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2012 Tribeca Film Festival Announces World Narrative And Documentary Competition Selections

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The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by American Express®, today announced the World Narrative and Documentary Competition film selections, along with selections for the out-of-competition Viewpoints section-the program established last year that highlights personal stories in international and independent cinema. Forty-six of the 90 feature-length films were announced. The 11th edition of the Festival will take place from April 18 to April 29 at locations around New York City.

The Festival was curated by a new programming team this year. Frédéric Boyer has joined TFF as Artistic Director, having most recently served as Artistic Director and Head of Programming for the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Geoffrey Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, has expanded his role in overseeing the Festival program. Genna Terranova has been promoted to Director of Programming and Cara Cusumano returns as Programmer. 

"It's been so gratifying to watch the new programming team come together and hear their dialogue around film," said Nancy Schafer, Executive Director of Tribeca Film Festival. "Their passion is inspiring  and is reflected in the strength and breadth of the program." 

For the first time, the competition sections will have designated opening night films in both the documentary and narrative categories, highlighting the sections. The World Before Her will open the World Documentary competition and Yossi will open the World Narrative competition on April 19. 

The 2012 film selection includes feature films from 32 different countries, including 54 World Premieres, 4 International Premieres, 16 North American Premieres, 10 U.S. Premieres and six New York Premieres. A total of 107 directors will be presenting feature works at the Festival, with 33 of these filmmakers presenting their feature directorial debuts. Among these directors, 25 are women. Twenty-six feature film directors are returning TFF filmmakers. The 2012 film slate was chosen from a total of 5950 submissions, a record number for the Festival.

"The competition of any festival represents a window into its character and its agendas. Tribeca's competition annually showcases our desire to present exceptional work across a spectrum of storytelling, places of origin, and aesthetics," said Geoffrey Gilmore. "This year, we present a balanced mix of American and international filmmaking, with what we believe has a special quality and exemplifies a range in the selection." 

"To me the films in competition reflect the diversity and vitality of contemporary cinema. Diversity in the themes addressed through powerful storytelling, but also in filmmaking itself where the images, the sounds and the way of capturing the truth in human beings is striking. Vitality because this year we are presenting nine first time feature filmmakers in competition, and I believe we will keep a close eye on these directors' works in the future," said Frédéric Boyer, Artistic Director of the Tribeca Film Festival. "The quality of American independent cinema is well represented this year, but international diversity has its share too, with films from countries as varied as Cuba and Kenya. All different films, but all consistent in their shared ambition of representing their own world."

In addition to the Competition and Viewpoints categories, the Festival presents feature-length films in the Spotlight, Cinemania and Special screenings sections, which will be announced on March 8.

 

WORLD NARRATIVE AND DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION, AND VIEWPOINTS

 

World Narrative and Documentary Competition

 

This year, 12 narrative and 12 documentary features making their North American, International, or World Premieres will compete for combined cash prizes amounting to $180,000 and donated artwork from the Artists Awards program sponsored by Chanel, featuring renowned artists including Cindy Sherman, JR, Kara Walker and Stanley Whitney.

The complete list of films selected for the World Narrative Feature and World Documentary Competition is as follows:

 

World Narrative Feature Competition

Of the 12 films in Tribeca's 2012 World Narrative Competition, half are international productions and half American. Though the balance is less a product of design than serendipity, it amply reflects the Tribeca Film Festival's commitment to fostering dialogue between the global filmmaking community and U.S. audiences and auteurs. Borders figure prominently in this year's slate-zealously patrolled by some characters and surreptitiously crossed by others-from the Unites States' desert border with Mexico (The Girl) and ocean gulf from Cuba (Una Noche), to the ancestral lines separating a Turkish family's feudal farmland from nearby nomadic peoples (Beyond the Hill). Films centering on specific geographic divisions are complemented by the ultimate universal theme of romantic connection, from the dizzying rush of first love (Jack and Diane) through a second chance at reuniting with an old flame (All In) to a woman whose life is rejuvenated by an unexpected relationship with a younger man (While We Were Here). The program is rounded out by a pair of claustrophobic character studies seamlessly incorporating elements of genre (Nancy, Please; First Winter) and a sunny portrait of the visitors coming to and from an Indonesian zoo (Postcards From the Zoo). Films in this section compete for the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Best New Narrative Director, Best Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.

 

  • ·         All In (La Suerte En Tus Manos), directed by Daniel Burman, written by Daniel Burman and Sergio Dubcovsky. (Argentina) – International Premiere. Professional poker player Uriel has been on a real hot streak-with the ladies-since his marriage fizzled out. But in between growing his online gambling business and helping to raise his kids, Uriel has rediscovered his old pre-marriage flame, Gloria…. Starring the great Valeria Bertuccelli (XXY) and Oscar®-winning songwriter Jorge Drexler, this romantic comedy from Daniel Burman (Lost Embrace) unfolds in the acclaimed director's signature style: poignant, natural, and bitingly funny. In Spanish with subtitles.

 

  • ·         Beyond the Hill (Tepenin Ardi), directed and written by Emin Alper. (Turkey, Greece) – North American Premiere. Faik, a proud old forester, is having trouble with nomads grazing their livestock on his land. For revenge, he and his hulking farm hand Mehmet snatch a goat to butcher for a family holiday, unwittingly sparking a dire blood feud. Debuting Turkish director Emin Alper creates an atmosphere of skin-crawling terror in this psychological drama by withholding, not showing, the escalating acts of violence that hurtle these feuding farmers toward a shocking confrontation. In Turkish with subtitles.

 

  • ·         First Winter, directed and written by Benjamin Dickinson. (USA) – World Premiere. In this extraordinary debut feature, a blackout of apocalyptic proportions strands a group of Brooklyn hipsters in a remote country farmhouse with no heat and no electricity during the coldest winter on record. At first, it's all sex and drugs and acoustic guitars. But as the days go on and the food supply dwindles, struggles of power, jealousy, and desire threaten the group's ability to work together in order to survive.

 

  • ·         The Girl, directed and written by David Riker. (USA, Mexico) – World Premiere. From the director of La Ciudad comes this moving drama about a single mother (Abbie Cornish) caught in emotional quicksand after losing her job and custody of her son. Desperate to earn cash for her custody battle, she makes the daring choice to help smuggle illegal immigrants over the border. A deep connection to a young Mexican girl will take her on a life-changing journey and force her to confront her past. In English, Spanish with subtitles.

 

  • ·         Jack and Diane, directed and written by Bradley Rust Gray. (USA) – World Premiere. Tomboy Jack and bubbly Diane fall head over heels in love one hot summer in New York City. When Diane reveals she must leave the city for school in Europe, their budding love is tested. Weaving horror elements into a distinctive and fresh yet timeless and universal first-love story, TFF alum Bradley Rust Gray (The Exploding Girl) brings his unique vision to this idiosyncratic story of the joys and terrors of first love. A Magnolia Pictures release.

 

  • ·         Nancy, Please, directed by Andrew Semans, written by Will Heinrich and Andrew Semans. (USA) – World Premiere. Paul's life is good. He has a gig teaching literature at Yale, and he just moved in with his longtime girlfriend, finally shedding his casually sinister roommate, Nancy. There's just one thing. Paul left an item of great importance at his old apartment, and Nancy doesn't want to give it back.… Paul's life is about to unravel. Debuting director Andrew Semans skillfully orchestrates a minor annoyance into an all-consuming obsession in this smart, stunning psychodrama.

 

  • ·         Postcards From the Zoo (Kebun Binatang), directed by Edwin, written by Edwin, Daud Sumolang, and Titien Wattimena. (Indonesia) – North American Premiere. Acclaimed Chinese-Indonesian director Edwin (Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly) returns with a gorgeous, dreamlike fairy tale set inside Jakarta's wondrous Ragunan Zoo. Abandoned in the zoo as a little girl and raised among the wild menagerie, Lana finally embarks outside the peculiar confines she has always known-and into the seedier side of Jakarta-when she falls in love with a charming magician. In Indonesian with subtitles.

 

  • ·         Una Noche, directed and written by Lucy Mulloy. (UK, Cuba, USA) – North American Premiere. Fed up with catering to the privileged tourist class, Cuban teens Raul and Elio are tantalized by the promise of a new life in Miami. Accused of assaulting a foreigner, Raul has no choice but to flee, but Elio must decide whether his own escape is worth abandoning his beloved sister. Brimming with the nervous energy of Havana's restless youth and evocative cinematography of the sun-bleached capital, Una Nochefollows one sweltering day, full of hope and fraught with tensions, that burns to a shocking climax. In Spanish with subtitles.

 

  • ·         Unit 7 (Grupo 7), directed by Alberto Rodriguez, written by Rafael Cobos and Alberto Rodriguez. (Spain) – International Premiere. Unit 7 is a semi-official police detail with a seemingly impossible mission: kick Seville's most vicious drug trafficking ring out of town ahead of a major international expo. By any means necessary. As they slip outside the bounds of the law in the name of duty, two officers fueled by violence, lies, and ambition end up on opposing paths. Spanish superstar Mario Casas (Neon Flesh) stars in this adrenaline-pumping action thriller. In Spanish with subtitles.

 

  • ·         War Witch (Rebelle), directed and written by Kim Nguyen. (Canada) – North American Premiere, Narrative. At 14, Komona has lived through horrors that eclipse any adult's worst nightmares. In this mesmerizing, otherworldly drama, shot entirely in the Congo, she confides to the baby growing inside of her the harrowing story of her life since rebel warlords stormed her village. Fortified by eerily mystical powers and the warming friendship of an albino boy, the sensitive girl battles through this dire, war-ravaged world enchained as a child soldier. In French, Lingala with subtitles.

 

  • ·         While We Were Here, directed and written by Kat Coiro. (USA) – World Premiere. Jane (Kate Bosworth) and her English husband travel to Naples hoping to reinvigorate their silently disintegrating marriage and escape a personal tragedy that hangs heavily between them. When Jane, facing writer's block, takes a day trip to a beautiful island off the coast, she meets a young American man living a hermetic life on the island. As the two embark on an unlikely emotional affair, Jane faces some drastic changes in her life.

 

  • ·         Yossi (Ha-Sippur Shel Yossi), directed by Eytan Fox, written by Itay Segal. (Israel) – World Premiere. Returning to the role that won him TFF's Best Actor award in Eytan Fox's Yossi & Jagger in 2003, Ohad Knoller is extraordinary as Yossi, a closeted gay man living a solitary existence in Tel Aviv. A chance encounter with a group of soldiers ignites Yossi's desire to live an open, fulfilling life. Written and directed with uncommon honesty and compassion by Fox, this is a deeply moving film about the power of second chances. In Hebrew with subtitles.

 

World Documentary Feature Competition
The 12 films of this year's World Documentary Competition cover a wide range of aesthetics in American and international subjects. Beth Murphy's The List challenges us with the moral obligation of the U.S. government as we pull out of our wars in the Middle East, while Nisha Pahuja's The World Before Her weaves the complexity of possibilities for women in India in contrasting conservative and progressive veins. In the more personal documentaries, Denmark's Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed bring us a beautiful, tragic romance in the complicated partnership of Ballroom Dancer, while from South Korea hails Seung-Jun Yi's Planet of Snail, a tender portrait of an aspiring writer, who is deaf and blind, and his partner. Filmmakers push the documentary form in adventurous ways, from Israel's Arnon Goldfinger with his mysterious, riveting Holocaust documentary The Flat, to Namir Abdel Messeeh's The Virgin, the Copts and Me, a heartwarming, offbeat comedy shot in Egypt. Films in this section compete for Best Documentary Feature, Best New Documentary Director, and Best Editing.

  • ·         Ballroom Dancer, directed and written by Christian Bonke and Andreas Koefoed. (Denmark) – North American Premiere. In 2000, Slavik Kryklyvyy became the World Latin American Dance Champion. Enduring success seemed assured, but instead Slavik's career sputtered... until redemption seemed possible with his new partner and lover, Anna. But will Slavik's unwavering ambition prove toxic to their romance? Subtly depicting the pair's shifting relationship through gestures, glances, and the dance itself,Ballroom Dancer begins as a comeback story and evolves into a movingly intimate tragic romance. In Russian, English with subtitles.

 

  • ·         Downeast, directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin. (USA) – World Premiere. Gouldsboro, Maine. Hit hard by the closure of the sardine canning factory, its laid-off residents-mostly 70-year-olds-just want to get back to work. So why is Italian immigrant Antonio Bussone having so much trouble getting federal funds to open a new lobster processing plant? Charged with the spirit of a generation that still gives it 110 percent, this poignant and poetic documentary sheds new light on the trying task of putting America back to work.

 

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