The 2013 Teaneck International Film Festival
Friday, November 15th - Sunday, November 17th
All About the Films
Note: Films are in English unless otherwise noted. Many films are unrated; parental caution is advised for certain films, as indicated.
Absence of Love
Drama - 26 minutes
Directed by Billy Gerard Frank
New Jersey Premiere
Talkback to follow with director and to be shown in conjunction with Valentine Road
IMDb - Trailer
Just when his five-year relationship hits a rough patch, James is forced to head home from New York when he gets an unexpected call from his brother, whom he hasn’t talked to since he left abruptly a year before.
The Central Park Five
Documentary - 119 minutes
Opening Night Film
Directed by Ken Burns, David McMahon & Sarah Burns
Sponsored by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter, and the Bergen County NJ Chapter of The Links, Inc.

Talkback to follow with two of The Central Park Five – Korey Wise and Kevin Richardson and co-Director David McMahon
Admission Free - Donations Welcome
IMDb - Trailer
In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between six and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, resulting in their convictions being overturned.  Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories, an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.
Daisy Bates: The First Lady of Little Rock
Documentary - 78 minutes
Directed by Sharon La Cruise
Sponsored by Wise Older Women (WOW)
Talkback to follow with film director and Civil Rights historian Theodora Lacey
Official Site - IMDb - Trailer
As a black woman who was a feminist before the term was invented, Daisy Bates refused to accept her assigned place in society. Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock tells the story of her life and public support of nine black students who registered to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which culminated in a constitutional crisis — pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. Unconventional, revolutionary, and egotistical, Daisy Bates reaped the rewards of instant fame, but paid dearly for it.
David Driskell: In Search of the Creative Truth
Documentary - 29 minutes
Directed by Richard Kane
New Jersey Premiere
Talkback to follow with special guests
Official Site
The story of one of today's most important artists and leading authorities on African American art. This film captures Driskell making collages inspired by mentor Romare Bearden, documents him with National Gallery consulting curator Ruth Fine, and painting at his Falmouth, Maine studio. The film also explores the give and take of his creative relationship with master printmaker, Curlee Holton. It all results in powerful works that pull from abstract expressionism, African masks, Coptic art, modernism, cubism the history of art in the works of this wise and gentle man.
Defiant Requiem
Czech Republic/USA - documentary - 85 minutes
Directed by Doug Shultz
Sponsored by Jewish Center of Teaneck
Official Site - IMDb - Trailer
The ultimate act of rebellion occurs in the Terezin concentration camp when young Czech conductor Rafael Schäcter leads a makeshift choir of 150 fellow inmates in performing Verdi’s Requiem, a death knell reimagined as a powerful message of hope and justice, in front of the Nazi high brass and Red Cross inspectors. Narrated by Bebe Neuwirth, this documentary brings this moving chronicle to life through reenactments, survivor recollections, animation, and footage from a soaring 2010 memorial concert of Verdi’s piece arranged by veteran conductor Murry Sidlin.
English Vinglish
India - comedy - musical - 134 minutes
Directed by Guari Shinde, Hindi with English subtitles
Sponsored by NPZ Law Group, Global Immigration Attorneys

Talkback to follow
IMDb - Trailer
Money, fame and a knowledge of English are three factors in Indian society that play a major role on how society judges an individual. In this romantic, lighthearted film, Shashi is made to feel insecure by her family and society for not knowing English. Follow Shashi's touching and transformational journey to overcome her insecurity, master the language and teach the world a lesson on the way to becoming a self assured confident woman.
Fill the Void (Lemale et ha'halal)
Documentary - Israel - 90 minutes - Hebrew with English subtitles
Directed by Rama Burshtein
Talkback to follow
Official Site - IMDb - Trailer - NYTimes
A devout 18-year-old Israeli is pressured to marry the husband of her late sister. Declaring her independence is not an option in Tel Aviv's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, where religious law, tradition and the rabbi's word are absolute.
Garibaldi's Lovers
Italy - comedy -108 minutes - Italian with English subtitles
Directed by Silvio Soldini
New Jersey Premiere
Official Site
Garibaldi's Lovers presents a fuzzy ride through a magical vision of metropolitan Italy, while at the same time casting a critical eye on modern life in the city. Widowed plumber Leo is struggling to deal with the growing pains of his two adolescent children, when his life intersects with penniless artist Diana and her eccentric landlord Amanzio. Through a hilarious series of coincidences, they give each other new hope for their futures - and for the city itself, so emblematic of our times.
Gideon's Army
Documentary - 95 minutes
Directed by Dawn Porter
Talkback to follow with film’s director Dawn Porter
Official Site - IMDb - Trailer
This riveting documentary by New Jersey filmmaker Dawn Porter, follows the story of three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumption that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Can these courageous lawyers revolutionize the way America thinks about indigent defense and make “justice for all” a reality?
A Girl Like You with a Boy Like Me
10 minutes
Directed by Ruben Amar
Talkback to follow
Today and more than ever, Bhadraksh is determined to end a long period of doubt. In a few moments, he will announce to the one he has always loved that he wants to end the relationship. Bhadraksh is a guide, a lighthouse standing proudly in the midst of the ocean, a rampart against masculine weakness.
Go For Sisters
Drama -123 minutes
Directed by John Sayles
New Jersey Premiere
IMDb - Trailer
Bernice Stokes and Fontayne Gamble grew up the closest of friends. After high school Bernice got into social services and corrections work, Fontayne just got into trouble. Twenty years later Bernice is assigned as parole officer for Fontayne– just released from prison and fighting a drug habit. But Bernice’s son Rodney, has gone missing on the Mexican border, his shady partners in hiding or brutally murdered - and she needs help. Fontayne, through a prison girlfriend, enlists Freddy Suárez (Edward James Olmos), a disgraced, near-blind ex-LAPD detective once known as ‘the Terminator’, to help them find Rodney. Outlaws on a noble quest, they are lured into a potentially deadly cat-and-mouse game with mysterious Chinese smugglers.
Hannah Arendt
Biography - Drama - Germany - 113 minutes
Directed by Margarethe von Trotta
Talkback to follow with the film's writer Pam Katz
IMDb - Trailer
In the award-winning Hannah Arendt, the sublime Barbara Sukowa reteams with director Margarethe von Trotta (Vision, Rosa Luxemburg) for a brilliant new biopic of the influential German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist. Arendt’s reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann in The New Yorker—controversial both for her portrayal of Eichmann and the Jewish councils—introduced her now-famous concept of the “Banality of Evil.”
Kid Flix Mix 2013
The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival
A kaleidoscopic showcase of the best short film animation from around the world, for ages 4 to 8 - 60 minutes.
Hosted by Bob McGrath of Sesame Street
Thanks to a grant from the Puffin Foundation, children will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Once again, TIFF presents the acclaimed New York International Children's Film Festival assortment of its best animated films from around the world, for children from 3-6. Bob McGrath, of Teaneck and Sesame Street, will introduce the program, which features musical and narrative works from around the world. The collection is guaranteed to delight our youngest filmgoers.
  • Animal Beatbox - Australia - Animation, Damon Gameau, 2011, 3 min
  • Apache (Danger Beach) -New Zealand - Animation, Ned Wenlock, 2011, 2.5 min
  • Aston’s Presents -Sweden - Animation, Lotta and Uzi Geffenblad, 2012, 9 min
  • The Day of the Dead -USA - Animation, Gary McGivney, 2011, 8 min
  • Elia - France - Animation, Matthieu Gaillard, 2012, 4.5 min
  • Goat Herder and His Lots and Lots and Lots of Goats - UK - Animation, Will Rose, 2012, 7 min
  • How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep? - UK - Animation, Anna Ginsburg, 2012, 3.5 min
  • The  Little Bird and the Leaf - Switzerland - Animation, Lena von Döhren, 2011, 4 min
  • Munggee, Not Again - Switzerland - Animation, Rothlin/Walthert, 2011, 6 min
  • Notebook Babies - USA - Animation, Tony Dusko, 2011, 3 min
  • Red Sand – France - Animation, Audrey Bussi, 2011, 2 min
  • The Squeakiest Roar - UK - Animation, Maggie Rogers, 2011, 4 min
Made in Dagenham
England - 113 minutes
Directed by Nigel Cole
Official Site - IMDb - Trailer
In 1968, women's rights took a broad leap forward when workers at the Ford automobile plant in Dagenham, England - buckling beneath deplorable working conditions rightly perceived as gender discrimination - suddenly stormed out into the streets and began to strike in protest of the unfair treatment levied at them. Little could they have foreseen the ramifications that this courageous and noble act would engender in successive years. With an all-star British cast including Bob Hoskins, Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson, Rupert Graves and Andrea Riseborough.
Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women
Documentary -comedy - 85 minutes
Directed by Rachel Talbot
Official Site - IMDb - Trailer
This comedic documentary tells the story of six of the greatest female comic performers of the last century - Molly Picon, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, and Wendy Wasserstein. Hosted by four of today's funniest women - Judy Gold, Jackie Hoffman, Cory Kahaney, and Jessica Kirson - it's the true saga of what it means to be Jewish, female and funny.
Proper Steps
14 minutes
Directed by Patrick Coyle
Talkback to follow

With the destruction of New York City imminent, Francis, a young cartoonist who stays isolated in his apartment is forced to come to terms with the regretful decisions he's made in his life. By drawing out his memories on paper, the remnants of a broken triangle involving his father and a young woman are brought back to life, and even though the last thing he wants to do is call his estranged father and try to make amends, the mixture of a massive tsunami looming in the distance and his ever present guilt leads him on a path towards reconciliation.
The Retrieval
Drama - 93 minutes
Directed by Chris Eska
New Jersey Premiere
Talkback to follow with lead actor Tishuan Scott - moderated by Jeanette Curtis Rideau, Chair of National Coalition of 100 Black Women
Official Site - IMDb - Trailer
On the outskirts of the Civil War, a boy is sent north by a bounty hunter gang to retrieve a wanted man.
Second Skin
Documentary - 17 minutes
Directed by Elisa Goodkind & Lily Mandelbaum
Talkback to follow with cast and crew

If personal style is the externalization of the soul, then Second Skin documents what unfolds when two souls are swapped. The film provides a rebuttal to the perception that style is vapid and to the notion that our most current set of fashion arbiters are able to accurately discern authenticity.
Shady Chocolate
Denmark - documentary - 45 minutes
Directed by Miki Mistrati & U. Roberto Romano
New Jersey Premiere
Sponsored by Fair Trade Teaneck

Talkback to follow with director U. Roberto Romano and members of Fair Trade Teaneck
IMDb - Trailer
This investigative documentary examines if one of the world’s largest industries, the chocolate industry, is speaking the truth when they say they are actively fighting trafficking and child labor in Africa’s Ivory Coast.

In addition to the feature, a 6 minute short, The Power of Dreaming Small, a Fair Trade Teaneck production, will be screened. It is directed by Teaneck Middle School teacher and acclaimed filmmaker Michael Miceli and includes footage taken in Mexico by Teaneck High School teacher Lourdes Melendez and interviews with Teaneck High School students rallying for Fair Trade.
The Spe@k Project
Drama - 42 minutes
Directed by Devan Be
Talkback to follow with cast and crew

The message of this film is that each of us has a voice that needs to be found and heard. When silenced, we become invisible. This moving drama places the young adult experience center stage, as it tackles issues such as bullying, dating violence, mental illness, LGBT teen homelessness, substance abuse, etc.
Spirit Children
Documentary - 7 minutes
Directed by Ralph Patterson
Talkback to follow with filmmaker

There remains a belief among some people within a limited area of northern Ghana, that children born with birth defects are omens of bad fortune. These “spirit children” as prescribed by custom are banished or put to death for sake of the remaining family and community. Sister Stan Terese Mario Mumuni and her staff take these children and restore them to their communities by assisting with proper healthcare, education and employment.
Stones in the Sun
Haiti/USA - 95 minutes
Directed by Patricia Benoit - English, Haitian Creole and French with English subtitles
New Jersey Premiere
Sponsored by Teaneck Rotary
Talkback to follow with Teaneck actor Carlo Mitton and director and star Patricia Benoit
In the midst of increasing political violence in their homeland, the lives of three pairs of Haitian refugees intersect in 1980s New York City. A haunted young woman struggling to forget the atrocities she's experienced reunites with her husband in Brooklyn, where he barely scrapes by as a livery cab driver. A single mother striving for assimilation in a tony Long Island suburb takes in her sister, a teacher and political activist who is unable to reconcile their violent youth with her sister's seemingly banal lifestyle. And a newly married man, the host of a popular anti-government radio show, finds his estranged father (a recently ousted military leader) on his doorstep, desperate for shelter. Now, they all must confront the disturbing truth of their pasts, as we slowly learn the history of their interlocked lives.
The Test of Freedom
Documentary - 71 minutes
Directed by Khaliff A. Watkins
IMDb - Trailer
Facing growing hysteria and bias, US Muslims live out their faith and confront discrimination in ways that uplift those around them. Rejecting portrayals as the villain or the victim, they set forward their own narratives about the role of Islam in an increasingly diverse and divided America.
Valentine Road
Documentary - 89 minutes
Directed by Marta Cunningham
Talkback to follow
Official Site - IMDb - Trailer
In 2008, eighth-grader Brandon McInerney shot classmate Larry King at point blank range. Unraveling this tragedy from point of impact, the film reveals the heartbreaking circumstances that led to the shocking crime as well as the aftermath.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (Ming tian ji de ai shang wo)
Comedy - Drama - Taiwan - 104 Minutes - Mandarin with English subtitles
Directed by Arvin Chen
New Jersey Premiere

Official Site - IMDb - Trailer
In this madcap and lighthearted comedic romp, introverted optometrist Weichung begins to question his marriage with his wife Feng, upon learning of her desire to have another baby. At his sister's engagement party, Weichung bumps into an old friend, Stephen, a wedding photographer who, though also married, is living the high life of a younger, single gay man. When Stephen teases Weichung for his newly straight-laced lifestyle, dormant emotions are awakened in Weichung, setting him off on a quest for true romance and desire.