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Tribeca Documentary Filmmakers Meet and Greet
April 30, 2008

Written by Allison Ford

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At the Documentary Filmmakers Meet and Greet on Wednesday, April 30, filmmakers had the opportunity to promote their projects, as well as enjoy one of the best benefits of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Edward Tyndal's Deconfliction

“At the smaller festivals, you don’t see the business side of the independent film world,” said Edward Tyndall, a filmmaker from North Carolina. One of the hallmarks of Tribeca is the accessibility of film buyers and distributors. “It gives you a chance to advance your longer-term goals, and open up doors,” said Tyndall, who is at Tribeca for the first time. His short film, Deconfliction, is screening at the festival, and tells the story of a transsexual who struggles to come to terms with his gender identity, and in the process, begins selling his collection of Cold War artifacts to fund his sex-reassignment surgery. Although Tyndall has participated in various smaller festivals, Deconfliction is his first film at Tribeca. Although Tyndall is more concentrated on portraiture-style films, he enjoyed other documentaries currently screening at Tribeca, including War Child, the story of a Sudanese child soldier turned hip-hop artist, and Secrecy, a fascinating look into government secrets.

Mark Street's Hidden in Plain Sight

Mark Street is also showing at Tribeca for the first time. He is a filmmaking veteran, and has competed in the NY Underground, Sundance, Venice, San Francisco International, and Toronto Film Festivals, as well as many others. His film showcased at Tribeca this year is called Hidden in Plain Sight. It’s a look at urban lives in Hanoi, Dakar, Marseille, and Santiago (Chile). Street calls it “a testament to standing on street corners and observing city life.”

Joel Schlemowitz' Teslamania

Experimental film is a big part of the Tribeca Festival. Filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz is screening his short film Teslamania in the “Sparks of Brilliance” category, for underground or experimental films. It documents a Nikola Tesla coil performance at Collective Unconscious, and features time-lapse, double exposures, and refracted images. Because of the industry contacts available at Tribeca, Schlemowitz has already scored a DVD distribution deal for his film.

Ali Talib's Lost Girl

Lost Girl is another short documentary that has already been picked up by a distributor. Directed by Ali Taleb and produced by New Yorker Aaron Raskin, Lost Girl is the story of an Iraqi refugee surviving as a prostitute in Jordan. The film is a practical and candid look at the young woman and her view of survival. Lost Girl has been picked by Arabic television network Al-Hurra, and will be packaged with 5 other short films for Arabic TV viewers. The TV deal will be “good exposure,” says Raskin.

For independent filmmakers, finding an audience for their films is the most difficult part of what they do. Part of what makes Tribeca Film Festival special is its proximity to not only to industry contacts that can help their films be seen on a wider scale, but also its ability is to bring these films to the cinephiles of New York City, where we eagerly await them each year.

Additional information and further details on the Festival can be found at



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