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

Spring Season Film Pass
  • 5/1/2016 - 6/30/2016
  • $30.00 / $50.00

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.

*USAGE NOTES: Spring season runs from 5/1/16-6/30/16. This pass is for personal use only. Passes do not include film festival screenings. To assure tickets to each screening, reservations are still necessary. Please claim tickets in the JCC lobby. Pass does not constitute ticket to films/events.*

Rabin in His Own Words
  • Mon, May 02 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Rabin In His Own Words

Dir. Erez Laufer
2015 | 113 min | Documentary

Twenty years after his assassination, Yitzhak Rabin, one of Israel's most legendary leaders, tells his dramatic life story—from his childhood as the son of a labor leader before the founding of the State of Israel, to the horrific moment when his political career and life were suddenly brought to an end. Through a combination of rare archival footage, home movies, and private letters, Rabin's personal and professional dramas and life story unfold entirely in his own voice. There is no better way to present the story of this legend than in his own words.

Winner, Best Documentary, Haifa International Film Festival 2015.

Screening followed by Q&A with Dan Ephron, author of the NY Times Notable book "Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel"

Saviors on the Screen: Wunderkinder
  • Thu, May 05 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir.  Marcus O. Rosenmüller (Germany, 2011, 96 min.)

A tale of three exceptionally musically talented children who develop a deep and genuine friendship, extending beyond their different religions and nationalities. The two Jewish children, Larissa and Abrascha, are both virtuosos—one on the piano and the other on the violin. Hanna, a young German girl, is also extremely gifted. Living in Poltava/Ukraine in 1941, they all share one great love: music. Their world is one of curiosity, joy, and talent. But when the Nazis invade the Soviet Union, they and their families face mortal peril. Due to the insanity of grown-ups at home and abroad, their world is turned upside down, and they are suddenly no longer allowed to be friends.

Screening presented in honor of Yom Hashoah

In Search of Israeli Cuisine
  • Sun, May 15 2:30 PM
  • $5.00

Dir. Roger Sherman (Israel, 2015, 97 min.)

In 30 years, Israel has gone from having no fine food to call its own to having world-renowned cuisine. Director Roger Sherman went to Tel Aviv for the first time in 2010, and found a vibrant restaurant scene that rivals New York, San Francisco, London, and Paris. Most importantly, Roger discovered the people of Israel and the remarkable food traditions they produce. The traditions are diverse–Moroccan, Persian, Lebanese, French, Italian, and Russian; Jewish, Arab, Palestinian, Christian, and Druze; kosher and non-kosher, secular and religious. Home cooks are preserving their grandmothers’ recipes and dynamic chefs are updating them.

The film's chef/guide is Michael Solomonov, a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-owner of Zahav in Philadelphia. The filmmakers follow Mike into restaurants and home kitchens, wineries and cheese makers, and he eats street food and visits markets. He discusses the traditions, ingredients, origins, and the future of Israeli cuisine.

Screening presented on Yom Ha'atzmaut as part of UWS Celebrates Israel.

Shtisel (Season 2, Episodes 1-2)
  • Sun, May 15 7:00 PM
  • $5.00

Dir. Alon Zingman (Israel, 2015, 100 min.)

The hit Israeli series, winner of 12 Ophir Awards, returns to the screen. Season 2 centers on father and son Shulem and Akiva Shtisel (Dov Glickman and Michael Aloni), who share an apartment in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim. Shtisel features the same cynical humor and the same search for love and motherly warmth in a cold world.

In the first and second episodes of the season, Noaham and Libi return to Israel after years abroad. Noaham is Shulem's younger brother, and his beautiful daughter Libi will soon become Akiva's love interest. Noaham and Shulem fight over their mother's love and their children's future. Akiva's sister, Giti Weiss (Neta Riskin) and her husband Lipa (Zohar Strauss), cope with a new baby during a difficult time while their adolescent daughter Ruhami (Shira Haas) develops a surprising infatuation.

Screening followed by Q&A with lead actress Neta Riskin. Presented on Yom Ha'atzmaut as part of UWS Celebrates Israel.

Presenting Princess Shaw
  • Tue, May 24 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Ido Haar (USA/Israel, 2015, 80 min.)

In every corner of the world, at any given moment, random people post personal video clips online. They are their virtual messages in a bottle, tossed into the boundless sea that is the Internet. Most of these posts flounder in a sad limbo of indifference and anonymity—unless your YouTube handle happens to be Princess Shaw. Samantha Montgomery, 38, lives alone in one of New Orleans' toughest neighborhoods. By day she works as a caregiver for the elderly; at night she transforms into Princess Shaw, belting out soulful originals at sparsely attended open mic nights and posting homemade a cappella clips on YouTube, usually reaching just a handful of viewers. One of her followers happens to be Kutiman, a.k.a. Ophir Kutiel, an Israeli musician living on a kibbutz outside Tel Aviv, who mashes up YouTube videos from all over the world to create new musical pieces. Princess Shaw has no idea that he has found hers. A rousing documentary crowd-pleaser about a star-crossed singer-songwriter and her crafty secret admirer, Presenting Princess Shaw examines loneliness, anonymity, and connectivity in the Internet age.

Screening followed by Q&A with Samantha Montgomery

4th Annual Israel Film Center Festival
  • 6/2/2016 - 6/9/2016
  • $9.00 / $11.00
Septembers of Shiraz
  • Tue, Jun 21 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Wayne Blair (USA, 2015, 110 min.)

A searing drama that brings to life a chapter of recent history little understood in the West. Septembers of Shiraz features Academy Award winner Adrien Brody and Academy Award nominee Salma Hayek as Iranian Jews whose lives are turned upside down in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. Director Wayne Blair brings a high level of suspense to this gripping story of a family united by strife, adapted from the bestselling autobiographical novel by Dalia Sofer. It is an incisive examination of a troubled moment in history, showing the impact of political upheaval on ordinary people, and paying particular attention to the subtle ways it exacerbates community tensions.

Screening followed by Q&A

Thank You For Your Service
  • Tue, Jun 28 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Tom Donahue (USA, 2015, 88 min.)

The U.S. military faces a mental health crisis of historic proportions. Thank You for Your Service takes aim at our superficial understanding of war trauma and the failed policies that result. Director Tom Donahue interweaves the stories of four struggling Iraq War veterans with candid interviews of top military and civilian leaders. Observing the systemic neglect, the film argues for significant internal change and offers a roadmap of hope. Interviews include Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Admiral Mike Mullen, Generals David Petraeus and Loree Sutton, Nicholas Kristof, Dexter Filkins, Senator Patty Murray, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson.

Screening followed by Q&A

Special Preview: Indignation
  • Tue, Jul 26 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. James Schamus (USA, 2016, 110 min.)

Based on Philip Roth's novel set in 1951. Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman), a brilliant working class Jewish boy from Newark, New Jersey, travels on a scholarship to a small, conservative college in Ohio, exempting him from being drafted into the Korean War.  Once there, Marcus's growing infatuation with his beautiful classmate Olivia Hutton (Sarah Gadon) and his clashes with the college's imposing Dean, Hawes Caudwell (Tracy Letts), put his and his family's best-laid plans to the ultimate test.

Up on the Roof: Labyrinth
  • Thu, Jul 28 8:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Jim Henson (USA, 1986, 101 min.)

Sing along to the David Bowie classic. Teenage Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) is left to babysit her brother, Toby. While telling him a story to put him to sleep, she inadvertently conjures the Goblin King (David Bowie) who steals the child and brings him to his castle in the middle of a labyrinth. Sarah must solve the labyrinth by midnight before Toby is turned into a goblin.

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