(PCM) It is clearly the time to enter the world of cinematic treasures by heading to the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, now in its 16th year, and running through April 30. There is a great deal to shout about at this year’s festival, including several world premieres, riveting documentaries, nearly 100 feature films, special screenings, Gala events and closing night films. Among the world premieres are memorable movies starring Al Pacino, Debra Winger, Burt Reynolds, Zachary Quinto, Jenny Slate and Jon Hamm. The documentaries focus on Whitney Houston, Gilbert Gottfried, and Frank Serpico, and are sure to give us food-for-thought.
Sixteen years ago, producer Jane Rosenthal, and actor/director Robert DeNiro, reached out to the New York film industry and beyond, and they conceived of the Tribeca Film Festival. Rosenthal, and marvels at how far it has come in 16 years. Rosenthal is the producer of such charming and memorable movies as “About A Boy,” and “Meet The Parents.”
“Yes, so much has changed since we started, but a good story is still a good story,” she recently explained. “Global storytelling allows us to see ourselves in one another, and over the past 16 years, we have had filmmakers from more than 80 countries join us – including Iraq, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Somalia, among others,” Rosenthal said.
“For any civil society to grow, create and think beyond the status quo, the arts are a necessity,” she said, “especially in an era of such unprecedented uncertainty.”
Among the many titles to consider are: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in “The Trip to Spain;” real-life couple Marion Cotillard and Canet play themselves in “Rock’n Roll;” Cate Blanchett art-theory tour-de-force “Manifesto” and “The Dinner,” starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney.
Also, Burt Reynolds stars in Adam Rifkin’s “Dog Years,” about an 80-something former Hollywood star. This movie also stars Chevy Chase and Ariel Winter; Quinto, Slate and Hamm lead the cast of Brian Shoaf’s “Aardvark,” a competition title about a therapist who falls for her patient’s brother; and Pacino, Evan Peters and Barkhad Abdi appear in “Dabka,” which is Bryan Buckely’s story of a journalist trying to embed himself with Somali pirates. Debra Winger also stars alongside Tracy Letts in Azazel Jacobs’ latest about a rekindled marriage, “The Lovers.”
Other films to take note of: “Love After Love,” a compelling drama about a family whose patriarch dies of a fatal disease and leaves the daughter, Suzanne (Andie MacDowell) and her middle ages sons to navigate the choppy waters of their lives; “One Percent More Humid,” about two college-age friends played by Juno Temple and Julia Gardner, who reunite for a humid New England summer and help one another cope with the unimaginable. There are also the films, “The Boy Downstairs,” starring Zosie Mamet, an original romantic comedy and coming-of-age tale about a young writer looking to find her way back in New York after a two year stint in London.
Among the documentaries to take note of are: “No Man’s Land,” “The Reagan Show,” “The Departure,” “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson,” “The River Below,” “A Suitable Girl,” “Shadowman,” “When God Sleeps,” “True Conviction,” and “The Sensitives.”
The documentary “Frank Serpico,” tells the story of the man who was immortalized in Al Pacino’s riveting drama “Serpico.” Now, 45 years later, Frank talks about his Southern Italian roots, his time as an undercover officer and his post-NYPD life. Adding their own recollections are Frank’s fellow officers, childhood friends, his west side neighbors, and his admirers such as writer Luc Sante and actor John Turturro. With unprecedented access to its subject and augmented by original music, this is a riveting film.
Rosenthal is thrilled that “Legendary Storytellers” are joining this year’s festival, including Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Jon Favreau, Kobe Bryant, Lena Denham, Jenni Konner, Barbara Streisand, Tom Hanks, and Bruce Springsteen.
The festival is celebrating the works of two filmmakers with unrivaled abilities to chronicle American life: Michael Moore and Ken Burns. Moore will be there to celebrate the 15th anniversary of “Bowling for Columbine,” and Burns will show excerpts from his extraordinary PBS documentary, “The Vietnam War.”
The rich history of Tribeca, which dates back to May 2002, continues, and has been enhanced over the years. The festival immediately took its place as a major place of cinematic delights, probing works of art and deep discussions that make entertainment and art so vital. “Breaking boundaries,” Rosenthal said, “has always been encouraged at Tribeca, as long as long as the participating artists make things interesting for our audiences. If there’s a good story, no matter the screen or surface, we’ll seek it out for you.”
For festival tickets and information, please go to: https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide. Or please call, 646-502-5296.