Fest to unspool 55 feature, documentary and short films

The inaugural Tribeca Film Festival, running May 8-12, has scheduled 11 world premieres, five U.S. preems and 11 Gotham debuts.

Fest will unspool 55 feature, documentary and short films in its competition section, selected from more than 13,000 submissions.

Fest’s mandate is to celebrate the spirit of New York City and independent filmmaking while helping to revitalize downtown, still suffering an economic downturn due to the terrorist attacks.

TFF co-founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal also have established a sidebar event — American Express Presents: The People’s Choice Best of New York Film, an online competition through which the public can vote for their favorite movie celebrating New York City. Winner will be screened May 9 at the fest, with voting starting today.

Fest will include an Intl. Film Showcase (Daily Variety, April 4), curated by Eamonn Bowles, and Martin Scorsese and Film Foundation will present restored classics and a best of New York film series, curated by Scorsese. A separate section of the fest will include films commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks.

“This is a dynamic and diverse group of films, from incredible filmmakers from around the world,” Rosenthal said.

Next wave

Trina Wyatt, executive director of the Tribeca fest, added, “The collection of work by first-time directors will introduce people everywhere to the next wave of filmmakers that will entertain, educate and enlighten us in the years ahead.”

Fifteen pics will compete for feature and emerging filmmaker kudos. They are: “Emmett’s Mark,” directed by Keith Snyder and starring Scott Wolf, Tim Roth and Gabriel Byrne; “Roger Dodger,” directed by Dylan Kidd and starring Campbell Scott, Elizabeth Berkley, Jennifer Beals and Isabella Rossellini; “Three Days of Rain,” helmed by Michael Meredith and starring Peter Falk and Blythe Danner; “Too Pure,” from Sunmin Park; “Washington Heights,” by Alfredo De Villa; “One Man’s Ceiling,” directed by Richard Laporta; “The Cloud of Unknowing,” from Richard Sylvarnes; “Scenes of the Crime,” helmed by Dominique Forma and starring Jeff Bridges and Noah Wyle; “A Dog Called Pain,” directed by Luis Eduardo Aute; “Blind Spot,” by Stephen Woloszczuk; “Morlang,” from Tjebbo Penning; “One Man Up,” by Paolo Sorrentino; “Manito,” helmed by Eric Eason; “The Last Supper,” from director Vojko Anzeljc; and “Twelve Hours,” directed by Raul Marchand Sanchez.

The docu competition offers 10 pics: “Black Chic’s Talking,” directed by Leah Purcell and Brendan Fletcher; “Chiefs,” directed by Daniel Judge; “Hip Hop Hope,” by Darrell Wilks; “I’ll Sing for You,” helmed by Jacques Sarasin; “Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew,” from Matthew Buzzell; “Mai’s America,” by Marlo Poras; “Nine Good Teeth,” directed by Alex Halpern; “O T: Our Town,” helmed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy; “Spellbound,” from Jeff Blitz; “Stone Reader,” directed by Mark Moskowitz; and “Breath Control: The History of Human Beat Box,” by Joey Garfield.

Among the 36 shorts in competition are: “Mental Hygiene,” directed by Lori Silverbush; and “Life on a String,” helmed by Steven Lippman and starring Laurie Anderson.

Scorsese has chosen some of his favorite pics to screen at the TFF, including “Force of Evil,” directed by Abraham Polonsky; “A Hatful of Rain,” helmed by Fred Zinnemann; and Stanley Kubrick’s “Killer’s Kiss.” The restored-classics series features five films: “Viva Zapata,” directed by Elia Kazan; “Big Sky,” by Howard Hawks; “The Hired Hand,” from Peter Fonda; “Ride Lonesome,” helmed by Budd Boetticher; and William Wellman’s “The Story of G.I. Joe.”

The films will be screened at venues throughout Tribeca, including Stuyvesant High School and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

In conjunction with the TFF, a rock and comedy fest will be held May 10 in Battery Park, with A-list musicians and comedians expected to participate. A Tribeca Family Fest, featuring all-day carnival events and screenings, is set for May 11-12.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more