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New York, NY [March 5, 2015] – The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, today announced its feature film selections in the Spotlight, Midnight, and Special Screening sections as well as  work in progress screenings. The 14th edition of the Festival will take place from April 15 to April 26 in New York City.


The Spotlight section features 40 films, consisting of 23 narratives and 17 documentaries. Twenty-four films in the selection world premiere at the Festival.


The Midnight section will premiere five films, four of which are world premieres from dynamic new genre voices from around the world.  It is an eclectic lineup of twisted tales that run the gamut from creature features to ominous, creepy horror films, including a real life underground wrestling revenge story and an unsettling babysitter thriller.


This year’s Special Screenings have been programmed to provide exciting film experiences partnering both new and classic films withunique live performances.  They include the world premiere of the documentary Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions, which follows Mary as she writes, records, and curates one of her most experimental albums to date.  The premiere will take place at the Beacon Theater and be followed by a live performance from Mary J. Blige. Nelson George will premiere his documentary, A Ballerina’s Tale, about one of the most notable and trailblazing figures in the ballet world, Misty Copeland.  The evening will be followed by a conversation with Misty, and a performance by her protégées. The evening will be followed by a conversation with Misty, and a performance by her protégées from Project Plie. A restoration of the effervescent comedy SpeedyHarold Lloyd’s silent film from 1928,will be presented with a new score performed live by DJ Z-Trip. Rounding out the program is the special event, which is also part of the Midnight section, Rifftrax Live: The Room. Rifftrax, an expansion of cult classic TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 by its original cast members, skewers cult classic films with live comedic commentary.


The Festival welcomes back two alumni for Work In Progress screenings. Alma Har’el, whose documentary Bombay Beach won the2011 Best Documentary Feature award, will show excerpts of her new documentary LoveTrue. Patrick Creadon (Wordplay, 2011) will show the work in progress cut of his documentary All Work, All Play that looks at the world of video-game arena competitions.


“The Spotlight section highlights many familiar faces as well as new ones, while the films’ stories deliver unconventional perspectives and fresh commentary,” said Festival director, Genna Terranova.


Terranova continued, “Seeing a film together alongside a live performance heightens the experience, engages the imagination, and brings audiences together in unforgettable way. We have had a lot of success with these film events in the past, so it was only natural to make them a bigger part of the program with a series of Special Screenings featuring live music, dance and comedy.”


“As a genre fan myself, I had a lot of fun with the range of storytelling in this year’s section,” said Cara Cusumano, Senior Programmer.  “From one worst nightmare to another, I know this year’s selections will engage – and sometimes unnerve – audiences with a range of edgy horror stories, suspenseful thrillers, and absurd humor.”


In addition to the films announced today, the World Narrative and Documentary Competitions and Viewpoints sections have been announced. The Short film program will be announced March 6 and Storyscapes as well as Tribeca Talks will be announced over the next two weeks.


The complete film selections for the Spotlight, Midnight, and Special Screenings sections, as well as the Work In Progress titles are as follows:



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See it here first. Spotlight is Tribeca’s destination for today’s most talked about themes and filmmakers. The section debuts new work from master directors like Italy’s Taviani Brothers (Wondrous Boccaccio), Neil LaBute (Dirty Weekend), and Michael Winterbottom (The Emperor’s New Clothes), alongside exciting new voices like first time director Henry Hobson (Maggie) and Pray The Devil Back To Hell producer Abigail Disney’s anticipated directorial debut (The Armor of Light).  On screen, audiences will see favorite performers taking on unique and challenging roles such as Jessica Biel’s assured turn as a yoga instructor in Bleeding Heart, or Arnold Schwarzenegger as a dedicated father whose daughter is succumbing to a zombie plague in Maggie. Recent Oscar® winner Patricia Arquette plays a real-life mob moll in The Wannabe, while Oscar Isaac brings a sociopathic stalker to life in Mojave.  On the documentary side the section is rich with profiles of important artists and thinkers ranging from seminal figures like Noam Chomsky (Requiem For The American Dream) and Peggy Guggenheim (Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict) to cultural influencers like Roseanne Barr (Roseanne For President!) and DJ AM (As I Am: The Life and Times of DJ AM). Enjoy this wealth of stories and performances in Tribeca’s always exciting Spotlight program.


Aferim!, directed and written by Radu Jude, co-written by Florin Lazarescu . (Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic) – North American Premiere, Narrative. A police officer and his son travel across Wallachia in 1835, hunting down a runaway gypsy slave. In their journey across the countryside they encounter people of different religions and nationalities, each with their own prejudices and opinions on the state of the country. Shot in black-and-white, Radu Jude’s Aferim! is a gripping look into the political and religious landscape of 19th century Romania. In Romanian with subtitles.


Aloft, directed and written by Claudia Llosa. (Canada, France, Spain) – New York Premiere, Narrative.

In parallel narratives, single-mother Nana (Jennifer Connelly) has a mysterious experience at the hands of a traveling healer, years later her troubled son Ivan (Cillian Murphy) sets out in search of his now absent mother. Academy Award®–nominee Claudia Llosa’s (The Milk of Sorrow) decade-spanning family drama is a dreamlike rumination on faith, forgiveness, and family, set against an otherworldly frozen landscape. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.

Among the Believers, co-directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi, written by Jonathan Goodman Levitt. (Pakistan) – World Premiere. An unsettling and eye opening exploration into the spread of the radical Islamic school Red Mosque, which trains legions of children to devote their lives to jihad, or holy war, from a very young age. With incredible access and chilling footage, Among the Believers is a timely and relevant look into the causes that have led to the growth of radical Islam in Pakistan and around the world. In Urdu with subtitles.

Anesthesia, directed and written by Tim Blake Nelson. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. On a snowy night in New York City, a Columbia professor is brutally mugged on the doorsteps of an apartment building. Director Tim Blake Nelson’s haunting meditation of city life traces the chain of events that precipitate the attack, examining the inextricable and unforeseen forces that bring a group of disparate individuals together. Featuring a star-studded ensemble including Sam Waterston, Kristen Stewart, Glenn Close, and Cory Stoll.


Angry Sky, directed by Jeff Tremaine. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. In the 1960s, truck-driver Nick Piantanida discovered skydiving, and set out to break the world record for highest parachute jump by taking a helium balloon to the edge of space. Over the course of a year, his dream to launch the first civilian space program drove him to obsession. An ESPN Films release.


The Armor of Light, directed by Abigail Disney. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. This inspiring documentary digs into the deep affinity between the evangelical Christian movement and our country’s gun culture — and how one top minister and anti-abortion activist undergoes a change of consciousness to challenge prevailing attitudes toward firearms among his fellow Christians.


As I AM: the Life and Times of DJ AM, directed and written by Kevin Kerslake. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Adam Goldstein, better known as DJ AM, was a man with deep passions and aggressive demons.  As I AM is an insider’s look into the life of the late, famed mash-up pioneer: his professional successes that made him the first million-dollar deejay in the United States and his incredibly complex personal life that was lived under the specter of drug addiction.


Ashby, directed and written by Tony McNamara. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Awkward Ed Wallis (Nat Wolff) needs help fitting in and turns to his neighbor Ashby Holt (Mickey Rourke) for help. Ashby’s unforgiving brand of tough love soon tests their friendship, and it hardly helps when Ed learns that Ashby is a former CIA assassin. Peppered with upbeat music and standout performances, Ashby is a spirited, self-referential update on Harold and Maude for a John Wick generation. With Emma Roberts and Sarah Silverman.


Backtrack, directed and written by Michael Petroni. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In this spine-tingling supernatural thriller, troubled psychotherapist Peter Bowers (Adrien Brody) is suffering from nightmares and eerie visions. When he uncovers a horrifying secret that all of his patients share, he is put on a course that takes him back to the small hometown he fled years ago. There he confronts his demons and unravels a mystery 20 years in the making.


Bleeding Heart, directed and written by Diane Bell. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Reserved yoga instructor May’s (Jessica Biel) peaceful, clean-living life is thrown out of balance by the arrival of her long-lost sister Shiva (Zosia Mamet), a street-smart yet naive young woman trapped in an abusive relationship. May feels compelled to rescue the hapless Shiva, but she finds herself increasingly drawn out of her sedate world and deeper into Shiva’s chaotic one. With Edi Gathegi, Joe Anderson, Kate Burton, and Harry Hamlin.


Cartel Land, directed by Matthew Heineman. (USA, Mexico) – New York Premiere, Documentary. A portrait of two men, both leaders of small paramilitary groups that police different sides of the Mexican drug war. With unprecedented access, this film brings forward deep questions about the breakdown of order and entanglement of modern-day vigilante movements at a time when the government cannot provide basic security for its people. In Spanish and English with subtitlesA release by The Orchard.


The Cut, directed and written by Fatih Akin, co-written by Mardik Martin. (Germany) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Fatih Akin’s historic epic follows one man’s journey through the Ottoman Empire after surviving the 1915 Armenian genocide. Deported from his home in Mardin, Nazareth (Tahar Rahim) moves onwards as a forced laborer. When he learns that his daughters may still be alive, his hope is revived and he travels to America to find them. In Arabic, Armenian, and Spanish with subtitles.


Dirty Weekend, directed and written by Neil LaBute. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Neil LaBute returns to Tribeca with this sharp-edged comedy treat about the ripple effects of desire, whether it’s followed or left unredeemed. Matthew Broderick and Alice Eve are wonderful together as colleagues with secrets who come to depend on each other for understanding as they go to find a spark of excitement in Albuquerque, after dark.


Down in the Valley, directed by Jason Hehir. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. How far would you go to save your hometown team? For many Sacramento residents, faced with the nearly certain relocation of their beloved Kings, no boardroom was too distant. One native son proved it. Follow former NBA superstar turned Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson as he battles owners and executives to keep the Kings at home, in this a roaring testament to the passion and power of the small-market fan. An ESPN Films release.


The Driftless Area, directed and written by Zachary Sluser. (Canada, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Pierre Hunter (Anton Yelchin), a bartender with unyielding optimism, returns to his tiny hometown after his parents’ death. When he falls for the enigmatic Stella (Zooey Deschanel), Pierre is unknowingly pulled into a cat-and-mouse game that involves a duffel bag full of cash, a haphazard yet determined criminal (John Hawkes), and a mystery that will determine all of their fates. With Alia Shawkat, Frank Langella, Aubrey Plaza, and Ciarán Hinds.


DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: The Story of the National Lampoon, directed and written by Douglas Tirola, co-written by Mark Monroe. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Using rare, never-before-seen archival footage and in-depth interviews with fans and founders, Douglas Tirola traces National Lampoon’s evolution from underground countercultural movement to mainstream household brand. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead is a riotous and revealing chronicle of a trailblazing comedic institution and a celebration of creative expression at its radical, envelope-pushing finest.


The Emperor’s New Clothes, made by Michael Winterbottom & Russell Brand (UK) – International Premiere. Cinema’s prolific writer/director Michael Winterbottom and comedian/provocateur Russell Brand join forces in this polemical expose about inequality and the financial crisis. From London to New York the film combines documentary style, archive footage and comedy to explore how the crisis has gravely affected the 99% and only benefited the 1%.


Far From Men (Loin des Hommes), directed and written by David Oelhoffen. (France) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. During the height of the Algerian War, an unlikely bond forms between a reserved French teacher (Viggo Mortensen) and the elusive dissident (Reda Kateb) he must turn over to the authorities. Based on a short story by Albert Camus, David Oelhoffen’s classically conceived period Western is a tense and timely study of war’s political and personal sacrifices. In French with subtitles. A Tribeca Film release.


Fastball, directed and written by Jonathan Hock. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Since 1912, baseball has been a game obsessed with statistics and speed. Thrown at upwards of 100 miles per hour, a fastball moves too quickly for human cognition andaccelerates into the realm of intuition. Fastball is a look at how the game at its highest levels of achievement transcends logic and even skill, becoming the primal struggle for man to control the uncontrollable.


A Faster Horse, directed by David Gelb, and written by Mark Monroe. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. As the fiftieth anniversary of the Mustang approaches, Ford is launching a redesign, placing the jobs and expectations of thousands squarely on the shoulders of Chief Program Engineer Dave Pericak. Masterfully crafted by TFF alumnus David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi), A Faster Horse moves beyond a car lover’s documentary to a resonant examination of American ingenuity, workmanship, and resilience.


Good Kill, directed and written by Andrew Niccol. (USA) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Major Tommy Egan (Ethan Hawke) is fighting a war from the safety of a Nevada trailer, but commitment to the mission comes at a price. Gattaca director Andrew Niccol reunites with Ethan Hawke for this timely drama about the human costs of advanced war technology. Co-starring January Jones and Zoe Kravitz. An IFC Films Release


Grandma, directed and written by Paul Weitz. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Reeling from a recent breakup and still mourning the loss of her longtime partner, once-famous poet Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) is surprised to find her teenage granddaughter on her doorstep in need of $600 and a ride. The two embark on an all-day road trip that ends up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets all over town. Co-starring Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, and Sam Elliott. A Sony Pictures Classics release.


Hungry Hearts, directed by Saverio Costanzo. (Italy) – U.S. Premiere, Narrative. After a chance meeting and a whirlwind romance in New York City, Jude (Adam Driver) and Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) become pregnant. Convinced their child will be harmed by the pollutions in the outside world, Mina becomes consumed by protecting her baby, forcing Jude to recognize a terrible truth about why his son’s life could be in danger. A Sundance Selects Release


Jimmy’s Hall, directed by Ken Loach, written by Paul Laverty. (UK, Ireland, France) – North American Premiere, Narrative. James Gralton returns from exile and reopens a public dancehall, bravely pushing back against the sharply drawn religious and political margins of his time. Ken Loach (Winner, Palme-d’or 2006, The Wind that Shakes the Barley) paints a romantic drama about a leftist leader, and a 1930s Ireland that celebrates free speech and thought in the face of oppressive dogma. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.


Maggie, directed by Henry Hobson, written by John Scott 3. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. There’s a deadly zombie epidemic threatening humanity, but Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a small-town farmer and family man, refuses to accept defeat even when his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) becomes infected. As Maggie’s condition worsens and the authorities seek to eradicate those with the virus, Wade is pushed to the limits in an effort to protect her. Joely Richardson co-stars in this post-apocalyptic thriller.Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions release.


Mojave, directed by and written by William Monahan. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. William Monahan’s second feature, starring Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund, is a delirious trip from the fringes of the desert to the center of the film industry. Armed with little more than a knife and two handles of vodka, an on-edge Hollywood director sets out to the Mojave Desert, where he finds a drifter brandishing a rifle and claiming to be the Devil.


Our Fathers, the Nazis, directed by David Evans, written by Philippe Sands (UK) – World Premiere, Documentary. Can you imagine what it means to grow up as the child of a mass murderer? While studying the Nuremberg trials, a lawyer becomes fascinated with two men: both sons of famous Nazi Generals, and both with polar opposite views of their fathers’ hand in the war. A forthright dive into individual perception, Our Fathers, the Nazis adds new meaning to the ties that bind us.


The Overnight, directed and written by Patrick Brice. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Alex and Emily have just moved to LA with their young son. Eager to make new friends, they accept an invitation to a party from the father of their son’s playground mate. After the kids fall asleep, the “playdate” takes a bizarre turn in this racy and hilarious romp. Featuring Judith Godrèche, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Adam Scott. A release by The Orchard.


Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict, directed by Lisa  Immordino Vreeland, written by Bernadine Colish, Lisa Immordino Vreeland,  and John Northrup. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.  Bouncing between Europe and the US as often as she would between lovers, Peggy Guggenheim’s life story was as swirling as the design of her uncle’s museum, and reads more like fiction than any reality imaginable. Art Addict is a picture into Guggenheim’s world: abstract, colorful,

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