Skimming the list below, I immediately recognized the names of a few filmmakers whose work we’ve covered on this blog over the years, and it’s good to see that those we haven’t heard from in a little while, are still very much in the game!
So congrats to Thomas Ikimi, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Faraday Okoro, Rungano Nyoni and all the others I’m not yet familiar with, but will shortly, on films you directed making the cut! I’m looking forward to checking them all out.
The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, today announced its lineup of 60 short films, 40 of which are world premieres. The selections were curated from 3076 submissions. The 2015 program includes shorts from 18 countries, including Argentina, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Liberia, Mexico, Northern Ireland, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival will take place April 15-26. The shorts will be presented in nine programs made up of five narrative, three documentary, and one combined, narrative and documentary programs.
“Forty of the 60 shorts are making their world premiere at TFF, a record for the Festival. We’re excited to have discovered this wonderful new work,” said Sharon Badal, Director of Short Film Programming and Initiatives, Tribeca Enterprises.
Recipients of the Tribeca Film Festival’s Best Narrative Short and Best Documentary Short Awards will qualify for consideration in the Short Films category of the Annual Academy Awards® provided the film complies with the Academy rules. Last year’s Festival winner for Best Narrative Short, The Phone Call, won this year’s Academy Award® for the Best Live-Action Short.
“Our New York shorts return with a narrative and a documentary program, and we’ve also added a uniquely artistic program called ‘Gallery Opening,’ as well as ‘FML,’ a program that’s curated for today’s online-living audience,” said Badal. “Each year we try to do something a little different, and that is particularly reflected in this year’s programs.”
A list of the short film selections is as follows:
Be Yourself – Documentary program
Personal stories about self-identity are the focus of these documentary shorts.
American Renaissance explores the fantastic world of Elizabethan England at one of the largest renaissance faires in the U.S., and is a portrait of the characters that return annually. Live Fast, Draw Yung follows 7-year-old rap portraitist Yung Lenox and his dad Skip, an unconventional artistic duo navigating the tumultuous worlds of hip hop and modern day parenting. Eternal Princess explores the extraordinary life of famed Romanian gymnast, Nadia Comaneci, who at the age of 14 scored the first perfect 10 during the 1976 Olympics, and is now a loving mother, philanthropist and sports icon. In All American Family four generations of the Pederson family have had a star player on The Eagles, one of the best football teams in California, but unlike other teams these players are all deaf. In 1974 when a Mormon missionary in Elder falls in love with a handsome Italian Communist, his world turns upside down. In My Enemy, My Brother former Iran-Iraq War enemies, Zahed and Najah, become blood brothers 25 years after one saves the other’s life.
· American Renaissance, directed and written by Ryan Scafuro, and Jarred Alterman. (USA) – North American Premiere.
· Live Fast, Draw Yung, directed by Stacey Lee and Anthony Mathile. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Eternal Princess (Printesa Vesnica), directed by Katie Holmes. (USA) – World Premiere. ESPN Film’s 30 for 30 short.
· All American Family, directed by Andrew Jenks. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Elder, directed and written by Genéa Gaudet. (USA) – World Premiere.
· My Enemy, My Brother, directed and written by Ann Shin. (Canada) – World Premiere.
Family Dynamics – Narrative Program
Relationships are often complicated, particularly so for the characters in this short program.
A mischievous dad in Merry Xmas tells his adult kids he’s divorcing their mom… just in time for the holidays! In SexLife, Dan and Mia haven’t had sex since before the birth of their son, so Dan takes extreme action and decides to get Mia back in the mood. A Boy’s Life is a portrait of a troubled youth in an environment of chaos and violence. The Arrest is a film about occupation and creation; the story deconstructs reality, to tell a believable tale about a different Middle East. When a young military wife in Birthday, gets news that her Marine husband has been severely wounded in combat, she discovers that life ahead is going to be a difficult yet amazing journey for them both. Personal Development finds Fintan’s already fragile relationship with his youngest daughter is put to the test with the arrival of some unexpected news. Secrets and sexuality are revealed in The Parker Tribe, where it’s 1976 and Jo, the oldest daughter in a loud Irish Catholic family of nine questions her place in the family, while taking care of her two critically ill brothers.
· Merry Xmas, directed by Boman Modine, written by Matthew Modine. (USA) – World Premiere.
· SexLife, directed by Stefan Georgiou, written by Kefi Chadwick. (U.K.) – New York Premiere.
· A Boy’s Life, directed and written by Howard McCain. (USA) – US Premiere.
· The Arrest (HAMA’ATZAR), directed by Yair Agmon. (Israel) – North American Premiere.
· Birthday, directed and written by Chris King. (USA) – New York Premiere.
· Personal Development, directed by Tom Sullivan, written by Muirinn Lane Kelly. (Ireland) – International Premiere.
· The Parker Tribe, directed and written by Jane Baker, co-written by Roberta Munroe. (USA) – World Premiere.
FML – Narrative program
This thought-provoking program curated for a contemporary audience that lives online ponders, “Does technology rule, or rule us?”
In a future augmented by wearable tech and online dating a student must risk offline dating to connect with a mysterious profile due to a failed network in Café Glass. When Iranian-born Rita sets out to change her life from ordinary to extraordinary she accidentally captures the attention of a homeland security agent in Rita Mahtoubian is Not a Terrorist. One broken-hearted guy gets more than he bargained for when he tries to get over his recent breakup inThe Girlfriend Experience. All the significant moments over the last twenty years in Zack’s life parallel the changing landscape of music purchasing technology in The Evolution of a Gen-X Music Purchaser. Emily is your average 26-year old who texts her friends, chats on Facebook, orders online, and uses GPS to get where she’s going in Aphasia, until one day she suddenly comes face-to-face with the consequences of living a digital life. Morgan’s attempt to gain attention is not appreciated in Like—he rebels, and hidden by the Internet’s anonymity he goes on attack against an innocent blogger. Two housing project teens create a website for a video of a staged bus assault, and after it goes viral they receive an unusual offer in Ghettotube.
· Cafe Glass, directed and written by Wen Ren. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Rita Mahtoubian is Not a Terrorist, directed and written by Julia Lerman and Roja Gashtili. (USA) – World Premiere.
· The Girlfriend Experience, directed and written by Mark Kunerth. (USA) – New York Premiere.
· The Evolution of a Gen-X Music Purchaser, directed and written by Jack Marchetti. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Aphasia, directed by Luke LoCurcio, written by Robin Rose Singer. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Like (Gilla), directed and written by Crazy Pictures, co-written by Christoffer Nordenrot. (Sweden) – International Premiere.
· Ghettotube, directed and written by Saïd Belktibia, co-written by Jérémie Delon. (France) – World Premiere.
Gallery Opening – Narrative/Documentary program
This combination of artistic and cerebral docs and narratives will captivate you with some very visual storytelling.
Nine-year-old Ella’s classmates are playing in the schoolyard in full adult dress-up, and she wants to be part of that world in Catwalk. The moon has been excavated for 30 years in Future Relic 03, as per the work of Dr. Mattias Rey, and his daughter Lona returns to his labs seeking guidance for the first time since being abandoned. Where We Begin sheds light on the many faces of love, life, and pressure that we place upon ourselves, and that others place upon us. The Artist Is Absent profiles the influential Margiela, who has been a major force in fashion for over 20 years, yet the man himself remains elusive, maintaining his anonymity in an age of celebrity. Walter Potter: The Man Who Married Kittens is a look at one of Victorian England’s most enigmatic and quirky characters, who became an unlikely success by putting his creatures in human positions and scenarios, referred to as “anthropomorphic taxidermy.” Based on the New York City Ballet performance inspired by the riots in France in 2005, Les Bosquets reveals JR’s experience in the ghetto of Montfermeil where he created Portrait of a Generation.
· Catwalk, directed by Ninja Thyberg, written by Ninja Thyberg. (Sweden) – North American Premiere, Narrative.
· Future Relic 03, directed by Daniel Arsham, written by Tim Stanley & Daniel Arsham. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
· Where We Begin, directed and written by Mitsuyo Miyazaki. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
· The Artist Is Absent, directed and written by Alison Chernick. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary
· Walter Potter: The Man Who Married Kittens, directed and written by Ronni Thomas. (England, USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary
· Les Bosquets, directed by J R, written by jr. (France) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Home Improvement – Documentary program
Home is where the heart in these short docs.
Every Christmas, Jorge and Jorge Jr. decorate what the people in the village call “the house of the lights,” in The Lights. Three broken women discover that magic is real in The Gnomist, a true story about the mysterious appearance of fairy homes in a suburban forest. Meet Tom and Barbara, the proud new owners of the most infamous house in Sacramento, California in The House is Innocent. In Interview With a Free Man, the questions put to several men at a job interview reveal the plots of their existences. In Body Team 12 a team is tasked with arguably the most dangerous and gruesome job in the world: collecting the dead at the height of the Ebola outbreak. The Trials of Constance Baker Motley spans the legal career of the first black woman voted NY State Senator, from working closely with Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to being appointed to the federal bench by President Lyndon Johnson.
· The Lights, directed and written by Manuel Abramovich and Juan Renau. (Argentina) – North American Premiere.
· The Gnomist, directed and written by Sharon Liese. (USA) – World Premiere.
· The House is Innocent, directed by Nicholas Coles. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Interview With a Free Man (Entrevue avec un homme libre), directed and written by Nicolas Lévesque. (Canada) – International Premiere.
· Body Team 12, directed and written by David Darg, written by David Darg. (Liberia) – World Premiere.
· The Trials of Constance Baker Motley, directed and written by Rick Rodgers. (USA) – World Premiere.
Interference – Narrative program
Some are futuristic, others fatalistic, but always expect the unexpected in this group of shorts.
Set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan where even the air we breathe has a price, oxygen dealer Winston Willis faces off with a mysterious buyer who seems to know Winston’s darkest secret in Grow. It’s the dark year 2024 when a shaman is sent on a mission to convert the soul of a giant battle colossus in The Shaman, and faces a deadly psychological confrontation in the Netherworld. In Warning Labels, co-workers at the Center for Disease Control meet for drinks only to discover that love is the most hazardous thing of all. A Mighty Nice Man is the haunting story of a day in a young girl’s life when a kind stranger comes to town. It can be tough to be a kid if you’re not part of the gang inFoul, especially for this ten-year-old girl on a winter day in Norway. In Listen a foreign woman in a burqa brings her young son to a police station to file a complaint against her abusive husband, but the translator assigned to her seems unwilling to convey the true meaning of her words. A recruit in a military drone program arrives at a remote diner, and is faced with an unexpected chain of events in Nostradamus.
· Grow, directed by Micah Levin, written by Chris Basler. (USA) – World Premiere.
· The Shaman, directed and written by Marco Kalantari. (Austria, Japan) – World Premiere.
· Warning Labels, directed by Jennifer Morrison, written by Jenelle Riley. (USA) – World Premiere.
· A Mighty Nice Man, directed and written by Jonathan Dee. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Foul, directed and written by Rune Denstad Langlo. (Norway, Mexico) – North American Premiere.
· Listen, directed by Hamy Ramezan, Rungano Nyoni, written by Hamy Ramezan, Rungano Nyoni. (Finland, Denmark) – New York Premiere, Narrative
· Nostradamus, directed and written by Thomas Ikimi, co-written by Joshua Banta. (USA) – World Premiere.
NY – Double Espresso– Narrative program
Our popular New York narrative program returns with everyday life imagined – past, present, and future.
A movie theater usher in Early Sunday Morning has a chance encounter after hours. The Statistical Analysis of Your Failing Relationship examines a young man’s probability of reviving his relationship with a young woman through statistical analysis. When an asteroid in Let’s Not Panic threatens to hit New York, twenty-something Sadie embarks on a quest from Brooklyn to Manhattan to reunite with the man she loves – her therapist. In Blitz a father and son agree to a “winner takes all” chess blitz in order to settle a bet. George and Lacy walk through the streets of Brooklyn and revisit their memories in George and the Vacuum. The deterioration of one cycle is the foundation for another in Wrapped, an exploration of time and change. In Stop, a young man’s livelihood is put to the test when the police stop him on his way home from practice. When a celebrated New York chef discovers an affair between his super-model wife and his best man in Best Man Wins, he devises a plan to deal with each of them.
· Early Sunday Morning, directed and written by Yoonha Park. (USA) – World Premiere.
· The Statistical Analysis of Your Failing Relationship, directed and written by Miles Jay. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Let’s Not Panic, directed and written by Heather Jack. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Blitz, directed and written by Faraday Okoro, written by Faraday Okoro. (USA) – World Premiere.
· George and the Vacuum, directed by Chadd Harbold, written by Charlyne Yi. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Wrapped, directed and written by Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper, and Florian Wittmann. (Germany) – New York Premiere.
· Stop, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, written by Reinaldo Marcus Green. (USA) – New York Premiere.
· Best Man Wins, directed by Stéphane Dumonceau, written by Frederick Waterman, Stéphane Dumonceau. (USA) – World Premiere.
NY-Daily Grind – Documentary program
Life in New York is tough but the subjects of these documentary shorts are up to the challenge.
There is so much more to the performers on the MTA than their acrobatic skills, We Live This is the story of four boys from the projects who come together to pursue their dreams. Drama majors tackle anxiety, cutting, and suicide, in the unscripted and raw Better to Live, as they build a “reality” show for 5,000 college freshmen. What Lies Beneath The Sky is a meditation on urban alienation and personal disconnection in the eye of a hurricane. Every year dozens of people use NYC subway trains as a means to end their suffering, but for a train operator whose life is derailed by such an incident the anguish is just beginning in Man Under. From 1973-1981, bartender Sheldon Nadelman shot over 1,500 black-and-white photographs of his customers at the Terminal Bar in New York City; Last Call recollects their stories 25 years after the bar closed its doors for good. In The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano photographer Phil Toledano is obsessed with his own demise, photographing himself in every dark depiction of his future, which changes him and his family forever.
· We Live This, directed by James Burns, written by Todd Wiseman Jr. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Better to Live, directed by Linda G. Mills. (USA) – World Premiere.
· What Lies Beneath The Sky, directed and written by Vladimir de Fontenay. (France, USA) – World Premiere.
· Man Under, directed by Paul Stone, written by Vincent Tozzi. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Last Call, directed by Stefan Nadelman. (USA) – World Premiere.
· The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano, directed by Joshua Seftel. (USA) – World Premiere.
Tightrope – Narrative program
Life is a delicate balancing act in these short films.
The Kiss: what do you do when your best friend shows up at your front door asking you to kiss him, can there really be “just a kiss” between friends? Big Boy is a nine-year-old boy’s first solo excursion into a highway rest stop bathroom. Jamesy and Malachy are over the moon when their soft-hearted dad presents them with two baby chicks, but the boys are in for a shock when they hear that big changes are coming to the family in Boogaloo and Graham.In a small town in Northern France, Alex, a young skinhead, enters a grocery store in The Way Of Tea. In Kingdom of Garbage sibling relationships and childhood rivalries are tested as poor children scavenge for valuable materials in a landfill site. Bandito is a coming-of-age drama about Jamie, a young boy who stows himself away to join his older brother on a highway truck heist. Joachim is retiring from base-jumping to become a father, but not until one last adventure with his best friend Øyvind as they set out to climb Mt. Katthammeren in Last Base.
· The Kiss, directed by Carlos G. Davila, written by Mark Harvey Levine. (Mexico) – New York Premiere.
· Big Boy, directed by Bryan Campbell, written by David R. Larson. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Boogaloo and Graham, directed by Michael Lennox, written by Ronan Blaney. (Northern Ireland) – New York Premiere.
· The Way Of Tea, directed and written by Marc Fouchard. (France) – New York Premiere.
· Kingdom of Garbage, directed and written by Yasser Kareem. (Iraq, U.K.) – World Premiere.
· Bandito, directed by Evan Ari Kelman, written by Parker Hill. (USA) – World Premiere.
· Last Base, directed and written by Aslak Danbolt. (Norway, U.K.) – New York Premiere.
2015 Awards for the Shorts program
Awards in the Shorts program are given out for Best Narrative Short; Best Documentary Short; and the Student Visionary Award; all films are eligible.