By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire March 11, 2014 at 11:59AM
A week after revealing their full feature film lineup, the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival today announced its lineup of 58 short films, 29 of which are world premieres. The selections were curated from a whopping 3,074 submissions. The chosen shorts come from a total of 16 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, India, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Scotland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Highlights include the recent 2014 Academy Award-winning Live Action Short, "Helium," and previous Tribeca-winner Edoardo Ponti's latest short, "Human Voice," starring Sophia Loren and shot by Academy Award-winner, Rodrigo Prieto. Other returning filmmakers include Steve James, Bill Morrison, Anita Thacher, and Ondi Timonor. The lineup also features performances by Danny DeVito, Sally Hawkins, and voiceovers by Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi, and Fred Armisen.
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.
"We had a lot of fun programming the strange brew of comedy and creepiness in our late-night program, and we’re always looking to try something new in bringing short films to our audience," said Sharon Badal, Director of Short Film Programming and Initiatives, "This year our popular New York Shorts program is comprised entirely of world premiere documentary shorts, so it, too, has a different flavor than in years past."
A list of the short film selections within the nine programs is as follows (descriptions courtesy of Tribeca):
AFTER WORDS – documentary program
These short documentaries are at times political, occasionally provocative, and always personal, reflecting the past and illuminating the present. Once a year, Duke Phillips and his crew of Colorado ranchers rounds up 2,000 wild buffalo as part of a unique conservation effort to preserve this endangered animal and the rich landscape it inhabits in Duke and the Buffalo. In a small Scottish town in 1974, factory workers refuse to carry out repairs on warplane engines as an act of solidarity against the violent military coup in Chile in Nae Pasaran. When young filmmaker Alexandra embeds surveillance cameras in her kitchen to capture a decade long affliction of unconscious nighttime eating episodes, her image of self is turned inside-out in Nocturnity. In The Next Part, a double-amputee Army Bomb Tech and his wife grapple with his injuries amidst unexpected events. In a small American town in the state of Georgia, a good citizen is an armed citizen In Guns We Trust. Four decades after one of the world’s most notorious crimes, a Manson Family member breaks her silence to reveal how a series of choices led to ultimate destruction in Life After Manson.
• Duke and the Buffalo, directed and written by Alfredo Alcantara and Josh Chertoff. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Nae Pasaran, directed by Felipe Bustos Sierra. (Scotland) – North American Premiere.
• Nocturnity, directed and written by Alexandra Liveris. (USA) – World Premiere.
• The Next Part, directed and written by Erin Sanger. (USA) – World Premiere.
• In Guns We Trust, directed and written by Nicolas Lévesque. (Canada) – U.S. Premiere.
• Life After Manson, directed and written by Olivia Klaus. (USA) – World Premiere.
BEFORE LONG – documentary program
Time waits for no one in these short documentaries. From serious to “show biz”; they run the gamut of emotion. An elderly man struggling to cope with his wife's dementia becomes captivated by a young actress at Dracula's, the theater restaurant in Ghost Train. Greg O’Brien, long-time Cape Cod reporter and newspaperman, who is diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimer’s, decides to confront the disease and his imminent decline by writing candidly about the journey in A Place Called Pluto. When their football dreams are dashed, three athletes use their muscle and charm to become TV stars on American Gladiators, one of the oddest, most injury-riddled ‘sports’ shows ever concocted in True Gladiators. Traveling on the road with one of the most controversial musicians today, AMANDA F***ING PALMER ON THE ROCKS explores her fractious relationship with the music industry in the aftermath of her record-breaking crowd funding campaign and her intense online and physical interactions with her fans. Three pink tutus, three pink helmets and three pink skateboards—meet Bella, Sierra, and Rella, as the young girls prove skateboarding is not just for boys in The Pink Helmet Posse. Meet seven Hollywood golden era veterans with a combined age of 662—from a Vaudeville comedian still working at age 100 to the stunning siren that dated Ronald Reagan when he was a Democrat—these, ladies and gentlemen, are Showfolk.
• Ghost Train, directed and written by Kelly Hucker and James Fleming. (Australia) – North American Premiere.
• A Place Called Pluto, directed by Steve James. (USA) – New York Premiere.
• True Gladiators, directed by Kevin Donovan. (USA) – World Premiere.
• AMANDA F***ING PALMER ON THE ROCKS, directed and written by Ondi Timoner. (USA) – World Premiere.
• The Pink Helmet Posse, directed by Benjamin Mullinkosson and Kristelle Laroche. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Showfolk, directed and written by Ned McNeilage. (USA) – World Premiere.
CITY LIMITS – documentary program
This year our New York Shorts program “gets real” with four world premiere documentaries relatable to anyone who calls this city home. A Musical of Downs & Ups: The Story of My Depression is an animated adaptation of the award winning Book, "My Depression, A Picture Book" with the voices of Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi, and Fred Armisen. 70 Hester Street is about the former synagogue/whiskey still/raincoat factory the filmmaker grew up in on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and how he wants to remember it. Told almost entirely through voice mail messages, One Year Lease documents the travails of Brian, Thomas and Casper as they endure a year-long apartment lease with Rita, the cat-loving landlady. Set against the backdrop of the Arab-Israeli conflict and tensions between Jewish and Muslim college students, Of Many tells the story of the relationship between an Orthodox Rabbi and Imam.
• A Musical of Downs & Ups: The Story of My Depression, directed and written by David Wachtenheim, Robert Marianetti, and Elizabeth Swados. (USA) – World Premiere. An HBO Documentary film.
• 70 Hester Street, directed and written by Casimir Nozkowski. (USA) – World Premiere.
• One Year Lease, directed by Brian Bolster. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Of Many, directed by Linda G. Mills. (USA) – World Premiere.
DIGITAL DILEMMA – experimental program
As the commercial movie industry is rapidly shifting on a global basis to digital distribution and exhibition, moving image artists continue to celebrate the material qualities of the film medium, whose physical characteristics consist of reels of celluloid film, sprocket holes, optical sound tracks, mechanical splices, and the film emulsion, onto which they record images and sounds. At the same time, these artists continue to raise poignant critiques about the immateriality of the digital projection formats.
• A Film Is A Film Is A Film, directed and written by Eva von Schweinitz. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Acetate Diary, directed and written by Russell Sheaffer. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Romance Sans Paroles, directed and written by Christophe Guérin. (France) – International Premiere.
• CUT, directed and written by Anita Thacher. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Optical Sound, directed and written by Elke Groen and Christian Neubacher. (Austria) – North American Premiere.
• Two Points of Failure, directed and written by Michael Moshe Dahan. (USA) – New York Premiere.
• All Vows, directed and written by Bill Morrison, co-written by Michael Gordon. (USA) – New York Premiere.
• Noise Reduction II: Chinatown, directed and written by Rahee Punyashioka. (India) – North American Premiere.
FLIGHT DELAYS – narrative program
Things don’t always go as planned for the characters in this group of narrative short films. Often thwarted but always resilient, these characters reflect dreams, desires, and the need to escape. In The Boy Scout, a couple trapped in their car for days after an unexpected snowstorm strands them on a remote mountain road confronts a life-or-death choice—with another storm approaching – should they stay together, or go their separate ways? A talented prison chef is paroled to a world that does not want him in Pour Retourner. La Carnada follows 13 year old Manny from Tijuana as he embarks on his first drug smuggle across the “Devil's Highway,” a notoriously fatal stretch of desert on the Arizona/Mexico border. The Kiosk has been Olga’s little home for years, but her sweet tooth and monotonous life has made her larger than the exit, so to distract herself, she reads travel magazines and dreams of faraway places. In Sweepstakes, when her husband suffers a neurological complication, a new mother is left to face the life she could have had. Sker is the true story of a kayaker, sailing through the fjords of Iceland, who stumbles across a skerry, but soon realizes perhaps porting there wasn't such a good idea. Young Alfred is dying, but through the stories about a magical fantasy world told by the hospital's eccentric janitor, Enzo, he regains the joy and happiness of his life and finds a safe haven in Helium.
• The Boy Scout, directed and written by Patrick Brooks. (USA) – New York Premiere.
• Pour Retourner, directed by Scooter Corkle, written by Zack Mosley. (Canada) – World Premiere.
• La Carnada, directed and written by Josh Soskin. (USA) – World Premiere.
• The Kiosk, directed and written by Anete Melece. (Switzerland) – U.S. Premiere.
• Sweepstakes, directed and written by Mark Tumas. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Sker, directed and written by Eyþór Jóvinsson. (Iceland) – International Premiere.
• Helium, directed and written by Anders Walter, co-written by Christian Gamst Miller-Harris. (Denmark) – New York Premiere. (2014 Academy Award® winner Live Action Short film)
HANDLE WITH CARE – narrative program
The delicate situations in these short films require steady hands and minds; the smallest slip can have serious repercussions. Connections and consequences are the key. Eoin works the night shift in a quiet petrol station and his main source of distraction, night after night, is regular customer, Ger, who believes he has a system for picking the winning card in Scratch. In App, a shy engineer desperately needs venture capital for his virtual wing-woman app, but can he and his app seduce a heartbroken girl at a swanky L.A. bar to prove it works? Contrapelo is the story of a proud Mexican barber who is forced to shave the leader of a drug cartel. Set on Election Day 2008 against the sweeping landscape of rural America, For Spacious Sky is the story of three lost brothers finding their way back to each other—one from incarceration, one from addiction, and one from discrimination. Heather is a shy lady who works at a helpline call center and when she receives a phone call from a mysterious man, she has no idea the encounter will change her life forever in The Phone Call.
• Scratch, directed and written by Philip Kelly, co-written by Liam Ryan. (Ireland) – New York Premiere.
• App, directed and written by Alexander Berman. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Contrapelo, directed and written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, co-written by Liska Ostojic. (USA) – World Premiere.
• For Spacious Sky, directed by Coy Middlebrook, written by Kevin Allen Jackson. (USA) – North American Premiere.
• The Phone Call, directed and written by Mat Kirkby, co-written by James Lucas. (UK) – New York Premiere.
MORAL FIBERS – narrative program
Decisions confront the characters in these narrative shorts. This plethora of predicaments deals with work, family, and friends, though not necessarily in that order. Love in the Time of March Madness tells the animated and awkward true-life misadventure of being 6'4'' tall since 8th grade, becoming a basketball star, and dating shorter men. Free-spirited 21-year old Sheri has her own apartment, an older boyfriend, and works in a bar to make her living, but a surprise phone call brings her face to face with her past in Firstborn. As the class prepares for First Communion, one young girl refuses to do so, proclaiming that she's an “atheist,” in Ruby. Today's The Day is about an intern at one of the top dance agencies in town whose dream in life is to become a professional dancer, but he lacks the courage and confidence to fight for it...until today. Trapped in professional purgatory, four junior bankers must decide what they truly want before it’s too late in Parachute. A housewarming party spirals out of control when the host couple is sucked into a bout of light-hearted arm wrestling in Stew & Punch. A father in mourning struggles to connect with his blind daughter and learns that the colors of grief and understanding are more vivid when glimpsed through the eyes of the blind in Record.
• Love in the Time of March Madness, directed by Melissa Johnson and Robertino Zambrano, written by Melissa Johnson. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Firstborn, directed and written by Leah Tonic. (Israel) – North American Premiere.
• Ruby, directed by Louise Ni Fhiannachta, written by Antoin Beag O’Colla. (Ireland) – New York Premiere
• Today’s The Day, directed and written by Daniel Campos, co-written by Tamara Levinson-Campos. (USA) – North American Premiere.
• Parachute, directed by Peter Stebbings, written by Peter Mooney. (Canada) – World Premiere.
• Stew & Punch, directed and written by Simon Ellis. (UK) – North American Premiere.
• Record, directed and written by David Lyons, co-written by Brook Hely and Trent Roberts. (Australia) – New York Premiere.
SOUL SURVIVORS – narrative program
Life isn’t always easy, and this is exemplified by the shorts with both small and large conundrums; human interaction is life preservers in these turbulent waters. A man drags his girlfriend to the hospital for an abortion, but while sitting in a waiting room, he meets a girl who just might change his mind in Kakara. New York is silent after the loss of its Twin Towers; as loved ones are missing and people turn to prayer, one New Yorker struggles for answers in Day Ten. A woman seeks the comfort of her estranged mother tucked away in the mountainous wine country of Chile following a traumatic miscarriage in Tinto. Two bank robbers run into problems when each takes exception to the other’s mask in Sequestered. A man sets his alarm clock and goes to bed, but during the night, the world keeps turning in the animated, Cycloid. After her father’s death, awkward 11-year-old Nesma is at odds with the world around her since she began caring for her father’s pigeons, but now she faces an even bigger challenge in Nesma’s Birds. Set against the backdrop of 1950 Naples, Italy, Human Voice tells the story of Angela, a woman in the twilight of her years, as she rides an emotional roller coaster in her last telephone conversation with the man she loves.
• Kakara, directed and written by Kimmo Yläkäs. (Finland) – New York Premiere.
• Day Ten, directed and written by Arian Moayed. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Tinto, directed and written by Felix Solis, co-written by Liza Fernandez. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Sequestered, directed and written by Lucas Spaulding. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Cycloid, directed and written by Tomoki Kurogi. (Japan) – New York Premiere.
• Nesma’s Birds, directed by Najwan Ali and Medoo Ali, written by Najwan Ali and Yaser Karim. (Iraq) – North American Premiere.
• Human Voice, directed and written by Edoardo Ponti, co-written by Erri De Luca based on Jean Cocteau’s play. (Italy) – World Premiere.
TOTALLY TWISTED – narrative program
Fun. Creepy. Weird. That pretty much sums up the feel of this program designed especially for our late-night loving audience. This program is a real killer, literally. The 30 Year Old Bris is about an interfaith couple where the girlfriend demands her boyfriend complete his conversion to Judaism by getting a circumcision before they wed. Trust Me, I’m A Lifeguard is a bro-mantic comedy about two lifeguards who, when confronted with the end of summer, are forced to make adult decisions such as: What’s the meaning of life, what makes a good Speedo and are those clams safe to eat? Unable to deal with the pressures of an examined life, Todd and Tamara confront the Peepers who are watching them, and expose what they've been hiding all along—themselves. In Remora, on the day of his wedding, Kevin confronts his brother, Landon, to ask for permission to marry his ex-wife, but learns the circumstances surrounding the estrangement were far more fantastic than he had been led to believe. A professional killer discovers he can get away with anything on Halloween night, including dragging his latest victim around as a prop amidst a sea of oblivious London partiers in The Body. In One Please, a young girl’s Mommy and Daddy love her...very, very much. A man wakes up one morning to realize the entire world has dreamed about him the night before in Sequence.
• The 30 Year Old Bris, directed and written by Michael D. Ratner. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Trust Me, I’m A Lifeguard, directed by Tony Glazer, written by Christian Keiber. (USA) – World Premiere.
• Peepers, directed by Ken Lam, written by Laura Grey and Jordan Klepper. (USA) – New York Premiere
• Remora, directed and written by Dylan Marko Bell, co-written by Russell August Anderson. (USA) – World Premiere.
• The Body, directed and written by Paul Davis, co-written by Paul Fischer. (UK) – New York Premiere.
• One Please, directed and written by Jesse Burks. (USA) – New York Premiere.
• Sequence, directed and written by Carles Torrens. (USA) – New York Premiere.
The short film, Incident Urbain, will be screening before Karpotrotter in the Viewpoints Section. On the esplanade in Paris, two enigmatic characters engage in an extended discourse about architecture, cinema, and revolutionary politics