2018 TIFF Roster

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