The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, has announced the Viewpoints section of the program.
Now in its fourth year, Tribeca’s Viewpoints section is committed to launching fresh voices and embracing risky, utterly original storytelling. Featuring a dynamic range of stories from all over the world, the films of this year’s Viewpoints section are filled with uncommon originality and exuberance that will assure a bright and vibrant future for indie storytelling. This year, the delightfully twisted vampire comedy Summer of Blood, written and directed by Onur Tukel, will have the honor of opening the 2014 Viewpoints section.
Art and Craft
Directed by Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman and Co-directed by Mark Becker
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary
Mark Landis is one of the most prolific and notorious ‘artists’ of the century. An expert forger of masterpiece art, Landis has duped curators across the nation, further befuddling them by donating his imitations instead of selling them. Many have dedicated years tracking his escapades with one burning question: “Why?” Framed around a cat-and-mouse chase between Landis and those he has hoodwinked, Art and Craft paints a richly complicated portrait of mental illness, skewed philanthropy, and the desire to feel connected.
The Bachelor Weekend
Directed and written by John Butler
(Ireland) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative
Pressured by his best man to spend a bachelor’s weekend camping, foppish groom-to-be, Fionan, reluctantly agrees. But when his fiancee’s alpha-male brother, nicknamed ‘The Machine,’ unexpectedly turns up, the camping trip takes a turn for the worst. Fionan and his genteel friends are no match for the uncouth bully, and the trip begins to look like it will become Fionan’s worst nightmare. A slapstick, good-natured comedy, Bachelor Weekend hilariously delves into the stereotypical realm of masculinity that is camping and the great outdoors. A Tribeca Film release.
Bad Hair (Pelo Malo)
Directed and written by Mariana Rondon
(Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Germany) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative
Junior, a nine-year-old living in Caracas, wants nothing more than to straighten his unruly hair to look like a singer for his school photo—a fixation that stirs homophobic panic in his overtaxed mother. Each effort Junior makes to alter his appearance and gain his mother’s love is brushed off with abrasive avoidance until he’s ultimately faced with a heartbreaking decision. With a painfully tender performance by Samuel Lange, writer-director Mariana Rondón directs this coming-of-age drama about the search for identity clashing with intolerance. In Spanish with subtitles.
Directed and written by Garrett Bradley
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative
A reverie of images and sound, Below Dreams loosely follows the narratives of three very different people returning to New Orleans for the promise of a better life. But as each character experiences the city’s realities, it becomes clear that their individual hopes and dreams may no longer be possible, and that with change must also come sacrifice. Shot documentary style, but with dreamlike qualities melding fiction and reality, this is a hypnotic tribute to both the socially marginalized and to the city of New Orleans itself.
Beneath the Harvest Sky
Directed and written by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly
(USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative
Bored and restless, best friends Dominic and Casper are making plans to escape their small town in Northern Maine to start new lives in Boston. In order to earn the money, Dominic spends the summer harvesting potatoes, while Casper becomes involved in the family business—smuggling drugs over the Canadian border. The divergent paths of the two boys, both trapped in their circumstances in different ways, will change their friendship forever. Brought to life by two stellar lead performances, Beneath the Harvest Sky is an authentic portrayal of adolescent frustration, culminating in a heartbreaking coming-of-age drama. A Tribeca Film release.
Black Coal, Thin Ice (Bai Ri Yan Huo)
Directed and written by Diao Yinan
(China, Hong Kong) – North American Premiere, Narrative
After a botched arrest in a grisly serial-murder case, small-town detective Zhang Zili is suspended from the force, taking a job as a security guard at a coal factory. When another series of mysteriously similar murders takes place five years later, Zhang sets out to investigate on his own. Winner of the top prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Diao Yinan’s moody, quietly powerful thriller is a classic film noir staged against the quotidian lives of a wintry Northern Chinese industrial town. In Mandarin with subtitles.
Broken Hill Blues (Omheten)
Directed and written by Sofia Norlin
(Sweden) – North American Premiere, Narrative
A group of adolescents wrestle with their uncertain futures in a remote mining town that is literally cracking underneath their feet. Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, sits above an iron ore mine that has been slowly eroding the land around it for decades. Soon, Kiruna and everyone in it will have to move, but to where they do not know. As the displaced teenagers linger on the cusp of adulthood, they echo the town’s own fragility in this beautiful and understated film. In Swedish with subtitles.
Directed and written by Tristan Patterson
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative
A heightened homage to the City of Angels, Electric Slide riffs on the real-life story of Eddie Dodson, the notorious "Gentleman Bank Robber." With a debonair sophistication and a serious talent for flirt, Dodson managed to lure money from mesmerized female tellers at over 60 banks during an epic spree in the 1980s. Director Tristan Patterson gathers Jim Sturgess, Chloe Sevigny, and Patricia Arquette to paint a dark, hyper-stylized tale of crime, love, and style.
Photo by Mike Zwerling , Courtesy of Loquat Films
Directed and written by Lloyd Handwerker
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary
Nathan’s Famous Frankfurters, a New York City icon, has left a lasting imprint on the collective memory and palate of Coney Island. Director and grandson of ‘Famous’ Nathan himself, Lloyd Handwerker, takes a look back at the immigrant experience and almost 100 years of family and New York history in this personal documentary gem. Featuring a strong score, colorful and endearing characters, rare archival material, and a nuanced editing style, Famous Nathan will not disappoint New York history enthusiasts.
An Honest Liar
Directed and written by Justin Weinstein, Tyler Measom, co-written by Greg O’Toole
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary
Renowned magician James “The Amazing” Randi, has been wowing audiences with his jaw-dropping illusions, escapes, and sleight of hand for over 50 years. When Randi began seeing his cherished art form co-opted by all manner of con artists, from faith healers and fortune-tellers to psychics and gurus, Randi made it his mission to expose the simple tricks charlatans have borrowed from magicians to swindle the masses. Weinstein and Measom chronicle Randi’s best debunkings, with the help of interviewees including Penn Jillette, Bill Nye, and “Mythbuster” Adam Savage, ultimately showing us how we are all vulnerable to deception, even “The Amazing” Randi himself
Directed and written by Leigh Janiak, co-written by Phil Graziadei
(USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative
What begins as a happy honeymoon for newlyweds Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) takes a sinister turn when Bea disappears from bed one night and Paul discovers her the next day naked in the woods with no memory of how she got there. Soon Bea begins an escalating, unexplainable shift from a happy, carefree young woman to a cold, distant, and calculating one. Supernatural forces may be at work, but they uncannily echo some of the anxieties that come with a new marriage—issues such as secrecy, mistrust, and loss of identity—in Janiak’s brooding domestic drama.
I Won't Come Back (Ya Ne Vernus)
Directed by Ilmar Raag, written by Oleg Gaze and Jaroslava Pulinovich
(Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Russia) – World Premiere, Narrative
Aloof graduate student Anya is on the run from the police when she encounters precocious and willful Kristina, an orphan determined to find her grandmother in Kazakhstan. Kristina offers a momentary solution to Anya’s desperate situation, and the unlikely pair begins a harrowing and unpredictable odyssey, hitchhiking across the epic landscapes of Russia and its neighboring countries. I Won't Come Back is a visceral look at survival and a heartfelt exploration into the depths of friendship and the meaning of family. In Russian with subtitles.
Ice Poison (Bing Du)
Directed and written by Midi Z
(Taiwan R.O.C.,Myanmar) – North American Premiere, Narrative
Faced with diminishing returns on his harvest, a poor young farmer in Myanmar pawns his cow for a moped and seeks alternative income as a taxi driver. Among his first fares is a woman making a new start after escaping an arranged marriage in China. Together, they are lured into the lucrative business of selling “ice poison” (crystal meth) around town. With an unobtrusive documentary style, Burmese-Taiwanese director Midi Z captures the struggles faced by many in an unseen part of the world. In Burmese and Chinese Yunnan with subtitles.
Directed and written by Matjaz Ivanisin, co-written by Nebeojsa Pop-Tasic
(Slovenia) – North American Premiere, Narrative
Karpotrotter is a road movie about place, time, and memory, as well as an homage to filmmaker Karpo Godina, whose work flourished during the Black Wave of Yugoslavian filmmaking in the 1960s. Director Matjaz Ivanisin retraces the footsteps of his compatriot’s journey, interlacing Godina’s original Super 8mm footage with folklore music, landscape imagery, and contemporary portraits of the local villagers. In Slovene with subtitles.
Love & Engineering
Directed by Tonislav Hristov, written by Tonislav Hristov and Kaarle Aho
(Finland, Germany, Bulgaria) – International Premiere, Documentary
Is there an algorithm for love? Atanas, a Bulgarian engineer living in Finland, is determined to find out. With the help of some of his geeky bachelor friends, he sets up a series of experiments to crack the code and develop a new, scientific approach to dating. This charming and lighthearted documentary follows Atanas and company as they research pheromones, chart brain waves, and try out “hacks” on blind dates, in their quest to find romance in the modern world. In English with subtitles.
Directed and written by Juan Pablo Cadaveira
(Argentina) – International Premiere, Documentary
A true underdog story, Maravilla follows Argentinian boxer Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez, as he sets out to reclaim the title of Middleweight champion that was unfairly snatched from him in 2011 by Julio Chavez, Jr. Focusing on the rise of Martinez from penniless amateur to world champion and sporting celebrity, director Juan Pablo Cadaveira offers a fascinating glimpse into today’s boxing landscape, revealing the politics of the sporting profession that often places entertainment value over the sport itself. In English and Spanish with subtitles.
Directed by Jesse Moss
(USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary
After hydraulic fracturing uncovers a rich oil field in North Dakota, a small conservative town is tested as hordes of unemployed men chasing the “American Dream” pour into its borders. Desperate men, often running from their past, find compassion and refuge in the form of a local pastor. However, the more responsibility he shoulders, the more everything threatens to come crumbling down. A film of dualities, this provocative modern-day parable by documentarian Jesse Moss challenges the very fabric of our society.
Directed by David Mackenzie, written by Jonathan Asser
(UK) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative
Writer Jonathan Asser intelligently brings the brutality of British prison life to raw, unflinching life in this tense and unpredictable drama. Jack O’Connell (This Is England) plays Eric, a young offender so violent and volatile that he is ‘starred up’—prematurely moved to an adult prison. As he tries to keep his head down and navigate this new microcosm of societal codes and loyalties, Eric’s explosive nature is tested under the ceaseless gaze of guards and fellow inmates, one who turns out to be his estranged father, Neville (Ben Mendelsohn). A Tribeca Film release.
Summer of Blood
Directed and written by Onur Tukel
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Misanthropic and immature Eric faces a premature mid-life crisis after his girlfriend leaves him. With no career and even less charisma in bed, it seems like this loveable loser is beyond hope, until one fateful summer night when a vampire bites him in a Brooklyn alleyway. The next day, Eric finds his confidence invigorated and his stomach in excruciating pain that can only be cured by one thing…blood. Onur Tukel directs and stars in this delightfully dark comedy about love, lust, and humanity.
Directed and written by Sean Gullette
(Morocco) – North American Premiere, Narrative
In Sean Gullette’s feature debut, Malika is the lead singer of an all-female punk band and sees music as a means to escape a dull and conservative life in Tangier. When a producer expresses interest in her, she jumps at the chance, but first she’ll need to find the money for recording, and a drug run into the Rif Mountains may be her only option. Fiery and energetic, Traitors is a spirited and rebellious journey of a young woman breaking from the traditional life set before her. In Arabic, English and French with subtitles.
Traitors is screening as part of a special cultural partnership with Venice Days where a European film showcased at Venice Days is selected by organizers there to have its international premiere at Tribeca. In 2013, Venice Days premiered Lenny Cooke.
Vara: A Blessing
Directed and written by Khyentse Norbu
(Bhutan) – North American Premiere, Narrative
Raised in a sheltered village, young Lila yearns for a life devoted to Hindu worship, like that of her devadasi mother, but she begins to encounter worldly obstacles to her spiritual fulfillment. Guileless, Lila agrees to model for a lowly village boy who hopes to become a sculptor, unknowingly endangering both of their lives under the ever-present gaze of the villagers, especially the village landlord’s son
Young Bodies Heal Quickly
Directed and written by Andrew T. Betzer
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative
Two brothers drift aimlessly through their summer days, trashing abandoned cars and playing with paintball guns, until the accidental death of a young woman forces them to make drastic decisions. With few options, the duo flee across state lines to dodge arrest and search for refuge. Poetic, funny, and poignant, this quietly mesmerizing film follows the brothers’ transitions from boys to men through an absorption of the world—good and bad—around them.
Two feature films—one narrative and one documentary—will be selected to receive the Heineken Audience Award, the audience choice for best feature film. Films playing in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Viewpoints, Spotlight and Midnight sections are eligible.
Advance selection ticket packages and passes are now on sale for American Express Card Members, and go on sale Monday, March 10 for the general public. Go to our box office site for info on tickets, passes and ticket packages.
Check out more of the slate:
TFF 2014: World Narrative Competition
TFF 2014: World Documentary Competition
TFF 2014: Storyscapes
TFF 2014: Spotlight
TFF 2014: Special Screenings
TFF 2014: Shorts Program
TFF 2014: Tribeca/ESPN
TFF 2014: Tribeca Talks® Program
TFF 2014: Future of Film Series
TFF 2014: Midnight
Packages and passes are on sale now for American Express® cardmembers and will go on sale to the general public on Monday, March 10 at 11am: Learn more about TFF 2014 Ticket Packages.