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

Joe's Violin
  • Mon, Apr 24 6:00 PM
  • FREE for Everybody

Dir. Kahane Cooperman (USA, 2016, 24 min.)

In the Academy Award nominated short documentary film Joe’s Violin, a donated musical instrument forges an improbable friendship between 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joe Feingold and 12-year-old Bronx school girl Brianna Perez, showing how the power of music can bring light in the darkest of times and how a small act can have a great impact.

Screening followed by Q&A with Joe Feingold of the film and director, Kahane Cooperman.    

Presented in remembrance of Yom Hashoah. Followed by screening of Fever at Dawn. Click here to purchase tickets.

Fever at Dawn
  • Mon, Apr 24 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Péter Gárdos (Hungary, 2016, 110 min.)

In 1945, after having been freed from a concentration camp, a 25-year-old Hungarian man, Miklós, is being treated at a Swedish hospital. The doctors diagnose him with a severe lung disease and tell him that he has no more than six months to live. But he refuses to give up, tries to find a wife with whom he can start a new life, and sends letters to 117 Hungarian girls who are also being treated in Sweden. One of the girls is 19-year-old Lili, who likes Miklós's letter, and they start corresponding. Based on the novel Fever at Dawn.

Presented in remembrance of Yom Hashoah. Screening followed by Q&A

The Wedding Plan (La'avor et Hakir)
  • Wed, Apr 26 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Rama Burshtein (Israel, 2016, 110 min.)

Winner, Best Actress & Best Screenplay, Israeli Academy Awards

The deeply observant Orthodox 32-year-old Michal (Noa Koller) has always been desperate to marry, and finally she's met a man, gotten engaged, and rented the hall for her wedding. But on the eve of the great event, her fiancé confesses he doesn't love her, and the wedding is called off. Undeterred, Michal refuses to cancel her wedding plans. She firmly believes that God will provide a husband by the eighth day of Hanukkah. With the clock ticking and matchmakers on the case, Michal begins her quixotic search for the perfect mate, with results that are hilarious and uncanny.

In her first film, the acclaimed Fill the Void, American-born Israeli filmmaker Rama Burshtein gave us a dramatic study of marriage in the Hasidic community. Here she adopts a looser style, giving us something new: an ultra-Orthodox romantic comedy. In Noa Koller she's discovered a wonderfully expressive comedian who makes the quirky, determined, insecure Michal an unforgettable and unique screen hero.

"Brings romantic comedy to the Hasidic community, with...pleasing results." --Jay Weissberg, Variety

Screening followed by Q&A

Ben Gurion, Epilogue
  • Sun, Apr 30 11:00 AM
  • $5.00

Dir. Yariv Mozer (Israel, 2016, 70 min.)

In the great depths of a film archive, six hours of interview with one of modern history's greatest leaders, David Ben-Gurion, were discovered. They are set in 1968, when he was 82 years old, five years before his death. He lived in the desert, removed from all political discourse, which allowed him a hindsight perspective on the Zionist enterprise. Ben-Gurion's introspective soul searching is the focus of this film, and his clear voice provides a surprising vision for crucial decisions Israel needs to make today.

Screening followed by Q&A with director, Yariv Mozer

Presented as part of The UWS Celebrates Israel

The Guys Next Door
  • Tue, May 09 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Amy Geller & Allie Humenuk (USA/Italy, 2016, 74 min.)

The Guys Next Door is an intimate portrait of a real "Modern Family.” Meet Erik and Sandro, a gay married couple whose friend Rachel is a surrogate for their two daughters. Rachel, who is in her 40s, is married to Tony and they have three children. Together, they all form a unique extended family.

Spanning three years, this lyrical documentary tackles some of the most pertinent issues of our time—gay marriage and parenting, surrogacy as a path to having children, and the extension and redefinition of what it means to be “an American family.” Elegantly shot and edited, and told with candor and humor, The Guys Next Door is an inspiring story of family, friendship, and gay rights.

Screening followed by Q&A


Special Preview: The Exception
  • Tue, May 16 7:30 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. David Leveaux (USA/UK, 2016, 107 min.)

A riveting World War II thriller that is filled with espionage and romance in equal measure, The Exception follows German soldier Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney) as he goes on a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). The Kaiser lives in a secluded mansion in The Netherlands, and as Germany is taking over Holland, the country’s authorities are concerned that Dutch spies may be watching the Kaiser. As Brandt begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with Mieke (Lily James), one of the Kaiser’s maids whom Brandt soon discovers is secretly Jewish.

When Heinrich Himmler (Eddie Marsan), Head of the SS, decides to come for an unexpected visit with a large platoon of Nazis in tow, the stage is set for a breathtaking showdown, as secrets are revealed, allegiances are tested, and Brandt is forced to make the ultimate choice between honoring his country and following his heart.

Screening followed by Q&A with director, David Leveaux

Israel Film Center Festival Pass
  • 5/20/2017 - 6/14/2017
  • $45.00

Get access to five film screenings of your choosing as part of the 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival at JCC Manhattan.

For full schedule of the festival please visit

Pass does not guarantee seating. Please call the JCC box office (646-505-5708) to reserve your tickets.

The Women's Balcony (Yismach Chatani)
  • Sun, May 21 8:00 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Shlomit Nehama & Emil Ben-Shimon (Israel, 2016, 96 min, Narrative)

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 leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem. Will be officially released in the US on May 26th.

Nominated for 5 Israeli Academy Awards 

Followed by Israel Film Center Festival Kick Off Party

Special Preview: Past Life (Ha-Chataim)
  • Tue, May 23 7:30 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Avi Nesher, 112 min, Narrative

Based on a true story, Past Life tracks the daring 1977 trans-European odyssey of two sisters–one an introverted ambitious classical music composer, and the other a combative politics and porn magazine editor--who are daughters of Holocaust survivors. As they try to unravel a disturbing wartime mystery that has cast a foreboding shadow on their entire lives, they realize that freedom from the shackles of the past requires painful sacrifices, as does the struggle to discover one’s unique voice. Will be officially released in the US on June 2nd.

Special Premiere: Soon By You
  • Wed, May 24 8:00 PM
  • $30.00

Dir. Leah Gottfried (USA, 2017, 30 min.)

Join us for the premiere of episode 4 "The Dates" of Soon by You. Soon By You is an award winning comedic web series about 6 young Modern Orthodox Jews dating in NYC. The show follows the lives of young Jewish professionals as they navigate relationships, friendships, family drama and everything else that comes with being a twenty something and dating in the 21st century. Make sure to catch up on the first three episodes available here.

Screening followed by Q&A with cast and crew.

After party to follow with refreshments.

Wrestling Jerusalem
  • Tue, May 30 10:00 PM
  • FREE for Everybody

Dir. Dylan Kussman (US, 2016, 93 min.)

In a tour-de-force performance, writer-actor Aaron Davidman conjures a host of different characters while seeking answers to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Creatively adapting his acclaimed one-man stage show using only simple props and backdrops, Davidman takes a multidimensional journey into the heart of the Middle East, and the intersection of politics, identity and spiritual yearning. He embodies and gives voice to 17 different characters on all sides of the existential divide–deftly moving between male and female, Jewish and Muslim, Israeli and Arab–modeling what it takes truly to bear witness through the eyes of the other.

Challenging long-held beliefs with sharp and unblinking observation, Davidman finds both entrenched isolation and shared humanity in the shifting moral compasses and competing narratives of all his characters. Filmmaker Dylan Kussman moves freely and seamlessly among three locations–a live theater audience, the open expanse of a vast desert, and a small dressing room–exploiting the interplay of theatrical spontaneity, cinematic poetry, and spiritual intimacy. The result is a unique hybrid of stage and cinema that reignites hope for the future of this troubled region.

Screening followed by Q&A

Presented as a part of The Paul Feig Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Home Port (Namal Bayit)
  • Thu, Jun 08 7:00 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Erez Tadmor, 96 min, Narrative

After 30 years at sea Aharon is looking forward to living a normal life at last. He is appointed Head of the Marine Department at the Ashdod Port. In an attempt to clean up corruption, Aharon stands up against some of the mob like behavior existing within  the port workers. The clash disrupts the status quo that has reigned at the port for years.

Nominated for 3 Israeli Academy Awards
Best Cinemathography - Haifa International FF 2016

Special Event: Fashion & Jazz
  • Fri, Jun 09 4:30 PM
  • FREE for Everybody

Join us for Israeli wine, jazz and a special viewing of the exhibit "Cutting Edges: Israeli Fashion and Design" in the Laurie M Tisch Gallery with curator, Keren Ben-Horin.

Followed by Friday evening screening of Mr. Predictable, tickets available here.

Mr. Predictable (Yeled Tov Yerushalayim)
  • Fri, Jun 09 6:00 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Roee Florentin, 103 min, Narrative

Adi made a promise to his father to always be a good boy and has since been a nice guy his entire life. But this changes when Adi meets Natalia – a sweet, young, wild girl who entices Adi into a life full of emotions, of passion and romance. Now Adi has to choose between love and reason, between dreams and reality, between Natalia and his family. Will he go on being a good boy?  Or will he, for the first time in his life, be brave enough to be what he really wants to be?

Four By Four (Arba al Arba)
  • Sat, Jun 10 9:00 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Shay Kanot, 93 min, Narrative

An outrageous comedy about three colleagues at a Tel Aviv high-tech company who are competing for a promotion from their adrenaline-junky boss. This takes them on a road trip to Sinai in search of a secret beach that does not exist. Lost in the desert, the group needs to bond to overcome a collection of hilarious mishaps.

Twilight of a Life (Ad Ktze Hazricha)
  • Sun, Jun 11 4:00 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Sylvain Biegeleisen, 70 min, Documentary (French)

The mother of Sylvain Biegeleisen, the director, is 94 years old, but in her mind she is still 20. She laughs, smokes cigarettes, sings and kisses. She is confined to bed, and her son spends hours of intimacy with her, which range from complete clarity and assertiveness to moments of loss of memory. This is a movie with a great sense of humor, joy and optimism, even when it touches upon the possibility of an imminent separation.

Nominated for Best Documentary at Israeli Academy Awards
Winner of Best Israeli Film and Best Director at Doc Aviv Festival

Co-presented by What Matters

A Quiet Heart (Lev Shaket Meod)
  • Sun, Jun 11 6:00 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Eitan Anner, 92 min, Narrative 

In present day Jerusalem, Naomi, a secular young woman seeks refuge from the pressure of her life as a concert pianist. Despite her intentions to stay alone, Naomi quickly makes two unexpected connections - one with a musically gifted Ultra-Orthodox young boy who lives in her building and the other, with Fabrizio, a charismatic Italian monk and organist. While these relationships allow Naomi to reconnect with her love of music and sense of meaning, they also make her a target in her new community. Faced with escalating isolation and violence, Naomi must learn to use music as a bridge to overcome towering religious barriers. Will be officially released in the US on July 4th.

Nominated for Best Actress at Israeli Academy Awards
Best Screenplay - Haifa International FF 2016

Special Preview: Aida's Secrets (Ha-sodot shel Aida)
  • Mon, Jun 12 7:00 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Alon & Shaul Schwarz, 90 min, Documentary

Two brothers, Izak and Shepsel, were born in a displaced persons camp after World War II. The brothers were separated as babies, 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 Two 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 in Fall 2017.

Winner of Audience Award at Doc Aviv FF 2016

Closing Night: Our Father (Avinu)
  • Tue, Jun 13 7:00 PM
  • $11.00

Dir. Meni Yaish, 105 min, Narrative

Ovadia is the strongest and most effective bouncer at a Tel Aviv night club. He and his wife have been trying to have a baby for almost five years.  When a small time gangster sees potential in Ovadia and courts him to join his operation, Ovadia sees a source of relief from some financial stress. But getting out of the clutches of the mob, will prove to be more challenging than he thought. (Film contains some violence)  

Winner of 2 and nominated for 10 Israeli Film Academy Awards 
Winner of Best Actor at Jerusalem FF 2016

Followed by Closing Night reception.

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