Tag Archives: tribeca

Sweden, Liberia films win NY Tribeca awards

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Swedish coming-of-age horror film and a U.S. documentary about female peace activists in war-torn Liberia won the top awards at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival Thursday.

“Let the Right One In,” directed by Tomas Alfredson, took the award for Best Narrative Feature, while “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” directed by Gini Reticker and narrated by singer Angelique Kidjo, won Best Documentary Feature. Both films beat out 11 other finalists and each won $25,000.

Peter Scarlet, Tribeca’s artistic director, said most of the prizes at the seventh annual festival — started in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks to help rejuvenate lower Manhattan — were “going to filmmakers and performers who are all at an early stage of their careers.”

Amended figures from festival organizers show 121 feature films and 79 short films from 41 countries have been screened during the event, which finishes Sunday.

“Let the Right One In” tells the tale of a 12-year-old Swedish boy who is the victim of bullying and dreams of revenge. He befriends a girl next door who has a need greater than friendship — blood.

The Tribeca jury said it won “for its mesmerizing exploration of loneliness and alienation through masterful reexamination of the vampire myth.”

“Pray the Devil Back to Hell” documents the story of female peace activists in Liberia, who helped end the country’s 1989-2003 civil war that left more than 200,000 people dead. Their campaign culminated in the election of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female head of state.

“In a relentless pursuit of peace, the women of Liberia show us how community, motherly love and perseverance can change the fate of a society,” the Tribeca jury said. “‘Pray the Devil Back to Hell’ is a reminder that we have the power to say ‘Enough!’ to the atrocities of our world.”

The Best New Narrative Filmmaker Award went to “My Marlon and Brando,” directed by Huseyin Karabey and based on the true- love story of a Turkish actress heading to the Iraq border after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 to find her Kurdish boyfriend. Spanish director Carlos Carcas won Best New Documentary Filmmaker for “Old Man Bebo” for his portrait of Cuban musician Bebo Valdes, who won two Grammy Awards at age 81.

The Best Actor in a Feature Film award went to Thomas Turgoose and Piotr Jagiello for their roles in the British film “Somers Town,” while the Best Actress Award went to Eileen Walsh for her role in the Irish film “Eden.”

Source: Reuters

Tribeca panel talks new media

NEW YORK — David Lynch recently declared that people who watch a film on a telephone are “cheated,” and though his onetime muse Isabella Rossellini is creating a series of avant-garde shorts for mobile devices, she partly agrees.

This was just one revelation at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Tribeca Talks Industry panel on new media, hosted by the Hollywood Reporter. Jaman.com founder Gaurav Dhillon, NBC Universal executive vp and general counsel Rick Cott and Sling Media Entertainment Group president Jason Hirschhorn joined Rossellini and The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai, who moderated, to discuss the effect of technology on the entertainment business.

“It’s a disservice to watch a film like ‘Apocalypse Now’ on a small screen,” said Rossellini, who once wondered why a film on her mobile device lingered so long on the sunset … before realizing there were microscopic horsemen riding at the bottom of the screen. “Are mobile phones only a recycling bin for content or for original content? I agree with David if it’s just a recycling bin, but I don’t think he would be against making art specifically for this new canvas.”

That’s what the actress/model/filmmaker is doing with her “Green Porno” series, funded by Robert Redford’s Sundance institute. In the eight shorts, she mates with insects and other creatures, using animated-style figures easily visible on a small screen.

The larger issue among panelists wasn’t if viewers would watch content on new media but how companies and artists will profit from it and prevent profit from slipping away. “It’s just an evolution of current media. You have to include advertising and rethink your cost structure,” said Dhillon, who emphasized that a way for viewers to have a dialogue about the content (as on his site) is key to success.

Getting talent to put a toe in the water is a challenge. “When I was at Comedy Central, we wanted comedians to do online shorts,” Hirschhorn recalls. “They were into it, but their agents said ‘For 15,000 we’re not interested.'” Many actors took a salary hit, noted Rossellini, when they started doing indies for less than their studio film asking price, prompting some companies to wonder why they had to pay them as much.”

Part of rethinking distribution in new media is getting past the old paradigms of making some entertainment product less available made it more coveted and expensive, according to Hirschhorn. “Scarcity once bred value, and now scarcity breeds piracy,” he said.

“Eighty five percent of YouTube traffic is overseas,” added Dhillon. “There, piracy is not only impossible to stop, it’s also impossible to police.”

Cott feels piracy is the top issue to address before profit models or any other new-media issue, and while stopping it may be impossible, making it as inconvenient as possible is key. “Every lock can be picked, but I suspect no one in this room is going to take theirs off their doors,” he said, prompting laughter. NBC Uni works with YouTube to distribute official content, and based on their work he expects filtering technology to improve radically in the next year.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Tribeca hopes for rebound after criticism last year

NEW YORK (AP) – In 2007, the Tribeca Film Festival underwent a modern-day rite of passage: the backlash.

Co-founded by Robert De Niro after Sept. 11 to help heal his Manhattan neighborhood, the festival had previously enjoyed a thankful reception. But as it expanded further into New York and the number of screenings quintupled, some began to resent Tribeca’s growth into the already crowded festival circuit.

“You can’t please everybody,” De Niro said in a recent interview. “If everything’s going nicely, there’s always going to be somebody to say something.”

The seventh annual festival, which opens Wednesday night with the premiere of the Tina Fey comedy “Baby Mama,” has responded to the complaints of last year. To help moviegoers wade through the thicket of largely unfamiliar titles, the number of feature films has been cut from 157 to 120 (even though total submissions increased from 4,550 to 4,835). Screenings have been refocused geographically to a “hub” of downtown Manhattan, and average ticket prices have been brought down from $18 to $15.

Tribeca, it’s clear, is still trying to win over New York and the film community.

“There were some very valid criticisms and we’ve listened to our audience the way when you’re producing a movie and you have a test screening,” said Jane Rosenthal, De Niro’s producing partner. She is also a founder of the festival, as is her husband, entrepreneur Craig Hatkoff.

Though the festival trumpets its economic impact on the city (it says $119 million was generated last year), the Tribeca neighborhood no longer needs commercial help. One need look no further than the ultra-luxurious Greenwich Hotel that De Niro opened earlier this month.

“Would I have predicted sitting there on Sept. 12 that seven years from then, things would feel pretty normal in lower Manhattan?” said Hatkoff. “It’s rebounded very, very quickly.”

While the Sundance Film Festival is ground zero for quirky independent fare, Cannes specializes in international arthouse and Toronto launches studio Oscar contenders, Tribeca is without a specific identity.

Last year, Tribeca opened with a gala of short films on global warming, hosted by Al Gore, and Rosenthal declared it a “political festival.” While there are many politically oriented films playing this year, its centerpieces are a comedy (“Baby Mama”), a martial arts film by David Mamet (“Redbelt”) and a family action flick (“Speed Racer”). It also includes an ESPN-sponsored sports film component and outdoor “drive-in” screenings.

“I don’t know that we’re ready yet to say this is a Tribeca film, this isn’t a Tribeca film,” said festival programmer Peter Scarlet. “And indeed part of what makes Tribeca-ness – a word I’m not sure I want to be quoted on – is that we’re a very diverse festival.”

One quality unique to Tribeca is how its run. While other festivals get the majority of their funding from the government, Tribeca is a for-profit festival, run by a for-profit company: and “Baghdad High,” which chronicles the lives of four Iraqi teenagers who were given cameras to document their lives YouTube-style.

Other events include an outdoor screening of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” complete with a “zombie disco,” a discussion of the meaning of Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” 40 years later, and conversations with Sissy Spacek, Lou Reed, Errol Morris, Gloria Estefan and Mario Van Peebles – all of whom have films at the festival that they either created or are featured in.

It’s all an enormous undertaking, leading one to wonder just how involved the busy De Niro is. Rosenthal described him as the “touchstone” of Tribeca and the “sounding board” to all ideas, often insuring that the filmmakers’ perspective is looked after.

“I’m not experiencing what they’re experiencing,” said De Niro, referring to Rosenthal and other festival producers. “I’m there all the time, but I’m just not doing the nuts-and-bolts, day-to-day work.”

Of the festival, which runs until May 4, De Niro said, “What makes me happy is that people enjoy it. That’s what it’s all about.”

Source: The Associated Press

Tribeca fest talks up panels

NEW YORK — The Tribeca Film Festival is introducing the “Behind the Screens” and film executive-targeted “Tribeca Talks Industry” programs, featuring conversations with Sissy Spacek, Lou Reed and Isabella Rossellini.

The fest also unveiled participants in its “Tribeca Talks and Conversations in Cinema” panels: Buzz Aldrin on “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Mike Figgis on digital filmmaking, Christiane Amanpour on global dialogues and “Steroid Nation” author Shaun Assael on performance-enhancing drugs in sports.

In a “Tribeca Talks Industry” panel, The Hollywood Reporter business editor Georg Szalai will host “Click to View: The Future of New Media,” which will include Rossellini discussing shorts she’s created for mobile devices. Other new TTI panels are “Reuse, Remix and Renew: Film Tools for the 21st Century” and a talk with director Shane Meadows.

The programs run April 24-May 4 at venues around Manhattan.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Tribeca slims down for 7th edition

NEW YORK — The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival has followed through on its promise to trim its slate, announcing Tuesday a features lineup that’s nearly 25% smaller than last year’s.

The six-year-old fest responded to criticism that it has grown too unwieldy. “There’s been elephantitis at film festivals worldwide,” artistic director Peter Scarlet said, noting the reduction of features from 159 last year to 122 this year, culled from 2,329 submissions.

“Festivals are getting bigger and bigger, and with the digital revolution more films are getting made,” Scarlet added. “There’s a limit as to how much new information people can process.”

This year, the fest will give a higher profile to those movies that will be screened. Indeed, the competition and Encounters sections announced Tuesday contain some star power, with docus that feature such celebs as Madonna, Richard Gere and Meryl Streep and assorted fictional features starring Sissy Spacek, Dave Matthews and Michelle Monaghan.

Twelve narrative and 12 docu competition features competing for $100,000 in cash prizes were announced Tuesday, along with 21 Encounters features. Thirty-one countries are represented, including 55 world premieres. More lineup announcements are forthcoming.

New works from notable filmmakers include Shane Meadows’ teen friendship comedy “Somers Town,” Rosa von Praunheim’s autobiographical adoption docu “Two Mothers” (Meine Muetter), animator Bill Plympton’s dark comedy “Idiots and Angels” and Melvin Van Peebles’ character study “ConfessionsofaEx-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha.”

Late last year, the fest hired Miramax vet Genna Terranova, who has helped acquire movies like the Felicity Huffman-starrer “Transamerica” and the Samantha Morton drama “Morvern Callar,” to up the scripted quotient.

In addition to the trimmed slate, Scarlet noted a number of themes this year. “Almost without exception, these films focus on families or the dissolution and absence of families,” he said.

Another trend: first-timers. There are 66 feature debuting efforts represented among the 145 directors in the fest.

Comedies were a large part of this year’s Sundance film fest, but they will be less of a factor here. “There were more comedy submissions, but they either weren’t very funny or didn’t translate from other cultures,” Scarlet said.

The previously announced opening-night film is Michael McCullers’ surrogate mother comedy “Baby Mama.” The New York-shot Universal Pictures film starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be shown April 23. The fest runs through May 4 in various venues, and as with the number of features, it has scaled back its previously added uptown theaters to Lower Manhattan.

Here is a complete list of entries in the narrative and docu competitions and the Encounters section.

World Narrative Feature Competition:

“57,000 Kilometers Between Us” (57000 km entre nous), directed by Delphine Kreuter, (France) — North American premiere

“The Aquarium” (Genenet al Asmak), directed by Yousry Nasrallah, (Egypt, France, Germany) — North American premiere

“Eden,” directed by Declan Recks, (Ireland) — International premiere

“Let The Right One In” (Lat den ratte komma in), directed by Tomas Alfredson, (Sweden) — North American premiere

“Lost Indulgence,” directed and written by Zhang Yibai (China) — International premiere

“Love, Pain and Vice Versa” (Amor, dolor y viceversa), directed by Alfonso Pineda–Ulloa, (Mexico) — world premiere

“My Marlon and Brando” (Gitmek), directed and written by Huseyin Karabey (Turkey) — North American premiere

“Newcastle,” directed and written by Dan Castle (Australia) — world premiere

“Quiet Chaos” (Caos calmo), directed by Antonello Grimaldi, (Italy) — North American premiere

“Ramchand Pakistani,” directed by Mehreen Jabbar, (Pakistan) — world premiere

“Somers Town,” directed by Shane Meadows, (U.K.) — North American premiere

“Trucker,” directed and written by James Mottern (U.S.) — world premiere

World Documentary Feature Competition:

“Baghdad High,” directed by Ivan O’Mahoney and Laura Winter (U.K.) — international premiere

“Donkey in Lahore,” directed by Faramarz K-Rahber (Australia) — North American premiere

“Guest of Cindy Sherman,” directed by Paul H-O and Tom Donahue (U.S.) — world premiere

“Kassim the Dream,” directed by Kief Davidson (U.S.) — world premiere

“Milosevic on Trial” (Slobodan Milosevic — Praesident under anklage), directed by Michael Christoffersen. (Denmark) — North American Premiere.

“My Life Inside” (Mi vida dentro), directed by Lucia Gaja (Mexico) — international premiere

“Old Man Bebo,” directed by Carlos Carcas (Spain) — North American premiere

“An Omar Broadway Film,” directed by Omar Broadway and Douglas Tirola (U.S.) — World Premiere.

“Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” directed by Gini Reticker (U.S.) — world premiere

“Theater of War,” directed by John Walter (U.S.) — world premiere

“Two Mothers” (Meine Muetter), directed by Rosa von Praunheim (Germany) — North American premiere

“War, Love, God & Madness,” directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji (U.K., Iraq, Netherlands, Palestine, Sweden) — international premiere


“Bart Got a Room,” directed by Brian Heckler (U.S.) — world premiere, narrative

“The Caller,” directed by Richard Ledes (U.S.) — world premiere, narrative

“Celia the Queen,” directed by Joe Cardona and Mario De Varona (U.S.) — world premiere, documentary

“Chevolution,” directed by Trisha Ziff and Luis Lopez. (U.S.) — world premiere, documentary

“The Chicken, The Fish and The King Crab” (El pollo, el pez y el cangrejo real), directed by Jose Luis Lopez–Linares (Spain) — North American premiere, documentary

“Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha.” directed and written by Melvin Van Peebles (U.S.) — world premiere, narrative

“The Dalai Lama: Peace and Prosperity,” directed by Mark Bauman (U.S.) — world premiere, documentary

“Days in Sintra” (Diario de Sintra), directed and written by Paula Gaitan (Brazil) — North American premiere, documentary

“Everywhere at Once,” directed by Peter Lindbergh and Holly Fisher (France) — world premiere, narrative

“Hotel Gramercy Park,” directed by Douglas Keeve (U.S.) — world premiere, documentary

“I Am Because We Are,” directed by Nathan Rissman (U.K.) — world premiere, documentary

“Idiots and Angels,” directed and written by Bill Plympton (U.S.) — world premiere, narrative

“Lake City,” directed and written by Perry Moore and Hunter Hill (U.S.) — world premiere, narrative

“Life in Flight,” directed and written by Tracey Hecht (U.S.) — world premiere, narrative

“The Objective,” directed by Daniel Myrick (U.S.) — world premiere, narrative

“A Portrait of Diego: The Revolutionary Gaze” (Un retrato de Diego: La revolucion de la mirada), directed by Gabriel Figueroa Flores and Diego Lopez (Mexico) — international premiere, documentary

“A President to Remember,” directed and written by Robert Drew (U.S.) — world premiere, documentary

“Terra,” directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas (U.S.) — U.S. premiere, narrative

“Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon,” directed by Daniel Lee (China, South Korea) — North American premiere, narrative

“Whatever Lola Wants,” directed by Nabil Ayouch (France, Morocco) — North American premiere, narrative

“The Zen of Bobby V,” directed by Jonah Quickmire Pettigrew and Andrew Jenks (U.S.) — world premiere, documentary

Source: Hollywood Reporter