A Case of You
In this film reminiscent of 2010’s Catfish, a documentary about a Facebook romance gone awry, Justin Long and Evan Rachel Wood tackle the repercussions of love in the information age. Billed as “a winning romantic comedy for the social media age,” this world premiere also features a slew of big name cameos.
A Single Shot
Bringing together a “wealth of indie stalwarts,” like William H. Macy, Sam Rockwell, Melissa Leo, and Jeffrey Wright, the strength of this film surely relies in its outstanding cast. Giving viewers a portrait of a man attempting to win back his family, A Single Shot is based on a 1996 novel of the same name by Matthew F. Jones.
Starring Emma Roberts as a wannabe poet and John Cusack as her quick-witted mentor, Adult World addresses the hardships of jobless college graduates around the country. Part of this year’s Spotlight section, which “focuses on films that blur the lines between independent and mainstream filmmaking,” the movie was filmed in Syracuse.
A pair of French Canadian petty criminals, Paul Rudd and Paul Giamatti, decamp to New York to make quick money selling Christmas trees. However, when Rudd’s character meets a rich dentist’s wife, the pair hatch a new scheme. Sally Hawkins (Junebug) directs this lighthearted indie comedy.
At Any Price
Disney Channel alum Zac Efron stars alongside Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham in this father-son drama. Set in Iowa, the film sees Quaid as a seed-farmer who one day hopes to pass the torch to his son, Efron, who has no interest in farming.
One of the most anticipated films of the festival, Before Midnight is the third chapter of the seemingly never-ending tale of Jesse and Celine, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. In this installment, director and co-writer Richard Linklater takes us to Greece, where the characters pick up nine years after we last saw them.
Big Bad Wolves
Presented with Hebrew subtitles, this Israeli film, a follow-up to 2011’s Rabies, chronicles the interrogation of an accused serial killer. With a plot that builds and, at times, explodes, the pace of the film is described as “operatic.”
Executive produced by Steven Shainberg and Brad Pitt, Big Men documents the corruption and violence of the African oil industry in Ghana and Nigeria, as well as America’s stake in the situation. Prepare to have your eyes opened.
With a talented cast and interesting view on the unpredictability of life, Bluebird has the industry buzzing. Part of the world narrative competition, the feature co-stars Adam Driver, John Slattery, and Emily Meade, amongst others.
Academy Award winner Melissa Leo plays a distraught yet hopeful mother to a daughter (Marin Ireland) addicted to painkillers. Josh Hamilton plays the new guy in town who Leo hopes will be a good influence on her troubled daughter.
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
Tina Fey, Hal Prince, and Nathan Lane provide insight on 87-year-old actress Elaine Stritch in this not-to-be-missed documentary. The film is shot as Stritch takes her show on the road one last time.
This year’s Midnight Section (formerly known as Cinemania) showcases a mix of horror films. In Fresh Meat, a group of criminals on the lamb in the suburbs wind up being hunted by a family with “a taste for human flesh.” Equal parts horror and comedy, Fresh Meat is one of the section’s most promising films.
Greetings from Tim Buckley
A Tribeca Film release, Greetings from Tim Buckley stars Penn Badgley as a late music star’s son bound to follow in his father’s footsteps. In addition to the great cinematography and acting, the soundtrack doesn’t disappoint.
I Got Somethin’ to Tell You
Already having mastered being in front of the camera, Whoopi Goldberg steps behind the lens in her directorial debut, I Got Somethin’ to Tell You. The documentary chronicles the life and pioneering comic talent of the late Moms Mabley.
In God We Trust
Bernie Madoff’s epic Ponzi scheme has been covered from almost every angle. In this world premiere, audiences get a glimpse of the story from the point of view of Madoff’s longtime personal secretary, Eleanor Squillari, who, by her own investigation, dug up facts previously unknown.
Mistaken for Strangers
The biggest honor of the festival—opening up the party—has been granted to Mistaken for Strangers. Following rock band The National on its biggest tour ever, the documentary film premiere will be celebrated with a live performance from the band itself.
Comedians have definitely taken the lead in this year’s festival. Starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, Prince Avalanche is a comedy based on the 2011 Icelandic film Either Way. The story follows an unlikely friendship between the two characters as they spend the summer of 1988 repainting a fire-damaged highway.
Running from Crazy
A titan of 20th century American literature, Ernest Hemingway came from a family riddled with mental illness and suicide, which Hemingway succumbed to 1961. In this documentary, part of the special screening section, the author’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway, examines the issues percolating throughout her family tree.
Part of Storyscapes, a new section celebrating digital media in film and multi-platform projects, Sandy Storyline chronicles the aftermath of one of the most devastating storms of the 21st century. In this documentary, community members offer accounts, stories, and more, contributing to an interactive project that represents a new form of media.
Star Wars Uncut
Also part of Storyscapes, this project re-imagines the ending of one of the most successful franchises in the history of film. Piecing together suggestions from users, ranging from hand-drawn animations to reenactments, Star Wars Uncut brings something new to both the series and filmmaking as a whole.
Living on love takes on new meaning in this film starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon. A minimum wage job and monthly disability check barely keep Richie (Dillon) and Melissa (Watts) afloat in their Florida motel room, and with a baby on the way and a violent ex lurking, their relationship may well go under, too.
Directed by Christina Voros and co-produced by James Franco, this documentary gives a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most successful fashion houses in the world, Gucci, led by creative director Frida Giannini.
The English Teacher
Craig Zisk (of Scrubs, Weeds, and United States of Tara fame) directs Julianne Moore in this riveting comedy co-starring Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane, Michael Angarano, and Lily Collins. Moore plays a mousy yet impassioned teacher who beds a former student while trying to help him get his play produced in the school theater.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Featured in the spotlight section, The Reluctant Fundamentalist follows the romantic relationship between an American (Kate Hudson) and a Pakistani (Riz Ahmed) in the wake of 9/11. Oft cast in romantic comedies, Hudson shines in this dramatic role.
Starring Sam Rockwell and William H. Macy, Trust Me depicts the pitfalls of Hollywood life. Written, directed, and acted in by Clark Gregg, the film boasts an excellent cast that includes Amanda Peet, Allison Janney, and Felicity Huffman.
The Tribeca Film Festival returns for its twelfth year with new digital media programming, an updated series of midnight horror flicks, and a slew of world premieres. Films on slate promise plenty of fresh talent, as well as A-list actors, and, refreshingly, comedic actors taking on dramatic roles. Here, we round up the 25 films everyone will be talking about.
photography by sarah barnes (star wars uncut); Niko Tavernise (almost christmas); matt dinerstein, courtesy of sony pictures classics (at any price); despina spyrou (before midnight); giora bejach (big bad wolves); jessica miglio (a case of you); Matt Richter (sandy storyline); bob akester (a single shot); jonathan furmanski (big men); jody lee lipes, courtesy of vacationland films llc (bluebird); olympus pictures (bottled up); Courtesy of Smart Broad Films (elaine stritch); helen mitchell (fresh meat); K.C. Bailey (greetings from tim buckley); getty images (i got somethin' to tell you); carin besser (mistaken for strangers); john harris (sunlight jr.); quantrell colbert (the reluctant fundamentalist); shawna ankenbrandt (trust me)