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Tribeca 2010
April 21 - May 2, 2010
Various Venues Manhattan

Frank J. Avella’s
Film Column





Nine years ago after the devastation of the World Trade Center Attacks, Robert DeNiro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival as a way to revitilize lower Manhattan. The fest has gone from being a somewhat exciting event chock filled with so-so films other fests passed on to a veritable force to be reckoned with in terms of its cinematic presentations. Tribeca is now especially notable for New York City based films.

The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival commences on Wednesday, April 21st and will run through Sunday, May 2nd. This year 85 feature films will be screened, a more manageable amount than some of the previous years. In addition, 47 shorts will be presented. These movies represent 38 countries and boast 45 world premieres and seven international premieres. The pics being screened were chosen from a record total of 5,055 submissions.

The festival opens with the big Hollywood premiere of Shrek Forever After, the fourth and final (so they say) sequel to the animated hit franchise—this one, of course, is in 3-D.

Closing night provides a more indy feel. From the docu-filmmakers of Super Size Me, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Why We Fight, comes Freakanomics, based on the best-selling book and directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney.

In addition, the TFF will offer the gala premiere of the highly anticipated Summit film Letters to Juliet, directed by Gary Winick and starring the ubiquitous Amanda Seyfried and icon Vanessa Redgrave.

One of the things that makes Tribeca a unique festival is that it breaks down its features into sections that include Spotlight, Showcase, Encounter and Discovery.

Some of the more anticipated and/or interesting entries include:

Ondine: Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) weaves a visually arresting tale of a lone fisherman (Colin Farrell) who pulls in the sweetest catch of his life—a mermaid-like beauty. This stunning film will challenge your senses and imagination as fantasy and reality clash on the big screen.

Elvis & Madona: Directed and written by Marcelo Laffitte. (Brazil) The lives of a beautiful biker babe and a tall blonde trannie intertwine in this vibrant Rio-set romantic comedy. Elvis and Madona’s unlikely love will help them chase their dreams and deal with the obstacles that arise along the way. In Portuguese with English subtitles.

The Woodmans: Directed by C. Scott Willis. (USA, Italy, China) The Woodmans paints an incisive portrait of a family broken and then healed by its art. In English, Italian with English subtitles.

sex&drugs&rock&roll: Mat Whitecross (codirector of The Road to Guantanamo) paints a stylized, ripsnorting portrait of mercurial British punk rock pioneer Ian Dury (BAFTA nominee Andy Serkis). From a troubled childhood and a battle with debilitating polio to the effects of fame on relationships and fatherhood, here are the highs and lows of a life lived sneeringly, unapologetically out loud

Snap: Playwright-turned-director Carmel Winters composes a gripping psychological drama about three generations of a family poised to repeat the mistakes of the past. From the producers of the Academy Award® winner Once.

Loose Cannons (Mine Vaganti): Ferzan Ozpetek (Facing Windows, A Perfect Day) sets this playful family comedy in the deep south of Italy. Tomasso, a reluctant soon-to-be-partner in his wealthy family’s pasta business, has plans to come out—and hopefully get out of his familial obligation. In Italian with English subtitles.

Open House: directed and written by Andrew Paquin. (USA) – World Premiere. Brian Geraghty gives a haunting performance as prim and taciturn David, forced for years to watch over his sexually predatory partner Lila and her violent urges.

William Vincent: directed and written by Jay Anania. (USA) James Franco (Milk, Spider-Man) stars in the story of William Vincent, a quiet and peculiar criminal uninterested in the fruits of crime.

Budrus: Award-winning documentarian Julia Bacha (Encounter Point, TFF ’06) captures with rawness and galvanizing intensity the power of ordinary people to peaceably fight for extraordinary changes. In Arabic, English, Hebrew with English subtitles.

Into Eternity: Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen ponders how to warn future civilizations that the buried treasure of our nuclear era—unlike the pyramids and great tombs of pharaohs—must never, ever be discovered.

Sons of Perdition: directed by Jennilyn Merten, Tyler Measom. This fascinating documentary explores the heartbreaking losses and hopeful determination of these exiles as they struggle to make new lives in mainstream America.

Please Give is writer/director Nicole Holofcener’s perceptive—and devastatingly funny—take on modern life’s contradictions, good intentions and shaky moral bearings. Starring Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet and the fabulous Rebecca Hall.

Tickets for 2010 Festival will be $16.00 for evening and weekend screenings and $8.00 for daytime weekday and late night screenings. Advance selection ticket packages are now on sale and all advance packages can be purchased online at, or by telephone, toll free, at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

Single ticket and discounted ticket package sales begin for American Express Cardmembers on April 13, 2010, for downtown residents on April 18, 2010, and for the general public on April 19, 2010. Single tickets can be purchased online, by telephone, or at one of the Ticket Outlets, located at the Tribeca Cinemas Ticket Window at 54 Varick Street and an additional location to be determined. The 2010 Festival will continue ticket discounts for evening and weekend screenings for students, seniors and select downtown Manhattan residents. Discounted tickets are available at Ticket Outlet locations only. Discounted packages can only be purchased online and by phone. Additional information and further details on the Festival can be found at






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