The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival has revealed part one of the upcoming fest’s
lineup. This includes the World Narrative and Documentary Competition film
selections, along with selections for the out-of-competition Viewpoints
program, designed to highlight diverse filmmakers in international and American
independent cinema. Check it out, below.
Thus far, 47 of the 87 feature-length films–selected from a record more 6117 submissions– have been
announced. The 13th Tribeca fest runs from April 16-27 in NYC, and
opens with hip hop doc “Time Is Illmatic.”
“Dior and I,” an innovative dive behind-the-scenes of the Christian Dior fashion world, will
open the World Documentary competition; “Gabriel” starring Rory Culkin in a performance as a troubled teen that the programmers describe as “riveting,” the World Narrative
competition; and New York Mumblecore vampire tale “Summer of Blood” the Viewpoints section. All three titles are
This year more than ever the Tribeca programming team led by TFF Director Geoff Gilmore, Director of Programming Genna Terranova and Artistic Director Frederic Boyer, saw an uptick in the quality of submissions, even when they were micro-budget. “Filmmakers are taking more time to craft the story,” said Terranova, “not like the old days whey they’d find the money and shoot as quickly as you can. There’s more time for them to really work through and develop what they’re doing. The quality on the American side was quite good.”
“We noticed that unlike years ago when you’d see so much crap,” added Gilmore, “this year, even with the breadth of submissions that have come from all over, given the quality of what was submitted, it was harder to dismiss films out of hand. There were so many quality films that strike you as original storytelling, and not so much derivative work. There’s a sense of authenticity and reality to a lot of the films submitted, personally-driven character stories ripped out of the newspaper as opposed to the imagination. characters that are in some way enhanced and detailed. This is as good a competition selection as we’ve ever had.”
While Tribeca follows Sundance and SXSW on the festival calendar, Gilmore described a sense that filmmakers were jockeying to get into the festival, which serves a key role as a “part market, part cultural platform, for discovery and launch.” Especially for international films, festivals are a necessary way for films to get seen by distributors, he added. “Tribeca looks toward the overall world of film, we don’t focus just on American indie work, our commitment is to international filming, so we break down the competitions half and half, as well as quality documentaries.”
On the documentary front the fest selection encompasses political docs on the NSA and FBI whistleblowers (“1971″ is a precursor to the current spying scandal) and subjects who range from the seemingly ordinary (Matthew Van Dyke in ‘”Point and Shoot”) to extraordinary people like Susan Sontag. “The overall trend,” says Terranova, “is character-driven documentaries, not going for issue-driven or aesthetically beautiful documentaries, but taking a chance on characters by drawing out what is special and compelling about them.”
The world cinema reflected a wide diversity, said Boyer, who is in his third year at the festival. “We wanted to surprise the audience and the jury with unconventional movies and risky choices like ‘Georgia’ and ‘Brides.’ This was the first year it was hard to reject really good films. There was no room for them.”
World Narrative Feature Competition
Brides, directed and written by Tinatin Kajrishvili.
(France, Georgia) – North American Premiere. In the suburbs of Tbilisi,
Georgia, seamstress Nutsa shares an apartment with her two young children and
awaits the return of her husband, Goga, who has six years left on his prison
sentence. With only rare visits and phone calls to connect with her husband,
Nutsa faces difficult decisions about keeping the family together and
maintaining her own freedom. In her first narrative feature, director Tinatin
Kajrishvili captures an intimate look at love and absence, and a subtle
indictment of the harsh Georgian penal system. In Georgian with subtitles.
Five Star, directed and written by Keith Miller. (USA) –
World Premiere. A member of the notorious Bloods since he was 12 years old,
Primo takes John, the son of a fallen gang member, under his wing, versing him
in the code of the streets. Set amongst the streets of East New York, Five Star
blends documentary and fiction as director Keith Miller (Welcome to Pine Hill)
carefully eschews worn clichés of gang culture to offer a compelling portrait
of two men as they are both forced to confront the question of what it really
means to be a man.
Gabriel, directed and written by Lou Howe. (USA) – World
Premiere. Rory Culkin delivers an electrifying performance as Gabriel, a
vulnerable and confused teenager longing for stability and happiness. Convinced
that reuniting with his old girlfriend will bring his dreams to fruition,
Gabriel risks it all in a desperate and increasingly obsessive pursuit.
First-time writer-director Lou Howe authentically portrays the heartbreaking
reality of a young man battling his inner demons, establishing himself as an
extraordinary new filmmaking talent.
Glass Chin, directed and written by Noah Buschel. (USA) –
World Premiere. After going down in the fifth round, boxer Bud Gordon bowed out
of the limelight. Now residing in a fixer-upper apartment in New Jersey with
his girlfriend, Bud longs for his former Manhattan glory. In an effort to get
back in the game, he makes a deal with a crooked restaurateur. But quick
schemes rarely bring easy pay-offs and as the consequences of his business
negotiations unfold, Bud has to make a choice between his integrity and his
World Narrative Feature Competition continued:
Goodbye to All That, directed and written by Angus
MacLachlan. (USA) – World Premiere. Otto Wall is just a little unlucky in life,
and unbeknownst to him, in love. When his wife suddenly asks for a divorce, he
bounces between a search for answers, desperate attempts to stay connected to
his daughter, and his fateful reentry into the dating pool. Junebug
screenwriter Angus MacLachlan returns to the woods of North Carolina for this
sharp and sensitive comedy starring Paul Schneider, Melanie Lynskey, Heather
Graham, Anna Camp, Amy Sedaris, and Celia Weston.
Güeros, directed and written by Alonso Ruiz Palacios,
co-written by Gibrán Portela. (Mexico) – North American Premiere. A water
balloon suddenly dropping from the sky exploding on a mother’s head in the
frantic first moments of this striking debut feature, announces its director,
Alonso Ruiz Palacios, as a bold new voice of Mexican cinema. Set amidst the
1999 student strikes in Mexico City, this coming-of-age tale finds two brothers
venturing through the city in a sentimental search for an aging legendary
musician. Shot in beautiful black-and-white, Güeros brims with youthful
exuberance. In Spanish with subtitles.
Human Capital (Il capitale umano), directed and written by
Paolo Virzì, co-written by Francesco Bruni and Francesco Piccolo. (Italy,
France) – International Premiere. In Paolo Virzì’s refined three-chapter tale,
we begin at the end. Approaching a snowy night from three vastly different
perspectives, the lives of two generations overlap as they tumble toward an
ill-fated event that inextricably links them. Starring two of Italy’s leading
actresses, Valeria Golina and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Human Capital twists
love, class, and ambition into a singular, true-life story that exposes the
consequences of valuing certain human lives over others. In Italian with
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (L’Enlèvement de Michel
Houellebecq), directed and written by Guillaume Nicloux. (France) – North
American Premiere. If novelist Michel Houellebecq had indeed been kidnapped
during his 2011 promotional book tour, this may have been the definitive
documentary on the case. As a wild alternative, Guillaume Nicloux presents this
work of complete fiction starring none other than Houellebecq himself. Playfully speculating on the explanation for
Houellebecq’s mysterious disappearance, this highly entertaining, farcical
piece of cinema parallels the wry characteristics of its unique and
ever-unconventional subject. In French with subtitles.
Something Must Break (Nånting Måste Gå Sönder), directed and
written by Ester Martin Bergsmark, co-written by Eli Levén. (Sweden) – North
American Premiere. When Sebastian meets Andreas for the first time, he knows
they belong together. While Sebastian defies gender norms—flouting convention
in his androgynous fluidity—straight-identifying Andreas becomes unable to
accept his attraction to another man, as their relationship progresses.
Struggling with his identity, Sebastian becomes increasingly determined to
become “Ellie,” even if it means walking away from Andreas. Something Must
Break brims with raw electricity as it explores questions of gender and
sexuality with refreshing candor. In Swedish with subtitles.
Loitering with Intent, directed by Adam Rapp, written by
Michael Godere and Ivan Martin. (USA) – World Premiere. After running into a film producer eager to
invest in a new project, aspiring writers Dominic and Raphael need to come up
with a script fast, so the pair head to the seclusion of rural Fire Island, NY,
to churn out their masterpiece. But when Dominic’s siren of a sister (Marisa
Tomei) turns up desperate for reprieve from her boyfriend (Sam Rockwell), they
soon realize they’re in for more than they bargained for. Isabelle McNally and
a hilarious Brian Geraghty round out this latest effort from director Adam
X/Y, directed and written by Ryan Piers Williams. (USA) –
World Premiere. Ryan Piers Williams directs and stars alongside America
Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn and Melonie Diaz
in a character-driven drama centered around four restless New Yorkers, and
their shifting sexual and romantic relationships as they search for a sense of
intimacy and self-identity. As Mark, Jen, Sylvia, and Jake navigate through
their emotionally-arrested states, X/Y reveals the honest and wanton desire we
all have to connect with someone and what is at stake when that connection
Zero Motivation directed and written by Talya Lavie.
(Israel) – World Premiere. Filmmaker Talya Lavie steps into the spotlight with
a dark comedy about everyday life for a unit of young female Israeli soldiers.
The human resources office at a remote desert base serves as the setting for
this cast of characters, who bide their time pushing paper, battling for the
top score in Minesweeper, and counting down the minutes until they can return
to civilian life. Amidst their boredom and clashing personalities, issues of
commitment—from friendship to love and country—are handled with humor and
sharp-edged wit. In Hebrew with subtitles.
World Documentary Feature Competition
1971, directed and written by Johanna Hamilton, co-written
by Gabriel Rhodes. (USA) – World Premiere. Forty years before WikiLeaks and the
NSA scandal, there was Media, Pennsylvania. In 1971, eight activists plotted an
intricate break-in to the local FBI offices to leak stolen documents and expose
the illegal surveillance of ordinary Americans in an era of anti-war activism.
In this riveting heist story, the perpetrators reveal themselves for the first
time, reflecting on their actions and raising broader questions surrounding
security leaks in activism today.
Ballet 422, directed by Jody Lee Lipes. (USA) – World
Premiere. Cinematographer and documentarian Jody Lee Lipes crafts an intimate,
fly-on-the-wall documentary offering a rare peek into the hidden world of
professional ballet. The film shadows Justin Peck, wunderkind choreographer of
the New York City Ballet, as he undertakes the Herculean task of creating the
company’s 422nd original piece. Following the creative process from its
embryonic stages to its highly anticipated premiere, Ballet 422 is a powerful
celebration of the skill and endurance of New York’s most talented dancers—as
well as those who remain hidden in the wings.
Dior and I (Dior et moi), directed and written by Frédéric
Tcheng. (France) – World Premiere.
In Frédéric Tcheng’s masterful documentary, one enters the
storied world that is the House of Christian Dior with a privileged,
behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first Dior Haute Couture
collection as Artistic Director, a true labor of love by a dedicated, charming,
and often humorous group of collaborators.
Beautifully melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion
with a mysterious and elegant reverence for the history of this iconic brand,
Tcheng’s colorful homage to the seamstresses of the atelier is nothing short of
magical. In English and French with subtitles.
Fishtail, directed and written by Andrew Renzi. (USA) –
World Premiere. The iconic voice and noble philosophies proffered by Harry Dean
Stanton punctuate this authentic look at life on the edge of wilderness.
Producer of festival favorite, Two Gates of Sleep, Andrew Renzi makes his
directorial debut with this glimpse into the rugged lifestyle few Americans
still pursue. Follow the cowboys of Montana’s Fishtail Basin Ranch as they survive
another calving season in this captivating atmospheric documentary. Set to a
seraphic score, Stanton would agree, this is a film for “those of earth-born
Garnet’s Gold, directed by Ed Perkins. (UK) – World
Premiere. Twenty years ago, Garnet Frost nearly lost his life hiking near
Scotland’s Loch Arkaig. The near-death experience still haunts him to this day,
and, in particular, a peculiar wooden stick he discovered serendipitously right
before he was rescued. Believing the staff (as he calls it) is actually a
marker for a fortune hidden nearly 300 years ago, Garnet embarks on a treasure
hunt to search for the lost riches. But beneath the search for gold, lies a
poignant pursuit for life’s meaning and inspiration.
Mala Mala, directed by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini.
(Puerto Rico) – World Premiere.
Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles’ vibrant and visually
striking immersion in the transgender community of Puerto Rico celebrates the
breadth of experiences among trans-identifying women: from campaigning for government-recognized
human rights, to working in the sex industry, or performing as part of drag
troupe, “The Doll House.” Unapologetic and unconventional, Mala Mala explores
the ways internal and external identity pave the path of self discovery through
the unique yet universal stories of its fascinating cast of characters. In
English and Spanish with subtitles.
Misconception, directed by Jessica Yu. (USA) – World
Premiere. For almost 50 years, the world’s population has grown at an alarming rate,
raising fears about strains on the Earth’s resources. But how true are these
claims? Taking cues from statistics guru Hans Rosling, Misconception offers a
provocative glimpse at how the world—and women in particular— are tackling a
subject at once personal and global. Following three individuals, director
Jessica Yu focuses on the human implications of this highly charged political
issue, inspiring a fresh look at the consequences of population growth. In
English, Hindi, Mandarin, and Russian with subtitles.
Ne Me Quitte Pas, directed and written by Sabine Lubbe
Bakker and Niels van Koevorden.
(Netherlands, Belgium) – International Premiere. Left by his
wife for another man, Marcel falls into alcoholism and a deep depression, with
only his friend Bob, also an alcoholic, to look after him. The friendship
between the two men captures the frailty of the male ego and the natural comedy
borne from their candid conversations. Ne Me Quitte Pas follows this downward
spiral of mid-life crisis in a tender, often humorous, sometimes disturbing,
examination of the ‘crisis of masculinity,’ alongside a mesmerizing exploration
of mundane rural existence. In Flemish and French with subtitles.
Point and Shoot, directed and written by Marshall Curry.
(USA) – World Premiere. In 2011, unassuming Matthew VanDyke left his home in
Baltimore to find adventure and see the world on his motorcycle, only to end up
joining the Libyan rebel army to take arms against Gaddafi. Gun in one hand,
video camera in the other, Matthew finally finds purpose and meaning in his
wanderlust, until he is captured and held in solitary confinement for six
months and must decide where his allegiances really lie. Director and TFF award
winner, Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams), captures one man’s arresting
transformation from a sheltered kid to a soldier on the front lines.
Regarding Susan Sontag, directed and written by Nancy Kates,
co-written by John Haptas. (USA) – World Premiere. Hungry for life and
gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most
important literary, political, and feminist icons of her generation. Kates’ in
depth documentary intimately tracks Sontag’s seminal, life-changing moments
through her own words, as read by Patricia Clarkson—from her early infatuation
with books to her first experience in a gay bar; from her first marriage to her
last lover. Regarding Susan Sontag is a nuanced investigation into the life of
a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, and
terrorism still resonate today. An HBO Documentary film.
Tomorrow We Disappear, directed by Jimmy Goldblum and Adam
Weber. (USA) – World Premiere. The puppeteers, performers, and magicians of the
Kathputli colony in Delhi are the last slum-dweller–artists of their kind. When
their land is sold to high-rise developers, they must fight for the only home
they know. Fending off relocation, they struggle to keep their mystical Indian
folk arts alive and to conserve what beauty remains as they are forced into
someone else’s vision of the future. Tomorrow We Disappear is not just
documentation, but ultimately becomes an extraordinary act of preservation. In
Hindi with subtitles.
Virunga, directed and written by Orlando von Einsiedel. (UK)
– World Premiere. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park, a UNESCO world
heritage site, and the last natural habitat for the endangered mountain
gorilla. None of that will stop the business interests and rebel insurgencies
lurking at the park’s doorstep. Orlando von Einsiedel pairs gorgeous natural
scenes from Virunga with riveting footage of the Congolese crisis, raising an
ardent call for conservation as a vital human enterprise. Along the way, he
spotlights the incredibly dangerous work that is often required to safeguard
the environment. In English, French, and Swahili, with subtitles.
Art and Craft, directed by Sam Cullman and Jennifer
Grausman. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Mark Landis is one of the most
prolific and notorious ‘artists’ of the century. An expert forger of
masterpiece art, Landis has duped curators across the nation, further
befuddling them by donating his imitations instead of selling them. Many have
dedicated years tracking his escapades with one burning question: “Why?” Framed
around a cat-and-mouse chase between Landis and those he has hoodwinked, Art
and Craft paints a richly complicated portrait of mental illness, skewed
philanthropy, and the desire to feel connected.
The Bachelor Weekend, directed and written by John Butler.
(Ireland) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Pressured by his best man to spend a
bachelor’s weekend camping, foppish groom-to-be, Fionan, reluctantly agrees.
But when his fiancée’s alpha-male brother, nicknamed ‘The Machine,’
unexpectedly turns up, the camping trip takes a turn for the worst. Fionan and
his genteel friends are no match for the uncouth bully, and the trip begins to
look like it will become Fionan’s worst nightmare. A slapstick, good-natured
comedy, Bachelor Weekend hilariously delves into the stereotypical realm of
masculinity that is camping and the great outdoors. A Tribeca Film release.
Bad Hair (Pelo Malo), directed and written by Mariana
Rondon. (Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Germany) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative.
Junior, a nine-year-old living in Caracas, wants nothing more than to
straighten his unruly hair to look like a singer for his school photo—a
fixation that stirs homophobic panic in his overtaxed mother. Each effort
Junior makes to alter his appearance and gain his mother’s love is brushed off
with abrasive avoidance until he’s ultimately faced with a heartbreaking decision.
With a painfully tender performance by Samuel Lange, writer-director Mariana
Rondón directs this coming-of-age drama about the search for identity clashing
with intolerance. In Spanish with subtitles.
Below Dreams, directed and written by Garrett Bradley. (USA)
– World Premiere, Narrative. A reverie of images and sound, Below Dreams
loosely follows the narratives of three very different people returning to New
Orleans for the promise of a better life. But as each character experiences the
city’s realities, it becomes clear that their individual hopes and dreams may
no longer be possible, and that with change must also come sacrifice. Shot
documentary style, but with dreamlike qualities melding fiction and reality,
this is a hypnotic tribute to both the socially marginalized and to the city of
New Orleans itself.
Beneath the Harvest Sky, directed and written by Aron Gaudet
and Gita Pullapilly. (USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Bored and restless, best
friends Dominic and Casper are making plans to escape their small town in
Northern Maine to start new lives in Boston. In order to earn the money,
Dominic spends the summer harvesting potatoes, while Casper becomes involved in
the family business—smuggling drugs over the Canadian border. The divergent
paths of the two boys, both trapped in their circumstances in different ways,
will change their friendship forever. Brought to life by two stellar lead
performances, Beneath the Harvest Sky is an authentic portrayal of adolescent
frustration, culminating in a heartbreaking coming-of-age drama. A Tribeca Film release.
Black Coal, Thin Ice (Bai Ri Yan Huo), directed and written
by Diao Yinan. (China, Hong Kong) – North American Premiere, Narrative. After a
botched arrest in a grisly serial-murder case, small-town detective Zhang Zili
is suspended from the force, taking a job as a security guard at a coal
factory. When another series of mysteriously similar murders takes place five
years later, Zhang sets out to investigate on his own. Winner of the top prize
at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Diao Yinan’s moody, quietly powerful
thriller is a classic film noir staged against the quotidian lives of a wintry
Northern Chinese industrial town. In Mandarin with subtitles.
Broken Hill Blues (Ömheten), directed and written by Sofia
(Sweden) – North American Premiere, Narrative. A group of
adolescents wrestle with their uncertain futures in a remote mining town that
is literally cracking underneath their feet. Kiruna, the northernmost town in
Sweden, sits above an iron ore mine that has been slowly eroding the land
around it for decades. Soon, Kiruna and everyone in it will have to move, but
to where they do not know. As the displaced teenagers linger on the cusp of
adulthood, they echo the town’s own fragility in this beautiful and understated
film. In Swedish with subtitles.
Electric Slide, directed and written by Tristan Patterson.
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
A heightened homage to the City of Angels, Electric Slide
riffs on the real-life story of Eddie Dodson, the notorious “Gentleman
Bank Robber.” With a debonair
sophistication and a serious talent for flirt, Dodson managed to lure money
from mesmerized female tellers at over 60 banks during an epic spree in the
1980s. Director Tristan Patterson
gathers Jim Sturgess, Chloë
Sevigny, and Patricia Arquette to paint a dark,
hyper-stylized tale of crime, love, and style.
Famous Nathan, directed and written by Lloyd Handwerker.
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters, a New York
City icon, has left a lasting imprint on the collective memory and palate of
Coney Island. Director and grandson of ‘Famous’ Nathan himself, Lloyd
Handwerker, takes a look back at the immigrant experience and almost 100 years
of family and New York history in this personal documentary gem. Featuring a
strong score, colorful and endearing characters, rare archival material, and a
nuanced editing style, Famous Nathan will not disappoint New York history
An Honest Liar, directed and written by Justin Weinstein,
Tyler Measom, co-written by Greg O’Toole. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Renowned magician James “The Amazing” Randi, has been wowing audiences with his
jaw-dropping illusions, escapes, and sleight of hand for over 50 years. When
Randi began seeing his cherished art form co-opted by all manner of con
artists, from faith healers and fortune-tellers to psychics and gurus, Randi
made it his mission to expose the simple tricks charlatans have borrowed from
magicians to swindle the masses. Weinstein and Measom chronicle Randi’s best
debunkings, with the help of interviewees including Penn Jillette, Bill Nye,
and “Mythbuster” Adam Savage, ultimately showing us how we are all vulnerable
to deception, even “The Amazing” Randi himself.
Honeymoon, directed and written by Leigh Janiak, co-written
by Phil Graziadei.
(USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. What begins as a happy
honeymoon for newlyweds Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) takes a
sinister turn when Bea disappears from bed one night and Paul discovers her the
next day naked in the woods with no memory of how she got there. Soon Bea
begins an escalating, unexplainable shift from a happy, carefree young woman to
a cold, distant, and calculating one. Supernatural forces may be at work, but
they uncannily echo some of the anxieties that come with a new marriage—issues
such as secrecy, mistrust, and loss of identity—in Janiak’s brooding domestic
I Won’t Come Back (Ya Ne Vernus), directed by Ilmar Raag,
written by Oleg Gaze and Jaroslava Pulinovich. (Belarus, Estonia, Finland,
Kazakhstan, Russia) – World Premiere, Narrative. Aloof graduate student Anya is
on the run from the police when she encounters precocious and willful Kristina,
an orphan determined to find her grandmother in Kazakhstan. Kristina offers a
momentary solution to Anya’s desperate situation, and the unlikely pair begins
a harrowing and unpredictable odyssey, hitchhiking across the epic landscapes
of Russia and its neighboring countries. I Won’t Come Back is a visceral look
at survival and a heartfelt exploration into the depths of friendship and the
meaning of family. In Russian with subtitles.
Ice Poison (Bing Du), directed and written by Midi Z.
(Myanmar, Taiwan R.O.C.) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Faced with
diminishing returns on his harvest, a poor young farmer in Myanmar pawns his
cow for a moped and seeks alternative income as a taxi driver. Among his first
fares is a woman making a new start after escaping an arranged marriage in
China. Together, they are lured into the lucrative business of selling “ice
poison” (crystal meth) around town. With an unobtrusive documentary style, Burmese-Taiwanese
director Midi Z captures the struggles faced by many in an unseen part of the
world. In Burmese and Chinese Yunnan with subtitles.
Karpotrotter (Karpopotnik), directed and written by Matjaž
Ivanišin, co-written by Nebeojša Pop-Tasić. (Slovenia) – North American
Premiere, Narrative. Karpotrotter is a road movie about place, time, and
memory, as well as an homage to filmmaker Karpo Godina, whose work flourished
during the Black Wave of Yugoslavian filmmaking in the 1960s. Director Matjaž Ivanišin
retraces the footsteps of his compatriot’s journey, interlacing Godina’s
original Super 8mm footage with folklore music, landscape imagery, and
contemporary portraits of the local villagers. In Slovene with subtitles.
Love & Engineering, directed and written by Tonislav
Hristov. (Finland, Germany, Bulgaria) – International Premiere, Documentary. Is
there an algorithm for love? Atanas, a Bulgarian engineer living in Finland, is
determined to find out. With the help of some of his geeky bachelor friends, he
sets up a series of experiments to crack the code and develop a new, scientific
approach to dating. This charming and lighthearted documentary follows Atanas
and company as they research pheromones, chart brain waves, and try out “hacks”
on blind dates, in their quest to find romance in the modern world. In
Bulgarian, English and Finnish with subtitles.
Maravilla, directed and written by Juan Pablo Cadaveira.
(Argentina) – International Premiere, Documentary. A true underdog story,
Maravilla follows Argentinian boxer Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez, as he sets out
to reclaim the title of Middleweight champion that was unfairly snatched from
him in 2011 by Julio Chavez, Jr. Focusing on the rise of Martinez from
penniless amateur to world champion and sporting celebrity, director Juan Pablo
Cadaveira offers a fascinating glimpse into today’s boxing landscape, revealing
the politics of the sporting profession that often places entertainment value
over the sport itself. In English and Spanish with subtitles.
The Overnighters, directed by Jesse Moss. (USA) – New York
Premiere, Documentary. After hydraulic fracturing uncovers a rich oil field in
North Dakota, a small conservative town is tested as hordes of unemployed men
chasing the “American Dream” pour into its borders. Desperate men, often
running from their past, find compassion and refuge in the form of a local
pastor. However, the more responsibility he shoulders, the more everything
threatens to come crumbling down. A film of dualities, this provocative
modern-day parable by documentarian Jesse Moss challenges the very fabric of
Starred Up, directed by David Mackenzie, written by Jonathan
Asser. (UK) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Writer Jonathan Asser intelligently
brings the brutality of British prison life to raw, unflinching life in this
tense and unpredictable drama. Jack O’Connell (This Is England) plays Eric, a
young offender so violent and volatile that he is ‘starred up’—prematurely
moved to an adult prison. As he tries to keep his head down and navigate this
new microcosm of societal codes and loyalties, Eric’s explosive nature is
tested under the ceaseless gaze of guards and fellow inmates, one who turns out
to be his estranged father, Neville (Ben Mendelsohn). A Tribeca Film release.
Summer of Blood, directed and written by Onur Tukel. (USA) –
World Premiere, Narrative.
Misanthropic and immature Eric faces a premature mid-life
crisis after his girlfriend leaves him. With no career and even less charisma
in bed, it seems like this loveable loser is beyond hope, until one fateful
summer night when a vampire bites him in a Brooklyn alleyway. The next day,
Eric finds his confidence invigorated and his stomach in excruciating pain that
can only be cured by one thing…blood. Onur Tukel directs and stars in this
delightfully dark comedy about love, lust, and humanity.
Traitors, directed and written by Sean Gullette. (Morocco) –
North American Premiere, Narrative. In Sean Gullette’s feature debut, Malika is
the lead singer of an all-female punk band and sees music as a means to escape
a dull and conservative life in Tangier. When a producer expresses interest in
her, she jumps at the chance, but first she’ll need to find the money for
recording, and a drug run across the Moroccan border may be her only option.
Fiery and energetic, Traitors is a spirited and rebellious journey of a young
woman breaking from the traditional life set before her. In Arabic, English and
French with subtitles.Traitors is screening as part of a special cultural partnership with
Venice Days where a European film showcased at Venice Days is selected by
organizers there to have its international premiere at Tribeca. In 2013 Venice Days premiered
Vara: A Blessing, directed and written by Khyentse Norbu.
(Bhutan) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Raised in a sheltered village,
young Lila yearns for a life devoted to Hindu worship, like that of her
devadasi mother, but she begins to encounter worldly obstacles to her spiritual
fulfillment. Guileless, Lila agrees to model for a lowly village boy who hopes
to become a sculptor, unknowingly endangering both of their lives under the
ever-present gaze of the villagers, especially the village landlord’s son.
Young Bodies Heal Quickly, directed and written by Andrew T.
Betzer. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Two brothers drift aimlessly through
their summer days, trashing abandoned cars and playing with paintball guns,
until the accidental death of a young woman forces them to make drastic
decisions. With few options, the duo flee across state lines to dodge arrest
and search for refuge. Poetic, funny, and poignant, this quietly mesmerizing
film follows the brothers’ transitions from boys to men through an absorption
of the world—good and bad—around them.