We previously focused on women-directed films in the Tribeca
Film Festival lineup. There are also a huge number of women-written or
co-written scripts at the festival, so we wanted to highlight their work as
well. (FYI – There is some overlap between the posts if a woman wrote and directed a film)
The festival runs from April 17-28.
Here are the women-written scripts in the Tribeca lineup.
Some of these are repeats since they are both written and directed by.
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.
Six Acts (Shesh Peamim), directed by Jonathan Gurfinkel,
written by Rona Segal. (Israel) – North American Premiere. Naive 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
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 Gusmao 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 expose, 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 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.
Cutie and the Boxer, directed by Zachary Heinzerling,
written by Ada Bligaard Soby. (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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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, Weeds and 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.
The Pretty One, directed and written by Jenee 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). Jenee LaMarque’s first feature film is a quirky, lovely tale of
identity and the eternal bond between two sisters.
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 Gloria 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.
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.
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.
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
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.