Alba, Keys and Whoopi dominate Tribeca Film Fest celeb-filled juries
These are strange times for the Tribeca Film Festival. After starting off with a lot of publicity (perhaps too much) and potential eight years ago, the brainchild of Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff has been struggling to find itself. Well aware they needed more help to really be considered a big time event, the trio brought in former Sundance Film Festival director Geoffrey Gilmore to help refocus the festival in a digital age, but it's unclear whether this year's "virtual" fest (where you can watch eight of the festival's less star-friendly selections online) or iPhone app can really expand the festival's reach. We're huge fans of Gilmore who spent twenty years helping shaping Sundance into the industry power event it is today, but it's going to take awhile to turn this boat around. Because no matter how much razzle dazzle you try to put on a festival, it all begins with your actual film slate.
Sadly, and as increasingly been the case, the list of potential premieres this year is not that enticing. "Shrek Forever After" and "Letters to Juliet" are studio films that aren't expected to make any real noise no matter how unexpectedly good (or bad) they are. And as for premieres, well you've got the U.S. debut of "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" with Andy Serkis, "Open House" with Anna Paquin, Tricia Helfer and Brian Geraghty, "Space Between" with Melissa Leo and "William Vincent" with James Franco, but overall there doesn't seem to be that much to get excited about. Perhaps the festival's continued slotting between SXSW and Cannes is more of a problem than the organizers want to admit, but they are certainly doing everything they can to work the room, er, city.
Today, the festival announced its competition juries and they feature a slew of names more familiar to the guest's chair on late night talk shows than the festival circuit. The official juries include Aaron Eckhart, Cheryl Hines, Jessica Alba (World Documentary! I repeat, World Documentary!), Whoopi Goldberg, Selma Blair, Zach Braff, America Ferrera, Justin Bartha (doesn't he live in LA?), Peter "Twilight" Facinelli, Brooke Shields, Andrew McCarthy and Alicia Keys. Luckily, mixed into the paparazzi friendly group are cinefiles such as doc director Dan Klores, acclaimed actress Hope Davis, producer Margaret Brown, filmmakers John Ridley, John Hamburg, Gary Winick and Gary Ross as well as EW's Dave Karger. Then again, perhaps not. Or, maybe the competition really isn't that important (yet) to Tribeca.
You tell us New Yorkers, are you heading downtown to check out this year's fest? Share your thoughts below.
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2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
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