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New York, NY [March 11, 2009] – The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express, the founding sponsor of the Festival, today announced its remaining out-of-competition feature film selections in the Encounters, Spotlight, Showcase, Restored/Rediscovered and Midnight sections. The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 22 to May 3, 2009 in lower Manhattan and will feature not only film screenings, but also an array of free community events designed to share the Festival experience with as many New Yorkers and visitors as possible.
The films in this year’s Encounters section are all poised to be genuine crowd-pleasers. The 11 films, 10 of which are world premieres, feature instantly-recognizable names both on the screen and behind the camera, including Eric Bana, Emily Mortimer, Meg Ryan, Thomas Haden Church, Melissa Leo and baseball legend Luis Tiant.
The nine films in this year’s Spotlight section include features from many of today’s most acclaimed filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Hirokazu Kore-Eda and 2009 Academy Award®-Winning director Yojiro Takita. Audiences will have the opportunity to see these films – among the year’s most anticipated – before they are scheduled to hit theaters.
The Showcase section, comprised of ten films, will present a diverse range of compelling stories and filmmaking from across the globe. A fan and fan-boy favorite, the Midnight section, will present seven world premieres of genre films by eclectic and innovative filmmakers. Included are cult indie sensation Ti West, actor/comedian Dan Fogler and an outlandish doc from executive producer Johnny Knoxville. Restored/Rediscovered films will highlight a select group of rarely screened or newly restored versions of celebrated works from cinema’s first century.
"One of the interesting aspects about Encounters this year is the actors and directors who are trying new things. There are actors directing for the first time, as well as directors working in new genres. I think people will be surprised with what they’ve accomplished and enjoy what they see," said David Kwok, Director of Programming. “Those seeking thrills or wicked comedy will find it in our Midnight section. Audiences are going to have a great time experiencing these innovative genre films created by a fantastic group of wildly imaginative filmmakers.”
“Showcase brings a blend of thoughtful and often intimate stories that work to transcend cultural, personal and familial divides, as well as the traditional boundaries of cinema,” said Genna Terranova, Senior Programmer. “Spotlight offers New Yorkers an exclusive look at this year’s already buzzing contemporary independent voices, while Restored/Rediscovered reminds us of our own diversity and cinematic roots.”
The complete list of films selected for Encounters, Spotlight, Showcase, Restored/Rediscovered and Midnight follows below:
Sponsored by L’Oréal Paris
This collection of engaging and entertaining narrative features and documentaries, a mixture of dark comedies and lighter fare, offers work from returning filmmakers, established talent, and popular subjects, and includes 10 World Premieres. Included in Encounters are performances from Academy Award®-nominated actors Thomas Haden Church, Melissa Leo, Elisabeth Shue; directorial debuts from both Eric Bana and Cheryl Hines (from a screenplay by Adrienne Shelly); stories ranging from an ill-fated man's discovery of inspiration and happiness, dysfunctional families, and unrequited high school crushes to a doc on the emergence of New York’s independent film scene.
· Blank City, directed by Celine Danhier. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Celine Danhier’s kinetic doc mirrors the urgent, anything-goes energy of her subject: the DIY independent film movement that emerged in tandem with punk rock in late ‘70s downtown New York. New interviews with a impressive array of artists including Amos Poe, Bette Gordon, Debbie Harry, Eric Mitchell, Jim Jarmusch, Lydia Lunch, Steve Buscemi, John Lurie, and Nick Zedd flow into clips from landmark No Wave films, and the still-thrilling music of the era floods the soundtrack.
· City Island, directed and written by Raymond De Felitta. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Vinnie’s been secretly taking acting classes, his daughter’s moonlighting as a stripper, his son’s got a weighty fetish, and mom’s eye is wandering… the Rizzos might get along a lot better if they weren’t keeping so many secrets. Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer, and Alan Arkin star in this smart and poignant dysfunctional-family comedy, set in unassuming City Island.
From this year’s Academy Award® winner for best foreign language film to a family’s reunion for an elder brother’s death, and from five days in the life of a high-end call girl to a tale of two brothers’ dreams to get off the banana ranch, the 10 films in Spotlight span a captivating range of themes from aging and family relationships to comedy and romance. This combination of narrative and documentary indie darlings are a noteworthy selection from acclaimed directors and actors.
· Black Dynamite, directed by Scott Sanders, written by Michael Jai White, Byron Minns, and Sanders. (USA) - New York Premiere, Narrative. All you suckas gather round. This glorious ’70s blaxploitation throwback is fist-full of chase scenes, gunfights, kung fu, pimps, and hos. In this satire, Michael Jai White plays Black Dynamite, the smoothest, baddest mother to ever pick up a pair of nunchucks. When the CIA gives back his license to kill, Black Dynamite makes it his mission to keep smack out of orphanages at any cost in this hysterical comedy. Can you dig it? A Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) release.
· Departures (Okuribito), directed by Yojiro Takita, written by Kundo Koyama. (Japan) - New York Premiere, Narrative. Winner of the Academy Award® for best foreign language film, Departures is the eccentric, lushly scored, movingly funny tale of a cellist who returns to his picturesque rural hometown with his adoring wife following the breakup of his Tokyo orchestra. A cryptic want ad for work in “Departures” leads him into an unexpected but strangely rewarding new job as an undertaker. In Japanese with English subtitles. A Regent Releasing release.
· Easy Virtue, directed by Stephan Elliott, written by Sheridan Jobbins and Elliott. (UK) - USA Premiere, Narrative. Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin Firth, Jessica Biel, and Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian) star in the comical tale of a young Englishman who brings his glamorous American bride home to meet his stuffy British parents. Based on the Noel Coward play. Always sublime, Scott Thomas scored nominations from the British Independent Film Awards and the London Critics Circle. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
· Fear Me Not (Deb Du Frygter), directed by Kristian Levring, written by Anders Thomas Jensen and Levring. (Denmark) - New York Premiere, Narrative. In this intensely chilling psychological thriller, a run-down middle-aged workaholic (Ulrich Thomsen) enrolls in a clinical trial for a new antidepressant without telling his family. When the trial is abandoned because of dangerous side effects, he continues to take the medication, triggering a hellish descent into madness. In Danish with English subtitles. An IFC Films release.
· The Girlfriend Experience, directed by Steven Soderbergh, written by Brian Koppelman, David Levien. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Director Steven Soderbergh follows five days in the life of a $2,000-an-hour Manhattan call girl (adult film star Sasha Grey) who thinks she has her life totally under control. She even has a devoted boyfriend who accepts her lifestyle. But when you’re in the business of meeting people, you never know who you’re going to meet. A Magnolia Pictures release.
· In the Loop, directed by Armando Iannucci, written by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Iannucci. (UK) - New York Premiere, Narrative. A fiery political satire that would be frightening if it weren’t so funny, In the Loop expands on director/co-writer Iannucci’s BAFTA-winning BBC satire The Thick of It. With allies the US and Britain secretly on the road to war with a hostile nation, a timid British cabinet member’s (Tom Hollander) vague public comments about the prospect of an invasion create a firestorm of controversy. The terrific ensemble cast also includes James Gandolfini and Steve Coogan. An IFC Films release.
· Moon, directed by Duncan Jones, written by Nathan Parker, story by Duncan Jones. (UK) - New York Premiere, Narrative. A thoughtful character study wrapped in a hi-tech sci-fi flick, Moon stars Sam Rockwell as the sole operator of a lunar mining base, living with only a computer robot (voiced by Kevin Spacey) to keep him company. Three years living on the surface of the moon, far from the touch of his wife and young daughter, has taken its toll—he’s starting to hallucinate, touching off a thrilling chain of events that will shake his sense of identity to the core. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
· Rudo y cursi, directed and written by Carlos Cuarón. (USA, Mexico) - New York Premiere, Narrative. Stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna and producers Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel), through their groundbreaking new company Cha Cha Cha, present a splendid, riotous film about a pair of thickheaded stepbrothers whose rivalry takes them from their jobs on a small-town banana ranch to star spots on opposing soccer teams. In Spanish with English subtitles. Part of the ESPN/Tribeca Sports Film Festival. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
· Soul Power, directed by Jeff Levy-Hinte. (USA) - New York Premiere, Documentary. Kinshasa, 1974. As Ali and Foreman fought their legendary “Rumble in the Jungle,” an equally epic music festival united the hottest African American and native African soul musicians for an electrifying display of ethnic empowerment. Cameramen charted everything from the life on the streets to the haps backstage, but the footage sat unedited… until now. In English and French with English subtitles. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
· Still Walking (Aruitemo Aruitemo), directed and written by Hirokazu Kore-eda. (Japan) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Years of tension kept barely below the surface threaten to run over when two middle-aged children visit their elderly parents on the 15th anniversary of their older brother’s accidental death. Patient, real-time pacing and a delightfully muted wit from the curmudgeonly old-timers highlight acclaimed director Kore-eda’s (Nobody Knows) domestic drama. In Japanese with English subtitles. An IFC Films release.
A snapshot of global cinema already making impressions on international audiences and representing a diverse range of compelling stories and filmmaking styles – from an unlimited-access peek at the peculiarities of French film stars, to a unique window into the imaginary world of a blind Vietnamese-Canadian boy, to a beautifully minimalistic Chinese triangular tale – this wonderful collection of world-cinema jewels provides a fresh panorama of personal stories from all around the world.
· All About Actresses (Le bal des actrices), directed and written by Maïwenn. (France) - US Premiere, Narrative. Maïwenn sets out to resolve her tortured actress identity by making a faux-documentary around a bevy of famous French actresses—only to transform into the treacherous position of the director, falling in love with her subjects and subjected to their starlet-driven wrath. Indulging in the interior insecurities of divas and has-beens, she blurs reality through real-world-like footage and fantastical musical sequences. In French with English subtitles.
· Antoine, directed and written by Laura Bari. (Canada) - US Premiere, Documentary.
Antoine was born 100 days premature and became blind from the effects of his incubator. Now five years old, he uses a mini boom microphone to discover and capture the sounds around him. Through this visually striking portrait, expertly crafted by Laura Bari, we share both the everyday and imaginary worlds Antoine lives in and learn how he overcomes adversity by creating his own alternative universe of beauty. In French with English subtitles.
· Dazzle (Oogverblindend), directed by Cyrus Frisch. (Netherlands) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Cyrus Frisch, the enfant terrible of Dutch cinema, returns to the Festival with his latest feature that challenges classic modes of storytelling. A fragile,
long-distance telephone relationship develops between a younger woman
(played by Georgina Verban, a Dutch soap opera star), and an older gentleman
(played by Rutger Hauer, star of Blade Runner).
· FILM IST. a girl & a gun, directed and written by Gustav Deutsch. (Austria) - North American Premiere, Narrative. Gustav Deutsch, the maestro of found footage filmmaking, excavates silent movies from archives worldwide (including the Kinsey Institute) to weave together a stunning vision of the natural and mythological order of the universe, love between the sexes, and weapons of mass destruction. Recommended for adults only.
· Fish Eyes (Yu Yan), directed and written by Zheng Wei. (South Korea, China) - North American Premiere, Narrative. Set during the 2008 Olympics on the outskirts of Beijing, first-time filmmaker Zheng Wei’s beautiful and poetic portrait of modern China tells a simple but poignant story about a father, son, and mysterious young woman that subtly explores the physical and psychological tensions that exist in a land where emerging capitalism and accelerating modernization are rapidly overtaking traditional values. In Mandarin with English subtitles.
· Masquerades (Mascarades), directed by Lyes Salem, written by Nathalie Saugeon and Salem - (France, Algeria) - North American Premiere, Narrative. Mounir desperately puts on some big-shot swagger for his small Algerian village by spinning a fantastical fib that involves his narcoleptic sister Rym’s engagement to a European business mogul. As things unravel into a tangled mess of jealousy and irrepressible desire, surprising alliances form that fundamentally shift the way of life for his entire community. In Arabic with English subtitles.
· My Dear Enemy (Meozzin Haru), directed by Yoon-ki Lee, written by Eun-yeong Park
(South Korea) - New York Premiere, Narrative. Lee Yoon-Ki’s (This Charming Girl) deadpan comedy trails a pair of former lovers—he’s a romantic and she’s a realist—who bump into each other one year down the road. She wants back a hunk of cash she lent him, so they spend the day winding through downtown Seoul on a hilarious mission to collect his old debts. In Korean with English subtitles.
· Pandora’s Box (Pandoranin Kutusu), directed by Yesim Ustaoglu, written by Sema Kaygusuz and Ustaoglu. (Turkey, France, Germany, Belgium) - New York Premiere, Narrative. Yesim Ustaoglu’s (Journey to the Sun) latest is a gorgeous, expertly developed cross-generational dramedy. When an aging matriarch (90-year-old Tsilla Chelton) starts showing signs of dementia, her dysfunctional family in Istanbul must navigate a minefield of unresolved issues to care for her.Pandora’s Box took the top prize and Chelton was named best actress at the San Sebastián International Film Festival. In Turkish with English subtitles.
· Rachel, directed by Simone Bitton. (France, Belgium) - North American Premiere, Documentary. An insightful and provocative exploration into the complexities of political solidarity, Rachel is the story of Rachel Corrie, a 22-year-old American member of the International Solidarity Movement, who died trying to prevent an Israeli army bulldozer from destroying Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip in 2003. Director Simone Bitton interweaves excerpts from Corrie’s diary with interviews with activists and Israeli army personnel. In English, Arabic, Hebrew with English subtitles.
· Salt of this Sea (Milh hadha al-bahr), directed and written by Annemarie Jacir. (Palestine) - New York Premiere, Narrative. Brooklyn-raised Soraya (spoken-word artist Suheir Hammad) travels to Palestine to retrieve her grandfather’s savings, frozen in a Jaffa bank account after his 1948 exile. Frustrated by unwieldy official policies, she sets out with friend/love interest Emad on a road trip for poetic justice into Israel—after which there is no return. In English, Arabic with English subtitles.
The Restored and Rediscovered section explores and celebrates screened or newly restored versions of cinema works from the medium's first century. This year the Festival is proud to present a 1960s explosive courtroom drama by Stanley Kramer that pitted Creationists against Evolutionists; a restored print of the sexually-charged, controversial 1984 indie by Bette Gordon that challenged established notions about feminism and pornography; and a screening of The Boys in the Band. Additionally, we will be presenting a special work-in-progress screening and talk of Making the Boys, a documentary about the making of the play and film.
We also welcome to the Festival a special work-in-progress version of Making the Boys, directed by Crayton Robey. This documentary features the many people involved with the original stage play and film, including Crowley and Dominick Dunne, as well as Edward Albee, Robert Wagner and Paul Rudnick. After the screening there will be a discussion with Robey, playwright/screenwriter Mart Crowley, and other special guests.
Exciting and eclectic films that push the boundaries of creativity and genre, the seven films in the Midnight section are all world premieres and offer great action, spine-tingling horror, imaginative alternative realities and outrageous humor. From a savage game of paintball to uncovering an urban legend to a babysitting job gone awry, this set of films, although frightful and eerie, are crowd pleasers.
Films in the Encounters, Midnight, Showcase, and Spotlight sections are eligible for the Heineken Audience Award.
The Tribeca Film Festival previously announced their film selections in the World Narrative and Documentary Competition and Discovery sections on March 9, 2009. A complete list of the films in this year’s Festival can be found at www.tribecafilm.com/festival.
Ticket/Package Dates and Purchase Information
Advance selection ticket packages will go on sale Monday, March 9, 2009 for American Express Cardmembers and for the general public on Monday, March 16, 2009. All advance packages can be purchased online at www.tribecafilm.com/festival or by telephone, toll free, at (866) 941-FEST (3378).
Single ticket and discounted ticket package sales begin for American Express Cardmembers on April 14, 2009, for downtown residents on April 19, 2009, and for the general public on April 20, 2009. Single tickets can be purchased online, by telephone, or at one of the Ticket Outlets located at the Tribeca Cinemas Ticket Window at 54 Varick Street, and the AMC Village VII Ticket Window at 66 Third Avenue. Downtown residents can only purchase tickets with a discount at the Tribeca Cinemas ticket window. Discounted packages can only be purchased online and by phone. The 2009 Festival will continue ticket discounts for evening and weekend screenings for students, seniors and select downtown Manhattan residents. Additional information and further details on the Festival can be found at www.tribecafilm.com/festival.
Tribeca Film Festival Online and On-the-Go:
Visit the Tribeca Film Festival online and become a part of the My Tribeca community at http://www.tribecafilm.com/register/.
Join the Tribeca Film Festival Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribeca-Film-Festival/10854154757 and follow the Festival at Twitter.com/TribecaFilmFest.
Starting March 16, access the film guide online from your mobile device on www.tffmobile.com. Film information can also be accessed on your mobile device by texting* a film's information code to TRBCA (87222). Information codes can be found in the box next to each film and special event listing. (*Standard text messaging rates apply.)
About the Tribeca Film Festival
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, New York City to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture. The Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center.
Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. The Tribeca Festival has screened over 1100 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002. Since its founding, it has attracted an international audience of more than two million attendees and has generated over $530 million in economic activity for New York City.
About the 2009 Festival Sponsors
As Founding Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of film making, bringing business and energy to New York City and offering benefits that enhance the festival-going experience.
The Festival is pleased to announce the return of its Signature Sponsors: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Apple, Bloomberg, Brookfield Properties, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Delta Air Lines, iShares, NBC 4 New York, RR Donnelley, Snapple, The New York Times, Telemundo 47 and Vanity Fair.
The Tribeca Film Festival is also honored to welcome the following new Signature Sponsors: AMC, DIRECTV and Heineken.