For information and tickets, visit www.filmonefest.org, or stop in to The Arts Corner, 135 First Avenue, Atlantic Highlands. “This is a perfect evening for a group outing,” said Thuss. “We encourage everyone to bring a friend for some laughs, a great film, and behind-the-scenes insights.”

The screening is a benefit in support of FilmOneFest, Atlantic Highlands’ international festival of supershort (under 2 minutes) films. “The original idea behind FilmOneFest was to create free access to the arts at the community level,” said founder Robert O’Connor. “We never want to lose that core principle, and we are very grateful for community support, not just for FilmOneFest, but also for the Atlantic Highlands Arts Council and their free summer arts programs.”

The AHAC thanks Tom Bernard and Sony Pictures Classics for providing this film and for their continued support of FilmOneFest, and thanks Atlantic Cinemas for hosting this digital screening.

FilmOneFest is a project of the AHAC, a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The mission of the Arts Council is to strengthen community through the arts. For more information, go to www.aharts.org.

This program is made possible in part by Monmouth Arts through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and The New Jersey State Council on the Arts.