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TFF '09: Encounters

Encounter a new world with these engaging and entertaining narrative features and documentaries. Sponsored by L'Oréal Paris.

Sponsored by L'Oréal Paris, this collection of world premieres includes ten engaging narrative features and documentaries, with a mixture of dark comedies and lighter fare—while one film tracks an ill-fated man's discovery of inspiration and happiness, another explores the emergence of New York’s independent film scene. Included in the mix are returning filmmakers and established talent, with performances from Academy Award®-nominated actors Thomas Haden Church, Melissa Leo, Timothy Hutton, Meg Ryan, Alan Arkin, and Elisabeth Shue, and turns behind the camera from familiar faces Eric Bana and Cheryl Hines.

“People will find many recognizable names and faces in the Encounters section," enthuses David Kwok, Director of Programming. "There are Oscar-winners and nominees both in front of and behind the camera, along with directorial debuts by Cheryl Hines (Serious Moonlight, written by Adrienne Shelly) and Eric Bana (Love the Beast). Also in this dynamic mix of films, New York City is more than just a backdrop, instead playing an integral character in City Island, The Good Guy, and An Englishman in New York.”
 


 

Blank City


Blank City

Directed by Celine Danhier
(USA)
World Premiere, Documentary

Celine Danhier’s kinetic doc mirrors the urgent, anything-goes energy of her subject: the DIY independent film movement that emerged in tandem with punk rock in late ‘70s downtown New York. New interviews with a impressive array of artists including Amos Poe, Bette Gordon, Debbie Harry, Eric Mitchell, Jim Jarmusch, Lydia Lunch, Steve Buscemi, John Lurie, and Nick Zedd flow into clips from landmark No Wave films, and the still-thrilling music of the era floods the soundtrack.
 

 

City Island


City Island

Directed and written by Raymond De Felitta
(USA)
World Premiere, Narrative

Vinnie’s been secretly taking acting classes, his daughter’s moonlighting as a stripper, his son’s got a weighty fetish, and mom’s eye is wandering… the Rizzos might get along a lot better if they weren’t keeping so many secrets. Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer, and Alan Arkin star in this smart and poignant dysfunctional-family comedy, set in unassuming City Island.

 

Don McKay


Don McKay

Directed and written by Jake Goldberger
(USA)
World Premiere, Narrative

Don McKay (Thomas Haden Church) should have followed the old cliché, “You can’t go home again.” After 25 years, he returns for the first time to his hometown at the out-of-the-blue bidding of his cancer-stricken ex-girlfriend (Elisabeth Shue). But a lot of time has passed, and an old secret crashes into new ones in this pitch-black comedy, also featuring Melissa Leo.
 

 

Englishman in New York


An Englishman in New York

Directed by Richard Laxton, written by Brian Fillis
(UK)
North American Premiere, Narrative

John Hurt astounds as he revisits the role that made him a star (in 1975’s The Naked Civil Servant): real-life writer, actor, and gay icon Quentin Crisp. This smart, sensitive drama, marked by Hurt’s bravura handling of Crisp’s razor-tongued wit, focuses on the flamboyant 72-year-old star’s move to New York in 1981, and the fallout from a reckless comment about the burgeoning AIDS epidemic. Features Cynthia Nixon, Jonathan Tucker, and Swoosie Kurtz. Executive Producers are Joey Attawia, Susie Field and James Burstall. A Leopardrama Film for ITV1.



The Good Guy


The Good Guy

Directed and written by Julio DePietro
(USA)
World Premiere, Narrative
Rising Wall Street star Tommy (Scott Porter) has it all: looks, charm, money, and a budding romance (Alexis Bledel). But when he teaches a seemingly hapless coworker (Bryan Greenberg) the ways of money and seduction, Tommy could become the unwitting agent of his own downfall. This true insider view of the culture of Wall Street explores what it means to be 'good’ in that world. The answer just might surprise you.
 

 

Lost Son of Havana


Lost Son of Havana

Directed and written by Jonathan Hock
(USA)
World Premiere, Documentary
Cuban pitcher Luis Tiant never anticipated spending a half-century in exile.  Torn between his career and his homeland, he went on to become one of baseball's best, heating up the mound for (among others) the Red Sox and Yankees. Director Jonathan Hock follows Tiant on his return to Cuba for the first time, capturing an inspiring and profound portrait of one of the game’s greatest heroes. Part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.


 

Love the Beast


Love the Beast

Directed by Eric Bana
(Australia)
International Premiere, Documentary
Eric Bana’s directorial debut is a love story. The object of the actor’s affection? A Ford XB Falcon Coupe, his “beast,” the car he’s had since he was 15. Tracing Bana’s lifelong obsession with cars to his participation in the ultimate auto race—the five-day Targa Tasmania—this impassioned doc is fueled by family, friendship, and the bonds that form through a common passion. Part of the ESPN/Tribeca Film Festival.

 

Serious Chemistry

Serious Moonlight

Directed by Cheryl Hines, written by Adrienne Shelly
(USA)
World Premiere, Narrative
High-powered attorney Louise (Meg Ryan) arrives at her country nest for a little R and R only to discover that her husband (Timothy Hutton) plans to leave her for a younger woman (Kristen Bell). Oddly cool, Louise holds Ian captive until he commits to working on their marriage, but that's when things really start to go wrong. Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) skillfully directs Adrienne Shelly's (Waitress) wry and often hilarious script.
 

 

Soundtrack for a Revolution


Soundtrack for a Revolution

Directed and written by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman
(USA)
World Premiere, Documentary
A timeless film about the American civil rights movement told through the soul-stirring music that birthed and fortified the fight from picket lines and mass meetings to paddy wagons and jail cells. This powerful doc, crafted by Oscar® winner Guttentag and Sturman (Nanking), pairs modern renditions of freedom songs by Wyclef Jean, John Legend, Joss Stone, The Roots, and others with a retelling of this important moment in history.
 

 

Tell Tale 


Tell Tale

Directed by Michael Cuesta, written by Dave Callaham
(UK, USA)
World Premiere, Narrative
Inspired by the classic Edgar Allan Poe horror story, Michael Cuesta’s (L.I.E., Twelve and Holding) chilling tale follows Terry (Josh Lucas), a single father whose recently transplanted heart leads him on a frantic search to find the donor’s killer before he meets a similar fate. This unsettling psychological thriller features Lena Headey, Brian Cox and Dallas Roberts.
 

 

Wonderful World

Wonderful World

Directed and written by Josh Goldin
(USA)
World Premiere, Narrative
Matthew Broderick is Ben Singer, the world’s most negative man. When his roommate, Ibou, falls ill, Ben is forced to host his Senegalese sister, Khadi (Sanaa Lathan). What starts as an awkward living arrangement soon turns into something more, and Ben’s usual self-destructive nature gives way as he begins to find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

 


 

Awards

Films predominantly shot in New York and/or produced by a New York-based production company will be up for the following awards: Best New York Narrative and Best New York Documentary. Films in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Encounters, Discovery, Midnight, Spotlight or Showcase sections are eligible for the Heineken Audience Award, the audience choice for best feature film.

The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival is officially announced!
 
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The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival opener will be Woody Allen's Whatever Works.


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