The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by American Express®, today announced its feature film selections in the Spotlight and Cinemania sections, as well as Special Screenings and the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival lineup.

The Spotlight section, co-sponsored by Cadillac and JetBlue, screens 34 films, 22 narratives and 12 documentaries that demonstrate the breadth of films at the Tribeca Film Festival. Nineteen films in the selection will have their world premieres at the Festival.

“The Spotlight program is a wonderful encapsulation of the originality and diversity of filmmaking that Tribeca seeks to highlight. We have films from emerging filmmakers as well as seasoned veterans, narratives that showcase stellar performances and insightful writing, and documentaries that challenge and inform their audiences,” said Frédéric Boyer, newly appointed Artistic Director of the Tribeca Film Festival.

“It was important that we head into Tribeca’s second decade highlighting projects that were attuned to the pulse of our cultural climate,” said Director of Programming Genna Terranova. “That said, both consciousness and levity play a prominent role in this year's selection. We are also eager to introduce audiences to a group of films that are reworking genres and testing traditional modes of storytelling."

The 2012 online Film Guide will go live on Monday, March 12. The 11th Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 18 to 29 in lower Manhattan.


2 Days in New York

2 Days in New York
Directed and written by Julie Delpy
(France) – New York Premiere, Narrative

This deliriously witty follow-up to 2 Days in Paris finds Marion (writer/director Julie Delpy) living a comfortable life in New York with her latest hipster boyfriend, Mingus (Chris Rock, brilliantly playing it straight), and their two young kids from prior relationships. A riotous comedy of cultural errors ensues when Marion’s totally unhinged, gleefully unfiltered family arrives from Paris to meet Mingus for the first time. In English, French with subtitles. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Any Day Now

Any Day Now
Directed by Travis Fine, written by Travis Fine and George Arthur Bloom
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative

In the late 1970s, when a mentally handicapped teenager is abandoned, a gay couple takes him in and becomes the family he’s never had. But once the unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to love as their own. Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt star in TFF alum Travis Fine’s (The Space Between) touching and occasionally incendiary drama.

As Luck Would Have It (La Chispa de la Vida)
Directed by Alex de la Iglesia, written by Randy Feldman
(Spain) – North American Premiere, Narrative

The economy has kept Roberto (José Mota) out of work for a long time. When a freak accident puts him at the center of a media frenzy, the enterprising ad exec hires a snaky agent to help him cash in on his life-or-death situation. It’s up to Roberto’s adoring wife (the vivacious Salma Hayek) to convince him he’s worth more alive than dead. Cult director Alex de la Iglesia takes a fresh new step, combining a darkly comic satire with an emotional drama of a family’s love. In Spanish with subtitles.

BAM150
Directed by Michael Sládek
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

Go behind the scenes like never before at BAM, the nation's oldest performing arts center. Featuring footage of recent BAM performances, interviews with groundbreaking artists like Laurie Anderson and Robert Wilson, and the fascinating history of the creative home to such greats as Pina Bausch, Peter Brook, and Merce Cunningham, TFF alum Michael Sládek's (Con Artist) doc shows that BAM's 150 years were not always easy, but are a testament to the power and stamina of the institution that launched Brooklyn as a cultural mecca.

A Better Life (Une Vie Meilleure)
Directed by Cédric Kahn, written by Cédric Kahn and Catherine Paillé
(France, Canada) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative

Passionately in love from the moment they meet, idealistic chef Yann and single mother Nadia share big dreams for their future. Life gets complicated when they impulsively buy a secluded restaurant in the woods and take on risky loans, testing the strength of their relationship. Fiercely gritty in its romanticism, this is a story of the lengths one will go for the chance at a better life. In French, English with subtitles.

Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story
Directed by Raymond De Felitta
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

While filming a documentary on racism in Mississippi in 1965, Frank De Felitta forever changed the life of an African-American waiter and his family. More than 40 years later, Frank’s son Raymond (director of City Island) returns to the site of his father’s film to examine the repercussions of their fateful encounter. This intensely personal film about the struggle to understand one’s parents is also a heartbreaking portrait of the legacy of intolerance. 

Broke
Directed by Billy Corben
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

More money, more problems. Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical issues, and naturally prone to showing off, most pro athletes end up broke within a few years of retirement. Drawing surprisingly vulnerable confessions from retired stars like Marvin Miller, Jamal Mashburn, Bernie Kosar, and Andre Rison, this fascinating documentary digs into the psychology of men whose competitive nature carries them to victory on the field and ruin off it.

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
Directed by Donald Rice, written by Donald Rice and Mary Henely Magill
(UK) – World Premiere, Narrative

On the morning of her wedding, Dolly (Felicity Jones) is hiding out and dreaming of the idyllic summer before, helped along by a jug of rum. Her scatterbrained mother (Elizabeth McGovern) has perfected all the arrangements, but even she can’t prepare everyone for the arrival of Dolly’s unpredictable best friend, Joseph (Luke Treadaway). Lighthearted humor and a steamy romance add the perfect touch to a dysfunctional wedding whose key players seem anything but cheerful.

Chicken With Plums (Poulet Aux Prunes)
Directed and written by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
(France, Germany, Belgium) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative

Nasser Ali Khan (Mathieu Amalric) is the most celebrated violin player in 1950s Tehran, but his heart is broken. His true love is long lost, his marriage is passionless, and now his most precious instrument has met its demise. Convinced life without music is intolerable, he resigns to bed and loses himself in reveries from his youth. The Oscar®-nominated directors of Persepolis make magic again with a stylish fairy tale full of humor, whimsy, and melancholy. In French with subtitles. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Deadfall
Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, written by Zach Dean
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative

In the wintry countryside near Canada, a smooth-talking heist man and his femme fatale sister are on the run with a bag full of cash. With a deadly blizzard swirling around them, they split up to make a desperate dash for the border, but a twist of fate puts them on a collision course with a troubled ex-con and his family. Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Sissy Spacek, and Kris Kristofferson highlight the ace cast in this icy thriller. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey
Directed by Ramona Diaz
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

It sounds like a dream: A charismatic Filipino singer from the slums of Manila posts videos of his cover band to YouTube, and soon he’s fronting an iconic rock band. Sounds crazy, but it’s the real-life rock-and-roll fairy tale that Arnel Pineda is living as the new lead singer of Journey. The pressure’s on Pineda as this rockin’ doc follows Journey’s dizzying world tour—can a man who has already overcome so many obstacles deal with the demands of his newfound fame? In English, Tagalog with subtitles.

Elles
Directed by Malgoska Szumowska, written by Tine Byrckel and Malgoska Szumowska
(France, Poland, Germany) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative

Juliette Binoche, exquisite and involved as always, stars in this sophisticated, sexually charged drama as Anne, a journalist getting in too deep with the research for her article on college students working as prostitutes. As the surprising stories of her two candid subjects stir up Anne’s image of femininity, she wonders if life with her workaholic husband and two spacey sons is all that different from her subjects’ lives. A Kino Lorber release.

Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie
Directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger, written by Daniel A. Miller
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

Long before the days of Jersey Shore or Glenn Beck, there was one man who gleefully gave those on the fringes of the society a national mouthpiece. Witness Morton Downey Jr.’s meteoric rise and fall as the original shock television emcee, and check your sense of decorum at the door. Here we learn about the man behind the mouth, and how the pursuit of fame and fortune over the airwaves can ultimately destroy your soul.

Free Samples
Directed by Jay Gammill, written by Jim Beggarly
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative

Jillian is having a bad day. She’s got a raging hangover, she’s starting to think dropping out of Stanford Law to become an artist wasn’t the best career move, and things are weird with her faraway fiancé. Can spending the day parked in an ice cream truck doling out samples—and a good dose of sass—to oddball Angelenos shake her out of her quarter-life crisis? Jess Weixler, Jesse Eisenberg, and Jason Ritter star in this quirky comedy.

The Giant Mechanical Man
Directed and written by Lee Kirk
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative

Thirtysomethings Janice (Jenna Fischer) and Tim (Chris Messina) haven’t quite learned how to navigate adulthood. Tim is a street performer whose unique talents as a “living statue” don’t exactly pay the bills. Janice is out of work and under pressure by her sister (Malin Akerman) to date an egotistical self-help guru (Topher Grace). In this charming comedic romance, these two strangers help each other to realize that it only takes one person to make you feel important. A Tribeca Film release.

Headshot (Fon Tok Kuen Fah)
Directed and written by Pen-ek Ratanaruang
(Thailand, France) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative

A return to the crime genre for celebrated Thai auteur Pen-ek Ratanaruang (6ixtynin9, Last Life in the Universe), Headshot is a noir-laced thriller centered on Tul, a hit man who is shot in the head and wakes up to find that he sees everything upside down. Working backwards (and often upside down) to tell a brooding and convoluted tale of underworld double dealings, this is an unexpected and artful take on the action thriller from a genre master. In Thai with subtitles. A Kino Lorber release.

Hysteria
Directed by Tanya Wexler, written by Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer
(USA, UK, Luxembourg, France) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative

Set in 19th-century London at the peak of Victorian prudishness, this racy romantic comedy tells the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator. A progressive young doctor (Hugh Dancy, Adam) has his hands full relieving the city’s affluent society women of their melancholy, until an accidental discovery electrifies their lives forever—and sends sparks flying between him and a feminist rabble-rouser (Maggie Gyllenhaal). A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Keep the Lights On
Directed by Ira Sachs, written by Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias
(USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative

For Erik and Paul, what begins as a meaningless late-night hookup evolves into a serious, committed relationship. Acclaimed director Ira Sachs offers an honest, unflinching portrait of a relationship that is by equal measure loving and destructive. Uncompromising in its depiction of drug addiction and the sacrifices we make for the ones we love, Sachs’ film is a heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful look at the way love changes over time. A Music Box Films release.

Knuckleball!
Directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, written by Christine Schomer, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

This classic sports story recounts the trials and triumphs of two of the best known knuckleball pitchers in the MLB: Tim Wakefield, a Red Sox veteran who recently announced his retirement after 19 years, and R.A. Dickey, an up-and-comer with the Mets looking to make a name for himself. This energetic documentary from the directors of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work deconstructs the controversial and erratic knuckleball style.

Let Fury Have the Hour
Directed and written by Antonino D’Ambrosio
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

A generation of artists used their creativity as a response to the reactionary politics that came to define our culture in the 1980s. This dynamic and exhilarating documentary brings together more than 50 big-name musicians, writers, artists, and thinkers to trace a momentous social history from the cynical heyday of Reagan and Thatcher to today—and impart a message of hope. Featuring Chuck D, John Sayles, Eve Ensler, Tom Morello, Lewis Black, and many others.

Lola Versus
Directed by Daryl Wein, written by Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative

Greta Gerwig stars as Lola, a New Yorker who gets dumped by her fiancé mere weeks before their wedding. With the help of her close friends Henry (Hamish Linklater) and Alice (Zoe Lister-Jones), Lola embarks on a series of unexpected encounters in an attempt to find her place in the world as a single woman approaching 30. Daryl Wein (Breaking Upwards) infuses this story of the post-breakup spiral with humor and authenticity. A Fox Searchlight Pictures release.

Mansome
Directed by Morgan Spurlock, written by Jeremy Chilnick and Morgan Spurlock
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

In the age of manscaping, metrosexuals, and grooming products galore—what does it mean to be a man? Oscar® nominee Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) and executive producers Ben Silverman, Will Arnett, and Jason Bateman present a delightfully entertaining doc featuring candid interviews from Arnett, Bateman, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, and everyday people weighing in on everything from the obsession with facial hair to body dysmorphic disorder.

One Nation Under Dog
Directed by Jenny Carchman, Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Amanda Micheli
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

This heartfelt documentary explores people’s conflicted relationships with dogs and inspires us to rethink how we treat them. From a man who spends a fortune to defend his dogs in court, to a woman who can’t turn away a stray, to pet loss support groups to rescuers who take on difficult-to-place dogs and save them from death row, this is a film about love, loss, betrayal, and hope. 

The Playroom
Directed by Julia Dyer, written by Gretchen Dyer
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative

In 1970s suburbia, Maggie and her younger siblings spend the night telling each other stories in the attic. Downstairs, as their parents entertain guests over the course of a gin-soaked evening, truths are unearthed and betrayals come to light. With standout performances from John Hawkes, Molly Parker, and a cast of talented young actors, Julia Dyer’s second feature is an honest and challenging look at the reality behind the façade of a seemingly perfect American family.

Polisse
Directed by Maïwenn, written by Maïwenn and Emmanuelle Bercot
(France) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative

Confronting abusive parents, child molesters, traumatized kids, and oversexed teens is all part of the daily grind for the motley band of cops in the Juvenile Protection Unit, but so is chatting about their relationships at lunch and laughing uncontrollably. Grounded in documentary research and naturalistic performances, this unforgettable film from TFF alum Maïwenn (All About Actresses) explores the solidarity that helps hardened vice cops face the worst of society every day. In French, Italian, Romanian, Arabic with subtitles. An IFC Films release.

The Russian Winter
Directed by Petter Ringbom
(Russia) – World Premiere, Documentary

Brooklyn-born John Forté was a Grammy-nominated musician in The Fugees at 21 and a federal prison inmate at 26. When his prison sentence was remarkably commuted in 2008, Forté was given a second chance to share his talents with the world. Chronicling his concert tour across Russia, this inspirational documentary takes us on Forté’s personal journey—one that’s as much about having his voice heard as having his music heard. In English, Russian with subtitles.

Searching For Sugar Man
Directed and written by Malik Bendjelloul
(Sweden, UK) – New York Premiere, Documentary

Rodriguez was the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. Despite critical praise, his albums bombed in the U.S., and he faded into obscurity among rumors of a gruesome death. But when a bootleg copy of his antiestablishment rock made its way to apartheid South Africa, he was an instant hit. Years later, two intrepid fans investigate whatever happened to the mysterious rocker, setting off a wild chain of events that has to be seen to be believed. A Sony Pictures Classics release.

Side by Side
Directed and written by Chris Kenneally
(USA) – North American Premiere, Documentary

Over the past two decades, digital technology has created a groundbreaking evolution in cinema, challenging film as the standard format for motion pictures. Through interviews with masters like Danny Boyle, James Cameron, David Fincher, George Lucas, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Lars Von Trier, and many more, producer Keanu Reeves takes us on a tour of the past and future of the moviemaking process in this in-depth documentary. A Tribeca Film release. 

Struck By Lightning
Directed by Brian Dannelly, written by Chris Colfer
(USA) – World Premiere, Narrative

Even being killed by a bolt of lightning won’t keep Carson Phillips quiet. A hyper-ambitious and outspoken high school senior in a small-minded town, Carson (Glee’s Chris Colfer) narrates his own funeral and the last few weeks of his life through a series of sarcastic flashbacks in this upbeat and energetic comedy from Saved! director Brian Dannelly. With Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney, and Drive’s Christina Hendricks.

Take This Waltz
Directed and written by Sarah Polley
(Canada) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative

Margot (Michelle Williams) and Lou (Seth Rogen) are happily married. Their life is thrown out of order when Margot falls for another man and is forced to choose between the comfort of the familiar and the excitement of the unknown. Writer-director Sarah Polley’s follow-up to her acclaimed film Away From Here is a quirky, uncommonly heartfelt look at the evolving nature of love and the difficulty of sustaining a relationship over time. A Magnolia Pictures release.

Trishna
Directed and written by Michael Winterbottom
(UK) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative

Again proving his endless versatility in his fifth film at Tribeca, prolific director Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo, last year’s The Trip) adapts Thomas Hardy’s classic Victorian melodrama Tess of the d’Urbervilles to all the beauty and blight of contemporary India, where the budding love between a peasant woman and the son of a wealthy Englishman is strained by old prejudices and class divides. The radiant Freida Pinto stars. In English, Hindi with subtitles. An IFC Films release.

Whole Lotta Sole
Directed by Terry George, written by Terry George and Thomas Gallagher
(UK) – World Premiere, Narrative

In a rowdy little corner of Belfast, hapless young father Jimbo tries to protect his family from the gangster he’s in debt to by robbing the local fish market… which turns out to be a front for the same gangster! On the run, Jimbo holes up in a local antique shop run by a long-lost man from his past. A colorful cast of character actors and a strong turn from Brendan Fraser light up this madcap Irish crime comedy from Terry George (Hotel Rwanda).

Xingu
Directed by Cao Hamburger, written by Helena Soarez, Cao Hamburger, and Anna Muylaert
(Brazil) – North American Premiere, Narrative

Brazil, 1943. Three brothers on an expedition into the feral center of the country encounter a village of Xingu Indians. Allured by the rich indigenous culture, the brothers take a bold stand against corrupt national forces and make protecting the Xingu their lives’ work. With wild, breathtaking visuals and atmospheric music, TFF alum Cao Hamburger conveys a distinct vision of Brazil while finding a universally resonant message in his protagonists’ revolutionary vision. In Portuguese with subtitles.

Your Sister’s Sister
Directed and written by Lynn Shelton
(USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative

Jack (Mark Duplass) hasn’t recovered from his brother’s death. His best friend—and late brother’s ex—Iris (Emily Blunt) sends him to her family’s isolated cabin for some quiet reflection, but complications, rivalries, and surprising revelations arise when both Iris and her heartbroken sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) end up at the cabin as well. Lynn Shelton’s long-awaited follow-up to Humpday heralds a graceful maturation of the reliably against-the-grain filmmaker. An IFC Films release.


Statistics

The 2012 film slate was chosen from a total of 5950 submissions, a record number for the Festival. The 2012 film selection includes feature films from 32 different countries, including 54 World Premieres, 4 International Premieres, 16 North American Premieres, 10 U.S. Premieres and six New York Premieres. A total of 107 directors will be presenting feature works at the Festival, with 33 of these filmmakers presenting their feature directorial debuts. Among these directors, 25 are women. Twenty-six feature film directors are returning TFF filmmakers.

Awards

New this year, 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 Cinemania sections are eligible. (In past years only one film was chosen by the audience.)


Check out more of the slate:
TFF 2012: World Narrative Competition
TFF 2012: World Documentary Competition
TFF 2012: Viewpoints
TFF 2012: Cinemania
TFF 2012: Special Screenings

Get ahead of the crowd and buy your advance ticket package today! Learn more: TFF 2012 Ticket Packages

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