Join us for premieres and previews, meet filmmakers, and engage in conversations about topics central to our community.


Cinematters: Film @ the JCC

JCC Manhattan's film program showcases films that promote change and reflect on pertinent themes. Featuring previews and special engagements, CINEMATTERS emphasizes films on social justice, social action, and matters crucial to our New York community and society at large. Presenting movies from around the world, our screenings include special guest speakers, filmmakers, actors, and other interactive opportunities to further engage with the themes in our award-winning films. We believe films move and impact audiences and are one of the most compelling ways to effect change. We invite you to be inspired, join the conversation, and begin to change our world.

Upcoming Screenings

Fall Season Film Pass
  • 9/1/2017 - 12/31/2017
  • $55.00 / $75.00

Purchase a pass for our acclaimed series and enjoy a spectacular season of preview and premiere films, special cinematic events and discussions. Enjoy cutting edge films from around the world, documentaries and special engagements, followed by conversations with filmmakers and special guest speakers.

Fall season runs from 9/1/17-12/31/17. This pass is for personal use only. Passes do not include film festival screenings.

To ensure tickets to each screening, reservations are still necessary. Pass does not constitute ticket to film/events. Please claim tickets in the JCC lobby or call the box office at 646-505-5708.

  • Tue, Sep 26 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Serena Dykman (USA/Belgium/Poland, 2016, 100 min.)

Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant, born in Poland, survived Ravensbrück, Malchow, and Auschwitz, where she was the forced translator of the “Angel of Death,” Dr. Mengele. She dedicated her post-war life to publicly speaking about her survival to the younger generations, so that it would never be forgotten or repeated. In this documentary film, Alice and Serena—her daughter and granddaughter—explore how Maryla’s fight against intolerance can continue today in a world where survivors are disappearing and intolerance, racism, and antisemitism are on the rise.

Screening followed by Q&A with Serena Dykman

Tomorrow Ever After
  • Tue, Oct 03 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Ela Thier (USA, 2016, 95 min.)

Shaina is a historian who lives 600 years in the future. War, poverty, pollution, greed, exploitation, depression, and loneliness--these are things that she’s read about in history books. When a physics experiment goes awry, she accidentally time travels, and is stranded in our times. Naturally, she assumes everyone around her is honest, generous, and caring, as she tries to recruit the help that she needs to get back home.

"Thier's sensibility offers such a welcome break... inviting audiences to see our modern-day world through fresh eyes." - Variety

"Built around Thier's dignity and gentle humor... she emanates charismatic warmth and seems genuinely engaged with the film's theme of compassion in an era of despair." - Village Voice

Screening followed by Q&A with Ela Thier

Special Preview: Kills on Wheels
  • Tue, Oct 10 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Attila Till (Hungary, 2016, 102 min.)

Screened at ReelAbilities 2017

In this wildly original dark comedy, two teenaged boys living in a facility for children with disabilities are looking for a way out. When they befriend a gruff firefighter-turned-hitman who enlists them to be his accomplice wheelchair assassins, they enter a surreal world of gangsters and guns, all the while coming to terms with their respective disabilities. With stellar cinematography, a mix of live action and graphic animation, and a dark sense of humor, Kills on Wheels successfully blends genres, dealing with issues of invisibility, prejudice, and loneliness as it rolls on to exciting, offbeat places. Hungary's 2016 Academy Award submission for Best Foreign Film. Will be released in the US on October 20.

Please email with any accessibility needs.

Screening followed by Q&A

Special Preview: Breathe
  • Wed, Oct 11 6:30 PM
  • $5.00

Co-Presented with ReelAbilities

Dir. Andy Serkis (UK, 2016, 117 min.)

For his directorial debut, Andy Serkis brings to life the inspiring true love story between Robin and Diana Cavendish (Academy Award nominee Andrew Garfield, Golden Globe winner Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. After a fairytale-like courtship, Robin is struck down by polio at the age of 28, confined to a hospital bed and given only a few months to live. With the help of Diana’s twin brothers (Tom Hollander) and the groundbreaking ideas of inventor Teddy Hall (Hugh Bonneville), Robin and Diana dare to escape the hospital ward to seek out a full and passionate life together - raising their young son, traveling and devoting their lives to helping other polio patients. Written by two-time Academy Award nominated writer William Nicholson, and shot by three-time Academy Award winner Robert Richardson, Breathe is a heartwarming celebration of love and human possibility.

Please email with any accessibility needs.

Screening followed by Q&A.

Special Preview: Aida's Secrets
  • Tue, Oct 17 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Aron & Shaul Schwartz (USA/Israel/Germany/Canada, 2016, 90 min.)

Encore showing after first screening at Israel Film Center Festival 2017

Two brothers, Izak and Shepsel, were born in a displaced persons camp after World War II. The brothers were separated as babies, and neither was told the other existed. An investigation into the mysterious history of their birth family led to an amazing reunion after six decades. Family secrets and generations of contemporary history are uncovered in this sweeping international story that begins with World War II and concludes with an emotional 21st century family reunion. Timely questions of identity, resilience, compassion, and the plight of displaced persons are brought to life as brothers Izak and Shep meet in Canada, and travel to a nursing home in Quebec to meet their elderly mother, the mysterious Aida. Will be officially released in the US on November 3rd.

Screening followed by Q&A

Special Preview: 1945
  • Mon, Oct 23 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Ferenc Török (Hungary, 2017, 91 min.)

In this astonishingly haunting film, deep undercurrents run beneath the surface in a quaint village that's ultimately forced to face up to its ill-gotten gains from World War II. On a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes labeled "fragrances." The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village's deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property, lost during the war, be returned. Other villagers are afraid more survivors will come, posing a threat to the property and possessions they have claimed as their own. Will be released in theaters in New York & LA on November 1st.  

"A fresh, intelligent cinematic approach to a difficult topic that takes on a transitional time in Hungarian history with subtlety and nuance." - Variety   

Screening followed by Q&A

Operation Wedding
  • Tue, Oct 31 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov (Israel/Latvia, 2016, 62 min.)

Co-presented with Generation R, World Jewish Congress - North America, National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (NCSEJ), and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

In 1970 in Leningrad, a group of young Jewish dissidents plots to hijack an empty plane and escape the USSR. Caught by the KGB a few steps from boarding, they were tried for treason—some were sentenced to death, others sent to the gulags. Filmmaker Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov grew up hearing the dramatic story of her parents’ attempted escape, and 45 years after the events, she made this documentary together with her mother. They retrace the group’s journey from a Soviet airport to a KGB prison and beyond. Archives, reenactments, and interviews with KGB officers enhance this inspiring story of young Jews who imagined freedom and cracked the Iron Curtain.

Screening followed by Q&A with Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov

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