Costume and production designer Catherine Martin (“The Great Gatsby”) calls herself “a relative newcomer” to Gotham, but has already found a truism: “One of the great revelations of New York City is, in an instant you can find just about anything you’re looking for here.”
For 2015 Tribeca Film Festival attendees, “anything” includes celebrities, filmmakers and innovators in the Tribeca Talks series. Among the filmmakers and performers speaking this year are Martin, George Lucas (interviewed by Stephen Colbert, no less), Christopher Nolan and Cary Fukunaga.
For Fukunaga (HBO’s “True Detective” and movie “Jane Eyre”), the festival represents a homecoming: “It’s in my backyard in my city. I want to take part in the cultural events taking place here and that’s Tribeca.”
Fukunaga will join producer-writer James Schamus for an April 23 talk. He notes that his “backyard” has become economically split between rich and poor, and that inequality will influence his discussion of “Beasts of No Nation” (pictured), his upcoming film about an African child soldier. “The movie is not supposed to be about politics,” says Fukunaga, “but I couldn’t help but put my outside objective perspective on it. In North Africa, even Syria and Nigeria, we are dealing not with a war about religion, it’s a war about economics. … A lot of these wars are fueled by poverty.”
A boy fighting a cultural battle grounds the short film “Versus: Go, Sebastien, Go,” from director/executive producer Eva Longoria.
When youngster Sebastien de la Cruz sang the national anthem before Game 3 of the 2013 NBA finals, he encountered a firestorm of racist and abusive tweets. But the 11-year-old retained his poise. Longoria, who will speak at TFF on April 20, says, “Sebastien’s actions affected the players, the coach and the San Antonio fan base. That’s a sports story that needs to be told.”
Longoria, who was on the TFF shorts jury in 2013, says: “I love short documentaries. They allow for more stories that don’t really have the content to sustain two hours and yet they are still important. I’ve always been a sports fan, and having ESPN as a partner combines my two passions: filmmaking and sports.”
With the perspective of a TFF vet, she adds: “I love how international the festival has become — and yet, when you attend Tribeca, it feels quaint and intimate and about the filmmakers. It’s holding on to its authentic roots of celebrating people who want to create films.”