The lineups of two international categories at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival have been announced, and female directors are well represented in both competition lineups.
Eight of the 12 World Documentary Competition features are helmed or co-helmed by women, as are 4 of the 12 World Narrative Competition.
Films competing in the World Narrative Competition were selected from over 6200 submissions. We are especially interested to see cinematographer Reed Morano’s directorial debut, “Meadlowland,” which portrays a wife (Olivia Wilde) and husband (Luke Wilson) struggling to cope in the aftermath of their son going missing. Elisabeth Moss, Juno Temple, and Merritt Wever round out the stellar cast. The women directors in this category are eligible to receive the third annual Nora Ephron Award, which honors the female filmmaker whose work best represents the late writer-director’s spirit and vision.
The World Documentary Competition includes subjects as diverse as a nuclear power plant located merely 35 miles from Times Square (Ivy Meeropol’s “Indian Point”) to the world’s oldest horse race in Italy, where bribes and fixed races have sullied the sport and cultural tradition (Cosima Spender’s “Palio”).
TFF will take place from April 15 to 26 in Manhattan.
Please see below for the features in each category. Descriptions of their plots courtesy of TFF.
World Narrative Competition
The Adderall Diaries
Directed and written by Pamela Romanowsky
Elliott (James Franco), a once-successful novelist inflicted with writer’s block and an Adderall addiction strives to escape his problems by delving into the world of a high-profile murder case. Amber Heard, Ed Harris, and Cynthia Nixon co-star in this adaptation of Elliott’s best-selling memoir.
Directed by Reed Morano, written by Chris Rossi
Sarah and Phil’s son goes missing, shattering their life together and forcing each to find their own way to cope. Cinematographer-turned-director Reed Morano presents a masterfully crafted contemplation on a relationship strained to the breaking point. Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson capture the unraveling emotions with remarkable power, alongside Kevin Corrigan, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi, Juno Temple, and Merritt Wever.
Sworn Virgin (Vergine Giurata)
Directed and written by Laura Bispuri, co-written by Francesca Manieri
(Albania, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Switzerland)—North American Premiere
As a young woman living within the confines of a Northern Albanian village, Hana longs to escape the shackles of womanhood, and live her life as a man. To do so she must take an oath to eternally remain a virgin. Years later, as Mark, she leaves home for the first time to confront a new set of circumstances, leading her to contemplate the possibility of undoing her vow. In Albanian, Italian with subtitles.
Directed and written by Paz Fábrega
(Costa Rica)—World Premiere
After meeting at a party, Luciana and Pedro spark up a spontaneous rendezvous when Luciana accompanies Pedro to a national forest on a work trip. Eschewing the fraudulent nature of traditional relationships, the pair explores the beauty in the nature that surrounds them as they indulge in the passions of their encounter and navigate the various meanings of commitment. In Spanish with subtitles.
World Documentary Competition
Directed and written by Camilla Nielsson
(Denmark)—North American Premiere
In the wake of Robert Mugabe’s highly criticized 2008
presidential win, a constitutional committee was created in an effort to
transition the country away from its authoritarian leadership. With
unprecedented access to the two political rivals overseeing the committee, this
riveting, firsthand account of a country’s fraught first steps towards
democracy plays at once like an intimate political thriller and unlikely buddy
film. In English, Shona with subtitles.
In My Father’s House
Directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, co-written by
Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, and Pax Wassermann
After moving into his childhood home on Chicago’s South
Side, Grammy Award–winning rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith hesitantly
sets out to reconnect with his estranged father, the man who abandoned him over
twenty years ago. In My Father’s House is a stirring, multigenerational
chronicle of Che’s sincere but often-fraught journey to build a future for his
own family by reconnecting with his traumatic past.
Co-directed by Albert Maysles, Nelson Walker, Lynn True,
David Usui, and Ben Wu
The Empire Builder is America’s busiest long-distance train
route, running from Chicago to Seattle. Throughout these corridors sit
runaways, adventurers, and loners – a myriad of passengers waiting to see what
their journey holds. A touching and honest observation, co-directed by the
iconic documentarian Albert Maysles, In Transit breathes life into the long
commute, and contemplates the unknowns that lie at our final destination.
Directed and written by Ivy Meeropol
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant looms just 35 miles from
Times Square. With over 50 million people living in close proximity to the
aging facility, its continued operation has generated controversy for the
surrounding community. In the brewing fight for clean energy and the
catastrophic possibilities of complacency, director Ivy Meeropol weaves a
startling portrait of our uncertain nuclear future.
Directed by Cosima Spender, co-written by John Hunt and
(UK, Italy)—World Premiere
In the world’s oldest horse race, the Palio, taking bribes
and fixing races threatens to extinguish the passion for the sport itself.
Giovanni, unversed in corruption, challenges his former mentor, who dominates
the game. What ensues is a thrilling battle, filled with the intoxicating drama
that is at the center of Italian tradition. In Italian with subtitles.
Song of Lahore
Directed by Andy Schocken and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
(USA, Pakistan)—World Premiere
Until the late 1970s, the Pakistani city of Lahore was
world-renowned for its music. Following the Islamization of Pakistan, many
artists struggled to continue their life’s work. Song of Lahore turns the
spotlight on a group of stalwart musicians that kept playing and ultimately
attracted listeners from around the world. In English, Punjabi, and Urdu with
Thank You for Playing
Co-directed and co-written by David Osit and Malika
For the past four years, Ryan and Amy Greene have been
working on That Dragon, Cancer, a videogame about their son Joel’s fight
against that disease. Following the family through the creation of the game and
the day-to-day realities of Joel’s treatment, David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall
create a moving testament to the joy and heartbreak of raising a terminally ill
Directed by Leah Wolchok
The New Yorker is the benchmark for the single-panel
cartoon. This light-hearted and sometimes poignant look at the art and humor of
the iconic drawings shows why they have inspired and even baffled us for
decades. Very Semi-Serious is a window into the minds of cartooning legends and
hopefuls, including editor Bob Mankoff, shedding light onto their how their