NCJW/Essex Announces its Twelfth Annual Wonder of Women Film Festival Progressive Independent Films Portray the Universal Spirit and Courage of Women

LIVINGSTON, N.J., September 30, 2014 – A filmmaker seeks to uncover a secret about her heritage that had been masked by her family throughout her youth… The world’s oldest pianist and holocaust survivor shares her secret to a long and happy life despite inevitable hardship… An adolescent girl runs away to live with her grandmother after a brutal argument with her parents…

These captivating stories and several others, including an Oscar-winning documentary short, 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 2, 2014 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 – 3:30 pm.

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

  • Little White Lie: Producer/Writer/Director, Lacey Schwartz – Until she was eighteen, filmmaker Lacey Schwartz grew up as a white middle-class Jewish girl whose darker skin and black hair were attributed by her parents to a mysterious olive-skinned Sicilian ancestor. In time, she uncovers the lie that haunted their marriage and made her the secret that was hiding in plain sight. Embracing her African American heritage, Schwartz begins the journey to reconcile her past and her present.
  • OMG the movie: Director, Siobhan Devine – Fourteen-year-old emo-goth Kaylee thinks she is at the top of the food chain when it comes to being misunderstood. After a monster fight with her parents, Kaylee runs away from home to live with her understanding grandma. All is going well until Kaylee’s cell phone battery runs out. OMG.
  • Free Kick: Director, Bernabé Rico – Having turned 60, Adela is living a life she never wanted — no children, a husband who walks all over her and, worst of all, nothing to look forward to. But one day, Adela has the chance to win €300,000 and leave her old life behind. All she has to do is kick a ball from mid-field into an open goal during the half-time of a Spanish League football match. Accepting the challenge, Adela starts training for the big day.
  • The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life: Director, Malcolm Clark – The Lady in Number 6 is one of the most inspirational and uplifting stories of the year. As the world’s oldest pianist and holocaust survivor, 109 year-old Alice Herz Sommer shares her views on how to live a long and happy life. She discusses music, laughter and how to remain optimistic, come what may. The film features beautiful photographs and rare film footage that truly brings Alice’s extraordinary story to life.
  • Wherever You Go: A Seventh Art Releasing, Director, Rony Sasson Angel – Years after cutting herself off from her Orthodox family, Zohara (30) decides to show up at her younger sister’s wedding. On her way from her home to the wedding she meets Neriman (20), a young Bedouin woman, who is escaping an arranged wedding forced upon her with her cousin. Zohara finds herself becoming an unintentional accomplice in Neriman’s escape. Zohara and Neriman’s crossing paths creates a powerful encounter between two worlds, reflecting each woman’s struggle with self-definition and the expression of self in a “predetermined world.”

“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 Deborah Legow Schatz.  “We are extremely proud of our line-up this year.”

The fee for all day admission is $45 per person for NCJW 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 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, or you may mail a check to NCJW/Essex, 70 South Orange Ave, Suite 120, Livingston, NJ 07039.

The film festival has been made possible through the generous support of Audrey and Norbert Gaelen. 

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