Docs

Liz Garbus’ “The Fourth Estate” to close Tribeca ’18

Academy Award-nominated director Liz Garbus‘ Showtime-bound documentary The Fourth Estate, which explores The New York Times‘ coverage of the Trump administration, will close the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF). The ...
March 7, 2018

Academy Award-nominated director Liz GarbusShowtime-bound documentary The Fourth Estate, which explores The New York Times‘ coverage of the Trump administration, will close the 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF).

The New York-based film festival also revealed its complete feature film lineup for the 2018 event, featuring 96 films from 103 filmmakers and 27 countries across the narrative and documentary genres. Included are 75 world premieres, five international premieres, nine North American premieres and three U.S. premieres.

Twelve documentary films are scheduled to debut in competition, with an additional 15 non-fiction projects premiering in the Spotlight Documentaries category. All competing films will vie for cash prizes totaling US$165,000, as well as artwork from the Artists Awards program, offering donated work from contemporary artists.

An additional eight documentaries will screen in the Viewpoints selection and eight as Special Screenings.

This year’s festival boasts 44 films directed by women – 46% of the 96 titles – the highest percentage in the festival’s 17-year history. The 2018 program also includes 46 first-time filmmakers and 18 directors returning to the festival.

In all, 45 documentaries will screen over the 12-day festival, including Lisa D’Apolito’s debut feature-length documentary Love, Gilda, about the late, legendary comedian Gilda Radner, which will open this year’s edition.

“In a year that has reminded us more often of our divisions than our connections, this festival’s program embraces film’s unique power to overcome differences – that connecting with stories not our own is the road into our deeply programmed human capacity for empathy and understanding,” said Cara Cusumano, Tribeca’s director of programming, in a statement. “We hope that in representing a wealth of undiscovered stories and unique perspectives- including those of a record number of female directors- these 96 films offer a collective journey towards narrower divides and smaller obstacles.”

Films screening in competition include PJ Raval‘s Call Her Ganda, which details the case of a transgender Filipina woman found dead in a U.S. Marine’s motel room; Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts, which exposes a high-security facility on Christmas Island, Australia that indefinitely detains individuals seeking asylum; and Tom Dumican‘s A&E-bound doc No Greater Law, an investigation into the Idaho sect of the Followers of Christ and its high infant mortality rate.

Also receiving its world premiere in competition are Marco Proserpio’s The Man Who Stole Banksy, examining the theft and illegal sale of Banksy’s artwork from the streets of Palestine; Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s Momentum Generation, profiling the rise of teen surfing stars in Oahu throughout the 1990s; Laura Brownson’s Netflix documentary The Rachel Divide, about the controversy behind Rachel Dolezal, revealed to be a white woman passing as African-American and heading her local N.A.A.C.P. chapter; and Pietra Brettkelly‘s Yellow is Forbidden, which profiles the celebrated Chinese couturier Guo Pei.

Among the world premieres in the Documentary Spotlight category are Kirby Dick‘s The Bleeding Edge (Netflix), which investigates who’s at fault when medical diagnostics, treatment and technology fail us; Andrea NevinsTiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie (Hulu), a behind the scenes look at the reinvention of Barbie; and Nancy Schwartzman’s Roll Red Roll, which examines sexual assault in smalltown America by exploring what happens when a blogger uncovers disturbing social media evidence documenting the gang rape of a teenage girl.

Tribeca’s film slate was programmed from more than 8,789 total submissions.

The Tribeca Immersive lineup will be announced Thursday (March 8), while the Short Films will be revealed on March 13. The Tribeca Talks, Tribeca TV and N.O.W. (New Online Work) lineups will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The 2018 Tribeca Film Festival will take place April 18-29 in New York City.

The full list of documentaries – including the Spotlight, Viewpoints and Special Screenings tracts – can be found by visiting Tribeca’s website, while the films competing in competition can be found below:

CLOSING NIGHT

The Fourth Estate, directed by Liz Garbus. Produced by Jenny Carchman, Liz Garbus, Justin Wilkes (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. For the journalists at The New York Times, the election of Donald Trump presented a once in a generation challenge in how the press would cover a president who has declared the majority of the nation’s major news outlets “the enemy of the people.” Oscar-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus witnessed the inner workings of journalism and investigative reporting from the front lines during this administrations’ first history-making year. A Showtime release

After the movie: A conversation with The New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, Washington Chief Elisabeth Bumiller, White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman, Washington Investigative Correspondent Mark Mazzetti, and director Liz Garbus. 

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Blowin’ Up, directed and written by Stephanie Wang-Breal. Produced by Carrie Weprin. (USA) – World Premiere.
In a courtroom in Queens, women facing prostitution charges may earn a chance at redemption thanks to an experimental program established by a team of rebel heroines working to change the system.

Call Her Ganda, directed by PJ Raval, written by PJ Raval, Victoria Chalk. Produced by PJ Raval, Lisa Valencia-Svensson, Marty Syjuco, Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala. (USA, Philippines) – World Premiere.
When a transgender Filipina woman is found dead in the motel room of a U.S. Marine, grassroots activists demand accountability. The ensuing case lays bare a constellation of social and political tensions between the United States and the Philippines.

Island of the Hungry Ghosts, directed and written by Gabrielle Brady. Produced by Alexander Wadouh, Samm Haillay, Alex Kelly, Gizem Acarla, Gabrielle Brady. (Australia, Germany, UK) – World Premiere.
Christmas Island, Australia is home to one of the largest land migrations on earth—that of 40 million crabs journeying from jungle to sea. But the jungle holds another secret: a high-security facility that indefinitely detains individuals seeking asylum.

The Man Who Stole Banksy, directed by Marco Proserpio, written by Marco Proserpio, Filippo Perfido, Christian Omodeo. Produced by Marco Proserpio, Filippo Perfido. (Italy) – World Premiere.
In 2007, the anonymous graffiti artist Banksy painted a series of political works around Palestine, only to have them cut down and sold off to the highest bidder. A stylish examination of public space and the commodification of street art, narrated by Iggy Pop.

Momentum Generation, directed and written by Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist. Produced by Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist, Colby Gottert, Greg Little, Justine Chiara, Karen Lauder, Laura Michalchyshyn, Lizzie Friedman, Tina Elmo. (USA) – World Premiere.
In the 1990s, a motley band of teen surfers from the north shore of Oahu brought professional surfing to new heights. But as their stars rose, the competition threatened to tear their group apart. With Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Benji Weatherley, Kalani Robb, and Ross Williams.

No Greater Law, directed by Tom Dumican, written by Tom Dumican, Jesse Lichtenstein. Produced by Jesse Lichtenstein. (UK, USA) – World Premiere.
In Idaho’s rugged Treasure Valley, the Followers of Christ believe in God, family, and faith healing. As an investigation into the community’s high infant mortality rate closes in on the church, one patriarch fights for his right to his faith. An A&E release.

Phantom Cowboys, directed by Daniel Patrick Carbone. Produced by Ryan Scafuro, Annie Waldman, Daniel Patrick Carbone. (USA) – World Premiere.
This searing documentary, which spans nearly a decade, is a meditation on youth, tradition, and the evolving hopes and dreams of modern adolescents in the forgotten industrial towns across America.

The Rachel Divide, directed by Laura Brownson, written by Laura Brownson, Jeff Gilbert. Produced by Laura Brownson, Bridget Stokes, Khaliah Neal. (USA) – World Premiere.
Rachel Dolezal became infamous when she was unmasked as a white woman passing for black so thoroughly that she had become the head of her local N.A.A.C.P. chapter. This portrait cuts through the very public controversy to reveal Dolezal’s motivations. A Netflix release.

Tanzania Transit, directed by Jeroen van Velzen, written by Jeroen van Velzen, Esther Eenstroom. Produced by Digna Sinke. (Netherlands) – World Premiere.
A train journey across Tanzania captures a microcosm of contemporary African society in Tribeca alum Jeroen van Velzen’s captivating and visually stunning road movie.

United Skates, directed and produced by Dyana Winkler, Tina Brown. (USA) – World Premiere.
Credited with incubating East Coast hip-hop and West Coast rap, America’s roller rinks have long been bastions of regional African-American culture, music, and dance. As rinks shutter across the country, a few activists mount a last stand.

When Lambs Become Lions, directed by Jon Kasbe. Produced by Jon Kasbe, Innbo Shim, Tom Yellin, Andrew Harrison Brown. (USA) – World Premiere.
In the Kenyan bush, a crackdown on ivory poaching forces a silver-tongued second-generation poacher to seek out an unlikely ally in this fly-on-the-wall look at both sides of the conservation divide.

Yellow is Forbidden, directed and written by Pietra Brettkelly. Produced by Pietra Brettkelly, Richard Fletcher, Naomi Wallwork. (New Zealand) – World Premiere.
Celebrated Chinese couturier Guo Pei is perhaps best known for designing the brilliant gold gown Rihanna wore to the Met Ball in 2015.  But Guo’s quest to be recognized by the gatekeepers of Paris haute couture goes beyond the red carpet and taps into global power dynamics and the perpetual tension between art and commerce.

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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