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Tribeca Turns Ten | 10 Films iW is Excited for…

Tribeca Turns Ten | 10 Films iW is Excited for...

The 10th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival kicks off today, and to celebrate indieWIRE’s team has assembled the 10 films they’re most excited for at this year’s festival.

Below are the films in alphabetical order:

Black Butterflies,” directed by Paula van der Oest
Fans of acclaimed Dutch actress Carice van Houten (“Black Book”) will no doubt be intrigued to see her tackle real life figure Ingrid Jonker, a poet who fought for her freedom during the Apartheid in 1960s Cape Town. The trailer hints at a visually ravishing, old fashioned biopic with sterling performances and striking cinematography. Sold. Read the filmmaker’s interview on indieWIRE. [Nigel M. Smith]

Bombay Beach,” directed by Alma Har’el
This gorgeous documentary, which had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, follows an eccentric community living in the vast, isolated landscape of Bombay Beach, on the cusp of the Salton Sea, in the middle of the California desert. Alma Har’el’s sweeping debut follows a diverse group of alienated characters. Among them: an aging bigot and a 7-year-old boy stricken with bipolar disease, both of whom embody the poetic solemnity of their surroundings–as does the soundtrack, which features Bob Dylan and indie band Beirut. With echoes of the Ohio-based documentary “45365,” Har’el develops a stunning portrait of many lives in motion, drifting nowhere in particular. Read the filmmaker’s interview on indieWIRE. [Eric Kohn]

The Bully Project,” directed by Lee Hirsch
Talk about a hut button film. Following the rise in school bullying as evidenced by the U.S. media last year, “The Bully Project” aims to face the issue head on. Making its world premiere in Tribeca, Lee Hirsch’s film takes place over the 2009-2010 school year to follow the lives of students who face bullying on a daily basis in America and the parents who struggle to get them through it. This is an especially personal story for the Emmy-winning filmmaker Hirsh, who was bullied as a child. Here’s hoping this film can serve as a catalyst for change. [Nigel M. Smith]

Carol Channing: Larger than Life,” directed by Dori Berinstein
indieWIRE has been following this one since October, when it was profiled in our in-production column. Though she’s most known for her landmark role in “Hello Dolly!” and has been iconic on stage and screen. “Larger than Life” takes a look at recent developments in Channing’s life, especially her recent marriage to Harry Kullijian. Watching Channing reminisce on a life well lived sounds like the perfect way to spend an evening in the theater this week. [Click here for more on the film. [Bryce Renninger]

Cinema Komunisto,” directed by Mila Turajlic
I’m cheating here because I’ve seen the film (at IDFA in November) and I was pleasantly surprised. The film spotlights the remains of the country’s once proud film industry, with a parallel narrative of the ascent then descent of the cinematic illusion of Yugoslavia. Told via old footage from some of the 750 films that were made after Yugoslavia’s leader, Marshall Josip Broz Tito, ordered the construction of a massive studio city, “Cinema Komunisto” recreates the narrative of the country united under Tito’s charismatic authoritarian rule that united the disperse ethnic groups of the once united Balkan state. The life of the state mirrors the fortunes of a dictator’s obsession with film. Read the filmmaker’s interview on indieWIRE. [Brian Brooks]

Gnarr,” directed by Gaukur Úlfarsson
Having had the pleasure and good fortune to have attended the Reykjavik International Film Festival three times, I was immediately drawn to this film on its face. Anyone who’s been to Iceland’s capital on the weekend can attest, the place likes to party! And who better to be its number one citizen then Jon Gnarr, the subject in Úlfarsson’s doc, which is having its international premiere at Tribeca. Gnarr’s platform? Apparently its free trips to Disneyland, more polar bears in the zoo, and refusing to work with anyone who doesn’t watch “The Wire” – and he’s a comedian. No better way to get through the financial crisis than having a cocktail and a blast. Read the filmmaker’s interview on indieWIRE. [Brian Brooks]

The Good Life,” directed by Eva Mulvad
Danish filmmaker Eva Mulvad (who directed 2006’s Grand Jury Prize for International Documentary at Sundance “Enemies of Happiness”) offers us the U.S. premiere of her latest doc “The Good Life” at Tribeca. The film explores the lives of a once wealthy Danish mother and daughter now living in relative squalor in Portgual due to some considerable mismanaging of their finances. Affectionately and unabashedly inspired by “Grey Gardens,” “The Good Life” is two parts comedy, one part tragedy, and altogether a deeply personal and endlessly entertaining ode to two characters soon to be beloved by many. Check out indieWIRE’s profile of the film from its world premiere at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen last year. [Peter Knegt]

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy,” directed by Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck
While unlikely to offer anything resembling high-brow entertainment, “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” should offer some good old fashioned fun during Tribeca. Detailing a group of 30-year-olds who have been friends since high school who attempt to throw an end-of-summer orgy, the film gives us a promising cast in Jason Sudeikis, Lucy Punch, Lindsay Sloane, Martin Starr, Lake Bell and Will Forte, and first time filmmakers in TV writers Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, who have an impressive resume in “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Frasier,” “Late Show With David Letterman,” and “King of The Hill.” Already acquired for release this summer, “Orgy” is likely to be one Tribeca’s hot tickets. More on the film here. [Peter Knegt]

The Last Rites of Joe May,” directed by Joe Maggio
DIY maverick Joe Maggio (“Bitter Feast,” “Paper Covers Rock”) writes and directs this promising tale of an elderly con artist (Dennis Farina) forced to split his grungy Chicago apartment with a single mother and her young child. With a premise that suggests “The Wrestler” by way of “The Sting,” Maggio’s latest effort may have just the right calibration of performances and pathos to bring the filmmaker to a wider audience. Read the filmmaker’s interview on indieWIRE. [Eric Kohn]

Limelight,” directed by Billy Corben
The documentary team behind “Cocaine Cowboys” and “The U” might not be known for its diverse subject matter, a factor that goes out the window as soon as one sits down and watches their films. They tackle on vice, corruption and mayhem with a surreal sentimentality that is hardly understood outside of Miami. In “Limelight,” their second world premiere in two months, they leave South Florida for the first time to document the career of 1980s New York City nightclub magnate Peter Gatien during his prime -and the Giuliani-led downfall that followed. Remnants from Gatien’s time at the top are still around, his popular club Palladium is lives on at its 14th street location as a remodeled gym for NYU students. [Daniel Loria]

For more on the films in this year’s lineup, check out indieWIRE’s filmmaker interviews.

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