Tribeca Film Festival Announces World Narrative and Documentary Selections

The New York festival will present 88 feature-length and 61 short films

Last Updated: March 7, 2011 @ 10:10 AM

The Tribeca Film Festival has announced 44 of the 88 feature films that will compete at this year's festival.

The festival runs from April 20 to May 1.

The festival's announcement is here:

10th TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WORLD NARRATIVE
AND DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION SELECTIONS, AND NEW VIEWPOINTS SECTION
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TRIBECA EXPANDS AWARDS SCOPE

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2011 Festival to Present 88 Feature-Length and 61 Short Films April 20 – May 1

Plus Free Online Film Screenings for Viewers Nationwide

New York, NY [March 7, 2011] – The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by American Express®, today announced the World Narrative and Documentary Competition film selections and the first edition of the new section—Viewpoints. Forty-four of the 88 feature-length films were announced. The 10th edition of the Festival will take place from April 20 to May 1 in lower Manhattan.

TFF organizers this year have streamlined the Festival’s format, which is now comprised of two competition sections, World Narrative and World Documentary, and three out-of-competition sections: Cinemania, Spotlight and the new Viewpoints.

“It’s our tenth Tribeca Film Festival, and in our relatively brief existence we have evolved dramatically,” says Nancy Schafer, Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Festival. “The Festival has become an integral part of the cultural landscape of New York City as well as a globally recognized platform for storytelling.”

The 2011 film selection includes feature films from 32 different countries, including 43 World Premieres, 10 International Premieres, 19 North American Premieres, 7 U.S. Premieres and 9 New York Premieres. Ninety-nine directors will be presenting feature works at the Festival, with 54 of these filmmakers presenting their feature directorial debuts. Twelve feature film directors are returning TFF filmmakers. The 2011 film slate was chosen from a total of 5,624 submissions, a record number for the Festival.

“In programming the Festival this year we had to make some incredibly difficult decisions, but we are excited about the quality, ingenuity, risk-taking and diversity of this year’s program,” says David Kwok, Director of Programming. “We are particularly proud that we have 12 directors returning to Tribeca with their feature films as well as the opportunity to showcase an excellent number of films that have been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute.”

Kwok added, “We believe the competition this year is one of our most diverse yet—it includes countries and genres never before represented and highlights the spectrum of world cinema out there today. In our new Viewpoints section, we celebrate films that have unique, personal perspectives in their approach to their subjects, and which connect a wide range of global stories. We can’t wait to share them with our audiences.”

The Festival will introduce new awards this year for films in competition, honoring cinematography, screenwriting and editing, providing further opportunity for those in their field to be recognized. New this year, the Best New Narrative Director and Best New Documentary Director awards are now open to any filmmaker in the Festival making the North American or wider premiere of his or her first feature film.

· Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard, directed by Joshua Neale. (UK) – World Premiere. Richard has been pissing people off for 50 years. A recovering alcoholic from North Dakota, he finally musters the courage to complete the eighth and ninth steps of the 12-Step Program. With a list of everyone he’s wronged—from ex-wives to ex-mistresses, abandoned children to slighted pals—Richard tries to make amends. But has he really changed? Soulful folk music and rich characters bring levity and humor to an emotional story of redemption.

· Give Up Tomorrow, directed by Michael Collins. (USA, UK) – International Premiere. In 1997, Paco Larrañaga was arrested for the murder of two teenage sisters on a provincial island in the Philippines. Over the next 13 years, his case became the highest profile in the nation’s history, and the focal point in a far-reaching exposé of gross miscarriage of justice. At once an engrossing murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and a stunning indictment of national corruption, Give Up Tomorrow is an enraging true crime chronicle. In English, Spanish, Tagalog with English subtitles.

· Jiro Dreams of Sushi, directed by David Gelb. (USA) – North American Premiere. An appetizing documentary in every sense, Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows 85-year-old master sushi chef Jiro Ono, paying lushly photographed homage to the process of preparing the artisan sushi that earned Ono’s esteemed Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant three Michelin stars. From the complicated relationship between Jiro and his sons to the ins and outs of the tuna auction, this spirited film profiles all aspects of Jiro’s craft in tantalizing style and detail. In Japanese with English subtitles.

· Koran By Heart, directed by Greg Barker. (USA, UK) – World Premiere. The world’s preeminent Koran-recitation competition takes place each year in Cairo, drawing Muslim children from as far as Tajikistan and the Maldives to perform in front of a panel of prominent judges. Following these talented youngsters from their intense preparation regimes through the rigorous rounds of the tournament, Koran By Heart is both an inspirational competition film and an engaging survey of the unique experiences of Muslim children throughout the world. In Arabic, Dhivehi, English, Tajik, Wolof, Buck with English subtitles.

· Love During Wartime, directed and written by Gabriella Bier. (Sweden) – North American Premiere. Jasmin and Assi are newlyweds, but building a life together seems impossible: She’s an Israeli, he’s a Palestinian. When their homelands turn their backs on them, they choose to live in exile. This tender tale of a love infiltrated by politics follows a real-life Romeo and Juliet on their odyssey from the Middle East through an inhospitable Europe. As their hopes rise and then fade with each bureaucratic hurdle, will their love survive? In Hebrew, Arabic, English, German with English subtitles.

· Marathon Boy, directed by Gemma Atwal. (UK, USA, India) – North American Premiere. Gemma Atwal’s fascinating and dynamic epic follows Budhia, a four-year-old boy plucked from the slums of India and trained as a marathon prodigy by Biranchi Das, a larger-than-life judo coach who runs an orphanage in the eastern state of Orissa. But over the next five years and dozens of marathons, Budhia’s roller-coaster journey turns from an uplifting story of promise and opportunity to one of greed, corruption, and broken dreams. In Oriya, English, Hindi with English subtitles.

· Our School (Scoala Noastra), directed by Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma. (USA, Switzerland) – North American Premiere. Our School follows three Roma (commonly known as Gypsy) children in a rural Transylvanian village who are among the pioneer participants in an initiative to integrate the ethnically segregated Romanian schools. Touching on issues ranging from institutionalized prejudice, public education, and the intractability of poverty, but always firmly rooted in the hypnotic rhythms and profound reality of the Roma community, Our School is a deeply affecting, often infuriating, and ultimately bittersweet story of tradition and progress. In Romanian with English subtitles.

· Semper Fi: Always Faithful, directed by Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon. (USA) – World Premiere. Iraq war veteran Jerry Ensminger’s loyalty was always to the Marine Corps. But after his nine-year-old daughter died of a rare type of leukemia, Jerry’s relentless search for answers leads to a shocking discovery exposing of the largest water contamination sites in U.S. history. Living by the Marine creed, this drill sergeant-turned-activist puts his own pain aside and takes on the top brass in an impassioned struggle for justice on behalf of his fellow soldiers and family.

Viewpoints

New in 2011, the Viewpoints program presents 11 narrative features and nine documentaries as a snapshot of international independent cinema that immerses audiences in distinctive perspectives. Grounded in the personal stories of real-life characters around the world, the documentaries in this program feature intimate portraits of a woman whose own life was overshadowed by the famous beat writers she loved (Love Always, Carolyn), another who must adapt to being poor after the sudden loss of her fortune (The Good Life), and a now-grown “test-tube baby” who uses online social media to connect with biological kin (Donor Unknown). Similarly, the narrative films in Viewpoints also immerse viewers in deeply personal stories while stretching the stylistic potential of the medium, as in the Serbian musical tragedy White, White World or the low-budget American indie comedy Rid of Me.

· The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, directed by Marie Losier. (USA, France) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Filmmaker and TFF alum Marie Losier, who has created engaging short films on avant-garde artists like George Kuchar and Guy Maddin, makes her feature documentary debut with a mesmerizing and deeply romantic love story between pioneering musician and performance artist Genesis P-Orridge and soul mate Lady Jaye. Breaking new ground in its depiction of gender identity, Ballad chronicles the physical and spiritual merging of two beings into one.

· Donor Unknown, directed by Jerry Rothwell. (UK) – North American Premiere, Documentary. JoEllen Marsh grew up knowing her father only as Donor 150. As one of the first generation of “test-tube babies,” she yearns for connection with potential siblings, and turns to the Internet to track them down. As JoEllen slowly broadens her family tree, in the process she forges a fascinatingly modern model of family. After connecting with dozens of siblings across the country, JoEllen decides it’s finally time to seek out Donor 150.

· Flowers of Evil (Fleurs du Mal), directed by David Dusa, written by David Dusa, Raphaëlle Maes, and Louise Molière. (France) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Paris-Tehran. A rootless story of young love between Gecko, an Algerian-French hotel bellman and parkourer, and Anahita, an Iranian student forced to leave her country for her own safety after the controversial elections in 2009. Obsessed with tracking the political movement, Anahita’s friends broadcast through YouTube and coordinate via Twitter. Romance and the Internet become the ground to explore histories lost and identity yet to be found. In French, Farsi with English subtitles.

· Gnarr, directed by Gaukur Úlfarsson. (Iceland) – International Premiere, Documentary. You’ll never see politics the same after this raucous documentary. Following his country’s economic meltdown, acerbic Icelandic comedian Jon Gnarr launches his own political party, The Best Party. His platform? Free trips to Disneyland, more polar bears in the zoo, and refusing to work with anyone who doesn’t watch The Wire. But when support for Gnarr’s wacky mayoral bid surprisingly snowballs, what started out as a joke quickly captures the imagination of a nation desperate for a change. In Icelandic with English subtitles.

· Gone, directed by Gretchen Morning and John Morning. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. What would you do if you got a call that your grown son had mysteriously vanished while living abroad? In this riveting, confessional documentary, retired New York cop Kathy Gilleran describes her heartrending journey. In her search for her missing gay son in Vienna, Austria, Gilleran encounters a homophobic police force, unexpected discrepancies in the investigation, and suspicious circumstances. This is her story—a mother’s determination to find truth or simply an answer.

· The Good Life (Det gode liv), directed by Eva Mulvad. (Denmark) – North American Premiere, Documentary. How do you cope with being broke after having lived a life of luxury and privilege? This is the fundamental question facing spoiled Anne Mette and her mother, a once-rich family now living off a small pension and struggling to adapt to their new situation in a coastal Portuguese hamlet. A Grey Gardens for the current financial era, The Good Life is a character study at turns touching and frustrating, but ultimately poignant. In English, Danish, Portuguese with English subtitles.

· The Journals of Musan (Musan Il-gi), directed by Park Jungbum. (South Korea) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Park Jungbum’s stunning and much-lauded debut is the story of a North Korean defector forging a life in capitalist South Korea. As both director and actor, Park (assistant director of Lee Chang-dong’s stirring Poetry) fully realizes a disarmingly beautiful vision of loneliness, disconnect, and ethical ambiguity in this story of a lost soul’s struggle to connect. In Korean with English subtitles.

· Lotus Eaters, directed by Alexandra McGuinness, written by Alexandra McGuinness and Brendan Grant. (UK) – World Premiere, Narrative. The bright young things of London’s social elite lead an existence as languorous and lavish as it is self-destructive. At the center is Alice, a stunning ex-model unable to keep up with the high standards of living her peers feverishly chase. Alexandra McGuinness’ directorial debut presents a contemporary black-and-white portrait of overlapping cliques of friends struggling to get their lives under control before they fall numb to it all.

· Love Always, Carolyn, directed by Maria Ramström and Malin Korkeasalo. (Sweden) – World Premiere, Documentary. They say behind every great man is a great woman. Carolyn Cassady was behind two. Wife of beatnik icon Neal Cassady and lover-muse of Jack Kerouac, Carolyn saw her life story and the memory of the men she loved hijacked by mythmakers. Cassady is the intimate, graceful portrait of a patient matriarch who could never escape the constant wake of her husband’s epic misadventures.

· Magic Valley, directed and written by Jaffe Zinn. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. As one warm October day unfolds, the sleepy town of Buhl, Idaho will never be the same. A fish farmer finds his crop destroyed, a couple of kids are playing an unusual game in the sun-dappled fields, and after a wild party a sleepless teenager is harboring an awful secret…. First-time director Jaffe Zinn presents an atmospheric picture of small-town life with a keen eye and assured hand.

· Maria My Love, directed and written by Jasmine McGlade Chazelle. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Disoriented by her mother’s death and resentful of her father’s mistakes, a twentysomething woman leaves Santa Barbara for Los Angeles to reconnect with her half-sister. Inspired by a new romance, she decides to help others through volunteer work, but soon gets entangled in an emotionally complex situation revealing more about herself than she might be ready for. Judy Marte (Raising Victor Vargas) and Karen Black star.

· The Miners’ Hymns, directed by Bill Morrison, written by Bill Morrison, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and David Metcalfe. (UK, USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Experimental filmmaker and frequent TFF alum Bill Morrison combines newly shot aerial scenes that he filmed himself with historic found-footage images of the mining communities of Northeast England that he culled from the British archives. Morrison creates a moving and formally elegant tribute to this vanished era of working-class life, enriched by an original score by avant-garde Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson.