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.


5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival - May/June

Celebrate the best new movies coming out of Israel with NY's leading festival of Israeli films! Join actors, directors, and more for a line up of great cinema. Including films like The Women's Balcony, Past Life, Aida's Secrets, A Quiet Heart, Our Father, and more.

**Tickets are now on sale. Click here for more information.*

Upcoming Screenings

Israel Film Center Festival Pass
  • 5/21/2017 - 6/13/2017
  • $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.

Sneak Peek: 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 with writer/actor Aaron Davidman 

Presented as a part of The Paul Feig Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Home Port (Namal Bayit)
  • Thu, Jun 08 7:00 PM
  • $14.00

Part of the 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival

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 moblike 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 Film Festival 2016

Mr. Predictable (Yeled Tov Yerushalayim)
  • Fri, Jun 09 6:00 PM
  • $14.00

Part of the 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival

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
  • $14.00

Part of the 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival

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 junkie 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
  • $14.00

Part of the 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival

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

Copresented with What Matters: Caring Conversations About End of Life

A Quiet Heart (Lev Shaket Meod)
  • Sun, Jun 11 6:00 PM
  • $14.00

Part of the 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival

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 Film Festival 2016

Special Preview: Aida's Secrets (Ha-sodot shel Aida)
  • Mon, Jun 12 7:00 PM
  • $14.00

Part of the 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival

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, 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 in Fall 2017.

Winner of Audience Award at Doc Aviv Film Festival 2016

Closing Night: Our Father (Avinu)
  • Tue, Jun 13 7:00 PM
  • $14.00

Part of the 5th Annual Israel Film Center Festival

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 Film Festival 2016

Followed by Closing Night reception.

Special Preview: The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography
  • Tue, Jun 20 7:30 PM
  • $5.00

Dir. Errol Morris (USA, 2016, 76 min.)

Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman found her medium in 1980: the larger-than-life Polaroid Land 20x24 camera. For the next 35 years she captured the “surfaces” of those who visited her Cambridge, Massachusetts studio--families, Beat poets, rock stars, and Harvard notables. As pictures begin to fade and her retirement looms, Dorfman gives Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris an inside tour of her backyard archive. In theaters June 30th.

“Dorfman was never a media or critics’ darling in the ranks of modern photography. This film will convince you that she deserves a higher position in the pantheon.” - The Hollywood Reporter

Screening followed by Q&A

Special Preview: Menashe
  • Thu, Jul 20 7:00 PM
  • $9.00 / $12.00

Dir. Joshua Z Weinstein (USA, 2017, 79 min.)

Deep in the heart of New York City’s ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community, Menashe—a kind, hapless grocery store clerk—struggles to make ends meet and responsibly parent his young son, Rieven, following his wife Leah’s death. Tradition prohibits Menashe from raising his son alone, so Rieven’s strict uncle adopts him, leaving Menashe heartbroken. Meanwhile, though Menashe seems to bungle every challenge in his path, his rabbi grants him one special week with Rieven before Leah’s memorial. It’s his chance to prove himself a suitable man of faith and fatherhood, and restore respect among his doubters. In theaters July 28th.

Screening followed by Q&A with Joshua Z Weinstein

Special Preview: The Grown-Ups
  • Thu, Jul 27 7:00 PM
  • FREE for Everybody

A Special ReelAbilities Preview

Dir. Maite Alberdi (Chile/The Netherlands/France, 2016, 82 min.)

For most of their lives, a group of classmates have grown up together and are approaching 50 with varying degrees of frustration. The school they attend for people with Down Syndrome feels confining and they long for new challenges, greater independence, and more personal space. Director Maite Alberdi’s observational warm and compassionate film features a mixture of heartache and humor, and hope for greater understanding of people with Down Syndrome, or anyone whose perceptions and abilities are different from the norm.

“The longer we spend in the company of these people, the clearer it seems that they should be treated on a case-by-case basis.” - Variety

Screening followed by Q&A

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