2013 TIFF Roster

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