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Tribeca Film Festival 2016: Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings Lineup

Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Logo

The Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings Lineup for the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival has been announced. The mission of the 15th Annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) is “‘to enable the international film community and the general public to experience the power of film by redefining the film festival experience.’ The Tribeca Film Festival was founded to celebrate New York City as a major filmmaking center and to contribute to the long-term recovery of lower Manhattan.”

Like in years past, the Tribeca Film Festival features a plethora of films to fit any cinephile’s desires. One such film is Elvis & Nixon, which stars Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey. The Ghostheads documentary should be interesting, especially with two trailers for the Ghostbusters reboot premiering this week. Eddie Murphy takes a dramatic turn in Mr. Church while Tom Hanks takes a comedic turn in A Hologram for the King. A film that has a lot of positive buzz is Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which will be screening at this year’s film festival.

Of note regarding horror, there is King Cobra starring James Franco and Christian Slater, Fear, Inc., and the horror anthology Holidays.

The full film lineup for the Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings sections of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival:

Elvis & Nixon, directed by Liza Johnson, written by Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal, and Cary Elwes. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In 1970, a few days before Christmas, Elvis Presley showed up on the White House lawn seeking to be deputized into the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs by the President himself. Elvis & Nixon, starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey respectively, imagines the comical details of this outlandish historical encounter. Featuring supporting performances from Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Colin Hanks, Evan Peters, and Sky Ferreira. An Amazon Studios/Bleecker Street release.

Sponsored by The Lincoln Motor Company
The Spotlight section is Tribeca Film Festival’s home for today’s marquee filmmakers, star performers and big issues. This year’s Spotlight is a family affair, with many films examining families large and small, natural and adopted, stable and struggling. The family of an elderly man, seeking an assisted suicide, rally around him in Youth in Oregon, while the once tight-knit families of Little Boxes and The Family Fang try to recapture their intimacy after unexpected change. Fathers and sons clash in Phenom and Wolves, while the mothers and daughters of All We Had and The Meddler lean on each other when everything else seems to be falling apart. One family is threatened by the New York City legal system in Custody, while a new family is forged between lost souls in section opener The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Having once formed their own makeshift family on the road, the dancers of Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour reunite for Strike a Pose and point to another theme of the section that emerges strongly in the documentary selections: the power of the arts and the journey of the artist. Whether it’s visual artists like Banksy and Chris Burden or the dancers of Reset and Strike a Pose; the comedians of The Last Laugh and Pistol Shrimps or the Asian-American rappers fighting for respect in Bad Rap; many films in this year’s selection highlight the versatile power of the arts to affect individuals and culture itself in myriad ways, perhaps none more strongly than Midsummer in Newtown, a resonant testament to the power of art to heal a community after tragedy.

Opening Film
The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, directed by Bill Purple, written by Robbie Pickering & Bill Purple. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Henry (Jason Sudeikis) and Penny (Jessica Biel) are a New Orleans couple very much in love, until tragedy strikes and Henry is forced to rebuild. Quite literally, it turns out. After he befriends a tough street teen (Maisie Williams), he helps her construct the raft she’ll use to sail across the Atlantic in search of her long lost father. With Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Biel, Maisie Williams, Orlando Jones, Mary Steenburgen, and Paul Reiser.

All We Had, directed by Katie Holmes, written by Josh Boone & Jill Killington. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Ruthie continually makes the best of her mother Rita’s hard luck. When their attempt at settling in a new town hits a stumbling block, even Ruthie struggles to keep it together. Based on Annie Weatherwax’s 2014 novel, Katie Holmes’ feature directorial debut is an enriching coming-of-age drama about a resilient mother and daughter who find strength in each other. With Stefania Owen, Katie Holmes, Luke Wilson, Richard Kind, Mark Consuelos, Judy Greer, and Eve Lindley.

Bad Rap, directed and written by Salima Koroma. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Bad Rap follows the lives and careers of four Asian-American rappers trying to break into a world that often treats them as outsiders. Sharing dynamic live performance footage and revealing interviews, these artists will make the most skeptical critics into believers. With humor and insight, the film paints a portrait of artistic passion in the face of an unsung struggle. With Jonathan “Dumbfoundead” Park, Nora “Awkwafina” Lum, David “Rekstizzy” Lee, and Richard “Lyricks” Lee.

The Banksy Job, directed and written by Ian Roderick Gray and Dylan Harvey. (U.K.) – World Premiere, Documentary. Simultaneously hilarious, wild, and bizarre The Banksy Job further illuminates the crazy world of street art and the peculiar relationships between the artists—in particular, Banksy and the artist known as AK47. An art world, mystery caper, The Banksy Job adds another whacky layer to the Banksy story that can’t be missed.

Burden, directed by Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Illustrated with performance, private videos, and recollections from those who knew him, this detailed and innovative documentary looks at the life of the always provocative artist Chris Burden, whose work consistently challenged ideas about the limits and nature of modern art, from his notorious performances in the 1970s to his later assemblages, installations, kinetic and static sculptures, and scientific models.

Check It, directed by Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Fed up with being abused and harassed on the brutal inner-city streets of Washington D.C., a group of gay and trans teens form a gang to fight back. This raw and intimate portrait follows four Check It members as they struggle to find a way out of gang life through an unlikely avenue: fashion.

Command and Control, directed by Robert Kenner, written by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. A high-stakes documentary thriller, Command and Control—based on Eric Schlosser’s 2013 book of the same name—explores the “human error” that led to an explosion at the Titan II nuclear site just outside Little Rock, Arkansas towards the end of the Cold War, and probes how mutually assured destruction might actually mean self-annihilation.

Courted (L’Hermine), directed and written by Christian Vincent. (France) – North American Premiere, Narrative. When a feared judge of the French court, Xavier Racine (Fabrice Luchini), encounters a French-Danish juror, Ditte Lorensen-Coteret (Sidse Babett Knudsen), at a murder trial, their shared past is slowly uncovered. Understated and engaging, director Christian Vincent (Four Stars, Haute Cuisine) lets two narratives unfold, playing with notions of how we present ourselves and how we wish to be perceived. In French with subtitles.

Custody, directed and written by James Lapine. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Legal and intimate family dynamics dovetail in Custody. Starring Viola Davis as an embattled family court judge with a fraught marriage of her own; Hayden Panettiere as a recent law-school grad flung into a custody case; and Catalina Sandino Moreno as the single mother at the center of the case who risks losing her two children over an ill-timed argument. With Tony Shalhoub, Raul Esparza, Dan Fogler, and Ellen Burstyn.

Don’t Think Twice, directed by Mike Birbiglia. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Mike Birbiglia’s true-to-life second feature is set in the world of New York improv comedy, where the members of a tight-knit troupe are thrown into disarray when one of their ranks lands a coveted spot on a top TV show. Produced by Ira Glass and co-starring Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard and Mike Birbiglia.

Team Foxcatcher, directed by Jon Greenhalgh. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Jon Greenhalgh’s Team Foxcatcher chronicles the paranoid, downward spiral of millionaire John E. DuPont that led to the tragic murder of olympic wrestler David Schultz. Never-before-seen home videos shot during Schultz’s time at Foxcatcher Farms shed light on the disturbing events and serve as a poignant memoir to the legacy of the champion wrestler, husband, and father. A Netflix release.

Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray, directed by Jenny Carchman. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. The self-help industry is worth $11 billion dollars a year; it captivates those seeking happiness, release from suffering, and those longing for a path and a leader to follow. James Arthur Ray, for many, was that sort of leader. But when a sweat lodge ceremony goes horribly wrong, we learn from Ray and some of his followers that their spiritual path was fraught with danger and perhaps even greater suffering.

The Family Fang, directed by Jason Bateman, written by David Lindsay-Abaire. (USA) – US Premiere, Narrative. Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman are Annie and Baxter Fang, children of celebrated performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett). When the elder Fangs go missing under mysterious circumstances, the siblings are forced to unpack long-dormant and unresolved issues from their unorthodox childhoods as they search for their parents, in Bateman’s caustically funny and deeply felt sophomore feature. With Jason Butler Harner and Kathryn Hahn. A Starz release.

A Hologram for the King, directed and written by Tom Tykwer. (USA, Germany) – World Premiere, Narrative. In Tom Tykwer’s wryly comic adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel, Tom Hanks stars as a struggling American businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a new technology to the King, only to be challenged by endless Middle Eastern bureaucracy, a perpetually absent monarch, and a suspicious growth on his back. With Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Whishaw, and Tom Skerritt. A Roadside Attractions release.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, directed and written by Taika Waititi. (New Zealand) – New York Premiere, Narrative. A spunky orphan and his gruff guardian are forced to flee after a series of misunderstandings send them both into the wilderness as mismatched fugitives. Starring Sam Neill and featuring a hysterically funny performance from newcomer Julian Dennison, director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok) has crafted a truly touching adventure-comedy. An Orchard release.

A Kind of Murder, directed by Andy Goddard, written by Susan Boyd. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. The Blunderer, written by Carol author Patricia Highsmith, gets a classic film noir treatment in A Kind of Murder, a ’60s-set Hitchcockian thriller that explores how we judge culpability in the death of another. Starring Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel, and Vincent Kartheiser.

The Last Laugh, directed by Ferne Pearlstein, written by Robert Edwards and Ferne Pearlstein. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. When is comedy not funny? Some would argue, when it’s about the Holocaust. Through interviews and performances featuring people on either side of the issue—including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K., Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, and Abe Foxman—as well as a portrait of a resilient survivor, The Last Laugh offers an intelligent and hilarious survey of what is and is not off-limits in comedy, from the Holocaust and beyond.

Lavender, directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly, written by Ed Gass-Donnelly and Colin Frizzel. (Canada) – World Premiere, Narrative. Abbie Cornish, Dermot Mulroney, and Justin Long star in this hallucinatory thriller about Jane, a photographer who suffers severe memory loss following a horrific car accident. Putting her life at risk, as well as those of her husband and daughter, she must piece together and confront the traumatic past that is haunting her.

Life, Animated, directed by Roger Ross Williams, written by Roger Ross Williams and David Teague. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams tells the remarkable story of an autistic young man, unable to speak for much of his childhood, who regained his ability to communicate through a life-long commitment to Disney animated movies. Life, Animated is a moving illustration of the power of love and understanding to fix those things in life that appear irreparable. An Orchard release.

Little Boxes, directed by Rob Meyer, written by Annie J Howell. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. It’s the summer before 6th grade, and Clark is the new-in-town biracial kid in a sea of white. Discovering that to be cool he needs to act ‘more black,’ he fumbles to meet expectations as rifts are exposed in his tight-knit family, his parents also striving to adjust. This poignant comedy about understanding identity is the second feature from TFF alumnus Rob Meyer. Executive Produced by Cary Fukunaga. With Melanie Lynskey, Nelsan Ellis, Armani Jackson, Oona Laurence, Janeane Garofalo, and Christine Taylor.

Magnus, directed by Benjamin Ree, written by Linn-Jeanethe Kyed and Benjamin Ree. (Norway) – World Premiere, Documentary. Carlsen is known as the ‘Mozart of Chess’ because, unlike many chess grandmasters, he possesses innate ability, an unbelievable memory, and unrivaled creativity. Memorized moves and calculated probability can only carry a chess player so far; Magnus exploits this weakness in his opponents on his way to becoming the World Chess Champion. In English, Norwegian with subtitles.

The Meddler, directed and written by Lorene Scafaria. (USA) – US Premiere, Narrative. Susan Sarandon delivers a magnetic performance as the doting, mother supreme Marnie Minervini, who crosses coasts to drop into the life of her screenwriter daughter Lori (Rose Byrne). Loosely autobiographical, Lorene Scafaria’s heartfelt comedy offers a wryly scripted defense of a woman struggling to cope with familial loss. Co-starring J.K. Simmons, Cecily Strong, Jerrod Carmichael, and Jason Ritter. A Sony Pictures Classic release.

Midsummer in Newtown, directed by Lloyd Kramer. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Midsummer in Newtown is a testament to the transformative force of artistic expression to pierce through the shadow cast by trauma. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, one grieving couple honors their daughter through music, while community children find their voice through a rock-pop version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Mr. Church, directed by Bruce Beresford, written by Susan McMartin. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. When a dying mother hires a talented cook (Eddie Murphy) to help take care of her young daughter, a lifelong friendship blooms. A tender coming-of-age family drama directed by the Oscar-nominated, Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy). With Britt Robertson, Xavier Samuel, Natascha McElhone, Lucy Fry.

My Blind Brother, directed and written by Sophie Goodhart. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. In Sophie Goodhart’s utterly original romantic comedy, Robbie (Adam Scott) is a champion blind athlete and local sports hero whose brother Bill (Nick Kroll) is always overlooked, even though he runs every marathon by his side. When both fall for the same lady (Jenny Slate), Bill must decide if he will put himself second again, or finally stand up to his blind brother. With Zoe Kazan, Charlie Hewson, Maryann Nagel, and Greg Violand.

My Scientology Movie, directed by John Dower, written by John Dower and Louis Theroux. (U.K.) – International Premiere, Documentary. BBC journalist Louis Theroux joins forces with director John Dower to explore the elusive Church of Scientology. With the help of a former high-ranking Scientologist, Theroux sets out to understand the furtive goings-on of the Church, armed with his irreverent humor and biting irony.

National Bird, directed by Sonia Kennebeck. (USA) – International Premiere, Documentary. Sonia Kennebeck takes on the controversial tactic of drone warfare, and demands accountability through the personal accounts—recollections, traumas, and responses—of three American military veterans whose lives have been shaken by the roles they played in this controversial method of attack. Executive produced by Wim Wenders and Errol Morris. In Dari, English with subtitles.

The Phenom, directed and written by Noah Buschel. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. When major-league rookie pitcher Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) chokes on the mound, he’s sidelined to the minor leagues and prescribed sessions with an unorthodox sports psychologist (Paul Giamatti). In the process, long-dormant conflicts with his overbearing father (Ethan Hawke) are brought to light. The Phenom is a captivating psychological study of an individual caught up in the expectations of the big-league sports machine.

Pistol Shrimps, directed and written by Brent Hodge. (USA, Canada) – World Premiere, Documentary. Sometimes girls just wanna have fun…and ball. Brent Hodge (A Brony Tale, TFF 2014) and Morgan Spurlock (Mansome, TFF 2012) introduce us to an eclectic group of women who play in an LA recreational basketball league, focusing on the Pistol Shrimps, a rag-tag group of actresses (including Aubrey Plaza, Parks and Recreation), comedians, musicians, and mothers who brought nationwide attention to the league that could.

Reset (Relève), directed and written by Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai. (France) – International Premiere, Documentary. Stunningly gorgeous and delicate in both subject and treatment, Reset depicts renowned choreographer and dancer Benjamin Millepied (also known for choreographing the dance sequences in Black Swan) as he attempts to rejuvenate the Paris Opera Ballet in his new position as director. With appearances by composer Nico Muhly, Opera alumna Aurélie Dupont, and designer Iris van Herpen, Reset is a delightfully aesthetic affair. In French with subtitles.

Shadow World, directed by Johan Grimonprez. (USA, Belgium, Denmark) – World Premiere, Documentary. In this eye-popping montage of archival and news footage and interviews, Johan Grimonprez exposes the shadow world of the global arms trade, where corruption, lies, and greed drive covert relationships between politicians, industry executives, military and intelligence officials, and arms dealers. Their aim: to perpetuate war in order to generate more profit, no matter what the human cost. In Arabic, English, Spanish with subtitles.

Strike a Pose, directed and written by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan. (Netherlands) – North American Premiere, Documentary. To the fans, they were the unforgettably talented men who supported the career of one of the world’s most beloved and controversial music artists: Madonna. Behind the scenes they were an impressionable group of young dancers whose lives were forever changed by her influence. Strike a Pose reunites the men 25 years later, providing the chance to learn about the emotional truth behind the glamorous facade.

Vincent N Roxxy, directed and written by Gary Michael Schultz. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Vincent (Emile Hirsch) is a small town loner, and Roxxy (Zoë Kravitz) a rebellious punk rocker. When they find themselves on the run from the same dangerous criminals, their feelings for one another deepen, despite their dangerous circumstances. Soon, the star-crossed lovers discover violence is never far behind them, in Gary Michael Schultz’s alternately romantic and brutal drama. With Emory Cohen, Zoey Deutch, Jason Mitchell, Scott Mescudi.

Win!, directed and written by Justin Webster. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. With inside access to the players, decision makers, and supporters who were central to the formation of New York City Football Club and its historic inaugural season, Win! offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to build a Major League Soccer team from the ground up, in the country’s most competitive sports market. In English, Spanish with subtitles.

Wolves, directed and written by Bart Freundlich. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Anthony Keller (Taylor John Smith), star of his NYC high school basketball team, is riding his way to Cornell on a sports scholarship. He can only maintain his popular jock facade for so long, as his troubled father Lee (Michael Shannon) has a gambling addiction that threatens to derail his dreams both on and off the court. Bart Freundlich’s powerfully directed drama co-stars Carla Gugino.

Youth In Oregon, directed by Joel David Moore, written by Andrew Eisen. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Frank Langella, Billy Crudup, Christina Applegate, Mary Kay Place, and Josh Lucas star in this dramedy about an ailing man travelling to Oregon to be legally euthanized. Langella is superb, capturing the frustration, resolution, and desperation that swirl around so profound a decision. Actor-turned-director Joel David Moore creates a powerful affirmation on the search that finds value in the life you have.

Always a thrill for the late night crowd, Tribeca Film Festival’s Midnight section features the best in horror, comedy, action, and camp. Made up of six narrative World Premieres, the section opens with Holidays, a horror anthology from some of today’s most exciting genre filmmakers. The piece even spills over into our Virtual Arcade: the festival is exhibiting Holidays: Christmas VR, which is an extension of Holiday‘s “Christmas” segment. It’s an apt opener, because just as the Holidays gang have reimagined all our favorite seasonal celebrations, the rest of the Midnight filmmakers put their own spin on favorite genre frameworks. From Here Alone‘s unsettlingly believable post-apocalypse to Fear, Inc.‘s Fincher-meets-Saw premise, and King Cobra‘s dramatization of a notorious true crime in the amateur porn world, each film infuses classic concepts with its own distinctive flavor.

Opening Film
Holidays, directed by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer, Nicholas McCarthy, Gary Shore, Sarah Adina Smith, Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Smith, Scott Stewart, and Adam Egypt Mortimer, written by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer, Nicholas McCarthy, Gary Shore, Sarah Adina Smith, Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Smith, and Scott Stewart. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Get in the holiday spirit with this horror anthology from some of today’s most visionary genre auteurs. From a very unholy Easter Bunny to a particularly macabre Valentine’s Day gift, Holidays is a full calendar year of festive stories, bringing out the most twisted and subversive sides of each seasonal celebration. With Seth Green, Clare Grant, Ruth Bradley, Sophie Traub, Jocelin Donahue, Harley, Morenstein, Lorenza Izzo, and Andrew Bowen.

In the Virtual Arcade, the Festival is exhibiting Holidays: Christmas VR, which is tied to Christmas, a part of the Holidays anthology feature.

Fear, Inc., directed by Vincent Masciale, written by Luke Barnett. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In this referential horror-comedy thriller, horror junkie Joe Foster gets to live out his ultimate scary movie fantasy courtesy of Fear Inc., a company that specializes in giving you the fright of your life. But as lines blur between what is and is not part of the game, Joe’s dream comes true begins to look more like a nightmare. With Lucas Neff, Caitlin Stasey, Chris Marquette, Stephanie Drake, Mark Moses, and Abigail Breslin.

Here Alone, directed by Rod Blackhurst, written by David Ebeltoft. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. A virus has ravaged human civilization, leaving two groups of survivors: those who have managed to avoid infection, and those driven to madness, violence, and an insatiable bloodlust. Living deep in the woods, Ann, Chris, and Olivia are forced to fend off the infected while foraging for supplies. But when a supply expedition goes terribly awry, one among their number must make a terrible choice. With Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson, and Shane West.

King Cobra, directed and written by Justin Kelly. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. This ripped-from-the-headlines drama covers the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart (Garrett Clayton), a.k.a. Brent Corrigan, before his falling out with the producer (Christian Slater) who made him famous. When Sean decides he’d be better off a free agent, a cash-strapped pair of rival producers (James Franco and Keegan Allen) aim to cash in by any means possible. With Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald.

Rebirth, directed and written by Karl Mueller. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Adam Goldberg, Pat Healy, Harry Hamlin and Nicky Whelan star as members of a mysterious self-help group (possibly a cult). Fran Kranz plays their newest recruit. Rebirth simultaneously satirizes the buddy comedy and embraces the thriller format, resulting in a film that is at one moment hilarious and at the next, deeply disturbing. A Netflix release.

Tiger Raid, directed by Simon Dixon, written by Simon Dixon, Mick Donnellan, Gareth Coulam Evans. (U.K.) – World Premiere, Narrative. Two mercenaries in Iraq speed through the dead of night, on their way to execute a covert mission. But as they near their objective, past misdeeds come violently to the surface, in this action-packed two-hander. With Sofia Boutella, Brian Gleeson, Damien Molony.

Special Event
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, directed by Justin Krook. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. From producers Matthew Weaver, Matt Colon, Happy Walters and David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi, TFF 2011) is an energetic, heart-pumping documentary about one of the most eminent DJs working today: Steve Aoki. In the lead-up to Aoki’s biggest show of his career, the doc examines the driving force behind his passion: Rocky Aoki, daredevil showman, Benihana founder, and Steve’s absent father.

Following the film, there will be a conversation and performance with Steve Aoki at The Beacon Theatre. Buy tickets now at Steve Aoki’s official site.

Special Screenings
Don’t Look Down, directed by Daniel Gordon. (U.K.) – World Premiere, Documentary. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, daredevil entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson made an audacious attempt to cross the Atlantic and Pacific in the world’s largest hot air balloon. Don’t Look Down is a personal revelation; a dramatic tale of survival and drive. Branson recounts his experience with uncanny vividity, and reveals how baiting death forever changed him.

Everybody Knows…Elizabeth Murray, directed by Kristi Zea. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. This tribute to the dynamic artist Elizabeth Murray, an intrinsic figure in New York’s contemporary art landscape from the 1970s until the early 2000s, highlights her struggle to balance personal and family ambition with artistic drive in a male-dominated art world. It also addresses her later battle with cancer, at the peak of her career.

Screening in partnership with the Whitney Museum of American Art where the film will screen.

The Man Who Knew Infinity, directed by Matthew Brown, written by Matthew Brown and Robert Kanigel. (U.K.) – New York Premiere, Narrative. In 1913, a self-taught mathematics prodigy Ramanujan (Dev Patel) traveled from his home in India to Trinity College in Cambridge to study with the esteemed professor GH Hardy (Jeremy Irons). Hardy fights for Ramanujan to be recognized as the two struggle with prejudice, illness, and culture on the road to perfecting the theorems that changed the course of history of math. In English, Tamil with subtitles. An IFC Films release.

Following the screening there will be an in depth conversation with Dev Patel and the film’s creators. Presented in association with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation/Tribeca Film Institute partnership, this Special Screening Event is co-sponsored by Bira 91.

Geezer, directed and written by Lee Kirk. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Perry (Billie Joe Armstrong) is a happily married father of two living a comfortable but sedate life in the suburbs. On the occasion of his 40th birthday, he seeks to revisit his former life as the lead singer in a popular punk band though his middle-aged reality quickly (and hilariously) clashes with the indulgences of his youth. With Fred Armisen, Selma Blair, Judy Greer and Chris Messina.

With a special live performance from Billie Joe Armstrong following the film.

Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back, directed and written by Maura Axelrod. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. An art world upstart, provocative and elusive artist Maurizio Cattelan made his career on playful and subversive works that send up the artistic establishment, until a retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2011 finally solidified his place in the contemporary art canon. Axelrod’s equally playful profile leaves no stone unturned in trying to figure out: who is Maurizio Cattelan? In English, Italian with subtitles.

Screening in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum where the film will screen.

Pelé: Birth of a Legend, directed and written by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. From the slums of Brazil to center stage at the world’s biggest sporting event, Pelé’s rise to become the youngest-ever World Cup winner, at the age of 17, was nothing short of a miracle. Full of laughs, life lessons, and heart, this inspiring biopic is perfect for introducing a new generation to the greatest soccer player of all time. With Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta, Seu Jorge, Colm Meaney. An IFC Films release.

Followed by a conversation with Pelé.

SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock, directed by Barnaby Clay. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Legendary music photographer Mick Rock is best known for his iconic photographs of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Queen, and countless others. In a documentary as rock-n-roll as its subject, Mick Rock guides us through his psychedelic, shambolic first-hand experiences as the visual record-keeper of these myths and legends.

With a special live music tribute following the screening.

The Show of Shows: 100 Years of Vaudeville, Circuses and Carnivals, directed by Benedikt Erlingsson. (U.K., Iceland) – North American Premiere, Documentary. Benedikt Erlingsson brings us a world of imagination with a compendium of wonderful unseen archival footage of circus performers, cabaret acts, and fairground attractions. The films are set to a haunting electronic score composed by members of Sigur Rós in collaboration with Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson.

Screening in partnership with MoMA PS1 where the film will screen inside the VW Dome.

Work In Progress

Ghostheads, directed and written by Brendan Mertens. (Canada, USA) – Work-In-Progress, Documentary. Join us for a special sneak preview screening of Brendan Mertens’ documentary exploring the many faces of Ghostbusters fandom and celebrating 30 years of one of cinema’s most iconic franchises. Featuring interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman, Sigourney Weaver, and Paul Feig.

Untitled Bill Nye Documentary, directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg. (USA) – Work-In-Progress, Documentary. When it raised over $800,000 on Kickstarter, The Untitled Bill Nye Documentary broke the fundraising site’s records and instantly became one of the most anticipated upcoming documentaries. Join the filmmakers as they discuss their process, collaboration, and fundraising strategy, and preview exclusive scenes from their upcoming doc.

Sponsored by Mohegan Sun

The ESPN Sports Film Festival kicks of on Thursday, April 14th with the Gala premiere of The Magic Moment, a documentary chronicling the 1990s Orlando Magic dynasty headlined by superstars Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway. The film will premiere on ESPN that night with live simulcast from the Tribeca red carpet, with special guests including Shaquille O’Neal.

Jeff and Michael Zimbalest return to the Tribeca Film Festival with the World Premiere of their inspiring biopic Pelé: Birth of a Legend, about Pelé’s rise from the slums of Brazil to become the youngest ever World Cup winner at the age of 17 (Pelé will be in attendance). Other films explore a new soccer franchise in New York, a famous chess player, a Native American girls high school lacrosse team, and an LA recreational basketball league, made up of actresses, comedians, musicians, and mothers.

This Magic Moment, co-directed by Erin Leyden and Gentry Kirby. (USA) – World Premiere. Documentary. In the mid-1990s, Orlando was the epicenter of excitement in the NBA. The young franchise, led by mega-stars Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway, beat Michael Jordan and the mighty Bulls en route to the 1995 NBA Finals. They lost to the Rockets that year but it was clear this team from Orlando was a dynasty in the making. But the Magic’s moment on top was never fully realized, a classic “what-could-have-been” story, where success came fast and big and then ‘poof,’ the magic was gone.

Feature films:
El Clásico, directed by Halkawt Mustafa, written by Anders Fagerholt and Halkawt Mustafa. (Norway, Iraqi Kurdistan Region) – North American Premiere.
Keepers of the Game, directed by Judd Ehrlich. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Magnus, directed by Benjamin Ree, written by Linn-Jeanethe Kyed and Benjamin Ree. (Norway) – World Premiere, Documentary.
My Blind Brother, directed and written by Sophie Goodhart. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative.
Pelé: Birth of a Legend, directed and written by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.
Pistol Shrimps, directed and written by Brent Hodge. (USA, Canada) – World Premiere, Documentary.
Win!, directed and written by Justin Webster. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.

All of this year’s Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival films will screen throughout the day as ‘Sports Saturday’ on Saturday, April 23 at Regal Battery Park Stadium 11. The films will also screen throughout the Festival, prior to this date.

Leave your thoughts on the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Spotlight, Midnight, Special Screenings lineup (via Tribecafilm) below in the comments section. For more Tribeca Film Festival news, photos, videos, and information, please visit our Tribeca Film Festival Page, and consider subscribing to us by Email, “following” us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ or “liking” us on Facebook for quick updates. The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 13 to April 24, 2016.


About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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