Tribeca Festival Adds Mary J. Blige, Cannibal Cop and a Schwarzenegger Zombie Movie

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival will round out the second half of its 97-feature slate with a Spotlight section that includes the world premiere of a zombie movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and a documentary about New York’s “Cannibal Cop,” as well as a Midnight series and a handful of special screenings such as documentary “Mary J. Blige — The London Sessions,” to be followed by a concert performance by Blige.

A couple of work-in-progress screenings also will fill out the Tribeca lineup, following the announcement of the first half of the slate (including competition titles) earlier this week.

The 40 movies filed under Spotlight, which tend to feature the highest proportion of prominent creatives and star performers in Tribeca lineup, this year includes the debuts of films that star Mickey Rourke (Tony McNamara’s “Ashby”), Jessica Biel (Diane Bell’s “Bleeding Heart”), recent Oscar winner Patricia Arquette (Nick Sandow’s “The Wannabe”) and Christopher Walken (Robert Edwards’ “When I Live My Life Over Again”).

Schwarzenegger toplines the world premiere of Henry Hobson’s “Maggie,” about a father whose daughter (Abigail Breslin) becomes one of the infected as part of a zombie epidemic. Joely Richardson also stars in the upcoming Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions release.

Also premiering as part of Spotlight are Tim Blake Nelson’s story of a New York mugging, “Anesthesia,” with a starry cast that includes Sam Waterston, Glenn Close and Kristen Stewart; Neil LaBute’s comedy “Dirty Weekend” with Matthew Broderick and Alice Eve; and “Mojave,” the Oscar Isaac-Garrett Hedlund starrer that is the first written and directed by Oscar winning screenwriter William Monahan (“The Departed”).

Ford Mustang documentary “A Faster Horse” will have its world premiere in the Spotlight section. Producer White Horse Pictures announced it would launch foreign sales on the docu, directed by David Gelb (“Jiro Dreams of Sushi”)

Erin Lee Carr’s “Thought Crimes,” about the NYPD officer the tabloids called “Cannibal Cop,” is one of several documentaries in the section, as is Eric Weinrib’s “Roseanne for President!,” which follows Roseanne Barr’s run for president.

In the special screenings lineup of films paired with live events, Sam Wrench’s “Mary J. Blige — The London Sessions” tracks the recording the musician’s 13th album. Blige will perform at New York’s Beacon Theater following the debut screening.

Other events lined up are “Rifftrax Live: The Room,” a screening of notorious cult film “The Room” with live commentary from “Mystery Science Theater 3000” alumni; a showing of silent film “Speedy” with a new soundtrack performed live by DJ Z-Trip; and “A Ballerina’s Tale,” a screening of Nelson George’s documentary about Misty Copeland, the first African-American female soloist at American Ballet Theater. The latter will be followed by a Q&A with Copeland and a ballet performance by two of her protegees.

The five-film Midnight slate of genre films features titles including Benni Diez’s giant wasp movie “Stung” and Ryan Harvie and John Paul Horstmann’s “Bodyslam: The Revenge of the Banana!,” about a fight over the existence of Seattle Semi-Pro wrestling.

A new doc by Alma Har’el (“Bombay Beach”), “LoveTrue,” about three relationships, and Patrick Creadon’s “All Work, All Play,” a look at the rise of eSports, will be screened as works in progress.

In addition to 24 world premieres, the Spotlight section also incorporates movies that have screened previous elsewhere, including Paul Weitz’s Lily Tomlin starrer “Grandma,” Andrew Niccol’s “Good Kill” starring Ethan Hawke, Leslye Headlund’s comedy “Sleeping with Other People” with Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie, and John Maclean’s western “Slow West” with Michael Fassbender.

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival runs April 15-26 at venues across downtown Manhattan.

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