Tribeca Film Festival unveils lineup

Selection includes 85 feature-length films

Providing the first glimpse of its 2010 lineup, the ninth Tribeca Film Festival will treat audiences to a work-in-progress screening of Alex Gibney’s documentary on fallen New York politico Eliot Spitzer — exemplifying the fest’s loyalty to its core aud of New Yorkers.

Running April 21-May 2, this year’s fest will showcase 85 feature-length films, as well as 47 shorts. Festival organizers Wednesday announced the first 33 titles, including the 24 films playing in the world narrative and documentary competition sections, seven films unspooling in the showcase section, which highlights global cinema, and three titles in the special events category.

The 12 pictures vying in the narrative category include Joann Sfar’s “Gainsbourg,” a biopic of iconic French singer Serge Gainsbourg, Paul Fraser’s Irish film “My Brothers” and Korean directorChan-ok Park’s “Paju.” Kim Chapiron and Jeremie Delon’s French pic “Dog Pound” also earned a slot.

“Dog Pound” and “Brothers” make their world premieres at Tribeca.

Included in the documentary competition are “Son of Perdition,” Jennilyn Merten’s look at notorious polygamist Warren Jeffs, and “The Two Escobars,” Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s intertwining profiles of Colombian druglord Pablo Escobar and fellow countryman Andres Escobar, who, though not related, shared a passion for soccer. Tribeca marks the world preem of both docs.

Tribeca decided to pare down the number of films shown to 85, saying that figure is better suited for an event that takes place in a crowded metropolis.

“We decided to go smaller. This is New York City, so 120 films was overwhelming. We feel our program reflects harder choices being made,” Tribeca Fest exec director Nancy Schafer told Daily Variety. “I’m energized by the strong lineup.”

The 2010 film slate was chosen from a record 5,055 submissions.

Of the 96 filmmakers who will take part in the festival, 38 are making feature directing debuts. Twenty of the filmmakers are returning Tribeca Fest directors.

“One thing I keep hearing from producers and filmmakers is that this is a festival of discovery. It gives exposure to film that may not get that kind of recognition in other places,” fest director of programming David Kwok said.

Fest’s 85 features rep 38 different countries, with 46 world preems and seven international preems.

As part of its new distribution program, Tribeca will release 12 pics on VOD, available in more than 40 million households through partners including Comcast, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS. Seven of the 12 are part of this year’s fest lineup.

Two of the titles playing day and date are Tarik Saleh’s “Metropia” and Dev Benegal’s “Road, Movie,” both from the showcase section, which highlights global cinema.

A selection of fest titles will be available on the Internet via Tribeca Film Festival Virtual, including Mika Ronkainen’s “Freetime Machos” from the doc competition and Geoffrey Alan Rhodes and Steven Eastwood’s “Buried Land” from the narrative competition.

Other titles in narrative competition are Italian filmmaker Ferzan Ozpetek’s “Loose Cannons,” Lee Isaac Chung’s “Lucky Life,” Andrew Paquin’s “Open House,” Carmel Winters’ “Snap,” Feo Aladag’s “When We Leave,” Mohammad Rasoulof’s “The White Meadows” and Jay Anania’s “William Vincent.”

In addition to footage from Gibney’s untitled Spitzer documentary, fest will also screen footage from Zachary Iscol’s docu “The Western Front,” about his experiences fighting as a U.S. Marine in Iraq’s Al Anbar province.

“New York is our primary audience. It is an audience very, very perceptive to trying new things, and to showing films that no one’s heard of. They trust us now,” Schafer said.

Sam Thielman in New York contributed to this report.

Complete list of films:

World Narrative Feature Competition:

“Buried Land,” Geoffrey Alan Rhodes, (U.S., U.K., Bosnia and Herzegovina)

“Dog Pound,” Kim Chapiron, (France)

“Loose Cannons,” Ferzan Ozpetek, (Italy)

“Lucky Life,” Lee Isaac Chung, (U.S.)

“My Brothers,” Paul Fraser, (Ireland)

“Open House,” Andrew Paquin, (U.S.)

“Paju,” Chan-ok Park, (South Korea)

“Gainsbourg, Je t’Aime… Moi Non Plus,” Joann Sfar, (France)

“Snap,” Carmel Winters, (Ireland)

“When We Leave,” Feo Aladag, (Germany)

“The White Meadows,” Mohammad Rasoulof, (Iran)

“William Vincent,” Jay Anania, (U.S.)

World Documentary Feature Competition:

“American Mystic,” Alex Mar, (U.S.)

The Arbor,” Clio Barnard, (U.K.)

“Budrus,” Julia Bacha, (U.S., Palestine, Israel)

“Earth Made of Glass,” Deborah Scranton, (U.S.)

“Feathered Cocaine,” Thorkell Hardarsson and O¨rn Marino Arnarson, (Iceland)

“Freetime Machos,” Mika Ronkainen, (Finland, Germany)

“Into Eternity,” Michael Madsen, (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy)

“Monica & David,” Alexandra Codina, (U.S.)

“Sons of Perdition,” Jennilyn Merten, Tyler Measom, (U.S.)

“Thieves By Law,” Alexander Gentelev, (Israel, Germany, Spain)

“The Two Escobars,” Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist, (U.S., Colombia)

“The Woodmans,” C. Scott Willis, (U.S., Italy, China)

Showcase (not in competition):

“Blood and Rain,” Jorge Navas, (Colombia, Argentina)

“A Brand New Life,” Ounie Lecomte, (South Korea, France)

“Heartbreaker,” Pascal Chaumeil, (France)

“Lola,” Brillante Mendoza, (Philippines, France)

“Metropia,” Tarik Saleh, (Sweden, Denmark, Norway)

“Moloch Tropical,” Raoul Peck, (Haiti, France)

“Road, Movie,” Dev Benegal, (U.S., India)

Special Events (not in competition):

“Doctor Zhivago,” David Lean, (U.S., U.K., 1965)

Untitled Eliot Spitzer Film,” Alex Gibney (U.S.)

“The Western Front,” Zachary Iscol, (U.S.)