Tribeca Film Festival Lineup Includes Whitney Houston, ISIS, Rodney King Riots Docs
Art and Experience: The Tribeca Film Festival on Thursday unveiled its competition lineup for the U.S. Narrative, Documentary and International Narrative categories, as well as the Spotlight, Viewpoints and Midnight sections. After receiving a record 8,700 submissions, the slimmed-down slate includes 78 world premieres and 37 feature directorial debuts. Of the 98 titles selected — representing 28 countries — 32 projects are directed by women.
Among the world premieres are narratives starring Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Barkhad Abdi, Zoey Deutch, Al Pacino and Chris O’Dowd, plus another installment of Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon and Michael Winterbottom’s road trip adventure. The documentaries screening throughout the fest include the world premieres of Netflix’s portrait of President Donald Trump’s advisor in Get Me Roger Stone, National Geographic’s comprehensive Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS and Rodney King Riots look-back LA 92, HBO’s rape kit exploration I Am Evidence, Alex Gibney’s Irish crime doc No Stone Unturned and David France’s The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, which looks at the black transgender activist who spearheaded the modern gay civil rights movement, as well as films centering on the lives of Whitney Houston and Burt Reynolds. Buzzy Sundance and Berlin titles like The Dinner, Chuck and City of Ghosts are also represented.
The fest, which is set to run April 19-30, will also honor Earth Day (April 22) by screening documentaries that focus on critical and timely issues that have an impact on our planet, including climate change, food waste and animal extinction. It also unveiled its virtual reality slate, with 29 exhibitions from Kathryn Bigelow, Pharrell Williams and Eric Darnell, among others. The Storyscapes and Virtual arcade sections will be housed at the Tribeca Festival Hub (50 Varick Street).
“It’s uncertain and tumultuous times like these that we need artists and storytellers the most, and this year’s program is a testament to the unending capacity of film for impact, empathy, and even much needed escapism,” said Cara Cusumano, Tribeca’s new director of programming. “Each in their own way, these 98 films fill me with optimism and inspiration at the unique power of our medium, and the eyes of a talented filmmaker to inspire, challenge, and maybe even change the world.”
Added Paula Weinstein, executive vp, Tribeca Enterprises: “In the current climate, both in the literal and political sense, it is more important than ever to elevate stories about the moments we are going through as a nation and as global citizens. We were really moved by this group of projects that reflect our world and the critical tipping point we have reached.”
Directed and written by Brian Shoaf (USA) – World Premiere. While battling her own anxieties, therapist Emily Milburton (Jenny Slate) spends her time listening to other people’s problems. Her professional and personal worlds collide when Emily’s newest patient, Josh Norman (Zachary Quinto), walks through her door. Mentally ill and experiencing hallucinations, Josh harbors complex feelings for his estranged brother, Craig (Jon Hamm). Things begin to get interesting when Emily falls for Craig. With Sheila Vand, Tonya Pinkins, Marin Ireland.
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Directed and written by Angus MacLachlan. (USA) – World Premiere. Still reeling over the recent death of their father, siblings Jesse (Terry Kinney) and Tracy (Amy Ryan) are attempting to settle into their new lives in his absence. Their simple existence is unexpectedly disrupted by the sudden arrival of three mysterious brothers, camping on their land and possessing a surprising connection to their family farm. With Max Gail, Francis Guinan, Steve Coulter.
Directed and written by Quinn Shephard. (USA) – World Premiere. Abigail (Quinn Shephard) is an outcast who seeks solace in fantasy worlds. When high school drama teacher Jeremy (Chris Messina) casts her in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible,’ Abigail’s confidence blooms. But soon her relationship with Jeremy begins to move beyond innocent flirtation, and it in turn fuels a vengeful jealousy that quickly spirals out of control and brings about a chain of events that draws parallels to Salem. With Nadia Alexander, Tate Donovan, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Tessa Albertson.
Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, written by Justin Benson. (USA) – World Premiere. Years after escaping a cult as teenagers, brothers Aaron and Justin return to their former home after receiving a mysterious message. While Aaron is quickly drawn back into the fold, Justin remains uneasy. However, neither can deny it when strange events begin happening that seem to mirror the cult’s unusual axioms. Following their Tribeca breakout, Resolution, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead direct and star in another intensely original genre hybrid. With Tate Ellington, Callie Hernandez, James Jordan, Lew Temple.
Directed by Max Winkler, written by Alex McAulay, Max Winkler, Matt Spicer. (USA) – World Premiere. Rebellious and quick-witted, 17-year-old firecracker Erica Vandross (Zoey Deutch) kills time with her friends gawking at older men in bowling alleys and sexually scheming guys out of their money. However, her biggest scheme is still to come when her mother asks her boyfriend and his troubled, fresh-out-of-rehab son to move in with them in this biting dark comedy. With Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Tim Heidecker, Joey Morgan, Dylan Gelula.
Keep the Change
Directed and written by Rachel Israel. (USA) – World Premiere. In a support group for adults living with autism, David—a smooth talker struggling to hide his disability—meets a woman with similar learning challenges, and they quickly forge an intimate bond. Starring a cast of nonprofessional actors on the autism spectrum, Keep the Change details an underrepresented community with authenticity, optimism and humor. With Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, Nicky Gottlieb, Will Deaver, Jessica Walter, Tibor Feldman.
Love After Love
Directed by Russell Harbaugh, written by Russell Harbaugh, Eric Mendelsohn. (USA) – World Premiere. The world of a mother and her two adult sons feels emotionally untethered following the death of their family’s patriarch. Andie MacDowell, Chris O’Dowd, and James Adomian deliver searing performances in this absorbing story of a family losing and regaining their equilibrium in the wake of loss. With Juliet Rylance, Dree Hemingway, Gareth Williams.
One Percent More Humid
Directed and written by Liz W. Garcia. (USA) – World Premiere. Catherine (Julia Garner) and Iris (Juno Temple) are childhood friends home from college for a hot New England summer. As they attempt to enjoy parties and skinny-dipping and the usual vacation hijinks, a shared trauma in their past becomes increasingly difficult to suppress. As the wedge between the friends grows, they each pursue forbidden affairs to cope. With Alessandro Nivola, Maggie Siff, Philip Ettinger, Mamoudou Athie.
Directed and written by Damon Cardasis. (USA) – World Premiere. 14-year-old Ulysses is a shy and effeminate teen being raised in the Bronx by his strict Aunt Rose. He finds escape in a rich fantasy life of music and dance, and soon with a vibrant transgender youth community called Saturday Church. Damon Cardasis’ directorial debut is a rousing celebration of one boy’s search for his identity. With Luka Kain, Margot Bingham, Regina Taylor, Marquis Rodriguez, MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Alexia Garcia.
Directed by Nathan Silver, written by Nathan Silver, C. Mason Wells. (USA, France) – World Premiere. There’s a fine line between lust and obsession—and for flight attendant Gina (Lindsay Burdge), that line is often difficult to see. Grieving over a lover’s suicide, Gina loses her grip on reality after falling for a suave Parisian bartender. Tribeca alum Nathan Silver (Actor Martinez) takes cues from ‘70s Euro erotic psychodramas in this gorgeously retro and piercingly intimate look at one-sided love. With Damien Bonnard, Esther Garrel, Lola Bessis, Jacques Nolot, Françoise Lebrun. In English, French with subtitles.
The Divine Order (Die göttliche Ordnung)
Directed and written by Petra Volpe. (Switzerland) – International Premiere. Political leaders in Switzerland cited ‘Divine Order’ as the reason why women still did not have the right to vote as late as 1970. Director Petra Volpe explores this surprising history through the story of Nora, a quiet housewife from a quaint village searching for the fierce suffragette leader inside her. With Marie Leuenberger, Max Simonischek, Rachel Braunschweig, Sibylle Brunner, Marta Zoffoli, Bettina Sucky. In Swiss-German with subtitles.
Holy Air (Hawa Moqaddas)
Directed and written by Shady Srour. (Israel) – World Premiere. Desperate to care for his pregnant wife and ailing father, Adam (writer/director Shady Srour) embarks on his latest, riskiest business venture: selling bottled holy air. A sharp comedy set in modern-day Nazareth, Holy Airexamines the complicated emotions that go into living as a modern, progressive, Christian family on the world’s most spiritual ground. With Laëtitia Eïdo, Shmulik Calderon, Tareq Copti, Dalia Okal, Bian Anteer. In Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Italian with subtitles.
Ice Mother (Bába z ledu)
Directed and written by Bohdan Sláma. (Czech Republic, Slovakia, France) – International Premiere. Hana lives alone in a big villa with only weekly visits from her two belligerent sons and their families to look forward to. While on a stroll with her grandson one day, she rescues Brona, an elderly ice swimmer with a hen for a best friend, from drowning. This encounter invigorates Hana, introducing her to a new hobby and unexpected romance. With Zuzana Kronerová, Pavel Nový, Daniel Vízek, Václav Neužil. In Czech with subtitles.
King of Peking
Directed and written by Sam Voutas. (China, USA, Australia) – World Premiere. Big Wong and his son Little Wong are traveling film projectionists, screening Hollywood movies for local villagers. Faced with losing custody of his son, Big Wong starts making and selling illegal bootleg DVDs out of the old movie theater where he works, despite Little Wong’s objections. More than a father-son story, King of Peking is a love letter to cinema. With Zhao Jun, Wang Naixun, Han Qing, Si Chao, Geng Bowen, Yi Long. In Mandarin with subtitles.
Directed by Amit V Masurkar, written by Mayank Tewari, Amit V Masurka. (India) – North American Premiere. India, the world’s largest democracy, is preparing for an election—and with more than 800 million voters, this is a logistical puzzle of epic proportions. With disarming charm, this film probes the nature of democracy as Newton, a young, idealistic office worker, becomes the torch bearer for political fairness when he volunteers to head up a polling station in the deepest jungle for 76 remote voters. With Rajkummar Rao, Anjali Patil, Pankaj Tripathi, Raghubir Yadav. In Hindi with subtitles.
Nobody’s Watching (Nadie Nos Mira)
Directed by Julia Solomonoff, written by Julia Solomonoff, Christina Lazaridi. (Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, USA, Spain) – World Premiere. After giving up a successful soap opera career in his native Argentina for a chance to make it in New York, Nico finds himself staying afloat with odd jobs bartending and babysitting. In a moving depiction of the vibrant city, Nobody’s Watching questions who is watching and how we adjust ourselves accordingly. With Guillermo Pfening, Rafael Ferro, Paola Baldion, Elena Roger, Cristina Morrison, Kerri Sohn, Marco Antonio Caponi. In English, Spanish with subtitles.
Directed and written by Rainer Sarnet. (Estonia) – International Premiere. Dive into the cold, snowy landscape of 19th-century Estonia, where werewolves and spirits roam free, and Jesus co-exists with kratts, the farmers’ mythological helpers made of tools and bones. Farmer girl Liina’s doomed romance with local boy Hans is at the center of director Rainer Sarnet’s pagan, black and white world, where the characters search for meaning in their surroundings and ponder the existence of the soul. With Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Arvo Kukumägi, Katariina Unt, Taavi Eelmaa, Dieter Laser. In Estonian with subtitles.
Directed by Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas, written by Ettore D’Alessandro, Carolina Encarnacion. (Dominican Republic) – World Premiere. Cisco has his back against the ropes. After spending 15 years in an American jail, he’s returned to the Dominican Republic yet is unable to get a job, a problem compounded by his mother’s ailing health and his younger brother’s delinquent habits. To make money, he’s resorted to illegal street fighting. But Cisco finds a possible salvation in Nichi, an Italian ex-boxer who sees dollar signs in Cisco’s gritty fighting skills. With Algenis Pérez Soto, Ettore D’Alessandro, Laura Gómez, Ricardo A. Toribio. In Spanish with subtitles.
Son of Sofia (O Gios tis Sofias)
Directed and written by Elina Psykou. (Bulgaria, France, Greece) – World Premiere. Set during the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, 11-year-old Misha is travelling from Russia to live with his mother in Athens in the home of an elderly Greek man she works for. When he learns this man is actually his new father, Misha runs away but doesn’t have the stomach for life on the streets. Returning to his new home, he clings to the stories he grew up with, melding them with reality to create a dark urban fairytale. With Viktor Khomut, Valery Tcheplanowa, Thanasis Papageorgiou, Artemis Havalits, Christos Stergioglou, Iro Maltezou. In Greek, Russian with subtitles.
Tom of Finland
Directed by Dome Karukoski, written by Aleksi Bardy. (Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany) – International Premiere. This is the true story of cult artist Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, and the events that influenced his iconic homoerotic drawings. From Finnish army uniforms to motorcycle leathers, Tom finds inspiration in his European post-war surroundings, even as conservative Finland is not quite ready for his transgressive work. Eventually Tom and his art make their way to dazzling Los Angeles in time for the sexual revolution and its aftermath. With Pekka Strang, Lauri Tilkanen, Werner Daehn, Jessica Grabowsky. In Finnish with subtitles.
Directed by Elvira Lind, written by Elvira Lind, Adam Nielsen. (Denmark, Israel, USA) – World Premiere. In her moving and cinematic documentary, Elvira Lind follows American dancer Bobbi Jene Smith as she makes the decision of a lifetime. Bobbi returns to the U.S., leaving behind a loving boyfriend and a successful 10-year run as a star dancer of the famous Israeli dance company Batsheva. Lind intimately portrays Bobbi’s rigorous creative process as she starts fresh in San Francisco, while still working to maintain a long-distance relationship.
Directed by Camilla Hall. (USA) – World Premiere. In 1990, a California citizen journalist began recording police interactions with the public. A one-man operation, he titled his work “Copwatch.” Now, decades later, the initiative has expanded to cities around the country, including New York, where Ramsey Orta filmed Eric Garner’s fatal arrest. In her feature film debut, director Camilla Hall crafts an intriguing and timely profile of citizen-journalist-activists who seek to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
Directed by David France, written by David France, Mark Blane. (USA) – World Premiere. Featuring never-before-seen footage and rediscovered interviews, Academy Award nominee David France (How to Survive a Plague) follows a new investigation into the mysterious death of self-described “street queen” Marsha P. Johnson. Credited as one of the courageous black transgender activists who instigated the Stonewall Riots of 1969, thereby spearheading the modern gay civil rights movement.
Directed by Lana Wilson. (USA) – World Premiere. Lana Wilson follows up her award-winning film, After Tiller, with this profile of Ittetsu Nemoto, a Buddhist priest renowned for saving the lives of countless suicidal people. But Nemoto, suffering from heart disease and supporting his wife and young son, risks his life carrying the heavy emotional load to support those who no longer want to live. When saving others takes such a toll, can he find the resiliency to save himself? In Japanese with subtitles.
No Man’s Land
Directed by David Byars. (USA) – World Premiere. “We are patriots,” utters one of the characters in David Byars’ detailed, on-the-ground account of the standoff between ranchers occupying Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and federal authorities. That statement—believed to be true by the armed occupiers—underlines the film, which unspools in measured pace and slowly unpacks its loaded meaning.
The Reagan Show
Directed by Pacho Velez and Sierra Pettengill, written by Josh Alexander, Pacho Velez. (USA) – World Premiere. Constructed entirely through 1980s network news and videotapes created by the Reagan administration itself, Velez and Pettengill’s prescient documentary presents Ronald Reagan as the first made-for-TV president—a man whose experience as a performer and public relations expert made him a unique match for an emerging modern political landscape, and for his chief rival: charismatic Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
A River Below
Directed by Mark Grieco. (Colombia, USA) – World Premiere. Deep in the Amazon, a renowned marine biologist and a reality TV star are each working to save the indigenous pink river dolphin from being hunted to extinction. When a scandal erupts, ethical questions are raised as murky as the waters of the Amazon River. Mark Grieco’s (Marmato) surprising documentary digs into the ethics of activism in the modern media age. In English, Portuguese, Spanish with subtitles. Earth Day Screening
Directed by Drew Xanthopoulos. (USA) – World Premiere. Meet the Sensitives, people who are debilitatingly sensitive to modern life—electricity, chemicals, you name it. Their symptoms and coping mechanisms might vary, but they all face the unusual and heartbreaking choice of either living in dangerous and uncertain conditions with their loved ones, or in physical and technological isolation. Director Drew Xanthopoulos captures their lives in cinematic verite style.
Directed and written by Oren Jacoby. (USA) – World Premiere. In the early 1980s, Richard Hambleton was New York City’s precursor to Banksy, a rogue street artist whose silhouette paintings haunted the sides of Manhattan buildings. Like so many other geniuses of his time, he fell victim to drug addiction, even as his work continued to rise in both demand and value. Shadowman doubles as both a time capsule of a forgotten New York City era, and a redemption story.
A Suitable Girl
Directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sarita Khurana. (USA, India) – World Premiere. Dipti, Amrita, Ritu and Seema are all young, modern women in India looking to get married—some desperately, some reluctantly. A Suitable Girl follows them over the course of four years as they juggle family, career and friends, intimately capturing their thoughts on arranged marriage, giving them a voice, and offering a unique perspective into the nuances of this institution. In English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi with subtitles.
Directed by Jamie Meltzer, written by Jamie Meltzer, Jeff Gilbert. (USA) – World Premiere. 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 from behind bars. True Convictionfollows these change-makers with no small task in front of them as they rebuild their lives and families, learn to investigate cases, work to support one another, and try and fix the criminal justice system.
When God Sleeps
Directed and written by Till Schauder. (USA, Germany) – World Premiere. “My songs didn’t make me famous. The fatwa did.” And so we embark on the journey of rapper Shahin Najafi, whose bold style and transgressive lyrics put him in the crosshairs of religious clerics in his native Iran. When God Sleeps tells the story of this tireless artist-activist against the backdrop of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and the European right-wing backlash against Middle Eastern refugees. In English, Farsi, German with subtitles.
The Boy Downstairs
Directed and written by Sophie Brooks. (USA) – World Premiere. Zosia Mamet exhibits winsome charm as Diana, navigating the rite of passage of every single New Yorker: the search for an apartment. She seemingly finds a jewel of a home until realizing her downstairs neighbor is her ex whose heart she broke. Like a true New Yorker, she keeps the apartment. With Matthew Shear, Deirdre O’Connell, Sarah Ramos, Diana Irvine.
Buster’s Mal Heart
Directed and written by Sarah Adina Smith. (USA) – New York Premiere. A fugitive hotly pursued by rangers reviews the pathway to his present circumstances and finds conflicting stories. A spellbinding Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) brings impressive range to Sarah Adina Smith’s sophomore feature: a twisting, mind-bending thriller in which the typical rules don’t apply, least of all to a man who cannot be certain of anything he’s done. With DJ Qualls, Kate Lyn Sheil, Sukha Belle Potter, Lin Shaye. A Well Go USA release.
Directed by Philippe Falardeau, written by Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl. (USA) – US Premiere. Chuck is the true story of Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber), the man who inspired the billion-dollar film series Rocky—a liquor salesman from New Jersey who went 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali. Wepner suffered numerous losses, knockouts, and broken noses in his ten years in the ring, and lived an epic life of drugs, booze, and wild women outside of it. With Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman, Naomi Watts, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport. An IFC Films release.
Directed and written by Dito Montiel. (USA) – World Premiere. Ed Helms stars as Eddie Krumble, a professional audience member who gains unwanted notoriety when a late-night talk show turns his life into a national obsession, threatening his budding relationship with gas station attendant Judy (Amanda Seyfried). Directed by Dito Montiel (Boulevard,Tribeca ‘14), The Clapper is a heartfelt comedy featuring Tracy Morgan, Adam Levine, Russell Peters, PJ Byrne, and appearances from Rob Gronkowski, Mark Cuban and the late Alan Thicke.
Directed and written by Bryan Buckley. (USA) – World Premiere. When rookie journalist Jay Bahadur (Evan Peters) has an inspiring chance encounter with his idol (Al Pacino), he uproots his life and moves to Somalia looking for the story of a lifetime. Hooking up with a local fixer (Barkhad Abdi), he attempts to embed himself with the local Somali pirates, only to find himself quickly in over his head. Based on the true story of one reporter’s risk-taking adventure that ultimately brought the world an unprecedented first-person account of the pirates of Somalia. With Melanie Griffith. In English, Somali with subtitles.
Directed and written by Oren Moverman. (USA) – North American Premiere. Two brothers, congressman Stan and caustic former teacher Paul, are locked in sibling rivalry and are forced to come head to head over a dinner with their wives. As the two couples (Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan and Rebecca Hall) sit down to dine, their dark family secrets are drudged on to the table along with the main course, in this adaptation of the Herman Koch bestseller. With Chloe Sevigny. An Orchard release.
Literally, Right Before Aaron
Directed and written by Ryan Eggold. (USA) – World Premiere. Still reeling from his breakup with college sweetheart Allison (Cobie Smulders), Adam’s (Justin Long) world is thrown into further chaos when he’s surprisingly invited to attend her wedding. Over a surreal weekend, he stumbles through a nightmarish rehearsal dinner and drinks his way through the reception as he thinks back on where it all went wrong with the one that got away. Ryan Eggold directs this refreshingly unconventional romantic comedy. With John Cho, Luis Guzman, Kristen Schaal, Leah Thompson, Ryan Hansen.
Directed and written by Azazel Jacobs. (USA) – World Premiere. Years into a dispassionate marriage, a long-married couple, both seriously involved with other people, resolve to call it quits. To their surprise, their decision reignites a dormant spark that leads to an impulsive affair. Broadway legend Tracy Letts and the always-luminous Debra Winger shine in writer/director Azazel Jacob’s (Terri) latest. With Debra Winger, Tracy Letts, Melora Walters, Aiden Gillen, Tyler Ross, Jessica Sula. An A24 release.
Directed and written by Julian Rosefeldt. (Germany) – New York Premiere. All current art is fake. Nothing is original. These are some of the statements exposed in artist Julian Rosefeldt’s stunning piece. Starring Cate Blanchett, we witness a series of vignettes which draw upon artist manifestos that question the true nature of art. A chameleonic Blanchett gives a tour-de-force performance as she transforms in each segment like never before.A FilmRise Release.
Directed and written by Brian Crano. (USA) – World Premiere. Anna (Rebecca Hall) and Will (Dan Stevens) are the definition of long-term monogamy, and with great careers, an impending marriage, and a potential new home, things couldn’t be better. But after a close friend’s joke about her non-existent sexual experience hits too close to home, Anna proposes to Will an experiment to broaden their horizons without sabotaging their relationship: to try an open relationship—together. With Gina Gershon, Francois Arnaud, Morgan Spector, David Joseph Craig, Jason Sudeikis.
Directed by Guillaume Canet, written by Guillaume Canet, Rodolphe Lauga, Philippe Lefebvre. (France) – International Premiere. Real-life couple Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard play themselves in this satirical comedy about a couple dealing with aging in the limelight. After Guillaume gets told by a co-star that he’s just not that cool anymore, he goes to increasingly extreme lengths to prove her wrong, putting his happy domestic life to the test. With Gilles Lellouche, Philippe Lefebvre, Camille Rowe, Yvan Attal. In French with subtitles.
Directed by Jamie Dagg, written by The China Brothers. (USA) – World Premiere. Jon Bernthal, Rosemarie DeWitt, Imogen Poots, Odessa Young, and a spectacular Christopher Abbott star in this gritty neo-Western with echoes of the early Coen Brothers: a burglary-homicide rattles the residents of a small Alaska town. Jamie Dagg’s sophomore feature is a haunting drama about the predator in each of us, and the prices we pay to start over.
Directed by Pat Healy, written by Mike Makowsky. (USA) – World Premiere. Ray is in the boutique simulated abduction business. It’s an understandably threadbare market, so he jumps at the chance when a mysterious call contracts him for a weekend kidnapping with a handsome payday at the end. But the job isn’t all that it seems. A black comedy that threads the needle between crime thriller and slapstick farce, Take Me is as twisty as it is funny. With Taylor Schilling, Pat Healy, Alycia Delmore, Jim O’Heir.
Directed and written by Jordan Ross. (USA) – World Premiere. This suspenseful crime drama follows Kat Carter (Eliza Taylor), the troubled new girl in a school harboring a deep secret. When she attracts the attention of the volatile gang leader Wyatt (a menacing Pablo Schreiber), Kat’s own hidden secrets threaten to put her life in danger. Executive Produced by Cary Fukunaga, the film features raw supporting turns from Lena Headey, Daniel Webber, Ben Feldman, and Grant Harvey.
The Trip to Spain
Directed by Michael Winterbottom. (U.K.) – World Premiere. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite with director Michael Winterbottom for another chapter in their hilarious road trip series. This time taking their wit and appetites on a tour through picturesque Spain’s finest fine dining, Coogan and Brydon trade celebrity impressions and witty banter over paella and gazpacho, their comic observations on fame and friendship as dry as the finest Spanish wine. With Marta Barrio, Claire Keelan, Margo Stilley. An IFC Films release.
ACORN and the Firestorm
Directed and written by Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard. (USA) – World Premiere. For 40 years, the community-organizing group ACORN advocated for America’s poorest communities, while its detractors accused it of promoting government waste and the worst of liberal policies. Riding high on the momentum of Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008, ACORN was at its social zenith when a hidden-camera video sparked a national scandal and brought it all crashing down.
Directed by Greg Kohs. (USA) – World Premiere. With simple rules but a near-infinite number of possible outcomes, the ancient Chinese board game Go has long been considered the holy grail of artificial intelligence. Director Greg Kohs’ absorbing documentary chronicles Google’s DeepMind team as it takes on one of the world’s top Go players in a weeklong tournament, pitting man against machine in a competition that reveals as much about the workings of the human mind as it does the future of AI. In English, Korean with subtitles.
Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World
Directed and written by Barry Avrich. (Canada) – World Premiere. Barry Avrich’s in-depth and eye-opening documentary pulls back the curtain on the behind-the-scenes dealings revolving around the contemporary art world. Reputable artists, critics, auctioneers and collectors demystify the often illusive and complex relationship between art and commerce in this film, which features extraordinary access to industry players.
Directed by Tim Golden, Ross McDonnell. (USA) – World Premiere. Thanksgiving, 1999: Two fishermen on the Florida Straits find a young Cuban boy, Elián González, floating alone in an inner tube. Their discovery evolves into a custody battle between Elián’s Cuban father and his Miami-located relatives that brings the conflict between Cuba and the U.S. to the forefront. Eighteen years later, ELIÁN, executive produced by Alex Gibney, gives the now grown-up Elián the chance to tell his own side of the story. In English, Spanish with subtitles.
Directed and written by Antonino D’Ambrosio. (USA) – World Premiere. With unprecedented access to a notoriously reclusive subject, Antonino D’Ambrosio creates a powerful portrait of Frank Serpico, the former NYPD officer who in the 1970s blew the whistle on the corruption and payoffs running rampant in the department. The true story that inspired Sidney Lumet’s American crime classic that bears his name.
Get Me Roger Stone
Directed and written by Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro, Morgan Pehme. (USA) – World Premiere. With his bespoke suits and collection of Nixon memorabilia, political firebrand and noted eccentric Roger Stone has been a fixture of Republican politics since the 1970s, yet at the same time has always been an outsider. Despite its success, his brand of confrontational (some would say “dirty”) politics was always publicly rejected by the conservative mainstream, though with the shocking ascendancy of his longtime pet project Donald Trump (interviewed in the film), Stone—the ultimate political trickster—would likely say he was just ahead of his time. A Netflix release.
Directed by Neil Berkeley, written by Neil Berkeley, James Leche. (USA) – World Premiere. Legendary comedian Gilbert Gottfried has had quite a career. Rocketing to fame in the 1980s, he was thrust into the public consciousness almost immediately thanks to his brash personality, unique worldview, and off-kilter comic timing. Now, foul-mouthed and unapologetic after decades of flying solo in both his work and in his personal life, Gilbert has shockingly reinvented himself…as a family man. With Jay Leno, Bill Burr, Jeff Ross, Whoopi Goldberg, Howie Mandel.
A Gray State
Directed by Erik Nelson. (USA) – World Premiere. Christmas, 2014: filmmaker, veteran and charismatic up-and-coming voice of alt-right politics David Crowley and his family are killed in their suburban Minnesota home. Their shocking deaths quickly become a cause célèbre for conspiracy theorists. Executive produced by Werner Herzog, A Gray State combs through Crowley’s photographs, videos and recordings to investigate what happens when an ideology becomes an all-consuming obsession.
Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS
Directed by Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested, written by Mark Monroe. (USA) – World Premiere. Chronicling Syria’s descent into unbridled chaos, this gripping and insightful work captures the Syrian war’s harrowing carnage, political and social consequences, and, most importantly, its human toll. From personal stories of family survival and tragedy to keen insight from top experts from around the world, acclaimed filmmaker and author Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested create an informative and comprehensive documentary, as the story continues to unfold. In English, French, Arabic, Kurdish with subtitles. A National Geographic release.
Directed by Greg Campbell, written by Greg Campbell, Jenny Golden. (USA) – World Premiere. Beginning with the war in Kosovo in 1999, award-winning photographer Chris Hondros served as a witness to conflict for over a decade before being killed in Libya in 2011. In Hondros, director and childhood friend Greg Campbell creates a portrait of a man with not only great depth and sensitivity, but a passion for his craft, and an unending talent for creating breathtaking imagery. Executive produced by Jake Gyllenhaal. In Arabic, English with subtitles.
I Am Evidence
Directed by Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir. (USA) – World Premiere. Every year in cities around the United States, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of rape kits are left untested in police storage facilities. Produced by Mariska Hargitay, I Am Evidence exposes this shocking reality, bringing attention to the way in which police have historically processed sexual assault cases. Through an exploration of survivors’ accounts, the film sheds light on these disturbing statistics, and shows what can be achieved when evidence—and the individuals it represents—are treated with the respect we all deserve. An HBO Documentary Film release.
Directed by Daniel Lindsay, TJ Martin. (USA) – World Premiere. Few images are seared into the American consciousness with the anger and clarity of the beating of Rodney King and the riots following his abusers’ acquittal. Twenty-five years later, Academy Award-winning directors Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin draw on archival news images and unseen footage to paint an in-depth portrait of those riots and the tempestuous relationship between Los Angeles’ African-American community and those charged with protecting it. A National Geographic release.
No Stone Unturned
Directed by Alex Gibney. (USA, Northern Ireland) – World Premiere. In 1994, six men were gunned down and five wounded in a pub while watching a World Cup soccer match in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland. With a police investigation that was perfunctory at best, the case remained unsolved. In this non-fiction murder mystery, Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney reopens the original case to investigate why no culprit was ever brought to justice.
WASTED! The Story of Food Waste
Directed by Anna Chai and Nari Kye. (USA) – World Premiere. Each year, $218 billion—or 1.3 billion tons—of food is thrown out. With nearly a billion people worldwide facing starvation, food conservation is a more urgent issue than ever before. Executive produced by Anthony Bourdain, Chai and Kye’s fast-paced and forward-thinking food doc takes viewers on a tour of inventive new ideas for recycling waste and maximizing sustainability from innovative chefs like Massimo Bottura, Dan Barber and Danny Bowien, who turn scraps into feasts before our eyes. Earth Day Screening
Whitney. “can I be me,”
Directed by Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal, written by Nick Broomfield. (U.K.) – World Premiere. Whitney Houston was the most awarded female recording artist of all time, with more consecutive number one hits than The Beatles, and on top of that she was America’s Sweetheart. Yet despite her fame, talent, and success, she died tragically at the age of 48. Featuring largely never-before-seen footage and Broomfield and Dolezal’s moving documentary tells the story of the girl behind the voice. A Showtime release.
Year of the Scab
Directed by John Dorsey. (USA) – World Premiere. During the 1987 NFL strike, teams scrambled to assemble temporary replacements to fill in for their boycotting players. The Washington Redskins were notable for their “scabs,” a collection of cast-offs who nonetheless rode a surprising wave of momentum against all odds. “Year of the Scab” revisits this ultimate underdog story and the men whose ordinary lives were interrupted. Those so-called “scabs” helped break the strike and bring their team to victory, only to struggle for their place in the sports history books. An ESPN Films release.
City of Ghosts
Directed by Matthew Heineman. (USA) – New York Premiere, Documentary. The fearless citizen-journalists of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” (RBSS) risk their lives on a daily basis to document and expose the atrocities of the Islamic State in their home city of Raqqa, Syria. Academy Award-nominee Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) returns to Tribeca with an immersive and deeply personal documentary chronicling the lives of these activists. In Arabic with subtitles. An Amazon Studios release.
Directed and written by Adam Rifkin. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Vic Edwards (Burt Reynolds) was one of the biggest movie stars in the world, known for his mustachioed good looks and cocky swagger. With his Hollywood glory a distant memory, the now-octogenarian Vic is prompted to reassess his life with the passing of his beloved dog and the arrival of an invitation to receive a lifetime achievement award from the (fictional) International Nashville Film Festival. With Ariel Winter, Chevy Chase, Clark Duke, Ellar Coltrane, Juston Street.
The Family I Had
Directed by Katie Green and Carlye Rubin, written by Tina Grapenthin, Katie Green, Carlye Rubin. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. In The Family I Had, a mother recalls how her seemingly brilliant teenage son came to shatter their idyllic family through one horribly violent and shocking act. Now, left to pick up the pieces, the survivors test the boundaries of their newly defined reality in this moving true crime exploration of the nature and limits of familial love.
Directed and written by Emer Reynolds. (Ireland) – International Premiere, Documentary. On the 40th anniversary of Voyager’s eleven-billion-mile flight (and counting), experience a comprehensive behind-the-scenes account from those who built and nurtured this unprecedented deep space achievement. Emer Reynolds creates a vivid celebration of curiosity and exploration for the most audacious project in human history, and one of humankind’s greatest successes.
Directed and written by Zefrey Throwell and Josephine Decker. (USA) – World Premiere. Filmed over five years, Flames follows real-life couple Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell from the white-hot passion of first love to the heartbreak of breaking up. But for these two filmmakers, the end of the relationship wasn’t the end of the story. As they continue filming, reconstructing what happened and where it went wrong, lines begin to blur between what was real and what was “the film”—if there’s even a difference anymore. With Hollis Witherspoon, Michael Melamedoff, Joe Swanberg, Matthew Levy.
Directed by Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest. (USA) – North American Premiere, Documentary. Beginning one year before the events in Ferguson, Missouri, Levine and Van Soest’s intimate and cinematic For Ahkeem is the coming of age story of 17-year-old Daje Shelton in neighboring North St. Louis. Falling in love and fighting with mom, Daje struggles with typical teen growing pains, but also must increasingly combat the institutional and social roadblocks that keep black teens like her from succeeding in America.
The Last Animals
Directed by Kate Brooks, written by Kate Brooks and Mark Monroe. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Photojournalist Kate Brooks turns her lens from war zones to a new kind of genocide in this sweeping and sobering film. As the single-digit population of the Northern White Rhino ticks closer to extinction, Brooks exposes the epidemic of highly effective poachers and trafficking syndicates, and the heroic efforts of conservationists, park rangers, and scientists to protect these majestic creatures. In Czech, English, French, Lingala with subtitles. Earth Day Screening
Directed and written by SABU. (Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan R.O.C., Germany) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Following an assignment gone wrong in Tokyo, professional Taiwanese hitman Mr. Long (Chang Chen) finds himself stranded without a passport in a run-down Japanese village. So naturally Long does what any cold-hearted killer would do in his situation: befriend the locals and open a wildly popular noodle cart. Moving artfully between scenes of slickly choreographed violence and charming, whimsical drama, Japanese director SABU’s latest is a refreshing twist on the gangster genre, offering a surprisingly tender and heartwarming fable of redemption. In Japanese, Mandarin, Taiwanese with subtitles.
Directed and written by Laurie Simmons. (USA) – North American Premiere, Narrative. For artist Ellie Shine (Laurie Simmons), age really isn’t anything but a number. Unhappy with where her career has gone, the single New Yorker flees upstate to recharge her creative spark away from the big city’s various distractions. There, she attracts the romantic interests of three men who accompany Ellie on an odd and unexpected journey toward finding her late-blooming artistic momentum. With Lena Dunham, Robert Clohessy, John Rothman, Josh Safdie, Parker Posey, Blair Brown, Barbara Sukowa.
My Friend Dahmer
Directed and written by Marc Meyers. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Before Jeffrey Dahmer became one of the most notorious serial killers of all time, he was a teenage loner. Conducting grisly experiments in a makeshift backyard lab, Jeff was invisible to most, until his increasingly bizarre behavior unexpectedly attracted friends. Based on the cult graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer chronicles the origins of the man, the monster…the high school senior. With Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts, Alex Wolff, Tommy Nelson, and Vincent Kartheiser.
Directed by Brendan Muldowney, written by Jamie Hannigan. (USA, Ireland) – World Premiere, Narrative. In 13th-century Ireland, a cadre of monks travel through the war-torn countryside on a mission to bring their land’s most sacred relic to Rome. But other forces are gaining on them, as the true significance of the relic becomes dangerously apparent. A period drama crossed with an action/adventure road movie, Pilgrimage delivers a profound lesson on religious fervor and the savagery of soldiers with a cause. With Tom Holland, Richard Armitage, Jon Bernthal, John Lynch, Stanley Weber.
A Thousand Junkies
Directed and written by Tommy Swerdlow. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Three heroin addicts crisscross Los Angeles in search of relief in this comedy balanced on the fine line between reliance and dependence. With a sensitive eye and gift for the absurd, writer/director/co-star Tommy Swerdlow crafts both the inevitable and the wholly unexpected: a drug movie that struggles to find any drugs, and a road movie that drives in circles. With TJ Bowen, Blake Heron, Bill Pullman, Steven Weber, Dinarte de Freitas.
The Wedding Plan (Laavor et HaKir)
Directed and written by Rama Burshtein. (Israel) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Spirited bride-to-be Michal is dumped by her fiancé a month before their wedding. Undeterred, she keeps her wedding date, leaving it to fate to provide a suitable groom. With invitations sent, venue booked, and the clock counting down to the big day, Michal goes to increasingly elaborate lengths in her search for Mr. Right, in writer-director Rama Burshtein’s (Fill the Void) funny and poignant romantic comedy. With Noa Kooler, Amos Tamam, Oz Zehavi. In Hebrew with subtitles. A Roadside Attractions release.
Directed by Clay Staub, written by Peter Aperlo, Clay Staub. (Canada, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Struggling to overcome a recent professional tragedy, a tough-as-nails FBI agent (Amanda Schull) relocates to a small North Dakota town to investigate the disappearance of a local woman and her young son. The search leads to the missing woman’s husband’s (Milo Ventimiglia) secluded farm, on which answers, new mysteries, and God-fearing terrors await. Not to mention, something locked and caged down in the basement. With Shawn Ashmore, Bridget Regan, Jonathan Frakes.
Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine
Directed by Patrick O’Dell. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine charts the rise and fall of the irreverent, boundary-pushing “Big Brother Magazine”, whose taboo-breaking stunts and unapologetically crass humor spawned MTV’s Jackass and a generation of skaters. Featuring a trove of original footage and interviews with the magazine’s major players, Dumb celebrates the lowbrow legacy of this touchstone of 90’s counterculture. With Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, Steve Rocco, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Tony Hawk, Chad Muska. A Hulu release.
Hounds of Love
Directed and written by Ben Young. (Australia) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Dark forces lurk behind the sunny façade of an unassuming Australian suburb in Ben Young’s stylish directorial debut. This ‘80s-set true crime thriller follows 17-year-old Vicki on the night she’s abducted by a disturbed couple. While bound to a bed inside of the kidnappers’ home and subjected to psychological and physical torture, Vicki must find a way to drive a wedge between her unhinged captors and escape by any means necessary. With Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry, Susie Porter, Damian de Montemas, Harrison Gilbertson. A Gunpowder & Sky release. Presented in partnership with Venice Days.
Directed and written by Mickey Keating. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Over the course of one excessively blood-soaked night, multiple serial killers’ paths cross, leaving a trail of bodies and begging the question: Which psychopath will live to see morning? One of the most exciting and unclassifiable new voices in indie horror, Mickey Keating delivers his wildest ride yet with this ultra-stylish and uber-violent descent into madness. With Ashley Bell, James Landry Hébert, Mark Kassen, Angela Trimbur, Larry Fessenden, Jeremy Gardner, Sam Zimmerman.
Super Dark Times
Directed by Kevin Phillips, written by Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski. (USA) – North American Premiere, Narrative. Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence in Kevin Phillips’ atmospheric ‘90s-set mystery-thriller. With Owen Campbell, Charlie Tahan, Elizabeth Cappuccino, Max Talisman, Sawyer Barth, Amy Hargreaves.
Directed by Kasra Farahani, written by Jason O’Leary, Kasra Farahani. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. There’s something off about Joe. Although his pregnant girlfriend, Joanne, supports him as he devotes more and more time to his passion project, a sprawling documentary about America’s “golden age,” both the film and Joe are becoming increasingly unhinged. Joanne is growing worried about Joseph’s odd behavior…but not as worried as she should be. With Joseph Cross, Alexia Rasmussen, Kelvin Yu, Jessy Hodges, CS Lee.
Project creators: Scatter: Alexander Porter, Yasmin Elayat, James George, Mei-Ling Wong; Key collaborators: Hannah Jayanti (World premiere)
Blackout is an ongoing participatory, volumetric VR project gathering the reflections of real people living in today’s tense political climate through the lens of the New York subway. By creating a rotating, ‘crowd-sourced’ cast, Blackout addresses the impossible task of representing the extraordinary breadth of human experience in New York City. Each viewing of Blackout is different, surrounding you with a unique group of straphangers taking you to the places their minds go between destinations.
Draw Me Close
Project creator: Jordan Tannahill (World premiere)
Canadian playwright-director Jordan Tannahill partners with the National Theatre and the National Film Board of Canada to create Draw Me Close, a vivid memoir about his relationship with his mother in the wake of her terminal cancer diagnosis. Collapsing the worlds of live performance and animation to create an unforgettable encounter between a mother and her son, Draw Me Close tells the story of their past and what is to be their future. This special presentation is a world premiere of the first chapter of Draw Me Close.
The Island of the Colorblind
Project creator: Sanne de Wilde; Key collaborators: IDFA DocLab, de Brakke Grond (International premiere)
What does color mean to those who can’t see it? In the late eighteenth century a catastrophic typhoon swept over Pingelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean. One of the few survivors carried a rare gene that causes achromatopsia, a condition that includes the inability to distinguish colors. Over generations, the islanders ended up perceiving their world in black and white. The Island of the Colorblind invites the audience to explore this shift in perception through de Wilde’s photography and an interactive installation
The Last Goodbye
Project creators: Gabo Arora, Ari Palitz; Key Collaborators: Stephen Smith, Here Be Dragons, MPC, Otoy, LightShed and USC Shoah Foundation (World premiere)
In July of 2016, Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter toured the Majdanek Concentration Camp in what he vowed would be his final visit. By marrying a stereo video capture of Pinchas within a photoreal roomscale experience, The Last Goodbye reaches profound levels of immersion in service of the first ever VR testimony that will be archived and preserved. The importance of listening to Pinchas’ story is more important now than ever and this is also a beautiful testament to love, compassion and the human spirit.
Project creators: Hyphen-Labs – Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, Nitzan Bartov (New York premiere)
Imagined futures and contemporary realities come together in NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism, a multidisciplinary exploration of women of color’s experience through the lens of technology, society and culture. The project includes speculative products, immersive experiences and neuroscientific research. In the VR experience, discover the neurocosmetology lab, a kind of beauty salon, where instead of ordinary braids, customers are fitted with transcranial electrodes that allow access to a surreal alternate world.
Project creator: Marshmallow Laser Feast; Key collaborators: Natan Sinigaglia, Mileece I’Anson, Cinekid Foundation, STRP, Southbank Centre and Migrations (North American premiere)
TREEHUGGER : WAWONA is an interactive installation that combines today’s cultural hunger for beautiful immersive experiences with art, science, data, environmentalism and technology. Centered on a vast sculpture of a giant redwood tree, the viewer dons a VR headset, places their head into the tree’s knot and is transported into its secret inner world. The longer someone hugs the tree, the deeper they drift into treetime: a hidden dimension that lies just beyond the limit of our senses.
Project creator: Jérôme Blanquet; Key collaborators: James Sénade, Yann Apéry, Antoine Cayrol, Baptiste Chesnais, Pierre Zandrowicz, Jean-françois Blanquet (World premiere, France)
This is a poetic trip into the future: Alexandro volunteers for an experiment carried out to study dreams. He can’t imagine that he will be subjected to the intrusion of Elsa, a form of Artificial Intelligence who aims to digitize his subconscious in order to feed off it. She’s a vampire…bit by megabit.
Project creator: Arjan van Meerten; Key collaborator: Wevr (World premiere, The Netherlands/USA)
The stunning new experience from the brilliant imagination of 3D artist and musician Arjan van Meerten, APEX is the highly anticipated follow up to the creator’s acclaimed and award-winning experience, Surge. Step into a surrealistic and darkly beautiful vision of a fiery urban apocalypse; one populated by skeletal ghost animals, abstract shapes, maniacal smiling giants and, of course, you.
Project creator: Eugene Chung; Key collaborators: Jimmy Maidens (World premiere, USA)
The sea levels have risen, and a young woman and her father live in a lighthouse perched atop the ocean’s surface. When he goes missing, she descends deep into the post-apocalyptic waters previously forbidden to her, embarking on a thrilling journey of family history and self-discovery. From the creators of the magnificent Allumette (Tribeca 2016), Arden’s Wake continues the elegant evolution of storytelling from Penrose Studios.
Project creator: J. Steven Schardt (World premiere, USA)
In the near future, self-driving taxi services employ “safety drivers,” a transitional measure of comfort for passengers. On his first day, Musay, an Ethiopian immigrant with 40 years of driving experience, picks up a couple habituated to the service. Not content — not comfortable — with merely sitting, Musay insists on driving, instigating a series of events with substantial consequences.
Bebylon – Battle Royale
Project creator: Cory Strassburger, Ikrima Elhassan; Key collaborators: Alex Underhill, Giray Ozil, Jennifer Chavarria (World premiere, USA)
From the minds at Kite + Lightning, this comedic arena battle experience blends a satirical narrative with revolutionary head-to-head VR gaming. Set in a futuristic status conscious society, players compete as crude, narcissistic, immortal babies for fame and fortune. Wielding weaponized status symbols such as gold-plated selfie sticks and big-fisted battle buggies, you can be the “beby” of your most shameless rock star fantasy.
Becoming Homeless: A Human Experience
Project creator: Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Stanford University; Key collaborators: Elise Ogle, Tobin Asher, Jeremy Bailenson (World premiere, USA)
Everyone’s story is unique, but the human experience is collective. In this interactive first-person VR experience, you will face the adversity of living without a home. From Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Becoming Homeless aims to change the way some may think and act about the epidemic of homelessness that exists globally.
Project creator: Alon Benari, Tal Zubalsky, Alex Vlack; Key collaborators: Eko, Hidden Content, Real Motion VFX (World premiere, USA)
Broken Night explores a woman’s (Emily Mortimer) unreliable narrative of an intense trauma. Speaking to a detective, her confused memories unfold: returning home in the midst of a fight with her husband (Alessandro Nivola), they encounter an intruder. The viewer is placed in a position of choosing which memories to follow, sharing her confusion before coming to the startling truth.
Project creator: Ethan Shaftel (World premiere, USA)
Extravaganza mixes 3D animation and live-action footage in a bitingly funny satire. You are a puppet trapped in a stunningly offensive puppet show, performing for a clueless executive (Paul Scheer). Confronted with his glaringly obvious blind spots and prejudices, Extravaganza asks: can technology change society for the better, or does it just magnify our worst traits in new ways?
Project creator: Zach Richter, Bobby Halvorson, Eames Kolar; Key collaborators: Chrissy Szczupak, Orin Green, Jess Engel, ECCO VR, International Orange Chorale of SF, Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin (World premiere, USA)
Hallelujah is a revolutionary virtual reality music performance that reimagines Leonard Cohen’s most well-known song. It is the world’s first VR music experience to provide an uncompromised sense of presence with six degrees of freedom using Lytro Immerge technology. A Within Original.
Life of Us
Project Creator: Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin, Pharrell Williams (New York premiere, USA)
Life of Us is a shared VR journey from Within that tells the complete story of the evolution of life on earth. Created by Chris Milk & Aaron Koblin, with original music by Pharrell Williams.
The Other Dakar
Project creator: Selly Raby Kane; Key collaborators: Electric South, Goethe Institut (World premiere, Senegal)
A little girl receives a message and discovers the hidden face of Dakar. An homage to Senegalese mythology and a stunningly visual debut from Dakar-based artist and designer Selly Raby Kane, this magical 360 film transports viewers to a place where past and future meet and where artists are the beating heart of the city.
The People’s House
Project creators: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël (Felix & Paul Studios) (World premiere, Canada)
The People’s House takes you on a historic visit of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House. Through the transportive power of VR, The Obamas take you on an intimate journey inside the West Wing, Executive and Private Residences, reflecting on their time there, and recounting the building’s profound history since its creation over two centuries ago.
The Possible: Hoverboard
Project Creator: David Gelb (Season Finale, USA)
If you could have just one superpower, what would it be? For Alexandru Duru, the answer is obvious: the ability to fly. That’s why he founded Omni Hoverboards, which has transformed hoverboard technology from dream to reality. In “Hoverboard,” you’ll follow his team as they build and test a prototype—then experience the freedom of flight for yourself.
The Protectors: Walk in The Ranger’s Shoes
Project creator: Kathryn Bigelow, Imraan Ismail (World premiere, USA)
From Academy Award-winning director Katheryn Bigelow and acclaimed VR creator Imraan Ismail, The Protectors chronicles a day in the life of the rangers in Garamba National Park. These rangers are often the last line of defense in a race against the poachers intent on slaughtering elephants for their ivory tusks. The rangers face constant danger and even death, at the service of these sentient, noble creatures.
Project creator: Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan, Larry Cutler, Claudia Southmartin, Kane Lee; Key collaborators: Michael Hutchinson, Nathaniel Dawson (World premiere, USA)
From the Director of Madagascar, Invasion! (Tribeca 2016), and Asteroids! comes Baobab Studio’s latest visionary VR animation. The carefree forest animals imagine spring will last forever. However, winter comes and the animals soon realize that their lives are in danger. What they need is a hero; what they need is Rainbow Crow. Step inside a moving, soon-to-be classic, musical experience for all ages.
Project Creator: Kevin Cornish (World premiere, USA)
If our minds are a map of every memory we’ve had, what do we become if those memories are stripped away? In this cinematic, room-scale VR experience set against the backdrop of an alien invasion, you are a prisoner being brainwashed by a lost love. As you cycle through your memories, the two of you begin to question what is real and what is imagined.
Project creator: Alexandre Perez; Key collaborators: Avi Amar (North American premiere, France)
It’s Leo’s bedtime, but he thinks there is something under his bed. Is it just the harmless imagination of a young boy, or something more sinister? Is it…you? From director Alexandre Perez, Sergeant James recaptures the innocence of youth, the wonder of the unknown, and the folly of fear, while hinting at a far creepier possibility.
Step to the Line
Project creator: Ricardo Laganaro; Key collaborators: Defy Ventures/ Oculus VR for Good (New York premiere, USA)
Shot entirely on location in a California maximum security prison, Step to the Line is a documentary that aims to provoke a transformation in the spectator’s eyes about prisoners, the prison system, and even themselves. In this project, we see how release from incarceration can be just as jarring as intake and how parallel lives diverge when someone serves time.
Sword of Baahubali
Project creator: SS Rajamouli, Arka Mediaworks; Key collaborators: Radeon Technologies Group & CNCPT LA (New York premiere, India)
Two friends find themselves on a battlefield, as the armies of Bhalladeva and Shivudu are set to charge into battle. As they watch the action unfold, they are unexpectedly asked to participate. Their mission – to find a legendary warrior’s sword and deliver it to him, ensuring victory. Based on S.S. Rajamouli’s World of Baahubali, India’s biggest movie franchise.
Talking With Ghosts
Project creator: Ric Carrasquillo, Roman Muradov, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Maria Yi; Key collaborators: Wesley Allsbrook, Matthew Chadwick, Sebastien Chevrel, Tauni Oxborrow, Saschka Unseld (World premiere, USA)
Talking With Ghosts is the next wave of emerging art in the field of Illustrative VR. Following the success of Dear Angelica, Oculus Story Studio decided to enhance its painting app Quill with comic-like storytelling functionality, enabling anyone to tell their own illustrative stories in VR. The resulting works are called Quill Stories and Talking With Ghosts is a compilation of the very first of their kind, entirely painted and told in VR by four remarkable artists. Made in collaboration with Oculus Story Studios.
Project creator: Zohar Kfir; Key collaborators: Selena Pinnell (World premiere, USA)
Recent events have dramatically shifted the conversation around sexual abuse in the United States. Despite persistent victim-shaming and the discounting of their experiences, abuse survivors are increasingly coming forward, empowering one another to become agents of change. Testimonyis an interactive documentary presenting the narrative accounts of sexual abuse survivors, using virtual reality to engage viewers with an intimate, motion-driven interface.
Project creator: Milica Zec, Winslow Porter; Key collaborators: Aleksandar Protic, Jakob Kudsk Steensen (New York premiere, USA)
See and feel what it is like to become a tree in this haptically enhanced VR experience. With your arms as the branches and your body as the trunk, you experience the growth from a seedling to its fullest form, taking on its role in the majestic rain forest and witnessing its fate firsthand.
Project creator: Arnaud Colinart, Jennifer Brea, Amaury La Burthe; Key collaborators: Diana Barrett (Fledgling Fund), Lindsey Dryden (Little By Little Films) (World premiere, France/USA)
From the award-winning team behind Notes On Blindness, Unrest allows audiences to access the world of chronic illness and disability in an exploratory, user-led experience. Based on the documentary film of the same name, the project draws upon sensory meditations on pain, fatigue, and neurosensory symptoms, and allows the public a visceral personal experience of a hard-to-understand condition.