(TEANECK, NJ) -- The 2022 Teaneck International Film Festival takes place November 13-20 with a lineup of film screenings for online and in-person at Teaneck Cinemas and Temple Emeth. Essentially, it is two festivals as there is a different lineup for the virtual and in-person screenings.
With the support of the nonprofit organization Puffin Foundation, Ltd., a small group of dedicated volunteers set out, more than 15 years ago, to create an event that would present a collection of compelling and imaginative feature-length films, documentaries, and shorts from a variety of cultures that would lead audiences to question, debate, and become caring and involved citizens who recognize the need to institute positive change.
Individual tickets for cinema screenings and virtual screenings are available for purchase online. Tickets for the in-person screenings: - Opening Night Screening: $10 in advance | $12 at the door. All other In-person Screenings: $8 in advance | $10 at the door. * Please note for in-person screenings: If there are tickets still available, they will be on sale at the door 30 minutes prior to the start of the film. Virtual screenings - $5 for individual tickets | $12.50 for an All Access Pass.
Presently, the Teaneck International Film Festival draws over 3,000 filmgoers each year. Films and talkbacks illustrate what TIFF is about – making untouchable topics part of everyday conversation by addressing racism, oppression, the environment, the LGBTQ community, women’s concerns, immigration -- stories of the little guy whose story is not often heard. With the theme, Activism: Making Change, the festival is an excellent starting point for fostering appreciation of differences, understanding all that we share, and encouraging efforts to help make the world a better place.
TIFF has found its niche on the film festival circuit, and, having been dubbed by the Star-Ledger, “the film festival with a social conscience,” is growing in reputation as well as numbers.
Here is a look at the 2022 Teaneck International Film Festival.
Neighbours - Sunday, November 13, 2022 @ 7:30pm. DRAMA (SUBTITLES: KURDISH) - 124 MINUTES | VIRTUAL. Directed by Mano Khalil. Description: Set in the 1980s in a small Kurdish village in northeastern Syria, this film was inspired by the personal life story of the director. It comes to life through the eyes of its endearing young hero, Sero, a six-year-old whose vivid recollections transport us to a world both sad and beautiful, innocent and full of pain. Determined to eliminate all remnants of Kurdish cultural identity in his students, Sero’s new schoolteacher instills the tenets of Arab Ba’ath Party nationalism. While some of his classmates come to embrace their teacher’s enthusiasm for fascist ideology, Sero continues to dream of better ways to spend his time. Sponsored by Hillary Goldberg, Teaneck Tomorrow. Talkback with Mano Khalil (Zoom)
Three Minutes: A Lengthening - Monday, November 14, 2022 @ 7:30pm. DOCUMENTARY - 69 MINUTES | VIRTUAL. Directed by Bianca Stigter. Description: In 2009, the writer Glenn Kurtz discovered a badly degraded three-minute film in the attic of his parents’ Florida home. The movie was shot by his grandfather, David Kurtz in 1938, in a Jewish town in Poland which was trying to postpone its ending. As long as we are watching, history is not over yet. The three minutes of footage, mostly in color, are the only moving images left of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk before the Holocaust. The existing footage is examined to unravel the stories hidden in the celluloid. Sponsored by Jewish Link. Talkback with Glenn Kurtz (Zoom)
1982 - Tuesday, November 15, 2022 @ 7:30pm. DRAMA, HISTORY, ROMANCE - 100 MINUTES. Directed by Oualid Mouaness. Description: “1982” is a life-affirming coming-of-age tale set at an idyllic school in Lebanon’s mountains on the eve of a looming invasion. It unfolds over a single day and follows an 11-year-old boy’s relentless quest to profess his love to a girl in his class. As the invasion encroaches on Beirut, it upends the day, threatening the entire country and its cohesion. Within the microcosm of the school, the film draws a harrowing portrait of a society torn between its desire for love and peace and the ideological schisms unraveling its seams. In his debut feature, writer/director Oualid Mouaness delivers an ode to innocence in which he revisits one of the most cataclysmic moments in Lebanon’s history through the lens of a child and his vibrant imagination. The film demonstrates the complexities of love and war, and the resilience of the human spirit. Talkback with Oualid Mouaness (Zoom).
A Story of Bones - Thursday, November 17, 2022 @ 7:30pm. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DOCUMENTARY - 95 MINUTES. Directed by Joseph Curran and Dominic Aubrey de Vere. Description: The remote island of St. Helena is best known for Napoleon spending his final years in exile and he was ultimately buried there. His grave is beautifully maintained and serves as the island's biggest tourist attraction. To encourage tourism, the island decides to build its first commercial airport. Annina van Neel arrives from Namibia to help with the construction and is present when the remains of thousands of “freed slaves” are uncovered. Heeding her increasing discomfort with how the bones are handled, Nina campaigns tirelessly to honor their legacy and integrate them into the history of the island. This is more than just a local story. It connects to the global consequences of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Sponsored by National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen / Passaic Chapter. Talkback with Peggy King Jorde, cultural heritage site expert; Arnold Brown, Bergen County historian and civil rights activist.
The Invitation | Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands - Friday, November 18, 2022 @ 7:30pm. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666).
The Invitation DOCUMENTARY SHORT - 30 MINUTES. Directed by Wendy Eley Jackson. During the height of WWII, two African American women from Philadelphia form a social and civic organization for influential women to come together in friendship and service to create social and civic change for their communities. This is the history of The Links, Inc. Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Inc. Talkback with Theodora Lacey, civil rights activist, educator, and author; Tammy King, president of Bergen County Links, Dr. Kimberly Jefferies Leonard, producer and past president of Bergen County Links
Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands DOCUMENTARY - 113 MINUTES. Directed by Rita Coburn. Description: Best known for her concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, Marian Anderson christened the Washington, D.C., landmark as a place of protest after she was discriminated against on the basis of a “whites only” concert policy at the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Constitution Hall. She garnered interracial support from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the NAACP, Howard University, and other leaders and defied the conscience of her time by performing for an integrated audience of over 75,000. The concert reached millions of radio listeners around the world and became an inspiration to the growing civil rights movement, inspiring a 10-year-old Martin Luther King, Jr. Sponsored by Bergen County (NJ) Chapter of The Links, Inc. Talkback with Rita Coburn.
A Song for Cesar - Saturday, November 19, 2022 @ 11:30am. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666) DOCUMENTARY - 85 MINUTES. Directed by Andres Alegria and Abel Sanchez. Description: A Song for Cesar presents a unique view of the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement. Through interviews, performances, stunning archival footage and photographs, and a rich original soundtrack, the film tells the previously untold story of the musicians and artists — including Joan Baez, Maya Angelou, and Carlos Santana — who dedicated their time, creativity, and even reputations to peacefully advance Cesar Chavez’s movement to gain equality and justice for America’s struggling farmworkers. The documentary also explores other facets of Cesar’s life — from childhood to his final days — revelations that, until now, have not been shared on screen. Sponsored by the Teaneck Community Chorus. Performance by the Teaneck Community Chorus precedes screening.
Utama - Saturday, November 19, 2022 @ 1:30pm. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DRAMA (SUBTITLES: QUECHUA, SPANISH) - 87 MINUTES. Directed by Alejandro Loayza Grisi. Description: In the Bolivian highlands, an elderly Quechua couple has been living the same daily routine for years. When an uncommonly long drought threatens their entire way of life, Virginio and Sisa face the dilemma of resisting or being defeated by the passage of time. With the arrival of their grandson, the three of them will face, each in their own way, the environment, the necessity for change, and the meaning of life itself. Sponsored by Addie Wijnen. Talkback with Alejandro Loayza Grisi (Zoom).
Mass - Saturday, November 19, 2022 @ 4:00pm. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DRAMA - 111 MINUTES. Directed by Fran Kranz. Description: Mass is an unflinching depiction of four parents, two couples, navigating the unthinkable. Years before, one son opened fire on his classmates at his high school, before going to the library and taking his own life. The other son was one of the victims. Neither couple is certain what they’re after by participating in this meeting. Forgiveness? Acceptance? An explanation? Their lives are forever tethered. Maybe conversation can do something for their grief, the pain that has overwhelmed their lives in so many different ways. Sponsored by Brady, Bergen County Chapter; League of Women Voters of Teaneck.
Breaking Bread - Saturday, November 19, 2022 @ 7:30pm. Temple Emeth (1666 Windsor Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DOCUMENTARY - 85 MINUTES. Directed by Beth Elise Hawk. Description: Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel - the first Muslim Arab to win Israel’s MasterChef - is on a quest to make social change through food. And so, she founded the A-sham Arabic Food Festival, where pairs of Arab and Jewish chefs collaborate on exotic dishes like kishek (a Syrian yogurt soup), and qatayef (a dessert typically served during Ramadan). A film about hope, synergy and mouthwatering fare, Breaking Bread illustrates what happens when people focus on the person, rather than her religion, on the public, rather than the politicians. Sponsored by Jewish Standard. Talkback with Beth Elise Hawk (Zoom).
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song - Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 11:30am. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666). Directed by Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine. Description: This is a definitive exploration of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen as seen through the prism of his internationally renowned hymn, Hallelujah. This feature-length documentary weaves together three creative strands: The songwriter and his times. The song’s dramatic journey from record label reject to chart-topping hit. And moving testimonies from major recording artists for whom Hallelujah has become a personal touchstone. The film accesses a wealth of never-before-seen archival materials from the Cohen Trust including Cohen’s personal notebooks, journals and photographs, performance footage and extremely rare audio recordings and interviews. Sponsored by Barbara Ostroth, Coldwell Banker Realty. Talkback with Alan Light, author of The Holy or The Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of Hallelujah.
If These Walls Could Talk (1996) - Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 12:00pm. Temple Emeth (1666 Windsor Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DRAMA, THRILLER - 97 MINUTES. Directed by Cher and Nancy Savoca. Description: A trilogy of stories set in the same house, but with different occupants and spanning over 40 years, deals with various women and moral crises over unexpected pregnancies and their choice of abortion. In 1952, when abortion was illegal, a nurse deals with her unexpected pregnancy and takes drastic measures to get one. In 1974 a homemaker with four children discovers that she’s pregnant and decides she can’t handle raising another child just as she has gone back to college. In 1996, a pregnant college student decides on an abortion, but doesn’t realize the means she must go through to get one. Sponsored by National Council of Jewish Women Bergen County Section. Talkback with Nancy Savoca (Zoom); Tara Norman, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, & Health Equity, Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern NJ; Bari-Lynne Schwartz, MSW, LSW, Honorary Vice President and Reproductive Freedom Co-Chair of NCJW.
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America - Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 2:00pm. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DOCUMENTARY - 117 MINUTES. Directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler. Description: Interweaving lecture, personal anecdotes, interviews, and shocking revelations, in Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America. Robinson brings nuance to topics — unconscious bias, reparations, how to deal with the fact that George Washington owned slaves — that have become flash points in society, without ever losing the core of his progressive message. Sponsored by Martin Luther King Birthday Committee; YWCA Northern New Jersey. Talkback with Randall Pinkston, Emmy-award winning journalist and anchor; Helen Archontou, CEO of YWCA Northern New Jersey.
Recipe for Change: Standing Up to Antisemitism - Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 3:00pm. Temple Emeth (1666 Windsor Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DOCUMENTARY - 52 MINUTES. Directed by Adrian M. Pruett and Danny Salles. Description: This episode of a series celebrates the breadth of the Jewish experience, including food and culture, and discusses the recent and historic acts of hate and violence against the Jewish community, featuring conversations about how we can raise awareness and build allyship around Antisemitism. The most interesting and provocative conversations emerge around the dinner table as those from the Jewish community prove that when oppressed groups band together, the minority becomes a powerful majority and tiny ripples of action can create tidal waves of change. With Idina Menzel, Moshe Kasher, Ilana Glazer, and Rachel Dratch. Sponsored by Jewish Community Council of Greater Teaneck. Talkback with Allison Josephs, Jew in the City.
Tomaro | Rose Marie McCoy: It’s Gonna Work Out Fine - Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 5:00pm. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666).
Tomaro - DOCUMENTARY SHORT - 20 MINUTES. Directed by Kimberly Cecchini. Description: A community builds a school and puts itself on the map. The world and their own government do not recognize the talent and the power of Nigerian youth, but an educated class of young Nigerians are pursuing change and their rightful place in the global society. Tomaro tells the story of a community seeking to educate its youth as its future leaders and advocates. Dena Grushkin of Teaneck is executive producer of the film and founder of this school. Sponsored by YWCA Northern New Jersey. Talkback with Dena Grushkin, retired Teaneck teacher and founder of Nigerian school.
Rose Marie McCoy - DOCUMENTARY SHORT - 7 MINUTES. Directed by Susan Wallner. Description: Emmy award nominated short about the life and music of Rose Marie McCoy (1922 – 2015). She was a prolific American songwriter who had over 850 songs recorded by over 320 artists including: Elvis Presley, Ike and Tina Turner, Nat King Cole, Big Maybelle, Al Hibbler, Faith Hill, Bette Midler, Etta James, Gloria Lynne, Faith Hill, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, and many more. Fiercely independent, as an African American woman, McCoy broke barrier after barrier in the music business, especially in the fields of jazz, pop, rock n’ roll, country, and gospel and was a Teaneck resident for over 57 years. Sponsored by National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen / Passaic Chapter; YWCA Northern New Jersey. Talkback with Susan Wallner, Arlene Corsano, biographer.
Julia Scotti: Funny That Way - Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 5:30pm. Temple Emeth (1666 Windsor Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DOCUMENTARY - 73 MINUTES. Directed by Susan Sandler. Description: It wasn’t until late in her forties that Julia Scotti decided to be her true self. In an honest, intimate, and revealing documentary, Julia Scotti takes viewers through every step, regardless of whether it results in pain or pride. We venture into her former life in stand-up as Rick Scotti, her roaring comeback that escalated into a finalist spot on America’s Got Talent, and her two children with whom she had a several-year gap in communication due to her transition. Shot over a period of five years, the film tracks Julia's life, and the complex process of reuniting with her children, as comedy becomes the shared language of identity, healing, and joy. Sponsored by Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County; Larry Bauer. Talkback with Susan Sandler and Julia Scotti; Performance by Julia Scotti.
The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales - Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 7:00pm. Teaneck Cinemas (503 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DOCUMENTARY - 87 MINUTES. Directed by Abigail E. Disney and Kathleen Hughes. Description: In this personal essay documentary, filmmaker and philanthropist Abigail Disney grapples with America’s profound inequality crisis. The story begins in 2018, after Abigail encounters workers at Disney struggling to put food on the table. Could she use her famous last name to help pressure Disney and other American corporations to treat low-wage workers more humanely? Believing her conservative grandfather Roy Disney would never have tolerated employee hunger at “The Happiest Place On Earth,” Abigail reexamines the story of modern American capitalism from the middle of the last century to today. What Abigail learns about racism, corporate power and the “American Dream” is eye-opening and inspiring. Sponsored by Jackie and Michael Kates.
Aftershock - Sunday, November 20, 2022 @ 7:30pm. Temple Emeth (1666 Windsor Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666). DOCUMENTARY - 86 MINUTES. Directed by Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee. Description: Following the preventable deaths of two young women due to childbirth complications, two bereaved families galvanize activists, birth-workers, and physicians to reckon with one of the most pressing American issues today: the US maternal health crisis. Through the film, we witness these two families become ardent activists in the maternal health space, seeking justice through legislation, medical accountability, community, and the power of art. Sponsored by Wise Older Women (Presentation of WOW Woman of the Year to Reshma Khan
For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.teaneckfilmfestival.org.