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Meet the 2011 Tribeca Filmmakers | “Blackthorn,” “Maria My Love,” “Marathon Boy”

Meet the 2011 Tribeca Filmmakers | "Blackthorn," "Maria My Love," "Marathon Boy"

Ahead of the 10th Tribeca Film Festival starting April 20th, indieWIRE is again spotlighting emerging (and some veteran) filmmakers screening new work at this year’s event.

Wednesday’s new director interviews include profiles from Mateo Gil’s “Blackthorn” (World Narrative Competition); Gemma Atwal’s “Marathon Boy” (World Documentary Competition); and Jasmine McGlade Chazelle’s “Maria My Love” (Viewpoints).

In the days leading up to the festival, 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.”

indieWIRE will continue to publish three new Tribeca interviews Monday through Saturday up to the beginning of the festival.

Soon after Tribeca unveiled its 2011 lineup, indieWIRE invited directors screening their work in Tribeca’s narrative, doc and Viewpoints sections to talk about their work in their own words. Get to know this year’s crop of filmmakers by learning about their projects from the people who know it first-hand.

A snapshot of the Wednesday’s three featured interviews:

“Blackthorn,” Mateo Gil’s is a re-imagined Western in which an aged Butch Cassidy (Sam Shepard) is living under the assumed name James Blackthorn in a secluded village in Bolivia 20 years after his disappearance in 1908. Surviving humbly off the land and finding occasional comforts with a local woman, Yana (“The Milk of Sorrow”), he longs to end his personal exile and return to the US to see his family. Said Gil about taking on the story, “…a good friend of mine sent me ‘Blackthorn’ to read. And it was great! That was the easy part. The difficult one was getting the money to make a Western in Europe.

“Marathon Boy” by Gemma Atwal follows four-year-old Budhia, who was rescued from poverty by Biranchi Das, a larger-than-life judo coach and operator of an orphanage for slum children in eastern India. When Budhia displays an uncommon talent for long-distance running, Biranchi nurtures his gift, heralding him as a folk hero for the impoverished masses, and maybe even for India itself. But after golden child Budhia breaks down during a world-record 65 kilometer run at the age of four, public opinion begins to turn on the guru and his disciple. “Biranchi seemed to occupy that potent dual role in Budhia’s life of being both a father-figure and his trainer, and I wanted to understand more about the psychology of their union,” Atwal shared with indieWIRE. “What fascinated me most was their interdependency, their need of each other in life to get where they want.”

“Maria My Love” is centered on Ana, a young woman trying to re-imagine her life after her mother’s death. Filled with resentment over her father’s mistakes, Ana feels disconnected from herself and everyone around her. Swept up by new romance and a warm reunion with her half-sister, Ana is so taken by the newfound support and love in her life that she sets out to find someone to help. She finds a volunteer project in Maria, a reclusive hoarder who has alienated her own family with her compulsive behavior. As the two become unlikely friends and confidantes, Ana finds herself in an emotionally complex relationship that reveals some uncomfortable truths about herself. “I am really interested in what happens when non-fiction meets fiction,” noted McGlade-Chazelle. “While we shot the film largely according to script, I was equally interested in coming up with scenes on the day of shooting and having my actors improvise dialogue.”

Wednesday’s full-length 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

iW’s Thursday 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

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

“Cinema Komunisto” Director Mila Turajlic

“Turn Me On, Goddammit” Director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen

“Gnarr” Director Gaukur Ulfarsson

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

“Angels Crest” Director Gaby Dellal

“Donor Unknown” Director Jerry Rothwell

“Bombay Beach” Director Alma Har’el

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