The Tribeca Film Festival has unveiled a big batch of their 2013 slate, including the World Documentary, Feature Competition, Viewpoints, Spotlight, Midnight and Storyscape
This year’s festival will include 53 world premieres and 35 directorial debuts. The movies range from “Big Men,” a Brad Pitt-produced documentary about African oil-drilling execs, to “Bluebird,” a feature set in a Maine logging town that “is a perfect encapsulation of the interconnectedness of life.” “Big Men” will open the World Documentary Feature Competition and “Bluebird” will open the World Narrative Competition. Both premiere on April 18th. Other notable films include the documentary “Red Obsession” about Bordeaux wine, narrated by Russell Crowe, “Sunlight, Jr.” starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon who face minimum wage jobs and unexpected circumstances, a nonfiction portrait of Oscar-winning Michael Haneke titled “Michael H. Profession: Director,” and the crowd-funded “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors“ about a mother and her autistic son during the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy.
Coming in from overseas is the tantalizing Jean Dujardin thriller “Mobius” as well the hotly buzzed Irish film “What Richard Did” featuring new “Transformers 4” star Jack Reynor. Festival hits making a stop at Tribeca include: Richard Linklater‘s “Before Midnight,” David Gordon Green‘s “Prince Avalanche,” Ramin Bahrani‘s “At Any Price,” Neil Jordan‘s “Byzantium” and more. Other titles to keep an eye on: the John Cusack and Emma Roberts-starring “Adult World“; “A Case Of You” with Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood and Vince Vaughn; Phil Morrison‘s “Almost Christmas” with Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti among many others.
This year’s Tribeca is for the cinema enthusiasts with an appreciation for global and personal storytelling and who won’t mind the occasional celebrity appearance. The festival runs from April 17-28.
WORLD NARRATIVE AND DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION, AND VIEWPOINTS
World Narrative and Documentary Competition
This year, 12 narrative and 12 documentary features making their North American, International, or World Premieres will compete for cash prizes totaling $180,000, as well as artwork from the Artists Awards program sponsored by Chanel, featuring donated work from renowned artists including Stephen Hannock, Robert Longo, William Wegman and Dustin Yellin.
The complete list of films selected for the World Narrative Feature and World Documentary Competition is as follows:
World Narrative Feature Competition
- Alì Blue Eyes (Alì ha gli occhi azzurri), directed by Claudio Giovannesi, written by Filippo Gravino and Giovannesi. (Italy) – International Premiere. Claudio Giovannesi’s award-winning second dramatic feature captures one week in the life of sixteen-year-old troublemaker Nader, who, despite his mother’s threats and family’s insistence that he respect his Muslim roots, fights, steals and pursues an Italian girlfriend. A stunning example of contemporary Italian neo-realism, Alì Blue Eyes is an engrossing coming-of-age story about an immigrant who will stop at nothing to fit in. In Italian with subtitles.
- Before Snowfall (Før snøen faller), directed by Hisham Zaman, written by Kjell Ola Dahl and Zaman. (Norway, Germany, Iraqi Kurdistan Region) – International Premiere. Director Hisham Zaman brings the moral crisis of honor killing front and center in this dazzling, international drama. When his older sister Nermin flees an arranged marriage, Siyar must atone for the slight. He tracks her from Kurdistan to Istanbul, where a fateful encounter with a street girl creates cracks in his resolve. Then Nermin escapes into Europe, and Siyar must continue a search that will forever change his notions of loyalty, dignity, honor and love. In Kurdish with subtitles.
- Bluebird, directed and written by Lance Edmands. (USA) – World Premiere. On a freezing January evening, school bus driver Lesley (Amy Morton) completes her route, but her final inspection abruptly ends when a bluebird comes into view. What happens next shakes her small Maine logging town, proving that even the slightest actions have enormous consequences. Co-starring Adam Driver, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, Louisa Krause and Emily Meade, Lance Edmands’s absorbing feature debut is a perfect encapsulation of the interconnectedness of life.
- The Broken Circle Breakdown, directed by Felix van Groeningen, written by Carl Joos and van Groeningen. (Belgium, Netherlands) – North American Premiere. Elise runs a tattoo shop. Didier plays in a bluegrass band. When their daughter Maybelle is born, their happiness is complete, until a tangle of complications forces these two very different lovers to fight to save their marriage. Belgian director Felix van Groeningen follows his acclaimed Cannes entry The Misfortunates with this powerhouse melodrama of star-crossed lovers laced with emotional bluegrass performances. In Dutch with subtitles.
- Hide Your Smiling Faces, directed and written by Daniel Patrick Carbone. (USA) – North American Premiere. During a hot summer in rural America, brothers Tommy (Ryan Jones) and Eric (Nathan Varnson) are confronted with devastation as death forces its way into their young lives. This stunning debut feature explores the nature of the relationship between boys, as both violence and support is encapsulated in quiet storytelling and breathtaking photography. With incredibly sensitive performances by its two leads, Hide Your Smiling Faces packs a subtle but powerful punch.
- Just a Sigh (Le temps de l’aventure), directed and written by Jérôme Bonnell. (France) – International Premiere. In the short break between performances in Calais, stage actress Alix (the stunning Emmanuelle Devos) makes a quick escape to Paris. On the train she meets a mysterious English stranger (Gabriel Byrne) and, for the most fleeting of afternoons, imagines what the future could hold down a different road. With masterful performances by its two acclaimed stars, Just a Sigh is an imaginative, lushly filmed Parisian romance from young and versatile director Jérôme Bonnell. In English, French with subtitles.
- Lily, directed by Matt Creed, written by Amy Grantham and Creed. (USA) – World Premiere. Nearing the end of her treatment for breast cancer, Lily focuses on life with newfound clarity, reevaluating her relationship with an older man and her feelings about her long-absent father. In wandering through atmospheric New York City streets and lingering in intimate, charged moments with Lily during this vulnerable period, first-time director Matt Creed and actress Amy Grantham create a mature, stylish character piece reminiscent of classic French New Wave.
- The Rocket, directed and written by Kim Mordaunt. (Australia) – North American Premiere. Set against the lush backdrop of rural Laos, this spirited drama tells the story of scrappy ten-year-old Ahlo, who yearns to break free from his ill-fated destiny. After his village is displaced to make way for a massive dam, Ahlo escapes with his father and grandmother through the Laotian outback in search of a new home. Along the way, they come across a rocket festival that offers Ahlo a lucrative but dangerous chance to prove his worth. In Lao with subtitles.
- Six Acts (Shesh Peamim), directed by Jonathan Gurfinkel, written by Rona Segal. (Israel) – North American Premiere. Naïve teen Gili is determined to improve her social status by hooking up with her new school’s coolest guy. Afterwards, he passes her off to his friend. Happy at first for the attention, Gili soon finds her situation deteriorating, as this average girl is increasingly consumed by a culture of oversexed teenhood. Director Jonathan Gurfinkel questions conventional ideas of consent, exploitation and complicity in this edgy and perceptive feature debut. In Hebrew with subtitles.
- Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, directed by Sam Fleischner, written by Rose Lichter-Marck and Micah Bloomber. (USA) – World Premiere. When autistic teen Ricky is scolded for skipping class, he escapes into the subway for a days-long odyssey among the subway’s disparate denizens. Meanwhile, his mother wages an escalating search effort above ground. Based on a true story and set in Far Rockaway, Queens, in the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy, these parallel stories of mother and son take the viewer on a touching journey of community and connection in and below New York City.
- Sunlight Jr., directed and written by Laurie Collyer. (USA) – World Premiere. Quickie-mart employee Melissa (Naomi Watts) and paraplegic Richie (Matt Dillon) are very much in love. Supported only by Melissa’s small hourly wage, they are nevertheless thrilled to learn that Melissa is pregnant. Then their situation deteriorates, and their tenuous financial situation threatens to bring their happy life crashing down. Norman Reedus also stars in this a moving romantic drama from Laurie Collyer, director of the Golden Globe-nominated Sherrybaby.
- Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, directed and written by Arvin Chen. (Taiwan R.O.C.) – North American Premiere. Straitlaced optometrist Weichung is finding the typical married life difficult. Then he bumps into an old flame, setting off an unexpected array of dormant emotions. Meanwhile, his sister Mandy flees her sad sack fiancé, coping via food and the fantastical appearance of a daytime soaps star on her couch. Arvin Chen’s sophomore feature is a fresh and playful comedy about the odd realities of desire in a traditional society and what happens when you seek a big change. In Korean, Mandarin with subtitles.
World Documentary Feature Competition
· Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys, directed and written by Jessica Oreck. (Finland) – World Premiere. In the forests of Finnish Lapland, brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki carry on the generations-old tradition of reindeer herding. These modern cowboys maintain an intricate bond with the environment that has allowed them to preserve their lifestyle in one of the harshest climates imaginable. Jessica Oreck’s intimate, gorgeously lensed documentary follows the brothers for a year, sharing in the hard work, daily rituals and small joys that make up life above the Arctic Circle. In Finnish with subtitles.
· Alias Ruby Blade: A Story of Love and Revolution, directed by Alex Meillier, written by Tanya Ager Meillier and Meillier. (USA) – North American Premiere. Kirsty Sword Gusmão went to Timor-Leste to document injustice in an area closed to Western journalists. Over the next decade, she became the lynchpin that sustained the nation’s harrowing struggle for independence and met the man who would redefine the cause for which she was fighting. Using astonishing footage of the years-long resistance, director Alex Meillier presents a highly personal account of the courage needed to create a new democracy in modern times.
· Big Men, directed by Rachel Boynton, written by Rachel Boynton. (USA) – World Premiere. For her latest industrial exposé, Rachel Boynton (Our Brand Is Crisis) gained unprecedented access to Africa’s oil companies. The result is a gripping account of the costly personal tolls levied when American corporate interests pursue oil in places like Ghana and the Niger River Delta. Executive produced by Steven Shainberg and Brad Pitt, Big Men investigates the caustic blend of ambition, corruption and greed that threatens to exacerbate Africa’s resource curse. In English, Other, Twi with subtitles.
· The Genius of Marian, directed by Banker White and Anna Fitch. (USA) – World Premiere. Weaving past into present, filmmakers Banker White (Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars) and Anna Fitch immerse the audience in the daily life of White’s mother, Pam. Her Alzheimer’s threatens to wipe out the memory of her own mother, Marian, a celebrated artist who died of the same disease. Beautifully edited, The Genius of Marian retraces both women’s lives to paint a complex and powerful contemporary portrait of motherhood, chronic illness and legacy.
· The Kill Team, directed by Dan Krauss, written by Lawrence Lerew, Linda Davis and Krauss. (USA) – World Premiere. In 2010, the media branded a platoon of U.S. Army infantry soldiers “The Kill Team” following reports of its killing for sport in Afghanistan. Now, one of the accused must fight the government he defended on the battlefield, while grappling with his own role in the alleged murders. Dan Krauss’s absorbing documentary examines the stories of four men implicated in heinous war crimes in a stark reminder that, in war, innocence may be relative to the insanity around you.
· Let the Fire Burn, directed by Jason Osder. (USA) – World Premiere. Jason Osder makes an impressive feature film debut through his unbiased and thorough account of the incidents leading up to and during the 1985 standoff between the extremist African-American organization MOVE and Philadelphia authorities. The dramatic clash claimed eleven lives and literally and figuratively devastated an entire community. Let the Fire Burn is a real-life Wild West story absent the luxury of identifying its heroes by the color of their hats.
· Michael H. Profession: Director, directed and written by Yves Montmayeur. (Austria, France) – World Premiere. Over the past twenty-five years, director Michael Haneke has established himself as a towering figure in modern cinema whose rigorous focus on the craft of filmmaking has produced works of profound artistry. This career-spanning documentary (gives unprecedented access and) covers the body of Haneke’s work, offering insight into his creative process through on-set footage and interviews with the man himself and collaborators including Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche. In French, German with subtitles.
· Oxyana, directed by Sean Dunne. (USA) – World Premiere. Oceana, West Virginia—known as “Oxyana” after its residents’ epidemic abuse of OxyContin—is a tragically real example of the insidious spread of drug dependency throughout the country. Set against an abandoned coal mining landscape to the melodies of Deer Tick’s haunting score, this unflinchingly intimate documentary probes the lives of Oceana’s afflicted and exposes the day-to-day experience of a town living in the harsh grip of addiction.
· Powerless (Katiyabaaz), directed by Fahad Mustafa, Deepti Kakkar, written by Mustafa. (India) – North American Premiere. Would you risk your life to flip a switch? In Kanpur, India, putting oneself in harm’s way to deliver electrical power is all too common. Powerless sheds light on the opposing corners of this political ring, from an electrical Robin Hood tapping wires for neighbors to the myopic utility company whose failure to understand economics forces it deeper into financial disarray. This vibrant exposé gives a whole new meaning to the words “power struggle.” In English, Hindi with subtitles.
· Raw Herring (Hollandse Nieuwe), directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich and Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich. (Netherlands) – World Premiere. Every year millions of people look forward to the first preparation of Hollandse Nieuwe, the popular snack of raw herring from the North Sea’s spring catch. But how do you find glory in the grueling pursuit of a once-iconic fish that even the queen no longer accepts as definitively Dutch? Raw Herring celebrates the cultural legacy maintained by Holland’s last great herring fishers even as new trends and foreign competition threaten their way of life. In Dutch with subtitles.
· Red Obsession, directed and written by David Roach and Warwick Ross. (Australia) – North American Premiere. France’s Bordeaux region has long commanded respect for its coveted wine, but shifts in the global marketplace mean that a new, voracious consumer base in China is buying up this finite product. Bordeaux both struggles with and courts the spike in demand, sending prices skyrocketing. Narrated by Russell Crowe, Red Obsession is a fascinating look at our changing international economy and how an obsession in Shanghai affects the most illustrious vineyards in France. In English, Mandarin with subtitles.
· Teenage, directed by Matt Wolf, written by Jon Savage and Wolf. (USA) – World Premiere. Teenagers did not exist before the 20th century. Not until the early 1950s did the term gain widespread recognition, but with Teenage, Matt Wolf offers compelling evidence that “teenagers” had a tumultuous effect on the previous half-decade. Narrated by actors Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, Julia Hummer and Jesse Usher, this fascinating documentary repositions the historical origin of teenagers and shows why those years are more than just a stepping-stone to adulthood. In English, German with subtitles.
Now in its third year, Tribeca’s Viewpoints section is a panorama of the freshest voices in independent film and contemporary documentary from around the world, this year presenting 14 narrative features and 8 documentaries. Featuring an exciting range of stories, the films of this year’s Viewpoints section demonstrate a particular interest in telling stories from distinctly male and female perspectives. Films like Wadjda, Patience Stone, and Run and Jump immerse the viewer in the emotional journeys of strong central women, while The Moment and Farah Goes Bang imbue their female stories with a genre bent, one a thrilling mystery and the other a comic road trip. The men of this year’s Viewpoints section find themselves the center of crime thrillers What Richard Did and Northwest, or more subdued stories like that of one-time basketball prodigy Lenny Cooke and aspiring strongman Chris “Wonder” Schoeck of Bending Steel, both with something to prove.
- A Birder’s Guide to Everything, directed by Rob Meyer, written by Luke Matheny and Meyer. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. On the eve of his widowed father’s second wedding, fifteen-year-old David Portnoy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) leads the stalwart members of his local Young Birders Society on rollicking, interstate search for an extremely rare duck. Marvelous supporting performances by Ben Kingsley and James LeGros color Rob Meyer’s feature film debut, a poignant, funny and ultimately winning look at the moments that change even the most intensely focused lives.
- Bending Steel, directed by Dave Carroll, written by Ryan Scafuro and Carroll. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. The Cyclone, The Freakshow, The Mermaid Parade: all Coney Island icons. But Chris “Wonder” Schoeck has always preferred the Coney Island Strongman. Bending Steel follows the sweet, unassuming Schoeck as he parlays his extraordinary strength into the pursuit of his lifelong dream. Training with an elite group of men whose hands bend, drag, twist and shred metal, he tackles an enormous physical and mental challenge, taking a surprisingly emotional journey as a result.
- BIG JOY: The Adventures of James Broughton, directed by Stephen Silha, Eric Slade, and Dawn Logsdon. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. A charismatic and visionary poet and filmmaker who emerged in the artistic renaissance of post-WWII San Francisco, James Broughton led a completely unconventional existence in his lifelong quest for creative artistry, sexual and spiritual love and an evolved state of happiness. BIG JOY is a celebratory mosaic of Broughton¹s deeply intertwined creative and personal lives, vividly depicted through his involvement with a wide array of artists, activists and spiritual guides.
- Bridegroom, directed and written by Linda Bloodworth Thomason. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Bridegroom gives an intensely personal edge to the ongoing debate over the legal rights of same-sex couples. Interviews, photos and video footage all testify to the uncommon connection that drew together Shane and Tom. For six years they remained united despite extreme challenges from both family and society, until a tragic accident tears apart their dreams. Now one must fight to be recognized as his soulmate’s legitimate counterpart.
- Cutie and the Boxer, directed by Zachary Heinzerling, written by Ada Bligaard Søby. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Once a rising if unruly star in the ’70s art scene, eighty-year-old “boxing” painter Ushio Shinohara now struggles to establish his artistic legacy. His wife Noriko is now widely renowned for her “Cutie” drawings, depicting their chaotic, forty-year marriage. Under Zachary Heinzerling’s guidance, this candid New York story about troubled lives united by a dedication to art becomes a touching portrait on the eternal themes of love, sacrifice, disappointment and aging. A RADiUS release.
- Dancing in Jaffa, directed by Hilla Medalia, written by Philip Shane and Medalia. (Israel, USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulain stars in this charming documentary that offers a unique perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Three diverse Jaffa-based schools host Dulain’s Dancing Classrooms program. Ballroom basics are taught to an ethnically mixed group of children, the most passionate members of which are trained for a citywide competition. What results is a sweet and incredibly moving tale filled with moments of truth, poignancy and hope. In Arabic, English, Hebrew with subtitles.
- Deep Powder, directed by Mo Ogrodnik. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Natasha is a reckless boarding school senior tabbed by her exclusive club to make its yearly cocaine run to Ecuador. Coming along for the ride is Danny, a twenty-year-old aspiring hockey player from the other side of the tracks, who may just discover that he has fallen for the wrong girl. Starring up-and-comers Haley Bennett and Shiloh Fernandez, this ’80s-set love story based on true events is a sexy, fast-paced and intense drama.
- Farah Goes Bang, directed by Meera Menon, written by Laura Goode and Menon. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Farah hits the road with her buddies to stump for John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, hoping the trip will be her opportunity to finally shed her unwanted virginity. She soon finds her efforts on both political and sexual fronts continuously thwarted. Comically balancing that moment’s climate of intolerance with a universal coming-of-age tale, Farah Goes Bang paints a comic portrait of the overdue growing pains of a group of girlfriends and the country itself.
- Flex Is Kings, directed by Deidre Schoo and Michael Nichols. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Journey to the edge of Brooklyn and of street performance itself in this sparkling portrait of the freeing power of art. Reem is the savvy promoter, Flizzo the undefeated local legend, Jay Don the innovator with the talent to carry him far away from home. Uniting them is a competitive dance form of dramatic contortions, simulated violence, flowing footsteps and the occasional humorous touch. Welcome to the world of Flex.
- Floating Skyscrapers (Płynące wieżowce), directed and written by Tomasz Wasilewski. (Poland) – World Premiere, Narrative. Kuba attends an art opening with his girlfriend of two years and bumps into Mikal. The connection between these two young men is instantaneous and intoxicating, and despite opposition from all sides, he allows Mikal into his life. The results go beyond anything he could have imagined. This intimate and bold second feature from Polish director Tomasz Wasilewski captures the often-complicated consequences of finding love where others do not want it. In Polish with subtitles.
- Harmony Lessons (Uroki Garmonii), directed and written by Emir Baigazin. (Kazakhstan, Germany, France) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Symbolism and striking cinematography help us navigate the complicated landscape of a teenager’s mind in this insightful Kazakh film about violence among children. After enduring frequent humiliation at the hands of the class bully, thirteen-year old Aslan snaps, triggering an intense psychological reaction. Emir Baigazin artfully explores the strength of the survival instinct when public life pushes us beyond our limits. In Kazakh with subtitles.
- Jîn, directed and written by Reha Erdem. (Turkey) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Reha Erdem relays in radiant detail the effects of the decades-long Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Seventeen-year-old freedom fighter Jîn abandons her post and crosses between the opposing forces, navigating a beautiful mountain range made brutal by gunfire and random bombings. Her courage is repeatedly tested, until she finds comfort among unexpected allies. Erdem creates a soul-stirring odyssey that reflects on the permanent damage to humanity and the natural world caused by unremitting war. In Turkish with subtitles.
- Kiss The Water, directed by Eric Steel (USA, U.K.) – World Premiere, Documentary. Travel to Scotland’s far northern highlands and explore the life and remarkable influence of Megan Boyd, fishing fly-maker extraordinaire. Self-taught in this enigmatic, artful craft, Boyd became an internationally renowned artisan and supplier to, among others, Prince Charles. Interviews, animations and images of the stunning Scottish countryside define Eric Steel’s lyrical tale of solitary celebrity and the joy of making your mark, even when it was the last thing you planned to do.
- Lenny Cooke, directed by Benny Safdie and Joshua Safdie. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. In 2001, Lenny Cooke was the most hyped high school basketball player in the country, ranked above future greats LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. A decade later, Lenny has never played a minute in the NBA. In this quintessentially American documentary, filmmaking brothers Joshua and Benny Safdie track the unfulfilled destiny of a man for whom superstardom was only just out of reach.
- The Moment, directed by Jane Weinstock, written by Jane Gloria Norris and Weinstock. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. After a tumultuous affair between international photojournalist Lee (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and troubled artist John (Martin Henderson) ends in John’s disappearance, Lee lands in a mental hospital to recuperate. She strikes up a friendship with a fellow patient bearing an uncanny resemblance to her missing lover. The pair works to uncover the truth behind the disappearance, but Lee’s precarious sanity comes under threat when the clues lead to the last place she would ever expect.
- Northwest (Nordvest), directed by Michael Noer, written by Rasmus Heisterberg and Noer. (Denmark) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Territory, power and pride are the seismic forces in this adrenaline-fueled crime thriller. Living in one of the most impoverished areas of Copenhagen, Casper does what he must to survive. When organized crime grabs hold of the community, life becomes even more desperate. Casper digs in or risks being run over by gangsters sure to remove anyone in their way. From one of Denmark’s most celebrated directors comes a complex tale of criminal psychology and survival. In Danish with subtitles.
- Odayaka, directed and written by Nobuteru Uchida. (Japan) – North American Premiere, Narrative. The Great East Japan Earthquake has just struck, the waters of the ensuing tsunami finally rolling back into the sea. In the comparative safety of Tokyo, two wives and a child living in the same apartment building have nothing to do but wait for their husbands’ return. Nobuteru Uchida finds a striking emotional core to the shock of March 11, 2011, crafting a tender and intelligent narrative on the internal effects of an unspeakable national tragedy. In Japanese with subtitles.
- The Patience Stone (Syngué Sabour), directed by Atiq Rahimi, written by Jean-Claude Carrère and Atiq Rahimi. (Afghanistan, France, Germany) – New York Premiere, Narrative. A woman tends to her comatose husband, an injured rebel fighter in an unnamed, war-torn village, only whispering of her fear for their two young daughters’ lives. Weeks go by, and as her desperation grows, she gives voice to previously unuttered thoughts and memories without regard for anyone’s reaction. In a mesmerizing performance, Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani portrays a woman who, under the most extreme circumstances, discovers the core of her identity. In Farsi with subtitles. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
- Run and Jump, directed by Steph Green, written by Ailbhe Keogan. (Ireland, Germany) – World Premiere, Narrative. After a stroke leaves her husband disabled and fundamentally changed, a spirited Irish wife struggles to keep her family members together. All the while they are under the microscope of an American researcher documenting their recovery process. From Academy Award®-nominated director and TFF alumna Steph Green comes an emotional journey of family and recovery featuring Saturday Night Live star Will Forte in an impressive dramatic debut.
- Taboor, directed and written by Vahid Vakilifar. (Iran) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. A lone motorcyclist travels the empty streets of Tehran at night. He wears an aluminum suit to guard against the electromagnetic waves that raise his body temperature. Yet he is determined to make his appointments to kill cockroaches and fumigate factories, the night placing many strange encounters along his route. Artfully shot cityscapes expound on the man’s solitude in this atmospheric take on science fiction from the heart of Iran. In Farsi with subtitles.
- Wadjda, directed and written by Haifaa Al-Mansour. (Saudi Arabia, Germany) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Meet Wadjda (Waad Mohammed), a feisty, funny and wholly unconventional ten-year-old girl determined to scrounge up enough money to buy a bicycle, despite the societal repercussions sure to follow. The groundbreaking first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female Saudi filmmaker, Wadjda offers a moving, rarely seen picture of everyday life in Riyadh: through the eyes of a girl unwilling to surrender what she wants. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
- What Richard Did, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, written by Malcolm Campbell. (Ireland) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Charismatic Richard leads a group of devoted friends through the rituals of their final summer break together: partying on the beach, hazing younger students, hooking up. But the good times will not last forever. When jealousy leads to a senseless act, Richard’s perfect life unravels amid self-doubt, shame, grief and guilt. What Richard Did is a gripping dissection of an action and its consequences, featuring a stellar lead performance by Jack Reynor. A Tribeca Film Release.
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- Adult World, directed by Scott Coffey, written by Andy Cochran. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Amy (Emma Roberts) is naïve, awkward and anxious to get her poetry career off of the ground. She begrudgingly accepts a job at the local sex shop, Adult World, while pursuing a surefire kick-start for her success: a mentorship with reclusive writer Rat Billings (the hilarious John Cusack). As Amy’s world melds with that of Adult World, she slowly learns that inspiration can be found in the most improbable places.
- Almost Christmas, directed by Phil Morrison, written by Melissa James Gibson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Two French Canadian ne’er-do-wells travel to New York City with a scheme to a get rich quick selling Christmas trees. Easygoing charmer Rene (Paul Rudd) clashes with misanthropic ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti), whose wife Rene just stole. Still, this odd couple must make an honest go of it in this fresh buddy comedy co-starring Sally Hawkins, by the director of the indie breakout hit Junebug.
At Any Price, directed by Ramin Bahrani, written by Hallie Elizabeth Newton and Bahrani. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. The robust farming industry of Iowa is the backdrop for this father-and-son story. Dean Wipple (Zac Efron) longs to be a professional racecar driver. His father Henry (Dennis Quaid) plans to make him the heir to their family farming empire. When Henry’s ethics and expansion practices come under fire, the family must unify or risk losing everything. Temptation, ambition and competition are the driving forces behind this modern-day drama co-starring Heather Graham and Clancy Brown. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
- Before Midnight, directed by Richard Linklater, written by Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Linklater. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. In the eagerly anticipated third chapter in the star-crossed tale of Jesse and Celine, director and co-writer Richard Linklater fast-forwards to nine years after their last meeting. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy deliver powerfully authentic performances as the companions who find themselves at yet another crossroads in their twisting but passionate relationship. The picturesque streets of Greece serve as the latest backdrop to this beautifully crafted love story. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
- Big Bad Wolves, directed and written by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado. (Israel) – World Premiere, Narrative. A vigilante cop and a vengeful father capture and interrogate an accused serial killer. Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s brutal follow-up to Rabies (TFF 2011) examines a horror that most would not want to imagine: what would you do if someone hurt the one you loved most? A revenge thriller with teeth, Big Bad Wolves delivers on its raw tension and operatic drama. In Hebrew with subtitles.
- Bottled Up, directed and written by Enid Zentelis. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In this modern-day drama, Oscar®-winner Melissa Leo beautifully conveys the heart-wrenching struggle that comes with loving an addict. Complaining of back pain months after a car accident, Sylvie’s (Marin Ireland) addiction to painkillers is clear to everyone except her mother, Faye (Leo). A promising solution appears in Becket (Josh Hamilton), but relationships and loyalty are soon tested when his feelings fall in an unexpected place.
- Byzantium, directed by Neil Jordan, written by Moira Buffini. (U.K., Ireland) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Neil Jordan’s exploration of vampirism began with Interview with the Vampire. Now he returns to this lurid, malevolent realm through Clara (Gemma Arterton) and her daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan). Creatures from Clara’s past come calling, and these immortals are forced to relocate. Dire consequences follow anyway when Eleanor makes a connection with a local boy (Caleb Landry Jones) and slowly reveals the truth of who they are and how they survive. An IFC Films release.
- A Case of You, directed by Kat Coiro, written by Justin Long, Keir O’Donnel, and Christian Long. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. A young writer (Justin Long) woos a cute and quirky barista (Evan Rachel Wood) by creating an embellished online profile. When she falls for his alter ego, he must keep up the act or lose his dream girl. Directed by TFF alumna Kat Coiro and featuring a cast of hilarious cameo performers including Peter Dinklage, Sam Rockwell, Vince Vaughn and Sienna Miller, A Case of You is a winning romantic comedy for the social media age.
- Cycling with Moliere (Alceste à bicyclette), directed and written by Philippe Le Guay. (France) – International Premiere, Narrative. Once-great actor Serge Tanneur (Fabrice Luchini) now spends his days alone, cycling through the windblown landscape of France’s Île de Ré. Even an offer from his old friend Gauthier (Lambert Wilson) to return to the stage in Molière’s The Misanthrope fails to draw his interest. At least, at first. Phillippe Le Guay’s charming comedy of egos colliding on the French seaside turns into a neatly crafted, wonderfully performed search for the creative spark.
- The Director, directed by Christina Voros. (Italy) – World Premiere, Documentary. How do you make one of the world’s most revered fashion brands your own? That is the task facing creative director Frida Giannini in this authoritative look at the past, present and future of The House of Gucci, directed by director/cinematographer Christina Voros (Kink) and co-produced by James Franco. Taking advantage of rare, behind-the-scenes access, Voros shows how the Florentine trendsetter has been reimagined in the past few years.
- Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, directed by Chiemi Karasawa. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Broadway legend Elaine Stritch remains in the spotlight at eighty-seven years old. Join the uncompromising Tony and Emmy Award-winner both on and off stage in this revealing documentary. With interviews from Tina Fey, Nathan Lane, Hal Prince and others, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me blends rare archival footage and intimate cinema vérité to reach beyond Stritch’s brassy exterior, revealing a multi-dimensional portrait of a complex woman and an inspiring artist.
- The English Teacher, directed by Craig Zisk, written by Dan Chariton and Stacy Chariton. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Teacher Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) balances her staid home life with an incredible passion for her subject, but her routine is forever altered when a former star pupil and his unsupportive father reenter her life. Go-to television director Craig Zisk, whose credits include Scrubs, Weedsand United States of Tara, takes a turn on the big screen with this insightful comedy about self-discovery co-starring Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane, Michael Angarano and Lily Collins. A Cinedigm and Tribeca Film co-release.
- Gasland Part II, directed and written by Josh Fox. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Two years ago, Josh Fox introduced us to hydraulic fracturing with his Oscar®-nominated exposé Gasland. Now this once-touted energy source has become a widely discussed, contentious topic. In his follow-up, Fox reveals the extreme circumstances facing those affected by fracking, from earthquakes to the use of federal anti-terror psychological operations tactics. Gasland Part II is the definitive proof that issues raised by fracking cannot be ignored for long.
- G.B.F., directed by Darren Stein, written by George Northy. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. The bitter fight for supremacy between a school’s most popular girls takes an unexpected turn when Tanner (Michael J. Willett) becomes its first openly gay student. As they race to bag the big trend in fashion accessories, the Gay Best Friend, Tanner must choose between skyrocketing popularity and the friends he is leaving behind. Darren Stein (Jawbreaker) returns with another comic send-up of high school clique culture, including memorable cameos by Megan Mullally and Natasha Lyonne.
- Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia, directed and written by Nicholas Wrathall. (USA) – International Premiere, Documentary. Anchored by intimate, one-on-one interviews with the man himself, Nicholas Wrathall’s new documentary is a fascinating and wholly entertaining tribute to the iconic Gore Vidal. Commentary by those who knew him best—including filmmaker/nephew Burr Steers and the late Christopher Hitchens—blends with footage from Vidal’s legendary on-air career to remind us why he will forever stand as one of the most brilliant and fearless critics of our time.
- Greetings from Tim Buckley, directed by Daniel Algrant, written by David Brendel, Emma Sheanshang and Algrant. (USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. “Like father, like son” is a demanding expression for someone who never knew his dad. When young Jeff Buckley (Penn Badgley) is asked to participate in a tribute concert for his late musician father Tim, music opens his eyes to the artistic legacy that he is destined to follow. Imogen Poots co-stars in this quiet and powerful tribute to those legends sustained by admiration, love and, in this case, beautiful music. A Tribeca Film release.
- Haute Cuisine, directed by Christian Vincent, written by Etienne Comar and Vincent. (France) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Chef Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot) is plucked from relative obscurity to whip up classic French dishes for the most powerful man in the nation. Based on the real-life story of the personal chef to former French president François Mitterand, Haute Cuisine uses the politically charged kitchen and corridors of the Élysée Palace as an exquisite backdrop for a nonstop parade of mouthwatering dishes in this deliciously French comedy. In English, French with subtitles. The Weinstein Company release.
- I Got Somethin’ to Tell You, directed by Whoopi Goldberg. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Having broken racial and sexual boundaries as a pioneering comic talent, the late Moms Mabley has long been an icon in the comedy world. Now Whoopi Goldberg takes a deep dive into Mabley’s legacy via recently unearthed photography, rediscovered performance footage and the words of numerous celebrated comedians. A true passion project for Goldberg, I Got Somethin’ to Tell You shows Mabley’s historical significance and profound influence as a performer vastly ahead of her time.
- In God We Trust, directed and written by Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Bernie Madoff ruined many lives before his arrest in 2008. Perhaps no one was so personally affected as his longtime personal secretary, Eleanor Squillari. Meet Squillari in the days and months after the arrest, as her obsession with the case grows into her own unique search for clues. In God We Trust follows Squillari on her personal journey for justice, exposing previously unknown facts about the greatest financial crime ever committed.
- Inside Out: The People’s Art Project, directed by Alastair Siddons. (France, U.K.) – World Premiere, Documentary. This fascinating documentary tracks the evolution of the world’s largest participatory art project, the wildly popular “Inside Out.” Travel the globe with French artist JR as he motivates communities to define their most important causes by pasting giant portraits in the street, testing the limits of what they thought possible. In capturing the process, Alastair Siddons creates a glowing testament to the power of the image and the role that art can play in transforming lives. In Arabic, Creole, English, French, Spanish with subtitles.
- Lil Bub & Friendz, directed by Andy Capper and Juliette Eisner. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Called “the most famous cat on the Internet,” the wide-eyed perma-kitten Lil Bub is the adorable embodiment of the Web’s fascination with all things cats. Join Lil Bub and her owner on wild cross-country romp as they meet the Internet’s most famous cat-lebrities. Chock full of adorable kitties, hilarious videos and the dedicated cat enthusiasts who love them, Lil Bub & Friendz is a fun and hip peek behind the memes we know and love. Includes Mike “The Dude” Bridavsky, Ben Lashes, Grumpy Cat, Nyan Cat, Keyboard Cat.
- McConkey, directed and written by Steve Winter, Murray Wais, Scott Gaffney, David Zieff, and Rob Bruce. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. An all-star roster of sports movie-making talent directs this heartfelt biography of extreme ski trailblazer Shane McConkey, once described as “the most influential skier ever.” McConkey covers forty years and countless high places to track Shane’s conversion from downhill racer to freeskiing marvel to pioneer of a hair-raising new discipline—ski BASE jumping—giving alarming new meaning to the question, how far would you go to be the next big thing?
- The Motivation, directed by Adam Bhala Lough. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Go inside the lives and training regimes of eight of the world’s gutsiest professional skateboarders. These fearless stars face unique obstacles on the way to the Street League Championship and the coveted title of best skateboarder in the world. Adam Bhala Lough, creator of the 2003 independent hit Bomb the System (TFF 2003), directs this fresh, energetic documentary in search of the elusive quality that separates the winners from the pack. Features Nyjah Huston, Ryan Sheckler, Chris Cole, Paul Rodriguez, Sean Malto, Rob Dyrdek, Chaz Ortiz, Luan Oliveira, and Bastien Salabanzi. In English, Portuguese with subtitles.
- The Pretty One, directed and written by Jenée LaMarque. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Audrey has all of the qualities that her twin sister Laurel wishes she possessed: confidence, style, independence. When tragedy strikes, Laurel has the opportunity to reinvent herself. In a complex performance, Zoe Kazan poignantly captures Laurel’s complex mix of loss and awakening, especially as she begins a new relationship with her neighbor (Jake Johnson). Jeneìe LaMarque’s first feature film is a quirky, lovely tale of identity and the eternal bond between two sisters.
- Prince Avalanche, directed and written by David Gordon Green. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch) spend the summer of 1988 repainting a highway in a fire-damaged forest. The isolation quickly wears thin on Lance, yet an unlikely friendship emerges within their cutting jibes and forced reconciliations to meet the long road that lies ahead. David Gordon Green returns to the lyrical tenor of his earliest films in this potent blend of comedy and road-movie stoicism, based on the 2011 Icelandic film Either Way. A Magnolia Pictures release.
- The Project, directed and written by Shawn Efran and Adam Ciralsky. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. The Project profiles the precarious, real-life story of the Puntland Maritime Police Force, a group of Somali pirate hunters. Taking the hijacking of the African waterways and the kidnapping of innocent citizens into their under-trained hands, the PMPF face mutiny, death and a loss of corporate funding in their dangerous quest to free the Middle East shipping industry from terror. The mercenaries’ epic battle makes for an intense, gripping and disarming ride.
- Reaching for the Moon (Flores Raras), directed by Bruno Barreto, written by Matthew Chapman and Carolina Kotscho. (Brazil) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Frustrated poet Elizabeth Bishop travels to Brazil and encounters the beguiling architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Initial hostilities make way for a complicated yet long-lasting love affair that dramatically alters Bishop’s relationship to the world around her. Anchored by magnificent lead performances from Miranda Otto and Glória Pires, Reaching for the Moon is an intimate snapshot of the search for inspiration, wherever and however you find it. In English, Portuguese with subtitles.
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Mira Nair, written by Mohsin Hamid, William Wheeler, Ami Boghani. (India, Pakistan, USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake) returns with another spellbinding adaptation of a celebrated bestseller. Pakistan-born Changez (Riz Ahmed) turns a Princeton degree into a cushy life on Wall Street with a gorgeous girlfriend (Kate Hudson). Then the Twin Towers fall, and his American dream shatters amid interrogations and overwhelming national distrust. He soon questions his allegiances, as this thriller exposes the dangers of being a stranger in your own land.Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber and Om Puri also star. An IFC Films release.
- Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, directed by Marina Zenovich, written by Peter Morgan. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. This moving portrait of legendary comedian Richard Pryor chronicles his life from his troubled youth in Peoria, Illinois, to his meteoric rise as one of the most respected comic actors of the 20th century. Often misunderstood during the height of his celebrity, the late superstar has never been profiled this extensively. Marina Zenovich’s revealing and entertaining film lays bare the demons with which he struggled and reminds us just how daring and dangerous artistic freedom can be. Includes interviews with Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Quincy Jones, Lily Tomlin, Jesse Jackson.
- A Single Shot, directed by David M. Rosenthal, written by Matthew F. Jones. (U.K., USA, Canada) – North American Premiere, Narrative. A Single Shot brings together a wealth of indie stalwarts, including Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Melissa Leo and Jeffrey Wright, to paint a tense portrait of John Moon, a man attempting to win back his estranged family while desperately outrunning an accidental crime. Director David M. Rosenthal returns to the Festival with this ominously atmospheric and suspenseful backwoods tale of circumstance, based on Matthew F. Jones’s 1996 novel.
- Some Velvet Morning, directed and written by Neil LaBute. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Fred arrives at Velvet’s doorstep, suitcases in tow. He tells her that he has finally left his wife to be with her, news to Velvet since she has not seen him in years and is now with Fred’s recently married son. As Fred’s hopes crash to earth during a conversation brimming with passion, remorse, humor and anger, the twisted heart of a fascinating relationship is revealed. Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve star in this spirited living room drama.
- Trust Me, directed and written by Clark Gregg. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Directed by and starring Clark Gregg and featuring Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney and Amanda Peet, Trust Me follows flailing Hollywood agent Howard, who seemingly strikes gold after signing the next big child star. What results is an unexpected ride through the nasty inner workings of Hollywood, as Howard desperately tries to make it in an industry that has no interest in recognizing his bumbling but ultimately genuine nature.
- Whitewash, directed by Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, written by Marc Tulin and Hoss-Desmarais. (Canada) – World Premiere, Narrative. The brutality of winter and the power of the mind are aptly portrayed in this dark comedy set in Northern Quebec. Bruce (Thomas Haden Church) is merely trying to survive a harsh winter when he meets Jean. Conflict leads to an accidental death, and Bruce finds himself in a complicated and unexpected place. Grappling with his guilt, Bruce creates a prison from which he cannot escape. Haden Church perfectly utilizes his comic talent in this wry, well-crafted film.
Kicking off the rebranded Midnight section is Marina de Van’s stylish Dark Touch, the disturbing story of a traumatized young girl whose subconscious begins to lash out at those who have wronged her. The young girl at the center of Dark Touch is not Midnight’s only superwoman either. Between the man-made super-warrior slowly discovering her sentience in The Machine, and Zoe Bell’s modern-day gladiator fighting her way through an army of opponents in the action-packed Raze, strong women dominate Midnight. Strange and superhuman powers are also lurking in the mysterious figure haunting a young married couple at their mountain retreat in the found-footage supernatural thriller Mr. Jones. But found footage really reaches its apotheosis as a genre in the horror extravaganza V/H/S/2, an omnibus of the most cutting-edge genre filmmakers working today that includes zombies, cultists, ghosts and alien invasions. Between action, horror, sci-fi and found-footage, Midnight offers seven films for all genre tastes.
- Dark Touch, directed and written by Marina de Van. (France) – World Premiere, Narrative. Niamh is the lone survivor of a bloody massacre after the furniture and objects in her family’s isolated house take on a monstrous life of their own. The police ignore her wild stories and the family friends and social worker who take her in try to introduce a new life. But in this psychological thriller, Niamh is unable to leave her violent past behind her, endangering everyone who crosses her path.
- Frankenstein’s Army, directed by Richard Raaphorst, written by Chris W. Mitchell and Miguel Tejada-Flores. (Netherlands) – International Premiere, Narrative. In the waning days of World War II, a team of Russian soldiers finds itself on a mysterious mission to the lab of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. They unearth a terrifying Nazi plan to resurrect fallen soldiers as an army of unstoppable freaks and are soon trapped in a veritable haunted house of cobbled-together monstrosities. Frankenstein’s Army is the wild steampunk Nazi found-footage zombie mad scientist film you’ve always wanted.
- Fresh Meat, directed by Danny Mulheron, written by Briar Grace-Smith. (New Zealand) – New York Premiere, Narrative. After a poorly executed escape from the police, a gang of dysfunctional criminals flees to the suburbs and gets more than it bargained for when it crash lands in the garage of an upper-class Maori family whose refined palates have developed a taste for human flesh. This action-packed horror comedy tells a blood-spattered tale of basement butchery and shifting allegiances as these unlikely adversaries enter a deadly showdown. A Tribeca Film release.
- The Machine, directed and written by Caradog James. (U.K.) –World Premiere, Narrative. Caradog James adds another layer to the Frankenstein story in the latest gripping sci-fi adventure to come out of the U.K.. Already deep into a second Cold War, Britain’s Ministry of Defence seeks a game-changing weapon. Programmer Vincent McCarthy unwittingly provides an answer in The Machine, a super-strong human cyborg played by the impressive Caity Lotz (The Pact). When a programming bug causes the prototype to decimate his lab, McCarthy takes his obsessive efforts underground, far away from inquisitive eyes.
- Mr. Jones, directed and written by Karl Mueller. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Scott (Jon Foster) is a filmmaker in need of inspiration. He and his girlfriend Penny move into a desolate house hoping to make a breakthrough. Then they discover their neighbor, the elusive Mr. Jones. Famous for his haunting sculptures, Mr. Jones has remained a mystery to the world. Scott and Penny, convinced that they have found the perfect film subject, sneak into his workshop and realize that their curiosity may have chilling consequences. Who is Mr. Jones?
- Raze, directed by Josh Waller, written by Robert Beaucage. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Stuntwoman Zoe Bell (Inglorious Basterds, Kill Bill 1&2) headlines this sly subversion of the women-in-prison genre. After Sabrina (Bell) is abducted, she finds herself in an underground lair, forced to do battle with other innocent women for the amusement of unseen spectators. Each of these reluctant warriors has something to lose, but only one will remain when the game is done. Violent and relentless, Raze takes its video game aesthetic to the deepest and darkest places, rarely surfacing for air. Includes Rachel Nichols and Tracie Thoms.
- V/H/S/2, directed by Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, Jason Eisener, written by Barrett, Jamie Nash, Tjahjanto, Evans, Eisener, and John Davies (USA, Indonesia) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Investigators break into a house, find a vast collection of VHS tapes and play them one by one. The videos include visions of the paranormal, flesh-eating zombies, a shockingly genuine scene of hell on earth and a slumber party gone horribly awry. This highly anticipated sequel to last year’s horror breakout V/H/S features contributions from contemporary genre filmmaking’s leading talents, including the creators of Hobo with a Shotgun, The Raid, You’re Next and The Blair Witch Project. In English, Indonesian with subtitles. A Magnet Release.
Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes has been created in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin and is a new juried section at the Festival to showcase innovative, interactive, transmedia work across genres. The possibilities for telling stories are changing as creators experiment with new technologies and new forms of audience participation. This participation is reflected in the human/A.I. interactions of the Robots in Residenceand the joyfully fan created scenes in Star Wars Uncut. This Exquisite Forest allows the audience to create their own animations, A Journal of Insomnia enables all of us to share our stories of sleepless nights. Finally,Sandy Storyline is a kaleidoscope of people’s experiences during and after the storm, a project that is ongoing. We want to showcase this exciting new landscape, creating an immersive space where this work can be experienced and appreciated as interactive installations.
- A Journal of Insomnia, Project creators: Bruno Choiniere, Philippe Lambert, and Guillaume Braun. (Canada). Insomniacs are both spectators and actors in this large, interactive fresco that combines hundreds of personal reflections on sleepless nights, gathered online from insomniacs around the world since fall 2012. This work, produced by The National Film Board of Canada, provides a cutting portrait of insomnia as a universal and peculiarly wide-ranging affliction and challenges visitors to experience the condition for themselves.
- Robots in Residence, Project Creators: Brent Hoff and Alexander Reben. (USA). Robots in Residence challenges Alfred Hitchcock’s claim that “in feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.” Here there is no god, as pre-programmed robots collaborate with festival audiences to direct and shoot a documentary in its entirety. Robot artist Alexander Reben and filmmaker Brent Hoff forge a provocative new form of documentary storytelling by using robots as a lens through which we take a new look at humanity.
- Sandy Storyline, Project Creators: Rachel Falcone, Laura Gottesdiener, and Michael Premo. (USA). Using audio, photography, text and video, Sandy Storyline is an ever-growing documentary narrative as community members and volunteers offer their accounts of the storm and the efforts to recover and rebuild local neighborhoods. The project forges a new type of media in time of crisis, one that is participatory, interactive and designed for community empowerment.
- Star Wars Uncut, Project Creator: Casey Pugh. (USA). Love Star Wars but think you would have done it differently? Then this fun, creative and wonderfully nostalgic interactive media project is for you. Using everything from hand-drawn animations to intricate reenactments, fans and series novices created short alternatives to the Star Wars storyline and went online to piece them all together. Discover a whole new approach to Star Wars, one fifteen-second burst at a time.
- This Exquisite Forest, Project Creators: Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk (USA). Conceived by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin and produced by Google and Tate Modern, This Exquisite Forest was inspired by the surrealist game “exquisite corpse” and its idea of collaborative creation. The project, hosted at exquisiteforest.com, allows visitors to create short animations right in their web browser. Other users may build on the animation at any point, creating a collection of navigable, branching narratives resembling trees that grow bigger as more artists contribute.
- Alberi, directed by Michaelangelo Frammartino. (Italy) –World Premiere, Documentary. Wrapping the audience in waves of sound, Alberi takes us on a circular journey through the Italian countryside. The marvelous natural music at the tops of the eponymous trees makes way for the rhythmic cadence of civilization—men baring axes and the natural clatter of daily life—before their unforgettable return home from the forest. The singular artistry of director Michelangelo Frammartino (Le quatro volte) is beautifully displayed in this mesmerizing homage to nature. Italian with subtitles.
Alberi will run as an installation in the VW Dome at MoMA PS1 from April 18th through the end of the month, with a special event celebrating the world premiere on the evening of Saturday, April 20th.
- Sidewalk Stories, directed and written by Charles Lane. (USA) –Narrative. The low-budget, New York-in-the-’80s movie that proves that silence is not all that golden, Charles Lane’s magnetic Sidewalk Storiesis long overdue for rediscovery. Lane plays a sidewalk chalk artist whose efforts to care for an abandoned toddler are confounded by the oddball homeless characters he meets. Black-and-white and mostly silent, the film is an ingenious and whimsical effort by a black artist to give a voice to those who have none.
- Herblock – The Black & The White, directed by Michael Stevens, written by Sara Lukinson and Stevens. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Herbert Block’s career at The Washington Post spanned fifty-five years and thirteen presidents, a timeframe in which he claimed three Pulitzer Prizes, the Medal of Freedom and a significant role in President Nixon’s resignation. Ben Bradlee, Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Jules Feiffer, Ted Koppel and Jon Stewart are among the many commentators bearing witness to Block’s life, work and indelible contribution to American satire in this inviting documentary.Herbert Block to attend.
- The Trials of Muhammad Ali, directed by Bill Siegel. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Brash boxer Cassius Clay burst into the American consciousness in the early 1960s, just ahead of the Civil Rights movement. His transformation into the spiritually enlightened heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is legendary, but this religious awakening also led to a bitter legal battle with the U.S. government after he refused to serve in the Vietnam War. This film reveals the perfect storm of race, religion and politics that shaped one of the most recognizable figures in sports history.
- Running From Crazy, directed by Barbara Kopple. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Join actress Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of legendary author Ernest Hemingway, as she examines the mental illness and suicide that colors her family’s history and tries to avert that fate for herself and her daughters. By mixing in remarkable archival footage of the three Hemingway sisters, two-time Academy Award®-winner Barbara Kopple expands one famous family’s deeply embedded truths into a broad picture of the courage it takes to face the past and change your future.
- Möbius, directed and written by Eric Rochant. (France) – International Premiere, Narrative. Set in the incomparable beauty of Monaco, Eric Rochant’s first feature in seven years follows undercover Russian FSB officer Gregory Lioubov (Jean Dujardin, The Artist) and international trader Alice Redmond (Cécile De France, Hereafter), who has her own secrets to hide. Their relationship sparks a deadly chase to snag Lioubov’s real target, business magnate Ivan Rostovsky (Tim Roth). Also starring Émilie Dequenne, Möbius is a twisting, sexy spy thriller that fittingly leaves you guessing which way is up. Featuring special guest appearances from director Eric Rochant and main actress Cécile de France.