Biopics and in-depth docus in spotlight

Stories about real-life people will take centerstage at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival as a diverse cast of characters are explored through narrative features and documentaries, from “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” to Billy Joel in “Last Play at Shea” to “Vidal Sassoon The Movie.”

There’s also Ian Dury biopic “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” and “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage.”

Chuck Workman’s “Visionaries” profiles avant garde filmmakers like Jonas Mekas, while “Arias With a Twist: The Docufantasy” tells the story of drag artist Joey Arias and puppeteer Basil Twist.

Films are among the 85 narrative and documentary titles selected to play at the ninth edition of Tribeca, which runs April 21 to May 2. On Monday, fest organizers announced the films playing in the out-of-competition Encounters, Discovery, Cinemania and Spotlight sections, completing the lineup.

The eight titles playing in Spotlight all have U.S. distribution and offer performances by Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, Amanda Peet and Rebecca Hall. Directors include Aaron Schneider and Neil Jordan, whose “Ondine” makes its U.S. preem at Tribeca.

Encounters section includes 14 films from more established talent, including the world premieres of French filmmaker Jean-Paul Salome’s “The Chameleon” and Richard Levine’s “Every Day,” with a cast led by Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Brian Dennehy and Carla Gugino. Alex Gibney’s docu “My Trip to Al-Qaeda” also makes its world bow, as does writer-director Edward Burns’ latest film, “Nice Guy Johnny.”

Mat Whitecross’ “Sex & Drugs” makes its North American debut in Encounters (Whitecross co-directed “The Road to Guantanamo”); Paul Crowder and Jon Small’s “Last Play at Shea” and Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn’s “Rush,” their world preems.

Fest’s Discovery category, offering 17 films, showcases new talent, including filmmaker Bryan Goluboff, whose teen comedy “Beware the Gonzo” stars Ezra Miller, Jesse McCartney, Zoe Kravitz, Campbell Scott and Amy Sedaris. Jeff Reichert’s “Gerrymandering,” one of the fest’s few political docus, makes its world premiere in Discovery, as does Josh Sternfeld’s narrative murder-mystery “Meskada.”

Emerging British-Nigerian director Thomas Ikimi won a slot in Discovery with psychological drama “Legacy,” as did Omar Rodriguez Lopez with reality-fantasy narrative “The Sentimental Engine Slayer.” Multitalented Rodriguez, best known as a musician, is the producer and guitarist for progressive rock bank the Mars Volta.

Genre films headline Tribeca’s Cinemania section, including Irish laffer “Zonad,” from John Carney (“Once”) and his brother, Kieran Carney. Film hasn’t been seen outside Ireland. J.B. Ghuman’s outrageous junior-high comedy “Spork,” pushing boundaries with its colorful language, makes its world preem in Cinemania. Pang Ho-Cheung’s horror pic “Dream House,” from Hong Kong, also plays here.

Spotlight section offers films from directors including Nicole Holofcener, who brings “Please Give,” Michael Winterbottom with “The Killer Inside Me,” and Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillame Laurant with “Micmacs.”

Looking to make festival films more accessible to viewers everywhere, Tribeca will offer a dozen films via VOD, and eight features online via Tribeca Film Festival Virtual, including Burns’ “Nice Guy Johnny,” “Spork” and “Engine Slayer.”

As previously announced, the festival’s lineup represents works from 38 countries, with several filmmakers returning to the fest.

2010 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL:

ENCOUNTERS

  • “The Chameleon (“Le Cameleon”),” directed by Jean-Paul Salomé, written by Jean-Paul Salomé and Natalie Carter. (France, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Climate of Change,” directed by Brian Hill. (USA/UK) – North American Premiere, Documentary.

  • “Every Day,” directed and written by Richard Levine. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Last Play at Shea,” directed by Paul Crowder and Jon Small (concert footage). (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.

  • “Meet Monica Velour,” directed and written by Keith Bearden. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Monogamy,” directed by Dana Adam Shapiro, written by Dana Adam Shapiro and Evan Weiner. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “My Trip to Al-Qaeda,” directed by Alex Gibney, Documentary. (USA) – World Premiere.

  • “Nice Guy Johnny,” directed and written by Edward Burns. (USA) – World and TFF Virtual Premiere, Narrative.

  • “RUSH: Beyond the Lighted Stage,” directed by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn. (Canada) – World Premiere, Documentary.

  • “sex & drugs & rock & roll,” directed by Mat Whitecross, written by Paul Viragh. (UK) – North American Premiere, Narrative.

  • “The Space Between,” directed and written by Travis Fine. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Tetsuo: The Bulletman,” directed by Shinya Tsukamoto, written by Shinya Tsukamoto and Hisakatsu Kuroki. (Japan) – North American Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Vidal Sassoon The Movie,” directed by Craig Teper. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.

  • “Visionaries,” directed by Chuck Workman. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.

DISCOVERY

  • “Arias With a Twist: The Docufantasy,” directed by Bobby Sheehan. (USA) – North American Premiere, Documentary.

  • “Beware the Gonzo,” directed and written by Bryan Goluboff. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “brilliantlove,” directed by Ashley Horner, written by Sean Conway. (UK) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Elvis & Madona” (“Elvis e Madona”), directed and written by Marcelo Laffitte. (Brazil) – North American and TFF Virtual Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Gerrymandering,” directed by Jeff Reichert. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.

  • The Infidel,” directed by Josh Appignanesi, written by David Baddiel. (UK) – International Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Into the Cold,” directed by Sebastian Copeland. (USA) – World and TFF Virtual Premiere, Documentary.

  • “Just Like Us,” directed by Ahmed Ahmed. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.

  • “Keep Surfing,” directed by Björn Richie Lob. (Germany) – International Premiere, Documentary.

  • “Legacy,” directed and written by Thomas Ikimi. (UK/Nigeria) – International Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Meskada,” directed and written by Josh Sternfeld. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “No Woman, No Cry,” directed by Christy Turlington Burns. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.

  • “The Other City,” directed by Susan Koch. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.

  • “The Sentimental Engine Slayer,” directed and written by Omar Rodriguez Lopez. (USA, Mexico) – North American and TFF Virtual Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Snowmen,” directed and written by Robert Kirbyson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “The Travelogues,” directed and written by Dustin Thompson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “The Trotksy,” directed and written by Jacob Tierney. (Canada) – US Premiere, Narrative.

CINEMANIA

  • “Clash” (“Bay Rong”), directed by Le Thanh Son, written by Johnny Tri Nguyen, Le Thanh Son, Ho Quang Hung. (Vietnam) – International Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Dream Home,” directed by Pang Ho-Cheung, written by Pang Ho-Cheung, Kwok Cheung Tsang, and Chi-Man Wan. (Hong Kong) – North American Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Possessed” (“Bulshinjiok”), directed and written by Lee Yong-ju. (South Korea) – North American and TFF Virtual Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Spork,” directed and written by J.B. Ghuman, Jr. (USA) – World and TFF Virtual Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives,” directed and written by Israel Luna. (USA) –World Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Zonad,” directed and written by John Carney and Kieran Carney. (Ireland) – International Premiere, Narrative.

SPOTLIGHT

  • “Cairo Time,” directed and written by Ruba Nadda. (Canada, Ireland, Egypt) – US Premiere, Narrative.

  • “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” directed and written by J Blakeson. (UK) – US Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Get Low,” directed by Aaron Schneider, written by Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Joan Rivers – A Piece of Work,” directed by Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary.

  • “The Killer Inside Me,” directed by Michael Winterbottom, written by John Curran. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Micmacs” (“Micmacs a` tire-larigot”), directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, written by Anne Wermelinger. (France) – New York Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Ondine,” directed and written by Neil Jordan. (Ireland, USA) – US Premiere, Narrative.

  • “Please Give,” directed and written by Nicole Holofcener. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.

  • Soul Kitchen,” directed by Fatih Akin, written by Fatih Akin and Adam Bousdoukos. (Germany) – US Premiere, Narrative.

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL VIRTUAL

The following are the films featured in the online extension of the Festival, Tribeca Film Festival Virtual

  • “Nice Guy Johnny”

  • “Elvis & Madona” (“Elvis e Madona”)

  • “Spork, Buried Land”

  • “Into the Cold”

  • “Possessed” (“Bool-sin-ji-ok”)

  • “Freetime Machos”

  • “The Sentimental Engine Slayer”

TFF will announce the short film program on March 18, 2010

Filed Under:

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