Video: Get to Know 5 More 2012 Tribeca Filmmakers (and Their Films)

Movieline spotlighted filmmakers and trailers from the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival over the weekend and last week. The festival is still underway all this week, so it's certainly not too late to catch a little Tribeca action. If you're in New York and want to see some films at the festival (or if you are looking for a taste of Tribeca from afar), here is a sneak glimpse of more of this year's offerings from the festival's World Narrative Competition and World Documentary Competition.

Tuesday's spotlights include World Narrative Competition features Nancy, Please and War Witch as well as World Doc Competition contenders The Flat and The List. And in Tribeca's genre-centered Cinemania section is Rat King.

Nancy, Please by director Andrew Semans - U.S. [World Narrative Competition]

Synopsis:
Paul's life is good. He is a gifted graduate student at Yale, completing a PhD in English literature, and has finally moved in with his longtime girlfriend, Jen. A bright and promising future seems assured. There's just one thing. Paul has left an item of great importance at his old apartment: a tattered, personally annotated copy of Dickens' Little Dorrit, the subject of his dissertation, and he simply must have it back. Doing so will mean recovering it from his casually sinister and inexplicably vindictive former roommate, Nancy, who blithely thwarts Paul's increasingly frantic attempts at retrieval. His annoyance turns to rage and then to obsession, until his life begins to come undone. Things will get much, much worse before they get better. [Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]

Comments by Andrew Semans...

Nancy, Please quick pitch:
Paul has recently moved in with his girlfriend. In the process, he has left something of great personal importance behind in his old apartment. Nancy, his casually sinister former roommate, refuses to give it back for reasons unknown. Paul is confused; Paul is frustrated; Paul is doomed. Nancy, Please is a black comedy that explores obsession, self-righteousness, and the perverse allure of victimhood in New Haven, CT.
 
…and why it's worth seeing at Tribeca:
It's a funny and occasionally ghoulish story that tracks the process by which a seemingly mundane conflict can evolve into something truly absurd and truly destructive.
 
Thoughts about the clip:
In this clip, our protagonist (Paul) confronts his former roommate (Nancy) on her doorstep in an effort to retrieve a cherished book that she's been inexplicably withholding from him. 

The Flat, by director Arnon Goldfinger - Israel, Germany [World Documentary Competition]

Comments by Arnon Goldfinger...

The Flat quick pitch:
After my grandmother passed away at the age of 98, my family and I went to empty out the flat and soon discover hints to a mysterious and painful past.

…and why it's worth seeing at Tribeca:
[It is] an unbelievable story, the secrets that are revealed, the moving characters – and the deep feelings that the film brings up with viewers.

Thoughts about the trailer...
The trailer is taken from the beginning of the film and is the starting point for a complicated journey that is about to unfold on screen. The flat is still filled with objects, photos and letters that accumulated over a lifetime. Soon this will all disappear, but along the way, secrets that were hidden, will begin to emerge.

The List by director Beth Murphy - U.S. [World Documentary Competition]

Synopsis:
After working for an aid group tasked with improving infrastructure in war-torn cities in Iraq, young American Kirk Johnson returns home to news that his Iraqi co-workers are being killed, kidnapped or forced into exile by radical militias who perceived them as traitors because of their involvement with the U.S. Frustrated by his government's inability to safeguard its endangered allies, Johnson begins compiling a list of Iraqis seeking refuge and a new life in America — all of them desperately in need of an advocate. [Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]

Comments by Beth Murphy

The List quick pitch:
The List is a modern-day Oskar Schindler story about a young American who is working to save Iraqis who are being targeted for death because they worked for the United States government and military to rebuild their country.
 
…and why it's worth seeing at Tribeca:
[The film] shows the human face of the Iraq War, an example of the aftermath of war. And I believe the aftermath of war is something that is all too often forgotten. America has moved on from Iraq, but for Iraqis who worked with our government and military, there is no moving on from the life-threatening reality they and their families face. And in this big picture is a very personal and emotional story of a former U.S. government employee who is single-handedly trying to redeem a nation.
 
Thoughts about the clip:
In this scene from The List, Kirk Johnson meets in a cramped Baghdad hotel room with desperate Iraqis who are being hunted down as "traitors" and "collaborators with the enemy." All of these Iraqis are among the thousands on Kirk's list. They are all in danger because of their affiliation with America, and they have all been waiting for years for help from the U.S.

War Witch by director Kim Nguyen - Canada [World Narrative Competition]

Synopsis:
Montreal-based filmmaker Kim Nguyen paints a poignant and harrowing portrait of Komona, a 14-year-old girl (wonderfully played by nonprofessional actress Rachel Mwanza) who has been kidnapped from her African village by rebels to become a child soldier. She escapes from the camp with an older albino soldier and experiences for the very first time the joys of a peaceful and loving life, but a fresh tragedy will force her to confront and fight the ghosts haunting her mind. [Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]

Brief comments by Kim Nguyen...

The War Witch quick pitch:
It's a love story at a time of war, and it's also a story of resilience in a world filled with magic, violence and poetry.
 
…and why it's worth seeing at Tribeca:
Definitely, first and foremost, to see Rachel Mwanza, one of the most powerful actresses we have seen on the screen in the last decade.
 
A thought about the trailer:
Hope in troubled times!

Rat King by director Petri Kotwica - Finland [Cinemania section]


(non-English)

Synopsis:
Eighteen-year-old Juri spends his days absorbed in his computer gaming world, to the exclusion of school, friends, and his exasperated girlfriend. One night his Internet ally "Modred," actually another student named Niki, turns up at his door, fearing for his life. Niki is caught in the grasp of a mysterious new online game, and Juri, warned of the dangers but with nothing to lose, eagerly follows him down the rabbit hole. Initially unimpressed with a game that seems to be nothing but a series of banal tasks, Juri soon finds himself immersed in an all-consuming race against the clock for his very life. [Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]

Comments by Petri Kotwica...

The Rat King quick pitch:
[It is] the story of Juri, 18, who is looking for a way out of his online gaming addiction only to find himself drawn into a deadly psychotic real-life nightmare by net-mate Niki.
 
…and why it's worth seeing at Tribeca:
Cleverly constructed and with outstanding cinematography, Rat King manages to combine contemporary issues, such as the relative dangers of gaming addiction, with a fast paced and entertaining storyline.
 
Thoughts about the trailer:
I wanted to show the topic and style of the film. Rat King is a thriller spiced up with horror elements about a high school kid who enters a deadly online game.

Read all of Movieline's Tribeca 2012 coverage here.



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