With the Tribeca Film Festival celebrating its 10th anniversary next week, the latest indieWIRE at Hulu Docs — iW‘s curation of Hulu’s Documentaries page — looks back at some notable documentaries that screened at the festival.
Screening at Tribeca in 2008 as part of the sports-themed ESPN sidebar festival, “Kicking It” from director Susan Koch (and co-director Jeff Werner) follows men from around the globe as they head to Cape Town, South Africa to compete in the Homeless World Cup. Using the game’s global appeal to address the homelessness pandemic, the film puts faces on men normally made invisible by poverty and addiction.
The Kentucky Derby is in the spotlight in Brad & John Henngan’s “The First Saturday in May,” which premiered in the 2007 edition of the festival. It offers a rare glimpse at the lives of a half-dozen trainers as they prepare for the legendary race, while also telling the captivating story of renowned horse Barbaro.
Actor Eric Bana directs and is the co-star of “Love the Beast” a love story about a man and his car. Presented at the 2009 festival, this charming doc focuses on the charismatic actor’s efforts to rebuild his first car, a Ford GT Falcon Coupe, and race it in one of the most dangerous car races in the world, the Targa Tasmnia Rally.
John Kirby’s “The American Ruling Class” had a work-in-progress screening in Tribeca 2005. The film, a unique not-quite-documentary, not-quite-mockumentary with musical elements, explores the question of whether or not the US is run by the wealthy and powerful through the fictionalized trajectories of two recent Yale graduates.
2006’s “The Bridge,” by Eric Steel, examines San Francisco’s infamous Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular suicide destination in the world. Filming the structure for one year, Steel’s cameras observe multiple suicides or attempted suicides. Along the way, the film poses profound questions about life and death and about the role of a filmmaker when his subject matter deals in such absolute terms.
“Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony” actually didn’t screen at Tribeca, but its director, Lee Hirsch, will screen his newest documentary, “The Bully Project” at this year’s edition. “Amandla!,” which explores the role music played in the South African struggle against Apartheid, scored big at its premiere in the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, where it picked up both the Documentary Audience Award and the Freedom of Expression Award.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “indieWIRE @ Hulu Docs” is a regular column spotlighting the iW-curated selections on Hulu’s Documentaries page, a unique collaboration between the two sites. iW selections typically appear in the carousel at the top of the page and under “Featured Content” in the center. Be sure to check out the great nonfiction projects available to watch free of charge.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance, consults with documentary filmmakers and festivals, and co-produced Cameron Yates’ feature documentary “The Canal Street Madam.” Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1 and @CanalStMadamDoc) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).