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

Winter Season Film Pass
  • 1/1/2017 - 4/30/2017
  • $50.00 / $70.00

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: Winter season runs from 1/1/17-4/30/17. 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.*

Special Presentation: Moonlight at JCC Manhattan
  • Mon, Jan 16 7:30 PM
  • FREE for s / $5.00

Dir. Barry Jenkins (USA, 2016, 111 min.)

A timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, chronicling the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

At once a vital portrait of contemporary African-American life and an intensely personal and poetic meditation on identity, family, friendship, and love, Moonlight is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that reverberates with deep compassion and universal truths. Anchored by extraordinary performances from a tremendous ensemble cast, Jenkins’s staggering, singular vision is profoundly moving in its portrayal of the moments, people, and unknowable forces that shape our lives and make us who we are.

Screening followed by Q&A

Not the Last Butterfly
  • Tue, Jan 24 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Cheryl Rattner Price & Joe Fab (USA, 2016, 59 min.)

Follow the inspiring journey of The Butterfly Project, a grassroots arts and education initiative that memorializes the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust through global displays of ceramic butterflies—one butterfly for each child.

In this film, The Butterfly Project’s messages of hope and healing are woven together with survivors' courageous stories of dark times, including a little-known story of the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, where a young Ela Weissberger was imprisoned as a child. Now a survivor in her eighties, Ela reveals how she and other children were given the strength to endure the Holocaust by an artist and teacher who helped them express the trauma of their experiences through art. 

Both a moving account of survival and a lesson in the healing power of art, Not the Last Butterfly offers a new way to find hope in one of history's great tragedies and moves us to take action to create a more peaceful world.  

Screening followed by Q&A. The audience is invited to paint butterflies after the screening.

Keep Quiet
  • Tue, Jan 31 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Sam Blair & Joseph Martin (Hungary, 2016, 97 min.)

Csanad Szegedi, a man with anti-Semitic beliefs and a Holocaust denier, rose up through the ranks to lead Hungary’s far right conservative Jobbik Party. At the peak of his political career, Szegedi discovered that his family kept a dark secret for decades—his maternal grandparents were Jewish, his grandmother an Auschwitz survivor. Keep Quiet depicts Szegedi’s three year journey as he is guided by Rabbi Oberlander to embrace his newfound religion, and as he confronts the painful truths of his family’s past, his own wrongdoing, and the turbulent history of his country. But is this astonishing transformation a process of genuine reparation and spiritual awakening? Or is he simply a desperate man who, having failed to suppress the truth, has nowhere else to turn?

Screening followed by Q&A

Bogdan's Journey
  • Tue, Feb 07 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Michal Jaskulski & Lawrence Loewinger (Poland & USA, 2016, 83 min.)

In a story that begins with murder and ends with reconciliation, one man persuades the people of Kielce, Poland, to confront the truth about the darkest moment in their past—Kielce was the site of Europe’s last Jewish pogrom. In 1946, 40 Holocaust survivors seeking shelter in a downtown building were murdered by townspeople. Communist authorities suppressed the story, leaving the town deeply embittered.

To Bogdan Bialek, a Catholic Pole, anti-Semitism is a sin. This conviction is the animating force of his life. Conflict over the pogrom was still a festering wound when Bialek moved to Kielce in the late 70s. Trained as a psychologist, he made it his life’s work to both persuade people to embrace their past and to reconnect the city with the international Jewish community.

Screening followed by Q&A with:

Bogdan Bielak, Protagonist, Bogdan's Journey

Jan Tomasz Gross, Professor of War and Society, Princeton University

Michael Jaskulski, Director, Bogdan's Journey

Lawrence Loewinger, Director, Bogdan's Journey

Elzbieta Matynia, Professor of Sociology and Liberal Studies, the New School for Social Research

The Last Laugh
  • Tue, Feb 14 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Ferne Pearlstein (USA, 2016, 89 min.)

Is the Holocaust funny? Director Ferne Pearlstein (Sumo East and West, Imelda) doesn’t shy away from the taboo topic of humor, delving deep into pop culture to find out where to draw the line, and whether that is a desirable -- or even possible -- goal.

The Last Laugh pairs clips from films, performances, and interviews with top comedians and prominent Jewish leaders (including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Abraham Foxman, and Shalom Auslander) with an intimate portrait of Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone, and rare archival footage of cabarets in concentration camps. From this wealth of material, Pearlstein weaves together a complete and thoughtful exploration into the question of what is and is not off-limits in comedy. The answers are as diverse as the subjects she interviews. There is no consensus on which jokes work and which don't, and the film doesn’t take a stance; instead, it invites you to think, to laugh, and to remember, all the while keeping its levity.

Screening followed by Q&A

The Settlers
  • Tue, Feb 21 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Shimon Dotan (Israel, 2016, 110 min.)

This two-hour documentary on the history of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank explores the origins of the settlements, the changes they have imposed on Israeli and Palestinian societies, and their impact on Middle Eastern and world affairs. The settlers are associated with xenophobia and religious zealotry. But little is known about the personal beliefs and stories of the settlers themselves.

Director Shimon Dotan’s research has uncovered growing influences on West Bank settlers that include interactions with French and American religious Jews and well organized evangelical Christians. He explores the various forces that shape the lives of the settlers both externally and internally, and immerses himself in their midst to deliver a film “from within.” “This film,” Dotan said, “is an exercise in listening.”

Screening followed by Q&A

Dimona Twist
  • Tue, Feb 28 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Michal Aviad (Israel, 2016, 70 min.)

This moving film focuses on the lives of women in Israel, specifically those from North Africa and Poland who came by ship in the 1950s and 1960s and were sent to Dimona, a newly established town in the desert. They talk about the pain of leaving their homes behind, poverty, the difficulties of adjusting to their new homeland, and about their determined attempts to create rich and meaningful lives. Intimate conversations are interwoven with stunning archival footage and music of the time.

Screening followed by Q&A

9th Annual ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival
Reelabilities Film Festival
  • 3/2/2017 - 3/8/2017
  • $9.00 / $13.00
334 amsterdam ave at 76th st
new york, ny 10023 | 646.505.4444 []