The Tribeca Film Festival will include 60 shorts in its 2011 program, including 22 world premieres and an array of narrative, documentary and animated entries featuring such actors as Campbell Scott, Jean Reno, David Duchovny, Brendan Gleeson and Oscar nominees Ian McKellen and Marianne Jean-Baptiste.
The shorts lineup, which was announced on Wednesday by TFF, features documentaries about a transgender rock 'n' roller, a bipolar motivational speaker and a movie-loving Haitian community, along with, as usual, a few shorts from actors making forays into directing. Those include a pair of family affairs: Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows") with "Noreen" (left), starring his father Brendan and brother Brian, and Tribeca vets and actor/director brothers Rider Strong ("Boy Meets World") and Shiloh Strong ("Dinotopia") with "The Dungeon Master."
Animated entries include the zombies-in-New York story "Year Zero" and the German animated drama "A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation," featuring the voice of Ian McKellen.
The films were selected from nearly 3,000 submissions, and represent the work of 20 different countries.
For the first time, according to festival organizers, Tribeca will serve as one of roughly 65 qualifying festivals for the Academy Awards' shorts categories; the winner of the festival's Best Narrative Short Award will automatically qualify for next year's Oscar race without the usual three-day theatrical run required of shorts.
The shorts will also compete for more than $15,000 in cash and value-in-kind prizes.
Tribeca's shorts will be divided into eight thematic programs. Two are devoted to documentary shorts, one to animated shorts and one to films set in New York.
From the TFF press release announcing the shorts lineup, here's a description of the various programs:
Off the Grid (Documentary)
"Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll are a few of the topics explored in these thought-provoking short documentaries. Two-man rock duo 'Crash&Burn' is turned upside down when Burn decides to have transgender surgery. It’s San Francisco, sex, and the First Amendment in 'Smut Capital of America.' A broken building trembles in a battle for space and souls in 'Caretaker for the Lord.' In 'Guru,' a charismatic motivational speaker privately battles bipolar disorder. 'Incident in New Baghdad' recounts a U.S. Army veteran’s personal experience in and out of the war zone."
One For All (Documentary)
"Positive thinking prevails in this group of inspiring short documentaries. In 'Summer Snapshot,' a group of friends reflects on a special sun-kissed day. It’s mind over matter, literally, for spiritual leader and peace advocate Sri Chinmoy in 'Challenging Impossibility.' 'In the Spirit of Laxmi' a hotel manager commits to raising and re-wilding an injured leopard cub. A community in Haiti rallies to build a movie theater in 'Sun City Picture House.'"
All You Can Eat (Narrative, Animated)
"This tasty assortment of animated shorts will leave you hungry for more. A polar bear in Hollywood has trouble going with the 'floe' in 'The Beaufort Diaries.' Love isn’t what it’s cracked up to be in 'Not Over Easy.' In 'Year Zero' a sole survivor battles the zombie apocalypse in New York City. A lonely and bitter Easter Bunny hatches a plan to steal the spotlight from Santa in 'Preferably Blue' (below). Follow the lives of seemingly random characters in 'Just That Sort of a Day.' A man’s journey through grief is revealed in 'A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation.' It’s a ravishing ride through an imaginary animated landscape in 'Harmonium Mountain.'"
Open 24 Hours (Narrative)
"From the city that never sleeps, these New York shorts show there’s no place like home. Twelve-year-old Rodney tries to regain the love of his wayward dad in 'Down This Road.' Two Manhattan teenagers make an unexpected connection in 'Nightlife.' Brothers Caleb and Aaron are at odds over their religious beliefs in 'Storm Up The Sky.' It’s all about the gravity of the situation in 'Brink.' Luck finally comes his way for the man in 'The Ignorant Bliss of Sun and Moon.' A 1924 high school autograph book bridges the generation gap in 'Grandpa Looked Like William Powell.' It’s a Brooklyn tale about Jimmy, his senile landlord, and the ice cream that brings them together in 'Loose Change.' Three friends are on a mission to pull off the perfect score in 'Cheat.'"
Take As Directed (Narrative)
"You’ll receive just the right dose of drama and comedy in this short narrative program. A nine-year-old boy enlists the help of his best friend to get his 'Bunny' back. A successful man abandons his worldly possessions for a purpose in 'The Philosopher.' Marissa and Jeremy finally share their feelings as Christian summer camp comes to an end in 'All In All.' An ironic twist of fate foils Cesar’s desperate plan in 'Last Resort.' An exhausted mother brings her terrified child to the hospital in 'Cold Blood.' In 'Man and Boy' a father takes justice into his own hands when he thinks his son has been sexually assaulted. Ting misses her mom, Jie misses his wife, and a kitten becomes a catalyst in 'Braid.' Two years after a traumatic car accident that leaves a girl in a vegetative state, the man responsible attempts to atone in 'Switch.'"
Mix Tape (Narrative)
"Sit back, relax, and take a rhythmic ride around the world with these narrative shorts. Fueled by alcohol and hormones, Aimee and Steph take a swim on a hot summer night in 'The Kiss.' A student accepts a lift from a stranger but 'The Ride' leads to unexpected consequences. Joel has finally made up his mind, or so he thinks, in 'Coming Out.' A hotel housekeeper dreams of home in 'Rooms.' The little girl in 'Hauraki' gives the grown-ups a lesson in compassion. Experience the awesome adventures of a man and his mustache in 'Mr Stache.' Shane and his friends thought it would be fun to recapture their geeky youth until 'The Dungeon Master' arrived. Two cops discover a dead body in a cottage and get more than they bargained for in 'Noreen.'"
Exit Strategies (Narrative)
"Sticky situations and surprises create the perfect escape in this program of narrative shorts. When altar boy Damian receives a priestly pep talk he has a decision to make in 'Pentecost.' Roger hit a cat but it’s not quite dead, so he and his friends have to finish the job in 'Dead Cat.' 'Gravity' is about friendship, love, space aliens, cocaine, and handicaps, not necessarily in that order. In 'Each Moment Is the Universe' a boy is reborn with memories of his previous lives and tries to fix the mistakes of the past. A father and son face off in 'The Terms.' It’s the story of a woman, a man, and a mysterious box in 'Love, Lots of It' (above). An aspiring actress has trouble after the shooting stops in 'Eva – Working Title.' A restful day turns tense for the family in 'Picnic.'"
Impressions of Memory (Narrative/Documentary)
"These talented artists address, in both thematically and stylistically distinct ways, the manner in which images evoke memory. This is achieved through the use of text, the presence of previously filmed “found” footage, a scenic train ride bleeding into digital pixels, single frame printing devices, evocations of 9/11, a tribute to a deceased filmmaker, peripheral vision, recall of sleep via animation, seascape imagery folding back on itself in time, and bittersweet remembrances of now-extinct Kodachrome film stock."
The films: "One Over Wanderlust," "The D Train," "After the Fire," "Garden Roll Bounce Parking Lot," "Current (Reprise)," "One Day I Forgot and Used My Hands," "Sleep," "Strips," "Paper," "Filmpiece for Bartlett," "The Green Wave," "Bye Bye Super 8."
The film guide is now live on www.tribecafilm.com. The screening schedule will be posted on Monday, March 21. Advance selection ticket packages and passes are currently on sale.