The 10th Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 20 to May 1 and includes 88 feature-length and 61 short films -- with online screenings for those who can't jaunt to the Big Apple for a film-fancy getaway. They've announced their narrative and documentary competition and viewpoints section. True to the spirit of New York City, Tribeca's features make up a cinematic melting pot of goodness, with films from 32 different countries, including 43 world premieres. " ... We are excited about the quality, ingenuity, risk-taking and diversity of this year's program," says David Kwok, Director of Programming.
Programmers sifted through 5,624 festival submissions to bring you the year's best and brightest movies, but we're pinpointing 10 films from the first half of its 10th anniversary feature slate we'll be keeping an eye on next month (in no particular order). You can check out the full festival lineup on the TFF website, and let us know which of our picks you jibe with in the comments section.
10. 'Love During Wartime'
Directed and written by Gabriella Bier. (Sweden) – North American Premiere. Jasmin and Assi are newlyweds, but building a life together seems impossible: She's an Israeli, he's a Palestinian. When their homelands turn their backs on them, they choose to live in exile. This tender tale of a love infiltrated by politics follows a real-life Romeo and Juliet on their odyssey from the Middle East through an inhospitable Europe. As their hopes rise and then fade with each bureaucratic hurdle, will their love survive? In Hebrew, Arabic, English, German with English subtitles.
9. 'Lotus Eaters'
Directed by Alexandra McGuinness, written by Alexandra McGuinness and Brendan Grant. (UK) – World Premiere, Narrative. The bright young things of London's social elite lead an existence as languorous and lavish as it is self-destructive. At the center is Alice, a stunning ex-model unable to keep up with the high standards of living her peers feverishly chase. Alexandra McGuinness' directorial debut presents a contemporary black-and-white portrait of overlapping cliques of friends struggling to get their lives under control before they fall numb to it all.
8. 'Jesus Henry Christ'
Directed and written by Dennis Lee. (USA) – World Premiere. Precocious doesn't even begin to describe Henry James Hermin, a petri dish child who writes rabble-rousing manifestos on the nature of truth... at age 10. This boy-genius misfit's world turns upside down when-to the dismay of the doting single mother who raised him-he embarks on a search for his biological father. Toni Collette and Michael Sheen star alongside bright newcomers Jason Spevack and Samantha Weinstein in this charming comedy that beams with off-the-wall humor and visual flair.
7. 'Flowers of Evil (Fleurs du Mal)'
Directed by David Dusa, written by David Dusa, Raphaëlle Maes, and Louise Molière. (France) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Paris-Tehran. A rootless story of young love between Gecko, an Algerian-French hotel bellman and parkourer, and Anahita, an Iranian student forced to leave her country for her own safety after the controversial elections in 2009. Obsessed with tracking the political movement, Anahita's friends broadcast through YouTube and coordinate via Twitter. Romance and the Internet become the ground to explore histories lost and identity yet to be found. In French, Farsi with English subtitles.
Directed by Gaukur Úlfarsson. (Iceland) – International Premiere, Documentary. You'll never see politics the same after this raucous documentary. Following his country's economic meltdown, acerbic Icelandic comedian Jon Gnarr launches his own political party, The Best Party. His platform? Free trips to Disneyland, more polar bears in the zoo, and refusing to work with anyone who doesn't watch The Wire. But when support for Gnarr's wacky mayoral bid surprisingly snowballs, what started out as a joke quickly captures the imagination of a nation desperate for a change. In Icelandic with English subtitles.
5. 'The Last Rites of Joe May'
Directed and written by Joe Maggio. (USA) – World Premiere. Small-time Chicago hustler Joe May (the incomparable Dennis Farina) always felt like a great destiny awaited him, but with his health ailing and his age advancing, he's never looked more like a bum. Broke and evicted, he's taken in by a troubled young mother and daughter, in whom he finds one last shot to be a hero. Pulsing with the spirit of classic urban dramas, 'The Last Rites of Joe May' is a subtle, sophisticated tale of redemption.
4. 'Black Butterflies'
Directed by Paula van der Oest, written by Greg Latter. (Germany, Netherlands, South Africa) – International Premiere. Poetry, politics, madness, and desire collide in the true story of the woman hailed as South Africa's Sylvia Plath. In 1960s Cape Town, as Apartheid steals the expressive rights of blacks and whites alike, young Ingrid Jonker (Carice van Houten, Black Book) finds her freedom scrawling verse while frittering through a series of stormy affairs. Amid escalating quarrels with her lovers and her government-censor father (Rutger Hauer), the poet witnesses an unconscionable event that will alter her life's course. In English.
3. 'The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye'
Directed by Marie Losier. (USA, France) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Filmmaker and TFF alum Marie Losier, who has created engaging short films on avant-garde artists like George Kuchar and Guy Maddin, makes her feature documentary debut with a mesmerizing and deeply romantic love story between pioneering musician and performance artist Genesis P-Orridge and soul mate Lady Jaye. Breaking new ground in its depiction of gender identity, Ballad chronicles the physical and spiritual merging of two beings into one.
2. 'White, White World (Beli, beli svet)'
Directed by Oleg Novkovic, written by Milena Markovic. (Serbia, Germany, Sweden) – North American Premiere, Narrative. In this beautiful and brutal drama, King, a handsome boxer-turned-barman falls for Vita, a fiery and untamable beauty in the decaying Serbian town of Bor. Their love triggers a series of events that drive the many residents of Bor inexorably toward a fateful and moving finale. Reminiscent of classical Greek theater, White, White World is an epic musical tragedy staged against the stark landscape of a small, crumbling mining town. In Serbian with English subtitles.
1. 'The Bully Project'
Directed by Lee Hirsch. (USA) – World Premiere. More than 18 million young people in the U.S. will be bullied this year. This alarming documentary takes us into a disquieting year in the life of several students joining this staggering statistic. As teachers and parents struggle to find the answers, the students do what they can to survive a school day. Rare access and emotionally charged footage offer a never-before-seen exploration of America's bullying crisis and a necessary call to action.