Jonathan Kalafer is an award-winning director/producer of documentaries and an innovative educator currently serving as Multimedia Producer/Editor at The New Jersey Institute of Technology. Working in urban secondary schools for over 15 years his teaching has been acknowledged by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, procured a “VH1 Save the Music” grant for Jersey City Public Schools, and worked with The TriBeCa Institute to bring their unique programming and opportunities to his students. His students serve as both inspiration and collaborators for his professional documentary filmmaking, and he often includes them in the decision making process.
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. It earned the “Audience Award” at Woodstock Film Fest, Best Documentary at the New Jersey Film Festival, was nominated for a Gotham Award by the I.F.P. and was an official selection at numerous high profile film fests including SXSWedu and the Toronto International Film Festival Tiff.Kids program. Most recently it was selected by the U.S. State Department and U.S.C. School for Cinematic Studies for their documentary diplomacy program American Film Showcase where it screened in China.
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 Paramount’s “Katy Perry: Part of Me” 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 three innovative Media Arts and Sciences curriculums for Jersey City Public Schools that empower 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 8 and Broden 6.