Winter 2014-15 Film Series

The Furman Film Series previews the best new independent films and studio releases, followed by Q&As with filmmakers and industry professionals.

Dec 4: Amira & Sam>>
Dec 18: Cake>>
Jan 8: Ballet 422 >>
Jan 22: The Mafia Only Kills in Summer >>
Feb 5: Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem>>

Subscriber benefits include priority seating and the following movie night deals and discounts at these local restaurants (upon presentation of your subscriber card):

  • BURGER VILLAGE 66 Middle Neck Road: 15% off check
  • CAFE RUSTICA 200 Middle Neck Road: 10% off check (A la carte menu only. Cash only. Not combinable. No Holidays or fundraisers.)
  • ETHOS 25 Middle Neck Road: 15% off check
  • GREAT NECK DINER 14 Grace Ave.: 15% off entire check, plus one complimentary glass of wine per person (one voucher per table only)
  • LOLA 113A Middle Neck Road: Complimentary glass of wine with dinner
  • SHISH KEBAB 132 Middle Neck Road: 20% off entire check (valid at Great Neck location only)

When available, individual tickets are $15 ($10 students) when purchased in advance; tickets $20 at the door. Call (516) 829-2570 or purchase online.

Screenings take place at Bow Tie Squire Cinemas, 115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck (Click here for directions) at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 7:00pm for subscribers and 7:15pm for individual ticket holders.

Dec 4: AMIRA & SAM

Directed by Sean Mullin. USA, 2014, 87 min.

Rousing, smart, and sweet, Amira & Sam is a confident feature debut from writer-director Sean Mullin, and follows Sam (Martin Starr, “Freaks & Geeks”, “Silicon Valley”), an army veteran adapting back to civilian life after a lengthy tour overseas. Upon reuniting with his unit’s former Iraqi translator in New York City, he meets Amira (newcomer Dina Shihabi), his war buddy’s niece; suspicious of soldiers, she wants nothing to do with him. However, when Amira runs into immigration trouble, Sam offers to keep her safe at his apartment. After a rocky start, their unlikely friendship starts to blossom into something more.

Meanwhile, Sam’s cousin Charlie (Paul Wesley, Before I Disappear, “The Vampire Diaries”) offers him a lucrative opportunity at his hedge fund, helping to secure wealthy veterans as new clients. However, all is not as it seems, and Amira and Sam soon find themselves faced with mounting obstacles in order to stay together.

Audience Award Winner – Woodstock Film Festival
Jury Award Best Feature – Savannah Film Festival

“Authentic and satisfying. The chemistry is just right.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Thoughtful and perceptive. It certainly charmed me.” – Filmmaker Magazine

Guest speaker: writer and film critic Godfrey Cheshire

Dec 18: CAKE

Directed by Daniel Barnz. USA, 2014, 98 min.

Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Felicity Huffman, and William H. Macy

While struggling with her own trauma, a woman in a chronic-pain support group (Jennifer Aniston) begins to investigate the suicide of a fellow group member (Anna Kendrick) and develops an unexpected relationship with the woman’s husband (Sam Worthington), in this much talked about darkly comedic drama; also starring William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman. Description adapted from Toronto Int’l Film Festival. 

Official Selection – 2014 Toronto Film Festival

“Darkly amusing” – Variety

Jan 8: BALLET 422

Directed by Jody Lee Lipes. USA, 2014, 75 min.

Documentarian Jody Lee Lipes crafts an intimate, fly-on-the-wall documentary offering a rare peek into the highly-guarded world of professional ballet. The film shadows Justin Peck, the 25-year old choreographer of the New York City Ballet, as he undertakes the Herculean task of creating the company’s 422nd original piece while simultaneously fulfilling his role as a Corps de Ballet member. Lipes chronicles Peck’s creative process from its embryonic stages to its highly anticipated premiere, quietly observing as he balances a roster of musicians, designers, and dancers from this famed institution. Ballet 422 is a powerful celebration of the skill and endurance of Peck and his fellow NYCB dancers—as well as those who remain hidden in the wings.   –Tribeca Film Festival

“An exhilarating feature … Sampling various stages of the process from initial conception through rehearsals to premiere performance, the documentary moves with the same fluidity that characterizes Peck’s choreography. Himself a noted cinematographer, Lipes captures the dancers, musicians, costumers and lighting designers from a variety of angles within the larger canvas, always suggesting kinetic movement continuing beyond the frame. A delight … the film reps a beautifully crafted entree into the intricacies of collective endeavor.”  – Variety

Guest speaker: Director Jody Lee Lipes and Producer Ellen Bar, a professional ballerina for 13 years at New York City Ballet and currently the Company’s Director of Media Projects.

Advance tickets $15 ($10 students – please call) | $20 at the door


Directed by Pif. Italy, 2013, 90 min. In Italian with English subtitles.

Pierfrancesco Diliberto (a renowned TV host and political comedian, better known as Pif) wrote, directed, and stars in this subversive, irreverent feature debut about Arturo, a young boy whose obsession with the Mafia’s casual presence in his city surpasses even his passion for Flora, the beautiful schoolmate who remains his main love interest until adulthood. Pif uses Arturo’s unrequited love story as the vehicle to narrate the most tragic events in Italy’s recent history, starting with the Cosa Nostra’s criminal actions in Sicily in the ’70s, which soon spread through the country (encompassing the barbaric murder of judges Falcone and Borsellino, an event that Pif handles with astounding boldness). Winner of the Audience Award at the Torino Film Festival, Mafia is a brave and intelligent dark comedy with a powerful message.

“CHARMING AND ENGROSSING! Italian TV star Pierfrancesco Diliberto finds unlikely comedy in the murderous criminal underworld of his native Sicily.”  —Hollywood Reporter

“REMARKABLE! TERRIFIC FEATURE DEBUT! Clever comedy and powerful message!” —Variety

Guest Speaker: Fabio Troisi, Attaché for Cultural Affairs at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York

Advance tickets no longer available | Tickets $20 at the door 


Directed by Ronit Elkabetz & Shlomi Elkabetz. Israel, 2014, 115 min. In Hebrew with English subtitles.

An Israeli woman seeking to finalize a divorce (gett) from her estranged husband finds herself effectively put on trial by her country’s religious marriage laws, in this powerhouse courtroom drama from sibling directors Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz.  In Israel, there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce; only Orthodox rabbis can legalize a union or its dissolution, which is only possible with the husband’s full consent. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Viviane Amsalem has been applying for a divorce for three years but her religiously devout husband Elisha (Simon Abkarian of CASINO ROYALE and PERSEPOLIS), continually refuses. His cold intransigence, Viviane’s determination to fight for her freedom, and the ambiguous role of the rabbinical judges shape a procedure where tragedy vies with absurdity and everything is brought out into the open for judgment.

Winner of the Israeli Film Academy Ophir Award for Best Picture and propelled by the craft of Ronit Elkabetz (LATE MARRIAGE, THE BAND’S VISIT), one of Israeli cinema’s most acclaimed actresses, Gett: The Trial of VIvian Amsalem is an uncompromising, heart-rending portrait of a woman’s struggle to overcome an unmoving patriarchy and live a life of her own design.

Winner! Israeli Film Academy Ophir Award – Best Picture
Winner! Jerusalem Film Festival 2014 – Haggiag Award for Best Israeli Film
Winner! Jerusalem Film Festival 2014 – Audience Favorite Award
Winner! Jerusalem Film Festival 2014 – Best Actor, Menashe Noy
Winner! Hamptons International Film Festival 2014 – Golden Starfish Award for Best Narrative Feature
Winner! Chicago International Film Festival 2014 – Silver Hugo for Best Screenplay
Nominated, Golden Globe Awards – Best Foreign-Language Film
Official Selection Cannes Film Festival 2014 – Directors’ Fortnight Feature Competition

Guest Speaker: Keshet Starr, Director of Advocacy and Legal Strategy at the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot

Advance tickets $15 ($10 students – please call) | $20 at the door

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