Caitlin Swift Staff Writer
Before we get into the details concerning this year’s festival let’s just take a few moments to recap some fun facts!
Who: founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff
What: The Tribeca Film Festival
Where: New York City
When: Began in 2002
Why: Created to celebrate NYC as a major filmmaking center and to enable the film community and general public to experience the power of film by redefining the film festival. Also it has been said it was created to help lower-Manhattan recover post 9/11.
Now that we’re all caught up let’s take a peek at this year’s agenda! The 12th edition of the festival kicks off on April 17th in New York City with many buzzed about films. The films are broken down into 4 categories, Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings and the newest Storyscapes. Feature films are found within the Spotlight and Midnight sections.
This year there are 33 films to be featured in the Spotlight section. A record breaking 23 films will be making their world premire, including in that number is the much talked about Bernie Madoff documentary, In God We Trust. 21 of those films are narratives while the remaining 12 are documentaries. This year’s selection makes it hard to differentiate between indie and mainstream films.
The Midnight section, formerly known as Cinemania, will feature an international horror sampling. Opening with Dark Touch the Midnight section “is more diverse and entertaining than ever before and a true celebration of the innovative, risky and groundbreaking stories and styles that can only be found in genre cinema,” programmer Cara Cusumano remarked.
Storyscapes, the newest section, was created to celebrate the newest trends in digital media. It calls for reorganization of filmmakers and content creators who take a more interactive approach to story-telling. The section will curated by Ingrid Kopp, director of digital initiatives for the Tribeca Film Institute, and the TFF Programming team. In keeping with the theme the five selections will be presented in an interactive public installiation from April 19-21.
Opening the festival will be Mistake for Strangers, a music rock doc about New York based indie band The National. Last year The Avengers closed out Tribeca, as for this year we will have to wait till March 18th for the big-ticket reveal. The short-film program will be announced the week of March 11th.
For now we can leave you with a snyopses of the films that will be featured in the Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings and the Storyscapes projects courtesy of the festival and the Hollywood Reporter:
Adult World, directed by Scott Coffey Andy Cochran Emma Roberts John Cusack
Scott Coffey, written by
Andy Cochran. (USA) — World premiere, narrative. Amy (
Emma Roberts) is naïve, awkward and anxious to get her poetry career off of the ground. She begrudgingly accepts a job at the local sex shop, Adult World, while pursuing a surefire kick-start for her success: a mentorship with reclusive writer Rat Billings (
John Cusack). As Amy’s world melds with that of Adult World, she slowly learns that inspiration can be found in the most improbable places.
Almost Christmas, directed by Phil Morrison Melissa James Gibson Rudd Giamatti Sally Hawkins
Phil Morrison, written by
Melissa James Gibson. (USA) — World premiere, narrative. Two French Canadian ne’er-do-wells travel to New York City with a scheme to a get rich quick selling Christmas trees. Easygoing charmer Rene (
Rudd) clashes with misanthropic ex-con Dennis (
Giamatti), whose wife Rene just stole. Still, this odd couple must make an honest go of it in the buddy comedy co-starring
At Any Price, directed by Ramin Bahrani Hallie Elizabeth Newton Zac Efron Dennis Quaid Heather Graham Clancy Brown
Ramin Bahrani, written by
Hallie Elizabeth Newtonand Bahrani. (USA) — New York premiere, narrative. The robust farming industry of Iowa is the backdrop for this father-and-son story. Dean Wipple (
Zac Efron) longs to be a professional racecar driver. His father Henry (
Dennis Quaid) plans to make him the heir to their family farming empire. When Henry’s ethics and expansion practices come under fire, the family must unify or risk losing everything. Temptation, ambition and competition are the driving forces behind this modern-day drama co-starring
Clancy Brown. (A Sony Pictures Classics release.)
Before Midnight, directed by Richard Linklater Julie Delpy Ethan Hawke
Richard Linklater, written by
Ethan Hawkeand Linklater. (USA) — New York premiere, narrative. In the third chapter in the star-crossed tale of Jesse and Celine, director and co-writer Linklater fast-forward to nine years after their last meeting. Hawke and Delpy star as the companions who find themselves at yet another crossroads in their twisting but passionate relationship. (A Sony Pictures Classics release.)
Big Bad Wolves, directed and written by Aharon Keshales Navot Papushado
Navot Papushado. (Israel) — World premiere, narrative. A vigilante cop and a vengeful father capture and interrogate an accused serial killer. Keshales and Papushado’s follow-up to Rabies (TFF 2011) examines what would you do if someone hurt the one you loved most? (In Hebrew with subtitles.)
Bottled Up, directed and written by Enid Zentelis Marin Ireland Josh Hamilton
Enid Zentelis. (USA) — World premiere, narrative. In this modern-day drama, Melissa Leo stars as a woman who loves an addict. Complaining of back pain months after a car accident, Sylvie’s (
Marin Ireland) addiction to painkillers is clear to everyone except her mother, Faye (Leo). A promising solution appears in Becket (
Josh Hamilton), but relationships and loyalty are soon tested when his feelings fall in an unexpected place.
Byzantium, directed by Neil Jordan Moira Buffini Gemma Arterton Saoirse Ronan Caleb Landry Jones
Neil Jordan, written by
Moira Buffini. (U.K., Ireland) — U.S. premiere, narrative. Neil Jordan’s returns to the realm of vampirism through the story of Clara (
Gemma Arterton) and her daughter Eleanor (
Saoirse Ronan). Creatures from Clara’s past come calling, and these immortals are forced to relocate. But dire consequences follow when Eleanor makes a connection with a local boy (
Caleb Landry Jones) and slowly reveals the truth of who they are and how they survive. (An IFC Films release.)
A Case of You, directed by Kat Coiro Justin Long Keir O’Donnel Christian Long Evan Rachel Wood
Kat Coiro, written by
Keir O’Donnel, and
Christian Long. (USA) — World premiere, narrative. A young writer (Long) woos a cute and quirky barista (
Evan Rachel Wood) by creating an embellished online profile. When she falls for his alter ego, he must keep up the act or lose his dream girl.
Cycling with Moliere (Alceste à bicyclette), directed and written by Philippe Le Guay Fabrice Luchini Lambert Wilson
Philippe Le Guay. (France) — International premiere, narrative. Once-great actor Serge Tanneur (
Fabrice Luchini) now spends his days alone, cycling through the windblown landscape of France’s Île de Ré. Even an offer from his old friend Gauthier (
Lambert Wilson) to return to the stage in Molière’s The Misanthrope fails to draw his interest — at least, at first. Phillippe Le Guay’s charming comedy of egos colliding on the French seaside turns into a neatly crafted, wonderfully performed search for the creative spark.
The Director, directed by Christina Voros Frida Giannini James Franco
Christina Voros. (Italy) — World premiere, documentary. How do you make one of the world’s most revered fashion brands your own? That is the task facing creative director
Frida Gianniniin this authoritative look at the past, present and future of The House of Gucci, directed by director/cinematographer Christina Voros (Kink) and co-produced by
James Franco. Taking advantage of rare, behind-the-scenes access, Voros shows how the Florentine trendsetter has been reimagined in the past few years.
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, directed by Chiemi Karasawa Elaine Stritch Tina Fey Nathan Lane Hal Prince
Chiemi Karasawa. (USA) — World premiere, documentary. Broadway legend
Elaine Stritchremains in the spotlight at 87 years old. The film follows the Tony and Emmy Award-winner both on and off stage and includes interviews with
Hal Princeand others.
The English Teacher, directed by Craig Zisk Dan Chariton Stacy Chariton Julianne Moore Greg Kinnear Nathan Lane Michael Angarano Lily Collins
Craig Zisk, written by
Stacy Chariton. (USA) — World premiere, narrative. Teacher Linda Sinclair (
Julianne Moore) balances her staid home life with an incredible passion for her subject, but her routine is forever altered when a former star pupil and his unsupportive father re-enter her life. TV director Craig Zisk (Scrubs, Weeds andUnited States of Tara) tackles the big-screen project, which co-stars
Lily Collins. (A Cinedigm and Tribeca Film co-release.)
Gasland Part II, written and directed by Josh Fox
Josh Fox. (USA) — World premiere, documentary. Two years ago, Fox introduced audiences to hydraulic fracturing with his Oscar-nominated exposéGasland. Now this once-touted energy source has become a widely discussed, contentious topic. In his follow-up, Fox reveals the extreme circumstances facing those affected by fracking.
G.B.F., directed by Darren Stein George Northy Michael J. Willett Megan Mullally Natasha Lyonne
Darren Stein, written by
George Northy. (USA) — World premiere, narrative. The bitter fight for supremacy between a school’s most popular girls takes an unexpected turn when Tanner (
Michael J. Willett) becomes its first openly gay student. As they race to bag the big trend in fashion accessories, the “Gay Best Friend,” Tanner must choose between skyrocketing popularity and the friends he is leaving behind.
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia, directed and written by Nicholas Wrathall Burr Steers Christopher Hitchens
Nicholas Wrathall. (USA) — International premiere, documentary. Anchored by intimate, one-on-one interviews with Vidal, the documentary is a tribute to the iconic critic. The film includes interviews with filmmaker/nephew
Burr Steersand the late
Greetings from Tim Buckley, directed by Daniel Algrant David Brendel Emma Sheanshang Penn Badgley Imogen Poots
Daniel Algrant, written by
Emma Sheanshangand Algrant. (USA) — U.S. premiere, narrative. “Like father, like son” is a demanding expression for someone who never knew his dad. When young Jeff Buckley (
Penn Badgley) is asked to participate in a tribute concert for his late musician father Tim, music opens his eyes to the artistic legacy that he is destined to follow.
Imogen Pootsco-stars. (A Tribeca Film release.)
Haute Cuisine, directed by Christian Vincent Etienne Comar Catherine Frot
Christian Vincent, written by
Etienne Comarand Vincent. (France) — North American premiere, narrative. Chef Hortense Laborie (
Catherine Frot) is plucked from relative obscurity to whip up classic French dishes for the most powerful man in the nation. Based on the real-life story of the personal chef to former French president François Mitterand, Haute Cuisineuses the politically charged kitchen and corridors of the Élysée Palace as a backdrop for a parade of mouthwatering dishes. (In English, French with subtitles. The Weinstein Company release.)
I Got Somethin’ to Tell You, directed by Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg. (USA) — World premiere, documentary. Having broken racial and sexual boundaries as a pioneering comic talent, the late Moms Mabley has long been an icon in the comedy world. Now Goldberg explores Mabley’s legacy via recently unearthed photography, rediscovered performance footage and the words of numerous celebrated comedians.
In God We Trust, directed and written by Victor Kubicek Derek Anderson Bernie Madoff Eleanor Squillari
Derek Anderson. (USA) — World premiere, documentary.
Bernie Madoffruined many lives before his arrest in 2008. Perhaps no one was so personally affected as his longtime personal secretary,
Eleanor Squillari. The film centers on Squillari’s recollection in the days and months after the arrest, as her obsession with the case grows into her own unique search for clues. In God We Trust exposes previously unknown facts about the greatest financial crime ever committed.
Inside Out: The People’s Art Project, directed by Alastair Siddons JR
Alastair Siddons. (France, U.K.) — World premiere, documentary. This fascinating documentary tracks the evolution of the world’s largest participatory art project, the wildly popular “Inside Out.” Travel the globe with French artist
JRas he motivates communities to define their most important causes by pasting giant portraits in the street, testing the limits of what they thought possible. (In Arabic, Creole, English, French, Spanish with subtitles.)
Lil Bub & Friendz, directed by Andy Capper Juliette Eisner.
Juliette Eisner.(USA) — World premiere, documentary. Called “the most famous cat on the Internet,” the wide-eyed perma-kitten Lil Bub is the adorable embodiment of the Web’s fascination with all things cats. Join Lil Bub and her owner on wild cross-country romp as they meet the Internet’s most famous cat-lebrities. Chock full of adorable kitties, hilarious videos and the dedicated cat enthusiasts who love them, Lil Bub & Friendz is a fun and hip peek behind the memes we know and love. Includes Mike “The Dude” Bridavsky, Ben Lashes, Grumpy Cat, Nyan Cat, Keyboard Cat.
McConkey, directed and written by Steve Winter, Murray Wais, Scott Gaffney, David Zieff Rob Bruce Shane McConkey,
Steve Winter, Murray Wais, Scott Gaffney, David Zieffand
Rob Bruce. (USA) — World premiere, documentary. An all-star roster of sports movie-making talent directs this heartfelt biography of extreme ski trailblazer
Shane McConkey,once described as “the most influential skier ever.” McConkey covers forty years and countless high places to track Shane’s conversion from downhill racer to free-skiing marvel to pioneer of a hair-raising new discipline — ski BASE jumping — gives alarming new meaning to the question: how far would you go to be the next big thing?
The Motivation, directed by Adam Bhala Lough. Nyjah Huston, Ryan Sheckler, Chris Cole, Paul Rodriguez, Sean Malto, Rob Dyrdek, Chaz Ortiz, Luan Oliveira Bastien Salabanzi.
Adam Bhala Lough.(USA) — World premiere, documentary. Go inside the lives and training regimes of eight of the world’s gutsiest professional skateboarders. These fearless stars face unique obstacles on the way to the Street League Championship and the coveted title of best skateboarder in the world. Adam Bhala Lough, creator of the 2003 independent hit Bomb the System (TFF 2003), directs this fresh, energetic documentary in search of the elusive quality that separates the winners from the pack. Features
Nyjah Huston, Ryan Sheckler, Chris Cole, Paul Rodriguez, Sean Malto, Rob Dyrdek, Chaz Ortiz, Luan Oliveiraand
Bastien Salabanzi.In English, Portuguese with subtitles.
The Pretty One, directed and written by Jenée LaMarque. Zoe Kazan Jake Johnson
Jenée LaMarque.(USA) — World premiere, narrative. Audrey has all of the qualities that her twin sister Laurel wishes she possessed: confidence, style, independence. When tragedy strikes, Laurel has the opportunity to reinvent herself. In a complex performance,
Zoe Kazanpoignantly captures Laurel’s complex mix of loss and awakening, especially as she begins a new relationship with her neighbor (
Jake Johnson). Jenée LaMarque’s first feature film is a quirky, lovely tale of identity and the eternal bond between two sisters.
Prince Avalanche, directed and written by David Gordon Green. Paul Rudd Emile Hirsch
David Gordon Green.(USA) — New York premiere, narrative. Alvin (
Paul Rudd) and Lance (
Emile Hirsch) spend the summer of 1988 repainting a highway in a fire-damaged forest. The isolation quickly wears thin on Lance, yet an unlikely friendship emerges within their cutting jibes and forced reconciliations to meet the long road that lies ahead. David Gordon Green returns to the lyrical tenor of his earliest films in this potent blend of comedy and road-movie stoicism, based on the 2011 Icelandic film Either Way. A Magnolia Pictures release.
The Project, directed and written by Shawn Efran Adam Ciralsky.
Adam Ciralsky.(USA) — World premiere, documentary. The Project profiles the precarious, real-life story of the Puntland Maritime Police Force, a group of Somali pirate hunters. Taking the hijacking of the African waterways and the kidnapping of innocent citizens into their under-trained hands, the PMPF face mutiny, death and a loss of corporate funding in their dangerous quest to free the Middle East shipping industry from terror. The mercenaries’ epic battle makes for an intense, gripping and disarming ride.
Reaching for the Moon (Flores Raras), directed by Bruno Barreto Matthew Chapman Carolina Kotscho Miranda Otto Glória Pires
Bruno Barreto, written by
Carolina Kotscho. (Brazil) — North American premiere, narrative. Frustrated poet Elizabeth Bishop travels to Brazil and encounters the beguiling architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Initial hostilities make way for a complicated yet long-lasting love affair that dramatically alters Bishop’s relationship to the world around her. Anchored by magnificent lead performances from
Glória Pires, Reaching for the Moon is an intimate snapshot of the search for inspiration, wherever and however you find it. In English, Portuguese with subtitles.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Mira Nair, Mohsin Hamid, William Wheeler, Ami Boghani. Riz Ahmed Kate Hudson Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber Om Puri
Mira Nair,written by
Mohsin Hamid, William Wheeler, Ami Boghani.(India, Pakistan, USA) — U.S. premiere, narrative. Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake) returns with another spellbinding adaptation of a celebrated bestseller. Pakistan-born Changez (
Riz Ahmed) turns a Princeton degree into a cushy life on Wall Street with a gorgeous girlfriend (
Kate Hudson). Then the Twin Towers fall, and his American dream shatters amid interrogations and overwhelming national distrust. He soon questions his allegiances, as this thriller exposes the dangers of being a stranger in your own land.
Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiberand
Om Purialso star. An IFC Films release.
Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, directed by Marina Zenovich Peter Morgan. Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Quincy Jones, Lily Tomlin, Jesse Jackson.
Marina Zenovich, written by
Peter Morgan.(USA) — World premiere, documentary. This moving portrait of legendary comedian Richard Pryor chronicles his life from his troubled youth in Peoria, Illinois, to his meteoric rise as one of the most respected comic actors of the 20th century. Often misunderstood during the height of his celebrity, the late superstar has never been profiled this extensively. Marina Zenovich’s revealing and entertaining film lays bare the demons with which he struggled and reminds us just how daring and dangerous artistic freedom can be. Includes interviews with
Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Quincy Jones, Lily Tomlin, Jesse Jackson.
A Single Shot, directed by David M. Rosenthal, Matthew F. Jones Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Melissa Leo Jeffrey Wright
David M. Rosenthal,written by
Matthew F. Jones. (U.K., USA, Canada) — North American premiere, narrative. A Single Shotbrings together a wealth of indie stalwarts, including
Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Melissa Leoand
Jeffrey Wright, to paint a tense portrait of John Moon, a man attempting to win back his estranged family while desperately outrunning an accidental crime. Director David M. Rosenthal returns to the Festival with this ominously atmospheric and suspenseful backwoods tale of circumstance, based on Matthew F. Jones’s 1996 novel.
Some Velvet Morning, directed and written by Neil LaBute. Stanley Tucci Alice Eve
Neil LaBute.(USA) — World premiere, narrative. Fred arrives at Velvet’s doorstep, suitcases in tow. He tells her that he has finally left his wife to be with her, news to Velvet since she has not seen him in years and is now with Fred’s recently married son. As Fred’s hopes crash to earth during a conversation brimming with passion, remorse, humor and anger, the twisted heart of a fascinating relationship is revealed.
Alice Evestar in this spirited living room drama.
Trust Me, directed and written by Clark Gregg. Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney Amanda Peet,
Clark Gregg.(USA) — World premiere, narrative. Directed by and starring Clark Gregg and featuring
Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janneyand
Amanda Peet,Trust Mefollows flailing Hollywood agent Howard, who seemingly strikes gold after signing the next big child star. What results is an unexpected ride through the nasty inner workings of Hollywood, as Howard desperately tries to make it in an industry that has no interest in recognizing his bumbling but ultimately genuine nature.
Whitewash, directed by Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais Marc Tulin Thomas Haden Church
Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, written by
Marc Tulinand Hoss-Desmarais. (Canada) — World premiere, narrative. The brutality of winter and the power of the mind are aptly portrayed in this dark comedy set in Northern Quebec. Bruce (
Thomas Haden Church) is merely trying to survive a harsh winter when he meets Jean. Conflict leads to an accidental death, and Bruce finds himself in a complicated and unexpected place. Grappling with his guilt, Bruce creates a prison from which he cannot escape. Haden Church perfectly utilizes his comic talent in this wry, well-crafted film.
Dark Touch, directed and written by Marina de Van
Marina de Van. (France) — International premiere, narrative. Niamh is the lone survivor of a bloody massacre after the furniture and objects in her family’s isolated house take on a monstrous life of their own. The police ignore her wild stories and the family friends and social worker who take her in try to introduce a new life. But in this psychological thriller, Niamh is unable to leave her violent past behind her, endangering everyone who crosses her path.
Frankenstein’s Army, directed by Richard Raaphorst, Chris W. Mitchell Miguel Tejada-Flores.
Richard Raaphorst,written by
Chris W. Mitchelland
Miguel Tejada-Flores.(Netherlands) — International premiere, narrative. In the waning days of World War II, a team of Russian soldiers finds itself on a mysterious mission to the lab of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. They unearth a terrifying Nazi plan to resurrect fallen soldiers as an army of unstoppable freaks and are soon trapped in a veritable haunted house of cobbled-together monstrosities. Frankenstein’s Army is the wild steam-punk-Nazi-found-footage-zombie-mad scientist film you’ve always wanted.
Fresh Meat, directed by Danny Mulheron, Briar Grace-Smith.
Danny Mulheron,written by
Briar Grace-Smith.(New Zealand) — New York premiere, narrative. After a poorly executed escape from the police, a gang of dysfunctional criminals flees to the suburbs and gets more than it bargained for when it crash lands in the garage of an upper-class Maori family whose refined palates have developed a taste for human flesh. This action-packed horror comedy tells a blood-spattered tale of basement butchery and shifting allegiances as these unlikely adversaries enter a deadly showdown. A Tribeca Film release.
The Machine, directed and written by Caradog James.
Caradog James.(U.K.) —World premiere, narrative. Caradog James adds another layer to the Frankenstein story in the latest gripping sci-fi adventure to come out of the U.K.. Already deep into a second Cold War, Britain’s Ministry of Defence seeks a game-changing weapon. Programmer Vincent McCarthy unwittingly provides an answer in The Machine, a super-strong human cyborg played by the impressive Caity Lotz (The Pact). When a programming bug causes the prototype to decimate his lab, McCarthy takes his obsessive efforts underground, far away from inquisitive eyes.
Mr. Jones, directed and written by Karl Mueller. Jon Foster
Karl Mueller.(USA) — World premiere, narrative. Scott (
Jon Foster) is a filmmaker in need of inspiration. He and his girlfriend Penny move into a desolate house hoping to make a breakthrough. Then they discover their neighbor, the elusive Mr. Jones. Famous for his haunting sculptures, Mr. Jones has remained a mystery to the world. Scott and Penny, convinced that they have found the perfect film subject, sneak into his workshop and realize that their curiosity may have chilling consequences. Who is Mr. Jones?
Raze, directed b y Josh Waller, Robert Beaucage Zoe Bell Rachel Nichols Tracie Thoms
y Josh Waller,written by
Robert Beaucage. (USA) — World premiere, narrative. Stuntwoman
Zoe Bell(Inglorious Basterds, Kill Bill 1&2) headlines this sly subversion of the women-in-prison genre. After Sabrina (Bell) is abducted, she finds herself in an underground lair, forced to do battle with other innocent women for the amusement of unseen spectators. Each of these reluctant warriors has something to lose, but only one will remain when the game is done. Violent and relentless, Raze takes its video game aesthetic to the deepest and darkest places, rarely surfacing for air. Includes
V/H/S/2, directed by Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, Jason Eisener, Jamie Nash John Davies
Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, Jason Eisener,written by Barrett,
Jamie Nash, Tjahjanto, Evans, Eisener, and
John Davies(USA, Indonesia) — New York premiere, narrative. Investigators break into a house, find a vast collection of VHS tapes and play them one by one. The videos include visions of the paranormal, flesh-eating zombies, a shockingly genuine scene of hell on earth and a slumber party gone horribly awry. This highly anticipated sequel to last year’s horror breakoutV/H/S features contributions from contemporary genre filmmaking’s leading talents, including the creators of Hobo with a Shotgun, The Raid, You’re Next and The Blair Witch Project. In English, Indonesian with subtitles. A Magnet Release.
A Journal of Insomnia, Project creators: Bruno Choiniere, Philippe Lambert Guillaume Braun
Bruno Choiniere, Philippe Lambert, and
Guillaume Braun. (Canada). Insomniacs are both spectators and actors in this large, interactive fresco that combines hundreds of personal reflections on sleepless nights, gathered online from insomniacs around the world since fall 2012. This work, produced by The National Film Board of Canada, provides a cutting portrait of insomnia as a universal and peculiarly wide-ranging affliction and challenges visitors to experience the condition for themselves.
Robots in Residence, Project Creators: Brent Hoff Alexander Reben.
Alexander Reben.(USA). Robots in Residencechallenges Alfred Hitchcock’s claim that “in feature films the director is God; in documentary films God is the director.” Here there is no god, as pre-programmed robots collaborate with festival audiences to direct and shoot a documentary in its entirety. Robot artist Alexander Reben and filmmaker Brent Hoff forge a provocative new form of documentary storytelling by using robots as a lens through which we take a new look at humanity.
Sandy Storyline, Project Creators: Rachel Falcone, Laura Gottesdiener Michael Premo.
Rachel Falcone, Laura Gottesdiener, and
Michael Premo.(USA). Using audio, photography, text and video,Sandy Storyline is an ever-growing documentary narrative as community members and volunteers offer their accounts of the storm and the efforts to recover and rebuild local neighborhoods. The project forges a new type of media in time of crisis, one that is participatory, interactive and designed for community empowerment.
Star Wars Uncut, Project Creator: Casey Pugh.
Casey Pugh.(USA). Love Star Wars but think you would have done it differently? Then this fun, creative and wonderfully nostalgic interactive media project is for you. Using everything from hand-drawn animations to intricate reenactments, fans and series novices created short alternatives to the Star Wars storyline and went online to piece them all together. Discover a whole new approach to Star Wars, one fifteen-second burst at a time.
This Exquisite Forest, Project Creators: Aaron Koblin Chris Milk
Chris Milk(USA). Conceived by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin and produced by Google and Tate Modern, This Exquisite Forest was inspired by the surrealist game “exquisite corpse” and its idea of collaborative creation. The project, hosted atexquisiteforest.com, allows visitors to create short animations right in their web browser. Other users may build on the animation at any point, creating a collection of navigable, branching narratives resembling trees that grow bigger as more artists contribute.
Alberi, directed by Michaelangelo Frammartino.
Michaelangelo Frammartino.(Italy) —World premiere, documentary. Wrapping the audience in waves of sound, Alberi takes us on a circular journey through the Italian countryside. The marvelous natural music at the tops of the eponymous trees makes way for the rhythmic cadence of civilization—men baring axes and the natural clatter of daily life—before their unforgettable return home from the forest. The singular artistry of director Michelangelo Frammartino (Le quatro volte) is beautifully displayed in this mesmerizing homage to nature. Italian with subtitles.
Alberi will run as an installation in the VW Dome at MoMA PS1 from April 18th through the end of the month, with a special event celebrating the world premiere on the evening of Saturday, April 20.
Sidewalk Stories, directed and written by Charles Lane
Charles Lane. (USA) —narrative. The low-budget, New York-in-the-’80s movie that proves that silence is not all that golden, Charles Lane’s magneticSidewalk Stories is long overdue for rediscovery. Lane plays a sidewalk chalk artist whose efforts to care for an abandoned toddler are confounded by the oddball homeless characters he meets. Black-and-white and mostly silent, the film is an ingenious and whimsical effort by a black artist to give a voice to those who have none.
Herblock — The Black & The White, directed by Michael Stevens, Sara Lukinson
Michael Stevens,written by
Sara Lukinsonand Stevens. (USA) — World premiere, documentary. Herbert Block’s career at The Washington Postspanned fifty-five years and thirteen presidents, a timeframe in which he claimed three Pulitzer Prizes, the Medal of Freedom and a significant role in President Nixon’s resignation. Ben Bradlee, Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Jules Feiffer, Ted Koppel and Jon Stewart are among the many commentators bearing witness to Block’s life, work and indelible contribution to American satire in this inviting documentary. Herbert Block to attend.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali, directed by Bill Siegel.
Bill Siegel.(USA) — World premiere, documentary. Brash boxer Cassius Clay burst into the American consciousness in the early 1960s, just ahead of the Civil Rights movement. His transformation into the spiritually enlightened heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali is legendary, but this religious awakening also led to a bitter legal battle with the U.S. government after he refused to serve in the Vietnam War. This film reveals the perfect storm of race, religion and politics that shaped one of the most recognizable figures in sports history.
Running From Crazy, directed by Barbara Kopple.
Barbara Kopple.(USA) — New York premiere, documentary. Join actress Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of legendary author Ernest Hemingway, as she examines the mental illness and suicide that colors her family’s history and tries to avert that fate for herself and her daughters. By mixing in remarkable archival footage of the three Hemingway sisters, two-time Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple expands one famous family’s deeply embedded truths into a broad picture of the courage it takes to face the past and change your future.
Möbius, directed and written by Eric Rochant. Jean Dujardin Cécile De France Tim Roth Émilie Dequenne,
Eric Rochant.(France) — International premiere, narrative. Set in the incomparable beauty of Monaco, Eric Rochant’s first feature in seven years follows undercover Russian FSB officer Gregory Lioubov (
Jean Dujardin, The Artist) and international trader Alice Redmond (
Cécile De France, Hereafter), who has her own secrets to hide. Their relationship sparks a deadly chase to snag Lioubov’s real target, business magnate Ivan Rostovsky (
Tim Roth). Also starring
Émilie Dequenne,Möbius is a twisting, sexy spy thriller that fittingly leaves you guessing which way is up. Featuring special guest appearances from director Eric Rochant and main actress Cécile de France.
Oh to be in New York in April! What films will you be checking out?