Tribeca Film Festival Preview


Published: May 1, 2008

By the time you’re reading this, Robert De Niro’s downtown baby, the Tribeca Film Festival, will have already been in full swing for a few days. With its plethora of special events, movie screenings and festivities, it can be difficult for the discerning film lover to decide which events to attend. This helpful guide should steer you toward the can’t-miss highlights of this year’s festival.

“Hidden in Plain Sight”
When: May 3 at 11:15 a.m.; May 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Village East Cinema, 181-189 Second Ave.

Directed by Fordham College at Lincoln Center visual arts professor Mark Street, this documentary is part of a continuing study of urban cityscapes and Street’s first-person experiences. “Hidden in Plain Sight” features the cities of Dakar, Hanoi, Marseille and Santiago as Street traces the travels of the famous Ho Chi Minh and Salvador Allende. Experimental and unusual, this uniquely personal and intriguing piece is an adventure of sight, sound and imagery.

“Elite Squad”
When: May 4 at 11:00 a.m.
Where: AMC Village VII, 66 Third Ave.

I had the opportunity to see this film on April 24, so I can personally vouch for the quality of this offering. “Elite Squad,” a Brazilian police drama, has stirred up quite a bit of conversation and controversy leading up to its Tribeca showing for its unabashed look at the reality of corruption and vice in Rio de Janeiro. It took the prestigious Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival this year, and its North American debut was extremely exciting and provocative. The film’s plot revolves around the weary commander (Wagner Moura) of an elite police force (called BOPE) in Brazil’s capital.  The commander is looking for a way out of his dangerous and taxing job. Suffering from severe stress and with a new baby on the way, he looks to two younger officers Neto and Metias (Andre Ramiro and Caio Junqueira) for a capable replacement to manage Rio’s hectic slums. Violent, visceral, heart-pumping and at times darkly funny, “Elite Squad” should not be missed.

Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair
When: May 3 at 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Where: Greenwich Street between Hubert and Duane

Just because this free event is catered toward family and children doesn’t mean you should pass it up! The Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair is an all-out carnival, capturing the playful spirit and joyous essence of the festival. Merchants, DJs, puppet shows, face-painting and street vendors turn this seven-block stretch into a raucous blend of youth and fantasy. Other highlights include the Festival Main Stage, which will showcase performances by some of Broadway’s top talent, kite flying in the Kite Garden, as well as free screenings, food and souvenirs.

Tribeca Talks Industry: Reuse, Remix and Renew
When: May 1 at 5:00 p.m.
Where: Kellen Auditorium at the New School, 65 Fifth Ave.

So you’re in college, broke and an aspiring independent auteur. What do you do to make your creative vision a reality, and what are some of the potential roadblocks along the way? Filmmaking is expensive, and with today’s digital landscape, the legal logistics are more confusing than ever. This panel discussion will allow attendees to directly engage in conversation with industry experts who know the ins and outs of indie filmmaking, blogs, podcasts and the multi-media explosion that is the Internet.