Mansome, a new doc from Morgan Spurlock executive produced by Ben Silverman, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, will have its world premiere at the 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival, as will Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s latest, Knuckleball!, both announced in the fest’s spotlight and special screenings line-up.
The Tribeca Film Festival has slated 12 new documentaries to screen during the festival, which takes place from April 18-29 in New York City.
In the spotlight section, Mansome looks at what it means to be a man in the age of “manscaping” and metrosexuals, with interviews from actors Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis (pictured above: Arnett and Bateman).
Knuckleball!, meanwhile, focuses on the two best known knuckleball pitchers currently playing in Major League Baseball, Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey.
Other documentaries premiering at Tribeca include Michael Sládek’s BAM150, which goes behind the scenes at BAM, the nation’s oldest performing arts center in Brooklyn; and Raymond De Felitta’s Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story, which sees the filmmaker going to Mississippi 40 years after his father filmed a documentary on racism there.
Billy Corben’s Broke features interviews with retired pro athletes, from Andre Rison to Marvin Miller, to dig into the reason why many of them wind up penniless within a few years of retirement. In a similar vein, Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie, directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger, highlights Morton Downey Jr.’s meteoric rise and fall as the original shock television emcee, and how the pursuit of fame and fortune can ultimately destroy your soul.
Music is the basis of several Tribeca docs, including Ramona Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, on the Filipino singer who landed a spot as Journey’s frontman after posting videos on YouTube; and Antonino D’Ambrosio’s Let Fury Have the Hour, on a generation of artists who responded to reactionary politics in the 1980s with their skills, featuring interviews with Chuck D, John Sayles, Eve Ensler, Tom Morello, Lewis Black and others.
Rounding out the music docs are Peter Ringbom’s The Russian Winter, which chronicles former Fugees musician John Forté on tour in Russia after his release from prison; and Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man, where two fans search for the mysterious 1970s rocker Rodriguez, who was rumored to have died a gruesome death.
The arts theme continues with Chris Kenneally’s Side by Side, which boasts interviews with filmmakers Danny Boyle, James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Lars Von Trier and more, and sees producer Keanu Reeves taking viewers on a tour of the past and future of movie-making.
Also screening under the spotlight banner is One Nation Under Dog, directed by Jenny Carchman, Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Amanda Micheli. The documentary examines people’s conflicting relationships with dogs and features stories of a man who spends a fortune to defend his dogs in court and rescuers who take on difficult-to-place dogs and save them from death row.
Documentary films in the special screenings line-up include Tracie Holder and Karen Thorsen’s Joe Papp in Five Acts, on the street-wise champion of the arts. Coproduced with American Masters, the doc features Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Kevin Kline, and James Earl Jones.
Matt O’Casey’s comprehensive doc on the band Queen, with rare archival footage, concert footage and interviews with the band, make up Queen: Days Of Our Lives; while Unjoo Moon’s The Zen of Bennett is an inside look at singer Tony Bennett, including footage of his latest duets collection with Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin and Amy Winehouse.
Several films announced previously are also part of the 2012 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
The gala film for the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival is Benji, directed by Coodie and Chike, which tells the story of 17-year-old Ben Wilson, who in 1984 was at the peak of his athletic career in Chicago’s South Side when he was brutally murdered the day before his senior season.
The remaining five films will screen throughout the festival and again all together during Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day on April 28. They are Broke by Billy Corben, Knuckleball! by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, Town of Runners by Jerry Rothwell, and On the Mat by Frederic Golding.
“It was important that we head into Tribeca’s second decade highlighting projects that were attuned to the pulse of our cultural climate,” said the festival’s director of programming Genna Terranova. “That said, both consciousness and levity play a prominent role in this year’s selection.
“This year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival films explore athletes’ diverse challenges on and off the playing fields. I’m excited we can share these inspiring stories – from runners training for the Olympics in rural Africa to Tim Wakefield’s ever-elusive and now historic knuckleball – with both our sports and documentary fans alike.”