While women directors are well-represented in the international categories at the upcoming 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, they feature much less prominently in the high-profile Spotlight section. TFF has announced the lineup for the Spotlight category this year, and of the 40 films being shown — 23 narratives and 17 documentaries — only 6 are directed by women.
This year’s Spotlight Screenings feature the New York premieres of Leslye Headland’s “Sleeping With Other People,” the writer-director’s much-anticipated follow-up to “Bachelorette,” as well as Golden Bear-winner Claudia Llosa’s “Aloft,” starring Jennifer Connelly as a mother reuniting with the son she abandoned. Spotlight will also host the world premieres of Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s “Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict,” a nonfiction portrait of the famed New York art collector and socialite, as well as Abigail Disney’s directorial debut “The Armor of Light,” a documentary investigating the relationship between the evangelical Christian movement and gun culture in the US. (Fun fact: Disney’s grandfather, the late Roy O. Disney, co-founded The Walt Disney Company.)
“The Spotlight section highlights
many familiar faces as well as new ones, while the films’ stories deliver
unconventional perspectives and fresh commentary,” said festival director Genna Terranova. TFF describes the Spotlight Screenings as a “destination for today’s most talked about themes and filmmakers,” but with only 15% of those films (6 out of 40) directed by women, the conversation and the spotlight needs to shift to more female filmmakers.
TFF is set to take place April 15 to 26 in New York City.
Please see below for the women-directed features in the Spotlight section. Descriptions of their plots are courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival.
Aloft, directed and written by Claudia Llosa.
(Canada, France, Spain) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
In parallel narratives, single-mother
Nana (Jennifer Connelly) has a mysterious experience at the hands of a
traveling healer, years later her troubled son Ivan (Cillian Murphy) sets out
in search of his now absent mother. Academy Award®–nominee Claudia Llosa’s (The
Milk of Sorrow) decade-spanning family drama is a dreamlike rumination on
faith, forgiveness, and family, set against an otherworldly frozen
landscape. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.
The Armor of Light, directed by Abigail Disney. (USA) – World
documentary digs into the deep affinity between the evangelical Christian
movement and our country’s gun culture — and how one top minister and
anti-abortion activist undergoes a change of consciousness to challenge
prevailing attitudes toward firearms among his fellow Christians.
Bleeding Heart, directed and written by Diane Bell. (USA) – World
instructor May’s (Jessica Biel) peaceful, clean-living life is thrown out of
balance by the arrival of her long-lost sister Shiva (Zosia Mamet), a
street-smart yet naive young woman trapped in an abusive relationship. May
feels compelled to rescue the hapless Shiva, but she finds herself increasingly
drawn out of her sedate world and deeper into Shiva’s chaotic one. With Edi
Gathegi, Joe Anderson, Kate Burton, and Harry Hamlin.
Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict, directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, written by Bernadine Colish, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, and John Northrup. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
between Europe and the US as often as she would between lovers, Peggy
Guggenheim’s life story was as swirling as the design of her uncle’s museum,
and reads more like fiction than any reality imaginable. Art
Addict is a picture into Guggenheim’s world: abstract, colorful, and
as salacious as the artwork she revered.
Sleeping With Other
People, directed and written
by Leslye Headland. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie star as two romantic
failures whose years of serial infidelity and self-sabotage have led them to
swear that their relationship will remain strictly platonic. But can love
still bloom while you’re sleeping with other people? Writer/director Leslye
Headland’s (Bachelorette) sexy romantic comedy co-stars Amanda Peet,
Adam Scott, and Natasha Lyonne. An IFC Films Release
Thought Crimes, directed by Erin Lee Carr.
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
yet then acquitted of conspiring to kidnap, rape, kill, and eat several women,
NYPD officer Gilberto Valle quickly rose to infamy as New York’s own
“Cannibal Cop”. With exclusive access to Valle, Erin Lee Carr’s
unflinching documentary asks a fundamental question that challenges our beliefs
about the criminal justice system, and even the very nature of right and wrong:
can you be guilty of a crime you only thought about committing? An HBO