“Best Doc” Award! New reviews, press, & screenings

NJFF Laurels

Lots of exciting things have been happening for “Once in a Lullaby: The PS22 Chorus Story”! We are honored to announce that we won “Best Documentary” at the 30th Annual New Jersey International Film Festival.  It was a great screening with Mr. B and lots of PS22 Chorus kids in attendance which made for an extra special Q&A.


STATEN ISLAND SCREENING ALERT!  Rooftop Films will be presenting a home-town screening at the Staten Island Yankees stadium on August 14th.  Look for more info about this screening soon!

NXNE Film Laurel 2012

Our screening as part of NXNE was a blast!  Toronto and NXNE really embraced the film and the chorus as a whole as evidenced by the amazing amount of press and positive reviews.  Check below for some quotes and links.

*The Arts Scene

“The documentary is skillfully woven, bringing a great balance between story and emotion.”

Once in a Lullaby is a beautifully crafted, feel-good documentary that showcases the importance of honing & strengthening the inner talents that our children possess.”


*Amber Waves

“While the core story itself – a fifth-grade children’s chorus preparing to perform on television at one of the most watched events of the year – is engaging enough for a documentary, Kalafer delves deeper into the lives of his subjects, bringing their humanity to the forefront.”

“It is a moving testament to the value of investing in children, and the crucial lessons the arts provide.”


*The Digital Journal

“The film cleverly weaves the narrative arc of the chorus performing at the Oscars (Anne Hathaway is shown making a visit to the school to extend an invite to the pie-eyed choristers) with smaller, more intimate stories.”


*Aline Le

“The film is simply uplifting and joyful to watch and leaves you teary-eyed at the end of the school year.”


*The Provocative Penguin

“ . . . Once in a Lullaby is a doc worth seeing.”


Other mentions:






There is more great news in the pipeline . . . stay tuned.

About New Jersey Pictures

Jonathan Kalafer is an award-winning director/producer of documentaries and an innovative educator serving at New Jersey Institute of Technology and The County College of Morris. His teaching has been acknowledged by the George Lucas Educational Foundation and he procured a “VH1 Save the Music” grant for Jersey City Public Schools. His students serve as both inspiration and collaborators for his professional documentary filmmaking, and he often includes them in the decision making process. Most recently he began working with The TriBeCa Institute to bring their unique programming and opportunities to his students. His most recent documentary "Once in a Lullaby: The PS 22 Chorus Story" (2012 director/producer) premiered at TriBeCa to a sold out audience and critical acclaim. Most recently it was selected by Toronto International Film Festival Tiff.Kids program and selected by the US State Department and USC for their Documentary Diplomacy program American Film Showcase. It earned the "Audience Award" at Woodstock Film Fest and "Best Documentary" at the New Jersey Film Festival. It was also nominated for a Gotham Award and was an official selection at numerous high profile film fests. Past films include We Love You (director/producer 2009) which premiered at the L.A. International Short Film Festival, where it won the “Best Documentary” award. It also won “Best Short Documentary” at the New Jersey Film Festival and was a finalist in the U.S.A. Film Festival. vimeo.com/5562245 "Diary of Immaculee" (producer 2006) made the official shortlist for an Academy Award nomination and was part of the One X One program at The Toronto International Film Festival. It was also selected as a part of the DocuWeeks program and nominated for a "Best Short Documentary" by the I.D.A. Jonathan produced a segment for Universal's "Katy Perry: The 3D Experience" documentary and his video work has appeared on taste-making websites such as Brooklyn Vegan and Pitchfork. He has written pieces that have appeared on the Wall Street Journal's website and in print in Chilltown Magazine. He authored an innovative Media Arts and Sciences curriculum for JCPS that empowers students to be more informed consumers of media as well as producers of media themselves. Jonathan resides in Mendham with his wife Kori and his two sons Zachary 7 and Broden 5.This page contains my professional work, personal clips and is the archive of my students' work.
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