The Cafeteria

A mystical tale of a casual but extremely intense relationship between two Jewish refugees who meet in one of New York's Upper West Side cafeterias. Aaron is a successful Yiddish writer, and Esther is an intelligent woman who makes her living by sewing buttons in New Jersey. THE CAFETERIA is a PBS American Playhouse Production based on an I.B. Singer story.
Amram Nowak is the President and Creative Director of the film production company which he founded in 1965. During this period, Mr. Nowak has produced, directed and/or written over 200 documentary and dramatic information films on a wide variety of subjects ranging from the breakdown of tribal society in Tanzania to American country music as well as two feature films and several television specials. His films have won over 100 awards from virtually every major film festival in the world. At present, Nowak is at work on four 60 minute films entitled They Came For Good, A History of the Jews in the United States, two of which have been completed, along with the help of his late wife, Manya Starr. They Came For Good is being funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and a number of private foundations. In 1986, Mr. Nowak directed Isaac in America, an hour-long documentary on Isaac Bashevis Singer, the preeminent Yiddish writer and Nobel laureate in literature, for the American Master's Series of PBS. Isaac in America was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 1986. In 1984, Mr. Nowak directed a one hour dramatization of a Singer short story entitled The Cafeteria, for the American Playhouse Series of PBS. It was selected by the MacArthur Foundation as one of the fifty best programs of any kind produced by PBS over the past decade. Amram Nowak's first feature film was King Murray, an innovative combination of dramatic and documentary film techniques about an insurance salesman on a gambling junket to Las Vegas. King Murray received wide critical acclaim and was an official U.S. entry in the Cannes Film Festival. John O'Connor, then the film critic for the Wall Street Journal, selected King Murray as one of the ten best feature films of 1969. In a totally different vein, Mr. Nowak's second feature film was a documentary called The Nashville Sound. It starred Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton among others. Nowak began his career in the theatre working with several regional companies in the U.S. and the Chamber Theatre of Tel Aviv. He subsequently spent seven years with CBS-TV, ABC-TV and NET as a Producer/Director. Mr. Nowak received a B.A. degree in literature from the City College of N.Y. and an M.A. degree in drama from Syracuse University.
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