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Tribeca top brass announce competition films and Viewpoints

Top brass at the festival, presented by American Express, announced the world narrative and documentary competition strands and Viewpoints. Tribeca is set to run from Apr 17-28 and as previously announced will open with the world premiere of Mistaken For Strangers.

Frédéric Boyer, who joined TFF as artistic director last year, continues to lead the programming team, working closely with Tribeca Enterprises chief creative officer Geoffrey Gilmore, director of programming Genna Terranova and programmer Cara Cusumano.

The festival will now designate opening films for all categories. Big Men will screen as opening night for the World Documentary competition, Bluebird will open the World Narrative competition, and the documentary Flex Is Kings will open the Viewpoints section. All three films will premiere on Apr 18.   

“Our competition selections embody the quality and diversity of contemporary cinema from across the globe,” said Boyer.

“The cinematic proficiency that harnesses this line-up is remarkable and we’re looking forward to sharing these new perspectives, powerful performances, and multifaceted stories.”

Tribeca in numbers

The 2013 film selection includes feature films from 30 countries, including 53 world premieres, seven international premieres, 15 North American premieres, six US premieres and eight New York premieres.

A total of 113 directors will present feature works at the festival, with 35 film-makers marking their feature directorial debuts. Among these directors, 26 are women. The 2013 film slate was chosen from a total of 6,005 submissions.

“The films in this year’s documentary competition deliver tremendous insight into the challenges of our ever-growing global culture as well as highlight how individuals affect and react to change,” said Terranova.

“With varying styles of film-making, this mix of American and international voices are pointed and thought-provoking. Viewpoints has broadened this year with more international perspectives, and features many stories about those that go to great lengths when affronted by their own individuality.”

World Narrative and Documentary Competition

Twelve narrative and 12 documentary features will compete for cash prizes totaling $180,000, as well as artwork from the Artists Awards program sponsored by Chanel, featuring donated work from Stephen Hannock, Robert Longo, William Wegman and Dustin Yellin. All synopses were based on those provided by the festival.

World Narrative Feature Competition

Half of this year’s narrative competition films are US productions, and half hail from around the world. Entries will compete for the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Best New Narrative Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

Alì Blue Eyes (Alì Ha Gli Occhi Azzurri) (Italy), dir Claudio Giovannesi
Giovannesi’s award-winning second dramatic feature captures one week in the life of 16-year-old troublemaker Nader, who, despite his mother’s threats and family’s insistence that he respect his Muslim roots, fights, steals and pursues an Italian girlfriend. In Italian with subtitles.
International Premiere

Before Snowfall (Før Snøen Faller) (Norway, Germany, Iraqi Kurdistan Region), dirs Hisham Zaman
Zaman brings the moral crisis of honour killing front and centre in this international drama. When his older sister Nermin flees an arranged marriage, Siyar must atone for the slight. He tracks her from Kurdistan to Istanbul, where a fateful encounter with a street girl creates cracks in his resolve. Then Nermin escapes into Europe, and Siyar must continue a search that will forever change his notions of loyalty, dignity, honour and love. In Kurdish with subtitles.
International Premiere

Bluebird (USA), dir Lance Edmands
On a freezing January evening, school bus driver Lesley (Amy Morton) completes her route, but her final inspection abruptly ends when a bluebird comes into view. What happens next shakes her small Maine logging town, proving that even the slightest actions have enormous consequences. Co-starring Adam Driver, Margo Martindale, John Slattery, Louisa Krause and Emily Meade, Lance Edmands’s feature debut encapsulates the interconnectedness of life.
World Premiere

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium, Netherlands), dir Felix van Groeningen
Elise runs a tattoo shop. Didier plays in a bluegrass band. When their daughter Maybelle is born, their happiness is complete, until a tangle of complications forces these two very different lovers to fight to save their marriage. Belgian director Felix van Groeningen follows his acclaimed Cannes entry The Misfortunates with this melodrama of star-crossed lovers laced with emotional bluegrass performances. In Dutch with subtitles.
North American Premiere

Hide Your Smiling Faces (USA), dir Daniel Patrick Carbone
During a hot summer in rural America, brothers Tommy (Ryan Jones) and Eric (Nathan Varnson) are confronted with devastation as death forces its way into their young lives. The debut feature explores the nature of the relationship between
boys, as both violence and support.
North American Premiere

Just A Sigh (Le Temps De L’aventure) (France), dir Jérôme Bonnell
In the short break between performances in Calais, stage actress Alix (Emmanuelle Devos) makes a quick escape to Paris. On the train she meets a mysterious English stranger (Gabriel Byrne) and, for the most fleeting of afternoons, imagines what the future could hold down a different road. In English, French with subtitles.
International Premiere

Lily (USA), dir Matt Creed
Nearing the end of her treatment for breast cancer, Lily focuses on life with newfound clarity, reevaluating her relationship with an older man and her feelings about her long-absent father. Set in New York.
World premiere 

The Rocket (Australia), dir Kim Mordaunt.
Set against the lush backdrop of rural Laos, the drama tells the story of scrappy 10-year-old Ahlo, who yearns to break free from his ill-fated destiny. After his village is displaced to make way for a massive dam, Ahlo escapes with his father and grandmother through the Laotian outback in search of a new home. Along the way, they come across a rocket festival that offers Ahlo a lucrative but dangerous chance to prove his worth. In Lao with subtitles.
North American Premiere

Six Acts (Shesh Peamim) (Israel), dir Jonathan Gurfinkel
Naïve teen Gili is determined to improve her social status by hooking up with her new school’s coolest guy. Afterwards, he passes her off to his friend. Happy at first for the attention, Gili soon finds her situation deteriorating, as this average girl is increasingly consumed by a culture of oversexed teenhood. In Hebrew with subtitles.
North American Premiere

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors (USA), dir Sam Fleischner
When autistic teen Ricky is scolded for skipping class, he escapes into the subway for a days-long odyssey among the subway’s disparate denizens. Meanwhile, his mother wages an escalating search effort above ground. Based on a true story and set in Far Rockaway, Queens, in the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy, these parallel stories of mother and son take the viewer on a journey of community and connection in and below New York City.
World premiere

Sunlight Jr. (USA), dir Laurie Collyer
Quickie-mart employee Melissa (Naomi Watts) and paraplegic Richie (Matt Dillon) are very much in love. Supported only by Melissa’s small hourly wage, they are nevertheless thrilled to learn that Melissa is pregnant. Then their situation deteriorates, and their tenuous financial situation threatens to bring their happy life crashing down. Norman Reedus also stars in this drama from the director of Sherrybaby.
World premiere

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, (Taiwan, China), dir Arvin Chen
Chen’s sophomore feature tells of straitlaced optometrist Weichung, who finds the typical married life difficult. Then he bumps into an old flame, setting off an unexpected array of dormant emotions. Meanwhile, his sister Mandy flees her sad sack fiancé, coping via food and the fantastical appearance of a daytime soaps star on her couch. Arvin Chen’s sophomore feature is a fresh and playful comedy about the odd realities of desire in a traditional society and what happens when you seek a big
change. In Korean, Mandarin with subtitles.
North American premiere

World Documentary Feature Competition

The 12 documentaries will compete for Best Documentary Feature, Best New Documentary Director, and Best Editing.

Aatsinki: The Story Of Arctic Cowboys (Finland), dir Jessica Oreck
In the forests of Finnish Lapland, brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki carry on the generations-old tradition of reindeer herding. These modern cowboys maintain an intricate bond with the environment that has allowed them to preserve their lifestyle in a
harsh climate. In Finnish with subtitles.
World Premiere

Alias Ruby Blade: A Story Of Love and Revolution (USA), dir Alex Meillier
Kirsty Sword Gusmão went to Timor-Leste to document injustice in an area closed to Western journalists. Over the next decade, she became the lynchpin that sustained the nation’s struggle for independence and met the man who would redefine
the cause for which she was fighting.
North American Premiere

Big Men (USA), dir Rachel Boynton
Boynton (Our Brand Is Crisis) gained unprecedented access to Africa’s oil companies to recount the costly personal tolls levied when American corporate interests pursue oil in places like Ghana and the Niger River Delta. Steven Shainberg and Brad Pitt serve as executive producers.
In English, Other, Twi with subtitles.World premiere

The Genius Of Marian (USA), dir Banker White and Anna Fitch Weaving past into present, film-makers Banker White (Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars) and Anna Fitch immerse the audience in the daily life of White’s mother, Pam. Her Alzheimer’s threatens to wipe out the memory of her own mother, Marian, a celebrated artist who died of the same disease.
World Premiere

The Kill Team (USA), dir Dan Krauss
In 2010, the media branded a platoon of US Army infantry soldiers “The Kill Team” following reports of its killing for sport in Afghanistan. Now, one of the accused must fight the government he defended on the battlefield, while grappling with his own role in the alleged murders.
World Premiere

Let the Fire Burn (USA), dir Jason Osder
Osder’s feature debut presents an account of the incidents leading up to and during the 1985 stand-off between the extremist African-American organization MOVE and Philadelphia authorities. The clash claimed 11 lives and devastated an entire community.
World Premiere

Michael H. Profession: Director (Austria-France), dir Yves Montmayeur
Over the past 25 years, director Michael Haneke has established himself as a towering figure in modern cinema whose rigorous focus on the craft of film-making has produced works of profound artistry. This career-spanning documentary gives unprecedented access to and covers the body of Haneke’s work, offering insight into his creative process through on-set footage and interviews with the man himself and collaborators including Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche. In French, German with subtitles.
World Premiere

Oxyana, (USA), dir Sean Dunne
Oceana, West Virginia – known as “Oxyana” after its residents’ epidemic abuse of OxyContin – is a tragically real example of the insidious spread of drug dependency throughout the country. Set against an abandoned coal mining landscape to the melodies of Deer Tick’s haunting score, this unflinchingly intimate documentary probes the lives of Oceana’s afflicted and exposes the day-to-day experience of a town living in the harsh grip of addiction.
World Premiere

Powerless (Katiyabaaz) (India), dirs Fahad Mustafa, Deepti Kakkar Would you risk your life to flip a switch? In Kanpur, India, putting oneself in harm’s way to deliver electrical power is all too common. Powerless sheds light on the opposing corners of this political ring, from an electrical Robin Hood tapping wires for neighbors to the utility company whose failure to understand economics forces it deeper into financial disarray. In English, Hindi with subtitles.
North American Premiere

Raw Herring (Hollandse Nieuwe) (Netherlands), dir Leonard Retel Helmrich and Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich
Every year millions of people look forward to the first preparation of Hollandse Nieuwe, the popular snack of raw herring from the North Sea’s spring catch. But how do you find glory in the grueling pursuit of a once-iconic fish that even the queen no
longer accepts as definitively Dutch? In Dutch with subtitles.
World Premiere

Red Obsession (Australia), dir David Roach and Warwick Ross
France’s Bordeaux region has long commanded respect for its coveted wine, but shifts in the global marketplace mean that a new, voracious consumer base in China is buying up this finite product. Bordeaux both struggles with and courts the spike in
demand, sending prices skyrocketing. Narrated by Russell Crowe. In English, Mandarin with subtitles.
North American Premiere

Teenage (USA), dir Matt Wolf
Teenagers did not exist before the 20th century. Not until the early 1950s did the term gain widespread recognition, but with Teenage, Matt Wolf argues that “teenagers” had a tumultuous effect on the previous half-decade. Narrated by actors Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, Julia Hummer and Jesse Usher. In English and German with subtitles.
World Premiere

Viewpoints

Now in its third year, Tribeca’s Viewpoints section is a panorama of the freshest voices in independent film and contemporary documentary from around the world. This year’s selection comprises 14 narrative features and eight documentaries. 

A Birder’s Guide To Everything (USA), dir Rob Meyer
On the eve of his widowed father’s second wedding, 15-year-old David Portnoy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) leads the stalwart members of his local Young Birders Society on rollicking, interstate search for an extremely rare duck. Ben Kingsley and James LeGros also star.
World Premiere, Narrative.

Bending Steel (USA), dir Dave Carroll
The Cyclone, The Freakshow, The Mermaid Parade: all Coney Island icons. But Chris “Wonder” Schoeck has always preferred the Coney Island Strongman. Bending Steel follows the unassuming Schoeck as he parlays his extraordinary strength into the pursuit of a lifelong dream. Training with an elite group of men whose hands bend, drag, twist and shred metal, he tackles an enormous physical and mental challenge.
World Premiere, Documentary

BIG JOY: The Adventures Of James Broughton (USA), dirs Stephen Silha, Eric Slade, and Dawn Logsdon
A charismatic and visionary poet and film-maker who emerged in the artistic renaissance of post-WWII San Francisco, James Broughton led an unconventional existence in his lifelong quest for creative artistry, sexual and spiritual love and an evolved state of happiness. BIG JOY is a celebratory mosaic of Broughton’s deeply intertwined creative and personal lives.
New York Premiere, Documentary

Bridegroom (USA), dir Linda Bloodworth Thomason
Bridegroom presents a personal edge to the ongoing debate over the legal rights of same-sex couples. Interviews, photos and video footage all testify to the uncommon connection that drew together Shane and Tom. For six years they remained united despite extreme challenges from both family and society, until an accident tears apart their dreams. Now one must fight to be recognised as his soulmate’s legitimate counterpart.
World Premiere, Documentary

Cutie And The Boxer (USA), dir Zachary Heinzerling
Once a rising if unruly star in the ’70s art scene, 80-year-old “boxing” painter Ushio Shinohara now struggles to establish his artistic legacy. His wife Noriko is now widely renowned for her “Cutie” drawings, depicting their chaotic, forty-year marriage. Under Zachary Heinzerling’s guidance, this New York story about troubled lives united by a dedication to art becomes a portrait on the eternal themes of love, sacrifice, disappointment and aging. A RADiUS release.
New York Premiere, Documentary

Dancing In Jaffa (Israel, USA), dir Hilla Medalia
Renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulain stars in this unique perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Three diverse Jaffa-based schools host Dulain’s Dancing Classrooms programme. Ballroom basics are taught to an ethnically mixed group of children, the most passionate members of which are trained for a citywide competition. In Arabic, English, Hebrew with subtitles.
World Premiere, Documentary

Deep Powder (USA), dir Mo Ogrodnik
Natasha is a reckless boarding school senior tabbed by her exclusive club to make its yearly cocaine run to Ecuador. Coming along for the ride is Danny, a 20-year-old aspiring hockey player from the other side of the tracks, who may just discover that he has fallen for the wrong girl. Starring up-and-comers Haley Bennett and Shiloh Fernandez.
World Premiere, Narrative

Farah Goes Bang (USA), dir Meera Menon
Farah hits the road with her buddies to stump for John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, hoping the trip will be her opportunity to finally shed her unwanted virginity. She soon finds her efforts on both political and sexual fronts continuously thwarted. Farah Goes Bang paints a comic portrait of the overdue growing pains of a group of girlfriends and the country itself.
World Premiere, Narrative

Flex Is Kings (USA), dirs Deidre Schoo and Michael Nichols
A portrait of the freeing power of street performance in Brooklyn. Reem is the savvy promoter, Flizzo the undefeated local legend, Jay Don the innovator with the talent to carry him far away from home.
World Premiere, Documentary

Floating Skyscrapers (Płynące Wieżowce) (Poland), dir Tomasz Wasilewski
Wasilewski’s second feature follows Kuba as he attends an art opening with his girlfriend of two years and bumps into Mikal. The connection between these two young men is instantaneous and despite opposition from all sides, he allows Mikal into his life. The results go beyond anything he could have imagined. In Polish with subtitles.
World Premiere, Narrative

Harmony Lessons (Uroki Garmonii) (Kazakhstan, Germany, France), dir Emir Baigazin
Symbolism and striking cinematography navigate the complicated landscape of a teenager’s mind in this Kazakh film about violence among children. After enduring frequent humiliation at the hands of the class bully, 13-year old Aslan snaps, triggering an intense psychological reaction.
North American Premiere, Narrative

Jîn (Turkey), dir Reha Erdem
Reha Erdem relays the effects of the decades-long Turkish-Kurdish conflict. Seventeen-year-old freedom fighter Jîn abandons her post and crosses between the opposing forces, navigating a beautiful mountain range made brutal by gunfire and random bombings. Her courage is repeatedly tested, until she finds comfort among unexpected allies. In Turkish with subtitles.
North American Premiere, Narrative

Kiss The Water (US-UK), dir Eric Steel
Travel to Scotland’s far northern highlands and explore the life and remarkable influence of Megan Boyd, fishing fly-maker extraordinaire. Self-taught in this enigmatic, artful craft, Boyd became an internationally renowned artisan and supplier to, among others, Prince Charles. Interviews, animations and images of the stunning Scottish countryside define Eric Steel’s lyrical tale of solitary celebrity.
World Premiere, Documentary

Lenny Cooke (USA) dir Benny Safdie and Joshua Safdie
In 2001, Lenny Cooke was the most hyped high school basketball player in the country, ranked above future greats LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. A decade later, Lenny has never played a minute in the NBA.
World Premiere, Documentary

The Moment (USA), dir Jane Weinstock
After a tumultuous affair between international photojournalist Lee (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and troubled artist John (Martin Henderson) ends in John’s disappearance, Lee lands in a mental hospital to recuperate. She strikes up a friendship with a fellow patient bearing an uncanny resemblance to her missing lover. The pair works to uncover the truth behind the disappearance, but Lee’s precarious sanity comes under threat when the clues lead to the last place she would ever expect.
World Premiere, Narrative

Northwest (Nordvest) (Denmark), dir Michael Noer
Territory, power and pride are the seismic forces in this crime thriller. Living in one of the most impoverished areas of Copenhagen, Casper does what he must to survive. When organised crime grabs hold of the community, life becomes even more desperate. Casper digs in or risks being run over by gangsters sure to remove anyone in their way. From one of Denmark’s most celebrated directors comes a complex tale of criminal psychology and survival. In Danish with subtitles.
North American Premiere, Narrative

Odayaka (Japan), dir Nobuteru Uchida
The Great East Japan Earthquake has just struck, the waters of the ensuing tsunami finally rolling back into the sea. In the comparative safety of Tokyo, two wives and a child living in the same apartment building have nothing to do but wait for their husbands’ return. In Japanese with subtitles.
North American Premiere, Narrative

The Patience Stone (Syngué Sabour) (Afghanistan, France, Germany), dir Atiq Rahimi
A woman tends to her comatose husband, an injured rebel fighter in an unnamed, war-torn village, only whispering of her fear for their two young daughters’ lives. Weeks go by, and as her desperation grows, she gives voice to previously unuttered thoughts and memories without regard for anyone’s reaction. Stars Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. In Farsi with subtitles. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
New York Premiere, Narrative

Run And Jump (Ireland, Germany), dir Steph Green
After a stroke leaves her husband disabled and fundamentally changed, a spirited Irish wife struggles to keep her family members together. All the while they are under the microscope of an American researcher documenting their recovery process. Saturday Night Live star Will Forte makes his dramatic debut.
World Premiere, Narrative

Taboor (Iran), dir Vahid Vakilifar
A lone motorcyclist travels the empty streets of Tehran at night. He wears an aluminum suit to guard against the electromagnetic waves that raise his body temperature. Yet he is determined to make his appointments to kill cockroaches and
fumigate factories, the night placing many strange encounters along his route. In Farsi with subtitles.
US Premiere, Narrative

Wadjda (Saudi Arabia, Germany), dir Haifaa Al-Mansour
Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is a feisty, funny and wholly unconventional 10-year-old girl determined to scrounge up enough money to buy a bicycle, despite the societal repercussions sure to follow. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
US Premiere, Narrative

What Richard Did (Ireland), dir Lenny Abrahamson
Charismatic Richard leads a group of devoted friends through the rituals of their final summer break together: partying on the beach, hazing younger students, hooking up. But the good times will not last forever. When jealousy leads to a senseless act, Richard’s perfect life unravels amid self-doubt, shame, grief and guilt. StarsJack Reynor. A Tribeca Film Release.
US Premiere, Narrative

The remaining feature film line-up in the main sections will be announced on Mar 6.

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