2019 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

A House Divided


Directed by Alice Guy Blache

Description: An unhappy husband and wife decide to "live separately together,” communicating only through notes after each mistakenly thinks the other is having an affair. An exploration of marriage, domestic space and new heterosocial workplaces of the early twentieth century. Released May 2, 1913, Solax Film Company, Fort Lee, NJ.

Sponsored by Fort Lee Film Commission | Barrymore Film Center

Talkback with TBD

A Night at the Garden


Directed by Marshall Curry

Description: Archival footage of an American Nazi rally that attracted 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden in 1939, shortly before the beginning of World War II.

Sponsored by Temple Emeth Social Action Committee

Talkback with TBD

Always in Season

Documentary - 89 minutes

Directed by Jacqueline Olive

Description: Claudia Lacy wants answers. When her 17-year-old son, Lennon, is found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, North Carolina, the authorities quickly rule his death a suicide. In light of suspicious details surrounding his death, and certain that her son would not take his own life, Claudia is convinced Lennon was lynched. The filmmaker follows one African American family’s personal experience with a justice system that has failed so many, while also hinting at the promising first steps of a nation trying to reconcile.

Sponsored by Temple Emeth Social Action Committee

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Arthur Mitchell Tribute


Directed by Daniel Schloss

Description: A brief tribute to the first African American principal dancer with New York City Ballet and founder of the ground-breaking Dance Theatre of Harlem fifty years ago.

Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Inc.

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Ask for Jane

DRAMA | HISTORY - 108 minutes

Directed by Rachel Carey

Description: In 1969, when a pregnant student at the University of Chicago attempts to take her own life, Rose and Janice find a doctor willing to perform an abortion in secret to save the woman’s life. Sparked by this experience, they form the Jane Collective: a secret organization to help other women obtain safe and illegal abortions. Operating like a spy network, complete with blindfolds and code names, the Janes help thousands of women - but they can’t hide from the police forever.

Sponsored by Wise Older Women | National Council of Jewish Women, Bergen County Section | Stanton Strong

Talkback with Rachel Carey, director | Cait Cortelyou, film producer & actress | Heather Booth, one of the original “Janes” | Angela Bonavoglia, award-winning author and journalist on women’s issues

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache

DOCUMENTARY - 103 minutes

Directed by Pamela B. Green

Description: Over the span of her career, Alice Guy-Blache produced or directed 1,000 films, including 150 with synchronized sound during the ‘silent’ era. Her work includes comedies, westerns and dramas, as well as films with groundbreaking subject matter such as child abuse, immigration, Planned Parenthood, and female empowerment. She also etched a place in history by making the earliest known surviving narrative film with an all-black cast. After a decade of making films at Gaumont she had a second decade-long career in the U.S., where she built and ran her own studio in Fort Lee, NJ.

Sponsored by Fort Lee Film Commission | Barrymore Film Center

Talkback with Pamela B. Green, director | Jodie Foster, Academy Award winning actress, Executive Producer & Narrator | Tom Meyers, Fort Lee Film Commission | Senator Loretta Weinberg |

Carl Laemmle: A film by James L. Freedman

DOCUMENTARY - 91 minutes

Directed by James L. Freedman

Description: The extraordinary life story of Carl Laemmle, the German-Jewish immigrant who founded Universal Pictures, and saved over 300 Jewish families from Nazi Germany. Laemmle fought against Thomas Edison’s attempt to monopolize the film industry and in the process, created an entire city built for the sole purpose of making movies.

Sponsored by Jewish Community Council | Sen. Loretta Weinberg

Talkback with James L. Freedman, director

The Counter: 1960

DRAMA | SHORT - 20 minutes

Directed by Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd

Description: Set in 2017, three conscious (woke) Black college students find themselves seated at a lunch counter in 1960. Will they be served? A critical conversation about inter-generational social issues begins.

Sponsored by YWCA of Northern NJ

Talkback with TBD

Distorted Democracy: The Fight Against Gerrymandering

documentary | short - 10 minutes

Directed by Juan Yepes

Description: In our democracy, every voice should be heard, and every vote should count equally. But in North Carolina and other states across the country, politicians are choosing their voters instead of the other way around. Voters were silenced in North Carolina when politicians gerrymandered the state during the redistricting process.

Sponsored by Puffin Foundation, Ltd. | League of Women Voters of Teaneck

Talkback with Juan Yepes, director

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles

documentary - 92 minutes

Directed by Max Lewkowicz

Description: The story behind one of Broadway's most beloved musicals, Fiddler on The Roof, and its creative roots in early 1960s New York, when "tradition" was on the wane as gender roles, sexuality, race relations and religion were evolving. The film explores a variety of international productions of the show, detailing how individuals of many cultures see themselves in the residents of Anatevka.

Sponsored by Jewish Standard

Talkback with Zalmen Mlotek, artistic director of National Yiddish Theater-Folksbiene & music director of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

First Day Back

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drama | short - 21 minutes

Directed by Deshawn Plair

Description: It’s the first day back at school for the faculty and students of Lincoln High School in Philadelphia, after a fight between two students from rival neighborhoods resulted in the death of a fellow student, left others injured and changed the community forever.  On this first day back, everyone struggles to adjust to the new normal – metal detectors, clear backpacks, and security escorts – with arguments erupting among teachers on the best way to protect the students and themselves.

Sponsored by Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence | Teaneck Board of Education

Talkback with Deshawn Plair, Director / Co-Writer / Producer | Sade Oyinade, Co-Writer / Producer | Etienne Maurice, Co-Producer / Actor | Sheryl Lee Ralph-Hughes, Executive Producer

Framing Agnes

documentary | short - 20 minutes

Directed by Chase Joynt

Description: In the late 1950s, a woman named Agnes approached the UCLA Medical Center seeking sex reassignment surgery. Her story was long considered to be exceptional and singular until never-before-seen case files of other patients were found in 2017.

Sponsored by Sen. Loretta Weinberg

Talkback with TBD

Gay Chorus Deep South

DOCUMENTARY | Music - 100 minutes

Directed by David Charles Rodrigues

Description: In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South. Over 300 singers traveled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas and over the bridge in Selma. They performed in churches, community centers, and concert halls in hopes of uniting us in a time of difference.

Sponsored by Teaneck Community Chorus

Talkback with TBD | Performance by Teaneck Community Chorus and Stonewall Chorale


documentary - 106 minutes

Directed by Patrick Creadon

Description: Hesburgh offers a unique glimpse at more than fifty years of American history as seen through the eyes of the long-time president of the University of Notre Dame and America’s most well-known priest. Educator, civil rights champion, advisor to presidents, envoy to popes, theologian and activist, Hesburgh was called on by countless world leaders to tackle the most challenging issues of the day. He built a reputation as a savvy political operator with a penchant for bridging the divide between bitter enemies. Through it all, he remained a man armed with a fierce intelligence, a quick wit and an unyielding moral compass -- a timeless example of bipartisan leadership that would serve us in today’s increasingly polarized times.

Sponsored by Martin Luther King Birthday Committee | St. Anastasia’s RC Church

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It Must Schwing – The Blue Note Story

documentary | music - 115 minutes

Directed by  Eric Friedler

Description: In 1939, Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two young émigrés from Berlin, founded the legendary jazz label Blue Note Records in New York. Dedicated exclusively to the recording of American jazz, Blue Note developed its own unmistakable recording style and sound. The impressive roster included Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk and Quincy Jones. At a time when African American musicians in the USA were discriminated against and ostracized, Blue Note records respected them as artists and equals. Not only did the label value their talents, it also gave them a much-needed platform. “It Must Schwing” tells the moving story of two friends, united by a passionate love for jazz, and of their profound belief in equality and freedom for every single human being.

Sponsored by TBD

Talkback with TBD

Keep the Change

comedy | romance - 94 minutes

Directed by  Rachel Israel

Description: When aspiring filmmaker David is mandated by a judge to attend a social program at the Jewish Community Center, he is sure of one thing: he doesn’t belong there. But when he’s assigned to visit the Brooklyn Bridge with the vivacious Sarah, sparks fly and his convictions are tested. Their budding relationship must weather Sarah’s romantic past, David’s judgmental mother, and their own pre-conceptions of what love is supposed to look like.

The filmmaker does something quite radical in casting actors with autism to play characters with autism, offering a refreshingly honest portrait of a community seldom depicted on the big screen.

Sponsored by TBD

Talkback with Brandon Polansky, actor

The Last Suit

Drama - 91 minutes

Directed by Pablo Solarz

Description: Abraham Bursztein, an 88-year-old Jewish tailor, runs away from Buenos Aires to Poland, where he proposes to find a friend who saved him from certain death at the end of World War II. After seven decades without any contact with him, Abraham will try to find his old friend and keep his promise to return one day.

Sponsored by Age-Friendly Teaneck | Addie Wijnen

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Drama - 95 minutes

Directed by Isaac Cherem

Description: A young Jewish woman from Mexico City finds herself torn between her family and her forbidden love. Ripe with all the drama and interpersonal conflicts of a Jane Austen novel, watching her negotiate the labyrinth of familial pressure, religious precedent, and her own burgeoning sentiment is both painful and beautiful – there are no easy choices to be made and the viewer travels back and forth with her as she struggles with her heart to take the best path.

Sponsored by TBD

Talkback with TBD

Little Miss Westie

DOCUMENTARY - 75 minutes

Directed by Dan Hunt and Joy E. Reed

Description: Little Miss Westie chronicles a year in the life of two transgender siblings as they navigate puberty, a local beauty pageant, and transitioning in the Trump era. The film takes its title from the Little Miss Westie pageant, where Ren hopes to compete as the first transgender girl.

Sponsored by Rotary Club of Teaneck

Talkback with Joy E. Reed, director | Chris and Shelley McCarthy, parents of the two transgender siblings


DOCUMENTARY | Sports - 97 minutes

Directed by Alex Holmes

Description: The story of Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook on charter boats, who became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989. This is a grueling yachting competition that covers 33,000 miles and lasts nine months.

Sponsored by Sandi Klein’s Conversations with Creative Women | YWCA of Northern NJ

Talkback with TBD

Miriam Lies

Drama - 90 minutes

Directed by Natalia Cabral & Oriol Estrada

Description: Miriam anxiously awaits the day of her fifteenth birthday party. Her family can’t wait to meet Jean-Louis, her Internet boyfriend set to accompany her. But when Miriam sees Jean-Louis for the first time and realizes he’s black, a quiet middle-class world of good intentions will begin to crumble.

Sponsored by TBD

Talkback with TBD

NYICFF Kid Flicks One

kids | animated shorts - 60 minutes

Hosted by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street

Description: Catch the best short films from around the world for ages 3-7 ! Presented in partnership with the New York International Children’s Film Festival. Thanks to a grant from the Puffin Foundation, Ltd., children are admitted free with a paying adult.

Sponsored by Puffin Foundation, Ltd.

Pete Seeger’s Legacy: If I Had a Hammer

DOCUMENTARY - 90 minutes

Directed by Christopher Lukas

Description: The film looks back at Pete Seeger’s life and times. Unlike previous Seeger films, this program not only assesses Seeger’s political and social efforts but shows the effect of those efforts on a wide range of people and, most importantly, upon the rivers and waters of the world.

Sponsored by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd.

Talkback with Christopher Lukas, director


biography | Drama - 155 minutes

Directed by Rajkumar Hirani

Description: Few lives in our times are as dramatic and enigmatic as the saga of Sanjay Dutt. Coming from a family of cinema legends, he became a film star, and then saw dizzying heights and darkest depths: adulation of die-hard fans, unending battles with various addictions, brushes with the underworld, prison terms, loss of loved ones, and the haunting speculation that he might or might not be a terrorist. Sanju is in turns a hilarious and heartbreaking exploration of one man’s battle against his own wild self and the formidable external forces trying to crush him..

Sponsored by NPZ Law Group, Global Immigration Attorneys

Talkback with TBD


drama | short - 18 minutes

Directed by Pearl Gluck

Description: Two teenage girls at a Hasidic sleepaway camp in upstate New York explore a forbidden book, which leads them to a sexual awakening that neither one of them is prepared to encounter.

Sponsored by TBD

Talkback with TBD

Suppressed: The Fight to Vote

documentary | short - 30 minutes

Directed by Robert Greenwald

Description: Voter suppression has become one of the biggest dangers of American elections. During the 2018 midterm elections, millions of voters experienced suppression ranging from voter purges, to poll closures, to long lines of over 4 hours, to strict voter ID issues that disproportionately block Brown and Black citizens from their constitutional right to vote. This is an emotionally gripping look at Georgia’s election involving Stacey Abrams with compelling and irrefutable evidence of suppression.

Sponsored by Puffin Foundation, Ltd. | League of Women Voters of Teaneck | Bergen County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Talkback with TBD

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

DOCUMENTARY - 119 minutes

Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Description: This artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller examines her life, her works and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career. Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, history, America and the human condition.

Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Inc.

Talkback with Dr. Farah Jasmine Griffin

Two Beats One Soul

DOCUMENTARY - 74 minutes

Directed by Sara Nesson & Bille Woodruff

Description: Teaneck residents and husband and wife music producers Ray Chew and Vivian Scott Chew (Dancing with the Stars) embark on an ambitious two-week journey to Cuba to create a collaboration of sounds originating from Afro-Caribbean roots that have evolved into what we now consider modern day Salsa music. Bringing together multiple artists from the U.S. and Cuba, the film shines a light on Cuban culture and takes the viewer through the creative processes and challenges of producing an album while providing an auditory sensation that touches the soul. Audiences will feel the passion, positive energy, triumph and love that keep this musical marriage strong.

Sponsored by The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Bergen / Passaic Chapter

Talkback with Vivian Scott Chew | Ray Chew (via Skype) | Antonio Martinez, Executive Producer | Josh Milan, Songwriter & Producer

Working Woman

DRAMA - 93 minutes

Directed by Michal Aviad

Description: Life at work becomes unbearable for Orna. Her boss appreciates and promotes her, while making inappropriate advances. Her husband struggles to keep his new restaurant afloat, and Orna becomes the main breadwinner for their three children. When her world is finally shattered, she must pull herself together to fight, in her own way, for her job and a sense of self-worth.

Sponsored by YWCA of Northern NJ

Talkback with TBD

2007 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

A Cantor's Tale

documentary - 95 Minutes

Directed by Erik Greenberg Anjou

Description: Jeanette Catsoulis of The New York Times called cantor Jacob Mendelson "a documentary filmmaker's dream. Jovial, rotund and prone to impromptu bursts of song (he carries a tuning fork at all times), Mr. Mendelson is a celebrated teacher and practitioner of Jewish liturgical music and has dedicated his life to preserving the form's traditional vocal styling." This documentary film, a unique mix of humor and gravity, is both a biographical portrait and an exploration of the tradition of Jewish liturgical music in America.

Sponsored by Temple Emeth


drama - 95 minutes

Directed by Jerry Lamothe

Description: In summer 2003, America experienced the largest blackout in its history — widely reported as peaceful. But in Brooklyn's forgotten East Flatbush neighborhood, mayhem unfolded when the power shut down. This is a narrative feature based on events during the blackout and features Melvin Van Peebles, Michael B. Jordan, Zoe Saldana, LaTanya Richardson, and Jeffrey Wright. It was featured at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

Talkback: Associate Producer Andrea Holmes Thompkins, Ace Media Corp.

51 Birch Street

documentary - 88 minutes

Directed by Doug Block

Description: Filmmaker Doug Block had every reason to believe his parents' 54-year marriage was a good one. So he wasn't prepared when, just a few months after his mother's unexpected death, his 83-year-old father, Mike, phoned to announce that he was moving to Florida to live with Kitty, his secretary from 40 years before. When Mike and Kitty married and sold the longtime family home on Long Island, Doug returned with camera in hand for one last visit. And there, among the lifetime of memories being packed away forever, he discovers three large boxes filled with his mother’s daily diaries going back well over 35 years. The veteran documentarian conducted increasingly candid conversations with family members and friends and found constantly surprising diary revelations. This is a riveting personal documentary that explores a universal human question: how much about your parents do you really want to know? A. O. Scott of The New York Times called this film "one of the most moving and fascinating documentaries I've seen this year ... Mr. Block has put his parents' life, and his own, into this film with such warmth and candor that it may take more than one viewing to recognize it as a work of art."

Grbavica: The Land of My dreams

drama - 90 minutes

Directed by Jasmila Zbanic

Description: Winner of the Golden Bear award at the 2006 Berlin International Festival, Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams is a powerful mother-daughter drama set in Sarajevo's Grbavica neighborhood, where life is still being reconstructed after the 1990s Yugoslav wars. Single mother Esma lives with her feisty, tomboy 12-year-old daughter Sara. Sara's father becomes an issue when the girl requires the certificate proving he died a "shaheed," a war martyr, so that she can receive a discount for an upcoming school trip. Sara is teased by classmates for not being on the list of martyrs' children and realizing that her mother has paid full price for the school trip, Sara aggressively demands the truth. As painful as their confrontation is, it is Esma's first real step toward overcoming her past and brings hope for a renewed relationship between mother and daughter. The film features remarkable performances by Mirjana Karanovic(Esma) and Luna Mijovic (Sara).

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes

Documentary - 60 minutes

Directed by Byron Hurt

Description: This documentary provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture. Director Hurt, a former star college quarterback, longtime hip-hop fan, and gender violence prevention educator, conceived the film as a "loving critique" of a number of disturbing trends in the world of rap music. He pays tribute to hip-hop while challenging the rap music industry to take responsibility for glamorizing destructive, deeply conservative stereotypes of manhood. The documentary features revealing interviews about masculinity and sexism with rappers such as Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D, Jadakiss, and Busta Rhymes, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, and cultural commentators such as Michael Eric Dyson and Beverly Guy-Shetfall. Students will be admitted free to this film and discussion.

Sponsored by Bergen County Links and the Bergen/Passaic Chapter, National Coalition of 100 Black Women

Talkback with Heather Walker, moderator; Reverend Lonnie McLeod; Rahfeal Gordon, motivational speaker and author of "Hip-Hop Saved My Life;" Audra Jackson; students from Bergen County Community College


drama - 122 Minutes

Written and Directed by John Sayles

Description: When the down-on-his-luck owner of an Alabama juke joint (Danny Glover) recruits a guitar playing drifter (newcomer Gary Clark Jr.) to help save his club, the place and its patrons are turned upside down and inside out by an 'electric' new form of music. A legend of American independent cinema, writer/director John Sayles explores a time when juke joints were the place one could find release after a hard week in the cotton fields, all the while documenting that pulsating moment when the blues became rock 'n roll. Danny Glover, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Charles S. Dutton, Vondie Curtis Hall, Keb Mo, Mary Steenburgen, and introducing Gary Clark, Jr. John Anderson of Variety wrote that "In [this] endearing musical time-piece, the indie icon lets his narrative gifts take the lead and the social issues follow like a tight bass line. The result is one of Sayles' best films. The music, a mix of blues, seminal rock and newcomer Gary Clark Jr.'s performance, will be an obvious draw, as will the performances by some leading African-American actors."

Talkforward with John Sayles and Maggie Renzi

Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow

multiple shorts - 120 Minutes

Description: Bergen County's Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow Competition, open to all high school students in the County, shows the breadth of film making talent in our area. We'll show some of the best of this year's competition. The program is administered by the Ft. Lee Film Commission.

Juggling Life

documentary - 30 Minutes

Directed by Ben Saltzman

Description Louis DeLauro, an award-winning New Jersey teacher, and two amazing young assistants run a juggling camp for children; the film follows the student's progress over a six-week period, culminating in a show at Ronald McDonald House. Following the film, Mr. DeLauro, his assistants and students demonstrate feats of juggling, and conduct a workshop to teach you the basics.

Living on the Fault Line: Where Race and Family Meet

documentary - 75 Minutes

Directed by Jeff Farber

Description This film explores the intersection of familial love and racial injustice in the experience of trans-racial families created through adoption. An intimate portrait, the film reveals the challenges these families face as children of color grow up in communities where racism and white privilege are unspoken yet undeniable realities. We get to know and care about the children as they express their tales of joy, challenge, acceptance and isolation, and as they strive to connect with their own racial and ethnic heritage. The film also explores how parents, trying to create supportive adoptive families, cope with and react to the unanticipated struggles their children often face.

Sponsored by Church of St. Anastasia

Talkback with Jeff Farber, Director

Long Road Home

Documentary | Drama - 60 Minutes

Directed by Bruce Spiegel

Description The community of sports is ably represented in this Sunday afternoon program. The documentary "Long Road Home" is the compelling story of John Malangone, an ex­-Yankee baseball player who grew up in the 1950s in East Harlem, whose personal secret haunted much of his adult life. Featuring priceless archival photography, the film was a labor of love for Teaneck resident Bruce Spiegel, a producer at CBS's 48 Hours Mystery, who had met Mr. Malangone at age 70 at the Hackensack YMCA, throwing baseballs up against a padded wall in the gym on a February morning. The film will follow "Don't Nobody Love the Game More than Me," a 10-minute short by Martha Pinson, centered on an upper Manhattan basketball court.

Talkback with Director Bruce Spiegel and John Malangone

Mostly Martha

comedy | romance | Drama - 109 Minutes

Directed by Sandra Nettlebeck 

Description: This is the tasty and charming film on which the Hollywood-ized "No Reservations" was based. See the original! The plot: in a German restaurant, Chef Martha Klein's life is firmly centered around cooking, which she conducts with stubborn single-mindedness. All that changes when her sister dies in a car accident, leaving her eight-year-old daughter, Lina. Martha takes her niece in and while making inquiries for her estranged father, she struggles to care for this stubbornly headstrong child. Meanwhile at work, a new chef named Mario is hired and the pressures of both her private and work life combine to make Martha question her life choices. As Martha and Marion, Martina Gedeck and Sergio Castellito have wonderful chemistry. And the soundtrack and food are irresistible.

Sponsored by Whole Foods Market, Edgewater

Opal Dream

drama - 86 minutes

Directed by Peter Cattaneo

Description: A movie for children and grown-ups of all ages, this film tells the touching story of a young girl, Kellyanne Williamson (Sapphire Boyce), whose unshakable faith in her two imaginary friends Pobby and Dingan resonates through her small hometown in the Australian Outback. Eight-year-old Kellyanne's father, Rex (Vince Colosimo), is one of the many local denizens feverishly mining the landscape for opals, while her mother Annie (Jacqueline McKenzie) and her eleven-year-old brother Ashmol (Christian Byers) are the more grounded members of the family. When Pobby and Dingan are suddenly not to be found by Kellyanne, the worried girl falls ill. As Ashmol takes it upon himself to rally the Williamson family and the community around his sister and her missing friends, everyone discovers what Kellyanne has long known; that you don't necessarily have to see in order to believe. The movie was filmed on location in South Australia.

Racing Against the Clock

documentary - 80 Minutes

Directed and produced by Bill Haney

Description Need a little motivation to get to the gym? This upbeat film tells the story of five extraordinary women between the ages of 50 and 82 who sprint, jump and pole vault their way through track and field competitions on their quest to make it to the World Masters Athletics Championships. These mothers, grandmothers, and even great-grandmothers include a three-time cancer survivor, a sharecropper's daughter, a political refugee, a former cowgirl, and the oldest athlete to ever be honored as a finalist for the Sullivan Award which celebrates the top amateur athletes in America. Full of drama and humor, this engaging film offers much to audiences both young and old and is proof positive that it is never too late to start moving.

Sponsored by Classic Residence by Hyatt

Reno Finds Her Mom

comedy | documentary - 89 Minutes

Directed and produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher

Description: Comedian Reno is on a search to find her birth mother who abandoned her as an infant and drags cameras into the quest. Reno is advised by an acquaintance shrink that she can't figure out who she really is unless she discovers where she came from. The camera follows Reno out onto the streets, into the halls of bureaucracy, across the country — or wherever the trail may lead — en route to solving the mystery of her birth. As a docu-comedy, the program uses a raw cinema verité approach to the actual search blended with heightened fantasy sequences in which Reno both looks forward to and dreads the truth that awaits her. The extraordinary Reno, a hit at last year's festival and subsequent performance at the Puffin Cultural Forum, will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A afterward.

Robot Stories

84 Minutes

Directed by Greg Pak

Description: Winner of more than 23 awards, "Robot Stories" is science fiction from the heart: four stories in which utterly human characters struggle to connect in a world of robot babies and android office workers. The stories include: "My Robot Baby," in which a couple (Tamlyn Tomita and James Saito) must care for a robot baby before adopting a human child; "The Robot Fixer," in which a mother (Wai Ching Ho) tries to connect with her dying son by completing his toy robot collection; "Machine Love," in which an office worker android (Greg Pak) learns that he, too, needs love; and "Clay," in which an old sculptor (Sab Shimono) must choose between natural death and digital immortality. This moving film features outstanding performances, especially by Wai Ching Ho and Sab Shimono.

Talkback with Greg Pak

Secret Courage: The Walter Suskind Story

documentary - 82 Minutes

Directed and produced by Karen and Tim Morse

Description Like other Jews who were forced to work in concert with the Nazis, Walter Suskind was considered a collaborator by many of his Jewish brethren. Suskind, a German Jewish salesman living in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, was forced to serve as the Jewish head of deportation at the Hollandsche Schouwburg (the Jewish Theater), the main deportation site in Holland. What no one knew, however, until after his death, was that Suskind used his position to save an estimated 1,000 Jewish children slated for transport to death camps. Suskind and a group of Dutch resistance workers orchestrated an elaborate and risky escape route for Jewish children. This film tells, for the first time, the story of these rescuers and offers the voices of his compatriots: Five of the saved children and eleven of the Dutch resistance workers are interviewed, painting a story of a rescue operation fraught with intrigue and danger, and heavy with the burden of deciding who could be saved and who could not.

Talkback with Filmmakers Karen and Tim Morse and Teaneck resident Hilde Goldberg, interviewed in the film, will participate in a Q&A following the screening

The Secret Life of Words

112 minutes

Directed by Isabel Coixet

Description: Winner of Goya Awards (the Spanish equivalent of the Academy Awards) for best film, best director, best screenplay, and best production supervision, this film centers on Hanna (Sarah Polley), a solitary and mysterious young woman, who works in a factory somewhere in Europe. Forced by her boss to take a vacation, she travels to Northern Ireland where, on a whim, she volunteers to be a nurse on an oil rig in the Irish Sea to tend to Josef (Tim Robbins) who has been burned in a flash fire. The burns have left Josef temporarily blind but in flirtatious spirits and he is eager to discover who his enigmatic nurse truly is. On the oil rig, Coixet creates a labyrinthine world where only a handful of other characters live. The film beautifully shows a strange intimacy gradually developing between Hanna and Josef; she ultimately divulges her darkest secret, a revelation from which neither will emerge unscathed and which will change their lives forever.

Sponsored by WOW (Wise Older Women)


action | Comedy - 85 Minutes

Directed by Ted Wilde

Description Filmed in 1928, this "Silent Sunday" presentation should prove as popular with families as last year's "Steamboat Bill, Jr." "Speedy" was Harold Lloyd's last silent film. The action gets under way — and doesn’t let up — when Speedy loses his job as a soda-jerk, then spends the day with his girl at Coney Island. He then becomes a cab driver and delivers Babe Ruth to Yankee Stadium, where he stays to see the game. When the railroad tries to run the last horse-drawn trolley (operated by his girl's grandfather) out of business, Speedy organizes the neighborhood old-timers to thwart their scheme. Hosted by Bob McGrath, the film will be accompanied by organist Jeff Barker. Great for kids, and remember, admission is FREE for children under 12.

Spotlight on Local Filmmakers

multiple shorts - 120 Minutes

Description A program of shorts by filmmakers from our area, this taste of local talent will touch you; make you think; make you chuckle. Featured: Cathy Levin-Barbella, Lupita Sebastian O'Brian, Marta Renzi. Plus: winning short films from Teaneck High School's own 2007 film festival. Meet the filmmakers following the screenings.

Starting Out in the Evening

drama | romance - 110 Minutes

Directed by Andrew Wagner

Description: Tony award winner Frank Langella plays Leonard Schiller, a once-famous New York writer who is both shaken and emboldened when a beautiful graduate student (Lauren Ambrose) invades his solitude to mine his life for her thesis about his novels. All that remains for Schiller is to finish the novel he has been laboring on for almost 10 years. His solitary writer's life is shaken by the arrival of Heather (Lauren Ambrose), an ambitious graduate student who persuades him that she can use her thesis to spur a rediscovery of his work. But as her inquiry proceeds, Heather displays a profound personal interest in Leonard, which unsettles him and stirs up his long-dormant need for intimacy. Meanwhile, Leonard's daughter Ariel (Lili Taylor) reconnects with her ex-boyfriend Casey (Adrian Lester), a man Leonard firmly disapproves of. The Hollywood Reporter said that the film is a "knowing portrait of three complex individuals of very different ages, all of whom feel the breath of Father Time at their necks." This film, based on Teaneck native Brian Morton's novel of the same name, has already drawn critical kudos following its Sundance and Toronto film festival screenings. We are honored to present this New Jersey premiere; the film is scheduled for theatrical release later in November.

Ten Canoes

adventure | Comedy | drama - 91 Minutes

Directed by Rolf de Heer with English subtitles 

Description Set centuries ago and in mythical times, this is a surreal and mesmerizing tragi­comedy and the first major Australian feature film completely filmed in an indigenous Aboriginal language. The Storyteller, who speaks English, is portrayed by the veteran Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil, an Australian screen icon. Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote that "there is nothing more enthralling than a good yarn, and 'Ten Canoes' interweaves two versions of the same story, one filmed in black and white and set a thousand years ago, and an even older one, filmed in color and set in a mythic, prehistoric past." The newer narrative begins when the tribal chief, Minygululu (Peter Minygululu), leads 10 warriors on a journey deep into the forest to gather bark to make canoes, which they paddle into a crocodile-infested swamp in search of goose eggs. Making the trip for the first time is Minygululu's impatient younger brother, Dayindi, who vents his frustration at having no wife. Minygululu pacifies Dayindi by regaling him with an ancient story that addresses his plight. Featuring stunning cinematography, the film won a special jury prize at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.


drama | romance - 117 Minutes

Directed by Deepa Mehta with English subtitles

Description Shifting between romantic melodrama and spiritual inquiry, this film is a profoundly moving and vibrant story of India's "widow houses," where women of all ages are taken to live (even today), isolated from society following the deaths of their husbands. Sprinkled with humor, rife with universal emotions and visually stunning, the story of Water follows three widows who dared to stand up for themselves in the liberating time of Mahatma Gandhi. One of the widows is Chuyia, still a child, through whose eyes we see much of the action. She is befriended by a beautiful young widow, Kolynani, who meets and falls in love with young Narayan. Shokuntola, who takes Chuyia under her wing, ultimately changes the girl's fate. Set in 1938 when India was still ruled by the British, the movie was the 2007 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, from Canada.

Classic Spotlight: Wild Strawberries

drama | romance - 91 minutes

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Description An incomparable writer and director, the late Ingmar Bergman left a body of work always focused on the major questions: life's meaning, what it means to be human, the persistent impact of childhood experiences; the struggles of relationships between men and women. One extraordinary example is "Wild Strawberries,” filmed in 1957, which chronicles one long day in the life of a 78-year-old medical professor named Isak Borg (Victor Sjostrom). On that day, Borg makes a long automobile journey — and a long, strange trip it is — from his home in Stockholm to a university in southern Sweden to receive an academic honor. He is a man who has been successful in his professional life, but failed to connect with people on a personal level. Most of all, Borg's mind is flooded with memories, reveries and dreams as he tries to come to terms with the life he has lived. If you haven't seen this film in long time, see it again! If you've never seen it, you're in for a great pleasure. 

2018 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

101 Seconds


Directed by Skye Fitzgerald (closed captioning)

Description: 101 Seconds intimately documents the journeys of two families from grieving survivors to hopeful gun safety advocates even as they are confronted by the reality of gun politics in modern America.

Sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women/Bergen County Section; The Bergen County Brady Chapter; Teaneck Board of Education

Talkback with Jenna Yuille, daughter of victim in film; Doug Zeif, Parkland H.S. father; Sam Zeif, Parkland H.S. student; Dennis Hirschfelder, Bergen County Brady Chapter


DOCUMENTARY - 90 minutes

Directed by Paula Eiselt

Description: 93Queen follows a group of tenacious Hasidic women who are shattering the glass ceiling in their Hasidic Brooklyn neighborhood by creating the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in NYC.

Sponsored by The Jewish Link of New Jersey

Talk forward with Paula Eiselt, film director & producer; Heidi Reinberg, film producer

Abbeville – Lynching in America

Abbeville Lynching in America.jpg

DOCUMENTARY - 8 minutes

Directed by Juan Mejia

Description: In 1916, a black farmer named Anthony Crawford was brutally lynched in Abbeville, South Carolina. One hundred years later, the Crawford family returns to the town square to acknowledge the racial violence that once drove them away. A project of the Equal Justice Initiative.

Talkback with Juan Mejia, film director; Juan Yepes, film producer


BIOGRAPHY | DRAMA - 114 minutes (NJ Premiere)

Directed by Hansal Mehta (subtitles: Hindi and Urdu)

Description: This is the true heartbreaking and powerful story of Professor Siras, a prolific teacher who faced abject humiliation and persecution at the hands of university authorities and other citizens for being gay. Stay for the talkback after for a discussion about how India’s past and present rulings on gay rights impact filings with the immigration administrative bodies and courts in the U.S.

Sponsored by NPZ Law Group and Global Immigration Attorneys

Talkback with David Nachman, Attorney; Snehal Batra, Attorney

An Act of Defiance (Bram Fischer)

BIOGRAPHY - 124 minutes

Directed by Jean van de Velde (subtitles: English, Afrikaans)

Description: In apartheid-ruled South Africa, a renowned lawyer struggles to hide his secret affiliation to the nation's chief resistance movement - as he takes on defending a group of its arrested members, including its leader, Nelson Mandela.

Sponsored by Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County; MLK Birthday Committee, Inc.

Talkback with Professor Stephen Ellmann, expert on South African law

And Then They Came for Us

DOCUMENTARY - 50 minutes

Directed by Abby Ginzberg

Description: Seventy-five years ago, Executive Order 9066 paved the way to the profound violation of constitutional rights that resulted in the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans. This is a cautionary and inspiring story for these dark times. George Takei is featured.

Sponsored by The Teaneck Community Chorus

Talkback with Talkback with Wes Matsui, PhD TCC Music Chair; Takeshi Furumoto, born in Japanese internment camp; George Hirose, Japanese-American community organizer | Performance by Teaneck Community Chorus precedes film

Ayla: The Daughter of War

DRAMA | HISTORY | WAR - 125 minutes

Directed by  Can Ulkay (subtitles: Korean, Turkish, English, Chinese)

Description: During the Korean War, a young girl is saved by Suleyman, a Turkish sergeant, who gives her the nickname Ayla.  Despite the language barrier, the two form a friendship but are torn apart when Suleyman must return home.

Sponsored by Addie Wijnen

Bathtubs Over Broadway

Documentary | Comedy - 87 minutes

Directed by Dava Whisenant

Description: Comedy writer Steve Young’s assignment to scour bargain-bin vinyl for a Late Night segment becomes an unexpected, decades-spanning obsession when he stumbles upon the strange and hilarious world of corporate musicals in this musical-comedy-documentary. With David Letterman, Martin Short, Chita Rivera, Susan Stroman, Jello Biafra, Florence Henderson, and more.

Sponsored by Wise Older Women (WOW); Rotary Club of Teaneck; Gemini Theatrical Investors LLC

Talkback with Steve Young, lead writer for David Letterman and subject of film; Marc Levine, Gemini Theatrical Investors LLC

The Coming Back Out Ball Movie

DOCUMENTARY - 84 minutes

Directed by Sue Thomson

Description: This documentary follows a group of older LGBTI+ people, who have been invited to attend a ball celebrating their gender and sexual identity. Faced with the complexities of aging and isolation, these extraordinary people seize each day with determination and humor. 

Sponsored by Garden State Equality; Reggie Van Lee

Talkback with Sue Thomson, film director; Bianca Mayes, Health & Wellness Coordinator, Garden State Equality

The Devil We Know

DOCUMENTARY - 95 minutes

Directed by Stephanie Soechtig

Description: In 1945, DuPont introduced Teflon to the marketplace and changed millions of American households. Today, a biopersistent chemical used in the creation of those products is in the bloodstream of 99 percent of all Americans. A compelling and ultimately terrifying watch that will make you question everything in your kitchen.

Sponsored by the Teaneck Creek Conservancy; the Social Action Committee of Temple Emeth

Every Act of Life

DOCUMENTARY - 90 minutes

Directed by Jeff Kaufman

Description: The life of Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally (Master Class, Ragtime): 60 years of groundbreaking plays and musicals, the struggle for LGBT rights, addiction and recovery, finding true love, and the relentless pursuit of inspiration.

Sponsored by Black Box Studios and Performing Arts Center

Talkback with Garage Theatre reading excerpt from Terrence McNally’s, Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune | Hosted by Michael Bias

Home is a Human Right: A Series on Immigration

DOCUMENTARY - 41 minutes

Description: These six short films examine issues related to immigration in the U.S. that impact undocumented and refugee communities.

Sponsored by Teaneck Board of Education; NJ Eye and Ear, LLC

Talkback with Sally Pillay, First Friends of NY & NJ; Johanna Calle, NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice; Sebastian Rodriguez, Teaneck Board of Education | Moderated by Randall Pinkston, former CBS News anchor and four-time Emmy winner

The Hunt (Bete)

Drama - 12 minutes

Directed by Ganesh Shetty (subtitles)

Description: In 2016, the Karnataka government in southern India legalized the use of local guns to cull wild boar herds for the protection of crops. This move has had serious effects on the ecosystem in addition to causing the loss of hundreds of innocent lives.

Ideal Home

DRAMA | COMEDY - 91 minutes

Directed by Andrew Fleming

Description: Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd star as Erasmus and Paul, a bickering gay couple whose life is turned inside out when a ten-year old boy shows up at their door claiming to be Erasmus' grandson. Neither Paul, nor Erasmus, are ready to give up their extravagant lifestyles to be parents, but maybe this little kid has a thing or two to teach them about the value of family.

Sponsored by Julie Greller

Talkback with Debra E. Guston, Esq., Past President, Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, Glen Rock NJ; Anthony Torres and husband, Nick O’Neill, YWCA of Bergen County and HealingSpace

Kid Flicks One


Live action and animated shorts for children (ages 4-8) - 60 minutes

Description: Thanks to a grant from the Puffin Foundation, Ltd., children are admitted free with a paying adult.  Don’t miss brilliant films from around the world that will delight all ages, and the chance to meet special guest Bob McGrath. 

Sponsored by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd.

Leave No Trace

drama - 109 minutes

Directed by Debra Granik

Description: Will and his teenage daughter Tom have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland.

Sponsored by Sandi Klein's Conversations with Creative Women

Love Wins

DOCUMENTARY - 30 minutes

Directed by Robin Kampf

Description: Two 80-plus year old women fell in love and raised a family in suburban New Jersey in spite of a husband, Italian-Catholic guilt and the law. Now, after being together, living in the closet for 45 years, they got married and are now proud, flag-waving members of a social movement that has changed the course of the history of marriage.

Sponsored by Garden State Equality

Talkback with Robin Kampf, film director

My Annie Hall

NARRATIVE | COMEDY - 30 minutes

Directed by Matt Starr and Ellie Sachs

Description: A charming reboot of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall set in and starring members of a New York City senior center.

Sponsored by Age-Friendly Teaneck; Jacqueline and Michael Kates

Talkback with Matt Starr and Ellie Sachs, the directors; John Leland, New York Times; Harry B. Miller and Shula Chernick, actors | Moderated by Sandee Brawarsky, culture editor of The New York Jewish Week



Directed by Serena Dykman (subtitles: French, English)

Description: The filmmaker retraces her grandmother's Auschwitz survival story and investigates how her life-long fight against intolerance can be passed on to new generations in the 21st century.

Sponsored by The Jewish Standard

Talkback with Serena Dykman, film director | Moderated by Dr. Daniel Rynhold, professor of Modern Jewish Philosophy

The Rape of Recy Taylor

DOCUMENTARY - 91 minutes

Directed by Nancy Buirski

Description: Recy Taylor, a young black woman, was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 rural Alabama. Unbroken, she spoke up and fought for justice with help from Rosa Parks and legions of women.

Sponsored by The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Bergen/Passaic Chapter; YWCA of Bergen County; Bergen County NAACP Branch 2079

Talkback with Nancy Buirski, director; Melissa Potter, Odyssey Impact ; Helen Archontou, YWCA and HealingSpace; Rev. Brenda Ford

Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

DOCUMENTARY - 100 minutes

Directed by Samuel D. Pollard

Description: This is the first major film documentary to examine Davis’ vast talent and his journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America.

Sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg

Talkback with Matt Birkbeck, award-winning author of Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money, Madness | Moderated by Randall Pinkston, former CBS News anchor and four-time Emmy winner

Searching for Augusta: The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne


Directed by Michael Edwards

Description: Augusta Chiwy was a black nurse who heroically served at a U.S. military aid station during the opening days of the Battle of the Bulge. Her remarkable life story, which went untold for over 60 years, was celebrated in the New York Times feature “The Lives They Lived.”

Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Inc.

Talkback with Michael Edwards, film director | Moderated by Darla Miles, WABC TV News

Soldier On: Life After Deployment

DOCUMENTARY - 80 minutes

Directed by Susan Sipprelle

Description: Three women confront the challenges of readjusting to civilian life after their post-9/11 deployments. Their compelling and illuminating stories are presented in the context of a population that has little appreciation for the experiences and sacrifices of female veterans.

Sponsored by League of Women Voters of Teaneck; American Legion Post #128; VFW Post #1429; Gooney Bird Detachment of the Marine Corps League

Talkback with Susan Sipprelle, film director

Wendy's Shabbat


Directed by Rachel Myers

Description: Shabbat dinner gatherings for these Jewish senior citizens is at the Wendy's Fast Food restaurant where they say prayers and light candles over hamburgers and fries.

Sponsored by Wendy Wineburgh Dessanti / Weichert Realtors

Talkback with Josh Ull, teen / senior liaison | Moderated by Sandee Brawarsky, culture editor of The New York Jewish Week

The Wiz

MUSICAL - 134 minutes

Directed by Sidney Lumet

Description: An adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” set in present-day (1978) New York City with Dorothy, now a 24-year-old teacher, played by Diana Ross and Michael Jackson as the scarecrow.

Sponsored by Teaneck Board of Education; YWCA of Bergen County

Talk forward with Rhonda Ross, daughter of Diana Ross | Musical performance by Teaneck High School Marching Band and Chorus precedes film

2006 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

Babette's Feast 

Directed by Gabriel Axel

Description: A foodie's feast that offers as much food for thought as it does delectable cuisine. Set in an austere and isolated village in 19th century Denmark , we meet two adult sisters who live with their father, the honored pastor of a small Protestant church. After some years, after their father dies, a French woman refugee, Babette, arrives at their door, begs them to take her in, and commits herself to work for them as maid/housekeeper/cook. The sisters decide to hold a dinner to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth. Babette experiences unexpected good fortune and is allowed to take charge of the preparation of the meal. It's the feast of a lifetime for the members of the tiny church. But it's not just about the food, of course.

Sponsored by Whole Foods Market

Ballets Russes

Directed by Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine


Unearthing a treasure trove of archival footage, filmmakers Geller and Goldfine have fashioned a dazzlingly entrancing ode to the revolutionary 20 th century dance troupe known as the Ballets Russes. What began as a group of Russian refugees who never danced in Russia became not one but two rival dance troupes who fought the infamous "ballet battles" that consumed London society before World War II.

Directed with consummate invention and infused with juicy anecdotal present-day interviews from many of the company's glamorous stars, the film treats modern audiences to a rare glimpse of the singularly remarkable merger of Russian, American, European and Latin American dancers, choreographers, composers and designers that transformed the face of ballet for generations to come.

Sponsored by Classic Residence by Hyatt

Beauty Academy of Kabul

Directed by Liz Mermin

Description: What happens when a group of hairdressers from America travel to Kabul with the intention of telling Afghan women how to do hair and makeup? This engaging, optimistic documentary tracks a unique development project: a shiny new beauty school, funded in part by beauty-industry mainstays. The American teachers, all volunteers, include three Afghan-Americans returning home for the first time in more than 20 years. The film offers a rare glimpse into Afghan women's lives (including matter-of-fact stories of pre-2001 life under the Taliban) and documents the poignant and often humorous process through which women with very different experiences of life come to learn about one another. 

Been Rich All My Life 

Directed by Heather Lyn MacDonald

Description: This is the story of the Silver Belles, a group of classy, sassy hoofers who met in the 1930s as chorus dancers at the famed Apollo and Cotton Clubs. When the dancers met up again in 1985, they discovered that they'd lost none of their moves — and their performances have been packing in crowds at concert halls in New York . Jazz, a taste of history and unforgettable characters are only a few reasons to see this film. We're thrilled to welcome director Heather Lyn MacDonald and some of the Silver Belles to the Friday night screening.

Sponsored by Bergen/Passaic Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Wome

The Clay Bird 

Directed by Tareque Masud

Description: Set against the backdrop of the turbulent period in the late 1960s leading up to Bangladesh 's independence from Pakistan , the film tells the story of a family torn apart by religion and war. Anu, a shy young boy from rural East Pakistan ( Bangladesh , as it is now known) is sent away by his father Kazi, an orthodox Muslim, to a Madrasah - or Islamic- school. Far from his family and the warmth of his region's Hindu festivities, Anu struggles to adapt to the school's harsh monastic life. Touching on themes of religious tolerance, cultural diversity, and the complexity of Islam, the film has universal relevance in a crisis-ridden world.

The Dying Light 

Directed by Anthony Christiana & Joseph Christiana 

Description: This film - a world premiere at the festival — revolves around a father and two sons whose long-buried demons surface during a stay in a deserted New Jersey beach town in the off-season. When a man who has "come home to die" appears on their doorstep, the tension between the men reaches a boiling point and without fully realizing it, they find themselves standing on the threshold of life and death, struggling to find their relation to it. A 9-minute short comedy, "Soaked," by New Jersey filmmaker Stephanie Daniels, will precede this film.

Keeping Time: The Life, Music & Photography of Milt Hinton

Directed by David G. Berger and Holly Maxson, Producers. 
David G. Berger and Kate Hirson, co-directors

Description: This film vividly documents the nine-decade journey of the African- American jazz bassist and photographer Milt Hinton. Hinton chronicles his life — on camera and behind the camera — from his youth in the segregated Deep South to his position as one of the most respected elder statesman of jazz. It is a perceptive visual and oral history of the music business, race relations, opportunity and achievement in 20th Century America. The film captures Milt Hinton's extraordinary spirit and his solemn commitment to pass on what he learned and experienced to future generations. 

The Lady From Sockholm

Directed by Lynn Lamousin

Description: Here's the premise: Can a clean sock find justice in a dirty town? A sock puppet detective unravels a case involving the disappearance of high-end hosiery. The Video Association of Dallas said, "This clever film noir is as inspired by vintage children's cartoons as by Orson Welles ." Featuring an all-sock puppet cast, it has all the requisite characters of a good Raymond Chandler novel — a private eye, a double-dishing dame, hostile witnesses and plenty of dramatic tension — along with nonstop hosiery puns. This film will be shown in a program with a short, "Binta Y La Gran Idea," directed by Javier Fesser of Spain. Binta is a 7 year old girl who lives in a small village on the Casamance river in southern Senegal. Winning characters and terrific music are the foundation for this charming film.

A Man from Munkacs

Directed by Yale Strom

Description: This film features an abundance of klezmer music, which as the film details, can break your heart or make your spirit soar. It explores the symbiotic relationship between the Rom and Jews who lived together in the Carpathian region before and after World War II and how the Rom, saved Jewish folk music until it could be returned to the Jews, allowing the rebirth of Jewish music in Hungary . Yale Strom, director, composer, musician and writer, has become the world's leading ethnographer/artist of klezmer. This film will be shown in a program with Matisyahu, a short documentary featuring the music of Matisyahu, a Hasidic Reggae/Beat Box/Rapper whose performances meld Jewish tradition with modern sounds, creating a new form of spiritual expression. The film was directed by David E. Baugnon. 

Sponsored by Temple Emeth (Man From Munkacz) and Frameworks (Matisyahu).


Directed by Pete Chatmon, Writer/Director/Producer

Description: A romantic comedy/drama by Essex County filmmaker Pete Chatmon. This film, the perfect date movie, follows the personal and career travails of Reginald "Cool" Coolidge (played by Dorian Missick, now starring in ABC's Six Degrees). The film features an outstanding ensemble cast, including Zoe Saldana, Tonya Pinkins, Frankie Faison and Will Harper. Pete Chatmon founded his production company, Double 7 Film, in 2000 to produce short and feature films, commercials, and music videos, will attend the screening and participate in a Q&A with the audience.


Sponsored by Bergen County Links

Rebel Without a Pause 

Directed by Nancy Savoca

Description: This is a filmed performance of the stage act, Reno: Rebel Without a Pause, which opened in New York City in October 2001. The show features Tribeca resident and comedian/actress/writer Reno 's perspective of dealing with September 11th in public. Her rapid-fire witness to the events of September 11th and how they affected her personally and in the context of the world at-large became an emotional and cathartic work that drew beleaguered crowds (including local policemen and firefighters) searching for a way to process the complexity of the pain and find a way back to laughter. The Teaneck International Film Festival is proud to host Reno in person for a post-film discussion as well as a dinner reception after that (by reservation only).

Shakespeare Behind Bars 

Directed by Hank Rogerson and Jilann Spitzmiller

Description: This powerful and moving documentary follows the casting, rehearsal, and presentation of Shakespeare's play, The Tempest , by convicted felons inside Kentucky 's Luther Luckett Correctional Complex. Winner of eight film festival awards, the film smashes many of our long held notions about prisoners and criminals as we watch these remarkably unique actors prepare. Ultimately, we get to see the human psyche unfold in all of its complexities, as these men, ostracized from society, reveal their kindness, generosity and faith. In the process, we accompany them as they discover the power of truth, forgiveness and transformation.

Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Directed by Charles Reisner

Description: A silent 1928 classic that features one of the most famous scenes of the era (a house falling around an unscathed Buster Keaton), this film will be shown with live organ accompaniment. The plot: a young man (Buster Keaton) gets caught in the midst of a feud between his father, Steamboat Bill Sr. and rival riverboat proprietor J.J. King, and falls for King's daughter. The kids attempt to defuse the rivalry, but when Bill Sr. ends up in the clink for decking J.J., the lovebirds have their work cut out. No rating, but this comedy is suitable for children.

The Turandot Project

Directed by Allan Miller

Description: You don't have to be an opera lover to adore this film, a fascinating chronicle of an unprecedented cross-cultural collaboration. In 1997, conductor Zubin Mehta and celebrated Chinese film director Zhang Yimou joined forces on a production of Puccini's opera Turandot in the Forbidden City of Beijing. The production was an undertaking on an epic scale - and not without its struggles and challenges - with enormous sets, breathtaking hand-sewn Ming Dynasty costumes and hundreds of soldiers posing as extras. This is a gorgeous, lush film that will transport you musically and geographically.

Sponsored by K. Hovnanian's Concierge Club

2011 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

After the Fire


Directed by Guido Verweyen

Description: On January 19, 2000 Seton Hall University was vaulted to the national news when a fire set by arsonists, raced through a freshmen dorm, killing three students and injuring fifty-eight others. Two of the most critically injured were roommates Shawn Simmons and Alvaro Llanos. Laying in a coma, Shawn and Alvaro were unaware that a journalist and photographer were documenting every event in their fight for survival. The story proceeds from the devastating fire through the grueling medical treatment until their return to the same school where their ordeal had begun. The documentary is about heroes and cowards, referring to Simmons and Llanos as the heroes and Joseph LePore and Sean Ryan, the Seton Hall students who set the deadly fire and hid their crime for nearly three years as the cowards. This documentary will rattle and shake you to the core and at the same time celebrate the power of the human spirit in a memorable and gripping way.

Links: IMDb - Official Site

Ahead of Time (The Ruth Gruber Movie)


Directed by Bob Richman - English with Hebrew Subtitles

Produced by Zeva Oelbaum

Description: Born in Brooklyn in 1911, Gruber completed graduate studies in Germany to become the world's youngest PhD at the age of 20. As a foreign correspondent and photographer (for outlets including the New York Herald Tribune, New York Post and Life magazine), she provided groundbreaking coverage from the Soviet Arctic, Middle East and Nuremberg trials. Never just a journalist, she worked for the Roosevelt administration in Alaska in 1941, and escorted 1,000 Holocaust refugees from Naples to New York in a 1944 secret wartime mission. Later, her eyewitness dispatches on the plight of the passengers from the Exodus 1947 helped arouse the conscience of the world. Masterful editing leads the tidy production package. Ruth Gruber just didn’t report the news…she made it!

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by WOW (Wise Older Women)


Argentina - Documentary, Biography - 90 MINUTES

Directed by  Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon

Description: For 81-year-old Sonia Sanchez, writing is both a personal and political act. She emerged as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word. She is among the earliest poets to have incorporated urban black English into her poetry; she was one of the first activists to secure the inclusion of African American studies in university curricula. Deemed "a lion in literature's forest" by poet Maya Angelou and winner of major literary awards including the American Book Award, Sonia Sanchez is best known for 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color.

Talkback: Sonia Sanchez, poet/playwright/activist moderated by Mikaela Angela Davis, CNN Contributor

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer 

Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Belief Matters 

Presented by Media That Matters™ & Hartley Film Foundation

Jury Selected Religious Themed Shorts

Description: Compassion and understanding are tenants of all faiths.  In today's world, there is a universal call for tolerance, justice and charity. In other words…Belief Matters.

This collection contains films that show some of the myriad ways that Belief Matters. Part of the Media That Matters collection, these films showcase issues surrounding interfaith respect, human rights, and the environment.  The subjects of these short films express belief in the future, belief in others and belief in themselves. It is our hope that by viewing these films you are inspired to believe in the possibilities of change.

Children of God

Bahamas - 103 MINUTES

Directed by Kareem Mortimer 

Description: Set against the backdrop of a nation grappling with violent homophobic crime and offering a scathing examination of the underlying hatred for gays rampant in Caribbean societies, Bahamian Kareem Mortimer’s debut narrative feature tells the stories of three very different individuals: Lena, the conservative, deeply religious wife of a secretly gay firebrand pastor; Romeo, a handsome young black man hiding his sexuality from his close-knit and loving family; and Jonny, the conflicted and creatively-blocked white artist in search of himself. All three head for the spectacularly beautiful and tranquil island of Eleuthera, each with a different reason for escaping current circumstances. Soon, their disparate worlds collide in unexpected and affecting ways. This uncommon portrayal of love, loneliness, tolerance, secrets and self-acceptance takes viewers on a poignant multifaceted journey that is enlightening, courageous, and disquieting all at the same time, and which shocks to the very core with its startling conclusion.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Farewell (L’affaire Farewell)

France - 113 Minutes

Directed by Christian Carion - French, Russian and English with English Subtitles

Description: Engaging, emotional and riveting, Farewell is an intricate and highly intelligent thriller pulled from the pages of history - about an ordinary man thrust into the biggest theft of Soviet information of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan called this piece of history - largely unknown until now, “one of the most important espionage cases of the 20th century.”

Directed by Christian Carion, the Academy Award® nominated filmmaker of Joyeux Nöel, Farewell, starring Willem Dafoe, begins in 1981, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. US/Soviet relations are at their lowest point in more than a decade. A French businessman based in Moscow, Froment, (French director Guillaume Canet, Tell No One), makes an unlikely connection with Grigoriev, (Palme d’Or and Golden Bear winner Emir Kusturica, Underground) a senior KGB officer disenchanted with what the Communist ideal has become under Brezhnev. Grigoriev begins passing Froment highly sensitive information about the Soviet spy network in the US. Torn between the fear of putting his wife (Alexandra Maria Lara, The Reader) and children in danger and the desire to know more, Froment brings the documents to the French government. Soon, the flow of information reaches the White House and brings the Soviet regime to the tipping point of collapse, forcing the KGB to escalate its search for the leak, and placing the two men and their families in extreme peril. “A fantastic true story.” -Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Gen Silent

70 Minutes

Directed by Stu Maddux

Description: Gen Silent is the critically-acclaimed documentary that asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their friends, their spouses- their entire lives in order to survive in the care system. Their surprising decisions are captured through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year. It puts a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender older people so afraid of discrimination by caregivers or bullying by other seniors that many simply go back into the closet.

Unlike any film before, Gen Silent startlingly discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall now affects older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with fear and isolation.Many who won the first civil rights victories for generations to come are now dying prematurely because they are reluctant to ask for help and have too few friends or family to care for them.

But a growing number of people are working to protect LGBT older adults and caregivers. As we watch the challenges that these men and women face, we are offered new hope as each person crosses paths with impassioned people trying to change LGBT aging for the better.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Barbara & Jeffrey Ostroth, Linda Harrison & Jacqueline Grindrod, and Eva & Larry Tobias.

The Good Fight (The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War) 

98 Minutes 

Directed by Mary Dore, Noel Buckner, Sam Sills 

Description: The fight for the freedom of Loyalist Spain during the 1936-39 civil war pitted an International Brigade of 35,000 civilian soldiers from more than 50 nations against the well-equipped insurgents of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Aid to Franco came via Italian fighter planes from Mussolini and from the Nazi Condor Legion of Junker bombers sent by Hitler, who wanted to try out his new weaponry in anticipation of the larger war to come. Spurred by their government¹s failure to aid Spanish democracy, 2,800 American volunteers fought with distinction in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade within the international volunteer army. Lincoln veterans (over 750 were killed in Spain) returned home after the Loyalist defeat to encounter suspicion as "premature anti-fascists." Branded Communist sympathizers, blacklisted for years and unable to get work, many paid dearly for their good fight.  Narrated by Studs Terkel, The Good Fight explores a significant gap in our history through its use of newsreels, photographs, interviews with Lincoln veterans and Depression-era music. The eleven surviving veterans of the war who appear in this tough, stirring film share a common pride in their sacrifices of seventy years ago when the rise of world fascism crushed the spirit of democracy in a tragic rehearsal for World War II.

Talkback: with members of ALBA

Links: IMDb

Halfaouine/Boy of the Terraces

Tunisia - 98 minutes

Directed by Ferid Bougehdir - Arabic with English subtitles 

Description: Set against the sensual, erotic backdrop of modern Tunisia, renowned Arab critic-turned-filmmaker Ferid Boughedir's Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces is a bittersweet portait of a boy's sexual awakening. Noura (Selim Boughedir, the director's nephew) is an inquisitive thirteen-year-old whose eyes are opened to his own sexual desires when he visits the local bathhouse with his mother. Gazing upon the spectacular array of unclothed women and girls, Noura begins to experience his first pangs of longing. But just as Noura is awakened to the pleasures of the fair sex, he risks being wrested from their tender, affectionate companionship and into the callous and rigid company of men.

A sensitive, comical look at the difficulty of growing up under the puritanical codes of Islam, Boughedir's film is also a rich, vibrant portait of the Arab neighborhood of Halfaouine, with its array of colorful and eccentric citizenry from whom Noura learns the complicated, often hypocritical ways of adulthood.

Talkback: to follow on Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution and the implications for Tunisia, North Africa and the Middle East 

Links: IMDb

Kid Flix Mix 2011

The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival

Animation and Live Action Shorts - 60 Minutes

Hosted by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street

Description: Once again, TIFF presents the acclaimed New York International Children's Film Festival assortment of its best animated and live action films from around the world, for children from 3-6. Bob McGrath, of Teaneck and Sesame Street, will introduce the program, which features musical and narrative works from the USA, United Kingdom, Denmark, Hungary, Spain, and more. The collection is guaranteed to delight our youngest filmgoers.

  • Mi’au Myau Animation, Vida Vega, 2009, UK, 1 minute
  • All That Cats Animation, Mátyás Lanczinger, 2009, Hungary, 1 minute x 3 
  • How the Shammies Bathed Mixed Media, Edmunds Jansons, 2010, Latvia, 7 minutes
  • Whistleless Animation, Siri Melchior, 2010, Denmark, 5 minutes
  • The Yellow Balloon Animation, Ben Thompson/Rob Castillo, 2010, USA, 3 minutes
  • Who’s There?  Animation, Vanda Raýmanová, 2009, Slovakia, 9.5 minutes
  • Mobile Animation, Verena Fels, 2010, Germany, 6 minutes
  • Saari Animation, Pablo Jordi, 2008, Spain, 3 minutes x 2 
  • Snowflakes and Carrots Animation, Samantha Leriche-Gionet, Canada,2010, 4 minutes
  • Precise Peter Animation, Martin Schmidt, 2010, Germany, 5 minutes
  • Murphy’s Shorts Animation, Todd Hemker, 2009, USA, 2 minutes
  • Ormie Animation, Rob Silvestri, 2009, Canada , 4 minutes 

Sponsored by Puffin Foundation, children will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult

Leave It on the Floor

Musical - Canada - 107 minutes

Directed by Sheldon Larry

Description: Sheldon Larry’s audacious, raunchy and big-hearted musical - with songs by Beyoncé music director Kim Burse and choreography by Beyoncé dance master Frank Gatson Jr. - takes us into the fabulously funky world of voguing. (Remember the documentary “Paris is Burning”?) Here the setting is contemporary downtown L.A. Our hunky, homeless hero Brad, discarded by his homophobic mom, falls in with the members of The House of Eminence, ruled by the stern aging diva Queef Latina, who keeps a careful, loving watch over her makeshift family of runaways and throwaways. When two of her crew fall for Brad, the Queef is royally unamused. High flying and low down, Leave it on the Floor is a one of a kind celebration - a gay African American musical about finding your true family.

Talkback: Q&A with Dr. Eric Goldman

Links: IMDb

Life, Love, Soul

108 Minutes

Directed by Noel Calloway 

Description: Kimberly Jackson, a successful attorney, is raising her sons, Roosevelt and his younger brother Clinton, in the affluent Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Roosevelt, a high school senior, is 17, handsome, and talented. His biggest concern is whether to choose Syracuse University or UCLA. Tragedy strikes when an out of control SUV smashes into the Jackson family car, instantly killing Kimberly and Clinton and leaving Roosevelt alone in a world devoid of the love and support he has always known. He moves in with his estranged father, disgruntled construction worker Earl Grant, a man who is ill equipped to raise the son he has never known and nurture him through this tragedy. In spite of the intervention of Earl's wife, there are frequent explosive confrontations between father and son. It isn't until Roosevelt meets Kyna Tate, a new student in his school, that he begins to live again and is ready to establish a relationship with his father. As he begins to piece his life together, however, he is blindsided by another life-altering circumstance.
This film stars acclaimed actors Jamie Hector and Chad Coleman of HBO’s The Wire, Egypt, famed radio personality on WBLS 107.5, Terri Vaughn from The Steve Harvey Show, and Tami Roman from the VH1 Series Basketball Wives.

Links: Official Site

Sponsored by the Bergen County Chapter of The Links, Inc., the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Bergen/Passaic Chapter, and Teaneck/Englewood Vicinity Club

Ma'aleh School of Television, Film & the Arts of Jerusalem Short Series

Short - 53 minutes 

Hebrew with English subtitles


The Divide (2011; Fiction; 20 minutes; Director – Tzvi Yehuda Herling) Kobi has joined the army, despite his parents' opposition. He returns to his home in the hills of Samaria for the Sabbath just before he is to be given the award for Outstanding Soldier at an upcoming IDF ceremony. There, he discovers that the army has given the order for his family's eviction.  Trailer

A-Maiseh (2003; Fiction; 18 minutes; Director – Yitzchak Sverdlov) The warm relationship between Mendel, an elderly Holocaust survivor, and his Filipino caretaker, Jose, is tested when Jose does not have a work permit and the police begin searching the neighborhood for illegal foreign workers. Trailer

I'm Ready (2009; Drama; 15 minutes; Director – Esther Siton) The special relationship between an elderly father and his Down Syndrome son breaks down when the father's memory begins to fail due to the onset of Alzheimer's disease. The collapse of their stable and happy routine forces the two of them to contemplate a painful resolution of their problems. Trailer

Talkback: with Neta Ariel, Director of Ma'aleh School

Sponsored by the Jewish Center of Teaneck, and the Jewish Community Council

Mahler on the Couch (Mahler auf der Couch) 

Austria, Germany - 100 minutes

Directed by Percy and Felix Adlon - German with English Subtitles

Description: This exuberant imagining of the real-life marriage of Gustav Mahler (Johannes Silberschneider) and his tempestuous wife Alma Schindler Mahler (the luminous Barbara Romaner) is a sensory feast of art, sex and celebrity in fin-de-siècle Vienna. Chafing under her agreement to give up her own musical ambitions, Alma seeks passion in the arms of the young, dashing architect Walter Gropius, which sends a tormented Mahler to Sigmund Freud for consultation. “Cameos” by Gustav Klimt and Max Burckhard. Moving and funny (the sessions with Freud are sly gems) the film is filled with Mahler’s sublime music conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Beautifully written and directed by Percy Adlon (Baghdad Café) and his son Felix Adlon. “Very witty and erotic…Percy Adlon is up to old tricks in this, delightful, artistically vigorous and occasionally loony fantasia about Vienna's cultural elite 100 years ago.” –The Hollywood Reporter

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Media That Matters™ Short Film Festival 

Jury Selected Short Films

Talkback: Julie Winokur, Director of Denied and The Leaves Keep Falling along with Carol Devoe, Co-Producer, Teaneck native, & TIFF Co-Chair, Youth Outreach

Decscription: Tying closely into TIFF's theme of Activism: Making Change, we are proud to once again present and partner with Arts Engine Eleventh Annual Media That Matters Short Film Festival. The Media That Matters Film Festival is the premiere showcase for short films on the most important topics of the day. Local and global, online and in communities around the world, Media That Mattersengages diverse audiences and inspires them to take action. 
From religious acceptance in America to Asperger’s Syndrome, the jury-selected collection represents the work of a diverse group of independent filmmakers, many of whom are under 21. The films are equally diverse in style and content, with documentaries, music videos, animations, experimental work and everything else in between. What all the films have in common is that they spark debate and action in 12 minutes or less.

Links: Official Site

Mourning on Charlotte Street

Short - 30 minutes

Directed by Frank M. Calo

Description: In 1954, a teenage body lies twisted in an alley on Charlotte street in the Bronx. The question is why?  Nicky, a high school honor student, dreams of college and a future with his loving girlfriend, Jenny Corbin. Lorenzo, a charismatic high school drop out, spends his days in pool halls mixing with the local hoodlums. Separated by darkness and corruption, united by the unbreakable bond of brotherly love, relive the tough streets of the Bronx in the 1950’s in this powerful tale that became front page news and captured the heart of a city.

Links: IMDb

Music by Prudence

Short - 33 minutes

Directed by Roger Ross Williams

Description: 2010 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Short, Music by Prudence tells a self-empowering story of one young woman’s struggle who, together with her band, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds and in her own voice conveys to the world that “disability does not mean inability”  In addition to its sheer emotional punch, Music by Prudence has become the cornerstone of an advocacy campaign and has been embraced by the UN, Human Rights Watch and the disability community as an unprecedented portrayal advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

On the Bowery

Black and White - 65 minutes

Directed by Lionel Rogosin

Description: On the Bowery is Rogosin’s legendary early Oscar® nominated independent documentary chronicling three days on New York’s skid row, shot on location in downtown streets, and now in a new 35mm restoration.  Ray enters the Confidence Bar & Grill where he meets Gorman, an older man who likes to tell stories of his more successful bygone days.  Ray falls in with Gorman and his band of drunks who help him spend all his money on muscatel.  Both wanting more, Gorman suggests that Ray sells some of his possessions.  Going through Ray’s suitcase, Gorman finds some clothes that they can sell at the thieves’ market.  He also spots a watch in the suitcase, but Ray quickly takes it back saying that it won’t be sold.  With the extra money, the pair go back to the bar.  Surrounded by fellow drinkers in advanced states of alcoholic decay, Ray buys them rounds of drinks.  Dead drunk, he stumbles out to the street and blacks out. Gorman helps himself to Ray’s suitcase.  Here begins Ray’s decent – and his hopes to escape the Bowery one day.  "A milestone in American cinema… On the Bowery is very special to me… Rogosin’s film is so true to my memories of that place and that time. He accomplished his goal, of portraying the lives of the people who wound up on the Bowery, as simply and honestly and compassionately as possible. It’s a rare achievement." -Martin Scorsese

Talkback: Christian Hogarth, director/writer; Joel Nagle, producer; moderated by David Bland

Links: IMDb - Official Site


Oscar's Comeback

21 Minutes

Directed by Lisa Collins and Mark Shwartzburt

Description: About 150 miles to the nearest mall, in a dwindling, all-white farm town, a collision of two unlikely worlds sparks at a homespun, folksy event meant to save the day.  Welcome to Gregory, South Dakota—home of the annual Oscar-Micheaux Film &Book Festival; dedicated to the town’s black native son, “Godfather of Independent Cinema” Oscar Micheaux…a largely forgotten filmmaker, with 44 features under his belt, known for his controversial melodramas.  Over six years, Oscar’s Comeback documents those five sweltering days in August and the tensions leading up to them.  Our modern-day Race Movie captures the struggle to achieve the American Dream across our country’s tricky racial and economic divide.

Talkback: Christian Hogarth, director/writer; Joel Nagle, producer; moderated by David Bland

Links: Official Site

Sponsored by Holy Name Medical Center

Paths of Glory

Black and White - 88 Minutes

Directed by Stanley Kubrick 

Description: Paths of Glory, the 1957 antiwar masterpiece, catapulted Stanley Kubrick to international acclaim. Based on the novel by Humphrey Cobb, developed by Kubrick and starring Kirk Douglas, it would become one of the most powerful films about the wasteful insanity of warfare. In one of his finest roles, Douglas plays Colonel Dax, commander of a battle-worn regiment of the French army along the western front during World War I. Held in their trenches under the threat of German artillery, the regiment is ordered on a suicidal mission to capture an enemy stronghold. When the mission inevitably fails, French generals order the selection of three soldiers to be tried and executed on the charge of cowardice. Dax is appointed as defense attorney for the chosen scapegoats, and what follows is a travesty of justice that has remained relevant and powerful for decades. In the wake of some of the most authentic and devastating battle sequences ever filmed, Kubrick brilliantly explores the political machinations and selfish personal ambitions that result in battlefield slaughter and senseless executions. The film is unflinching in its condemnation of war and the self-indulgence of military leaders who orchestrate the deaths of thousands from the comfort of their luxurious headquarters. For many years, Paths of Glory was banned in France as a slanderous attack on French honor, but it's clear that Kubrick's intense drama is aimed at all nations and all men. Though it touches on themes of courage and loyalty in the context of warfare, the film is specifically about the historical realities of World War I, but its impact and artistic achievement remain timeless and universal. - Jeff Shannon

Links: IMDb

The Piano in a Factory (Gang de qin) 

China - 105 Minutes

Directed by Zhang Meng - Mandarin with English subtitles

Description: When Chen's estranged wife reappears asking for a divorce and custody of their daughter, the musician girl decides she will live with whoever can provide her with a piano. Chen's struggle thus begins. When efforts to borrow money and even steal a piano fail, Chen concocts a preposterous plan - he'll make a piano from scratch! He persuades a bunch of reluctant, but loyal, misfit friends to help him forge the instrument in a derelict factory from a heap of scrap steel. Though crude in design and tune, the factory piano awaits its first and final performance from his little girl. "A delightful Chinese film that artfully blends music, romance, comedy and just a little social comment… a thoroughly enjoyable movie experience!" – Mark Adams, Screen Daily

Links: Official SiteIMDb

Sponsored by The Teaneck Community Chorus

The Potential Wives of Norman Mao

8 Minutes

Directed by Derek Nguyen

Description: Norman Mao is an overweight, and socially awkward man-child from Hong Kong, who at the age of 33 is still unwed. Desperate to get him married, his parents take him on an international junket across the globe to find him a worthy Chinese wife. The Mao’s arrive to a New York City hotel, which is their final stop on their trip and their last hope to find Norman a bride. Having hired a professional matchmaking service, the Mao’s meet with three matches for Norman. Will one of these women be a potential wife for Norman or is he destined to lead a terribly lonely life?
The Potential Wives of Norman Mao is a quirky and heartwarming short film narrated by the legendary George Takei (Star Trek) and starring Ed Lin (A Waiter Tomorrowand renowned writer), Tina Chen (Three Days of the Condor, Face), Ron Nakahara (Hawaii Five-O), Cindy Cheung (Lady in the Water, Children of Invention), Michelle Ang (Xena, The Tribe), Soomi Kim (Law & Order), and Wai Ching Ho (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Flight of the Conchords).

Talkback: Actors and Director of film

Links: IMDb

The Price of Sugar

90 minutes

Directed by Bill Haney

Description: In the Dominican Republic, a tropical island-nation, tourists flock to pristine beaches unaware that a few miles away thousands of dispossessed Haitians have toiled under armed-guard on plantations harvesting sugarcane, much of which ends up in U.S. kitchens. They work grueling hours and frequently lack decent housing, clean water, electricity, education or healthcare. Narrated by Paul Newman, The Price of Sugar follows Father Christopher Hartley, a charismatic Spanish priest, as he organizes some of this hemisphere's poorest people to fight for their basic human rights. This film raises key questions about where the products we consume originate and at what human cost they are produced.

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by Fair Trade Teaneck 

Revolution ‘67

90 minutes

Directed by Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno

Description: Revolution '67 is an illuminating account of events too often relegated to footnotes in U.S. history - the black urban rebellions of the 1960s. Focusing on the six-day Newark, NJ, outbreak in mid-July, Revolution ‘67reveals how the disturbances began as spontaneous revolts against poverty and police brutality and ended as fateful milestones in America's struggles over race and economic justice. Voices from across the spectrum - activists Tom Hayden and Amiri Baraka, journalist Bob Herbert, Mayor Sharpe James, and other officials, National Guardsmen and Newark citizens - recall lessons as hard-earned then as they have been easy to neglect since.

Talkback: with filmmaker and activists from Newark

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Standing Silent 

81 minutes

Directed by Scott Rosenfelt

Description: An insular Orthodox neighborhood in Baltimore is scandalized after a journalist uncovers generations of child molestation at the hands of prominent rabbis. Unrelenting in his pursuit despite terrible personal repercussions, Baltimore Jewish Times reporter Phil Jacobs is determined to break the silence of victims and expose the predators, trusted and powerful religious leaders. Expecting community support and action, Jacobs is stunned to find himself ostracized by those who would cover up decades of abuse lest they bring shame to the rabbinate and themselves. Through a multiyear investigation, Jacobs confronts not only the Orthodox establishment, but demons from his own past. From Baltimore to Brooklyn, to the streets of Jerusalem, case after case of abuse is slowly brought to light. Recipient of a Sundance Documentary Filmmaker Grant, this taboo breaking film recounts how a courageous reporter’s pen became his sword of justice.

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by Aura Car & Limousine (The Official Car Service of TIFF)

To Be Heard

87 minutes

Directed by Edwin Martinez, Roland Legiardi-Laura, Deborah Shaffer, and Amy Sultan 

Description: To Be Heard is the story of three teens from the South Bronx whose struggle to change their lives begins when they start to write poetry. As writing and reciting become vehicles for their expressions of love, friendship, frustration, and hope, we watch these three youngsters emerge as accomplished self-aware artists, who use their creativity to alter their circumstances. 

A verité film, intimately shot over four years, To Be Heard is the story of three friends and the love that develops between them as they evolve as artists. This “tripod,” as they call it, is bound by proximity, circumstance, and poetry. To Be Heard is also the story of how language links people. Pearl is the support and soul of the three; Karina is the passion and heart; and Anthony is the energy and physicality. In a community where friendships are kept tenuous for many reasons, these three build a bond based on language, respect, and the need to survive. 

“A topnotch testimonial to the transformative power of the pen…What could have been a by-the-numbers inspirational lesson is transformed by the brilliance of collaborative filmmaking, the weight of time, the vitality of the kids and the power of their poetry into an exemplary work. Reminiscent of the years-spanning intimacy of Love and Diane or Hoop Dreams, the docu plays like a three-pronged, true-life version of Precious, but studded with pithy, evocative verse and without that film's ingrained sense of otherness.”– Ronnie Scheib, Variety

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by Teaneck Rotary Club

We Need to Talk About Kevin

112 minutes

Directed by Lynne Ramsay

This film has not been rated and may be inappropriate for children, parental discretion advised.

Description: Premiering at Teaneck following Cannes, Telluride and Toronto, Lynne Ramsay's superb version of the best-selling Lionel Shriver novel tackles the mess left behind for the mother of a teenage murderer in the making. Tilda Swinton plays Eva, a mother haunted by the actions of her son in the suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller We Need to Talk About Kevin. It is a movie which is a skin-peelingly intimate character study and a brilliantly nihilist, feminist parable: what happens when smart progressive career women give birth to boys? We Need to Talk About Kevin explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva's own culpability is measured against Kevin's (Ezra Miller) innate evilness. Ramsay's masterful storytelling simultaneously combines a provocative moral ambiguity with a satisfying and compelling narrative, which builds to a chilling, unforgettable climax.  Also starring Academy Award Nominee John C. Reilly as Franklin. 

Links: IMDb

Welcome to Shelbyville

70 minutes

Directed by Kim A. Snyder

Description: Welcome to Shelbyville is a rare, inside look at America at a crossroads. In a small Tennessee town in the heart of the Bible Belt, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Just a stone’s throw away from Pulaski, Tennessee (the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan), Shelbyville’s longtime African American and white residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a burgeoning Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Somali refugees of Muslim faith. Set on the eve of the 2008 Presidential election, the film captures the interaction between Shelbyville’s old and new residents as they search for a way to live together during that tumultuous, history-changing year.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by Nachman and Associates

Women on the 6th Floor (Les femmes du 6ème étage)

France - 104 minutes

Directed by Philippe Le Guay - French with English Subtitles

Description: Paris, in the early 1960s. Jean-Louis Joubert is a serious but uptight stockbroker, married to Suzanne, a starchy class-conscious woman and father of two arrogant teenage boys, currently in a boarding school. The affluent man lives a steady yet boring life. At least until, due to fortuitous circumstances, Maria, the charming new maid at the service of Jean-Louis' family, makes him discover the servants' quarter on the sixth floor of the luxury building he owns and lives in. There live a crowd of lively Spanish maids who will help Jean-Louis to open to a new civilization and a new approach of life. In their company - and more precisely in the company of beautiful Maria - Jean-Louis will gradually become another man, a better man.

Links: IMDb

2010 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

Alamar (To the Sea)

Family Drama - 73 minutes

Directed by Pedro Gonzalez Rubio - Spanish & Italian with English subtitles

Description: Jorge has only a few weeks with his five-year-old son Natan before he leaves to live with his mother in Rome.  Intent on teaching Natan about their Mayan heritage, Jorge takes him to the pristine Chinchorro reef, and eases him into the rhythms of a fisherman's life. As the bond between father and son grows stronger, Natan learns to live in harmony with life above and below the surface of the sea."A gem! One of the true delicacies of the filmgoing year." - Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

Links: Official Site - IMDb

At Home in Utopia

Documentary - 60 minutes

Directed by Michal Goldman

Produced by Ellen Brodsky

Description: In the 1920s, believing they could create a radical new American dream committed to equality, justice and beauty, a group of Jewish garment workers left the tenements behind to build cooperative apartment complexes in the green, spacious borough of the Bronx. Then the Great Depression challenged everything. A film by Michal Goldman with Ellen Brodsky, narrated by Linda Lavin, At Home in Utopiafocuses on the United Workers Cooperative Colony - aka the Coops - the most grassroots and member-driven of the labor housing cooperatives, where many of the residents were Communists or sympathetic to the communist movement. They became part of a movement that was strong enough to get 24 states to enact emergency legislation against mortgage foreclosures. In a time of economic ruin, they saw an opportunity to change America into a place they would want to call home. At Home in Utopia captures their epic struggle across two generations as the Coops residents experiment with breaking down barriers of race and ethnicity, and championing radical ideas that would someday transform the American workplace.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Black Gold

Documentary - 78 minutes

Directed by Marc Francis & Nick Francis - English, Amharic & Italian with English subtitles

Description: Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate the industry worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil. But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields. Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Tadesse Meskela is one man on a mission to save his 74,000 struggling coffee farmers from bankruptcy. As his farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price. 

Against the backdrop of Tadesse's journey to London and Seattle, the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world's coffee trade becomes apparent. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organization reveal the many challenges Tadesse faces in his quest for a long term solution for his farmers.

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by Fair Trade Teaneck 

Bread & Tulips (Pane e tulipani)

Comedy/Drama - 114 minutes

Directed by Silvio Soldini - Italian with English subtitles

Rated PG-13 for brief language, some sensuality and drug references

Description: Bored with her life, dutiful housewife Rosalba takes a sudden opportunity for freedom when she's unexpectedly separated from everyone during a family vacation. After a tour bus leaves without her, her husband and children don't notice until it is too late. Virtually penniless, she finds a place to stay in a cheap, run-down hotel and makes friends with a waiter who serves her cold food. Deciding to stay, Rosalba finds work with an elderly florist, and moves in with the waiter. The beauty of Venice, together with her new-found freedom lead her to romance and self-discovery, while her husband hires an amateur detective to track her down.

Links: IMDb

Breath Made Visible

Documentary - 80 minutes

Director by Reudi Gerber
Composed by Mario Grigorov

Description: Breath Made Visible is the first feature length film about the life and career of Anna Halprin, the American dance pioneer who has helped redefine our notion of modern art with her belief in dance's power to teach, heal, and transform at all ages of life. This cinematic portrait blends recent interviews with counterparts such as the late Merce Cunningham, archival footage, including her establishment of the first multiracial dance company in the U.S., and excerpts of current performances such as “Parades and Changes” at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, to weave a stunning, inspiring account of one of the most important cultural icons in modern dance.

Talkback: Renowned director Ruedi Gerber and co-producer Mike King who will be attending the screening 

Links: IMDb


Jackie & Judy
Directed by: Phil Harder
Short - 4 minutes
Description: The film Jackie & Judy is a combination of an early dance piece by Rosane Chamecki and Andrea Lerner (chameckilerner) updated with an echo effect over the choreography. Our hope was to throw the viewer into an abstraction of moving lines and designs. I think the feeling the viewer gets is an exotic, high energy dance that can only be witnessed through film. It is our hope that chameckilerner dance films create a new chapter for their choreography. These films can go beyond the dance community to reach an audience of film lovers. – Phil Harder


Come Undone (Cosa Voglio Di Più)

Drama - 124 minutes

Directed by Silvio Soldini - Italian with English subtitles

This film contains graphic sexuality and is not suitable for children

Description: Silvio Soldini, acclaimed Italian director of Bread and Tulips brings us his newest romantic drama Come Undone. Anna has everything she thought she could ever need: a respectable career, a caring family, and a loving partner, Alessio. But when she meets Domenico, a handsome, married waiter, her neatly ordered world begins to fall apart. They quickly fall into a heated affair, based on secret meetings, stolen caresses, cell phone fights, and endless lies. Anna's increasingly distant behavior goes unnoticed by Alessio, while Domenico's wife becomes steadily more suspicious of her husband. As the two lovers begin to fall deeper under the spell of passion, they are faced with a life-changing choice which neither is entirely prepared to make. "Silvio Soldini again crafts a handsome, well-considered relationship drama" - Jay Weissberg, Variety

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Entre Nos

Drama - 81 minutes

Directed and Written by Gloria La Morte & Paola Mendoza - Spanish with English subtitles

Description: This gritty independent drama offers a fresh take on the issue of new immigrants coming to the United States. Mariana (Paola Mendoza) and her two children, Gabriel, 10, and Andrea, 6, have been abandoned by Mariana’s husband after leaving their native Colombia to join him in Jackson Heights, Queens. Now Mariana - unemployed, not knowing English, kicked out of her apartment and pregnant again - is starting to crack under her mounting misfortunes. Terrified of the police and reduced to collecting cans from the street, she is largely without anyone to turn to. In Entre Nos, we are taken on a remarkable journey where we bear witness to a family’s commitment to survival and their unrelenting hope for the American dream...one soda can at a time.

Talkback: Moderated by David Nachman on Immigration Reform 

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by Nachman & Associates

Everyday Black Man

Action, Drama - 105 minutes

Directed and Written by Carmen Madden

Description: Since closing the door to a violent past, quiet and thoughtful Moses Stanton's everyday existence is running a small neighborhood store and watching over his daughter who doesn't know he exists. When a young man, Malik, comes in claiming to be a black Muslim that is doing good for the neighborhood, Moses takes him on as a partner but soon realizes that Malik is nothing but a drug dealer seeking to destroy the neighborhood and Moses's daughter. Therefore, Moses must become the man he used to be in order to save his beloved neighborhood and his daughter. Every Day Black Man has garnered many prestigious awards at some of America's most prominent film festivals. TIFF is proud to welcome Every Day Black Man's black female producer, writer and director Carmen Madden to the screening.

Links: Official SiteIMDb

Eyes Wide Open (Einayim Petukhoth)

Drama - 90 minutes

Directed by: Haim Tabakman - Hebrew, Yiddish with English subtitles
Produced by: Rafael Katz
Written by: Merav Doster

Description: Aaron, a respectable butcher in Jerusalem's ultra-orthodox Jewish community is married to Rivka and is a dedicated father of four children. One day, he meets Ezri, a handsome twenty-two year old student, and soon falls in love with him. He then starts to neglect his family and community life, swept away by his love and lust for Ezri. But guilt, torment and pressure from the community will catch up with him, leading him to make a radical decision. "A quietly effective new Israeli film…fresh and involving. The ultra-Orthodox world both men live in is rendered in convincing detail." - Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by Friends of Outreach Angels

For the Next 7 Generations

Documentary - 85 minutes

Directed by Bruce & Carole Hart
Written by: Carole Hart

Description: In 2004, thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering, where they decided to form an alliance: The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. This is their story. Four years in-the-making and shot on location in the Amazon rainforest, the mountains of Mexico, North America, and at a private meeting with the Dalai Lama in India, For the Next 7 Generations follows what happens when these wise women unite. Facing a world in crisis, they share with us their visions of healing and a call for change now, before it's too late. This film documents their unparalleled journey and timely perspectives on a timeless wisdom.

Talkback: Q&A with Carole Hart

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by Wise Older Women, dedicated to the memory of TIFF lifetime member Susan Carden

Funny Girl

Musical - 155 minutes

Directed by William Wyler

Description: Perhaps the most popular movie musical ever made, Funny Girl follows the early career of stage comedienne Fanny Brice - a role that earned Barbra Streisand the 1968 Oscar for Best Actress. As the film opens, only her mother believes Fanny can make it in show business. When she gets her first break at Keeney's Music Hall, her hilarious debut as a roller-skating chorus girl gets her hired as a comedienne. A year later Fanny is working for Florenz Ziegfeld in his famous Follies and brings the house down with an outrageous and unplanned number. Fanny becomes a star, falls in love and marries Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif) a handsome gambler whose luck doesn't hold up. The film's many memorable songs include “Don't Rain on My Parade” and the Streisand classic “People.” Join TIFF for the Opening Night Screening of one of the most beloved musicals of all time!

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by The Teaneck Rotary Club

In a Dream

Documentary - 80 minutes

Directed by Jeremiah Zagar

Description: In the vibrant, bohemian neighborhood of South Philadelphia, 50,000-square feet of concrete are covered with tile and mirror mosaics that were created by renowned artist Isaiah Zagar, an eccentric, tormented artist.  The murals chronicle his love for his wife, Julia, and subtly hint at the darker corners of an extraordinary imagination.  Where Isaiah is an obsessive and self-absorbed former Peace Corps volunteer who has become an icon in South Philly's art community, Julia is gracious and warm. For decades, their opposing natures complemented one another perfectly. But, in a moment of great stress, just before picking up their oldest son from a rehabilitation center, the family implodes. Isaiah confesses to an affair with his assistant, is kicked out of the house, and spirals into a debilitating nervous breakdown.  A fascinating portrait of love and betrayal, artistic invention, and the enduring power of family bonds. Winner of awards far and wide, the film features music by The Books, Explosions in the Sky, Efterklang, and Kelli Scarr.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by Teaneck Festival of Arts

Kid Flix Mix 2010 (Short Films)

Live Action Shorts, Animation - 65 minutes

The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival
Hosted by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street
For Children 3-8 (Children 12 and under free thanks to grant from the Puffin Foundation)

Once again, TIFF presents the acclaimed New York International Children's Film Festival assortment of its best animated and live action films from around the world, for children from 3-8.  Bob McGrath, of Teaneck and Sesame Steet, will introduce the program, which features musical and narrative works from the USA, United Kingdom, Switzerland, China, and more.  The collection is guaranteed to delight our youngest filmgoers.

  • Booo Animated, Alicja Jaworski, 2009, Sweden, 7 minutes
  • Electric Car Animated, Max Porter/Ru Kuwahata, 2009, USA, 3.5 minutes
  • Lost and Found Animated, Phillip Hunt, 2008, UK, 24 minutes
  • The Happy Duckling Animated, Gili Dolev, 2008, UK, 9 minutes
  • Milk Drinking Contest Animated, Maikki Kantola, 2008, Switzerland, 3 minutes
  • Cherry On The Cake Animated, Hyebin Lee, 2009, UK, 7.5 minutes
  • Laban, The Little Ghost Animation, Lasse Persson, 2007, Sweden, 5 minutes
  • Bigbox Singsong John Animated, Warren Brown, 2009, Canada, 1 minutes
  • Animals Animated, Kristofer Strom, 2008, Sweden, 5 minutes

Lucky Days

Drama - 103 minutes

Directed by Angelica Torn & Tony Torn
Produced by Paul Newman

Description: Virginia (Angelica Torn) embarks on a quest for freedom during the last explosive weekend of Coney Island's renowned amusement park. After the reappearance of her childhood sweetheart (Luke Zarzecki), Virginia discovers hidden truths about her boyfriend (Federico Castelluccio) and her neighborhood that will force her to abandon everything she's ever known to the wolf pack of developers buying up and tearing down the boardwalk, or to sacrifice herself to the world that created her. Lucky Days is the last movie filmed in the Coney Island Amusement Park and offers a final glimpse into the faded glory of this historical destination that has been lost forever. Also starring Rip Torn. Winner of Best Feature at The Coney Island Film Festival.

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by Teaneck Taxi/Kismet Limousine

Media That Matters

Jury Selected Short Films - 111 minutes

Description: Tying closely into TIFF's theme of Activism: Making Change, we are proud to present and partner with Arts Engine Tenth Annual Media That Matters Short Film Festival. The Media That Matters Film Festival is the premiere showcase for short films on the most important topics of the day. Local and global, online and in communities around the world, Media That Matters engages diverse audiences and inspires them to take action. 
From gay rights to global warming, the jury-selected collection represents the work of a diverse group of independent filmmakers, many of whom are under 21. The films are equally diverse in style and content, with documentaries, music videos, animations, experimental work and everything else in between. What all the films have in common is that they spark debate and action in 12 minutes or less.


  • Aquafinito
  • Day Job
  • Denied
  • I Am Sean Bell
  • I'm Just Anneke
  • Justice Denied: Voices from Guantánamo
  • Lessons from a Tailor
  • My Hotness is Pasted on Yey!
  • No One Bothered
  • Shades of the Border
  • The Last Town
  • Uninsured in the Mississippi Delta

Talkback: Steve Mendelsohn, Executive Director of Arts Engine and Carol Devoe, co-editor of the short film Denied

Links: Official Site

Neshoba: The Price of Freedom

Documentary - 93 minutes

Directed by Micki Dickoff & Tony Pagano
Writen by Micki Dickoff

Description: In 1964, a mob of Klansmen murdered civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in the small Mississippi county of Neshoba.  These young men, two Jews from New York and an African-American from Mississippi, were in the Deep South helping register African-American voters during what became known as  “Freedom Summer.”  Although the Klansmen bragged about what they did, no one was held accountable until 2005, when the State indicted the mastermind of the killings, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old Baptist preacher and notorious racist. 

The new documentary Neshoba: The Price of Freedom tells the story of these three American heroes and the Mississippi County still divided over the meaning of justice 40 years after their murders.  The film takes an unflinching look at ordinary citizens struggling to find peace with their town's violent, racist past in today's America.

Jewish and African Americans have stood shoulder to shoulder. They took buses down south together. They marched together. They bled together. And Jewish Americans like Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were willing to die alongside a black man - James Chaney - on behalf of freedom and equality. Their legacy is our heritage. 

Talkback: with Civil Rights Activist Theodora Lacey including special quests David Goodman on behalf of the Andrew Goodman Foundation, and Director/Producer Tony Pagano.

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by the Jewish Center of Teaneck (JCT)


Drama - 121 minutes - Rated R

Directed by Sidney Lumet
Written by Paddy Chayefsky

Description: Media madness reigns supreme in screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky's scathing satire about the uses and abuses of network television. But while Chayefsky's and director Sidney Lumet's take on television may seem quaint in the age of "reality TV" and Jerry Springer's talk-show fisticuffs, it's every bit as potent now as it was when the film was released in 1976. And because Chayefsky was one of the greatest of all dramatists, his Oscar-winning script about the ratings frenzy at the cost of cultural integrity is a showcase for powerhouse acting by Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight (who each won Oscars), and Oscar nominee William Holden in one of his finest roles. 
Finch plays a veteran network anchorman who's been fired because of low ratings. His character's response is to announce he'll kill himself on live television two weeks hence. What follows, along with skyrocketing ratings, is the anchorman's descent into insanity, during which he fervently rages against the medium that made him a celebrity. Dunaway plays the frigid, ratings-obsessed producer who pursues success with cold-blooded zeal; Holden is the married executive who tries to thaw her out during his own seething midlife crisis. Through it all, Chayefsky (via Finch) urges the viewer to repeat the now-famous mantra "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" to reclaim our humanity from the medium that threatens to steal it away. --Jeff Shannon

Links: IMDb

Night Catches Us

Drama - 90 minutes - Rated R

Directed and Written by Tanya Hamilton

Description: In 1976, after years of mysterious absence, Marcus (Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker) returns to the Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age in the midst of the Black Power movement. While his arrival raises suspicion among his family and former neighbors, he finds acceptance from his old friend Patricia (Kerry Washington, RayLift) and her daughter. However, Marcus quickly finds himself at odds with the organization he once embraced, whose members suspect he orchestrated the slaying of their former comrade-in-arms. In a startling sequence of events, Marcus must protect a secret that could shatter everyone's beliefs as he rediscovers his forbidden passion for Patricia.  United by revolution and divided by the past, Night Catches Us features a score by The Roots.

Talkback: with Director Tanya Hamilton

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.

Out in the Silence

Documentary - 56 minutes 

Directed by Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer

Special Last Minute Screening to be held in response to the New Jersey Jewish Standard's position to censor gay marriage announcements and the recent Rutgers University suicide. The purpose of this screening is to expand public awareness about the difficulties LGBT people face in Suburbia and small town America. 

Description: Out in the Silence captures the remarkable chain of events that unfold when the announcement of filmmaker Joe Wilson’s wedding to another man ignites a firestorm of controversy in his small Pennsylvania hometown. Drawn back by a plea for help from the mother of a gay teen being tormented at school, Wilson’s journey dramatically illustrates the universal challenges of being an outsider in a conservative environment and the transformation that is possible when those who have long been constrained by a traditional code of silence summon the courage to break it. The aim of Out in the Silence is to expand public awareness about the difficulties that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face in rural and small town America and to promote dialogue and action that will help people on all sides of the issues find common ground.

Talkback: with Directors, Actors and Producers Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer, Senator Loretta Weinberg, Rabbi Steven Sirbu of Temple Emeth and Executive Director Jeremy Lentz of TIFF

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Promised Land

Documentary - 53 minutes

Directed by Yoruba Richen

Description: Promised Land invites viewers to take an inside look at the critical story of land reform and racial reconciliation in the new South Africa. The film explores how the country is rebuilding itself after years of living under the racist, violent system of apartheid. Though apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994, economic injustices between blacks and whites remain unresolved. As revealed in Yoruba Richen's incisive Promised Land, the most potentially explosive issue is land. The film follows two black communities as they struggle to reclaim land from white owners, some of whom who have lived there for generations. Amid rising tensions and wavering government policies, the land issue remains South Africa's “ticking time bomb,” with far-reaching consequences for all sides. Promised Land captures multiple perspectives of citizens struggling to create just solutions.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by Bergen County Links

Strange Fruit (2002)

Documentary - 57 minutes

Directed by Joel Katz

Description: In 1937, after seeing a photo depicting the lynching of a black man in the south, Bronx-born high school teacher Abel Meeropol wrote a poem entitled "Strange Fruit" that begins with the words: "Southern trees bear a strange fruit / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root." He set the poem to music and a few years later convinced Billie Holiday to record it in a legendary heartbreaking performance. Intertwining jazz genealogy, biography, performance footage, and the history of lynching, director Joel Katz fashions a fascinating discovery of the lost story behind a true American classic.

Talkback: Joel Katz, director/writer/producer; moderated by Calvin Hill, famed bass player

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by The Teaneck Community Chorus

Swim Team

Documentary, Drama, Family - 90 minutes

Directed by Lara Stolman

Description: What would you do if your community gave up on your child? In New Jersey, the parents of a boy on the autism spectrum take matters into their own hands. They form a competitive swim team, recruiting diverse teens on the spectrum and training them with high expectations and zero pity. Swim Team chronicles the extraordinary rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels winning. Perfomance by TJ & BF Middle School bands 

Talkback: Coach Mike & son Mikey; Dr. David Levesque, has Tourette Syndrome; Mike Hayden, NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome; moderated by Pat Philips

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by The Teaneck Public Schools & The Township of Teaneck

This Beautiful Fantastic

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy - 92 minutes

Directed by Simon Aboud

Description: A contemporary fairy tale revolving around the unlikely friendship between a reclusive young woman with dreams of being a children’s book author and a cantankerous widower, set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden in the heart of London. Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay) is a beautifully quirky young woman who dreams of writing and illustrating a successful children’s book. When she is forced by her landlord to deal with her neglected garden or face eviction, she meets her nemesis, match and mentor in Alfie Stephenson (Tom Wilkinson), a grumpy, loveless, rich old man who lives next door and happens to be an amazing horticulturalist.

Talkback: Christian Hogarth, director/writer; Joel Nagle, producer; moderated by David Bland

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck

Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Documentary - 90 minutes

Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot

Description: Examines the life and work of one of the world's most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels have inspired millions to claim their own truth. Jennifer Kroot's documentary about the creator of Tales of the City moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. With help from his friends (including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan) Maupin offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of 70's San Francisco to the front line of the American culture war.

Talkback: Q&A with Jeremy Lentz

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

The Women's Balcony

Comedy, Drama - Israel - 96 minutes

Directed by Emil Ben-Shimon - Hebrew with English subtitles

Description: An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men.

Talkback: Q&A with Moshe Kinderlehrer, Jewish Link

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by The Jewish Link of New Jersey

2008 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

Before They Die


Directed by Reginald Turner

Description: Before there was 9/11, before there was Oklahoma City, before there was the internment of the Japanese Americans during World Word II, before there was Rosewood (Florida), there was the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. This documentary, produced in conjunction with Tulsa Virtual Media Partners, LLC, tells the story of the survivors of the 1921 Tusla Race Riot in their quest for justice. It follows the survivors and their legal team, headed by Professor Charles Ogletree, through the court system all the way to the Supreme Court and on to the U.S. Congress. The film is the cornerstone of an effort to generate knowledge of this hidden historical event, and to stimulate Americans to contribute online to provide compensation directly to the victims.

Sponsored by Bergen County Links

The Cake Eaters


Directed by Mary Stuart Masterson

Description: Winner of numerous awards, including Best Narrative Feature Award at the Portland Women's Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival, this film is a quirky, small town, ensemble drama that explores the lives of two interconnected families coming to terms with love in the face of loss. Living in rural America, The Kimbrough family's patriarch, Easy (Bruce Dern), is grieving over the recent loss of his wife. Beagle, his younger son, had done the lion's share of caring for his ailing mother. Elder son, Guy, has been away from the family for years while pursuing his rock star dream in the big city and upon his return home, relationships between the characters begin to unravel.  Beagle connects with Georgia Kaminski, a terminally ill teenage girl wanting to experience love before it's too late; and Easy's long time affair with Marg (Elizabeth Ashley), Georgia's grandmother, comes to light. Through it all, The Kimbroughs and Kaminskis manage to establish a new beginning in the face of their greatest fears. The film, featuring a luminous performance by Kristen Stewart as Georgia, is a New Jersey premiere, prior to its theatrical release.

Creative Nature


Directed by John Andres

Description: For 81-year-old Sonia Sanchez, writing is both a personal and political act. She emerged as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word. She is among the earliest poets to have incorporated urban black English into her poetry; she was one of the first activists to secure the inclusion of African American studies in university curricula. Deemed "a lion in literature's forest" by poet Maya Angelou and winner of major literary awards including the American Book Award, Sonia Sanchez is best known for 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color.

Days and Clouds


Directed by Silvio Soldini

Description: What happens to the marriage of a well-to-do, sophisticated couple, Elsa and Michele, when Michele is fired by the company he had founded years ago? The life of this couple and their grown daughter is put under a magnifying glass in this film, which sheds light on values and on the loss of security - which certainly resonates beyond the Genoa setting. According to director Soldini, the film "revolves around the strongest of all subjects: the power of love and the possibility of overcoming all difficulties thanks to it." 

Sponsored by WOW

The Exiles


Directed by Kent Mackenzie

Description: This 1961 black-and-white film tells the story of one wild but typical night in the lives of three young American Indians who have left their reservations to live in the Bunker Hill neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles. The film follows Yvonne, her husband Homer and Tommy, a Mexican who lives with them, through fourteen hours of their everyday life. With the fall of night comes the drinking, card-playing, picking up girls, fighting and dancing of the boys, that is juxtaposed against Yvonne's lonely, uneventful existence. These two scenarios sum up the confused lives of a group that is part of a new generation caught between opposing forces - the past versus modern day living. The film features an all Native American cast and although it is a narrative feature, the script was based on Kent Mackenzie's extensive conversations with a group of Native Americans living in Bunker Hill. Amy Heller of Milestone Films will participate in a Q&A following the screening.

A Film and a Conversation with Philip Bosco


Directed by David Mament

Description: Wouldn't it be wonderful to watch a film and judge its craft, merits and themes with an actor? You'll have that opportunity in this program, with celebrated actor Philip Bosco, hosting "The Winslow Boy,"a favorite film of his. Mr. Bosco who is equally at home on the stage and on television as he is in film, has been nominated six times for a Tony award, winning in '89 as Best Actor in a Play for "Lend Me a Tenor." Recently, he was seen in the 2007 film "The Savages," and on television in the role of a dapper attorney in the FX series "Damages." The program will also give the audience a sneak peek at his next film, "When the Evening Comes."

Four Seasons Lodge


Directed by Andrew Jacobs

Description: From the darkness of Europe's death camps to the lush mountains of New York's Catskills, this film captures the final season for a community of Holocaust survivors who come together each summer to celebrate their lives. Beautifully photographed by a team of cinematographers led by Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens), it is a counterintuitive film about the Holocaust, one that captures the Lodgers' intoxicating passion for living, in bracing contrast to lives harrowed by loss. The documentary is about tightly bonded friendships and the quest for inner peace in spite of haunting memories, as experienced through irresistibly compelling people and the richness of their intensely close lives. As one of them tells us, "We live with the past, and hope for a good future. When you compare the good times to the bad, we came out winners." Producers Matt Lavine and Kelly Sheehan will participate in a Q&A following the screening.

The Golem


Directed by Paul Wegener

Description: Widely recognized as the source of the Frankenstein myth, the ancient Hebrew legend of the Golem provided actor/director Paul Wegener with the substance for one of the most adventurous films of the German silent cinema. This 1920 film will be accompanied by a 7-piece orchestra, the BQE Project, playing a score composed specially for this film by Tom Nazziola, conductor and percussionist. The story: Suffering under the tyrannical rule of Rudolf II in 16th-century Prague, a Talmudic rabbi) creates a giant warrior (played by Paul Wegener) to protect the safety of his people. Sculpted of clay and animated by the mysterious secrets of the Kabbalah, the Golem is a seemingly indestructible juggernaut, performing acts of great heroism, yet equally capable of dreadful violence. When the rabbi's assistant (Ernst Deutsch) takes control of the Golem and attempts to use him for selfish gain, the lumbering monster runs rampant, abducting the rabbi's daughter and setting fire to the ghetto. Program will be hosted by Peter Travers, film critic for Rolling Stone magazine.Not recommended for children under 10.

Co-Sponsored by the Teaneck Festival of Arts

Jar City


Directed by Baltasar Kormakur

Description: An elderly man is found murdered in his basement flat. Inspector Erlendur and his crew don't have much to go by in the investigation, but a photograph of a young girl's grave gives them a lead. They discover that many years ago the victim was accused, though not convicted, of horrible crimes. Did the old man's past come back to haunt him? As Erlendur reopens this very cold case, he follows a trail of unusual forensic evidence, uncovering secrets that are much larger than the murder of one old man - with clues knit into the genetic bloodline of an entire country. Just before the turn of the century the Icelandic Government supported the launch of a controversial new company, deCODE Genetics Inc. The company specialized in genetic research and the government granted them access to all medical files in their database. When director Kormakur read Arnaldur Indridason's novel for the first time, he was fascinated by the way in which the author dealt with these issues and found the main character, Erlendur, fascinating. The film is a multi-layered story, unfolding bit by bit.

Kids Flix Mix


In conjunction with the New York International Children's Film Festival
Hosted by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street

Description: This program features the best offerings from the New York International Children's Film Festival, with more than 10 animated and live action shorts from around the globe. The films may be short, but are long on whimsy, charm, light-heartedness and subtlety. The Village Voice calls the selection  an "overflowing toy box of finely crafted small pleasures." Recommended for children aged 3 to 8.

Sponsored by Target

Last Stop for Paul


Directed by Neil Mandt

Description: This is a film about the joys - and perils - of  travel and backpacking around the world. Charlie and Cliff  -- two 20-something cubicle mates at a Los Angeles bathroom-supply company -- decide they want to go to the Full Moon party in Thailand. Along the way they travel around the world sprinkling the ashes of their dead friend Paul. They have enough money for the air fare but not enough for hotels, so they pretend to be writers for Frommer's travel guides and scam free rooms at fancy hotels. Adventures and unusual encounters ensue. The low-budget, improvised film follows Charlie (Mandt) and Cliff (the cinematographer, Marc Carter) as they stop off in Jamaica, Chile, Greece, Moscow, Tokyo, Vietnam and Thailand. Parental caution: references to drug use and sexual activity. Variety calls the film "well shot and edited despite its meager budget and good-natured, lightweight fun." 

Not Broken

Documentary - 55 minutes

Directed by Armando Ibanez

Description: This documentary incorporates poetry, music and artworks to illustrate the pain, joy, suffering, hope and, most especially, faith of those who suffered one of the hardest natural disasters to strike the United States in recent memory - Hurricane Katrina. In addition, ministers from a wide spectrum of faiths, and other volunteers, who worked with evacuees are included as they are a vital fiber of the story of the people of New Orleans, Biloxi, Pass Christian, and many other communities of the stricken Gulf Coast. Producer Pluma Pictures Inc., a nonprofit production company, is dedicated to making movies about heroes and heroines, "people who struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds for a noble cause, universal values, such as for truth, peace, justice, tolerance, beauty and the importance of family and community."

Sponsored by Jewish Center of Teaneck

The Order of Myths


Directed by Margaret Brown

Description: The first Mardi Gras in America was celebrated in Mobile, Alabama in 1703 and in 2007, it is still racially segregated.  Filmmaker Margaret Brown, a daughter of Mobile, escorts us into the parallel hearts of the city's two carnivals.  With unprecedented access, she traces the exotic world of secret mystic societies and centuries-old traditions and pageantry; diamond-encrusted crowns, voluminous, hand-sewn gowns, surreal masks and enormous paper mache floats.  Against this opulent backdrop, she uncovers a tangled web of historical violence and power dynamics, elusive forces that keep this hallowed tradition organized along enduring color lines.

Sponsored by National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Bergen/Passaic Chapter

Paper Covers Rock


Directed by Joe Maggio

Description: This film tells the story of Sam, a troubled young woman who loses custody of her six year-old daughter in the wake of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Following a brief stay at a psychiatric facility, Sam moves in with her older sister Ed, who graciously offers to help Sam piece her life back together. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions and it's not at all clear whether Ed is out to save or destroy her little sister. Remarkable for its ensemble acting and its outstanding cinematography - all done on a micro-budget - the film features particularly compelling performances by Jeannine Kaspar (Sam) and Sayra Player (Ed), who are totally believable as sisters. Parental caution: subject matter may be disturbing to young children. Writer/director Joe Maggio will participate in a Q&A following the screening.

The Sandwich Generation


Directed by: Julie Winokur

Description: The "sandwich generation" refers to those caught between their aging parents and young children  and includes more than 20 million Americans. In this emotionally charged account of family caregiving, filmmaker Julie Winokur and her husband, photojournalist Ed Kashi, expose their personal lives with unflinching candor. Winokur and Kashi uprooted their two children and their business and moved 3,000 miles cross-country to care for Winokur's father, Herbie. At 83, Herbie suffers from dementia and can no longer live alone. Winokur and Kashi are faced with difficult choices and overwhelming responsibility as they charge ahead through their sandwich years. It is a story of love, family dynamics and the immeasurable sacrifice of those caught in the middle.

Sponsered by: Classic Residence by Hyatt

Small Bites 1: Assorted Shorts



Directed by Various

Description: This program presents a sampling of shorts (animated and live action) from talented filmmakers, including the audience favorite winner of the Bergen County Film Commission's '08 Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow's competition for high school students: Run Sally Run, by Bergenfield resident Stevan Torres.  Also featured: "Raccoon and Crawfish," a short based on an ancient Oneida Indian legend; Entry of Buildings, based on a Jonathan Lethem short story; and more. 

Small Bites 2: A Sampling of Spanish Shorts



Directed by Various

Description: This program presents a sampling of some of the best work emerging from Spain, through animation and live action shorts: antic, serious, mysterious and amusing. They are: Las Mofas Magicas (The Magic Glasses); Mofetas (Skunks); Made in Japan; Boletos Por Favor; and Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear. 

Still Life


Directed by Jia Zhang-Ke

Description: Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival 2006, this film is an empathetic portrait of those left behind by a modernizing society and is a hybrid of documentary and fiction. Great changes have come to the town of Fengjie due to the construction of the Three Gorges hydro project: Countless families that had lived there for many generations have had to relocate to other cities. Fengjie's old town, which has a 2000-year history, has been torn down and submerged forever, but its new neighborhood hasn't been finished yet. There are still things that need to be salvaged and yet there are also things that must be left behind. In Still Life, such life-changing choices face both Sanming, a miner traveling to Fengjie in search of his ex-wife of 16 years, and Shen Hong, a nurse who has come to Fengjie to look for her husband who she hasn't seen in two years. Both Sanming and Shen will find who they're looking for, but in the process they too will have to decide what is worth salvaging in their lives and what they need to let go of. Director Jia Zhang-ke has said that the film represents "a reality that has been overlooked by us. Although time has left deep marks on it, it still remains silent and holds the secrets of life."

Take Out


Directed by Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou

Description: Variety calls this film "a deeply affecting portrayal of struggling immigrants in Gotham" and "beautiful in unexpected ways."  It tells the story of a young Chinese immigrant who works as a deliveryman for a Chinese take-out shop in New York City. Ming is behind with payments on his huge debt to the smugglers who brought him to the United States. The collectors have given him until the end of the day to deliver the money that is due. He rides silently through the dark, rain-soaked streets of Manhattan and comes face to face with countless apartment dwellers who simply see him as an anonymous and faceless delivery boy. The camera follows Ming on his deliveries throughout the upper Manhattan neighborhood where social and economic extremes exist side by side. Intercutting between Ming's deliveries and the daily routine of the restaurant, the film presents a harshly real look at the daily lives of illegal Chinese immigrants in New York City. Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou will participate in a Q&A following the screeening.

The Willow Tree


Directed by Majid Majidi

Description: Blind since childhood, Youssef has a devoted wife, loving daughter, and successful university career, but his affliction fills him with secret torment. As if in answer to his prayers, a Paris clinic restores his sight -- a miracle that is double-edged. Although this new world of sight and color floods Youssef with ecstasy, it also plunges him into a labyrinth of confusions and temptations. Eager to claim the lost life he feels he is owed but unable to take the next step, Youssef is inflamed with possibility and paralyzed with egoism. Majidi fashions this story into a powerful parable of sight and insight, using Youssef's condition both as a metaphor for life's second chances and as a source of breathtaking images seen through his reawakened eyes: a dazzling vista of snow-blanketed hills, a shower of molten gold sparks in a jewelry foundry, an array of lollipop lights behind a rain-speckled car window.

2009 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster



Directed by Tatia Rosenthal

Description: Have you ever wondered “What is the meaning of life? Why do we exist? The answer to this vexing question is now within your reach! You'll find it in a small yet amazing booklet, which will explain, in easy to follow, simple terms your reason for being! The booklet, printed on the finest paper, contains illuminating, exquisite colour pictures, and could be yours for a mere $9.99.” This is the ad that alters the life of the unemployed 28-year-old who still lives at home, Dave Peck. In his struggle to share his find with the world, Dave’s surreal path crosses with those of his unusual neighbors: an old man and his disgruntled guardian angel; a magician in debt; a bewitching woman who likes her men extra smooth; a broken-hearted man who befriends a group of hard partying two-inch tall students; and a little boy who sets his piggy bank free. Their stories are woven together, examining the post-modern meaning of hope. This remarkable film has received critical praise for its “gorgeous moments of animated surrealism and smart moments of emotional truth.” Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter said, “There’s something undeniably hypnotic and bewitching about $9.99, which may be the most unusual movie of 2008.” The film features the voices of Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia.

Links: IMDb

Afghan Star 


Directed by Havana Marking

Description: In Afghanistan you risk your life to sing. After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, pop culture has returned to the country - and since 2005, millions are tuning in to Tolo TV’s wildly popular American Idol-style series Afghan Star. Like its Western predecessors, the show features ordinary people competing for a cash prize and record deal. More surprisingly, the contest is open to everyone across the country despite gender, ethnicity or age. Two thousand people audition, including three extremely brave women. And when viewers vote for their favorites via cell phone, it is, for many, their first encounter with the democratic process. Winner of the Directing and Audience Awards in Sundance’s 2009 World Documentary competition, Havana Marking’s timely and moving film follows the dramatic stories of four young finalists - two men and two women - as they hazard everything to become the nation’s favorite performer. By observing the Afghani people's relationship to its pop culture, Afghan Star is the perfect window into a country’s tenuous, ongoing struggle for modernity. What Americans consider frivolous entertainment is downright revolutionary - and more human - in this troubled part of the world.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Sponsored by: WOW (Wise Older Women)

Against the Current


Directed by Peter Callahan

Description: Paul Thompson (Joseph Fiennes) is a successful, married 30-something financial writer and a happy, expectant father. But when tragedy strikes, Paul’s world is turned upside down. Five years later, he decides to fulfill his dream by swimming the entire length of the lower Hudson River – all 150 miles of it. He enlists the aid of his best friend Jeff (Justin Kirk) and Liz (Elizabeth Reaser), a woman he meets at a bar, to come along. All three are doing some soul-searching and looking for meaning in their lives. At once tragic and humorous, the film is a compelling and uncompromising exploration of grief, loss and the right to determine one’s own fate, as well as the limits and responsibilities of friendship. The film was shot in sequence along the Hudson River, which serves almost as much as a fourth character, as well as stunning backdrop. Joseph Fiennes did his own swimming for the film. Also notable: a brief cameo by Mary Tyler Moore.

Links: IMDb



Directed by Diane Crespo & Stefan C. Schaefer

Description: Two young women - one an Orthodox Jew, the other Muslim - meet and become friends as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn they share much in common, not least of which is that they are both going through arranged marriages. The story is based loosely on the experiences of Yuta Silverman, an Orthodox Jewish woman from Borough Park, Brooklyn. The film was shot in 17 days on location in Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and at the Jewish Education Center in Elizabeth, NJ, where Yuta's father is an administrator. Sweet, touching and often funny, the film was praised in New York magazine as a “surprisingly winning indie drama ... the understated, natural performances by leads Zoe Lister-Jones and Francis Benhamou lend the film a sense of intimacy that serves it well."

Links: IMDb - Trailer

Sponsored by Jewish Center of Teaneck

Azur & Asmar


Directed by Michel Ocelot

Description: Azur and Asmar is the story of two boys raised as brothers. Blonde, blue-eyed, white skinned Azur and black-haired, brown-eyed, dark-skinned Asmar are lovingly cared for by Asmar's gentle mother, who tells them magical stories of her faraway homeland and of beautiful, imprisoned Fairy Djinn waiting to be set free. Time passes, and one day Azur's father, the master of the house, provokes a brutal separation. Azur is sent away to study, while Asmar and his mother are driven out, homeless and penniless. Years later, as a young adult, Azur remains haunted by memories of the sunny land of his nanny, and sets sail south across the high seas to find the country of his dreams. Azur's nanny has become a wealthy merchant and Asmar has grown into a dashing horseman. Reunited but now as adversaries, the two brothers set off on a dangerous quest to find and free the Fairy of the Djinns. Empire Magazine said of this beautiful animated film: “Quite simply, it’s a visual masterpiece that combines cut-outs with CGI and the mesmeric beauty of Islamic art to create a magical world, in which scarlet lions with blue claws and birds with rainbow wings stand between Azur and Asmar, as they try to rescue the Djinn Fairy from her crystal cell.”

Links: IMDb - Trailer

Gotta Dance


Directed by Dori Berinstein

Description: Who says you can’t hip-hop if you’re 80-years-old? Who says your days as an athlete are long gone? Who says you can’t shake things up and light up a jam-packed sports arena with your hot moves and cool attitude? Just because you’re a card-carrying member of AARP, do you have to give up on your dreams? No. You don’t. Absolutely not. GOTTA DANCE chronicles the debut of the New Jersey Nets, first-ever, senior hip-hop dance team, 12 women and 1 man, all dance team newbies, from auditions through to center court stardom. As smooth dance moves are perfected and performed in front of thousands, aging myths and misperceptions are pulverized. Despite swollen ankles, exhausting rehearsals, personality clashes and seemingly impossible dance steps, the NETSational Senior’s go for it, spreading joy, inspiration and cool dance moves as they hip-hop their way into the hearts of Nets fans and beyond.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Karma Calling


Directed by Sarba Das

Description: The Audience Award Winner at the recent Los Angeles Asian American Film Festival, posits that when karma calls, you can’t hang up. What happens when a bunch of hapless Hindus from Hoboken get mixed up with an underworld don with connections to an Indian call center? And what happens when a good Jersey girl falls for a smooth operator thousands of miles away? For one thing, the phone keeps ringing. The Raj family is deep in denial about its creeping credit card debt, dodging collection notices and phone calls. When eldest daughter Sonal finally picks up the phone, she meets a call center operator like no other, Rob Roy. Little does she know that he’s oceans away. Her brother Shyam, a college drop out, is too busy dreaming of becoming the next Dr. Dre (peddling his hip-hop album Hapa Means Weed in Japanese) to notice the bills piling up. But romance is in the air for him too, in the form of Radha, a village girl from India, arriving in America to marry a Dollar Store mogul. As for the youngest daughter Jamuna, well, she just wants a Bat Mitzvah. Narrated by award-winning actor Tony Sirico (aka “Paulie Walnuts” of The Sopranos), the film is a snapshot of our hyper-globalized world through the eyes of a Garden state family just trying to get by. It’s a quintessential American tale about unlikely alliances, outsourcing, and outwitting. And at its heart, it is the story of a family learning to live together.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Sponsored by: New Jersey South Asian Independent CineFest

Kid Flix Mix 2009 (Short Films)



Directed by Various

Description: The world renowned New York International Children’s Film Festival presents this kaleidoscopic collection of the best animated short films from around the world, for ages 3 to 8.  The program features musical and narrative works from Sweden, France, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Switzerland, the UK, and the US, and offers a spectacular array of traditional, CGI, collage, and stop motion animation styles.  Program is in English.
7 Days of the Week Animation, McBride/Cowles, USA, 3 min
Knuffle Bunny Animation, Mo Willems, USA, 8 min
Breaking the Mould Animation, Manley/Paulli, UK, 1 min
The Bridge on the River Zzzeee Animation, Thomas Szabo, France, 5 min
Dinosaur Song Animation, Christian Robinson, USA, 3 min
Hedgehug Animation, Dan Pinto, USA, 5 min
Horsie Animation, Sarah Wahl, Finland, 2 min
The New Species Animation, Evalds Lacis, Latvia, 10 min
No Monkey Animation, Harry Flosser, Germany, 4 min
Sooner or Later Animation, Jadwiga Krystyna Kowalska, 5 min
Spot and Splodge in Snowstorm Animation, Geffenblad, Sweden, 8 min
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs Animation, Konstantin Bronzit, USA, 10 min
… and more!

Pressure Cooker


Directed by Jennifer Grausman & Mark Becker

Description: Wilma Stephenson, the inspirational teacher featured in the outstanding documentary "Pressure Cooker," will participate in a Q&A following this screening, at 11 a.m. on Nov. 22 at Cedar Lane Cinemas.In this compelling documentary, three seniors at Philadelphia's Frankford High School find an unlikely champion in the kitchen of Wilma Stephenson. A legend in the school system, Mrs. Stephenson's hilariously blunt boot-camp method of teaching Culinary Arts is validated by years of scholarship success. Against the backdrop of the row homes of working-class Philadelphia, she has helped countless students reach the top culinary schools in the country. And under her fierce direction, the usual distractions of high school are swept aside as Erica, Dudley and Fatoumata prepare to achieve beyond what anyone else expects of them.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Sponsored by: Whole Foods Market

Prince of Broadway

DRAMA - 100 minutes

Director: Sean Baker

Description: This film tells the story of Lucky and Levon, two men whose lives converge in the underbelly of New York's wholesale fashion district. Lucky, an illegal immigrant from Ghana, makes ends meet by soliciting shoppers on the street with knock-off brand merchandise. Levon, an Armenian-Lebanese immigrant, operates an illegal storefront with a concealed back room where counterfeit goods are showcased to interested shoppers. Lucky's world is suddenly turned upside down when a child is thrust into his life by a woman who insists the toddler is his son. While Lucky copes with his new domestic dilemma, Levon struggles to save a marriage that is falling apart. The seedy side of the wholesale district is revealed through a journey that continually confronts the interplay between what is fake and what is real. The film – written after extensive discussions and improvisations with members of the subculture it depicts – is as much a brutal drama as it is a tender comedy. It is fast-paced and gritty, peppered liberally with street language. Definitely not for children.

Links: Official Site

Treeless Mountain


Directed by So Yong Kim

Description: When their mother needs to leave in order to find their estranged father, six-year-old Jin and her younger sister, Bin, are left to live with their Big Aunt for the summer. With only a small piggy bank and their mother’s promise to return when it is full, the two young girls are forced to acclimate to changes in their family life. Counting the days, and the coins, the two bright-eyed young girls eagerly anticipate their mother’s homecoming. But when the bank fills up, and with their mother still not back, Big Aunt decides that she can no longer tend to the children. Taken to live on their grandparent’s farm, it is here that Jin comes to learn the importance of family bonds in this beautiful, meditative, and thought-provoking film. Variety’s Robert Koehler said of Kim’s film: “drawing out beautifully natural performances from her child actors, Kim has a distinct way of letting her camera observe her characters with kind thoughtfulness, allowing for a quiet mood to wash over the scenes.”

Links: IMDb - Trailer 

When the Evening Comes



Directed by Craig Geraghty

Description: Charlie Corrado is pushing forty and still lives with his grandparents, Martin and Marion Corrado. Charlie is a “successful” Manhattan attorney, who also works in his grandfather's florist in College Point, where he will always be known as Martin's “delivery boy.” Marion envisions her grandson as a second chance to right the wrongs she made with Charlie's mother. Marion also recognizes a parallel between Charlie’s relationship with his girlfriend, Katharine, and her own marriage to Martin, and Marion does not like what she sees. When Charlie is forced to deal with the inevitable realities of the adult world, his life takes unexpected turns, and Charlie takes his turn at life. Philip Bosco and Anne Meara are outstanding as the long-married grandparents.

Links: IMDb

Youssou N’dour: I Bring What I Love


Directed by Chai Vasarhelyi

Description: This is an uplifting, music-driven journey into the power of one man’s voice to inspire millions. The film unfolds an extraordinary moment in the life of Youssou N’dour - the best selling and influential African pop artist. The Grammy Award winning cultural ambassador has long been renowned for bringing people of diverse nations and backgrounds together through his collaborations with such musical superstars as Bono, Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel –and for rousing global audiences with his honey-like voice, electrifying rhythms and impossibly catchy melodies. But when he releases his most daringly personal and spiritual album yet, N’dour instead rocks his Muslim fans in Africa. Now, even as he garners accolades in the West, N’dour must brave controversy and rejection at home as he sets out to win his audience back Director Chai Vasarhelyi tracks N’dour’s emotional journey over two years – filming his ever-shifting life in Africa, Europe, and America. The portrait is not just of an incomparable musician turning his spiritual quest into art, but also that of a brave new world in which pop culture now has equal power to incite fury and invite new connections.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Sponsored by: Bergen County Links

2014 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster


Drama - England - 105 minutes

Directed by Amma Assante

Description: This film is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield and his wife, Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her status prevents her from the traditions of noble social standing. While her cousin Elizabeth chases suitors for marriage, Belle is left on the sidelines wondering if she will ever find love. After meeting an idealistic young vicar's son bent on changing society, he and Belle help shape Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter, and the Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.


Drama - 99 minutes

Directed by Patrik-Ian Polk

Description: A young high school age singer struggles with his sexuality and the treatment of others while coming of age in a small Southern Baptist community. Shot on location in Hattiesburg, Mississippi this drama stars Academy Award Winner Mo’Nique in her follow up role to Precious and Isaiah Washington (Grey’s Anatomy). This film is an urban, southern version of the classic The Last Picture Show and follows in the footsteps of such powerful independent films as Pariah and Precious.

Talkback: With director and members of the cast and production crew

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Boy Meets Girl

Comedy - 95 minutes

Directed by Eric Schaeffer

Description: This tender, human, sex-positive romantic comedy explores what it means to be “real”: to live and love authentically to the truth of one’s heart, regardless of the sex or small town you’re born into. Our story focuses on Ricky, a beautiful twenty-one year old trans-gendered girl living in Virginia with dreams of becoming a fashion designer in New York.

Links: Official Site - IMDb 


Drama - 85 minutes

Directed by Alton Glass

Description:A tight knit group of young high school athletes have a terrible crash after winning the state championship, a catastrophe that will shape all their lives. But as adults, some 15 years later, they come together again for a reunion that will open old wounds, expose long-hidden secrets – and pave the road to forgiveness and redemption.

Links:  IMDb - Facebook 

Ernest & Celestine

Animation - France, Belgium, Luxembourg - 80 minutes

Directed by Robert Philipson

Description: Out of all the cross-cultural encounters that have resulted in the richness of American popular music, none has been so prominent or so fraught with fraternity and conflict as the relationships between African Americans and American Jews. The film aims to tease out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the jazz standard, “Body and Soul,” one of the most recorded songs in the jazz repertoire. Composed by Jewish composer Johnny Green in 1929, the song was introduced on Broadway by Jewish torch singer Libby Holman and ushered into the jazz canon by Louis Armstrong the following year. Perfomance by Teaneck Community Chorus.

Talkback: Robert Philipson, director/writer/producer; Loren Schoenberg,National Jazz Museum in Harlem; moderated by Calvin Hill, famed bass player

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Every Bag Counts by Teaneck Girl Scout Troop 19

Documentary - 4 minutes

Directed by Kelly Sheehan and Jean Myers

Description: Shot entirely in Teaneck, this documentary short was deigned to convince Teaneck township residents and council to ban the use of plastic bags. They are joining in the national movement where California has started to lead the way becoming the first state in the nation to ban plastic bags for environmental reasons.

Talkback: Filmmakers, Scouts, and the Hackensack Riverkeeper

Sponsored by Teaneck Girl Scout Junior Troop 19, the Hackensack Riverkeeper, and Bergen Chapter (NJ) of The Links, Inc.

Greenwich Village: Music that Defined a

Documentary - Canada - 92 minutes

Directed by Laura Archibald

Description: Featuring poignant interviews with Pete Seeger, Kris Kristofferson, Don McLean, Peter Yarrow, Arlo Guthrie, Lucy and Carly Simon, Tom Chapin and Judy Collins, among dozens of other music luminaries, this documentary combines talking heads with rare archival footage and new live performances to tell a story about a community that created a generation-defining music.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by The Teaneck Community Chorus - Song selections from the movie sung live by Teaneck Community Chorus will follow 

In the Family

Documentary - 90 minutes

Directed by Joanna Rudnick

Description: How much would you sacrifice to survive? When Chicago filmmaker Joanna Rudnick tested positive for the "breast cancer gene" at age 27, she knew the information could save her life. And she knew she was not only confronting mortality at an early age, but also was going to have to make heart-wrenching decisions about the life that lay ahead of her. Should she take the irreversible preventive step of having her breasts and ovaries removed or risk developing cancer? What would happen to her romantic life, her hopes for a family? In the Family documents Rudnick's efforts to reach out to other women while facing her deepest fears.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by the Holy Name Medical Center

Joachim Prinz: I Shall Not Be Silent

Documentary - 57 minutes

Directed by Rachel Fisher and Rachel Pasternak

Description: A documentary that follows the story of Joachim Prinz, a German émigré Rabbi who practiced at Newark’s Temple B’nai Abraham who became a close confidante to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was a largely unkown and unsung hero of the civil rights movement.

Talkback: with the directors, Deborah Prinz and Civil Rights Historian and Activist 

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr Monument Committee

Kid Flix Mix 2014

Short Film, Animation - 60 Minutes

The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival

Description: A kaleidoscopic showcase of the best short film and animation from around the world, for ages 4 to 8.

Hosted by: Bob McGrath of Sesame Street

  • Monstersymfonie by Kiana Nagshineh (Germany, 2012, 4 min.)
  • Hello World by Eric Serre (France, 2012, 5 min.)
  • Snowflake by Natalia Chernysheva (Russia, 2012, 5 min.)
  • Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds (2012, 7 min.)
  • What is Music? By Christian Robinson (2013, 4 min.)
  • The Lovely Letter L by Evan Spiridellis (2012, 2 min.)
  • Hopfrog by Leonid Shmelkov (Russia, 2012, 4 min.)
  • Big Block Sing-Song: Hair by Warren Brown (Canada, 2012, 2 min.)
  • The New Species by Katerina Karhánková (Czech Republic, 2013, 6 min.)
  • The Mole at Sea by Anna Kadykova (Russia, 2012, 5 min.)
  • On the Wing by Vera Myakisheva (Russia, 2012, 6 min.)
  • My Mom is an Airplane (Russia/USA, 2013, 6.5 min)

Kidnapped for Christ

Documentary - 85 minutes

Directed by Kate Logan

Description: This is the shocking story of American teenagers who were taken from their homes and shipped to Escuela Caribe, an American run Christian behavior modification program in the Dominican Republic. When a young evangelical filmmaker is granted unprecendented access to film behind the gates of this controversial school, she discovers shocking secrets and young students that change her life.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

The Kill Team

Documentary - 79 minutes

Directed by Dan Krauss

Description: This riveting and heart-wrenching documentary goes behind closed doors to tell the story of Specialist Adam Winfield, a 21-year-old infantryman in Afghanistan who attempted, with the help of his father, to alert the military to heinous war crimes his platoon was committing.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Land Ho!

Comedy - 95 minutes

Directed by Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz

Description: A pair of ex-brothers-in-law set off to Iceland in an attempt to reclaim their youth through Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas, and rugged campsites. This bawdy adventure is a throwback to 1980's road trip comedies, as well as candid exploration of aging, loneliness, and friendship.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by the Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck 

Little White Lie

Documentary - 66 minutes

Directed by Lacey Schwartz

Description: Little White Lie tells Lacey Schwartz’s story of growing up in a typical upper-middle-class Jewish household in Woodstock, NY, with loving parents and a strong sense of her Jewish identity – despite the open questions from those around her about how a white girl could have such dark skin. She believes her family’s explanation that her looks were inherited from her dark-skinned Sicilian grandfather. But when her parents abruptly split, her gut starts to tell her something different.

Talkback: with director and subject of the documentary Lacey Schwartz

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Manuscripts Don’t Burn

Drama - Iran - 125 minutes

Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, Persian with English Subtitles

Description: This film was clandestinely produced in disavowal of a 20-year filmmaking ban passed down by the Iranian authorities. Drawing from the true story of the government's attempted 1995 murder of several prominent writers and intellectuals, Rasoulof imagines a repressive regime so pervasive that even the morally righteous are subsumed or cast aside. A lacerating and slow-burning thriller filmed in a frigid palate of blues and greys, Manuscripts Don't Burn is perhaps the most subversive and incendiary j'accuse lodged against an authoritarian regime since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

1,000 Times Good Night

Drama - Norway,English - 111 minutes

Directed by Erik Poppe

Description: Rebecca (Juliette Binoche) is one of world's top war photojournalists, capturing dangerous and chilling images in the most dire landscapes, all in an effort to shed light on the real cost of modern war. But she's also a wife and mother, leaving behind a husband and two young daughters every time she travels to a new combat zone. After a near-death experience chronicling the ritual of a female suicide bomber, husband Marcus levels an ultimatum: give up the dangerous profession or lose the family she counts on being there when she returns from each assignment.

Talkback: Moderated by award winning author and journalist Angela Bonaviglia 

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by Wise Older Women (WOW) 


Musical,Drama - India - 155 minutes

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali - Hindi with English subtitles

Description: Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and JulietRam-Leela is an epic, visually opulent, lavish Bollywood musical. Set in Gujarat, in Northwest India, two rival clans have been warring for 500 years and find themselves in present day where Ram and Leela fight the world to live their own dreams.

Links: IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak Law Group, P.C.

Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes on the World

Documentary - 39 minutes

Directed by Peter Miller and Renée Silverman

Description: This documentary follows newly arrived students at the International Rescue Committee’s intense, New York-based academic and cultural “boot camp” for children seeking asylum from the world’s most volatile conflicts. The film presents an intimate, emotionally gripping account of the students’ stories of escaping war and conflict and resettling in America, chronicling their triumphs and setbacks as their lives unfold over the course of one formative summer.

Talkback: with film's director

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by the Teaneck Rotary Club

Sosúa: Make a Better World

Documentary - 56 minutes

Directed by Peter Miller and Renée Silverman

Description: Sosua: Make a Better World tells the story of Jewish and Dominican teenagers in New York City’s Washington Heights, who together with the legendary theater director, Liz Swados, to put on a musical about the Dominican rescue of 800 Jews from Hitler’s Germany.

Talkback: with film's directors

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by the Teaneck Rotary Club


Documentary - 64 minutes

Directed by Patrick Moreau and Grant Peelle

Description: After seeing a photo of two enslaved boys in Nepal, nine year old Vivienne Harr is moved to help by setting up a lemonade stand, with the goal of making enough to free 500 children from slavery. The film examines the realities of modern-day slavery, the role we play in it as consumers, and the importance of knowing the story behind what we buy.

Links: IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Fair Trade Teaneck

Two Days in Harlem

Narative - 27 minutes

Directed by Noel Calloway

Description: Two Days in Harlem examines the relationship between the NYPD and the citizens of Harlem. The film takes an unbiased look at the highly publicized and polarizing stop and frisk policy as well as the role police have in the community. The story is told through the eyes of Jason Farmer a veteran NYPD Detective and Harlem native. Jason’s unique view of the community in which he lives and works offers a keen insight into the life of officers who have a difficult and often thankless job. He encounters three young men Omar, James and Eric on separate occasions and his judgment of who each of these men is will cost someone their life.

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by Ace Media Corp.


Documentary - 90 minutes

Directed by Anna Wexler and Nadja Oertelt

Description: Unorthodox follows the transformation of three young Modern Orthodox Jewish teenagers in their yearlong rite-of-passage journey from high school to Israel. While in Israel these teenagers are forced to confront difficult truths about belief and happiness. One of the teens is from Teaneck and many scenes are shot in town.

Talkback: with directors Anna Wexler, Nadja Oertelt and one of the subjects of the documentary

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 


 Comedy, Drama - Saudi Arabia, Germany - 100 minutes

Directed by Haifaa Al Mansour - Arabic with English subtitles

Description: An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest. Nominated for best foreign language film at the 2013 Academy Awards this charming drama gives us an in-depth look into Saudi life directed by Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Teaneck


Drama - Germany - 102 minutes

Directed by Christian Schwochow, German with English subtitles

Description: Three years after her boyfriend Wassilij’s apparent death, Nelly Senff decides to escape from behind the Berlin wall with her son Alexej, leaving her traumatic memories and past behind. Pretending to marry a West German, she crosses the border to start a new life in the West. But soon her past starts to haunt her as the Allied Secret Service begin to question Wassilij’s mysterious disappearance.

Links: IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, New York

2013 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

Absence of Love

Drama - 26 minutes

Directed by Billy Gerard Frank

Description: Just when his five-year relationship hits a rough patch, James is forced to head home from New York when he gets an unexpected call from his brother, whom he hasn’t talked to since he left abruptly a year before.

Talkback: with director 

Links: IMDb 

The Central Park Five

Documentary - 119 minutes

Directed by Ken Burns, David McMahon & Sarah Burns

Description: In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between six and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, resulting in their convictions being overturned.  Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories, an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.

Talkback: with two of The Central Park Five – Korey Wise and Kevin Richardson and co-Director David McMahon

Links:  IMDb

Sponsored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter, and the Bergen County NJ Chapter of The Links, Inc.

Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock

Documentary - 78 minutes

Directed by Sharon La Cruise

Description: As a black woman who was a feminist before the term was invented, Daisy Bates refused to accept her assigned place in society. Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock tells the story of her life and public support of nine black students who registered to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which culminated in a constitutional crisis — pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. Unconventional, revolutionary, and egotistical, Daisy Bates reaped the rewards of instant fame, but paid dearly for it.

Talkback: with film director and Civil Rights historian Theodora Lacey 

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by Wise Older Women (WOW)

David Driskell: In Search of the Creative Truth

Documentary - 29 minutes

Directed by Richard Kane

Description: The story of one of today's most important artists and leading authorities on African American art. This film captures Driskell making collages inspired by mentor Romare Bearden, documents him with National Gallery consulting curator Ruth Fine, and painting at his Falmouth, Maine studio. The film also explores the give and take of his creative relationship with master printmaker, Curlee Holton. It all results in powerful works that pull from abstract expressionism, African masks, Coptic art, modernism, cubism the history of art in the works of this wise and gentle man.

Links: Official Site

Defiant Requiem

Documentary - Czech Republic, USA - 85 minutes

Directed by Doug Shultz

Description: The ultimate act of rebellion occurs in the Terezin concentration camp when young Czech conductor Rafael Schäcter leads a makeshift choir of 150 fellow inmates in performing Verdi’s Requiem, a death knell reimagined as a powerful message of hope and justice, in front of the Nazi high brass and Red Cross inspectors. Narrated by Bebe Neuwirth, this documentary brings this moving chronicle to life through reenactments, survivor recollections, animation, and footage from a soaring 2010 memorial concert of Verdi’s piece arranged by veteran conductor Murry Sidlin.

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by Jewish Center of Teaneck

English Vinglish

Comedy, Musical - India - 134 minutes

Directed by Guari Shinde - Hindi with English subtitles

Description: Money, fame and a knowledge of English are three factors in Indian society that play a major role on how society judges an individual. In this romantic, lighthearted film, Shashi is made to feel insecure by her family and society for not knowing English. Follow Shashi's touching and transformational journey to overcome her insecurity, master the language and teach the world a lesson on the way to becoming a self assured confident woman.

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by NPZ Law Group, Global Immigration Attorneys 

Fill the Void (Lemale et ha'halal)

Documentary - Israel - 90 minutes

Directed by Rama Burshtein - Hebrew with English subtitles

Description: A devout 18-year-old Israeli is pressured to marry the husband of her late sister. Declaring her independence is not an option in Tel Aviv's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, where religious law, tradition and the rabbi's word are absolute.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - New York Times

Garibaldi's Lovers

Comedy - Italy - 108 minutes

Directed by Silvio Soldini - Italian with English subtitles

Description: Garibaldi's Lovers presents a fuzzy ride through a magical vision of metropolitan Italy, while at the same time casting a critical eye on modern life in the city. Widowed plumber Leo is struggling to deal with the growing pains of his two adolescent children, when his life intersects with penniless artist Diana and her eccentric landlord Amanzio. Through a hilarious series of coincidences, they give each other new hope for their futures - and for the city itself, so emblematic of our times.

Links: Official Site

Gideon's Army

Documentary - 95 minutes

Directed by Dawn Porter

Description: This riveting documentary by New Jersey filmmaker Dawn Porter, follows the story of three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumption that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make “justice for all” a reality?

Talkback: with film’s director Dawn Porter

Links: Official Site - IMDb

A Girl Like You with a Boy Like Me

10 minutes

Directed by Ruben Amar

Description: Today and more than ever, Bhadraksh is determined to end a long period of doubt. In a few moments, he will announce to the one he has always loved that he wants to end the relationship. Bhadraksh is a guide, a lighthouse standing proudly in the midst of the ocean, a rampart against masculine weakness.

Links: IMDb

Go For Sisters

Drama -123 minutes 

Directed by John Sayles

Description: Bernice Stokes and Fontayne Gamble grew up the closest of friends. After high school Bernice got into social services and corrections work, Fontayne just got into trouble. Twenty years later Bernice is assigned as parole officer for Fontayne– just released from prison and fighting a drug habit. But Bernice’s son Rodney, has gone missing on the Mexican border, his shady partners in hiding or brutally murdered - and she needs help. Fontayne, through a prison girlfriend, enlists Freddy Suárez (Edward James Olmos), a disgraced, near-blind ex-LAPD detective once known as ‘the Terminator’, to help them find Rodney. Outlaws on a noble quest, they are lured into a potentially deadly cat-and-mouse game with mysterious Chinese smugglers.

Links: IMDb

Hannah Arendt

Biography, Drama - Germany - 113 minutes

Directed by Margarethe Von Trotta

Description: In the award-winning Hannah Arendt, the sublime Barbara Sukowa reteams with director Margarethe von Trotta (VisionRosa Luxemburg) for a brilliant new biopic of the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Arendt’s reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker—controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils—introduced her now-famous concept of the “Banality of Evil.”

Talkback: with the film's writer Pam Katz

Links: IMDB

Kid Flix Mix 2013

Short Film, Animation - 60 minutes

The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival

Hosted by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street

Description: Once again, TIFF presents the acclaimed New York International Children's Film Festival assortment of its best animated films from around the world, for children from 3-6. Bob McGrath, of Teaneck and Sesame Street, will introduce the program, which features musical and narrative works from around the world. The collection is guaranteed to delight our youngest filmgoers.

  • Animal Beatbox - Australia - Animation, Damon Gameau, 2011, 3 min
  • Apache (Danger Beach) -New Zealand - Animation, Ned Wenlock, 2011, 2.5 min
  • Aston’s Presents -Sweden - Animation, Lotta and Uzi Geffenblad, 2012, 9 min
  • The Day of the Dead -USA - Animation, Gary McGivney, 2011, 8 min
  • Elia - France - Animation, Matthieu Gaillard, 2012, 4.5 min
  • Goat Herder and His Lots and Lots and Lots of Goats - UK - Animation, Will Rose, 2012, 7 min
  • How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep? - UK - Animation, Anna Ginsburg, 2012, 3.5 min
  • The  Little Bird and the Leaf - Switzerland - Animation, Lena von Döhren, 2011, 4 min
  • Munggee, Not Again - Switzerland - Animation, Rothlin/Walthert, 2011, 6 min
  • Notebook Babies - USA - Animation, Tony Dusko, 2011, 3 min
  • Red Sand – France - Animation, Audrey Bussi, 2011, 2 min
  • The Squeakiest Roar - UK - Animation, Maggie Rogers, 2011, 4 min

Made in Dagenham

England - 113 minutes

Directed by Nigel Cole

Description: In 1968, women's rights took a broad leap forward when workers at the Ford automobile plant in Dagenham, England - buckling beneath deplorable working conditions rightly perceived as gender discrimination - suddenly stormed out into the streets and began to strike in protest of the unfair treatment levied at them. Little could they have foreseen the ramifications that this courageous and noble act would engender in successive years. With an all-star British cast including Bob Hoskins, Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Rupert Graves and Andrea Riseborough.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women

Documentary, Comedy - 85 minutes

Directed by Rachel Talbot

Description: This comedic documentary tells the story of six of the greatest female comic performers of the last century - Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, and Wendy Wasserstein. Hosted by four of today's funniest women - Judy Gold, Jackie Hoffman, Cory Kahaney, and Jessica Kirson - it's the true saga of what it means to be Jewish, female and funny.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Proper Steps

14 minutes

Directed by Patrick Coyle

Description: With the destruction of New York City imminent, Francis, a young cartoonist who stays isolated in his apartment is forced to come to terms with the regretful decisions he's made in his life. By drawing out his memories on paper, the remnants of a broken triangle involving his father and a young woman are brought back to life, and even though the last thing he wants to do is call his estranged father and try to make amends, the mixture of a massive tsunami looming in the distance and his ever present guilt leads him on a path towards reconciliation.

The Retrieval

Drama - 93 minutes

Directed by Amit Masurkar - Hindi with English subtitles

Description: On the outskirts of the Civil War, a boy is sent north by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man.

Talkback: with lead actor Tishuan Scott - moderated by Jeanette Curtis Rideau, Chair of National Coalition of 100 Black Women

Links: Official SiteIMDb

Second Skin

Documentary - 17 minutes

Directed by Elisa Goodkind & Lily Mandelbaum

Description: If personal style is the externalization of the soul, then Second Skin documents what unfolds when two souls are swapped. The film provides a rebuttal to the perception that style is vapid and to the notion that our most current set of fashion arbiters are able to accurately discern authenticity.

Talkback: with cast and crew

Shady Chocolate

Documentary - Denmark - 45 minutes

Directed by Miki Mistrati & U. Roberto Romano

Description: This investigative documentary examines if one of the world’s largest industries, the chocolate industry, is speaking the truth when they say they are actively fighting trafficking and child labor in Africa’s Ivory Coast.

In addition to the feature, a 6 minute short, The Power of Dreaming Small, a Fair Trade Teaneck production, will be screened. It is directed by Teaneck Middle School teacher and acclaimed filmmaker Michael Miceli and includes footage taken in Mexico by Teaneck High School teacher Lourdes Melendez and interviews with Teaneck High School students rallying for Fair Trade.

Talkback: with director U. Roberto Romano and members of Fair Trade Teaneck

Links: IMDb

The Spe@k Project

Drama - 42 minutes

Directed by Devan Be

Description: The message of this film is that each of us has a voice that needs to be found and heard. When silenced, we become invisible. This moving drama places the young adult experience center stage, as it tackles issues such as bullying, dating violence, mental illness, LGBT teen homelessness, substance abuse, etc.

Talkback: with cast and crew

Spirit Children

Documentary - 7 minutes

Directed by Lara Stolman

Description: There remains a belief among some people within a limited area of northern Ghana, that children born with birth defects are omens of bad fortune. These “spirit children” as prescribed by custom are banished or put to death for sake of the remaining family and community. Sister Stan Terese Mario Mumuni and her staff take these children and restore them to their communities by assisting with proper healthcare, education and employment.

Talkback: with filmmaker

Stones in the Sun

Haiti,USA - 95 minutes

Directed by Patricia Benoit - English, Haitian Creole and French with English subtitles

Description: In the midst of increasing political violence in their homeland, the lives of three pairs of Haitian refugees intersect in 1980s New York City. A haunted young woman struggling to forget the atrocities she's experienced reunites with her husband in Brooklyn, where he barely scrapes by as a livery cab driver. A single mother striving for assimilation in a tony Long Island suburb takes in her sister, a teacher and political activist who is unable to reconcile their violent youth with her sister's seemingly banal lifestyle. And a newly married man, the host of a popular anti-government radio show, finds his estranged father (a recently ousted military leader) on his doorstep, desperate for shelter. Now, they all must confront the disturbing truth of their pasts, as we slowly learn the history of their interlocked lives.

Talkback: with Teaneck actor Carlo Mitton and director and star Patricia Benoit


Sponsored by Teaneck Rotary 

The Test of Freedom

Documentary - 71 minutes

Directed by Khaliff A. Watkins

Description: Facing growing hysteria and bias, US Muslims live out their faith and confront discrimination in ways that uplift those around them. Rejecting portrayals as the villain or the victim, they set forward their own narratives about the role of Islam in an increasingly diverse and divided America.

Links: IMDb

Valentine Road

Documentary - 89 minutes

Directed by Marta Cunningham

Description: An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men.

Links: Official Site - IMDB

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (Ming tian ji de ai shang wo)

Comedy, Drama - Taiwan - 104 Minutes

Directed by Arvin Chen - Mandarin with English subtitles

Description: In this madcap and lighthearted comedic romp, introverted optometrist Weichung begins to question his marriage with his wife Feng, upon learning of her desire to have another baby. At his sister's engagement party, Weichung bumps into an old friend, Stephen, a wedding photographer who, though also married, is living the high life of a younger, single gay man. When Stephen teases Weichung for his newly straight-laced lifestyle, dormant emotions are awakened in Weichung, setting him off on a quest for true romance and desire.

Links: Official Site - IMDb

2017 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

April in Blue


Directed by Christian Hogarth

Description: An innocent game opens old wounds and sends a loving couple on a downward spiral.

Talkback: Christian Hogarth, director/writer; Joel Nagle, producer; moderated by David Bland

Links: IMDb - Facebook

Back to Natural

Documentary - 69 minutes

Directed by Dr. Gillian Scott-Ward

Description: The film that takes a shocking and emotional look at the intersection of hair, politics, and identity in Black communities. It is a powerful, thought provoking, call for healing that takes a grass roots approach to exploring the globalized policing of natural black hair. Filmed in New York City, Paris, And Cape Town, this documentary explores universal aspects of the Black experience and the "New" Natural Hair movement. Join us on this journey of discovery and enlightenment while celebrating our history and natural styles that are taking the world by storm.

Talkback: Dr. Gillian Scott-Ward, director/writer/producer; moderated by Dr. Venessa Perry, Huffington Post contributor

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of the Links, Inc.

BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez

Documentary, Biography - 90 minutes

Directed by  Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon

Description: For 81-year-old Sonia Sanchez, writing is both a personal and political act. She emerged as a seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement, raising her voice in the name of black culture, civil rights, women's liberation, and peace as a poet, playwright, teacher, activist and early champion of the spoken word. She is among the earliest poets to have incorporated urban black English into her poetry; she was one of the first activists to secure the inclusion of African American studies in university curricula. Deemed "a lion in literature's forest" by poet Maya Angelou and winner of major literary awards including the American Book Award, Sonia Sanchez is best known for 17 books of poetry that explore a wide range of global and humanist themes, particularly the struggles and triumphs of women and people of color.

Talkback: Sonia Sanchez, poet/playwright/activist moderated by Mikaela Angela Davis, CNN Contributor

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer 

Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Birthright: A War Story

Documentary - 100 minutes

Directed by Civia Tamarkin

Description: Examines how women are being jailed, physically violated and even put at risk of dying as a radical movement tightens its grip across America. It tells the story of women who have become collateral damage in the aggressive campaign to take control of reproductive health care and to allow states, courts and religious doctrine to govern whether, when and how women will bear children. It explores the accelerating gains of the crusade to control pregnant women and the fallout that is creating a public health crisis, turning pregnant women into criminals and challenging the constitutional protections of every woman in America. This is the real-life “Handmaid’s Tale.”

Talkback:  Senator Loretta Weinberg; Civia Tamarkin, director/writer/producer; Luchina Fisher, writer

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg & The National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section

Body & Soul: An American Bridge

Documentary - 58 minutes

Directed by Robert Philipson

Description: Out of all the cross-cultural encounters that have resulted in the richness of American popular music, none has been so prominent or so fraught with fraternity and conflict as the relationships between African Americans and American Jews. The film aims to tease out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the jazz standard, “Body and Soul,” one of the most recorded songs in the jazz repertoire. Composed by Jewish composer Johnny Green in 1929, the song was introduced on Broadway by Jewish torch singer Libby Holman and ushered into the jazz canon by Louis Armstrong the following year. Perfomance by Teaneck Community Chorus.

Talkback: Robert Philipson, director/writer/producer; Loren Schoenberg,National Jazz Museum in Harlem; moderated by Calvin Hill, famed bass player

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer 

Sponsored by The Teaneck Community Chorus

Breakfast at Ina's

Documentary, Biography - 51 minutes

Directed by Mercedes Kane

Description: Ina Pinkney is a Chicago legend of the tastiest kind. Known around town as the “Breakfast Queen”, she has been feeding Chicagoans for the past 33 years. Now facing the late stages of polio, Ina has decided to close the doors of her beloved breakfast nook. A self-made chef and businesswoman, Ina is so much more. She’s a community leader, a pioneer and an icon, but most importantly, she’s the rare sort of person who’s found a way to transform her passion into a joy that extends an entire city, and beyond. The documentary gives audiences a glimpse into Ina’s extraordinary life, all while chronicling the last days of the restaurant as she and her staff serve up its final meals.

Talkback: Q&A with Matt Okin and Huey Esquire of Black Box Studios and PAC

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Sponsored by Black Box Studios and Performing Arts Center& Rotary Club of Teaneck

Daughters of the Dust (1991)

Drama, History, Romance - 112 minutes

Directed by Julie Dash

Description: At the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina – former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions – struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots. Cohen Media Group is proud to present the 25th anniversary restoration of director Julie Dash’s landmark film.

Talkback: Talkback with Actress Cheryl Lynn Bruce; Michelle Materre, Professor, New School; Kathryn Bowser; Kay Shaw; moderated by Sandi Klein

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter

Dear Zindagi

Drama, Romance - India - 151 minutes

Directed by Gauri Shinde - Hindi with English subtitles

Description: Kaira is a budding cinematographer in search of a perfect life. Her encounter with Jug, an unconventional thinker, helps her gain a new perspective on life. She discovers that happiness is all about finding comfort in life's imperfections.

Links: IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by NPZ Law Group, Global Immigration Attorneys

Divine Order

Drama - Switzerland - 96 minutes

Directed by Petra Volpe - German, English, Italian, and Swiss German with English subtitles

Description: Switzerland, 1971: Nora is a young housewife and mother who lives with her husband and their two sons in a peaceful little village. Here, in the Swiss countryside, little or nothing is felt of the huge social upheavals that the movement of May 1968 has caused. Nora's life, too, has been unaffected; she is a retiring, quiet person, well liked by everyone - until she begins to campaign publicly and pugnaciously for women's right to vote, an issue that will be put before the male voters on February 7th, 1971.

Talkback: Christian Hogarth, director/writer; Joel Nagle, producer; moderated by David Bland

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by Adeline Wijnen


Documentary, Biography, History - 95 minutes

Directed by Peter Bratt

Description: Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century—and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change.

Talkback: Juanita Chavez, Dolores's daughter; moderated by Sandi Klein

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by Wise Older Women, YWCA of Bergen County, Deborah Witcher Jackson, Teaneck Women Together, the Vine

Fanny's Journey

Drama - France/Belgium - 94 minutes

Directed by Lola Doillon - French with English subtitles

Description: Based on a true story, this is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival, a story of a daring young girl who will stop at nothing and fear no one. In 1943, 13-year old Fanny and her younger sisters were sent from their home in France to an Italian foster home for Jewish children. When the Nazis arrive in Italy, their caretakers desperately organize the departure of the children to Switzerland. When they are suddenly left on their own, these 11 children do the impossible and reach the Swiss border to freedom.

Talkback: Q&A with Dr. Eric Goldman

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by The Jewish Standard

Five-Finger Discount

Documentary - 55 minutes

Directed by Steven Fischler

Description: Based on Helene Stapinski’s blockbuster memoir, the film relates Helene’s saga of growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey, in a family nearly overrun with crooks, corrupt politicians, mobster wannabes and murderers. It takes the viewer inside Helene’s struggle to confront her family legacy and invent a new identity – without losing where she comes from and the people she loves. The documentary also brings to life 20th century Jersey City, the poster child for the era’s urban political corruption. Frank “I Am The Law” Hague is a key character, and the film shows how his iron rule during his 30-year reign as mayor turned Jersey City into a closed system where power, money and corruption at the top trickled down to street life at the bottom, affecting the everyday lives of working class families struggling to survive.

Talkback: Steven Fischler, director/producer; moderated by David Cruz,NJTV

Links: Official Site - Trailer

Sponsored by NJTV

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Documentary - 98 minutes

Directed by Bonni Cohen & Jon Shenk

Description: A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes – in moments both private and public, funny and poignant – as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.

Talkback: Amanda Nesheiwat, Secaucus Environmental coordinator and Harriet Shugarman, the executive director of Climate Mama and the Climate Reality Project 2017 "Green Ring Award" Recipient (given by Al Gore) and who is  profiled in Gore's new book; moderated by Alexa Marques, Executive Director of Teaneck Creek Conservancy

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd.

Keep Quiet

Documentary - Hungary - 90 minutes

Directed by Sam Blair and Joe Martin - English, Hungarian, German with English subtitles

Description: Csanad Szegedi's story is remarkable; as vice-president of Jobbik, Hungary's far-right extremist party, Szegedi regularly espoused anti-Semitic rhetoric and Holocaust denials. He was a founder of the Hungarian Guard, a now-banned militia inspired by the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party complicit in the murder of thousands of Jews during WWII. Then came a revelation which transformed his life: Szegedi's maternal grandparents were revealed to be Jewish and his beloved grandmother an Auschwitz survivor who had hidden her faith fearing further persecution. Keep Quiet depicts Szegedi's three year journey as he is guided by Rabbi Boruch Oberlander to embrace his newfound religion, forced to confront the painful truths of his family's past, his own wrong doing and the turbulent history of his country. But is this astonishing transformation a process of genuine reparation and spiritual awakening, or is he simply a desperate man with nowhere else to turn?

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Sponsored by Rotary Club of Teaneck

Kid Flix Mix 2017

Live action & animated short films - 60 minutes
The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival
Hosted by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street 
Sponsored by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd. & YWCA of Bergen County
For Children 4-8

Thanks to a grant from the Puffin Foundation, children will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Once again, TIFF presents the acclaimed New York International Children's Film Festival assortment of its best animated and live action films from around the world. Bob McGrath, of Teaneck and Sesame Street, will introduce the program, which features musical and narrative works from around the world. The collection is guaranteed to delight our youngest filmgoers.

The Last Blintz

Documentary - 25 minutes

Directed by Dori Berinstein

Description: The closing of the The Cafe Edison (aka The Polish Tea Room) is not just a story about another famous show business haunt shutting its doors - which it is, big time - it is an American Dream-come-true story about a multi-generational, big-hearted, mom-and-pop family business that is tragically and pre-maturely coming to an end. It's also about gentrification on steroids and all-consuming greed. It's about the heart, soul, authenticity and distinctiveness of cities globally being flagrantly ripped away for yet another impersonal, cookie-cutter, corporate chain. It's too late for The Cafe Edison... but, looking to the future, The Last Blintz is an impassioned plea for 'progress' that honors the past, protects and future and preserves the heart and culture of our great cities...before there's nothing left.

Talkback: with Dori Berinstein, director/writer/producer; moderated by Matt Okin and Huey Esquire of Black Box Studios and PAC

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Sponsored by Black Box Studios and Performing Arts Center

My Life as a Zucchini

Animation, Comedy, Drama - Switzerland/France - 67 minutes - PG-13

Directed by Claude Barras

Description: After his mother's sudden death, Zucchini is befriended by a police officer who takes him to a group home where he has a hard time, but eventually finds his way -  learning to trust and love. This stop-motion film has earned rave reviews all over the world, and was nominated for an Academy Award. The subjects it deals with - death, loneliness, bullying - are difficult, but the story is heartwarming and, as one critic put it, "stands as a testament to the resilience of the human heart." This is a film for the whole family!

Talkback: Christian Hogarth, director/writer; Joel Nagle, producer; moderated by David Bland

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by YWCA of Bergen County


Comedy, Drama - India - 106 minutes

Directed by Amit Masurkar - Hindi with English subtitles

Description: As India, the world's largest democracy, braces itself for another general election- with 9 million polling booths, more than 800 million voters, and costing nearly $5 billion -Newton Kumar, a rookie government clerk finds himself entrusted with a task that appears deceptively simple: conducting elections in a remote village in the jungles of central India. The bushes teem with Communist guerrillas, who have been waging a decades old war against the state, even as the indigenous tribals live without any access to mainland amenities. Conducting 'free and fair' elections in a minefield like this is no child's play, as Newton learns over the course of this eventful day. Unfazed with the cynicism and danger all around him, Newton is determined to do his duty.

Talkback: Christian Hogarth, director/writer; Joel Nagle, producer; moderated by David Bland

Links: IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by League of Women Voters of Teaneck, NJ in cooperation with Barbara Ostroth, Coldwell Banker RE & Shirley Sosland, Russo Real Estate


Documentary - 104 minutes

Directed by Jonathan Olshefski

Description: Filmed with vérité intimacy for over a decade, it is a moving portrait of a family in North Philadelphia. Christopher “Quest” Rainey, along with his wife Christine’a, aka “Ma Quest,” open the door to their home music studio, which serves as a creative sanctuary from the strife that grips their neighborhood. Over the years, the family evolves as everyday life brings a mix of joy and unexpected crisis. Set against the backdrop of a country now in turmoil, it is a tender depiction of an American family whose journey is a profound testament to love, healing and hope.

Talkback: moderated by David Bland

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County

Restless Creature

Documentary - 90 minutes

Directed by Linda Saffire & Adam Schlesinger

Description: Offers an intimate portrait of prima ballerina Wendy Whelan as she prepares to leave New York City Ballet after a record-setting three decades with the company. Not just a fascinating portrait of an artist grappling with change but also a delight to watch.

Talkback: Wendy Whelan, principal dancer, New York City Ballet; Holly Hynes, ballet costume designer; moderated by Sandi Klein

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by Sandi Klein's Conversations with Creative Women

Strange Fruit (2002)

Documentary - 57 minutes

Directed by Joel Katz

Description: In 1937, after seeing a photo depicting the lynching of a black man in the south, Bronx-born high school teacher Abel Meeropol wrote a poem entitled "Strange Fruit" that begins with the words: "Southern trees bear a strange fruit / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root." He set the poem to music and a few years later convinced Billie Holiday to record it in a legendary heartbreaking performance. Intertwining jazz genealogy, biography, performance footage, and the history of lynching, director Joel Katz fashions a fascinating discovery of the lost story behind a true American classic.

Talkback: Joel Katz, director/writer/producer; moderated by Calvin Hill, famed bass player

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by The Teaneck Community Chorus

Swim Team

Documentary, Drama, Family - 90 minutes

Directed by Lara Stolman

Description: What would you do if your community gave up on your child? In New Jersey, the parents of a boy on the autism spectrum take matters into their own hands. They form a competitive swim team, recruiting diverse teens on the spectrum and training them with high expectations and zero pity. Swim Team chronicles the extraordinary rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels winning. Perfomance by TJ & BF Middle School bands 

Talkback: Coach Mike & son Mikey; Dr. David Levesque, has Tourette Syndrome; Mike Hayden, NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome; moderated by Pat Philips

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by The Teaneck Public Schools & The Township of Teaneck

This Beautiful Fantastic

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy - 92 minutes

Directed by Simon Aboud

Description: A contemporary fairy tale revolving around the unlikely friendship between a reclusive young woman with dreams of being a children’s book author and a cantankerous widower, set against the backdrop of a beautiful garden in the heart of London. Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay) is a beautifully quirky young woman who dreams of writing and illustrating a successful children’s book. When she is forced by her landlord to deal with her neglected garden or face eviction, she meets her nemesis, match and mentor in Alfie Stephenson (Tom Wilkinson), a grumpy, loveless, rich old man who lives next door and happens to be an amazing horticulturalist.

Talkback: Christian Hogarth, director/writer; Joel Nagle, producer; moderated by David Bland

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck

Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Documentary - 90 minutes

Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot

Description: Examines the life and work of one of the world's most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels have inspired millions to claim their own truth. Jennifer Kroot's documentary about the creator of Tales of the City moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. With help from his friends (including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan) Maupin offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of 70's San Francisco to the front line of the American culture war.

Talkback: Q&A with Jeremy Lentz

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

The Women's Balcony

Comedy, Drama - Israel - 96 minutes

Directed by Emil Ben-Shimon - Hebrew with English subtitles

Description: An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men.

Talkback: Q&A with Moshe Kinderlehrer, Jewish Link

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by The Jewish Link of New Jersey

2016 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster


HORROR - 98 minutes

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Description: A real estate reporter named Julia Talben unearths an urban legend about a house being built from rooms where horrific tragedies have occurred. The investigation ultimately leads Talben and a detective to the enigmatic Jebediah Crone and the answer to the question: How do you construct a haunted house?

Talkforward: Michael Yedwab; moderated by Marie Aronsohn 

Links: IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Black Box Studios & Black Box PAC

After Spring

Documentary - 101 minutes

Directed by Steph Chiing/Ellen Martinez

Description: With the Syrian conflict entering its sixth year, millions of people continue to be displaced. By following two refugee families in transition and aid workers fighting to keep the camp running, viewers will experience what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, everyone must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.

Talkback: Directors Steph Ching and Ellen Martinez; Cinematographer Jason Graham Howell; moderated by David Bland

Links: OfficialSite - IMDb - Trailer

American Reds

Documentary - 85 minutes

Directed by Richard Wormser

Description: With the Syrian conflict entering its sixth year, millions of people continue to be displaced. By following two refugee families in transition and aid workers fighting to keep the camp running, viewers will experience what it is like to live in Zaatari, the largest camp for Syrian refugees. With no end in sight for the conflict or this refugee crisis, everyone must decide if they can rebuild their lives in a place that was never meant to be permanent.

Talkback: Director Richard Wormser; Producer Bill Jersey; moderated by Ellen Rand

Links: OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by Adeline Wijnen & The Puffin Foundation, Ltd.

Bajrangi Bhaijaan

India - comedy/drama - 163 minutes

Directed by Kabir Khan

Description: A man with a magnanimous spirit tries to take a young mute Pakistani girl back to her homeland to reunite her with her family. The film pulsates with heart and has a story to tell. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry.


Links: OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by NPZ Law Group, Global Immigration Attorneys

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

documentary - 100 minutes

Directed by Greg Palast and David Ambrose

Description: Follow gonzo investigate reporter Greg Palast (BBC, Rolling Stone) as he busts the new Ku Klux Klan - the billionaire bandits that are behind a scheme to purge one million voters of color in November. With the help of Willie Nelson, Rosario Dawson, and detectives Ice-T and Richard Belzer, Palast tracks down the secret billionaires behind Donald Trump!

Talkback with Greg Palast (Director), Sameera Khan (Muslim rights activist), Miss New Jersey USA | Moderated by Marie Aronsohn

Links: IMDb

Sponsored by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd

Carvalho’s Journey

documentary/Biography/history - 85 minutes

Directed by Steve Rivo

Description: A real life 19th century American western adventure story, Carvalho’s Journey traces the extraordinary saga of Solomon Nunez Carvalho 1815-1897 , an observant Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, South Carolina, and his life as a groundbreaking photographer, artist, and pioneer in American history. The film features interviews with scholars and writers, rare archival materials, original landscape cinematography and re-creations of the daguerreotype process. Film provided by The National Center for Jewish Film

Talkback with Steve Rivo (Director), David Oestricher (Lenapes expert), Arlene Hirschfelder (author and historian), Rabbi Steven Sirbu (Temple Emeth) 

Links: OfficialSite - IMDb - Facebook

Dukale’s Dream

documentary - 70 minutes

Directed by Josh Victor Rothstein

Description: Hugh Jackman  X-MEN's "Wolverine"  flies to Ethiopia as part of World Vision's initiative to bring attention to their success in raising people out of poverty. Hugh spends an entire day in the fields with coffee grower Dukale who is working hard to lift his family out of poverty. He learns first-hand about the value of fair trade coffee. Inspired by Dukale, Hugh launches Laughing Man Coffee, trading directly with the growers and donating 100% of the profit to support community development programs and social entrepreneurs around the world.

Talkback with Josh Victor Rothstein (Director) | Moderated by Regina Melnyk (Teaneck High School Fair Trade Adviser)

Links: OfficialSite - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Teaneck Fair Trade & Teaneck High School Fair Trade Student Committee

The Innocents 

poland/france - drama - 115 minutes

Directed by Anne Fontaine

Description: In 1945 Poland, a young French Red Cross doctor who is sent to assist the survivors of the German camps discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy during a visit to a nearby convent.

Talkback with Sister Camille D'Arienzo, Angela Bonavoglia (author and journalist) | Moderated by Sandi Klein (Conversations with Creative Women)

Links: IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by Sandi Klein's Conversations with Creative Women

Kid Flix Mix 2016

live action/animated short film - 60 minutes

Hosted by Bob McGrath (Sesame Street)

Description: Thanks to a grant from the Puffin Foundation, children will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Once again, TIFF presents the acclaimed New York International Children's Film Festival assortment of its best animated and live action films from around the world. Bob McGrath, of Teaneck and Sesame Street, will introduce the program, which features musical and narrative works from around the world. The collection is guaranteed to delight our youngest filmgoers.

Sponsored by The Puffin Foundation, Ltd and YWCA Bergen Country 

Last Cab to Darwin

comedy/drama/romance - 123 minutes

Directed by Jeremy Sims

Description: Rex is a loner, and when he's told he doesn't have long to live, he embarks on an epic drive through the Australian outback from Broken Hill to Darwin to die on his own terms. His journey reveals to him that before you can end your life, you have to live it, and to live it, you've got to share it.

Talkback with Dr. Richard Bosenbluth (Holy Name Medical Center - palliative care specialist) | Moderated by Ellen Rand (author and TIFF co-founder)

Links: IMDb

The Last Laugh

documentary - 88 minutes

Directed by Ferne Pearlstein

Description: Feature documentary about humor and the Holocaust, examining whether it is ever acceptable to use humor in connection with a tragedy of that scale, and the implications for other seemingly off-limits topics in a society that prizes free speech. Features Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Gilbert Gottfried.

Talkback with Ferne Pearlstein (Director), Alan Zweibel (author, playwright, screenwriter, producer, director, actor, comedian, writer for Saturday Night Live)  | Moderated by Sandi Klein (Conversations with Creative Women)

Links: IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Rotary Club of Teaneck

Life, Animated

documentary - 89 minutes

Directed by Roger Ross Williams

Description: A coming of age story about a boy and his family who overcame great challenges by turning Disney animated movies into a language to express love, loss, kinship and brotherhood. Based on the bestseller by Ron Suskind about his autistic son’s astonishing journey back to the world.

OfficialSite - IMDb - Facebook -

Sponsored by Wendy Dessanti, Weichert Realtors & The Township of Teaneck and The Teaneck Board of Education, “Stigma-Free Zone” 

Making a Killing:
Guns, Greed, and the NRA

documentary - 103 minutes

Directed by Robert Greenwald

Description: Documentary features personal stories from people across the country who have been affected by gun violence, including survivors and victims' families. The film exposes how the powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting responsible legislation for the sake of profit - and thereby putting people in danger. The film looks into gun tragedies that include unintentional shootings, domestic violence, suicides, mass shootings and trafficking - and what we can do to put an end to this profit-driven crisis.

OfficialSite - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg & National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section 

A Man and a Woman

France - Romantic Drama - 1966 - 102 minutes

Directed by Claude Lelouche; French/English subtitles

Description: A man and a woman meet by accident on a Sunday evening at their children's boarding school. Slowly they reveal themselves to each other, finding that each is a widow/widower. Much of the film is told wordlessly in action or through hearing their thoughts as they go about their day.

OfficialSite - IMDb

Maya Angelou and Still I Rise

documentary - 114 minutes

Directed by Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack

Description: Dr. Angelou has become a global symbol of peace, humility, and freedom – but parts of her story are not well known. This documentary will reflect on how the events of history, culture, and the arts shaped Dr. Angelou’s life and how she, in turn, helped shape our own world view through her autobiographical literature and activism.

OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by The Teaneck Community Chorus & YWCA of Bergen County

Miss Diamond

documentary - 5 minutes

Directed by Juan Castañeda

Description: An incredibly talented artist and a fierce activist, Miss Diamond knew from a young age that what other people saw, was not who she was. This is the story of survival in a world that often rejects transgender people.

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice

documentary - 82 minutes

Directed by Deborah Riley Draper

Description: Documentary explores the experiences of 18 African American Olympians who defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to win hearts and medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Narrated by Blair Underwood.

OfficialSite - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by The Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

documentary - 72 minutes

Directed by  Gini Reticker

Description: The remarkable account of the Liberian women who came together to end a bloody civil war and bring peace to their shattered country. A story of sacrifice, unity and transcendence, Pray the Devil Back to Hell honors the strength and perseverance of the women of Liberia. Inspiring, uplifting, and most of all motivating, it is a compelling testimony of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations.

OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter

Projections of America

documentary - 52 minutes

Directed by Peter Miller; English, German, French/English subtitles

Description: Academy Award-winning screenwriter Robert Riskin headed up a secret film unit that sought to redefine America in the eyes of the world during the darkest days of World War II. The filmmakers created powerful short documentaries that showed America's strength not through images of tanks, but in portraits of farmers, school children and window washers. These films were brilliant, moving portraits of America that were unlike any films ever made before, but seventy years later they are forgotten, hidden away in government archives. Narrated by John Lithgow.

OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter


India/England/US - Drama - 94 minutes

Directed by Jeffrey D. Brown

Description: Through one extraordinary girl’s story, Sold illustrates the brutality of child trafficking, which affects millions of children around the globe every year. Produced by two time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson, and starring Gillian Anderson and David Arquette, Sold is a call to action, and a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit.

OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by Wise Older Women

Strange Victory

Documentary - 1948 - 71 minutes

Directed by Leo Hurwitz

Description: Collaging nonfiction materials, newsreel footage, and Hurwitz's brilliantly-shot scenes, Strange Victory powerfully documents the racism and anti-Semitism of postwar America. Images of stickers saying “Save America – Don't Buy from Jews,” signs that read “For Whites Only,” and photos of Ku Klux Klan lynchings are juxtaposed with footage of Nazi rallies and concentration camp inmates. This seldom-shown work, now beautifully restored from the producer’s original 1948 nitrate interpositive, landed its director on Hollywood’s blacklist.

OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck


Documentary - 90 minutes

Directed by Dawn Porter

Description: From 2011 to 2013, hundreds of regulations were passed restricting access to abortion in America. Reproductive rights advocates refer to these as "TRAP" laws, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. Trapped interweaves the personal stories behind these regulatory battles: from the physician who crisscrosses the country assuring medical services are available; to the strong women and men who run the clinics; to the lawyers leading the legal charge to eliminate these laws; to the women they are all determined to help.

OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by League of Women Voters of Teaneck, NJ


Short - Comedy/Drama - 20 minutes

Directed by Leron Lee

Description: An urban, coming-of-age story of a boy looking for love in the wrong place - his own environment.

IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of the Links, Inc.


India - Drama - 92 minutes

Directed by Anu Menon; Hindi, English/English subtitles

Description: An elderly man whose wife has been in a coma for eight months meets a terrified young wife whose husband has slipped into coma after a sudden accident. Will grief drive them both insane, or can two lonely strangers support each other?

OfficialSite - IMDb

Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of the Links, Inc.

2015 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

AKA Doc Pomus

Documentary - 99 minutes

Directed by Peter Miller & Will Hechter

Description: Paralyzed with polio as a child, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder reinvented himself first as a blues singer, renaming himself Doc Pomus, then emerged as one of the most brilliant songwriters of the rock and roll era, writing for Teaneck’s own Ben E. King, Elvis Presley, Dion, and dozens of others.  This documentary brings to life Doc’s joyous, romantic, heartbreaking and extraordinary eventful journey.

Talkback: Sharyn Felder - Doc Pomus's daugther

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Teaneck Rotary


Documentary - 77 minutes

Directed by Rex Miller

Description: The life and career of Althea Gibson, a truant from the rough streets of Harlem, who emerged as the first African-American woman to play and win at Wimbledon and Forest Hills in the highly segregated tennis world of the 1950s.

Talkback: Rex Miller-Director, Leslie Allen-Former Tennis Pro, Anthony Cureton - President NAACP Bergen County

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter, and the Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Documentary - 113 minutes

Directed by Stanley Nelson

Description: This is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American Culture and its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails.

Talkback: Laurens Grant, Producer and other special guests 

Links: Official Site - Facebook 

Boxed In

Short Feature - 29 minutes

Directed by Tasha Smith

Description: A black man in NYC struggles with bipolar disorder, while his girlfriend and mother learn to deal with the pain of his manic episode and struggle for mental survival.

Talkback:  to discuss mental health in the African American Community with Executive Producer Sidra Smith, Psychotherapist Dr. Alicia Terry Henderson and Jamisin Saracino, Director of Advocacy & Community Education/Care Plus NJ. 

Links: IMDb

Dil Dhadakne Do

India-Musical, Comedy, Drama - 170 minutes

Directed by Zoya Akhtar - Hindi with English subtitles

Description: On a cruise to celebrate their parents' 30th wedding anniversary, a brother and sister deal with the impact of their dysfunctional family’s meddling into their romantic lives.

Links: IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by NPZ Law Group, Global Immigration Attorneys


Comedy, Drama - England - 94 minutes

Directed by John Goldschmidt

Description: Curmudgeonly widow Nat Dayan (Jonathan Pryce) obstinately clings to his way of life and his livelihood as a Kosher bakery shop owner in London’s East End. With a dwindling clientele and the pressures of encroaching big box stores, Nat reluctantly enlists the help of teenager Ayyash who has a secret side gig selling marijuana to help his struggling immigrant mother make ends meet. When Ayyash accidentally drops his stash into the mixing dough, the challah starts flying off the shelves and an unlikely friendship forms between the old Jewish baker and his young Muslim apprentice.

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by Heritage Pointe of Teaneck


Drama, Thriller - Pakistan - 93 minutes

Directed by Afia Nathaniel

Description: In the mountains of Pakistan, a mother and her ten-year-old daughter flee their home on the eve of the girl's marriage to a tribal leader. A deadly hunt for them begins.

Talkback: Afia Nathaniel - Director

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by Teaneck Community Chorus

Félix and Meira

Drama - Canada - 105 minutes

Directed by Maxime Giroux - Yiddish and French with English subtitles

Description: A young Hasidic housewife from Montreal's Orthodox Jewish community finds freedom from the strictures of her faith through her relationship with a young man who is mourning the death of his estranged father.

Links: IMDb


Drama - USA - 103 minutes

Directed by Peter Sollett

Description: New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore), and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page), both battle to secure Hester's pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Film features Teaneck resident and founder of Garden State Equality, Steven Goldstein, who fought the case for the couple’s rights.

Talkback: Steven Goldstein and State Senator Loretta Weinberg

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Buddies of New Jersey, Inc.

The Hunting Ground

Documentary - 103 minutes

Directed by Kirby Dick

Description: From the Academy Award-nominated filmmaking team behind The Invisible War, comes a startling exposé of sexual assault on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families.

Talkback: Journalist, Attorney and Playwright Cindy Cooper, who has been writing in depth about the issues raised by campus assault, Healing Space Clinical Supervisor, Steve Oretski, and Sofie Karasek, featured in documentary

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by YWCA of Bergen County and HealingSpace

I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

Documentary - 90 minutes

Directed by Dave LaMattina and Chad Walker

Description: This heartwarming doc chronicles the life of Caroll Spinney, the man who has been Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969.

Talkback: Bob McGrath and other guests

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Wendy Dessanti and Weichert Realtors

Kid Flix Mix 2015: The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival

Live Action Animated Short Films - 60 minutes

Hosted by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street

Description: Once again, TIFF presents the acclaimed New York International Children's Film Festival assortment of its best animated and live action films, for children from 4-8. Bob McGrath, of Teaneck and Sesame Street, will introduce the program, which features musical and narrative works from around the world. The collection is guaranteed to delight our youngest filmgoers.

Thanks to a grant from the Puffin Foundation, children will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Locked Out

Short - 5 minutes

Directed by Juan Mejia and Juan Castaneda

Description: Holden is just one of the 2.4 million people who was entrapped within the criminal justice system. After his release from prison he does all he can to make it in a world that does all it can to keep him “Locked Out.”

Talkback: Juan Mejia-Director, Juan Yepes-Producer and Melissa Cox-Producer

Links: Official Site

Losing Ground

Drama - 1982 - 86 minutes

Directed by Kathleen Collins

Description: Finally receiving a long overdue theatrical run, Losing Ground is one of the first feature films written and directed by a black woman and a groundbreaking romance exploring women’s sexuality and modern marriage.

Talkback: Nina Collins-Daughter of deceased filmmaker Kathleen Collins, Seret Scott - lead actress, Ronald Gray-Co-producer and cinematographer and Michael Minard - writer of the film's score

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter

Margarita, With a Straw


Romantic, Drama - India - 100 minutes

Directed by Shonali Bose - Hindi with English subtitles

Description: A rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery.

Talkback: Gena Lentz- Pediatric Physical Therapist

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by League of Women Voters and Limitless Arts/PAS at BergenPAC

The New Girlfriend

Drama, Mystery - France - 109 minutes

Directed by Francois Ozon - French with English Subtitles

Description: Childhood best friends Claire and Laura are utterly inseparable, so it comes as a particularly devastating blow when Laura becomes ill and dies, leaving her husband, David, to raise their newborn daughter Lucie by himself. As she stops by the house one afternoon, door unlocked, she find a strange woman holding Lucie, who, on closer inspection, turns out to be David in a blonde wig and one of Laura's dresses.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook


Germany Silent Feature - 95 minutes

Directed by F.W. Murnau - English subtitles

Description: An unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Nosferatu is the quintessential silent vampire film, crafted by legendary German director F. W. Murnau. Live musical accompaniment provided by German virtuoso, Markus Horn 

Talkback: German composer Markus Horn

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, New York 

Return of the River

Documentary - 55 minutes

Directed by Jessica Plumb and John Gussman

Description: A documentary infused with hope, “Return of the River” explores an unlikely victory for environmental justice and restoration. The film follows a group of committed people as they attempt the impossible: to change the public opinion of a town and eventually the nation to bring two dams down.

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by Teaneck Creek Conservancy


Documentary - 100 minutes

Directed by Aviva Kempner

Description: The son of German Jewish immigrants, Julius Rosenwald rose from door-to-door salesman to become one of the wealthiest men of early 20th century America. But his little-known legacy is only now coming to light as one of the greatest philanthropists of all time and an inspiring leader in Jewish partnerships with African Americans. Rosenwald is the story of an unsung hero who gave away nearly $1 billion dollars to fund African American initiatives in the segregated south.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck

Secrets of War

Drama - The Netherlands - 95 minutes

Directed by Dennis Bots, Dutch with English Subtitles

Description: Secrets Of War puts both the danger and the humanity of wartime friendships squarely on the shoulders of three children who must face extraordinary circumstances with a maturity far beyond their years.

Links: Official Site - IMDb 

Sponsored by Dutch Culture USA and Addie Wijnen

She’s Beautiful When She's Angry

Documentary - 92 minutes

Directed by Mary Dore

Description: This documentary resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook

Sponsored by Corethia V. E. Oates, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley and YWCA Bergen County

Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story

Documentary - 84 minutes

Directed by NC Heiken

Description: The late jazz saxophonist Frank Morgan's tale of redemption from drug addict, conman and convict to beloved elder statesman of jazz.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Taking Chance

Short, Narrative - 13 minutes

Directed by Jerry Lamothe

Description: Chance, a young aspiring artist from Brooklyn, wants nothing more but to achieve his dreams of making it big. He looks forward to creating music that speaks to a loving and peaceful world. However, in today's' society, such ambitions can prove difficult especially in a community where the mantra 'do or die' still has a strong hold on those around him. With the state of social media and a culture that follows your every move, Chance faces overwhelming pressure from his alpha brother and peers alike, to face a bully he would rather reason with or ignore.

Links: IMDb 

Sponsored by Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck

Thao’s Library

Documentary - 88 minutes

Directed by Elizabeth Van Meter

Description: 2015 marks fifty years since the first US combat ground forces landed in Vietnam and forty years since the fall of Saigon. The ripple effect of this war continues to rage on today in the life of Thao, a 24-year-old Vietnamese woman born the victim of Agent Orange. Halfway around the world a struggling American, Elizabeth, attempts to cope with a bottomless well of depression brought on after the sudden loss of her famed younger sister. Thao and Elizabeth, two unlikely friends are brought together to reflect on the past and deal with the present, forging a bond that eventually will change both of their lives forever.

Talkback: Elizabeth Van Meter - Director

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

When Voices Meet

Documentary - South Africa - 86 minutes

Directed by Nancy Sutton Smith

Description: An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power. When the women’s balcony in an Orthodox synagogue collapses, leaving the rabbi’s wife in a coma and the rabbi in shock, the congregation falls into crisis. Charismatic young Rabbi David appears to be a savior after the accident, but slowly starts pushing his fundamentalist ways and tries to take control. This tests the women’s friendships and creates an almost Lysistrata-type rift between the community’s women and men.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook 

Sponsored by WOW (Wise Older Women) and the Puffin Foundation, Ltd.


Documentary - 68 minutes

Directed by Melissa Donovan - Amharic and English with English subtitles

Description: Documentary about a young Ethiopian girl's bravery in the face of enormous odds. Living in a remote village with a rare curvature of the spine, Zemene struggles with poverty, poor education, and potentially life-threatening illnesses. But a chance encounter in the streets of Gondar with Dr. Rick Hodes sets in motion a series of events that will change Zemene's life forever. Shot throughout the beautiful countryside of Ethiopia, the film is a poetic testament to the power and bonds of compassion and the potential within us all.

Talkback: Melissa Donovan - Director

Links: Official Site - IMDb

Sponsored by WOW (Wise Older Women) and the Puffin Foundation, Ltd.

2012 Teaneck International Film Festival Film Roster

All Together

Comedy, France, Feature - 96 Minutes

Directed by Stéphane Robelin

Description: Five aging friends decide to move in together in this crowd-pleasing comedy, starring Jane Fonda (in her first French-language film since Godard's 1972 Tout Va Bien), Geraldine Chaplin, and Claude Rich. Comfortably retired, they hire a handsome graduate student as a live-in caretaker and rediscover the joys of "communal" living -- but when old secrets and long-simmering jealousies emerge, discord among the group begins to grow.

Links: IMDb - Website

Sponsored by Five Star Premier Residences of Teaneck 

Bearden Plays Bearden

Feature, Documentary- 69 minutes

Directed by Dr. Nelson Breen

Description: This Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary, narrated by James Earl Jones, is the culmination of a unique three year collaboration between Romare Bearden, the greatest African-American artist of his generation, and the filmmaker. Rarely has a film delved so deeply into the soul of an artist, discovering not only what inspired his work, but what drove him to be an artist in the first place. A special director's cut will premiere at TIFF with never-before-seen footage featuring Alvin Ailey, James Baldwin and Ntozake Shange.

Talkback: Dr. Gillian Scott-Ward, director/writer/producer; moderated by Dr. Venessa Perry, Huffington Post contributor

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Facebook - Trailer

Sponsored by the Romare Bearden Foundation

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

Feature, Documentary- 83 minutes

Directed by  Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer

Description: Meet Bayard Rustin, a visionary strategist and activist who has been called "the unknown hero" of the civil rights movement. This powerful documentary chronicles the life of openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who, among many contributions to the cause, is best known for organizing the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., involving hundreds of thousands of people. 

Special 100th Anniversary Screening to Celebrate the Birth of Rustin.

Links: Official Site - IMDb - Trailer

Thanks to California Newsreel. Also sponsored by Garden State Equality.


Documentary - 100 minutes

Directed by Thom Fitzgerald

Description: Two Oscar®-winning actresses Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck) and Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) star as Stella and Dot, an aging couple who escape a nursing home and embark on a Thelma & Louise-style road trip from Maine to Nova Scotia to be legally married. Dukakis gives a fearless performance as a crotchety rebel with a cause, battling the narrow minded and cursing like a sailor. By turns, comic, poignant and profane, Cloudburst celebrates the power of love against adversity.

Links: Garden State Equality  - IMDb

Sponsored by Garden State Equality.

The Contradictions of Fair Hope

Feature, Documentary- 67 minutes

Directed by S. Epatha Merkerson and Rockell Metcalf 

Description: Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, the documentary examines a little known aspect of American history, the formation by freed slaves of "benevolent societies" to take care of the sick and needy and bury the dead. The history of The Fair Hope Benevolent Society in Uniontown, Alabama, is traced from its beginnings in 1888 to the present, when an annual meeting, now dubbed the "Foot Wash," has gone from being a religious-oriented family gathering to a celebration of worldly pleasures by more than 100,000 people. The moral conflict in this community and the effort to save the Society from the dubious pleasures and practices of the 21st century make for a touching and gripping tale.