Spitzer Doc, Restored ‘Zhivago’ Lead Tribeca Lineup

James Franco, Brian Geraghty star in other films coming to De Niro’s downtown New York fest

Last Updated: March 15, 2010 @ 10:06 AM

A documentary about disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer heads the first batch of films announced for the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from April 21 to May 2.

"Untitled Eliot Spitzer Project," a work-in-progress from Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side"), deals with the politician forced to leave office over his relationship with a prostitute.  
"It’s a great film about the person and the career, not just the sensational parts of his life," Tribeca’s director of programming, David Kwok told TheWrap.  "I think it may change people’s ideas about Spitzer." (Spitzer photo by Nina Berman.)
Among the other 33 films announced (out of a total of 85 films and 47 shorts) are “Open House,” in which “Hurt Locker” star Brian Geraghty stars as a man victimized by a sexually predatory relationship; “Gainsbourg, Je t’Aime … Moi Non Plus,” a biography of French music icon Serge Gainsbourgh; and “William Vincent,” in which James Franco plays a criminal returning to New York in search of the prostitute (Julianne Nicholson) with whom he’s fallen in love.
Other documentaries include looks at the Russian mafia, the Rwandan genocide and a group of teens trying to escape from the polygamist compound in which they were raised.
The festival will also include a 45th anniversary showing of David Lean’s "Dr. Zhivago," with a newly restored print.
For the first time, in addition to screenings in lower Manhattan, video-on-demand screenings will be held on cable and satellite of 12 of the films to begin the same day as their festival debuts. And a Tribeca Film Festival Virtual will enable viewers to see films, panel discussions and Q&As, and other aspects of the festival on the Internet.
While he admits that the day-and-date release of films on the Internet is a controversial subject in the film industry, Kwok said, "We think that we’re giving all of our films a boost through all of our marketing and publicity, whether they’re going to VOD or a later theatrical release."
The lineup will include 85 feature-length films and 47 short films, including 45 world premieres, 7 International premieres, 14 North American premieres, 6 U.S. premieres and 12 New York premieres. Seven of the latter are part of the fourth annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
"The aim is to present the most diverse program possible, and to be well-represented internationally," said Kwok, who added that the staff considered a record 5,000-plus submissions. "We’re particularly happy that we have lots of returning filmmakers who are coming back with their second films, or they’ve been here with shorts and now they’re coming back with their first features." 
Films in the World Narrative and World Documentary competitions will be vying for prizes totaling $100,000. Films shot primarily in New York or produced by New York-based companies will be eligible for several other awards.
Seven of the films in the lineup are from the recently formed Tribeca Film, a distributor which Kwok described as "a way of extending the festival outside of New York."   
In addition to "Open House," “Gainsbourg” and "William Vincent," the World Narrative Feature Competition includes “Lucky Life,” director Lee Isaac Chung’s follow-up to his award-winning “Munyurangabo."
Included in the World Documentary Feature Competition are “The Arbor,” artist/director Clio Barnard’s look at the life of British playwright Andrea Dunbar; “Earth Made of Glass,” a film about the Rwandan genocide from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Deborah Scranton; “Sons of Perdition,” Jennilyn Merten’s and Tyler Measom’s look at teenagers who try to escape from the polygamist community founded by the imprisoned Warren Jeffs; and “Thieves by Law,” Alexander Genteley’s look inside the Russian mafia.
The Global Cinema Showcase is made up of seven films with creative input from almost a dozen different countries on four continents. Among them are “Metropia” (pictured), a futuristic, animated sci-fi noir that includes the voices of Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis and Stellan and Alexander Skarsgard; and “Lola,” from Cannes best director Brilliante Mendoza.
Films that will be available on VOD through the TFF Virtual include "William Vincent," "Metropia," the Finland-set rugby documentary "Freetime Machos" and "Road, Movie," about a road trip across India in a battered Chevy.
Films in the Cinemania, Discovery, Encounters and Spotlight sections, as well as galas and special events, will be announced in coming weeks, most of them on March 15.
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2001 by Robert Ne Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff. A for-profit organization, it has in the past been criticized for the high price of its tickets. This year’s tickets cost $16 for evening and weekend screenings and $8 for daytime weekday and late-night films, a drop from past prices.
The festival’s main sponsor is American Express.
For information on the selected films, and on ticket packages and individual tickets, go to www.tribecafilm.com.
The films that have been announced are as follows:
World Narrative Feature Competition:
“Buried Land” directed by Geoffrey Alan Rhodes and Steven Eastwood, written by Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, Steven Eastwood, and Dzenan Medanovic. (USA, UK, Bosnia and Herzegovina) – World and TFF Virtual Premiere.
“Dog Pound,” directed by Kim Chapiron, written by Kim Chapiron and Jeremie Delon. (France) – World Premiere.
“Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti),” directed by Ferzan Ozpetek, written by Ivan Cotroneo and Ferzan Ozpetek. (Italy) – North American Premiere. “Lucky Life,” directed by Lee Isaac Chung, written by Lee Isaac Chung and Samuel Gray Anderson. (USA) – World Premiere.
“My Brothers,” directed by Paul Fraser, written by William Collins. (Ireland) – World Premiere.
“Open House,” directed and written by Andrew Paquin. (USA) – World Premiere.
“Paju,” directed and written by Chan-ok Park. (South Korea) – North American Premiere
“Gainsbourg, Je t’Aime… Moi Non Plus,” directed and written by Joann Sfar. (France) – International Premiere.
“Snap,” directed and written by Carmel Winters. (Ireland) – World Premiere. “When We Leave (Die Fremde),” directed and written by Feo Aladag. (Germany) – North American Premiere.
“The White Meadows (Keshtzar haye sepid),” directed and written by Mohammad Rasoulof. (Iran) – North American Premiere.
“William Vincent,” directed and written by Jay Anania. (USA) – World Premiere.
World Documentary Feature Competition:
“American Mystic,” directed by Alex Mar. (USA) – World Premiere.
“The Arbor,” directed by Clio Barnard. (UK) – World Premiere.
“Budrus,” directed by Julia Bacha. (USA, Palestine, Israel) – North American Premiere.
“Earth Made of Glass,” directed by Deborah Scranton. (USA) – World Premiere.
“Feathered Cocaine,” directed by Thorkell Hardarsson and Örn Marino Arnarson. (Iceland) – World Premiere.
“Freetime Machos,” directed by Mika Ronkainen. (Finland, Germany) – North American and TFF Virtual Premiere.
“Into Eternity,” directed by Michael Madsen. (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy) – International Premiere.
“Monica & David,” directed by Alexandra Codina. (USA) – North American Premiere.
“Sons of Perdition,” directed by Jennilyn Merten, Tyler Measom. (USA) – World Premiere.
“Thieves By Law (Ganavim ba Hok),” directed by Alexander Gentelev. (Israel, Germany, Spain) – World Premiere.
“The Two Escobars,” directed by Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist. (USA, Colombia) – World Premiere.
“The Woodmans,” directed by C. Scott Willis. (USA, Italy, China) – World Premiere.
“Blood and Rain (La sangre y la lluvia),” directed by Jorge Navas, written by Carlos Henao, Alizé Le Maoult, and Jorge Navas. (Colombia, Argentina) – New York Premiere.
“A Brand New Life (Yeo-haeng-ja),” directed and written by Ounie Lecomte. (South Korea, France) – New York Premiere.
“Heartbreaker (L’arnacoeur),” directed by Pascal Chaumeil, written by Laurent Zeitoun, Jeremy Doner, and Yoann Gromb. (France) – New York Premiere.
“Lola,” directed by Brillante Mendoza, written by Linda Casimiro. (Philippines, France) – New York Premiere.
“Metropia,” directed by Tarik Saleh, written by Fredrik Edin, Stig Larsson, and Tarik Saleh. (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) – New York Premiere.
“Moloch Tropical,” directed by Raoul Peck, written by Jean-René Lemoine, Raoul Peck. (Haiti, France) – New York Premiere.
“Road, Movie,” directed and written by Dev Benegal. (USA, India) – US Premiere.
Special Events:
“Doctor Zhivago,” directed by David Lean, written by Robert Bolt. (USA, UK, 1965)
“Untitled Eliot Spitzer Film,” directed by Alex Gibney – Work in Progress screening.
“The Western Front,” directed and written by Zachary Iscol. (USA) – Work in Progress screening.