The 14th Annual Tribeca Film Festival is under way. Movie lovers are enjoying a variety of films and events at the festival which concludes on April 26th. While there is a movie for everyone’s taste, the crime genre is well represented this year.
Nick Sandow is the writer and director of the gangster film The Wannabe. Based on true events, The Wannabe delves into the mind of an obsessive compulsive mob and John Gotti fan Thomas and his girlfriend Rose. The gripping drama takes place in the early 1990’s at the height of John Gotti’s most important trial. The film really brings you back to that time with accurate NYC backdrops, music and cast of characters. Cast members Michael Imperioli, Patricia Arquette , Vincent Piazza, Doug E. Doug and Dominic Lombardozzi all shine in their roles. With Martin Scorsese as the executive producer, The Wannabe is one film you do not want to miss. Screenings for The Wannabe will take place on April 17, 18, 19, and 26th.
Another World Premiere gangster film at the festival is the film Wednesday 04:45. Directed and written by Alexis Alexiou, the narrative is about a jazz club owner Stelios who finds himself trapped as a Romanian gangster comes looking for the money he is due from Stelios. The film is in Greek with subtitles, and has been getting rave reviews. Catch the film at the following screenings: April 17, 19, 20 and 21st.
Bare is a film starring Dianna Agron and Paz de la Huerta. Directed and written by Natalia Leite, the plot is about Sarah (Dianna Agron) who lives a boring life and finds it turned upside down when drifter Pepper (Paz de la Huerta) arrives in the Nevada desert town. Sarah finds herself being drawn into a whole new world of strip clubs and drugs. Screenings are taking place on April 19, 21, 22, and 26th.
Diane Bell debuts her narrative film called Bleeding Heart on April 16, 17, 18 and the 25th. The film examines the relationship between sisters May (Jessica Biel) and Shiva (Zosia Mamet) and how the two very different women learn from each other. May lives a quiet life as a healthy living yoga instructor while her estranged sister comes back into her life. Shiva is the complete opposite of May and is a street smart yet naïve woman that is working the streets and is the victim in an abusive relationship. May feels compelled to rescue her sister from her chaotic life but finds herself delving deeper into her sister’s lifestyle. The emotional film brings out powerful performances from Biel and Mamet and the film features a supporting cast including actors Harry Hamlin, Edi Gathegi, Joe Anderson and Kate Burton.
A Tribeca Film release called Hyena directed and written by Gerard Johnson makes its U.S. premiere at the festival. The film is about a corrupt coke addicted cop Michael Logan (Peter Ferdinando) in the West London underground. The violent thriller is set to a great pulse pounding score by the band The The. The drug squad cop Logan finds that his corrupt dealings with a Turkish smuggling ring is compromised after a ruthless Albanian gang takes over the ring. Faced with an internal affairs investigation and keeping his intentions secret from his old allies, Logan must do what it takes to survive. While safeguarding a young Albanian woman from the sex trade, Logan finds himself trying to change as his conscience is finally catching up with him. This stylish British crime film should not be missed as it screens on April 20, 23, and 24th.
Other films part of the crime genre include King Jack, Mojave, Scherzo Diabolico and the documentaries dream/killer, Crocodile Gennadiy, (T)error, Thought Crimes, Toto and His Sisters and the short films Bandito and Interview With a Free Man.
King Jack is a coming- of -age story about a troubled youth directed and written by Felix Thompson. Screenings take place on April 17, 18, 19 and 24th.
Mojave an interesting film by director William Monahan takes place in Los Angeles. The film starring Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund, follows a Hollywood director that goes out to the Mojave desert and runs into a drifter claiming to be the Devil while brandishing a rifle. Check the film out at a screening on April 18, 19, 22 or the 24th.
Scherzo Diabolico is a black comedy from director and writer Adrian Garcia Bogliano. An accountant breaks free from his mundane existence and kidnaps a young woman but finds out that his plan turns into his worst nightmare. The film in Spanish with subtitles screens on April 16, 17, and 25th.
There are several documentaries to choose from. Director and writer Steve Hoover brings his film Crocodile Gennadiy to the festival on April 16, 18, 19 and the 24th. The documentary follows Crocodile Gennadiy as he tirelessly rescues homeless, drug addicted youth from the streets of Mariupol, Ukraine. In addition to trying to save the youth, Gennadiy challenges the drug dealers. The film is in English, Russian with subtitles.
Another documentary is dream/killer directed by Andrew Jenks. Back in 2005, Ryan Ferguson was a 20 year old man that received a 40-year prison sentence for a murder that he did not commit. Ryan’s father Bill went on a mission to prove his son’s innocence over the next ten years. Screenings take place on April 22, 24, 25 and 26th.
(T)error is a documentary which won a special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The film directed by Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe follows a FBI informant from Brooklyn to Pittsburgh on his assignment to befriend a suspected Taliban sympathizer. The courageous filmmakers not only take us on a rare inside look at an FBI undercover mission, but take things further as they interview the suspect without telling their subject or the FBI. The film will be screening on April 16, 21, 23 and 24th.
Erin Lee Carr takes viewers on a gritty look into the case of NYPD officer Gilberto Vall. Her documentary Thought Crimes is about the cop who was convicted for conspiring to kidnap, rape, kill and eat several women. Carr examines whether or not a person should be convicted of a crime they only thought of committing. Screenings are on April 16, 18, 19 and the 25th.
Alexander Nanau directed and wrote the documentary Toto and His Sisters. Filmed over a time frame of 15 months, the documentary follows 10 year old Toto and his sisters Ana and Andreea as they live in a Bucharest slum. The film is in Romanian with subtitles. Screenings are April 17, 19, 22 and 24th.
The short film Bandito, directed by Evan Ari Kelman is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers who go on a highway truck heist.
Interview With a Free Man is a short documentary from director, writer Nicolas Levesque. Several men are asked questions at a job interview which reveal the plots of their existences.
On April 25th at 7:30 pm the Beacon will be packed with media and fans while the cast of Goodfellas walk the red carpet for the festival’s closing film Goodfellas. The Martin Scorsese iconic film is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Based on a true story, the film follows gangster Henry Hill and his mob associates as they rise up the mafia ranks. After the film stay for a question and answer session with the cast and crew.
So there you have it, the 14th Tribeca Film Festival has its share of amazing crime films you do not want to miss.
For more information on the festival, visit www.tribecafilm.com