14th Annual Wonder of Women Film Festival

Progressive Independent Films Portray the Universal Spirit and Courage of Women

 A dancer’s destiny is decided before she is born… the nature of polygamy is brought to the screen… a passion for baking propels a woman’s career … and the cultural disconnections about intimacy and a marriage proposal takes on a life of its own…

These captivating stories and several others will be presented at this year’s Wonder of Women Film Festival, sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at the Maurice Levin Theater on the Ross Family Campus of the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC, 760 Northfield Avenue in West Orange.  The Film Festival showcases the universal spirit and courage of women of all ages, manifested through short films and documentaries created by independent filmmakers.  This one-day event will be held from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Following are summaries of some of the planned films.  The final program is subject to change.

  • Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: The Japanese War Brides Despite lingering wartime enmity, tens of thousands of young Japanese women decided to leave war-torn Japan after WWII for America as wives of GIs. Now these women are in their 80s. This is their story, of lives shaped by one irrevocable decision.
  • Breakfast at Ina’s: An entrepreneur ahead of her time found a recipe for success in compassion, exacting standards and sheer willpower. Against all odds, Ina Pinkney created a mini-empire of eateries that served generations of Chicagoans with delicious comfort food and a warm welcome to match.
  • In the Clouds: The complicated and often comedic differences between how we think romance should work and how it actually does is the subject of this film. Set around Buenos Aires during one momentous week in the lives of Mariela, an Argentinean, and Oliver, an American executive working abroad, the film takes a look at cultural disconnections about intimacy and the way the once-simple idea of a marriage proposal takes on a sometimes ridiculous life of its own.
  • Maman(s): Set in the Parisian suburbs, the film’s plot centers on eight-year-old Aida and her family’s attempt to integrate a new mother and child, brought home from Africa by her father. Maman(s) focuses on the complex nature of polygamy.
  • Maiko: Dancing Child: Fourteen-year-old Maiko, whose name means dancing child, was sent to the most prestigious dancing schools in Europe. Today Maiko is 32 and on top of her career as a prima ballerina. However, now that she is no longer a young dancer, talented newcomers are longing for her position. We follow Maiko at a breaking point in her life, where she is forced to make life-changing decisions.

“Each year the film festival brings to the screen thought-provoking, relevant and entertaining films by women that shed light on many aspects of women’s lives,” says NCJW/Essex President Shari Harrison.  “We are extremely proud of our line-up this year.”

The fee for all day admission is $45 per person for NCJW/Essex members and $60 per person for nonmembers.  Nonmembers wishing to join NCJW/Essex can apply $15 toward a new yearly membership of $50.  Included with the cost of admission is a Kosher box lunch.  Reservations are required.  Seats will be available on a first-come basis on the day of the festival. For tickets and directions, please call NCJW/Essex at (973) 740-0588. Registration is available online at www.ncjwessex.org, or you may mail a check to NCJW/Essex, 70 South Orange Ave, Suite 120, Livingston, NJ 07039.

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