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Meet the 2011 Tribeca Filmmakers | 36 Films Profiled from This Year's Festival

Indiewire By Brian Brooks | Indiewire April 21, 2011 at 4:24AM

With the start of the Tribeca Film Festival, indieWIRE is again spotlighting emerging (and some veteran) filmmakers screening new work at this year's event. iW will wrap its preview of this year's filmmakers with over two dozen interviews.
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Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Rober De Niro and Jane Rosenthal at the festival's awards ceremony last Spring. Photo by Brian Brooks.

With the start of the Tribeca Film Festival, indieWIRE is again spotlighting emerging (and some veteran) filmmakers screening new work at this year's event. iW will wrap its preview of this year's filmmakers with over two dozen interviews.

Thursday's new director interviews include profiles from Kivu Ruhorahoza's "Grey Matter" (World Narrative Competition), Steven Schardt and Sean Nelson's "Treatment" (Viewpoints) and Lee Hirsch's "The Bully Project" (World Documentary Competition).

iW is focusing on directors with work in TFF's Narrative Feature Competition, World Documentary Competition and its new Viewpoints sidebar, which the festival describes as a "snapshot of international independent cinema that immerses audiences in distinctive perspectives."

A snapshot of Thursday's three featured interviews:

"Grey Matter" by Kivu Ruhorahoza is centered on Balthazar is a young African filmmaker on the brink of directing his first project, "The Cycle of the Cockroach," a fictional story about a young woman who survived unspeakable atrocities only to find herself committed to the same mental institution as a man driven insane by the crimes he perpetrated during the war. Potential funders for the film insist the themes are too bleak and pessimistic—they encourage Balthazar to make a "message" film that raises awareness about gender-based violence or HIV/AIDS instead. But he refuses to give up. Instead of telling his production team the news, Balthazar continues preparations for the film without financing or equipment. After rehearsing a scene with each of the characters, reality blurs and scenes from the script materialize... " I wanted to show on screen that loss of sanity that so many of us in Rwanda have experienced," Ruhorahoza told iW.

Lee Hirsch's "The Bully Project" focuses on the disquieting day-to-day lives of five kids and their families over the course of a school year. Two families are left devastated by their sons' suicide, while one mother faces her 14-year-old daughter's incarceration after she threatens her bullies with a gun. Rare access to the Sioux City Community School District captures up close and disturbing "on the ground" footage of bullying in classrooms, playgrounds, cafeterias, and school buses. "'The Bully Project' is a deeply personal film for me, having been bullied as a kid, so this question is a loaded one," said Hirsch. "It's a film I’ve wanted to make for years, arguably since middle school."

Steven Schardt and Sean Nelson's "Treatment" is the story of two writers. Both confront a mid-30s reality check and a pile of unsuccessful screenplays. Leonard convinces Nelson to back his stint at a glitzy LA rehab clinic so he can pitch their new movie deal to mega-star Gregg D. As the half-baked plan twists and turns, and Leonard's ambition and selfishness spin out of control, the writing duo's friendship cries for an overdue dose of reality. Noted Nelson, "[The film] grew into a very personal story dressed in the sheep’s clothing of a backstage Hollywood farce."

Here is the Tribeca Film Festival's 2011 lineup.

Thursday's full-length Tribeca Film Fesstival filmmaker interviews (4/21):

"The Bully Project" Director Lee Hirsch

"Grey Matter" Director Kivu Ruhorahoza

"Treatment" Directors Steven Schardt and Sean Nelson


Tuesday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/19):

"Rid of Me" Director James Westby

"Give Up Tomorrow" Director Michael Collins

"Flowers of Evil" Director David Dusa


Monday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/18):

"Semper Fi: Always Faithful" Directors Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon

"The Swell Season" Directors Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins and Carlo Mirabella-Davis

"Romantics Anonymous" Directos Jean-Pierre Ameris


Friday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/15):

"The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye" Director Marie Losier

"Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard" Director Joshua Neale

"Black Butterflies" Director Paula Van Der Oest


Thursday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/14):

"The Miners' Hymns" Director Bill Morrison

"The Carrier" Director Maggie Betts

"She Monkeys" Director Lisa Aschan


Wednesday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/13):

"Marathon Boy" Director Gemma Atwal

"Blackthorn" Director Mateo Gil

"Maria My Love" Director Jasmine McGlade Chazelle


Tuesday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/12):

"The Journals of Musan" Director Park Jungburn

"Jesus Henry Christ" Director Dennis Lee

"Our School" Directors Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma


Monday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/11):

"Love During Wartime" Director Gabriella Bier

"Artificial Paradises" Director Yulene Olaizola

"Magic Valley" Director Jaffe Zin


Friday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/8):

"Koran by Heart" Director Greg Parker

"Love Always, Carolyn" Directors Maria Ramström, Malin Korkeasal

"The Kite" Director Prashant Bhargava


Thursday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/7):

"Lotus Eaters" Director Alexandra McGuiness

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi" Director David Gelb

"The Last Rites of Joe May" Director Joseph Maggio


Wednesday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/6):

"Cinema Komunisto" Director Mila Turajlic

"Turn Me On, Goddammit" Director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen

"Gnarr" Director Gaukur Ulfarsson


Tuesday's Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/5):

"Angels Crest" Director Gaby Dellal

"Donor Unknown" Director Jerry Rothwell

"Bombay Beach" Director Alma Har'el

This article is related to: New York, Features, Filmmaker Toolkit, Interviews, Inside Info