On Wednesday April 17, the 12th Annual Tribeca Film Festival kicks into high gear with the Opening Night Gala Mistaken for Strangers and over the next 11 days, New York City is going to be the film hub of the country as various theaters in Tribeca, Chelsea and the East Village are packed with dramas, comedies, thrillers, documentaries and short films, many which haven’t been seen elsewhere.
There are plenty of movies playing at Tribeca that have already played at other festivals like Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight (Sony Pictures Classics – May 24), David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche (Magnolia), Ramin Bahrani’s At Any Price (Sony Pictures Classics – April 24) starring Dennis Quaid and Zach Efron and Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Instead, we’re going to focus on the movies getting their World Premieres at Tribeca, which is actually a huge number of movies. While we’re not sure how many of these we’ll have a chance to see, we’ve chosen 18 movies playing at Tribeca looking for distribution and hopefully getting enough audience support that they’ll eventually be released theatrically.
Actor turned director Scott Coffey, who previously directed Naomi Watts in Elle Parker, brings his second feature to Tribeca, which stars Emma Roberts as a college graduate with dreams of being a poet, but she ends up working at an adult bookstore where she finds a mentor by the name of “Rat Billings” in John Cusack. I guess things could be worse.
Phil Morrison, director of the indie hit Junebug, which introduced most of the world to Amy Adams, is back with a comedy starring Pauls Rudd and Giamatti as two Canadians who come to New York with the plans of getting rich by selling Christmas trees. The oddly-timed holiday buddy comedy also co-stars Sally (Happy Go Lucky) Hawkins.
Set in the Middle East, this international drama by director Hisham Zaman is about a boy who must pay for his older sister fleeing an arranged marriage and when he tracks her down to Istanbul, he meets a street girl who changes his opinion on the life he was born into.
Big Bad Wolves
A couple of years back, Israeli filmmakers Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado premiered their horror movie Rabies at Tribeca and now they’re back with the follow-up, which may or may not be a werewolf movie. They’re selling it as a “revenge thriller with teeth” so it could go either way.
A Birder’s Guider to Everything
Kodi Smit-McPhee, who first made his mark in John Hillcoat’s The Road a couple years back, stars in Rob Meyer’s feature debut as 15-year-old David Portnoy, who deals with his father’s second marriage by leading his group of birdwatchers to look for a rare duck that’s never been spotted before. Kind of sounds like a Wes Anderson movie doesn’t it?
Lance Edmand’s feature debut stars Amy Morton as a school bus driver who is distracted by a bluebird leading to repercussions that shake up her small Maine logging town. It also stars Adam Driver (“Girls”), John Slattery (“Mad Men”), Margo Martindale (“Justified”) and Louisa Krause (Day Night Day Night).
Oscar winner Melissa Leo stars in Enid Zentelis’ drama about a mother whose daughter (Marin Ireland) becomes addicted to painkillers after a car accident and she turns to Josh Hamilton’s Becket to try to help her daughter.
A Case of You
Justin Long, his brother Christian and actor Keir O’Donnell (Wedding Crashers) wrote this romantic comedy directed by Kat Coiro (L!fe Happens) in which Long plays a writer who falls for Evan Rachel Wood’s coffee shop barista and uses her profile to turn himself into her perfect mate. The movie has an amazing all-star supporting cast including Peter Dinklage, Brendan Fraser, Sam Rockwell, Vince Vaughn and Sienna Miller.
French filmmaker Marina de Van directs this psychological thriller involving a girl named Neve (Marie Missy Keating) who survives a bloody massacre when her family is killed, according to her, by the furniture coming to life. No one believes that’s what happened as she desperately tries to put her past behind her and start a new life.
From Holland comes this steampunk found footage action-thriller from director Richard Raaphorst involving a group of Russian soldiers who come upon the lab of mad scientist, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, and discover the plan of the Nazis to bring dead soldiers back to life as they’re trapped in a house full of unstoppable freaks.