Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Geekiest Bits You'll Find at Tribeca Film Festival 2016

The Tribecca Film Festival is quickly approaching, so it's time to take a look at the selections that caught our attention featuring excellent music, science fiction to broaden your imagination and all flavors of geek. For those that can't attend, this is a good opportunity to make notes of the titles that interest you and keep watch for reviews to see how everything turned out! A very high percentage of Tribeca films get distribution of some sort further down the line, so make your list and pin it someplace where you won't forget it. If you find yourself screaming that Hollywood should celebrate new ideas and imagination, then supporting indie film is the way to get that message across! Let's dive in...


Catch a Monster (Coger Un Monstruo), directed and written by Michael Y. Lei. (Bolivia, USA) – World Premiere. A lonely boy finds himself trapped in a dark fantasy come alive in the streets of La Paz, Bolivia. In Spanish with subtitles.

• Curmudgeons, directed by Danny DeVito, written by Joshua Conkel. (USA) – World Premiere. A pair of senior citizens have a relationship that shocks both their families in this potty mouthed, but endearing, comedy.
Let's Dance: Bowie Down Under, directed by Rubika Shah, written by Ed Gibbs and Rubika Shah. (U.K., Australia) – North American Premiere. The remarkable, forgotten story behind "Let's Dance," David Bowie's biggest hit record.
Hard Lovin' Woman, directed by Michael Rapaport. (USA) – World Premiere. In this heavy-hitting rock documentary, director Michael Rapaport explores the sacrifices acclaimed actress Juliette Lewis makes to pursue her first love, music. Bucking industry politics and critics, self-doubt, and physical injury, Lewis leads us on a deeply personal journey through her own authentic, independent, and raw sonic world.
Curve, directed and written by Tim Egan. (Australia) – World Premiere. Clinging to a smooth, curved surface high above a sentient abyss, a girl tries to cover the few feet back to safety without losing purchase and falling to her death.

The Tunnel (Tunnelen), directed and written by André Øvredal. (Norway) – World Premiere. In an overpopulated future, a family travels home from the beach in heavy traffic; between them and the gigantic city in which they live, is a tunnel with a horrifying purpose.In Norwegian with subtitles.
The Last Journey of the Enigmatic Paul WR (Le Dernier voyage de l'énigmatique Paul WR), directed and written by Romain Quirot. (France) – World Premiere. The red moon threatens our existence on earth. Our only hope is the enigmatic Paul W.R., the most talented astronaut of his generation. But a few hours before the start of the Great Mission, Paul disappears. In French with subtitles.
Never Happened, directed and written by Mark Slutsky. (Canada) – International Premiere. After a pair of colleagues have an affair on a business trip they decide it might be for the best if it just never happened.
Future Boyfriend, directed by Ben Rock, written by A. Vincent Ularich. (USA) – World Premiere. Stuart and Kaylie are enjoying their third date until Stuart reveals a secret that threatens to derail their relationship. Is he telling the truth, or is it just science fiction?

• Gonzo @ the Derby, directed by Michael D. Ratner. In 1970, writer Hunter S. Thompson and illustrator Ralph Steadman covered the Kentucky Derby for Scanlan's Monthly. The resulting article, "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," marked the beginnings of gonzo journalism. Gonzo @ the Derby looks at the article and the lasting impact on media and sports journalism.
Reality +, directed and written by Coralie Fargeat. (France) – New York Premiere. The brain chip 'Reality+' acts on your sensory perceptions and allows you to see yourself with a perfect physique. All the people equipped with the chip can see your new appearance and you can see theirs. But the chip is only active for 12h a day... In French with subtitles.
Skateboarding's First Wave, directed by Don Burgess, written by Ed Buhr. (USA) – New York Premiere. A look at the early days of skateboarding culture in Southern California, and the group of kids that would shape its role in media and society.
The Loneliest Stoplight, directed and written by Bill Plympton. (USA) – New York Premiere. The life and times of a neglected stoplight.


Elvis and Nixon, directed by Liza Johnson, written by Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal, and Cary Elwes. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In 1970, a few days before Christmas, Elvis Presley showed up on the White House lawn seeking to be deputized into the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs by the President himself. Elvis & Nixon, starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey respectively, imagines the comical details of this outlandish historical encounter. Featuring supporting performances from Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Knoxville, Colin Hanks, Evan Peters, and Sky Ferreira. An Amazon Studios/Bleecker Street release.

Bad Rap, directed and written by Salima Koroma. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Bad Rap follows the lives and careers of four Asian-American rappers trying to break into a world that often treats them as outsiders. Sharing dynamic live performance footage and revealing interviews, these artists will make the most skeptical critics into believers. With humor and insight, the film paints a portrait of artistic passion in the face of an unsung struggle. With Jonathan "Dumbfoundead" Park, Nora "Awkwafina" Lum, David "Rekstizzy" Lee, and Richard "Lyricks" Lee.

Check It, directed by Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Fed up with being abused and harassed on the brutal inner-city streets of Washington D.C., a group of gay and trans teens form a gang to fight back. This raw and intimate portrait follows four Check It members as they struggle to find a way out of gang life through an unlikely avenue: fashion.

The Family Fang, directed by Jason Bateman, written by David Lindsay-Abaire. (USA) – US Premiere, Narrative. Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman are Annie and Baxter Fang, children of celebrated performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett). When the elder Fangs go missing under mysterious circumstances, the siblings are forced to unpack long-dormant and unresolved issues from their unorthodox childhoods as they search for their parents, in Bateman's caustically funny and deeply felt sophomore feature. With Jason Butler Harner and Kathryn Hahn. A Starz release.

Contemporary Color, directed by Bill Ross and Turner Ross. In the summer of 2015, legendary musician David Byrne staged an unprecedented event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center to celebrate the art of color guard—synchronized dance involving flags, rifles, and sabers—by pairing regional color guard teams with performers, including St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, and Ad-Rock. More than a concert film, the TFI-supported Contemporary Color is a cinematic interpretation of a one-of-a-kind live event, courtesy of visionary filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross.

Nerdland, directed by Chris Prynoski. Nerdland is an R-rated cartoon comedy about celebrity, excess, and two showbiz nobodies, John (Paul Rudd) and Elliott (Patton Oswalt), with a plan to become famous—or even infamous—by the end of the night. Featuring an army of comedy cameos including Hannibal Buress, Laraine Newman, Mike Judge, Kate Micucci & Riki Lindhome, and Molly Shannon.

Dean, directed by Demetri Martin. In comedian Demetri Martin’s funny and heartfelt directorial debut, Martin plays an illustrator who falls hard for an LA woman (Gillian Jacobs) while trying to prevent his father (Kevin Kline) from selling the family home in the wake of his mother’s death.

A Hologram for the King, directed and written by Tom Tykwer. (USA, Germany) – World Premiere, Narrative. In Tom Tykwer's wryly comic adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel, Tom Hanks stars as a struggling American businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a new technology to the King, only to be challenged by endless Middle Eastern bureaucracy, a perpetually absent monarch, and a suspicious growth on his back. With Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Whishaw, and Tom Skerritt. A Roadside Attractions release.

The Last Laugh, directed by Ferne Pearlstein, written by Robert Edwards and Ferne Pearlstein. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. When is comedy not funny? Some would argue, when it's about the Holocaust. Through interviews and performances featuring people on either side of the issue—including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K., Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, and Abe Foxman—as well as a portrait of a resilient survivor, The Last Laughoffers an intelligent and hilarious survey of what is and is not off-limits in comedy, from the Holocaust and beyond.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, directed by Taika Waititi. A spunky orphan and his gruff guardian are forced to flee after a series of misunderstandings send them both into the wilderness as mismatched fugitives. Starring Sam Neill, and featuring a hysterically funny performance from newcomer Julian Dennison, director Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok) has crafted a truly touching adventure-comedy. 

My Scientology Movie, directed by John Dower, written by John Dower and Louis Theroux. (U.K.) – International Premiere, Documentary. BBC journalist Louis Theroux joins forces with director John Dower to explore the elusive Church of Scientology. With the help of a former high-ranking Scientologist, Theroux sets out to understand the furtive goings-on of the Church, armed with his irreverent humor and biting irony.

Bugs, directed By Andreas Johnsen. Head Chef Ben Reade and Lead Researcher Josh Evans from Nordic Food Lab are on a mission to investigate the next big trend in food: edible insects. Filmmaker Andreas Johnsen follows the duo on a globe-trotting tour as they put their own haute cuisine spin on local insect delicacies (bee larva ceviche, anyone?) in the pursuit of food diversity and deliciousness.

Pistol Shrimps, directed and written by Brent Hodge. (USA, Canada) – World Premiere, Documentary. Sometimes girls just wanna have fun…and ball. Brent Hodge (A Brony Tale, TFF 2014) and Morgan Spurlock (Mansome, TFF 2012) introduce us to an eclectic group of women who play in an LA recreational basketball league, focusing on the Pistol Shrimps, a rag-tag group of actresses (including Aubrey Plaza, Parks and Recreation), comedians, musicians, and mothers who brought nationwide attention to the league that could.

Strike a Pose, directed and written by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan. (Netherlands, Belgium) – North American Premiere, Documentary. To the fans, they were the unforgettably talented men who supported the career of one of the world's most beloved and controversial music artists: Madonna. Behind the scenes they were an impressionable group of young dancers whose lives were forever changed by her influence. Strike a Pose reunites the men 25 years later, providing the chance to learn about the emotional truth behind the glamorous facade.

High Rise, directed by Ben Wheatley. Based on J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name, High-Rise stars Tom Hiddleston as Dr. Robert Lang, a newcomer to a recently constructed complex in which the residents are stratified by social class. But when the power goes out, the tenuous hierarchy rapidly descends into chaos. Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, and Elisabeth Moss co-star. 

For the Love of Spock, Directed by Adam Nimoy. For the Love of Spock is a documentary film about the life of Star Trek's Mr. Spock as well as that of Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Mr. Spock for almost fifty years, written and directed by his son, Adam Nimoy.

Holidays, directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, Nicholas McCarthy, Gary Shore, Sarah Adina Smith, Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Smith, Scott Stewart, and Adam Egypt Mortimer, written by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer, Nicholas McCarthy, Gary Shore, Sarah Adina Smith, Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Smith, and Scott Stewart. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Get in the holiday spirit with this horror anthology from some of today's most visionary genre auteurs. From a very unholy Easter Bunny to a particularly macabre Valentine's Day gift, Holidays is a full calendar year of festive stories, bringing out the most twisted and subversive sides of each seasonal celebration. With Seth Green, Clare Grant, Ruth Bradley, Sophie Traub, Jocelin Donahue, Harley, Morenstein, Lorenza Izzo, and Andrew Bowen.

Fear, Inc., directed by Vincent Masciale, written by Luke Barnett. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In this referential horror-comedy thriller, horror junkie Joe Foster gets to live out his ultimate scary movie fantasy courtesy of Fear Inc., a company that specializes in giving you the fright of your life. But as lines blur between what is and is not part of the game, Joe's dream comes true begins to look more like a nightmare. With Lucas Neff, Caitlin Stasey, Chris Marquette, Stephanie Drake, Mark Moses, and Abigail Breslin.

Here Alone, directed by Rod Blackhurst, written by David Ebeltoft. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. A virus has ravaged human civilization, leaving two groups of survivors: those who have managed to avoid infection, and those driven to madness, violence, and an insatiable bloodlust. Living deep in the woods, Ann, Chris, and Olivia are forced to fend off the infected while foraging for supplies. But when a supply expedition goes terribly awry, one among their number must make a terrible choice. With Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti, Adam David Thompson, and Shane West.

King Cobra, directed and written by Justin Kelly. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. This ripped-from-the-headlines drama covers the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart (Garrett Clayton), a.k.a. Brent Corrigan, before his falling out with the producer (Christian Slater) who made him famous. When Sean decides he'd be better off a free agent, a cash-strapped pair of rival producers (James Franco and Keegan Allen) aim to cash in by any means possible. With Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald.

Geezer, directed and written by Lee Kirk. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. Perry (Billie Joe Armstrong) is a happily married father of two living a comfortable but sedate life in the suburbs. On the occasion of his 40th birthday, he seeks to revisit his former life as the lead singer in a popular punk band though his middle-aged reality quickly (and hilariously) clashes with the indulgences of his youth. With Fred Armisen, Selma Blair, Judy Greer and Chris Messina.

With a special live performance from Billie Joe Armstrong following the film.

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, directed by Justin Krook. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. From producers Matthew Weaver, Matt Colon, Happy Walters and David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi, TFF 2011) is an energetic, heart-pumping documentary about one of the most eminent DJs working today: Steve Aoki. In the lead-up to Aoki's biggest show of his career, the doc examines the driving force behind his passion: Rocky Aoki, daredevil showman, Benihana founder, and Steve's absent father.
Following the film, there will be a conversation and performance with Steve Aoki at The Beacon Theatre. Buy tickets now at Steve Aoki's official site.
SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock, directed by Barnaby Clay. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Legendary music photographer Mick Rock is best known for his iconic photographs of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Queen, and countless others. In a documentary as rock-n-roll as its subject, Mick Rock guides us through his psychedelic, shambolic first-hand experiences as the visual record-keeper of these myths and legends.
With a special live music tribute following the screening.

The Show of Shows: 100 Years of Vaudeville, Circuses and Carnivals, directed by Benedikt Erlingsson. (U.K., Iceland) – North American Premiere, Documentary. Benedikt Erlingsson brings us a world of imagination with a compendium of wonderful unseen archival footage of circus performers, cabaret acts, and fairground attractions. The films are set to a haunting electronic score composed by members of Sigur Rós in collaboration with Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson.

Screening in partnership with MoMA PS1 where the film will screen inside the VW Dome.

Ghostheads, directed and written by Brendan Mertens. (Canada, USA) – Work-In-Progress, Documentary. Join us for a special sneak preview screening of Brendan Mertens' documentary exploring the many faces of Ghostbusters fandom and celebrating 30 years of one of cinema’s most iconic franchises. Featuring interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman, Sigourney Weaver, and Paul Feig.

Untitled Bill Nye Documentary, directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg. (USA) – Work-In-Progress, Documentary. When it raised over $800,000 on Kickstarter, The Untitled Bill Nye Documentarybroke the fundraising site's records and instantly became one of the most anticipated upcoming documentaries. Join the filmmakers as they discuss their process, collaboration, and fundraising strategy, and preview exclusive scenes from their upcoming doc.


Invasion! Directed by Eric Darnell (Antz, Madagascar), this interactive and animated film follows menacing aliens with vastly superior technology who come to claim the Earth and destroy anyone in their way. Despite incredible odds, Earth's citizens rise up and defeat the evil aliens. Surprisingly, these Earthly citizens are not humans but a pair of the cutest, meekest and cuddliest creatures of our planet: two fluffy white bunnies. 

Killer Deal Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante (Sharknado 1, 2 & 3), Killer Deal follows a struggling machete salesman who runs into trouble when his discount hotel room comes with an unwelcome guest. A very unwelcome guest. The experience takes all the things we love about over-the-top horror and puts the viewer right in the middle of the "splash zone." 

Advance selection ticket packages are now on sale. All advance selection packages can be purchased online at, or by telephone at (646) 502-5296 or toll free at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

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