We previously focused on women-directed films in the Tribeca
Film Festival lineup. There are also a huge number of women-written or
co-written scripts at the festival, so we wanted to highlight their work as
well. (FYI - There is some overlap between the posts if a woman wrote and directed a film)
The festival runs from April 17-28.
Here are the women-written scripts in the Tribeca lineup. Some of these are repeats since they are both written and directed by.
World Narrative Feature Competition
Lily, directed by Matt Creed, written by Amy Grantham and Creed. (USA) - World Premiere. Nearing the end of her treatment for breast cancer, Lily focuses on life with newfound clarity, reevaluating her relationship with an older man and her feelings about her long-absent father. In wandering through atmospheric New York City streets and lingering in intimate, charged moments with Lily during this vulnerable period, first-time director Matt Creed and actress Amy Grantham create a mature, stylish character piece reminiscent of classic French New Wave.
Six Acts (Shesh Peamim), directed by Jonathan Gurfinkel, written by Rona Segal. (Israel) - North American Premiere. Naive teen Gili is determined to improve her social status by hooking up with her new school’s coolest guy. Afterwards, he passes her off to his friend. Happy at first for the attention, Gili soon finds her situation deteriorating, as this average girl is increasingly consumed by a culture of oversexed teenhood. Director Jonathan Gurfinkel questions conventional ideas of consent, exploitation and complicity in this edgy and perceptive feature debut. In Hebrew with subtitles.
Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors, directed by Sam Fleischner, written by Rose Lichter-Marck and Micah Bloomber. (USA) - World Premiere. When autistic teen Ricky is scolded for skipping class, he escapes into the subway for a days-long odyssey among the subway’s disparate denizens. Meanwhile, his mother wages an escalating search effort above ground. Based on a true story and set in Far Rockaway, Queens, in the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy, these parallel stories of mother and son take the viewer on a touching journey of community and connection in and below New York City.
Sunlight Jr., directed and written by Laurie Collyer. (USA) - World Premiere. Quickie-mart employee Melissa (Naomi Watts) and paraplegic Richie (Matt Dillon) are very much in love. Supported only by Melissa's small hourly wage, they are nevertheless thrilled to learn that Melissa is pregnant. Then their situation deteriorates, and their tenuous financial situation threatens to bring their happy life crashing down. Norman Reedus also stars in this a moving romantic drama from Laurie Collyer, director of the Golden Globe-nominated Sherrybaby.
World Documentary Feature Competition
Aatsinki: The Story Of Arctic Cowboys, directed and written by Jessica Oreck. (Finland) - World Premiere. In the forests of Finnish Lapland, brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki carry on the generations-old tradition of reindeer herding. These modern cowboys maintain an intricate bond with the environment that has allowed them to preserve their lifestyle in one of the harshest climates imaginable. Jessica Oreck's intimate, gorgeously lensed documentary follows the brothers for a year, sharing in the hard work, daily rituals and small joys that make up life above the Arctic Circle. In Finnish with subtitles.
Alias Ruby Blade: A Story of Love and Revolution, directed by Alex Meillier, written by Tanya Ager Meillier and Meillier. (USA) - North American Premiere. Kirsty Sword Gusmao went to Timor-Leste to document injustice in an area closed to Western journalists. Over the next decade, she became the lynchpin that sustained the nation’s harrowing struggle for independence and met the man who would redefine the cause for which she was fighting. Using astonishing footage of the years-long resistance, director Alex Meillier presents a highly personal account of the courage needed to create a new democracy in modern times.
Big Men, directed by Rachel Boynton, written by Rachel Boynton. (USA) - World Premiere. For her latest industrial expose, Rachel Boynton (Our Brand Is Crisis) gained unprecedented access to Africa's oil companies. The result is a gripping account of the costly personal tolls levied when American corporate interests pursue oil in places like Ghana and the Niger River Delta. Executive produced by Steven Shainberg and Brad Pitt, Big Men investigates the caustic blend of ambition, corruption and greed that threatens to exacerbate Africa’s resource curse. In English, Other, Twi with subtitles.
The Kill Team, directed by Dan Krauss, written by Lawrence Lerew, Linda Davis and Krauss. (USA) - World Premiere. In 2010, the media branded a platoon of U.S. Army infantry soldiers "The Kill Team" following reports of its killing for sport in Afghanistan. Now, one of the accused must fight the government he defended on the battlefield, while grappling with his own role in the alleged murders. Dan Krauss's absorbing documentary examines the stories of four men implicated in heinous war crimes in a stark reminder that, in war, innocence may be relative to the insanity around you.
Cutie and the Boxer, directed by Zachary Heinzerling, written by Ada Bligaard Soby. (USA) - New York Premiere, Documentary. Once a rising if unruly star in the '70s art scene, eighty-year-old "boxing" painter Ushio Shinohara now struggles to establish his artistic legacy. His wife Noriko is now widely renowned for her "Cutie" drawings, depicting their chaotic, forty-year marriage. Under Zachary Heinzerling's guidance, this candid New York story about troubled lives united by a dedication to art becomes a touching portrait on the eternal themes of love, sacrifice, disappointment and aging. A RADiUS release.
Dancing in Jaffa, directed by Hilla Medalia, written by Philip Shane and Medalia. (Israel, USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulain stars in this charming documentary that offers a unique perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Three diverse Jaffa-based schools host Dulain's Dancing Classrooms program. Ballroom basics are taught to an ethnically mixed group of children, the most passionate members of which are trained for a citywide competition. What results is a sweet and incredibly moving tale filled with moments of truth, poignancy and hope. In Arabic, English, Hebrew with subtitles.
Deep Powder, directed by Mo Ogrodnik. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Natasha is a reckless boarding school senior tabbed by her exclusive club to make its yearly cocaine run to Ecuador. Coming along for the ride is Danny, a twenty-year-old aspiring hockey player from the other side of the tracks, who may just discover that he has fallen for the wrong girl. Starring up-and-comers Haley Bennett and Shiloh Fernandez, this '80s-set love story based on true events is a sexy, fast-paced and intense drama.
Farah Goes Bang, directed by Meera Menon, written by Laura Goode and Menon. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Farah hits the road with her buddies to stump for John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election, hoping the trip will be her opportunity to finally shed her unwanted virginity. She soon finds her efforts on both political and sexual fronts continuously thwarted. Comically balancing that moment’s climate of intolerance with a universal coming-of-age tale, Farah Goes Bang paints a comic portrait of the overdue growing pains of a group of girlfriends and the country itself.
The Moment, directed by Jane Weinstock, written by Jane Gloria Norris and Weinstock. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. After a tumultuous affair between international photojournalist Lee (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and troubled artist John (Martin Henderson) ends in John’s disappearance, Lee lands in a mental hospital to recuperate. She strikes up a friendship with a fellow patient bearing an uncanny resemblance to her missing lover. The pair works to uncover the truth behind the disappearance, but Lee's precarious sanity comes under threat when the clues lead to the last place she would ever expect.
Run and Jump, directed by Steph Green, written by Ailbhe Keogan. (Ireland, Germany) - World Premiere, Narrative. After a stroke leaves her husband disabled and fundamentally changed, a spirited Irish wife struggles to keep her family members together. All the while they are under the microscope of an American researcher documenting their recovery process. From Academy Award-nominated director and TFF alumna Steph Green comes an emotional journey of family and recovery featuring Saturday Night Live star Will Forte in an impressive dramatic debut.
Wadjda, directed and written by Haifaa Al-Mansour. (Saudi Arabia, Germany) - U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Meet Wadjda (Waad Mohammed), a feisty, funny and wholly unconventional ten-year-old girl determined to scrounge up enough money to buy a bicycle, despite the societal repercussions sure to follow. The groundbreaking first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female Saudi filmmaker, Wadjda offers a moving, rarely seen picture of everyday life in Riyadh: through the eyes of a girl unwilling to surrender what she wants. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
Almost Christmas, directed by Phil Morrison, written by Melissa James Gibson. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Two French Canadian ne'er-do-wells travel to New York City with a scheme to a get rich quick selling Christmas trees. Easygoing charmer Rene (Paul Rudd) clashes with misanthropic ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti), whose wife Rene just stole. Still, this odd couple must make an honest go of it in this fresh buddy comedy co-starring Sally Hawkins, by the director of the indie breakout hit Junebug.
At Any Price, directed by Ramin Bahrani, written by Hallie Elizabeth Newton and Bahrani. (USA) - New York Premiere, Narrative. The robust farming industry of Iowa is the backdrop for this father-and-son story. Dean Wipple (Zac Efron) longs to be a professional racecar driver. His father Henry (Dennis Quaid) plans to make him the heir to their family farming empire. When Henry's ethics and expansion practices come under fire, the family must unify or risk losing everything. Temptation, ambition and competition are the driving forces behind this modern-day drama co-starring Heather Graham and Clancy Brown. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
Before Midnight, directed by Richard Linklater, written by Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Linklater. (USA) - New York Premiere, Narrative. In the eagerly anticipated third chapter in the star-crossed tale of Jesse and Celine, director and co-writer Richard Linklater fast-forwards to nine years after their last meeting. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy deliver powerfully authentic performances as the companions who find themselves at yet another crossroads in their twisting but passionate relationship. The picturesque streets of Greece serve as the latest backdrop to this beautifully crafted love story. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
Bottled Up, directed and written by Enid Zentelis. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. In this modern-day drama, Oscar-winner Melissa Leo beautifully conveys the heart-wrenching struggle that comes with loving an addict. Complaining of back pain months after a car accident, Sylvie's (Marin Ireland) addiction to painkillers is clear to everyone except her mother, Faye (Leo). A promising solution appears in Becket (Josh Hamilton), but relationships and loyalty are soon tested when his feelings fall in an unexpected place.
Byzantium, directed by Neil Jordan, written by Moira Buffini. (U.K., Ireland) - U.S. Premiere, Narrative. Neil Jordan's exploration of vampirism began with Interview with the Vampire. Now he returns to this lurid, malevolent realm through Clara (Gemma Arterton) and her daughter Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan). Creatures from Clara's past come calling, and these immortals are forced to relocate. Dire consequences follow anyway when Eleanor makes a connection with a local boy (Caleb Landry Jones) and slowly reveals the truth of who they are and how they survive. An IFC Films release.
The English Teacher, directed by Craig Zisk, written by Dan Chariton and Stacy Chariton. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Teacher Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) balances her staid home life with an incredible passion for her subject, but her routine is forever altered when a former star pupil and his unsupportive father reenter her life. Go-to television director Craig Zisk, whose credits include Scrubs, Weeds and United States of Tara, takes a turn on the big screen with this insightful comedy about self-discovery co-starring Greg Kinnear, Nathan Lane, Michael Angarano and Lily Collins. A Cinedigm and Tribeca Film co-release.
The Pretty One, directed and written by Jenee LaMarque. (USA) - World Premiere, Narrative. Audrey has all of the qualities that her twin sister Laurel wishes she possessed: confidence, style, independence. When tragedy strikes, Laurel has the opportunity to reinvent herself. In a complex performance, Zoe Kazan poignantly captures Laurel’s complex mix of loss and awakening, especially as she begins a new relationship with her neighbor (Jake Johnson). Jenee LaMarque's first feature film is a quirky, lovely tale of identity and the eternal bond between two sisters.
Reaching for the Moon (Flores Raras), directed by Bruno Barreto, written by Matthew Chapman and Carolina Kotscho. (Brazil) - North American Premiere, Narrative. Frustrated poet Elizabeth Bishop travels to Brazil and encounters the beguiling architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Initial hostilities make way for a complicated yet long-lasting love affair that dramatically alters Bishop's relationship to the world around her. Anchored by magnificent lead performances from Miranda Otto and Gloria Pires, Reaching for the Moon is an intimate snapshot of the search for inspiration, wherever and however you find it. In English, Portuguese with subtitles.
Dark Touch, directed and written by Marina de Van. (France) - World Premiere, Narrative. Niamh is the lone survivor of a bloody massacre after the furniture and objects in her family’s isolated house take on a monstrous life of their own. The police ignore her wild stories and the family friends and social worker who take her in try to introduce a new life. But in this psychological thriller, Niamh is unable to leave her violent past behind her, endangering everyone who crosses her path.
Fresh Meat, directed by Danny Mulheron, written by Briar Grace-Smith. (New Zealand) - New York Premiere, Narrative. After a poorly executed escape from the police, a gang of dysfunctional criminals flees to the suburbs and gets more than it bargained for when it crash lands in the garage of an upper-class Maori family whose refined palates have developed a taste for human flesh. This action-packed horror comedy tells a blood-spattered tale of basement butchery and shifting allegiances as these unlikely adversaries enter a deadly showdown. A Tribeca Film release.
Herblock - The Black & The White, directed by Michael Stevens, written by Sara Lukinson and Stevens. (USA) - World Premiere, Documentary. Herbert Block's career at The Washington Post spanned fifty-five years and thirteen presidents, a timeframe in which he claimed three Pulitzer Prizes, the Medal of Freedom and a significant role in President Nixon's resignation. Ben Bradlee, Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Jules Feiffer, Ted Koppel and Jon Stewart are among the many commentators bearing witness to Block's life, work and indelible contribution to American satire in this inviting documentary. Herbert Block to attend.
Running From Crazy, directed by Barbara Kopple. (USA) - New York Premiere, Documentary. Join actress Mariel Hemingway, granddaughter of legendary author Ernest Hemingway, as she examines the mental illness and suicide that colors her family's history and tries to avert that fate for herself and her daughters. By mixing in remarkable archival footage of the three Hemingway sisters, two-time Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple expands one famous family's deeply embedded truths into a broad picture of the courage it takes to face the past and change your future.