SOMA Spotlight: Filmmaker, Maplewoodian Manahi Taber-Kewene

by Joy Yagid
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Manahi Taber-Kewene

Manahi Taber-Kewene

What town do you live in, and how long have you lived here?

I’ve lived in Maplewood since summer of 2012.  

SOMA or MapSO?


What do you do?

I work for JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a filmmaker, which I know sounds odd.  We have an in-house agency called JPMC Media.  I’m the Director of Photography.  I am in charge of all things cinematography related, but my role is broad, including creative development, talent direction, and even color grading.

Why do you live/work/interact here?

I live here because I love the active community and the small town feel.   Maplewood is also just an incredibly charming little town.  I’ve often said that Maplewood has a sort of Norman Rockwell-esque feel, but with a modern twist.  I also love that there are many creatives in both Maplewood and nearby South Orange.  We have a wonderfully artistic community here.

Which book/play/movie have you been meaning to read or movie to see?

I’ve really wanted to see Tenant in the theater, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Not yet.

How can you tell if someone is not from SOMA?

I’m not sure you can tell if someone is not from SOMA.  But that’s what I love.  It’s really a mixed crowd.

How do you contribute to our community?

I try to contribute to the community by supporting its activities, whether it’s the Duck Race, the Halloween Parade, a 5K run, a march for social justice, or even the Fourth of July fireworks.  Again, I love the active community here.

What’s your favorite dessert in SOMA?

The ice-cream shop of course [Village Ice Cream Parlor]!  (Mint Moosetracks)

What’s your favorite thing about living here?

Honestly, Trader Joe’s for their plethora of adult chocolate treats.

Where’s the best pizza in SOMA?

Sabatino’s baby!

What’s your favorite park in SOMA and why?

Definitely Memorial Park, which is at the bottom of my street.

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