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TFF '10: World Documentary Features

A dozen films will compete in the World Documentary Feature Competition at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.

Today Tribeca announced the first 34 feature films of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival slate. The rest of the features slate will be announced on Monday, March 15, with the list of short films to follow later in the week. The complete list of features will be posted online on Monday in the 2010 Film Guide.


“I’m energized by the strong line up of films this year,” said Nancy Schafer, Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Festival. “While it’s an incredibly exciting time for Tribeca with the launch of Tribeca Film and the Tribeca Film Festival Virtual—expanding our reach so more and more people can engage in the festival experience—the Tribeca Film Festival is still the heart and soul of what we do. We are looking forward to the New York City audiences seeing these great films.”


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World Documentary Competition


Documentaries have always been one of the Tribeca Film Festival's strong suits. The 12 films in this year's World Documentary Feature Competition are gripping personal tales, illuminating examinations of global events, and fresh perspectives on familiar topics.


This international selection of captivating non-fiction films take the viewer on a complex journey of human experience and emotion: a man yearns to resolve national conflict through non-violent means; a President and a citizen unite over the love they have for their country, once riven by genocide; a family of artists mourn the loss of their talented daughter and sister; and a troubled playwright and her daughter navigate a tumultuous relationship. Other films tell stories of people investigating global connections: the interconnected world of falcon trade, royal dynasties, the CIA, and Al Qaeda; a rare and candid look into the secrets of the Russian mafia; and the ties between soccer, organized crime and gambling.


Together, this slate of films tells a global story of human connection. Enjoy!


One film from this slate, Mika Ronkainen's Freetime Machos, will also make its debut on the new Tribeca Film Festival Virtual premium platform. Passes available now!


American Mystic
Directed by Alex Mar
(USA) – World Premiere

Set against a vivid backdrop of American rural landscapes, Alex Mar’s meditative documentary artfully weaves together the stories of three young Americans exploring alternative religion: a pagan priestess in California mining country, a Spiritualist in upstate New York, and a Native American father and sundancer in South Dakota, all yearning for fulfilling spirituality in disparate but often strikingly similar ways.


The Arbor
Directed by Clio Barnard
(UK) – World Premiere

Brilliantly blending the borders of narrative and documentary filmmaking, artist-cum-director Clio Barnard beautifully reconstructs the fascinating true story of troubled British playwright Andrea Dunbar and her tumultuous relationship with her daughter. Working from two years of audio interviews, Barnard uses classic documentary techniques, actors, theatrical performance, and Dunbar’s own neighborhood to generate a unique cinematic feast while unraveling the truths of a dark family past.


Directed by Julia Bacha
(USA, Palestine, Israel) – North American Premiere

In one of the most conflicted parts of the world, a Palestinian family man unites rival parties Fatah and Hamas, Western activists, and even groups of progressive Israelis in a nonviolent movement to save his village from being destroyed. Award-winning documentarian Julia Bacha (Encounter Point, TFF ’06) captures with rawness and galvanizing intensity the power of ordinary people to peaceably fight for extraordinary changes. In Arabic, English, Hebrew with English subtitles.


Earth Made of Glass
Earth Made of Glass
Directed by Deborah Scranton
(USA) – World Premiere

A president and a citizen—bound together by a profound love of country and an unquenchable desire to see the truth revealed—fight to uncover the mystery behind a murder and France's hidden role in the horrific 1994 Rwandan genocide. This powerful investigative documentary from the director of The War Tapes (best doc, TFF ’06) is driven by the inspiring and uplifting stories of Rwandan president Paul Kagame and genocide survivor Jean-Pierre Sagahutu. In English, French, Kinyarwandan with English subtitles.


Feathered Cocaine
Feathered Cocaine
Directed by Thorkell Hardarson and Örn Marino Arnarson
(Iceland) – World Premiere

Behind drugs, people, and weapons, falcon smuggling has become the world’s most mysterious and profitable illegal trade. Held in highest esteem by the wealthy elite throughout the Persian Gulf, the sporting birds have earned the label “feathered cocaine” as thieves race to ransack them from all parts of the world. This bold investigative documentary unspools the surprising links between the falcon trade and royal dynasties, the CIA and KGB, the oil industry, and Al Qaeda….


Freetime Machos
Freetime Machos
Directed by Mika Ronkainen
(Finland, Germany) – North American and TFF Virtual Premiere

Matti and Mikko play for Finland’s worst amateur rugby team. Overworked and domesticated, the two men long for a space to revel in their masculinity and bond with other men. Following the two friends and their teammates on a quest to end the season with just a single win, award-winning writer/director Mika Ronkainen (Screaming Men) crafts a genuine and disarmingly funny love story of modern male friendship. In Finnish with English subtitles. Part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.


Into Eternity
Into Eternity
Directed by Michael Madsen
(Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy) – International Premiere

Three miles below the earth, the people of Finland are constructing an enormous tomb to lay to rest their share of humans’ 300,000 tons of nuclear waste. To avoid disaster, it must remain untouched for at least 100,000 years. In this poetic, hauntingly beautiful, and thought-provoking doc, Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen ponders how to warn future civilizations that the buried treasure of our nuclear era—unlike the pyramids and great tombs of pharaohs—must never, ever be discovered.


Monica and David
Monica & David
Directed by Alexandra Codina
(USA) – North American Premiere

Monica and David are in love. Truly, blissfully in love. They also happen to have Down syndrome. Alexandra Codina’s affectionate and heartwarming documentary is an intimate, year-in-the-life portrait of two child-like spirits with adult desires. Supported (and, for more than 30 years, sheltered) by endlessly devoted mothers, Monica and David prepare for their fairy tale wedding and face the realities of married life afterward.


Sons of Perdition
Sons of Perdition
Directed by Jennilyn Merten, Tyler Measom
(USA) – World Premiere

In the polygamist community cultivated by the notorious (and now incarcerated) “prophet” Warren Jeffs, women are a commodity, children are reared to be ignorant, and free thought is surrendered. For a group of teenage boys, the desire for autonomy means banishment from their homes and families. This fascinating documentary explores the heartbreaking losses and hopeful determination of these exiles as they struggle to make new lives in mainstream America.


Thieves by Law
Thieves By Law (Ganavim ba Hok)
Directed by Alexander Gentelev
(Israel, Germany, Spain) – World Premiere

In an unprecedented insider first look, Thieves by Law is a front-row invitation into the living rooms and offices of some of the most controversial and elite head honchos in the Russian mafia. Rising through the criminal ranks, the balance of what’s legitimate versus what’s illegal, and the meaning behind those tattoos made so famous by Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises… it’s all out on the table. In Russian, Hebrew with English subtitles.


Two Escobars
The Two Escobars
Directed by Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist
(USA, Colombia) – World Premiere

Born in the same city in Colombia but not related, Andrés Escobar and Pablo Escobar shared a fanatical love of soccer. Andrés grew up to become one of Colombia's most beloved players, while Pablo became the most notorious drug baron of all time. While adeptly investigating the secret marriage of crime and sports, Michael Zimbalist and Jeff Zimbalist (Favela Rising, TFF ’05) reveal the surprising connections between the murders of Andrés and Pablo. An ESPN Films release. Part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.


The Woodmans 


The Woodmans
Directed by C. Scott Willis
(USA, Italy, China) – World Premiere

The Woodmans are a family united in their belief that art-making is the highest form of expression and an essential way of life, but for photographer daughter Francesca, worldwide acclaim came only after a tragedy that would forever scar the family. With unrestricted access to all of Francesca's works and diaries, The Woodmans paints an incisive portrait of a family broken and then healed by its art. In English, Italian with English subtitles.



Awards in the World Documentary Feature Competition will be presented in the following juried categories: Best Documentary Feature and Best New Documentary Filmmaker (for first or second time feature directors), sponsored by American Express®. In addition, films predominantly shot in New York and/or produced by a New York-based production company will be up for the Best New York Documentary Award, sponsored by Polaroid.


Films in the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Encounters, Discovery, Cinemania, Spotlight and Showcase sections are eligible for the Heineken Audience Award, the audience choice for best feature film.


Check out more of the slate:
TFF 2010: World Narrative Feature Competition
TFF 2010: Spotlight
TFF 2010: Showcase
TFF 2010: Special Events
TFF 2010: Encounters
TFF 2010: Cinemania
TFF 2010: Discovery

Learn more: TFF 2010 Ticket Packages and Virtual Pass
Get ahead of the crowd and buy your advance ticket package today!


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