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Tribeca spotlights European films amidst a record number of submissions


- Movies from the UK, Sweden, France and Germany dominate the European contingent as the gathering announces its first expansion plans on the continent, with an edition in Lisbon

Tribeca spotlights European films amidst a record number of submissions
Witches by Elizabeth Sankey

The Tribeca Film Festival is gearing up for its 23rd edition, set to take place from 5-16 June in New York City, where it will showcase a raft of European films. The festival features a diverse array of 103 features from 114 filmmakers across 48 countries, with 86 world premieres, reflecting a broad spectrum of genres and global issues. Half of the competition films are directed by women, while 35% are by BIPOC directors. The line-up also includes 30 works by first-time filmmakers and 25 by returning directors, all selected from a record number of 13,016 submissions.

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Europe's contribution is particularly robust, featuring a wide range of films from the UK, Sweden, France and Germany, among others. The festival will present works from both emerging talents and established filmmakers. Tribeca Film Festival director and SVP of programming Cara Cusumano remarked, “In a year of record-high submissions, and despite the industry's challenges and global instability, our filmmaking community has excelled, delivering some of the most surprising, inspiring and entertaining films we've had the honour of showcasing. […] These pictures tackle a spectrum of issues from the crisis of global democracy to intimate human dramas, reaffirming the profound impact of great cinema in shedding light on our world.”

European documentaries in the competition section delve into a variety of compelling topics, from political scandals to narratives with worldwide relevance. Antidote (UK) by James Jones provides an intense exploration of activists resisting Vladimir Putin's regime, Simon Klose's Hacking Hate (Sweden/Denmark/Norway) examines the disturbing increase in online extremism, while Checkpoint Zoo, a US-Ukrainian documentary by Joshua Zeman, follows the harrowing efforts of zookeepers at Kharkiv's zoo who strive to save the animals while trapped behind enemy lines. The other title with European involvement in this section is Made in Ethiopia by Xinyan Yu and Max Duncan (USA/Ethiopia/Denmark/UK/Canada/South Korea).

The International Narrative Competition will spotlight a diverse selection of films, including Yasemin Şamdereli's Samia, from Germany. The movie portrays the determined young woman Samia Yusuf Omar, who aspires to be an Olympic athlete in war-torn Somalia. From Poland, Mara Tamkovich's Under the Grey Sky depicts a journalist's fight against oppressive regimes (see the news). Additionally, the dark comedy Family Therapy by Sonja Prosenc (Slovenia/Italy/Norway/Croatia/Serbia, previously known as Redemption – see the news) and Eternal Playground (France) by Pablo Cotton and Joseph Rozé are featured. The latter follows Gaspard, a young music teacher, who reunites his five former best friends at their now-abandoned childhood school after his twin sister's death. The other titles with European involvement are The Dog Thief by Vinko Tomičić Salinas (Bolivia/Chile/Mexico/Ecuador/France/Italy), Hunters on a White Field by Sarah Gyllenstierna (Sweden) and Swimming Home [+see also:
film review
film profile
by Justin Anderson (UK/Greece/Netherlands/Brazil).

The Viewpoints strand, renowned for showcasing innovative filmmaking, will for the first time be part of a competition. The section will introduce films such as Jed Hart's Restless (UK), which tells the story of a middle-aged empty nester whose life is disrupted by the arrival of hard-partying, potentially dangerous new neighbours. Additionally, Elizabeth Sankey's Witches (UK) will get an airing, examining the depiction of women's issues through both historical and modern narratives surrounding witchcraft. The other titles with European producers on board are Champions of the Golden Valley by Ben Sturgulewski (USA/Afghanistan/Germany) and Era Oculta - Hidden Era by Carlos Vargas (Mozambique/Germany/Colombia).

In addition, Tribeca Enterprises has announced its first European edition of the Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Festival Lisboa, to be held from 17-19 October in Lisbon, Portugal. This expansion marks a significant milestone for the international arts community, and will feature an array of Portuguese and international films, live talks and immersive installations. The festival, led by Cara Cusumano in collaboration with Portuguese broadcast company SIC and its streaming platform OPTO, will be hosted at the Beato Innovation District on Lisbon's waterfront. Keynote speakers include Patty Jenkins, Whoopi Goldberg and Griffin Dunne. Tribeca Festival Lisboa aims to celebrate and uplift the local and global arts community, offering a platform for networking and showcasing emerging talents.

Here is the full list of titles announced so far that have European involvement:

Documentary Competition
Antidote - James Jones (UK)
Checkpoint Zoo - Joshua Zeman (Ukraine/USA)
Hacking Hate - Simon Klose (Sweden/Denmark/Norway)
Made in Ethiopia - Xinyan Yu, Max Duncan (USA/Ethiopia/Denmark/UK/Canada/South Korea)

International Narrative Competition
The Dog Thief - Vinko Tomičić Salinas (Bolivia/Chile/Mexico/Ecuador/France/Italy)
Eternal Playground - Pablo Cotten, Joseph Rozé (France)
Family Therapy - Sonja Prosenc (Slovenia/Italy/Norway/Croatia/Serbia)
Hunters on a White Field - Sarah Gyllenstierna (Sweden)
Samia - Yasemin Şamdereli (Germany)
Swimming Home [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Justin Anderson (UK/Greece/Netherlands/Brazil)
Under the Grey Sky - Mara Tamkovich (Poland)

Desire: The Carl Craig Story - Jean-Cosme Delaloye (Switzerland/UK)
Rebel Country - Francis Whately (UK/USA)

Spotlight Narrative
Crossing [+see also:
film review
interview: Levan Akin
film profile
- Levan Akin (Sweden/Denmark/Georgia/Turkey/France)
The Damned - Thordur Palsson (UK/Iceland/Ireland/Belgium)
Firebrand [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Karim Aïnouz (UK/USA)
Kneecap - Rich Peppiatt (Ireland)
The Wasp - Guillem Morales (UK)
Treasure [+see also:
film review
film profile
- Julia von Heinz (Germany/France)

Spotlight Documentary
Avicii - I’m Tim - Henrik Burman (Sweden/USA)
The Cranes Call - Laura Warner (France/Germany/Netherlands/UK/Ukraine/USA)
Jago: Into the White - Luigi Pingitore (Italy)
Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger [+see also:
film review
film profile
 - David Hinton (UK)
Rebel Nun - Dominic Sivyer (USA/UK)
Skywalkers: A Love Story - Jeff Zimbalist (China/Hong Kong/France/Malaysia/Russia/Thailand)
They All Came Out to Montreux - Oliver Murray (UK)

Champions of the Golden Valley - Ben Sturgulewski (USA/Afghanistan/Germany)
Era Oculta - Hidden Era - Carlos Vargas (Mozambique/Germany/Colombia)
Restless - Jed Hart (UK)
Witches - Elizabeth Sankey (UK)

The Devil’s Bath [+see also:
film review
interview: Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala
film profile
- Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz (Austria/Germany)

Escape from Tribeca
She Loved Blossoms More - Yannis Veslemes (Greece/France)

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