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As Tribeca Kicks Off, 'A Brony Tale' Leads Some Must-See Docs

Photo of John Anderson By John Anderson | Thompson on Hollywood April 16, 2014 at 4:46PM

“The business of the business is so crazy and complicated that we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing,” said veteran producer Paula Weinstein (“Analyze This,” “The Perfect Storm,” “The Company Men,” “The Astronaut Farmer”), now in her third month as a VP at Tribeca Enterprises. “Now, I’m reminded everyday why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
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'A Brony Tale'
'A Brony Tale'

“The business of the business is so crazy and complicated that we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing,” said veteran producer and Hollywood refugee Paula Weinstein at a kickoff lunch for the Tribeca Film Festival Tuesday. “Now, I’m reminded everyday why we’re doing what we’re doing.” The veteran producer of “Analyze This,” “The Perfect Storm,” and “The Company Men" is enjoying in her third month as a VP at Tribeca Enterprises. 

"Time Is Illmatic."
"Time Is Illmatic."

Youth has a lot to do with it, Weinstein said. After all, the Tribeca Film Festival is only 13, so there were matzohs and macaroons on hand and a glancing nod at Passover, as well as acknowledgement by Tribeca founder Jane Rosenthal that the festival planned mostly to do what it had done before -- just better. Weinstein, who recently relocated from LA to Manhattan, couldn’t be happier about it. She said the difference she found was enthusiasm: The people she’s working with at Tribeca are passionate about what they do, and it’s reflected in the work.

Whether the press at the lunch agrees -- or the audiences, who are, as much as we hate to say it, more important -- will be determined over the next 10 days as Tribeca rolls out a film menu notably heavy on music and performances (including the opener, “Time Is Illmatic” about the Nas album), and a roster of docs that looks as promising as anything Tribeca’s ever offered. 

Here's a batch to look forward to:

  • Marshall (“If a Tree Falls”) Curry’s “Point and Shoot”
  • Jennifer Grausman and Sam Cullman’s “Art and Craft” about art forgery
  • Alex Gibney's “untitled James Brown Project”
  • “A Brony Tale,” director Brent Hodge’s film about males, mostly adult, mostly straight, who are fans of “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic."

The film became something of a joke over the course of the lunch. Tribeca Enterprises honcho Geoff Gilmore gave the movie a shout-out during his remarks; when the programmers and executive staff of the festival were asked what they were most looking forward to over the course of the festival, even Robert De Niro said “A Brony Tale.” Of course, if you look at the words “A Brony Tale” too quickly they look like “A Bronx Tale,” so it may have been that De Niro was feeling nostalgic for his brief days as a director. On the other hand, maybe one more Brony just came out of the closet.

This article is related to: Festivals, Tribeca Film Festival, Documentary, Documentaries


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.