Tribeca Spotlights Familiar Names

23 world premieres in Spotlight section include Neil LaBute's 'Some Velvet Morning,' Whoopi Goldberg doc

Neil LaBute Tribeca Film acquires Some Velvet Morning

Recognizable thesps and creatives are on the roster of the 2013 Tribeca Festival’s 33-film Spotlight section, with the 23 world preems on tap including Melissa Leo in “Bottled Up,” Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti in “Almost Christmas,” Julianne Moore in “The English Teacher” and Sam Rockwell, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney and Amanda Peet in “Trust Me,” toplined by Clark Gregg, also the writer-director.

Spotlight, which Tribeca programmers bill as a category for films that blend indie and mainstream sensibilities, encompasses enough notable names that the titles seem likely to attract a higher percentage of Gotham’s general moviegoing crowds, one of the demos to which the fest caters. Also newly announced for the 2013 sked is the Midnight section (formerly called Cinemania) of seven genre films and the lineup for the transmedia projects showcased in the new Storyscapes section.

Docs also feature in the Spotlight lineup, with debuts of movies including Whoopi Goldberg’s Moms Mabley doc “I Got Somethin’ to Tell You,” Marin Zenovich’s “Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic” and “Gasland Part II,” Josh Fox’s follow-up to his earlier Oscar-nommed docu.

Also on the slate for Spotlights is the debut of the latest film from Neil LaBute, “Some Velvet Morning,” starring Stanley Tucci as a man who shows up on the doorstep of an old flame (Alice Eve) to rekindle a romance. There’s also Thomas Haden Church in Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais’ black comedy “Whitewash” and Emma Roberts and John Cusack in Scott Coffey’s coming-of-ager “Adult World.”

In Enid Zentelis’ drama “Bottled Up,” Leo portrays a mother whose daughter (Marin Ireland) is addicted to painkillers. Rudd and Giamatti star as a pair of schemers in Gotham in “Almost Christmas,” Phil Morrison’s movie penned by buzzy Off Broadway scribe Melissa James Gibson.

Gregg’s film, “Trust Me,” features the thesp-writer-director playing a Hollywood agent struggling to make it in the biz. “English Teacher,” already set for a release from Cinedigm and distributor Tribeca Film, stars Moore as an English teacher whose life is upended when she encounters former student and his father; Greg Kinnear also is among the co-stars.

Other films in the Spotlight section to have distribution lined up include Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight” and Ramin Bahrani’s Zac Efron-Dennis Waid starrer “At Any Price” (both from Sony Pictures Classics), Neil Jordan vampire pic “Byzantium” and Mira Nair outing “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” (both picked up by IFC), Daniel Algrant’s “Greetings from Tim Buckly” from Tribeca Film and Focus World and David Gordon Green’s “Prince Avalanche” starring Rudd and Emile Hirsch, to be released by Magnolia Pictures.

The Midnight section launches with French horror pic “Dark Touch” and continues with other world preems including Caradog James’ “The Machine” and Karl Mueller’s “Mr. Jones.”

Storyscapes, part of Tribeca’s overall initiative to showcase and support cross-platform transmedia storytelling, comprises projects such as Casey Pugh’s crowd-sourced “Star Wars” redux “Star Wars Uncut” and developing Hurricane Sandy nonfiction outing “Sandy Storyline.”

Special screenings lined up for the fest include the bows of “Alberi” from “Le Quatro Volte” filmmaker  Michaelangelo Frammartino and Bill Siegel’s doc “The Trials of Muhammad Ali,” as well as a screening of Eric Rochant’s “Mobius” starring Jean Dujardin.

Titles join an 89-feature slate, the first chunk of which was announced earlier in the week. Tribeca’s 2013 fest runs April 17-28, kicking off with opener “Mistaken for Strangers.”