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NEWS ARTICLE

TFF '09: Spotlight

There's a captivating range of themes in this year's Spotlight films. See them before everyone else! Sponsored by Nintendo DSi™.

The ten films in the Spotlight program span a captivating range of themes, from the exploration of aging and family relationships to new takes on comedy and romance. This combination of narrative and documentary indie darlings are a noteworthy selection from acclaimed directors (Steven Soderbergh, Hirokazu Kore-eda) and actors, including the reunion of Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna (the memorable pair from Y Tu Mama Tambien) and performances from Kristin Scott Thomas, Colin Firth, Sam Rockwell and Jessica Biel. Audiences will find this year’s Academy Award®-winner for Best Foreign Language Film, a family reuniting on the occasion of an elder brother’s death, the story of two brothers and their banana ranch, and a fascinating tale depicting five days in the life of a high-end call girl.

“This year’s Spotlight series brings ten independent films front and center for New York audiences," explains Senior Programmer Genna Terranova. "Tribeca is pleased to world premiere Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, The Girlfriend Experience, Sasha Grey’s much-anticipated mainstream film debut. The series also includes two lauded films from noted Japanese directors, including Departures, which recently won Yojiro Takita the Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film. Danish director Kristian Levring—one of the original Dogma guys—is on deck with Fear Me Not (not a Dogma film), and also there is Black Dynamite—a hilarious ‘Blaxploitation throwback.’ This series is full of critical fare and crowd-pleasers.”
 


 

Black Dynamite


Bla
ck 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


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


Easy Virtue

Directed by Stephan Elliott, written by Seridan 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
 

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.
 

 

Girlfriend Experience


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


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


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


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


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


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.

 


 

Awards

Films predominantly shot in New York and/or produced by a New York-based production company will be up for the following awards: Best New York Narrative and Best New York Documentary. Films in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Encounters, Discovery, Midnight, Spotlight or Showcase sections are eligible for the Heineken Audience Award, the audience choice for best feature film.

The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival is officially announced!

Click here for information on TFF '09 Ticket Packages.
Get ahead of the crowd and buy an advance ticket package today!

The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival opener will be Woody Allen's Whatever Works.
 

 

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