The 10th anniversary edition of the Tribeca Film Festival is drawing near, with the event kicking off April 20th and continuing through May 1st. indieWIRE is again spotlighting emerging (and some veteran) filmmakers screening new work in this year’s festival, with a focus on TFF’s Narrative Feature Competition, World Documentary Competition and its new Viewpoints sidebar, which the festival describes as a ” snapshot of international independent cinema that immerses audiences in distinctive perspectives.”
Launching the series, which will continue through the opening of the festival, are Jerry Rothwell’s “Donor Unknown” (Viewpoints), Alma Har’el’s “Bombay Beach” (World Documentary Competition) and “Angels Crest” by Gaby Dellal (World Narrative Competition).
Soon after Tribeca unveiled its 2011 lineup, indieWIRE invited directors screening their work in Tribeca’s narrative, doc and Viewpoints sections to talk about their work in their own words. Get to know this year’s crop of filmmakers by learning about their projects from the people who know it first-hand.
A snapshot of Tuesday’s three featured interviews:
In Dellal’s “Angels Crest,” young father Ethan (Thomas Dekker) is doing his best to raise his three-year-old son Nate in a working-class Rocky Mountain town. One day, Ethan’s momentary lapse in judgment results in tragedy, plunging the town into new directions as it decides where to lay blame. “It touches a subject that is both terrifying and fascinating and I believe, deserved a woman’s hand. It’s about parenting and grief,” offered Dellal about the film.
Jerry Rothwell’s “Donor Unknown” takes on the topic of the offspring of sperm donors. The film follows JoEllen Marsh, who grew up knowing her father only as Donor 150. As one of the first generation of children conceived through donor insemination, she yearns for connection with potential siblings, and turns to the Internet to track them down. After connecting with dozens of siblings across the country, JoEllen decides it’s finally time to seek out Donor 150. “I wanted to approach the story through two kinds of journeys – that of the children looking for their genetic connections, and that of Jeffrey discovering his new family of strangers,” noted Rothwell. “It’s a story that lends itself to cross-cutting – between places (Jeffrey’s sperm reached all corners of the United States) and siblings, having connected and common experiences thousands of miles apart as they discover each other.”
“Bombay Beach” by Alma Har’el centers on a failed relic of a 1960’s development boom, the Salton Sea in California. Using a stylized amalgam of nonfiction and choreographed dance set to the music of Beirut and Bob Dylan, “Bombay Beach” revisits this poetically fruitful terrain to find a motley cast that composes a “distinctive, and slightly surreal documentary experience.” “Something happened almost every day that made me shake my head or laugh or hurt inside,” said Har’el.
Tuesday’s full-length Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews in their own words: