Tribeca Film Institute®-Supported Films at Tribeca Film Festival® 2017

We’re thrilled to share that nine Tribeca Film Institute-supported films will be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. Check out the list below and be sure to add these fantastic films to your must-see list during the festival!

 

ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM 
(Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund 2015)
Directed by Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard
Feature Documentary • 84 Minutes • World Premiere
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By the people and for the people, community organizing group ACORN became a major player in the 2008 presidential election that resulted in Barack Obama’s victory. Conservatives took issue with the group, firing accusations of voter fraud and government waste at the left-leaning organization. The burgeoning right-wing opposition found unexpected allies in James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. The pair of young conservatives and amateur journalists posed as a pimp and prostitute to try to expose ACORN’s business practices via a hidden camera. The ensuing political drama spawned the now-omnipresent Breitbart Media, drove an even deeper wedge between Democrats and Republicans, and served as a prescient foreshadowing for much of today’s political climate. A comprehensive non-fiction political thriller, Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard’s blow-by-blow account of the ACORN scandal encapsulates the conflicts and contradictions of our political present.

 

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON
(TFI Network 2016)
Directed by David France
Feature Documentary • 105 Minutes • World Premiere
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Academy Award® nominated director David France’s (How to Survive a Plague) new documentary centers on self-described “street queen” Marsha P. Johnson, legendary fixture in New York City’s gay ghetto, who along with fellow trans icon Sylvia Rivera, founded Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), a trans activist group based in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Mysteriously, Marsha was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. At the time, the NYPD pegged her death as a suicide, a claim that Marsha’s comrades have always firmly rejected. Structured as a whodunit, with activist Victoria Cruz cast as detective and audience surrogate, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson celebrates the lasting political legacy of Marsha P. Johnson, while seeking to finally solve the mystery of her unexplained death.

 

THE DEPARTURE
(Tribeca All Access® 2015)
Directed by Lana Wilson
Feature Documentary • 87 Minutes • World Premiere
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Lana Wilson follows up her award-winning documentary After Tiller with this lyrical, intimate character study of the complex figure Ittetsu Nemoto, an aimless and rebellious former punk rocker-turned-Buddhist priest. Most famously, he is renowned in Japan for saving the lives of countless suicidal men and women through his wise and compassionate counsel. But Nemoto is now approaching middle-age with a wife and young boy of his own, when he learns his life is at risk from heart disease, compounded by the heavy emotional workload of supporting those who no longer want to live. When saving others takes such a toll, can he find the resiliency to save himself? The Departure is an intimate portrait of one quietly extraordinary man who has helped so many learn to live, and now must find the strength to learn from his own advice.

 

THE FAMILY I HAD
(Camden/TFI Filmmaker Retreat 2016, TFI Network 2016)
Directed by Katie Green and Carlye Rubin
Feature Documentary • 77 Minutes • World Premiere
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A family is torn apart by an unthinkable crime: the brutal and seemingly unmotivated murder of a young girl by her teenage brother. At the center of the story is the beleaguered single mother Charity, now mother to a murdered child and the murderer himself- how does she move forward, and what kind of relationship can she forge with her now incarcerated son? Devastatingly honest, The Family I Had performs a family archaeology to understand not only this tragedy itself, but the generations of intra-family violence, mental illness, and unspoken secrets that preceded it. More than just an undeniably compelling true crime story, Katie Green & Carlye Rubin’s The Family I Had is a study in both the power and the limits of family, forgiveness, and filial love. 

 

NOBODY’S WATCHING
(TFI Latin America Fund 2013)
Directed by Julie Solomonoff
Feature Narrative • 102 Minutes • World Premiere
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Nico is a famous actor in Argentina, but in New York, nobody takes notice. After giving up a successful career in his home country for a chance to make it in the Big Apple, he needs to juggle bartending, babysitting and odd jobs to keep himself afloat. Starting from square one is hard in the city of dreams. With each role Nico takes on, he puts on a new persona in order to fit in. He performs the ideal bartender, the up-and-coming actor, the friend, the father figure. But when old friends from Buenos Aires come to visit, he needs to juggle the image of his old life with the reality of the struggling actor in New York City. 

In a moving depiction of this vibrant city, director Julia Solomonoff’s touching feature presents a portrait of immigrant solitude. Nico faces the difficulty of finding not only a home, but himself amidst the indifferent metropolis. Nobody’s Watching questions how we adjust when we lose our audience.

 

NO MAN’S LAND
(Camden/TFI Filmmaker Retreat 2016, Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund 2016)
Directed by David Byars
Feature Documentary • 81 Minutes • World Premiere
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In January 2016, armed protestors in Oregon occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to call attention to what they felt was an intrusion by the federal government into their right to make a living. In a larger sense, the “patriot community” introduced itself as disgruntled American citizens with grounds for airing their grievances against a federal government that didn’t have their best interests at heart. The federal government begged to differ. 

David Byars’ No Man's Land offers a detailed account of the impasse, displaying unprecedented access to the protagonists of this incident, and culminating in a thrilling climax that resulted in the arrest and acquittal of occupation leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and left another man dead. The film presents an unbiased snapshot of a crisis that ultimately proved a foreshadowing of our current political climate, and what may turn out to be a blueprint of future domestic encounters between our government and civilians.

 

THE REAGAN SHOW
(Tribeca All Access 2015)
Directed by Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez
Feature Documentary • 75 Minutes • World Premiere
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A Republican president takes office at the height of his Hollywood-powered, camera-ready fame. He governs with lenses constantly flashing, and claims that he’s just the public face in front of real policy-makers and dangerous global threats. That’s the story of America’s 40th president, Ronald Reagan. The movie star, known for playing cowboys and gun-toting heroes, took over the White House in 1981 and led the United States against Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s threats of war. Amidst the actual governing, though, Reagan’s presidency set a new standard for video documentation. Cameras followed Reagan’s every move, leading opposing pundits to accuse him of “majoring in public relations” more so than hardline presidential affairs. 

Comprised entirely of archival footage taken during those pre-reality-television years, The Reagan Show is a highly entertaining and informative look at how Ronald Reagan redefined the look and feel of what it means to be the POTUS. Co-directors Pacho Velez and Sierra Pettengill’s film uncannily provides a fascinating precedent for the made-for-TV President.

 

THE SENSITIVES
(TFI Documentary Fund 2014)
Directed by Drew Xanthopoulos
Feature Documentary • 83 Minutes • World Premiere
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In Drew Xanthopoulos’ intimate and cinematic documentary, we meet Joe, a patriarch whose affliction is so all-encompassing that he’s indifferent to his long-suffering wife; and twin brothers Sam and Nathan, musicians who are no longer able to breathe outside of their real-life sterile “plastic bubble,” and whose mother, Karen, developed her illness when she was only 17. These characters all suffer from debilitating sensitivities to their environment. Whether from ambient chemicals, genetics, electricity, or even psychogenic reasons, the cause is not clear, but the reality of the effects on these individuals is undeniable. Fortunately, Susie Molloy, a quiet firebrand who is chemically sensitive herself, seeks to help. In her, those afflicted by this modern malady have found an advocate whose mission is to de-stigmatize this community, and in telling their stories, Xanthopoulos has crafted a film itself as deeply sensitive as its title suggests.

 

TRUE CONVICTION
(Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund 2014)
Directed by Jamie Meltzer
Feature Documentary • 84 Minutes • World Premiere
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There’s a new detective agency in Dallas Texas, started by three exonerated men with decades in prison served between them who look to free innocent people behind bars. True Conviction follows these change-makers as they not only try to rebuild their lives and families, but also attempt to fix the criminal justice system. Director Jamie Meltzer takes viewers into the real-life crime drama that surrounds these freedom fighters on their quest for justice. Brought together through the painful experiences of serving time in jail for crimes they didn’t commit, these brave men embark on a journey of a lifetime to free those wrongly accused and still behind bars. As the drama unfolds, we are given privileged access and insight not only into the personal lives and struggles of the detectives, but also to the difficulties they face in the pursuit of justice. True Conviction is an incredible portrait of those who are able to overcome their past, and use the knowledge and lessons from the journey to help others and effect real change.