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

Bonus:

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.

Films:

  • 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. 
BARACK OBAMA

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)


Network

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