Tribeca to host 75 world premieres

41 nations represented in lineup

The sixth Tribeca Film Festival will host 75 world premieres, with lineups aimed at striking a balance between films made in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Fest, which runs April 25-May 6, will present 159 features and 85 shorts selected from 4,550 film submissions, of which 2,250 were features, organizers announced Monday.

Selections include four international premieres, 32 North American preems, 18 U.S. premieres and 20 Gotham preems. In all, 41 countries of origin are represented.

The overall numbers are slightly lower than last year, with fewer preems and features, in a bid to “tighten up the program,” fest exec director Peter Scarlet said. “It’s a strong festival across the board.”

The noncompetitive Spotlight section combines narrative and docs from helmers such as Michael Apted, John Dahl, Patrice Leconte, Shane Meadows, Goran Paskaljevic and Carlos Sorin. The section’s 22 features come from nine countries.

Scarlet said an increasingly global view over the past couple of years has already paid dividends.

He pointed to last year’s “The Yacoubian Building,” a narrative entry from Egypt that attracted notice with its anti-terrorism elements. This year, competition films from Turkey and Tunisia amplify that theme.

The world narrative section includes “Gardener of Eden,” a dark comedy produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Kevin Connolly; “Lady Chatterley,” the multi-Cesar-winning French pic based on D.H. Lawrence’s tale; and “Making Of,” directed and written by Tunisia’s Nouri Bouzid, about a break dancer who falls in with a group of fundamentalists. The section also includes “Hacia la oscuridad” (Towards Darkness), which stars America Ferrera and explores Colombia’s rampant kidnappings.

Films in the world doc competish tackle issues from the illegal Palestinian workforce in Israel to the torture practices of the U.S. abroad.

Among the entries are “Beyond Belief,” a portrait of two 9/11 widows who travel to Kabul to help other widows; “Bomb It,” about the roots of graffiti on five continents; and political films “I Am an American Soldier: One Year in Iraq with the 101st Airborne” and “Taxi to the Dark Side.” Latter pic examines the mysterious death of an Afghan taxi driver at Bagram Air Force Base from injuries inflicted by U.S. soldiers.

Spotlight includes out-of-competition films with well-known cast members, high-profile directors or timely subject matter. Lineup includes “2 Days in Paris,” starring Julie Delpy, who also wrote, directed, edited, produced and composed music for the film; “The Grand,” a poker mockumentary directed by Zak Penn and starring Woody Harrelson, Werner Herzog, Cheryl Hines, David Cross, Ray Romano and Dennis Farina; and shorts collection “Invisibles,” featuring the work of helmers Mariano Barroso, Isabel Coixet, Javier Corcuera, Fernando Leon de Aranoa and Wim Wenders, and produced by Javier Bardem and Doctors Without Borders.

Also on tap in Spotlight: “The Killing of John Lennon,” directed and written by Britain’s Andrew Piddington; “Mon meilleur ami” (My Best Friend), directed by Leconte; Apted soccer doc “The Power of the Game”; “Purple Violets,” directed and written by Ed Burns; and “You Kill Me,” directed by Dahl and starring Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni and Luke Wilson.

Organizers this year decided to integrate the category formerly known as “NY, NY” throughout the various sections of the program.

The fest will soon announce its gala events, including opening and closing night pics. Last year, the red carpet meter moved with screenings of three major studio attractions, “United 93,” “Poseidon” and “Mission: Impossible III.”

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