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.

Special Preview: Wrestling Jerusalem
  • Tue, Sep 05 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

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

In a tour-de-force performance, writer-actor Aaron Davidman has creatively adapted his acclaimed one-man stage show, using only simple props and backdrops. Davidman conjures a host of 17 characters on all sides of the existential divide--deftly moving between male and female, Jewish and Muslim, Israeli and Arab--seeking answers to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A multidimensional journey into the heart of the Middle East, and the intersection of politics, identity, and spiritual yearning.

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. Will be showing at Symphony Space September 12-17.

Screening followed by Q&A with writer/actor Aaron Davidman

Special Preview: Red Trees
  • Tue, Sep 12 7:00 PM
  • FREE for s / $5.00

Dir. Marina Willer (UK, 2017, 87 min.)

Award-winning filmmaker Marina Willer (Cartas da mãe), creates an impressionistic visual essay as she traces her father’s family journey as one of only 12 Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague during World War II. With cinematography by Academy Award nominee César Charlone (City of God), the film travels from war-torn Eastern Europe to South America and is told through the voice of Willer’s father Alfred (as narrated by Tim Piggot Smith, Quantum of Solace), who witnessed bureaucratic nightmares, suicides, and more, but survived to build a post-war life as an architect in Brazil. As the world struggles with the current refugee crisis, Red Trees is a timely look at a family besieged by war who finds peace across an ocean. Film will be officially released in New York and Los Angeles on September 15th by Cohen Media Group.

Screening followed by Q&A with Marina Willer 

Behind the Scenes: The Band's Visit - The Broadway Musical
  • Mon, Sep 18 7:30 PM
  • $5.00 / $10.00

Meet the team behind the upcoming Broadway musical, The Band's Visit. After rave reviews and a sold out run off-Broadway, the award-winning theatrical sensation is coming to Broadway this fall. Join us for a special night with cast members and the creative team to hear about the creation of this production.

The Band's Visit, based on the hit Israeli film screened at the JCC in 2007, follows the Alexandria Ceremonial Police Orchestra as they arrive in Israel from Egypt and must go on a journey to find accommodations in an unfamiliar place. (Opens on Broadway on October 7.)

Q&A moderated by Adam Green, theater editor at Vogue.

  • 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. Humans have cleaned up the planet. War, poverty, pollution, greed, exploitation, depression, and loneliness are things that she’s only read about in history books. She has never, in the flesh, seen humans hurt other humans- until now. While in the company of a group of physicists who experiment with time travel, Shaina is accidentally left stranded in the year 2015. Here she becomes involved with a group of friends who are as lovable as they are flawed. As the harsh realities of their lives unfold, she learns what no history book could have taught her. While most futuristic films depict a dystopia that is even colder and more mechanical than our own, this film takes a bold departure from the sci-fi genre by exploring the possibility of a future in which caring and compassion govern our societies.

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

Screening followed by Q&A with Ela Thier

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

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

Encore showing after first screening at ReelAbilities 2016

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: 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 and WJC North America

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

334 amsterdam ave at 76th st
new york, ny 10023 | 646.505.4444 []