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Tribeca Film Festival Short films selection

The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express, today announced its line-up of short films. Out of 2,497 short film submissions received this year, 79 have been selected for participation, and will be presented in 11 thematic programs as well as preceding features. These include short narratives featuring Mamie Gummer, Matthew Modine, Azura Skye, Rider Strong, a short written by Guillermo Arriaga and a special short film series created by returning filmmaker Isabella Rossellini. Directors also making return visits to the Festival include Alex Budovsky, Sherif El Bendary, Ed Lachman, Mark Mollenkamp, Scott Nyerges, Mark V. Reyes, Leonardo Ricagni, Jay Rosenblatt, Sasie Sealy and Hyoe Yamamoto.

This year’s shorts represent 30 countries, offering a rare cinematic glimpse of global landscapes that include Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, The Philippines and Uruguay. From fantasy narratives to gripping documentaries, these short films explore a wide range of themes and diverse subject matter.

"Thanks to exploding new technologies, the makers of short films have discovered exciting opportunities to find viewers where none were thought to exist before. This year's crop of short films show that these filmmakers sometimes display an imaginative flair that reminds us that a successful sprint can be just as much of an achievement as a marathon," said Peter Scarlet, Artistic Director of the Festival.

Seventy-five short films from the 2008 line-up are eligible to compete for combined cash and value-in-kind prizes totaling over $15,000 for Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short and Student Visionary Award. The jurors for each of the shorts categories: narrative (N), documentary (D) and student (S) will be announced at a later date. Titles indicated by an asterisk (*) are not in competition.

Following is a listing of the selected short films in the 11 programs a well as the seven films that will screen preceding feature films:

All Truisms
Generosity of spirit and communal connection sets the tone for this short documentary program. Eclipse is a mélange of mystical images from Mumbai. Meet the unselfish shoe droppers in For Tomorrow: The First Step of the Revolution. From Nepal, witness three stories of sacrifice in Life for a Child. A swimmer comes out of her cocoon in Butterfly, and 99-year-old Elena recounts her life in mere minutes in My Mother Said (Kuna Ni Nanang). Finally, the Pope is in the plumbing in Heaven on Earth (Himmel auf Erden).

• Butterfly, directed by Yulia Mahr. (UK) - North American Premiere. (S)
• Eclipse, directed and written by Mark Lapwood. (India) - International Premiere. (D)
• For Tomorrow: The First Step of the Revolution, directed by Kenneth Kokin. (USA) - International Premiere. (D)
• Heaven on Earth (Himmel auf Erden), directed by Florian Riegel. (Germany) - North American Premiere. (S)
• Life for a Child, directed by Ed Lachman. (USA) - World Premiere. (D)
• My Mother Said (Kuna Ni Nanang), directed by Jessica Sison. (USA) - New York Premiere. (D)

Cold Feet
Decisions and indecision confront the characters in these short films. To think, or not to think, that is the question in I Think I Thought, while writer’s block causes a roadblock between two women in When I Become Silent (Watashi ga chinmoku suru toki). Brothers Michael and Saemus come to blows over their father’s ashes in Irish Twins. Hell hath no fury like an employee scorned, in Shift (15 Minuten Wahrheit), and an unusual young man thirsts for friendship in Eau Boy. Soccer boys learn lessons in sportsmanship in The Tournament (Il Torneo), and on the frozen tundra of Arctic Alaska, a hunter becomes a witness to murder in Sikumi.

• Eau Boy, directed and written by Eric Gravel. (Canada/France) - US Premiere. (N)
• I Think I Thought, directed and written by Matthew Modine. (USA) – North American Premiere. (N)
• Irish Twins, directed and written by Rider Strong and Shiloh Strong. (USA) - World Premiere. (N)
• Shift (15 Minuten Wahrheit), Directed and written by Nico Zingelmann. (Germany) - North American Premiere. (S)
• Sikumi, directed and written by Andrew Okpeaha MacLean. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)
• The Tournament (Il Torneo), directed by Michele Alhaique, written by Federico Mazzei. (Italy) - World Premiere. (N)
• When I Become Silent (Watashi ga chinmoku suru toki), directed and written by: Hyoe Yamamoto. (Japan) - World Premiere. (N)

Deal With It
Relive or relate to those awkward teen years with this program of shorts designed for teens. Her older sister’s romance spins 11-year-old Chloe into a world of change in The Elephant Garden. An office worker becomes much too popular when he signs up for a virtual reality social networking site in About Face, and two third graders embark on a mission in Goldfish. Kick some butt in Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Rope a Dope. Fannie reflects on past choices the night before leaving the parental nest in Heartbeats (Hartslagen). In Takoma Park, a pasty basketball player longs for some color in his life. A teenage girl hunts down the thief that stole her cell phone in Icebergs, and a teenage Casanova teaches his best buddy how to talk to girls in Mamitas. Recommended for ages 13 and older.

• About Face, directed by Chad Maker. (Canada) – World Premiere (N)
• The Elephant Garden, directed and written by Sasie Sealy. (USA) - World Premiere. (S)
• Goldfish, directed and written by Joe Wein. (USA) - New York Premiere. (N)
• Heartbeats (Hartslagen), directed by Vincent Coen and Sebastiaan Lagrou. (Belgium) - North American Premiere. (N)
• Icebergs, directed and written by Germinal Roaux. (Switzerland) - International Premiere. (N)
• Little Minx Exquisite Corpse: Rope a Dope, directed by Laurent Briet. (USA) - World Premiere. (N)
• Mamitas, directed and written by Nicholas Ozeki. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)
• Takoma Park, directed and written by David Andalman. (USA) - World Premiere. (N)

Environmental Rupture
In diverse stylistic fashion, five filmmakers examine the devastating effects of human intervention upon our global environment. Collectively, they address issues of war, the exploration of space, and the depletion of our natural resources.

• 200000 Phantoms (Nijuman No Borei), directed by Jean-Gabriel Periot. (France) - World Premiere. (D)
• 2007 Before the Tracks Are Lost On the Wind (2007 Ehe die Spuren verwehen), directed and written by Renate Günther-Greene. (Germany) - US Premiere. (D)
• Launch, directed and written by Brian Doyle. (USA) – n/a. (D*)
• Number One, directed by Leighton Pierce. (USA) - New York Premiere. (D)
• Polar, directed by Scott Nyerges. (USA) - World Premiere. (D)

Eye Opener
All will be revealed in this group of captivating short narrative films. A rabbi suffers an existential crisis in Song of Slomon. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder for the grandfather in The Second Life of the Sugar Bowl (La deuxieme vie du sucrier). Lack of day care leads to desperation for the working mom in Made in Slovenia, and an Egyptian family gathers for food and television in At Day’s End. An emotional collision occurs for an American soldier and his Croatian driver in Have You Ever Heard About Vukovar? A coming-of-age ritual defines the relationship between father and son in Kid, and an inspirational teacher is the impetus for 10-year-old Tamara in Feathers to the Sky.

• At Day’s End, directed by Sherif El Bendary. (Egypt) – North American Premiere. (S)
• Feathers to the Sky, directed and written by Leonardo Ricagni. (USA/Uruguay) - New York Premiere. (N)
• Have You Ever Heard About Vukovar?, directed and written by Paolo Borraccetti. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)
• Kid, directed and written by Miguel Alvarez. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)
• Made in Slovenia, directed and written by Miran Zupanic. (Slovenia) - North American Premiere. (N)
• The Second Life of the Sugar Bowl (La deuxieme vie du sucrier), directed and written by Didier Canaux. (France) - International Premiere. (N)
• Song of Slomon, directed by Emmanuel Shirinian, written by Amy Cameron. (Canada) - New York Premiere. (N)

Identity Crisis
This short film program explores the complexity of self and relationships – in reality and fantasy His boots weren’t made for selling in Rattlesnakes (Skröltormar). An animated animal couple tries to resolve their problems in John and Karen, while another couple questions their commitment at a Jewish divorce ceremony in Willingly. A New York stoop the day after Halloween sets the stage for All Saints Day, and a life or death battle is fought by the superhero in The Aviatrix. Once a month, on a full moon night something magical happens in Moon Mermaid (Sirène de lune). Cycles of life and death intersect in 48 hours for the young woman in God’s Beach.

• All Saints Day, directed by Will Frears, written by Brooke Berman. (USA) - New York Premiere. (N)
• The Aviatrix, directed and written by Toddy Burton. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)
• God’s Beach, directed and written by Abigail Carpenter. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)
• John and Karen, directed and written by Matthew Walker. (UK) - US Premiere. (N)
• Moon Mermaid (Sirène de lune), directed and written by Psyché Piras. (Belgium) - International Premiere. (N)
• Rattlesnakes (Skröltormar), directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson, written by Huldar Breidfjord. (Iceland) - US Premiere. (S)
• Willingly, directed and written by Pazit Lichtman. (Israel) - International Premiere. (S)

We’re “committed” to surprising you, scaring you, or just plain creeping you out in this late night program. A New York cop steps in front of the camera in The Money Shot, and a medical examiner’s assistant will do anything to keep his job in Supply and Demand (L’offre et la demande). “Birds Rule!” in Last Time in Clerkenwell. Discover if Candi gets to have her cake and eat it too in Cupcake. It’s a dinner to remember in Zombie Gets a Date, and the couple in Skeletons in the Closet (Skelett i garderoben) may never get the chance to remember their night together. Fear of the dark is illuminated in Night Light, and the inmates are running the asylum in Kirksdale.

• Cupcake, directed and written by Sean McPhillips. (USA) - World Premiere. (N)
• Kirksdale, directed and written by Ryan Spindell, co-written by Bradford Hodgson. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)
• Last Time in Clerkenwell, directed and written by Alex Budovsky. (USA) - North American Premiere. (N)
• The Money Shot, directed by Aaron Rapke, written by Stewart Kaye and Rapke. (USA) - World Premiere. (S)
• Night Light, directed and written by Mark Mollenkamp. (USA) - World Premiere. (N)
• Skeletons in the Closet (Skelett i garderoben), directed and written by Ulrik Friberg. (Sweden) - International Premiere. (N)
• Supply and Demand (L'offre et la demande), directed and written by Frédéric Farucci. (France) - North American Premiere. (N)
• Zombie Gets a Date, directed and written by Leetal Platt. (USA) - World Premiere. (S)

Off The Beaten Path
From some far-away places, this program concerns life’s unpredictability. Surviving the slums of Rio is a challenge for a boy and his mom in Good Boy (Bom Garoto). An Iraqi-Kurdish girl faces war and redemption in Angels Die in the Soil (Fereshtegan Dar Khak Mimirand), and a troubled artist tries to make sense of things in The New Yorkist. Being the New Boy isn’t easy if you’re trying to fit in and make friends, and a delivery boy from Havana’s Chinatown longs to alter his destiny in The Year of the Pig (El año del cerdo). It’s a long lonely road for the woman in Ana’s Way (El Camino de Ana). Finally, a young boy descends into the nightmarish world of child trafficking in Cargo.

• Ana’s Way (El Camino de Ana), directed and written by Richard Vazquez. (Spain) - New York Premiere. (N)
• Angels Die in the Soil (Fereshtegan Dar Khak Mimirand), directed and written by Babak Amini. (Iran) - North American Premiere. (N)
• Cargo, directed and written by Leo Woodhead. (New Zealand) North American Premiere. (N)
• Good Boy (Bom Garoto), directed and written by Davyde Wachell. (US/Brazil) - World Premiere. (S)
• New Boy, directed and written by Steph Green. (Ireland) - North American Premiere. (N)
• The New Yorkist, directed and written by Dana O’Keefe. (USA) - World Premiere. (N)
• The Year of the Pig (El año del cerdo), directed by Claudia Calderón, written by Leopoldo Nakata, Fernando de Peña, and Calderón. (Cuba) - North American Premiere. (S)

Sparks of Brilliance
Cutting-edge artist Ken Jacobs reimagines (in 3-D) inventor Louis Le Prince’s 19th-century motion picture experiments while avant-garde filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz and graphic artist Benita Raphan pay tribute to other creative geniuses of modern history.

• GIFT OF FIRE Nineteen (Obscure) Frames that Changed the World, directed by Ken Jacobs. (USA) – North American Premiere. (D)
• Great Genius and Profound Stupidity, directed and written by Benita Raphan. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)
• Teslamania, directed and written by Joel Schlemowitz. (USA) – n/a. (D*)

Split Second
There’s no turning back in this group of emotionally charged shorts. A roadside quandary causes a couple to question their morals in Dusk (La Hora Cero), and an idyllic vacation is interrupted for the couple in Hesitation. A 13-year-old Arab and an Israeli ex-soldier connect in Roads. A cop tries to impress his partner in Coffee Break (Kaffepausen), and two brothers decide how to handle a medical miracle in Being Human. A young mother is torn between love and a better life in God Only Knows, and in post-Katrina New Orleans two cousins search for work in The Second Line.

• Being Human, directed and written by Mike Palermo. (Canada) - World Premiere. (S)
• Coffee Break (Kaffepausen), directed by Johannes Pico, written by Lars Bang. (Denmark) – North American Premiere. (N)
• Dusk (La Hora Cero), directed by Gary Alazraki, written by Guillermo Arriaga. (Mexico) - New York Premiere. (N)
• God Only Knows, directed by Mark V. Reyes, written by Julie Oxendale and Reyes. (Philippines) - New York Premiere. (N)
• Hesitation, directed and written by Virginia Gilbert. (France/UK) - New York Premiere. (N)
• Roads, directed and written by Lior Geller. (Israel) - North American Premiere. (S)
• The Second Line, directed and written by John Magary. (USA) - New York Premiere. (S)

Window Seat
Short documentaries with diverse first-person perspectives provide a unique peek at past and present. An animated meditation on the “to do list” is expressed through Yellow Sticky Notes. A camera shy photographer is the subject of Self-Portrait with Cows Going Home and Other Works – A Portrait of Sylvia Plachy. Lorelei Lee and Princess Donna reveal pleasure and pain in Tale of Two Bondage Models. Real men do embroider in Not Sacks. Rant and reflect with Tina Highland in Deconfliction and Mandatory Service is a timely tale of today’s military. Recollections on being Jewish in Iraq are revealed in Baghdad Twist.

• Baghdad Twist, directed by Joe Balass. (Canada) - North American Premiere. (D)
• Deconfliction, directed by Edward Tyndall. (US) – New York Premiere. (D)
• Mandatory Service, directed and written by Jessica Habie. (Israel/Palestine/US) - World Premiere. (D)
• Not Sacks, directed by Fiona Colins. (UK) - International Premiere. (D)
• Self-Portrait With Cows Going Home And Other Works - A Portrait Of Sylvia Plachy, directed by Rebecca Dreyfus. (US) - New York Premiere. (D)
• Tale of Two Bondage Models, directed and written by Brian Lilla. (US) - New York Premiere. (D)
• Yellow Sticky Notes, directed and written by Jeff Chiba Stearns. (Canada) - US Premiere. (D)

Following is a list of shorts that will be screened preceding feature films:

• 7 Cities (7 Sehir), directed by Reza Hemmatirad. (Turkey) - World Premiere. (N) Painted animation evoking the encounter between the great 13th Century Sufi poet Mevlana Rumi and the wandering dervish Shamsuddin of Tabriz who would become his lover and mentor. Preceding My Marlon and Brando.

• Beginning Filmmaking, directed and written by Jay Rosenblatt. (USA, Finland) - New York Premiere. (D) A father takes us through one year of trying to teach a preschooler how to make a film. Preceding Head Wind.

• Green Porno - (USA) - This marks the first time all of these films have been shown together. (N*) Eight one-minute films conceived, written, directed by and featuring Isabella Rossellini (who co-directed with Jody Shapiro) describe the sex lives of bugs and insects. A comical but insightful glimpse at how certain tiny creatures “make love”. Screening together preceding My Winnipeg and in pairs (naturally!) before selected features.

• Lost Girl, directed by Ali Taleb. (Iraq) – World Premiere. (D) A 20-year-old Iraqi refugee in Amman, Jordan works as a prostitute to support herself. Preceding Baghdad High.

• So Beautiful (Zo mooi), directed by Stefan van de Staak. (Netherlands) – International Premiere. (N) Nostalgic story about longing and staying young forever. Preceding 57,000 Kilometers Between Us.

• Suspended, directed by Bahar Behbahani. (Iran) - World Premiere. (N) A woman questions love, humanity, identity, freedom and femininity when everything is normal. Preceding Somers Town.

• The Milky Way (Le litre de lait), directed by Luc Moullet. (France) - North American Premiere. (N*) Going to buy milk from the farmer next-door can be a real drama. Preceding Charly.

Additional information for all these short films can be viewed in the media section of the Tribeca Film Festival website


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