This year’s World Narrative program brings an accessible universality to its international viewpoints and showcase a strong sense of familial locales, crises, and lone-wolf connective longing in a variety of styles. From two brothers surviving the Kentucky Civil War in MEN GO TO BATTLE to a wealthy eccentric who ingratiates himself with the family of his dead friend in FRANNY and THE SURVIVALIST’s struggle with post-apocalyptic self-preservation, the 12 stories and voices will resonate with discerning and diverse audiences.
“We were inspired by, and really admire the ambition and risk-taking of the filmmakers who are striving to capture the emotions and complexities of everyday life in this year’s submissions,” said Frederic Boyer, Artistic Director Tribeca Film Festival.
Let’s take a look at the slate for the World Narrative Features program:
The Adderall Diaries
Pamela Romanowsky (USA) – World Premiere
Elliott (James Franco), a once-successful novelist inflicted with writer’s block and an Adderall addiction strives to escape his problems by delving into the world of a high-profile murder case. Amber Heard, Ed Harris, and Cynthia Nixon co-star in this adaptation of Elliott’s best-selling memoir.
Jeppe Rønde (Denmark) – North American Premiere
Sara (Hannah Murray) and her dad arrive in a town haunted by a spate of teenage suicides. When she falls in love with Jamie (Josh O’Connor), she becomes prey to the depression that threatens to engulf them all. Jeppe Rønde’s debut is based on the real-life Welsh county borough of Bridgend, which has recorded at least 79 suicides since 2007.
Hank Bedford (USA) – World Premiere
In the hot lazy days of a Mississippi summer two star-crossed lovers, a recently released ex-con (Chris Zylka) and an aspiring stripper (Riley Keough), become trapped in a downward spiral of crime and obsessive love, as they try to ditch their small town lives. Featuring an impressive performance by Faith Hill.
Andrew Renzi (USA) – World Premiere
Richard Gere delivers a bravura performance as the title character, a rich eccentric who worms his way into the lives of a deceased friend’s young daughter (Dakota Fanning) and her new husband (Theo James). The narrative feature debut of writer-director Andrew Renzi, Franny is a warm and winsome drama about the pangs of the past, and the families we choose.
Reed Morano (USA) – World Premiere
Sarah and Phil’s son goes missing, shattering their life together and forcing each to find their own way to cope. Cinematographer-turned-director Reed Morano presents a masterfully crafted contemplation on a relationship strained to the breaking point. Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson capture the unraveling emotions with remarkable power, alongside Kevin Corrigan, John Leguizamo, Elisabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi, Juno Temple, and Merritt Wever.
Men Go to Battle
Zachary Treitz (USA) – World Premiere
Kentucky, 1861. Francis and Henry Mellon depend on each other to keep their unkempt estate afloat as winter encroaches. After Francis takes a casual fight too far, Henry ventures off in the night, leaving each of them to struggle through the wartime on their own.
Sibs Shongwe-La Mer (Netherlands, South Africa) – North American Premiere
Jabz and September are two twenty-something suburbanites drifting through a day of drugs, sex, and philosophizing in their privileged Johannesburg neighborhood, ill-equipped to handle a tragedy that has interrupted the hollowness of their daily lives. Using rich black and white photography, Sibs Shongwe-La Mer paints a raw, unique portrait of self-obsessed youth facing adulthood in an increasingly divided city. In Afrikaans, English, isiZulu with subtitles.
Stephen Fingleton (Northern Ireland, UK) – World Premiere
Self-preservation takes on a new level of meaning in this organic post-apocalyptic drama, where the only way to get food is to farm it. A man (Martin McCann) is threatened when two starving women, Kathryn (Olwen Fouere) and her daughter Milja (Mia Goth), stumble across his cabin and demand to stay. Each new mouth to feed strains the limits of what the farm can produce and diminishes their chance for survival.
Sworn Virgin (Vergine Giurata)
Laura Bispuri (Albania, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Switzerland) – North American Premiere
As a young woman living within the confines of a Northern Albanian village, Hana (Alba Rohrwacher) longs to escape the shackles of womanhood, and live her life as a man. To do so she must take an oath to eternally remain a virgin. Years later, as Mark, she leaves home for the first time to confront a new set of circumstances, leading her to contemplate the possibility of undoing her vow. In Albanian, Italian with subtitles.
Paz Fábrega (Costa Rica) – World Premiere
After meeting at a party, Luciana and Pedro spark up a spontaneous rendezvous when Luciana accompanies Pedro to a national forest on a work trip. Eschewing the fraudulent nature of traditional relationships, the pair explores the beauty in the nature that surrounds them as they indulge in the passions of their encounter and navigate the various meanings of commitment. In Spanish with subtitles.
Dagur Kári (Iceland, Denmark) – North American Premiere
Fúsi (Gunnar Jónsson) is a mammoth of a man who at 43-years-old is still living at home with his mother. Shy and awkward, he hasn’t quite learned how to socialise with others, leaving him as an untouchable inexperienced virgin. That is until his family pushes him to join a dance class, where he meets the equally innocent but playful Sjöfn (Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir). In Icelandic with subtitles.
Wednesday 04:45 (Tetarti 04:45)
Alexis Alexiou (Germany, Greece, Israel) – World Premiere
A life’s work becomes a prison for jazz club owner Stelios (Stelios Mainas) when a shady Romanian gangster (Mimi Branescu) calls in his debts. This gripping, underworld drama is a parable on the perils of accumulated debt, and a depiction of the descent of a mostly decent man. Director Alexis Alexiou perfectly balances the complex emotions that drive a man to take the most drastic measures available. In Greek with subtitles.
Let us know which one (or more) of these films you’d like to know more about or anticipate seeing. You can also keep up with the latest news on our dedicated TFF 2015 blog.