The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival has announced the feature films that will screen within the following programs: Competition, including US Narrative, Documentary, and International Narrative categories: Spotlight, Viewpoints, and Midnight. Among the 82 feature titles are four from Ireland that will all enjoy their world premieres at the festival: Brendan Muldowney’s Pilgrimage, Alex Gibney’s No Stone Unturned, Ross McDonnell and Tim Golden’s Elián, and Emer Reynolds’ The Farthest.
In a year of record high submissions, the Festival’s curators chose to reduce the size of the overall program by 20%, making this the most selective and focused festival slate yet. The Competition section features 32 films: 12 documentaries, 10 US narratives and 10 international narratives. The Spotlight Narrative section features 15 fiction films, while 16 nonfiction films will premiere in the Spotlight Documentary section. The Midnight section features five narratives and one documentary premiere.
Set in Ireland in 1209, Pilgrimage sees a small group of monks begin a reluctant pilgrimage across an island torn between centuries of tribal warfare and the growing power of Norman invaders. Escorting their monastery’s holiest relic to Rome, the monks’ progress is seen through the eyes of a pious young novice and a mute lay-brother with a violent past. As the true material, political and religious significance of the bejewelled relic becomes dangerously apparent, their path to the east coast becomes increasingly fraught with danger. The monks belatedly realise that in this wild land of ancient superstitions, the faith that binds them together may ultimately lead to their destruction.
Muldowney has gathered an extraordinary cast of Irish and international stars, led by the new Spider-Man Tom Holland as a novice monk. He is joined by The Hobbit‘s Richard Armitage as a misanthropic knight and Walking Dead and Punisher star Jon Berthal as a mute brother with a violent past. Local talent includes John Lynch (The Fall), Hugh O’Conor (The Stag), Ruaidhri Conroy (Jack Taylor), Tristan McConnell (Vikings), and Lochlann O’Mearain (Poison Pen). The film was written by Jamie Hannigan, with Muldowney’s Love Eternal cinematographer Tom Comerford returning to work with the director once again. It is an Irish/Belgian co-production with Conor Barry and John Keville of Dublin-based Savage Productions and Benoit Roland of Wrong Men North as producers. Financing comes from the Irish Film Board, Creative Europe, Broadcasting Authority Of Ireland, Wallimages, and the Wallonia Cultural Fund. XYZ Films executive produces.
No Stone Unturned is a murder mystery that reveals the kind of secrets the governments keep. In 1994, six people were gunned down as they watched the World Cup in a small pub in a village in Northern Ireland. Remarkably, no one was ever charged for the crime.
For more than twenty years the victims’ families have searched for answers. Now, at last, they may have found them. But what they learn turns a murder mystery into bigger inquiry relevant for us all: what happens when governments cover up the truth? The film is produced by Trevor Birney (Bobby Sands: 66 Days) for Fine Point Films.
Elián is the remarkable story of Elián Gonzalez, a five-year-old Cuban boy plucked from the Florida Straits, and how the fight for his future changed the course of U.S.-Cuba relations. Featuring powerful personal testimony, candid interviews, and an extraordinary news archive, this riveting documentary recounts Elián’s remarkable rescue on Thanksgiving Day in November 1999, after his mother and 10 others fleeing Cuba perished at sea. The custody battle between the boy’s Cuban father and his Miami-based relatives, and the momentous political fight that came to surround it, changed the course of history.
Elián is co-directed by US journalist Tim Golden and Dublin filmmaker Ross McDonnell, and executive produced by Academy Award®-winner Alex Gibney. Trevor Birney (Bobby Sands: 66 Days) produced the film through his Fine Point Films banner. Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Worldwide is an executive producer for Elián . Courtney Sexton, vice president for CNN Films, is supervising producer. It is financed by CNN Films, Northern Ireland Screen, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board, and BBC Storyville.
Written and directed by multiple-IFTA-award-winning editor Reynolds, The Farthest documents the story of NASA’s Voyager mission, which began 40 years ago this August, and the vision that propelled them farther than anyone could ever have hoped. Originally approved to travel only to Saturn and Jupiter, the spacecraft took advantage of a once-in-176-year planetary alignment and used gravity-assisted slingshot trajectories to extend the missions, with Voyager 2 also visiting Uranus and Neptune. The two spacecraft, equipped with less computing power than a modern mobile phone, sent back unprecedented images and data from all four outer planets and their many spectacular moons.
The Farthest was produced by John Murray and Clare Stronge for Crossing the Line Films. Ian Benjamin Kenny provided the CGI for the film, as well as the stunning poster that you can see above. Tony Cranstoun edited, with cinematography from Kate McCullough, music from Ray Harman, and Steve Fanagan of Screen Scene/Ardmore Sound as re-recording mixer, sound designer and supervising sound editor. It was executively produced by John Rubin, Sean B. Carroll and Dennis Liu for HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and will air on the US TV network PBS later this year. Finacing came from the Irish Film Board, Tangled Bank Studios LLC, BBC, ZDF/Arte, RTÉ, SVT, and via the Irish Section 481 tax-break. The film had a special preview at the Audi Dublin International Film Festival last weekend.
After receiving a record number of entries, Tribeca’s team of programmers, led by Cara Cusumano in her new role as Director of Programming and Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer, carefully curated a film program that’s equal parts entertaining and provocative. The 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 19th to 30th.