New York’s 11th annual Tribeca Film Festival kicks off today and the festival’s reputation of debuting small-budget yet big buzz films looks like this year will be no different.The new crop of films vying for the titles of Best Narrative, Documentary and Short films definitely won’t disappoint a crowd looking for independent gems. Here are a few we believe should be highlighted for future awards and possibly even box-office glory.
1. “Your Sister’s Sister“: Premiering at its third film festival (the film made stops at Toronto and Sundance), this film by “Humpday” director Lynn Shelton is about a man (Mark Duplass) who is still trying to get his life back on track after the death of his brother. His best friend Iris (Emily Blunt) sends him to her lake house for some solo re-discovery but he ends up meeting and hooking up with Iris’ sister Hannah. Oh, and did we mention Iris is in love with him?
2. “First Winter“: a bunch of Brooklynites must face the dwindling chances of survival after an almost-apocalyptic blackout threatens their winter farmhouse retreat. “First Winter” was first introduced at South by Southwest.
3. “The Revisionaries“: a documentary about the culture wars in the public school system. This film looks at the process of revising the textbook standards of a Texas public school district and how creationists are attempting to promote Christianity in education over the “liberal agenda.”
4. “Free Samples“: Indie film staple Jess Weixler plays a Stanford dropout who seems to be regretting her life decisions when she’s asked to hand out free ice cream samples in an ice cream truck. She meets strange customers along the way including a man who wants to take her out on a date (Jesse Eisenberg) and helps her out of her life rut.
5. “Burn“: this documentary from executive producer Denis Leary offers a peek inside the lives and community of Detroit’s firefighters.
6. “Mansome“: “Supersize Me” director Morgan Spurlock makes his fourth big screen documentary about the increasing trend of metrosexual men in the U.S. Producers Jason Bateman and Will Arnett also offer insight into the metrosexual- or “man handsome”- way of life along with other funnymen. 7. “Take This Waltz“: Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen play a loving married couple who get involved in a complicated situation when Williams falls for the new neighbour played by Luke Kirby. Comedienne Sarah Silverman has a quiet and mature co-starring performance as Williams’ confidante.
8. “Deadfall“: This Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde thriller is all about two siblings running from the law and how their lives are intertwined with a young boxer (Charlie Hunnam) and his parents played by Sissy Spacek and Kris Kristofferson.
9. “Polisse“: French actress/director Maïween plays Melissa, a photographer who documents the lives and cases of the Child Protection Unit in Paris.
10. “The Playroom“: A mixture of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and another play “August: Osage County,” this new film looks at a 1970s family party who, as they drink, stop with pleasantries and confront their different dysfunctions. The film stars Oscar nominee John Hawkes.
Honorable Mentions: the romantic dramedy “Lola Versus“, the “Tess of D’Ubervilles” remake in India “Trishna“, the prescription medicine documentary “Off Label“, the lighthearted baseball documentary “Knuckleball!“, and the comedy “Struck by Lightning” written by and starring Golden Globe winning “Glee” actor Chris Colfer.
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