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Tribeca Film Festival: Most Buzzed-About Films

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tribeca Film Festival Tribeca Film Festival (Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival)

The Tribeca Film Festival, which turns 10 this year, has become a staple of the festival circuit. This year, the festival, which includes 93 feature films and 60 short films, runs from April 20 to May 1. Take a peek at the most buzzed-about films, hear from New York directors, or listen to an interview between WNYC Host Soterios Johnson and Josh Rothkopf, Senior Film Writer for Time Out New York.

Documentaries:

"The Union"— This is by director and super music fan Cameron Crowe about the making of Elton John’s latest album collaboration with his idol, Leon Russell.

"Donor Unknown"— This documentary looks at the life of one woman, conceived from a sperm donor, who meets dozens of half-siblings with eerily similar mannerism as herself and finally seeks out her biological father.

"Catching Hell" — Alex Gibney's latest documentary about Steve Bartman, the Chicago Cubs fan who interfered with a foul ball in the 2003 playoffs and ever since has been vilified as "the most hated man in Chicago."

"The Bully Project" — This comes from director Lee Hirsch who is given unique access to children tormented by bullies. The film has been called "heartbreaking" and is an exploration of the world of bullying.

"Koran by Heart" — A documentary featuring precocious Muslim youth preparing for the world's largest Koran reciting competition in the world, in Cairo.

"The Carrier" — A debut filmmaker made this documentary that takes place in Zambia about a subsistence farmer in a polygamous marriage who is HIV-positive and just discovered she is pregnant.

"The Swell Season" — This documentary about musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova — who won an Academy Award for their song in the film "Once" — deals with the unexpected fame that followed.

Domestic:

"Blackthorn" — What if Butch Cassidy wasn't killed in Bolivia, but lived on? Sam Shepard stars as the Western outlaw living in hiding 20 years after his alleged death, who sets off on one more adventure across the Bolivian frontier.

"Detachment" — Tony Kaye, director of "American History X," made this film about a substitute teacher, played by Adrien Brody, who is changed by one failing school. This film also features performances by Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner, James Caan, Tim Blake Nelson, William Petersen and Bryan Cranston.

"The Bang Bang Club" — Based on a true story about four war photographers in 1994 who shoot the first free election in post-Apartheid South Africa. The film stars Ryan Phillipe and is based on the book "The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War" by South African photographers Joao Silver and Greg Marinovich.

Local:

"Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest" — The Sundance hit by actor-turned-director Michael Rapaport digs into the backstory of local rap crew A Tribe Called Quest and the breakdown of Phife Dog and Q-Tip's relationship. This film features all the favorite late '90s jazz-soul infused rappers and crews: De la Soul, Common and The Roots, among others.

"A Matter of Taste" — This film is a portrait of 24-year-old chef Paul Liebrandt, one of the youngest chefs to get three stars from The New York Times. The documentary looks at the relationship between food critics and chefs and one of the most successful young chefs in New York.

"Newlyweds" — This documentary by Edward Burns is an intimate look at a newlywed couple shot in Lower Manhattan. The documentary is described as "a quintessential New York film from a quintessential New York director."

"New York Says Thank You" — A documentary about New Yorkers affected by September 11 who travel the U.S. from California to Illinois, Louisiana, Indiana, Texas and Kansas helping communities rebuild after natural and man-made disasters.

"Roadie" — This film follows the life of a 20-year plus roadie for Blue Oyster Cult who returns to his home in Queens after so many years on the road to live with his mother who is suffering from dementia.

Foreign:

"Romantics Anonymous" — This French hit takes place a Belgium chocolate factory, and is about two neurotics trying to find love.

"Let the Bullets Fly" — This Chinese film broke several box office records in mainland China and Hong Kong, and is the highest grossing film in Chinese history. The comic Western takes place in 1920s Sichuan Province and New York magazine called it "even more disturbing" than the director, Jiang Wen’s, last film "Devils on the Doorstep," about a small village occupied by the Japanese during WWII.

"My Piece of the Pie" — This French romantic comedy/thriller is described as "a contemporary drama with a comedic edge, a timely social bent and a surprising twist." The film follows a single mother who recently lost her blue collar job and gets a job as a housekeeper for a handsome power broker.

"Trip" — Fans of Michael Winterbottom will recognize clips from the six-episode comedy series featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing fictional versions of themselves in this road trip film.

"Neds"— This Glasgow coming-of-age film about "non-educated delinquents" promises to be "one of the strangest, most tonally offbeat films at this year's festival," according to New York magazine. Directed by Peter Mullan of "Orphans" and "The Magdalene Sisters," this is his third film and promises to be intense and raw.

"The Kite"— A family drama set during India's colorful kite festival in the bustling metropolis Ahmedabad. The film has been described as a Southern Gothic transposed in India as it combines the narrative of six family members. 

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Comments [3]

Judy from NY

saw an amazing doc called "the Loving Story" last night- it will screen 3 more times. About the case brought by an inter racial VA couple for the right to marry and live in Virginia in the 1960s. it went all the way to the supreme CT and overturned the "miscegenation" laws in 16 states. well edited, well researched incredibly moving and one couldn't help but notice the relevance to marriage equality today!

Apr. 22 2011 12:16 PM
dale dapkins from Key West, FL

My son Chris was integral in the making of The Swell Season . He was a great kid so it's no surprise to me he is a great and creative adult.

Apr. 21 2011 10:51 PM
Scott Nyerges from Brooklyn

The Tribeca Film Fest is more than just feature-length narratives and documentaries. It's also got a fine roster of shorts programs, including experimental, fiction and nonfiction works by many New York filmmakers (myself included).

Visit the TFF website for a list of their shorts programs:

-> Scott Nyerges
www.nyerges.com

Apr. 20 2011 12:05 PM

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