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Tribeca 2011: A Guide To All The Films

Tribeca 2011: A Guide To All The Films

The 10th Annual Tribeca Film Festival is underway in New York City, and indieWIRE‘s team is on the scene. We’ve also decided to make things easier for our readers by compiling this handy guide to each of the films screening at the fest, including links to all applicable film pages. The film pages include photos and synopses of each film, links to any applicable indieWIRE coverage, and criticWIRE grades from a variety of folks taking in Tribeca.

World Narrative Feature Competition

Angels Crest, directed by Gaby Dellal, written by Catherine Trieschmann. (UK, Canada) World Premiere.
In the working-class Rocky Mountain town of Angels Crest, young father Ethan (Thomas Dekker) is doing his best to raise his three-year-old son Nate. He has no choice—Nate’s mother (Lynn Collins) is an alcoholic. But one snowy day Ethan’s momentary lapse in judgment results in tragedy, catapulting the town’s tight-knit community into strange new directions as they try to decide where the blame lies. With Jeremy Piven, Elizabeth McGovern, Mira Sorvino, and Kate Walsh. (Visit the film page).

Artificial Paradises, (Paraísos Artificiales), directed by Yulene Olaizola, written by Yulene Olaizola and Fernando del Razo. (Mexico) – North American Premiere.
This beautifully rendered atmospheric story captures a young woman addicted to heroin trying to get clean at a rundown resort on the Mexican Gulf Coast. There she meets a local character and the two begin a unique rapport. First-time narrative filmmaker Yulene Olaizola subverts the conventional addict story and imbues her main characters with a complexity and honesty that inspires this delicate and resonant journey of two old souls. In Spanish with English subtitles. (Visit the film page).

Narrative competition film, “Romantics Anonymous.” Photo by Antoine Legrand, courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival.

Black Butterflies, directed by Paula van der Oest, written by Greg Latter. (Germany, Netherlands, South Africa) – International Premiere.
Poetry, politics, madness, and desire collide in the true story of the woman hailed as South Africa’s Sylvia Plath. In 1960s Cape Town, as Apartheid steals the expressive rights of blacks and whites alike, young Ingrid Jonker (Carice van Houten, Black Book) finds her freedom scrawling verse while frittering through a series of stormy affairs. Amid escalating quarrels with her lovers and her government-censor father (Rutger Hauer), the poet witnesses an unconscionable event that will alter her life’s course. In English. (Visit the film page).

Blackthorn, directed by Mateo Gil, written by Miguel Barros. (Spain, France, Bolivia, USA) – World Premiere.
Legend has it notorious American outlaw Butch Cassidy was killed in Bolivia in 1908. Mateo Gil’s classic Western, however, finds Cassidy (Sam Shepard) 20 years later living on in hiding under the identity of James Blackthorn—and yearning for one last sight of home. Joining forces with a Spanish mine robber named Eduardo, Blackthorn sets out on one final adventure across the sublime landscape of the Bolivian frontier. In English, Spanish with English subtitles. (Visit the film page).

Cairo Exit (El Korough), directed by Hesham Issawi, written by Hesham Issawi and Amal Afify. (Egypt, United Arab Emirates) – International Premiere.
When 18-year-old Amal becomes pregnant, she struggles with the choice between absconding to Greece with her beloved Muslim boyfriend and staying in Cairo with her Coptic Orthodox Christian family. But when her motorbike gets stolen and she’s fired from her job, Amal must reevaluate her future options as an unmarried young mother in Egypt. In Arabic with English subtitles. (Visit the film page).

Grey Matter (Matière Grise), directed and written by Kivu Ruhorahoza. (Rwanda, Australia) – World Premiere.
When his grant falls through a few days before production, a young filmmaker hides the bad news from his team and continues preparations on his film The Cycle of the Cockroach without financing or equipment. Reality blurs as scenes from the script suddenly begin to materialize—can this film exist only in his dreams? Assured direction is bolstered by strong and creative visual imagery in one of Rwanda’s first feature-length narrative films. In Kinyarwanda, French with English subtitles. (Visit the film page).

Jesus Henry Christ, directed and written by Dennis Lee. (USA) – World Premiere.
Precocious doesn’t even begin to describe Henry James Hermin, a petri dish child who writes rabble-rousing manifestos on the nature of truth… at age 10. This boy-genius misfit’s world turns upside down when—to the dismay of the doting single mother who raised him—he embarks on a search for his biological father. Toni Collette and Michael Sheen star alongside bright newcomers Jason Spevack and Samantha Weinstein in this charming comedy that beams with off-the-wall humor and visual flair. (Visit the film page).

The Kite (Patang), directed and written by Prashant Bhargava. (India, USA) – North American Premiere.
A family saga set against the colorful spectacle of the Uttarayan, India’s largest kite festival, The Kite is a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of energy, romance, and turmoil. A businessman arrives in Ahmedabad for a surprise visit to his once grand family home, bringing with him his daughter and some unexpected news for the family’s future. Amongst the flurry of preparations and the energy of the festival itself, the transformative and intersecting tales of six characters unfold. In English, Hindi with English subtitles. (Visit the film page).

The Last Rites of Joe May, directed and written by Joe Maggio. (USA) – World Premiere. [REVIEW]
Small-time Chicago hustler Joe May (the incomparable Dennis Farina) always felt like a great destiny awaited him, but with his health ailing and his age advancing, he’s never looked more like a bum. Broke and evicted, he’s taken in by a troubled young mother and daughter, in whom he finds one last shot to be a hero. Pulsing with the spirit of classic urban dramas, “The Last Rites of Joe May” is a subtle, sophisticated tale of redemption. (Visit the film page).

Romantics Anonymous (Les émotifs anonymes), directed by Jean-Pierre Améris, written by Jean-Pierre Améris and Philippe Blasband. (France, Belgium) – International Premiere.
Two pathologically shy neurotics connect through a love of chocolate in this delectably witty romantic comedy. For Angelique and Jean-René, the social world is one big emotional minefield best avoided. She’s a reclusive candymaker looking for a job, and he runs a chocolate factory in dire need of her savant-like skill. Fate may bring them together, but they’ll need to overcome their common fears to find fairy-tale love. In French with English subtitles. (Visit the film page).

She Monkeys (Apflickorna), directed by Lisa Aschan, written by Josefine Adolfsson and Lisa Aschan. (Sweden) – North American Premiere.
When 15-year-old Emma lands a competitive spot on the equestrian acrobatics team, she is taken under the wing of a pretty, slightly older teammate, Cassandra. The two begin an intense relationship where the rules of the game blur as psychological stakes get higher and higher. Lisa Aschan’s award-winning directorial debut explores the all-consuming world of teen female friendships through naturalistic direction, evocative imagery, and engrossing performances. In Swedish with English subtitles. (Visit the film page).

Turn me on, goddammit (Få meg på, for faen), directed and written by Jannicke Systad Jacobsen. (Norway) – World Premiere. [REVIEW]
Alma is a small-town teenager with an active imagination and an even more active libido. After a titillating but awkward encounter with school heartthrob Artur turns her into a social outcast, Alma is desperate to move out of town and on with her life. Turn me on, goddammit is an offbeat coming-of-age comedy with a deadpan sense of humor, enlivened by its rich sense of fantasy and frank but sweet approach to teen sexuality. In Norwegian with English subtitles. (Visit the film page).

World Documentary Feature Competition

Bombay Beach, directed by Alma Har’el. (USA, Israel) – North American Premiere.
The rusting relic of a failed 1960s development boom, the Salton Sea is a barren California landscape and symbol of the failure of the American dream. Using a stylized amalgam of cinema verité and choreographed dance, Bombay Beach revisits this poetically fruitful terrain to find a motley cast including a bipolar seven-year-old, a lovelorn football star, and an octogenarian poet-prophet— creating a moving, distinctive, and slightly surreal documentary experience.

The Bully Project, directed by Lee Hirsch. (USA) – World Premiere. [REVIEW]
More than 18 million young people in the U.S. will be bullied this year. This alarming documentary takes us into a disquieting year in the life of several students joining this staggering statistic. As teachers and parents struggle to find the answers, the students do what they can to survive a school day. Rare access and emotionally charged footage offer a never-before-seen exploration of America’s bullying crisis and a necessary call to action.

The Carrier, directed by Maggie Betts. (USA) – World Premiere.
Young mother Mutinta is a Zambian subsistence farmer in a polygamous marriage who has just learned she is HIV positive. Newly pregnant, Mutinta does everything she can to protect her unborn baby while navigating complicated family dynamics and village politics. Newcomer Maggie Betts sculpts a sensitive observational portrait of one woman’s struggle leading up to her newborn’s birth. In Tonga with English subtitles.

Doc competition film, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Photo by David Gelb, courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival.

Cinema Komunisto, directed by Mila Turajlic. (Serbia) – North American Premiere.
For 32 years, Leka Konstantinovic was the personal film projectionist for Yugoslavian president and noted film enthusiast Josip Broz Tito. Comprised of interviews with Konstantinovic and other important figures in the brief but glowing history of Yugoslavian cinema, as well as archival clips from more than 60 films, “Cinema Komunisto” is a vibrant, fascinating celebration of a film industry—and a nation—that no longer exists. In Serbian with English subtitles.

Give Up Tomorrow, directed by Michael Collins. (USA, UK) – International Premiere.
In 1997, Paco Larrañaga was arrested for the murder of two teenage sisters on a provincial island in the Philippines. Over the next 13 years, his case became the highest profile in the nation’s history, and the focal point in a far-reaching exposé of gross miscarriage of justice. At once an engrossing murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and a stunning indictment of national corruption, Give Up Tomorrow is an enraging true crime chronicle. In English, Spanish, Tagalog with English subtitles.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi, directed by David Gelb. (USA) – North American Premiere.
An appetizing documentary in every sense, Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows 85-year-old master sushi chef Jiro Ono, paying lushly photographed homage to the process of preparing the artisan sushi that earned Ono’s esteemed Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant three Michelin stars. From the complicated relationship between Jiro and his sons to the ins and outs of the tuna auction, this spirited film profiles all aspects of Jiro’s craft in tantalizing style and detail. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Koran By Heart, directed by Greg Barker. (USA, UK) – World Premiere.
The world’s preeminent Koran-recitation competition takes place each year in Cairo, drawing Muslim children from as far as Tajikistan and the Maldives to perform in front of a panel of prominent judges. Following these talented youngsters from their intense preparation regimes through the rigorous rounds of the tournament, Koran By Heart is both an inspirational competition film and an engaging survey of the unique experiences of Muslim children throughout the world.In Arabic, Dhivehi, English, Tajik, Wolof, Buck with English subtitles.

Love During Wartime, directed and written by Gabriella Bier. (Sweden) – North American Premiere. Jasmin and Assi are newlyweds, but building a life together seems impossible: She’s an Israeli, he’s a Palestinian. When their homelands turn their backs on them, they choose to live in exile. This tender tale of a love infiltrated by politics follows a real-life Romeo and Juliet on their odyssey from the Middle East through an inhospitable Europe. As their hopes rise and then fade with each bureaucratic hurdle, will their love survive? In Hebrew, Arabic, English, German with English subtitles.

Marathon Boy, directed by Gemma Atwal. (UK, USA, India) – North American Premiere.
Gemma Atwal’s fascinating and dynamic epic follows Budhia, a four-year-old boy plucked from the slums of India and trained as a marathon prodigy by Biranchi Das, a larger-than-life judo coach who runs an orphanage in the eastern state of Orissa. But over the next five years and dozens of marathons, Budhia’s roller-coaster journey turns from an uplifting story of promise and opportunity to one of greed, corruption, and broken dreams. In Oriya, English, Hindi with English subtitles.

Our School (Scoala Noastra), directed by Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma. (USA, Switzerland) – North American Premiere.
“Our School” follows three Roma (commonly known as Gypsy) children in a rural Transylvanian village who are among the pioneer participants in an initiative to integrate the ethnically segregated Romanian schools. Touching on issues ranging from institutionalized prejudice, public education, and the intractability of poverty, but always firmly rooted in the hypnotic rhythms and profound reality of the Roma community, “Our School” is a deeply affecting, often infuriating, and ultimately bittersweet story of tradition and progress. In Romanian with English subtitles.

Semper Fi: Always Faithful, directed by Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon. (USA) – World Premiere. Iraq war veteran Jerry Ensminger’s loyalty was always to the Marine Corps. But after his nine-year-old daughter died of a rare type of leukemia, Jerry’s relentless search for answers leads to a shocking discovery exposing of the largest water contamination sites in U.S. history. Living by the Marine creed, this drill sergeant-turned-activist puts his own pain aside and takes on the top brass in an impassioned struggle for justice on behalf of his fellow soldiers and family.

Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard, directed by Joshua Neale. (UK) – World Premiere.
Richard has been pissing people off for 50 years. A recovering alcoholic from North Dakota, he finally musters the courage to complete the eighth and ninth steps of the 12-Step Program. With a list of everyone he’s wronged — from ex-wives to ex-mistresses, abandoned children to slighted pals — Richard tries to make amends. But has he really changed? Soulful folk music and rich characters bring levity and humor to an emotional story of redemption.


The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, directed by Marie Losier. (USA, France) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
Filmmaker and TFF alum Marie Losier, who has created engaging short films on avant-garde artists like George Kuchar and Guy Maddin, makes her feature documentary debut with a mesmerizing and deeply romantic love story between pioneering musician and performance artist Genesis P-Orridge and soul mate Lady Jaye. Breaking new ground in its depiction of gender identity, Ballad chronicles the physical and spiritual merging of two beings into one.

Love Always, Carolyn, directed by Maria Ramström and Malin Korkeasalo. (Sweden) – World Premiere, Documentary.
They say behind every great man is a great woman. Carolyn Cassady was behind two. Wife of beatnik icon Neal Cassady and lover-muse of Jack Kerouac, Carolyn saw her life story and the memory of the men she loved hijacked by mythmakers.Cassady is the intimate, graceful portrait of a patient matriarch who could never escape the constant wake of her husband’s epic misadventures.

Donor Unknown, directed by Jerry Rothwell. (UK) – North American Premiere, Documentary.
JoEllen Marsh grew up knowing her father only as Donor 150. As one of the first generation of “test-tube babies,” she yearns for connection with potential siblings, and turns to the Internet to track them down. As JoEllen slowly broadens her family tree, in the process she forges a fascinatingly modern model of family. After connecting with dozens of siblings across the country, JoEllen decides it’s finally time to seek out Donor 150.

Narrative competition film, “Jesus Henry Christ.” Photo credit: Rafy Winterfeld, courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival.

Flowers of Evil (Fleurs du Mal), directed by David Dusa, written by David Dusa, Raphaëlle Maes, and Louise Molière. (France) – North American Premiere, Narrative.
Paris-Tehran. A rootless story of young love between Gecko, an Algerian-French hotel bellman and parkourer, and Anahita, an Iranian student forced to leave her country for her own safety after the controversial elections in 2009. Obsessed with tracking the political movement, Anahita’s friends broadcast through YouTube and coordinate via Twitter. Romance and the Internet become the ground to explore histories lost and identity yet to be found. In French, Farsi with English subtitles.

Gnarr, directed by Gaukur Úlfarsson. (Iceland) – International Premiere, Documentary. [REVIEW]
You’ll never see politics the same after this raucous documentary. Following his country’s economic meltdown, acerbic Icelandic comedian Jon Gnarr launches his own political party, The Best Party. His platform? Free trips to Disneyland, more polar bears in the zoo, and refusing to work with anyone who doesn’t watch “The Wire.” But when support for Gnarr’s wacky mayoral bid surprisingly snowballs, what started out as a joke quickly captures the imagination of a nation desperate for a change. In Icelandic with English subtitles.

Gone, directed by Gretchen Morning and John Morning. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
What would you do if you got a call that your grown son had mysteriously vanished while living abroad? In this riveting, confessional documentary, retired New York cop Kathy Gilleran describes her heartrending journey. In her search for her missing gay son in Vienna, Austria, Gilleran encounters a homophobic police force, unexpected discrepancies in the investigation, and suspicious circumstances. This is her story—a mother’s determination to find truth or simply an answer.

The Good Life (Det gode liv), directed by Eva Mulvad. (Denmark) – North American Premiere, Documentary.
How do you cope with being broke after having lived a life of luxury and privilege? This is the fundamental question facing spoiled Anne Mette and her mother, a once-rich family now living off a small pension and struggling to adapt to their new situation in a coastal Portuguese hamlet. A Grey Gardens for the current financial era, “The Good Life” is a character study at turns touching and frustrating, but ultimately poignant. In English, Danish, Portuguese with English subtitles.

The Journals of Musan (Musan Il-gi), directed by Park Jungbum. (South Korea) – North American Premiere, Narrative.
Park Jungbum’s stunning and much-lauded debut is the story of a North Korean defector forging a life in capitalist South Korea. As both director and actor, Park (assistant director of Lee Chang-dong’s stirring Poetry) fully realizes a disarmingly beautiful vision of loneliness, disconnect, and ethical ambiguity in this story of a lost soul’s struggle to connect. In Korean with English subtitles.

Lotus Eaters, directed by Alexandra McGuinness, written by Alexandra McGuinness and Brendan Grant. (UK) – World Premiere, Narrative.
The bright young things of London’s social elite lead an existence as languorous and lavish as it is self-destructive. At the center is Alice, a stunning ex-model unable to keep up with the high standards of living her peers feverishly chase. Alexandra McGuinness’ directorial debut presents a contemporary black-and-white portrait of overlapping cliques of friends struggling to get their lives under control before they fall numb to it all.

Magic Valley, directed and written by Jaffe Zinn. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
As one warm October day unfolds, the sleepy town of Buhl, Idaho will never be the same. A fish farmer finds his crop destroyed, a couple of kids are playing an unusual game in the sun-dappled fields, and after a wild party a sleepless teenager is harboring an awful secret…. First-time director Jaffe Zinn presents an atmospheric picture of small-town life with a keen eye and assured hand.

Maria My Love, directed and written by Jasmine McGlade Chazelle. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Disoriented by her mother’s death and resentful of her father’s mistakes, a twentysomething woman leaves Santa Barbara for Los Angeles to reconnect with her half-sister. Inspired by a new romance, she decides to help others through volunteer work, but soon gets entangled in an emotionally complex situation revealing more about herself than she might be ready for. Judy Marte (Raising Victor Vargas) and Karen Black star.

The Miners’ Hymns, directed by Bill Morrison, written by Bill Morrison, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and David Metcalfe. (UK, USA) – International Premiere, Documentary.
Experimental filmmaker and frequent TFF alum Bill Morrison combines newly shot aerial scenes that he filmed himself with historic found-footage images of the mining communities of Northeast England that he culled from the British archives. Morrison creates a moving and formally elegant tribute to this vanished era of working-class life, enriched by an original score by avant-garde Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.

My Last Round (Mi Último Round), directed and written by Julio Jorquera. (Chile, Argentina) – North American Premiere, Narrative.
When successful boxer Octavio falls in love with kitchen hand Hugo, they move from their small-town homes in the south of Chile to capital city Santiago to protect their taboo relationship. But when Hugo feels unexpected desire for co-worker Jennifer, Octavio is left heartbroken and throws himself into a high-stakes boxing match against all odds. A handsome cast and evocative cinematography offer a sexy, subtle film that evokes hits like “The Wrestler” and “Brokeback Mountain.” In Spanish with English subtitles.

NEDS, directed and written by Peter Mullan. (UK) – US Premiere, Narrative. Directed by actor/director Peter Mullan (“My Name Is Joe,” “The Magdalene Sisters”).
NEDS takes place in the gritty and savage world of 1970s Glasgow. On the brink of adolescence, John McGill is a bright and sensitive boy. He’s eager to learn and full of promise, but with no one willing to give him a chance, young John descends into a violent life of crime. NEDS is an intense and tragic portrayal of the loss of hope. (Visit the film page).

A scene from “Rid of Me.” Photo Credit: Eric Sellers

Rid of Me, directed and written by James Westby. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
When she moves to Portland, Oregon, Meris does her best to fit in with her husband’s clique of old high school buddies—until she gets dumped. Her life trashed, she takes a job as a candy store clerk, opening unexpected worlds into the Northwest underground punk scene and Cambodian rock. A low budget is no barrier to creativity and cinematic innovation in this black comedy of embarrassments about sticking up for yourself no matter how messy.

Splinters, directed by Adam Pesce. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
In the remote seaside village of Vanimo in Papua New Guinea, there are hardly any jobs—but there are infinite prime waves. Twenty years after the first board was introduced on the island, surfing has become a way of life. This spirited documentary, tinged by joyful music and fascinating glimpses into a rare culture, follows four local surfers competing in the country’s first-ever national surfing championships in the hopes their surfboards will carry them to a better life. In English, Tok Pisen with English subtitles.

Stuck Between Stations, directed by Brady Kiernan, written by Nat Bennett and Sam Rosen. (USA) – World Premiere.
Casper, a young soldier home on leave, has a chance run-in with his childhood crush, now a grad student coping with conflicts of her own. In one night, the two traverse a striking Minneapolis cityscape, growing closer but knowing they will inevitably have to part ways at dawn. Featuring standout performances by rising indie stars Zoe Lister-Jones and Sam Rosen, and supported by cameos from Josh Hartnett and Michael Imperioli,Stuck Between Stations is a touching and authentic snapshot of a generational zeitgeist.

The Swell Season, directed by Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, and Carlo Mirabella-Davis. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
The world fell in love with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova when their songwriting collaboration in the film Once culminated in a jubilant Oscar® win. But behind the scenes, where Glen and Mar’s on-screen romance became reality, a grueling two-year world tour threatens to fracture their fated bond. Gorgeously filmed in black and white, this music-filled documentary is an intimate look at the exhilaration and turmoil created by both love and fame.

Treatment, directed by Steven Schardt and Sean Nelson, written by Sean Nelson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
When Leonard convinces his best friend Nelson to bankroll his stint at a glitzy L.A. rehab clinic so he can pitch a movie idea to mega-star Gregg D, his blind ambition begins to consume him. The producing team behind Humpday returns with this witty, ridiculous, and sincere tale of co-dependent friendship on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Indie darlings Joshua Leonard, Sean Nelson, and Ross Partridge star.

White, White World (Beli, beli svet), directed by Oleg Novkovic, written by Milena Markovic. (Serbia, Germany, Sweden) – North American Premiere, Narrative.
In this beautiful and brutal drama, King, a handsome boxer-turned-barman falls for Vita, a fiery and untamable beauty in the decaying Serbian town of Bor. Their love triggers a series of events that drive the many residents of Bor inexorably toward a fateful and moving finale. Reminiscent of classical Greek theater, White, White World is an epic musical tragedy staged against the stark landscape of a small, crumbling mining town. In Serbian with English subtitles.

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The Assault (L’assaut), directed by Julien Leclerq, written by Simon Moutairou and Julien Leclerq. (France) – International Premiere, Narrative.
Christmas Eve, 1994. In war-torn Algiers, four men uniformed as border guards hijack Air France Flight 8969, foreboding doom for all 220 passengers. But on their arrival in Marseilles, the elite French SWAT force waits to avert tragedy…. Based on the harrowing true story of one of the most successful anti-terrorist operations in history, and incorporating actual news footage, this action-packed thriller from Julien Leclercq (Chrysalis) is packed with heart-pounding intensity. In French with English subtitles.

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, directed by Michael Rapaport. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
The most groundbreaking act to emerge from the New York hip-hop scene of the early ’90s, A Tribe Called Quest electrified a generation with its brand of jazz-infused beats and intelligent rhymes before dramatically disbanding in ’98. In his directorial debut, Michael Rapaport draws from eight months of total access to uncover the history and inner workings of the Tribe. Featuring De La Soul, Kanye West, Common, Mos Def, Ludacris, Beastie Boys, and more. A Sony Pictures Classics release. (Visit the film page).

Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, directed by Dori Berinstein, written by Dori Berinstein and Adam Zucker. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
The story of legendary performer Carol Channing’s life is as colorful as the lipstick on her big, bright smile. Director Dori Berinstein captures the magic and vivacity of the 90-year-old icon and throws it at the screen like roses at the stage during curtain call. You’ll have a grin on your face and a tear in your eye, evidence that the original Dolly Levi is still glowin’, still crowin’, and still goin’ strong. (Visit the film page).

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (Di Renjie), directed by Tsui Hark. (Hong Kong, China) – US Premiere, Narrative.
In a fantastical steampunk version of ancient China, legendary sleuth Detective Dee returns from exile to help solve a series of suspicious murders on the eve of the coronation of the country’s first empress. A period epic from genre master Tsui Hark, Detective Dee is an action-packed, visually breathtaking Sherlock Holmes-style mystery featuring stars Andy Lau, Li Bingbing, Carina Lau, and Tony Leung Ka-fai. In Mandarin with English subtitles. An Indomina Releasing release.

Fire In Babylon, directed by Stevan Riley. (UK) – North American Premiere, Documentary. Played against the backdrop of the national liberation movements of the ’70s and ’80s, this lively documentary pays tribute to the golden age of cricket in the West Indies as the teammates set out to triumph over their former colonial masters and make a name for themselves on the world stage. This celebration of the power of sports as a vehicle for social change is set to a thumping reggae beat featuring Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs, and Burning Spear.

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, directed by Mike Fleiss and Mike Piscitelli. Produced by Jack Osbourne, Marc Weingarten, and Jordan Tappis. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Ozzy. For four decades, the name has been synonymous not just with a singular brand of blistering heavy metal, but also with a life lived to the extreme. Made for fans and the uninitiated alike, this definitive portrait of a troubled icon–told in part through the eyes of his family–relives Ozzy’s artistic triumphs while chronicling his arduous journey to sobriety and peace.

The Good Doctor, directed by Lance Daly, written by John Enbom. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. When lonesome first-year medical resident Dr. Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom) finally gets the respect he so desperately craves from an enchanting teenage patient, he’ll do anything to keep her in his care…. In this slow-burn psychological thriller, Lance Daly’s (Kisses) keen eye and a restrained yet forceful performance by Bloom paint a gripping portrait of the accelerating depths of obsession. (Visit the film page).

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, directed and written by Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Jason Sudeikis leads an ensemble cast of bright comic talents as Eric, a thirtysomething party animal famous among his close circle of friends for his lavish summer theme parties at his father’s swanky Hamptons pad. But when members of the crew start settling down, and Eric’s dad announces plans to sell the beach house, Eric decides it’s time for one last party to go out with a proverbial bang–a good old fashioned orgy. With Lindsay Sloane, Lucy Punch, Leslie Bibb, Lake Bell, Tyler Labine, and Will Forte. A Samuel Goldwyn Films/SPWA release. (Visit the film page).

The Guard, directed and written by John Michael McDonagh. (Ireland) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
Curmudgeonly small-town sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson, In Bruges) has a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humor, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no desire whatsoever to work with a straight-laced FBI agent (Don Cheadle) in from the States on a cocaine-smuggling case. Venerable Irish character actor Gleeson (In Bruges) fills his acid-tongued cop with an irreplaceable charm, and his banter with Cheadle will leave you in stitches. A Sony Pictures Classics release. (Visit the film page).

The Hideaways, directed by Agnes Merlet. (France, Ireland) – World Premiere, Narrative.
The Furlong men have unusual powers. Grandpa goes blind when he thinks of sex, Dad fries electronics when he’s afraid… but young James has a far more fearsome power. After losing everyone he loves, he flees to the woods to live alone. But when he’s discovered by a beautiful teenage cancer patient, their romance leads James on a journey back to civilization. Agnes Merlet (Artemisia) directs this whimsical fable about learning to live with the curses–and blessings–we inherit.

Higher Ground, directed by Vera Farmiga, written by Carolyn S. Briggs and Tim Metcalfe. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) makes her directorial debut and stars in an adaptation of Carolyn S. Briggs’ memoir. Set in a tight-knit spiritual community at the height of feminism in the 1960s, Higher Ground is an exquisite study of one woman’s internal struggle with love and relationships. Farmiga delivers a nuanced performance straight from the gut, with compelling support from John Hawkes, Donna Murphy, Bill Irwin, and Joshua Leonard. A Sony Pictures Classics release. (Visit the film page).

Janie Jones, directed and written by David M. Rosenthal. (USA) – US Premiere, Narrative.
Ethan (Alessandro Nivola), a struggling musician content with his on-the-road rock-and-roll lifestyle and his much younger girlfriend (Brittany Snow), has his life turned upside down with the arrival of a 13-year-old daughter he never knew he had. Left with the responsibility of raising Janie Jones (Abigail Breslin), a shy but talented aspiring musician herself, Ethan embarks with Janie on a road trip of music, discovery, and father-daughter bonding. A Tribeca Film release. (Visit the film page).

Klitschko, directed by Sebastian Dehnhardt. (Germany) – World Premiere, Documentary. Six-foot-six Ukrainian brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko emigrated to Germany to begin careers in heavyweight boxing in 1996, and the sport was never the same. After a 15-year reign over the ring, they made history in 2008, becoming the first brothers in the sport to hold world titles at the same time. Through an engaging mix of candid interviews and absorbing fight footage, Klitschko offers a captivating glimpse into the makings of these champion boxing brothers.

L’amour fou, directed by Pierre Thoretton. (France) – US Premiere, Documentary.
It was called the “auction of the century.” Following the death of his partner in business and life, fashion luminary Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Berge made the difficult decision to sell off their immense collection of precious art. This luxuriant documentary uses their beautiful possessions as the puzzle pieces to form an equally beautiful portrait of the private world of an icon and the man who loved him. In French with English subtitles. A Sundance Selects release. (Visit the film page).

Last Night, directed and written by Massy Tadjedin. (USA) – US Premiere, Narrative.
Apart for one night, a happily married couple (Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington) is confronted by temptation that may decide the fate of their marriage. Last Night is ultimately about choices–to be in a relationship with someone, to give yourself to someone physically, to open yourself emotionally, and how to survive all three. Eva Mendes, Guillaume Canet, and Griffin Dunne also star in this sexy, provocative romantic drama. A Tribeca Film release. (Visit the film page).

Let the Bullets Fly, directed by Jiang Wen. (Hong Kong, China) – International Premiere, Narrative.
Set during the Age of the Warlords in the 1920s, this comic western is the highest grossing Chinese film ever. When circumstances force an outlaw (actor/director Jiang Wen) to impersonate a county governor and clean up a corrupt town, the Robin Hood figure finds himself in a showdown with the local “godfather” (Chow Yun-Fat). Full of surprises and grounded with a smart, humorous script, Let the Bullets Fly’s battles are fought with guns and wit. In Mandarin with English subtitles.

Like Water, directed by Pablo Croce. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
In the most brutal and often most misunderstood sport in the world, becoming a champion takes more than just blood, sweat, and tears. Like Water follows middleweight Ultimate Fighter Anderson Silva as he prepares to crown his four-year run as the unbeaten king of the sport with a record 12th straight win in the UFC. With intimate access to Silva and his intense training, the surprising and inspiring man behind one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time emerges. In English, Portuguese with English subtitles.

Limelight, directed by Billy Corben. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
As the owner of legendary hotspots like Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, and Club USA, Peter Gatien was the king of the New York club scene–until years of legal battles led to his eventual deportation to Canada. This exuberant documentary charts Gatien’s rise and fall against the transformation of New York City, offering a wild ride through a now-closed chapter in the history of NYC nightlife. From the director of Cocaine Cowboys.

The Loving Story, directed Nancy Buirski. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
Nancy Buirski’s moving, evocative documentary recounts the unknown love story of Mildred and Richard Loving, the couple behind the 1967 Supreme Court ruling overturning anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. Drawing from a wealth of stunning archival footage, The Loving Story recreates a seminal moment in history in uncommon style, anchoring a timely message of marriage equality in a personal, human love story.

Mama Africa, directed by Mika Kaurismaeki, written by Mika Kaurismaeki and Don Edkins. (Germany, South Africa, Finland) – International Premiere, Documentary.
Packed with five decades of rare archival footage and captivating melodies, Mama Africa tells the incredible story of Miriam Makeba. First introduced to American audiences by Harry Belafonte, Makeba’s songs exposed the injustice of Apartheid in South Africa to the world–resulting in a 30-year exile from her home country. Throughout her life, Makeba inspired millions through her powerful songs of joy, love, and revolution. In English, French with English subtitles.

A Matter of Taste, directed by Sally Rowe. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.
Eel, violets, and chocolate. Espuma of calf brains and foie gras. They’re the kind of hyper-modern dishes that made virtuosic young chef Paul Liebrandt a fast-rising star in the NYC restaurant world. But after September 11, when haute cuisine took a back seat to comfort food, Liebrandt would have to struggle for a decade in and out of the kitchen to get back to the top. A Matter of Taste mixes sumptuous food with an insider’s view into the complicated relationships between critics, chefs, and restaurant owners.

My Piece of the Pie (Ma part du gateau), directed and written by Cedric Klapisch. (France) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
From Cedric Klapisch, director of 2002 hit L’Auberge Espagnole, comes a financial-era drama with a biting comic edge. When single mom France loses her factory job, she is forced to take a gig as a housekeeper and nanny for Steve, a hotshot Parisian stockbroker. As France and Steve grow closer, it seems both of their minds may be opening to each other’s worldviews–until France makes an unsettling discovery about Steve and events snowball toward a shocking dramatic finale.

New York Says Thank You, directed by Scott Rettberg. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
New York Says Thank You is an epic story following the journey of New Yorkers whose lives were touched by September 11 as they travel the country helping communities rebuild after disasters. Along the way, they face their emotions and ultimately triumph over tragedy through an idea that evolved from a five-year-old New York City boy.

The Perfect Family, directed by Anne Renton, written by Claire V. Riley and Paula Goldberg. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
In this sweet family drama, a devout Catholic (Kathleen Turner) in the running for the coveted Catholic Woman of the Year award must prove that her family actually conforms to the image of “the perfect family” as envisioned by the church, an image she’s put forth with considerable effort her whole life. Also starring Emily Deschanel, Jason Ritter, Richard Chamberlain, and Michael McGrady.

Point Blank (A Bout Portant), directed by Fred Cavaye, written by Fred Cavaye and Guillaume Lemans. (France) – International Premiere, Narrative.
Samuel (Gilles Lellouche) is studying to be a nurse and his very pregnant wife, Nadia (Elena Anaya), is relegated to bed rest. But when Nadia is kidnapped right in front of him, to get her back he’ll have to free a man under police surveillance from the hospital in three hours. Point Blank is a taut suspense thriller that gets the adrenaline-inducing action going right from the start and never eases up. In French with English subtitles. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Puncture, directed by Adam Kassen and Mark Kassen, written by Chris Lopata. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Mike Weiss (Chris Evans) is not your typical lawyer. The tattooed and drug-addicted townie has more than his share of personal demons, but can he straighten up long enough to lead a renegade safety-needle inventor to victory against a monopolizing medical supply corporation? This David and Goliath legal drama, based on a true story, exposes the corruption and kickback schemes threatening the lives of millions of health care workers.

A Quiet Life (Una Vita Tranquilla), directed by Claudio Cupellini, written by Filippo Gravino, Guido Iuculano, Claudio Cupellini. (Italy, Germany, France) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
Two decades after he disappeared from Naples, ex-gangster Rosario has earned all the rewards of a simple life in rural Germany–a lovely young wife, a new son, and a gratifying restaurant/hotel business. But when a pair of mysterious young men take a room at his hotel, Rosario’s violent past catches up with him. The great Toni Servillo (Il Divo, Gomorrah) stars in this slow-burn dramatic thriller, a brilliant addition to the new school of sophisticated, subtly suspenseful Italian crime films. In Italian, German with English subtitles.

Renee, directed by Eric Drath. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Despite his alpha-male reputation, tennis ace Dick Raskind always felt different from other guys. But it wasn’t until his 40s, after getting married and having a son, that Dick was reborn as Renee Richards. Renee was still dynamite on the tennis court, but being the first transgender player in the women’s US Open would put her in a spotlight she–or her troubled son–couldn’t escape. This fascinating doc is a testament to both personal and athletic perseverance. An ESPN Films release.

Revenge of the Electric Car, directed by Chris Paine, written by P.G. Morgan and Chris Paine. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Behind the closed doors of Nissan, General Motors, and Tesla Motors, the race is on to develop the world’s first, and most economically accessible, electric car. Director Chris Paine’s energetic and beautifully shot follow-up to Who Killed the Electric Car? follows the innovative business models engineered by CEOs and independent entrepreneurs looking to jump-start the global resurgence of electric cars and win over a skeptical public.

Roadie, directed by Michael Cuesta, written by Gerald Cuesta. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
For 20 years, Jimmy (Ron Eldard) lived his rock-and-roll fantasy as a roadie for Blue Oyster Cult, but the glory days are gone, and Jimmy just got the boot. Returning to his childhood home in Queens, he finds his mom teetering toward dementia and his high school crush (Jill Hennessy) married to his still-nettling childhood rival (Bobby Cannavale). Building a future means confronting the relationships of the past in this heartfelt coming-of-middle-age tale.

Shakespeare High, directed by Alex Rotaru. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
At home they face poverty, gangs, drugs, and a lack of role models. But in their high school drama program, a group of Southern California teens finds a chance to create a better life. Following several students as they prepare for and compete in the 90th Drama Teachers Association Shakespeare Competition, and featuring interviews with executive producer Kevin Spacey and Richard Dreyfuss, Val Kilmer and Mare Winningham, this galvanizing documentary reminds us of the positive impact of arts education on impressionable youth.

The Trip, directed by Michael Winterbottom. (UK) – US Premiere, Narrative.
The glorious English countryside, haute cuisine, and Britain’s best comedians add up to the most satisfying road trip movie in years. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon star as themselves, old friends who wind up touring romantic Lake District restaurants together after Coogan’s American girlfriend bails. Breeding sidesplitting banter about everything from their careers to Romantic poets to who does the best Michael Caine impression, Coogan and Brydon rediscover their friendship and themselves in one hilarious week. An IFC Films release. (Visit the film page).

When the Drum Is Beating, directed by Whitney Dow. (USA, Haiti) – World Premiere, Documentary.
The 20-member band Septentrional has been making music for 62 years as Haiti’s most celebrated big band. This inspirational documentary charts the history of Haiti from its triumphant independence from French colonialism to 2010’s devastating earthquake–all set to the vibrant music of Septentrional and punctuated with its members’ personal memories. Featuring a wealth of live rehearsal and performance footage, When the Drum Is Beating is a poignant and high-energy story of resilience. In English, Creole with English subtitles.


Beyond the Black Rainbow, directed and written by Panos Cosmatos. (Canada, Italy) – International Premiere.
Panos Cosmatos brings his bold, Kubrickian vision to the screen in stunning detail in this sci-fi fable of a young woman imprisoned in an experimental laboratory facility and the mysterious scientist who is her captor. At once creatively futuristic and hypnotically retro, Beyond the Black Rainbow will absorb viewers in its unique dystopian futurescape.

The Bleeding House, directed and written by Philip Gelatt. (USA) – World Premiere.
Meet the Smiths–a family full of secrets who keep to themselves on a back road outside a small Midwestern town. In this visceral, tightly wound horror/thriller, their lives are shaken when a sweet-talking Texan arrives on their doorstep on a mission for retribution. Will he succeed in his goal to bleed them of their sins, or will the family’s haunted past prove to be even more deadly than he bargained for? A Tribeca Film release.

Grave Encounters, directed and written by The Vicious Brothers. (USA) – World Premiere. [REVIEW]
The crew of ghost-hunting reality TV show Grave Encounters decides to shoot an episode inside an abandoned psychiatric hospital with a dark past. All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night to begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera. They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted–it is alive, and has no intention of ever letting them go. A Tribeca Film release.

Neon Flesh (Carne de Neon), directed and written by Paco Cabezas. (Spain, Argentina, Sweden) – North American Premiere.
Young hustler Ricky was left to a life on the streets at the age of 12 when his hooker mother got sent to the can, but upon learning she’ll soon be released, Ricky enlists a couple of good-for-nothing buddies to help him open a whorehouse as a tribute to Mom. This stylish, edgy crime flick plunges headlong into the fringe world of pimps and junkies where succeeding in business can cost your life…. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Rabies (Kalevet), directed and written by Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado. (Israel) – North American Premiere.
A psychotic serial killer on the loose in the woods crosses paths with a group of unsuspecting teenagers. Soon people are dying one by one… but the bad guy isn’t who you think. Turning genre conventions on their head with a smart script and plenty of unexpected scares, Rabies is a surprising debut worthy of its mantle as Israel’s first-ever slasher horror film. In Hebrew with English subtitles.

Saint (Sint), directed and written by Dick Maas. (Netherlands) – North American Premiere.
An original and delightfully gruesome slasher film, Saint reimagines jolly old Saint Nick as a murderous bishop fulfilling a grisly prophecy under the December 5 full moon. Full of creative yuletide horror, Saint is a fun chiller that follows local teen Frank as he sets out on a bloody, high-energy battle to save Amsterdam from the wrathful “Sinterklaas” and his minions. In Dutch with English subtitles.

TROLLHUNTER (Trolljegeren), directed and written by Andre Ovredal. (Norway) – New York Premiere.
In the wintry Norwegian countryside, a series of supposed bear poaching incidents leads a group of plucky film students to the mysterious hunter Hans: the one man charged with keeping the country’s entire troll population in check. This genre treat seamlessly blends stunning visual effects with its found footage aesthetic to deliver truly fantastic images of giant trolls wreaking havoc, all with darkly funny adherence to the original folklore. In Norwegian with English subtitles. A Magnet Releasing release. (Visit the film page).

Underwater Love (Onna no kappa), directed by Shinji Imaoka, written by Shinji Imaoka and Fumio Moriya. (Japan, Germany) – World Premiere.
A spectacle of songs and sex that is at once zany and erotic, Underwater Love puts an unforgettable new spin on the Japanese tradition of softcore “pink” films. Asuka has an easy life with her doting fiance–but everything’s about to change when she discovers her childhood friend has been reborn as a folkloric water sprite, and she decides to take him home…. With music by Stereo Total and cinematography by frequent Wong Kar-wai DP Christopher Doyle. In Japanese with English subtitles.


Catching Hell, directed and written by Alex Gibney. (USA) – World Premiere.
It’s the pop fly that will live in infamy. When Chicagoan Steve Bartman fatefully deflected a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, the city’s long-suffering Cubs fans found someone new to blame for their cursed century without a World Series title. Oscar(R)-winning director Alex Gibney explores the psychology of die-hard sports fans, the frightening phenomenon of scapegoating, and the hysteria that turned mild-mannered Bartman into the most hated man in Chicago. An ESPN Films release. (Visit the film page).

Newlyweds, directed and written by Ed Burns (USA) – World Premiere
When you get married, you’re not just getting a husband or wife-you get the family, the friends, even the exes. With crackling humor and sharp insights into modern relationships, writer/director Edward Burns tracks a newly wedded couple whose honeymoon period is upended by the arrival of the husband’s wild-child baby sister and the crumbling marriage of the wife’s meddlesome sister. Burns, Caitlin FitzGerald, Max Baker, Marsha Dietlein Bennett, and Kerry Bishé star. (Visit the film page).

The Union, directed by Cameron Crowe (USA) – World Premiere
A captivating and exhilarating real-life experience of musical creation and generosity, The Union is an unprecedented look at the creative life of Elton John and his remarkable collaborative album with his early-career idol, Leon Russell. Never before filmed in his composing process, John is captured by director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) in a candid portrait of one of the world’s most treasured artists and performers. (Visit the film page).

Special Screenings

The Bang Bang Club, directed and written by Steven Silver. (Canada, South Africa) – US Premiere.
The Bang Bang Club is the true story of four young combat photographers bonded by friendship and their sense of purpose to tell the truth. They risk their lives and use their cameras to tell the world of the violence associated with the first free elections in post-Apartheid South Africa. Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman and Taylor Kitsch star in a film that explores the thrills, danger, and moral questions associated with exposing the truth. A Tribeca Film release. (Visit the film page).

Everything Must Go, directed and written by Dan Rush. (USA) – New York Premiere.
Will Ferrell gives a heartfelt and affecting performance in newcomer Dan Rush’s funny and touching adaptation of the Raymond Carver short story “Why Don’t You Dance?” After losing his job and his wife in the same day, Nicolas Halsey hits rock bottom and moves all his possessions, and himself, to his front yard. With the help of a lonely teenager and his pregnant neighbor (Rebecca Hall), Nick begins to dispose of old junk, mend his past, and begin a new life. A Roadside Attractions release. (Visit the film page).

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