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Friday, March 6, 2015

Documentaries on Mary J. Blige and Misty Copeland are Among the Films World Premiering at Tribeca

It looks like this year's Tribeca Film Festival is piggy backing off the success of last year's Nas: Time is Illmatic with another music documentary competing in the Special Screenings section that will also accompany a live performance at the event. R&B queen Mary J. Blige's concert documentary Mary J. Blige - The London Sessions will follow the singer as she writes, records, and curates her 13th studio album. The film, which is making its world premiere at the festival in New York City next month, will be followed by a live performance from Blige.

Also among the Special Screenings, well-respected indie director Nelson George will debut his documentary on Misty Copeland, the first African-American female soloist at New York’s American Ballet Theatre® in two decades at the festival. A Ballerina's Tale will followed by a discussion with Copeland and a performance from one of her protégées from Project Plie.

Below is a list of other highlights from the newest slate of films competing in the Spotlight and Midnight categories:


Aloft, directed and written by Claudia Llosa. (Canada, France, Spain) – New York Premiere, Narrative. In parallel narratives, single-mother Nana (Jennifer Connelly) has a mysterious experience at the hands of a traveling healer, years later her troubled son Ivan (Cillian Murphy) sets out in search of his now absent mother. Academy Award®–nominee Claudia Llosa’s (The Milk of Sorrow) decade-spanning family drama is a dreamlike rumination on faith, forgiveness, and family, set against an otherworldly frozen landscape. A Sony Pictures Classics Release.

As I AM: the Life and Times of DJ AM, directed and written by Kevin Kerslake. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Adam Goldstein, better known as DJ AM, was a man with deep passions and aggressive demons. As I AM is an insider’s look into the life of the late, famed mash-up pioneer: his professional successes that made him the first million-dollar deejay in the United States and his incredibly complex personal life that was lived under the specter of drug addiction.

Backtrack, directed and written by Michael Petroni. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In this spine-tingling supernatural thriller, troubled psychotherapist Peter Bowers (Adrien Brody) is suffering from nightmares and eerie visions. When he uncovers a horrifying secret that all of his patients share, he is put on a course that takes him back to the small hometown he fled years ago. There he confronts his demons and unravels a mystery 20 years in the making.

Grandma, directed and written by Paul Weitz. (USA) – New York Premiere, Narrative. Reeling from a recent breakup and still mourning the loss of her longtime partner, once-famous poet Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) is surprised to find her teenage granddaughter on her doorstep in need of $600 and a ride. The two embark on an all-day road trip that ends up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets all over town. Co-starring Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, and Sam Elliott. A Sony Pictures Classics release.


Maggie, directed by Henry Hobson, written by John Scott 3. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. There's a deadly zombie epidemic threatening humanity, but Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a small-town farmer and family man, refuses to accept defeat even when his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) becomes infected. As Maggie's condition worsens and the authorities seek to eradicate those with the virus, Wade is pushed to the limits in an effort to protect her. Joely Richardson co-stars in this post-apocalyptic thriller. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions release.

The Wannabe, directed and written by Nick Sandow. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Gotti-obsessed and hopelessly in love, Tommy (Boardwalk Empire’s Vincent Piazza) and Rose (Academy Award®–winner Patricia Arquette) are New York nobodies who get their moment in the sun when they begin robbing New York’s mafia elite in this real-life crime story of mob culture and amour fou. Based on true events surrounding the 1992 trial of John Gotti. From writer-director Nick Sandow (“Orange is the New Black”) and executive producer Martin Scorsese.


Emelie, directed by Michael Thelin, written by Richard Raymond Harry Herbeck. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. After their regular babysitter Maggie can’t make it, the Thompson family turns to her friend Anna to supervise their children while the parents go out to celebrate their anniversary. At first Anna seems like a dream come true to the kids, allowing them to eat extra cookies and play with things that are usually off-limits, but as her behavior becomes increasingly odd, the kids soon find out that her intentions are dark and twisted, and she is not who she seems to be.

Scherzo Diabolico, directed and written by Adrián García Bogliano. (Mexico, USA) – World Premiere, Narrative.Armed with a fine-tuned chokehold and penchant for piano sonatas, a wearied accountant breaks his mild-mannered routine when he kidnaps a young woman. What starts as a carefully calculated plan soon crescendos into his worst nightmare. A delightfully twisted black comedy, Scherzo Diaboloco is the latest opus from director Adrián García Bogliano. In Spanish with subtitles.

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival will take place in New York City April 15-26. For general ticket information, click here


Anonymous said...

Looks like there are some great films on the slate! I'm particularly interested in that Copeland doc. She's fascinating and her story is truly inspiring.

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