With the Saturday Night Live documentary Live From New York! kicking off the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival on April 15th, they’ve now announced their competition slate for the festival running through April 26th. Notable titles include The Adderall Diaries with James Franco, Meadowland with Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson, the Richard Gere-led Franny, as well as the Sundance-winning documentary The Wolfpack (our review). Check out the initial line-up below.
World Narrative Feature Competition
The Adderall Diaries, directed and written by Pamela Romanowsky. (USA) – World Premiere. James Franco plays a writer who tries to rise from being blocked and Adderall addicted by jumping into a high profile murder case. Amber Heard, Ed Harris, and Cynthia Nixon co-star.
Bridgend, directed by Jeppe Rønde, co-written by Jeppe Rønde, Torben Bech, and Peter Asmussen. (Denmark) – North American Premiere. Sara and her dad arrive in a town haunted by a spate of teenage suicides. When she falls in love she becomes prey to the depression that threatens to engulf them all. Jeppe Rønde’s debut is based on the real-life Welsh county borough of Bridgend, which has recorded at least 79 suicides since 2007.
Dixieland, directed and written by Hank Bedford. (USA) – World Premiere. Star crossed lovers meet in the heat of a Mississippi summer. One’s an ex-con, the other an aspiring stripper. It doesn’t end well. Faith Hill is part of the cast. .
Franny, directed and written by Andrew Renzi. (USA) – World Premiere. Richard Gere plays the title character, a wealthy eccentric who worms his way into the lives of a deceased friend’s young daughter (Dakota Fanning) and her new husband (Theo James).
Meadowland, directed by Reed Morano, written by Chris Rossi. (USA) – World Premiere. Sarah and Phil’s son goes missing, shattering their life together and forcing each to find their own way to cope. Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson star.
Men Go to Battle, directed and written by Zachary Treitz, co-written by Kate Lyn Sheil. (USA) – World Premiere. Kentucky, 1861. Francis and Henry Mellon depend on each other to keep their unkempt estate afloat as winter encroaches. After Francis takes a casual fight too far, Henry ventures off in the night, leaving each of them to struggle through the wartime on their own.
Necktie Youth, directed and written by Sibs Shongwe-La Mer. (Netherlands, South Africa) – North American Premiere. Jabz and September are two twenty-something suburbanites drifting through a day of drugs, sex, and philosophizing in their privileged Johannesburg neighborhood, ill-equipped to handle a tragedy that has interrupted the hollowness of their daily lives.
The Survivalist, directed and written by Stephen Fingleton. (Northern Ireland, UK) – World Premiere. Self-preservation takes on a new level of meaning in this organic post-apocalyptic drama, where the only way to get food is to farm it. A man is threatened when two starving women stumble across his cabin and demand to stay.
Sworn Virgin (Vergine Giurata), directed and written by Laura Bispuri, co-written by Francesca Manieri. (Albania, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Switzerland) – North American Premiere. As a young woman living within the confines of a Northern Albanian village, Hana longs to escape the shackles of womanhood, and live her life as a man. To do so she must take an oath to eternally remain a virgin.
Viaje, directed and written by Paz Fábrega. (Costa Rica) –World Premiere. After meeting at a party, Luciana and Pedro spark up a spontaneous rendezvous when Luciana accompanies Pedro to a national forest on a work trip. Eschewing the fraudulent nature of traditional relationships, the pair explores the beauty in the nature that surrounds them as they indulge in the passions of their encounter and navigate the various meanings of commitment.
Virgin Mountain, directed and written by Dagur Kári. (Iceland, Denmark) – North American Premiere. Fúsi is a mammoth of a man who at 43-years-old is still living at home with his mother. Shy and awkward, he hasn’t quite learned how to socialize with others, leaving him as an untouchable inexperienced virgin. His family pushes him to join a dance class, where he meets the equally innocent but playful Sjöfn.
Wednesday 04:45 (Tetari 04:45), directed and written by Alexis Alexiou. (Germany, Greece, Israel) – World Premiere. A life’s work becomes a prison for jazz club owner Stelios when a shady Romanian gangster calls in his debts.
World Documentary Feature Competition
Autism in Love, directed by Matt Fuller. (USA) – World Premiere. Director Matt Fuller examines the reality of autistic adulthood and shows how the members of this often-misunderstood community cope with the challenge of keeping romance alive.
The Birth of Saké, directed by Erik Shirai. (USA) – World Premiere. Traditional and labor-intensive, the production of Saké has changed very little over the centuries. Pic covers those who brew it.
Democrats, directed and written by Camilla Nielsson. (Denmark). – North American Premiere. In the wake of Robert Mugabe’s highly criticized 2008 presidential win, Zimbabwe’s first constitutional committee was created in an effort to transition the country away from its authoritarian leadership. A first hand account into a country’s first steps towards democracy.
Havana Motor Club, directed and written by Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt. (Cuba, USA) – World Premiere. Reforms have offered opportunity in Cuba but the children of the Revolution are unsure of the best route forward. For a half-dozen drag racers, this means last-minute changes to their beloved American muscle cars, as they prepare for the first sanctioned race in Cuba since 1960.
In My Father’s House, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, co-written by Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg, and Pax Wassermann. (USA) – World Premiere. After moving into his childhood home on Chicago’s South Side, Grammy Award–winning rapper Che “Rhymefest” Smith hesitantly sets out to reconnect with his estranged father, the man who abandoned him over twenty years ago.
In Transit, co-directed by Albert Maysles, Nelson Walker, Lynn True, David Usui, and Ben Wu. (USA) – World Premiere. The Empire Builder is America’s busiest long-distance train route, running from Chicago to Seattle. Throughout these corridors sit runaways, adventurers, and loners – a myriad of passengers waiting to see what their journey holds.
Indian Point, directed and written by Ivy Meeropol. (USA) – World Premiere. Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant looms just 35 miles from Times Square. With over 50 million people living in close proximity to the aging facility, its continued operation has generated controversy for the surrounding community.
Palio, directed by Cosima Spender, written by John Hunt. (UK, Italy) – World Premiere. In the world’s oldest horse race, the Palio, taking bribes and fixing races threatens to extinguish the passion for the sport itself. Giovanni, unversed in corruption, challenges his former mentor, who dominates the game.
Song of Lahore, directed by Andy Schocken and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. (USA, Pakistan) – World Premiere. Until the late 1970s, the Pakistani city of Lahore was world-renowned for its music. Following the ban of music under Sharia law, many artists were forced to abandon their life’s work. Song of Lahore turns the spotlight on a stalwart group of lifelong musicians who continue to play despite their circumstances.
Thank You for Playing, co-directed and co-written by David Osit and Malika Zouhali-Worrall. (USA) – World Premiere. For the past four years, Ryan and Amy Greene have been working on That Dragon, Cancer, a videogame about their son Joel’s fight against that disease.
Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle, directed and written by Nick Berardini. (USA) – World Premiere. About the proliferation of tasers and the use of cops charged with jolting suspects with current, sometimes fatally.
Very Semi-Serious, directed by Leah Wolchok. (USA) – World Premiere. The New Yorker is the benchmark for the single-panel cartoon. This light-hearted and sometimes poignant look at the art and humor of the iconic drawings shows why they have inspired and even baffled us for decades.
All Eyes and Ears, directed and written by Vanessa Hope. (China, USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. When former Utah governor Jon Huntsman was appointed United States Ambassador to China, the charming career politician arrived at his new post with his entire family—including his adopted Chinese daughter, Gracie.
Applesauce, directed and written by Onur Tukel. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. TFF alumnus Onur Tukel plays a husband who innocently reveals on talk radio the worst thing he’s ever done. Though his gaffe never makes it on air, it sets off a chain of hilariously uncontrollable events that draw his wife and another couple into an uneasy mixture of infidelities, confessions, and severed body parts.
Bad Hurt, directed and written by Mark Kemble, co-written by Jamieson Stern. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Life for the Kendalls has been burdened by grief and claustrophobia. Faced with caring for one child with special needs and another with PTSD, the family struggles and a secret from the past threatens to tear them apart.
Bare, directed and written by Natalia Leite. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Sarah’s (Dianna Agron) mundane life in a Nevada desert town is turned upside down with the arrival of Pepper (Paz de la Huerta), a mysterious female drifter, who leads her into a life of seedy strip clubs and illicit drugs.
Being 14 (À 14 ans), directed and written by Hélène Zimmer. (France). – International Premiere, Narrative. Adopting an observational style, Being 14 captures all the secrets, trials, and anguish of adolescence, as experienced by best friends Sarah, Louise, and Jade in their final year of middle school.
Come Down Molly, directed and written by Gregory Kohn. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In this expressionist odyssey exploring the lonely side of entering adulthood, struggling new mother Molly (Eléonore Hendricks) joins her old high school group of guy friends at a secluded mountain home.
A Courtship, directed by Amy Kohn. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. About a Christian courtship, wherein a woman hands over the responsibility of finding a husband to her parents and the will of God. Such is Kelly’s path, enlisting her adopted spiritual family to find her Mr. Right.
Crocodile Gennadiy, directed and written by Steve Hoover. (USA)– World Premiere, Documentary. Crocodile Gennadiy, a real-life, self-appointed savior, who works tirelessly to rescue homeless, drug-addicted youth from the streets of Mariupol, Ukraine. At the same time, he challenges dealers and abusers.
Cronies, directed and written by Michael Larnell. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Louis begins to question his lifelong friendship with Jack, after a simple errand to buy his daughter a birthday gift turns into a visit to a drug dealer.
dream/killer, directed by Andrew Jenks. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. In the fall of 2005, 20-year-old Ryan Ferguson received a 40-year prison sentence for a murder that he did not commit. Over the next ten years, his father Bill engages in a tireless crusade to prove Ryan’s innocence.
El Cinco (El 5 de Talleres), directed and written by Adrián Biniez. (Argentina) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Patón, with his fiery temper and aggressive play, is the veteran star of his city’s soccer team. When his transgressions land him a lengthy suspension, he considers retirement, while discovering a world that consists of more than just feet and fists.
GORED, directed and written by Ido Mizrahy, co-written by Geoffrey Gray. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Gored centers on Spanish bullfighter Antonio Barrera, holder of the dubious title of “Most Gored Bullfighter in History,” as he grapples with the end of his career.
Jackrabbit, directed and written by Carleton Ranney, co-written by Destin Douglas. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. When a friend’s suicide leaves behind a mysterious computer drive, a fringe hacker and accomplished computer technician come together to decipher the message left in his wake.
King Jack, directed and written by Felix Thompson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Growing up in a rural town filled with violent delinquents, Jack has learned to do what it takes to survive, despite having an oblivious mother and no father.
Lucifer, directed and written by Gust Van den Berghe. (Belgium, Mexico) – United States Premiere, Narrative. An angel falling from heaven to hell unexpectedly lands in a Mexican village where his presence affects the villagers in surprising ways.
Orion: The Man Who Would Be King, directed and written by Jeanie Finlay. (UK) – World Premiere, Documentary. Millions of Americans clung to the hope that Elvis Presley faked his death. For the executives at Sun Records that fantasy became an opportunity in the form of Orion, a mysterious masked performer with the voice of The King. But who was the man behind the mask?
Shut Up and Drive, directed and written by Melanie Shaw. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Uptight and insecure Jane breaks down when her live-in boyfriend must move from Los Angeles to New Orleans for an acting gig. Jane’s anxiety worsens upon the arrival of Laura, Austin’s wild childhood friend.
Slow Learners, co-directed by Sheena Joyce and Don Argott, written by Matt Serword. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. High school teachers Jeff and Anne (Adam Pally and Sarah Burns) are work BFFs all too familiar with the woes of romance. Desperate to turn their luck around they take on new personas and embark, with gusto, on an adventurous summer of uncharacteristic encounters
Stranded in Canton (Nakangami na Guangzhou), directed by Måns Månsson, co-written by Måns Månsson, Li Hongqi, and George Cragg. (Sweden, Denmark, China)– North American Premiere, Narrative. Lebrun is an entrepreneur from The Democratic Republic of Congo who goes to China intent on making a fortune selling political T-shirts. When things don’t go as planned Lebrun spends more time in karaoke bars and falling in love than he does on business.
Sunrise (Arunoday), directed and written by Partho Sen-Gupta. (India, France) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Social Service officer Lakshman Joshi is led on a chase through the dark gutters and rain-soaked back alleys of Mumbai by a shadowy figure. His pursuit leads him to Paradise, a seedy nightclub seemingly at the center of the kidnapping ring he is investigating.
Tenured, directed and written by Christopher Modoono, co-written by Gil Zabarsky. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In Chris Modoono’s hilarious directorial debut, a broody and foul-mouthed elementary school teacher, Ethan Collins, finds his life turned upside down when his wife leaves him. Stuck with a group of precocious fifth graders, and fraught with fizzling writing aspirations, Ethan uses the school play as a last-ditch effort to fix his marriage.
(T)ERROR, directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. A rare, insider’s view of an FBI undercover investigation in progress, (T)ERROR follows a 63-year-old informant in his attempt to befriend a suspected Taliban sympathizer, and build a fraudulent case against him.
Toto and His Sisters (Toto Si Surorile Lui), directed and written by Alexander Nanau. (Romania) – North American Premiere, Documentary. Shot over a period of 15 months, this hands-off documentary follows siblings living in a Bucharest slum. With their mother in jail, Toto and his two sisters, Ana and Andreea, live in what appears to be a communal drug den.
TransFatty Lives, directed by Patrick O’Brien, co-written by Patrick O’Brien, Scott Crowningshield, Lasse Jarvi, Doug Pray. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Director Patrick O’Brien is TransFatty, the onetime NYC deejay and Internet meme-making superstar. In 2005, O’Brien began to document his life after being diagnosed with ALS and given only two to five years to live.
Uncertain, co-directed and co-written by Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. An aquatic weed threatens the lake of the small American border town of Uncertain, Texas, and consequently the livelihoods of those who live there. As some of the men in town attempt to figure out their future, they confront a past that haunts them.
We Are Young. We Are Strong. (Wir Sind Jung. Wir Sind Stark.), directed by Burhan Qurbani, co-written by Martin Behnke and Burhan Qurbani. (Germany) – North American Premiere, Narrative. A group of disillusioned teenagers wander about in the restless hours leading up to an anti-immigrant riot that took place in Rostock, Germany, in August of 1992. The impending incident is seen through the experiences of three individuals: a Vietnamese factory worker, a local politician, and the politician’s teenage son, Stefan.
The Wolfpack, directed by Crystal Moselle. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Everything the Angulo brothers know about the outside world they learned from obsessively watching movies. Shut away from bustling New York City by their overprotective father, they cope with their isolation by diligently re-enacting their favorite films. When one of the brothers escapes, the world as they know it will be transformed.
Which films are you most looking forward to?