The Tribeca Film Festival released its documentary selection yesterday, revealing 12 titles that cover a range of topics from spirituality, through to the Rwandan genocide and falcon smuggling. The news follows Tribeca Enterprises’ announcements of its distribution initiative Tribeca Film and a comprehensive online venture, the Tribeca Virtual Film Festival.
The 12 films for the World Documentary Feature Competition are competing for the title of Best Documentary Film and Best New Documentary Filmmaker, and will be screened during the fest which runs from April 21 to May 2 in New York City.
The documentaries in competition are: Alex Mar’s American Mystic; Clio Barnard’s The Arbor; Julia Bacha’s Budrus; Deborah Scranton’s Earth Made of Glass; Thorkell Hardarsson and Örn Marino Arnarson’s Feathered Cocaine; Mika Ronkainen’s Freetime Machos; Michael Madsen’s Into Eternity; Alexandra Codina’s Monica & David; Jennilyn Merten and Tyler Measom’s Sons of Perdition; Alexander Gentelev’s Thieves By Law (Ganavim ba Hok); Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist’s The Two Escobars and C. Scott Willis’ The Woodmans.
The themes in this year’s doc selections range from The Arbor‘s blend of narrative and documentary styles which paint a picture of troubled British playwright Andrea Dunbar, to Into Eternity‘s exploration of Finland’s efforts to rid itself of 300,000 tons of nuclear waste three miles below the earth, through to Sons of Perdition‘s perspective on the exiles from self-proclaimed ‘prophet’ Warren Jeffs’ polygamist community, trying to make a living outside of the sect.
‘The Documentary Competition this year is comprised of a cross section of subjects and styles,’ says David Kwok, Tribeca Film Festival’s director of programming. ‘The range is wide but almost all the films are anchored in fascinating personal stories, while others breach subject matter that is begging exposure.
‘It’s one of [our] most internationally mixed competition line-ups that really spans contemporary social and political issues as well as truly heartwarming and entertaining films,’ he adds.
As part of the fest’s special events schedule, Tribeca will also unveil the work in progress screening of Alex Gibney’s Untitled Eliot Spitzer Film (w/t), in which Academy Award-winner Gibney takes a look at both the sex scandal and the entire career of the disgraced New York ex-governor.
In addition to the unveiling of the festival’s slate, Tribeca Enterprises, headed up by Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal, has also recently announced two new initiatives. Tribeca Film kicks off on April 21 as a new film distribution concept, whereby 15 films curated by Tribeca Film Festival programmers will be available on-demand through various cable suppliers, including Comcast, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS. Tribeca Film will even include titles from the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, as well as past festival favorites. The first five titles announced include feature documentaries The Birth of Big Air from Jeff Tremaine and Brian Hill’s Climate of Change, both from 2010. While the initial onus is on working in on-demand, Tribeca Film may also provide theatrical and home video distribution for select projects.
Tribeca Virtual, meanwhile, gives non-New Yorkers the chance to experience TFF from the comfort of their computers. From April 23 to 30, those with a TFF Virtual Premium Pass (which is open to U.S. residents, 18 years and older who pay the $45 fee) can watch a selection of feature films that are premiering at the same time at the festival, enjoy exclusive original content and short films from the 2010 festival, and experience real-time Q&As and panel discussions with filmmakers and industry leaders. Tribeca Virtual users can also access content from past festivals starting on March 15.