Tribeca Film Fest 2010: Unveils Initial Slate of 12 Films on VOD

March 23, 2010 – Tribeca Film today announced the first 12 independent films to which it has acquired the rights to distribute across multiple platforms, beginning with video-on-demand. The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, The Infidel, Metropia,  My Last Five Girlfriends, The Swimsuit Issue (Allt flyter),The Trotksy and The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia join the previously-announced The Birth of Big Air, Climate of Change, Road, Movie, sex & drugs & rock & roll, and TiMER as Tribeca Film’s initial 12 titles.

Beginning April 21, all 12 titles will be available in up to 40 million homes via cable and satellite systems, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, Bright House Networks, RCN, and Bresnan Communications.  Subscribers will be able to access all films at affordable price points in the “Tribeca Film” category of their Movies On Demand channel and/or via pay-per-view offerings.  American Express is the Founding Partner of the newly created Tribeca Film, which is an initiative of Tribeca Enterprises – the same parent company that runs the annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.


Tribeca Film’s initial slate features such filmmakers as Academy Award nominee Spike Jonze (Where The Wild Things Are), and notable stars, such as Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings), Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder), Academy Award nominee Juliette Lewis (Cape Fear) and Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting). These films also introduce audiences to Mat Hoffman, whose teenage, aerial dirt-bike feats took the sport of BMX to a new level; a mordantly satirical vision of Europe in 2024; a high-schooler who thinks he is Leon Trotsky; an alternate reality where the precise moment you will fall in love is monitored through “timers”; and a captivating environmental adventure by the producers of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, with narration by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton.


The films are as follows:


Films Premiering on VOD and the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival


The Birth of Big Air, directed by Jeff Tremaine.  (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Mat Hoffman entered into the BMX circuit as an amateur. By 16, he had risen to the professional level. Throughout his storied career, Hoffman has ignored conventional limitations and pushed the boundaries of gravity. Academy Award nominee Spike Jonze and extreme sports fanatic Johnny Knoxville, along with director Jeff Tremaine, showcase the inner workings and exploits of the man who gave birth to “Big Air.”


Climate of Change, directed by Brian Hill.  (USA, UK) – North American Premiere, Documentary. A group of 13-year-olds in India rally against the use of plastics. A renaissance man in Africa teaches villagers to harness solar power. Self-described “hillbillies” in Appalachia battle the big business behind strip mining. Tilda Swinton beautifully narrates this rich and inspiring documentary about a world of regular people taking action in the fight to save our environment. This extraordinary environmental documentary is executive produced by Participant Media and the Alliance for Climate Protection.


The Infidel, directed by Josh Appignanesi, written by David Baddiel. (UK) – International Premiere, Narrative. Mahmud Nasir (comedian Omid Djalili) may not be the most observant Muslim, but deep down he is a true believer. His life is turned upside down when he learns he was adopted—but most scandalous is that his birth mother was Jewish! And his given name was Solly Shimshillewitz! As Mahmud tumbles into a full-scale identity crisis, a true comedy of religious errors unfolds. With Richard Schiff and Matt Lucas.


Metropia, directed by Tarik Saleh, written by Fredrik Edin, Stig Larsson, and Tarik Saleh. (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) – New York Premiere. In the year 2024, all of Europe is united by a vast web of underground railways, populated by an army of downtrodden worker bees. When one such cog starts hearing voices and encounters a femme fatale shampoo model who seems to hold some answers, he finds himself unearthing a vast Orwellian conspiracy in this visually arresting animated noir. With the voices of Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis, Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgård, and Alexander Skarsgård.


Road, Movie, directed by Dev Benegal.  (USA, India) – US Premiere, Narrative.  Loath to take over the family hair-oil business, young Vishnu jumps at the chance to drive his uncle’s beat-up Chevy truck across India to its new owner. The young runaway, wandering old entertainer, and beautiful woman he picks up along the way make for a magical journey that will change Vishnu’s life. With the sumptuous landscape of India as his canvas, director Dev Benegal paints a delightfully original road movie.


sex & drugs & rock & roll, directed by Mat Whitecross.  (UK) – North American Premiere, Narrative.  Awards: Nominated, Best Leading Actor, Best Music, 2010 BAFTA Awards; Nominated, Best Actor, British Independent Film Awards; Nominated, British Actor of the Year, Young British Performer of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.  sex & drugs & rock & roll is The Road to Guantanamo codirector Mat Whitecross’ ripsnorting portrait of mercurial British punk rock pioneer Ian Dury (BAFTA nominee Andy Serkis). From a troubled childhood and a battle with debilitating polio to the effects of fame on relationships and fatherhood, here are the highs and lows of a life lived sneeringly, unapologetically out loud.


The Trotksy, directed and written by Jacob Tierney. (Canada) – US Premiere, Narrative. Like most high schoolers, Leon Bronstein (Jay Baruchel, Tropic Thunder) is having an identity crisis. What differentiates Leon, however, is that he believes he is the reincarnation of Soviet thinker Leon Trotksy and predestined to follow the same path as his namesake. Tackling issues from students’ rights to semi-formal dances, this “revolutionary” comedy will have you united in laughter.


Independent Feature Premieres


My Last Five Girlfriends, directed and written by Julian Kemp. (UK) – Narrative. Based on the international best seller On Love by Alain de Botton, this delightful romantic comedy explores with delicious wit and whimsy just how modern urban relationships go wrong. Surveying the wreckage of his last five relationships, thirtysomething Duncan (Brendan Patricks) concludes that love is a battleground where only the fittest survive.


The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, written and directed by David Russo
(USA) – Narrative. After losing his cubicle job in Seattle, spiritually confused Dory feels like his life is going down the drain. Forced to take a job as a night janitor at a shady research firm, he and his cast-off coworkers are unwittingly used as guinea pigs for new products that are doing strange things to their bodies and minds. Quirky, humorous, and dark, David Russo’s feature debut is a stylish, bittersweet fable about the search for meaning in our throwaway society. With Marshall Allman and Natasha Lyonne.


The Swimsuit Issue (Allt flyter), directed by Måns Herngren, written by Jane Magnusson, Brian Cordray and Herngren. (Sweden) – Narrative.  What begins as a joke turns into a new shot at glory for a group of over-the-hill athletes who decide to form Sweden’s only all-male synchronized swimming team. The less they’re taken seriously, the more determined they are to win the world championship in this fun, feel-good comedy about friendship and family. In Swedish with English subtitles. Part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.


The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, directed by Julien Nitzberg. (USA) – Documentary. Shoot-outs, robberies, gas-huffing, drug dealing, pill popping, murders, and tap dancing — what do these all have in common?  The White Family. From executive producers Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine comes a shocking portrait of Boone County, West Virginia’s most notorious and surly family. Nitzberg spends a year with multiple generations of the White family in this outlandish doc featuring the family’s dancing muse, Jesco White (star of the cult classic documentary Dancing Outlaw). Also with Hank Williams III.


TiMER, directed and written by Jac Schaeffer. (USA) – Narrative. Finding true love is easier than ever thanks to a bio-technological implant called the TiMER, which counts down to the exact time people meet their soul mates. Love-starved Oona (Emma Caulfield, TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is pushing 30, but her TiMER hasn't even started counting down yet. What's worse, she's falling for a guy (John Patrick Amedori, Gossip Girl) who is set to meet his true love in four months. Newcomer Jac Schaeffer crafts a smart romantic comedy that leaves behind the burning question… would you want to know?


Free Titles


Through Tribeca’s ongoing partnership with ESPN, Tribeca Film is also presenting a selection of free titles via most of its video-on-demand partners courtesy of ESPN. Those films include:


Hellfighters, directed by Jon Frankel (USA) – Documentary. In 2003, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Doug Ferguson founded Harlem’s first high school football team and one of the only such teams in all of New York City. The film follows the Harlem Hellfighters though the peaks and valleys of their third season as players fight formidable odds in pursuit of greatness both on and off the field.


Kobe Doin’ Work, directed by Spike Lee (USA) – Documentary. From celebrated filmmaker and die-hard, front-row basketball fan Spike Lee comes a remarkable all-access portrait of one of the NBA’s all-time greats, Kobe Bryant. Lee uses 30 cameras and his storytelling panache to show a day in the life of a basketball star, following Bryant before, during and after a single late-season game against the San Antonio Spurs.


Muhammad and Larry, directed by Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan. (USA) – Documentary. Relying on vintage 1980 footage, the filmmakers trace the story of the much-hyped fight between Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, in which the 38-year-old Ali was relentlessly pummeled by Holmes, then 30. The fight is considered by most to be the end of an era, one in which Ali was truly “The Greatest.” The film captures not only the fight itself, but also months of lead-up and hype during which the two champions (and former sparring partners) trash-talked in the media, albeit with mutual respect and obvious affection.


– Through The Fire, directed by Alistair Christopher and Jonathan Hock. (USA) – Documentary. This up-close-and-personal look inside the life of Brooklyn basketball prodigy Sebastian Telfair examines his decision whether or not to leap from high school to the NBA. But the film is far more than just a sports documentary. It’s also the story of the star-making industry in America, and how the lure of riches and fame exert their magnetic pull on the Chosen One, and those who surround him.


Tribeca Film, with Founding Partner American Express, stems from Tribeca Enterprises’ desire to redefine traditional models of film distribution and release patterns. After starting with a branded VOD offering that will launch day-and-date with the Tribeca Film Festival (April 21 – May 2), Tribeca Film will expand to theatrical, home entertainment, airline, hotel, subscription and advertising-supported digital platforms.  Tribeca Film initiative, launched in tandem with online venture Tribeca Film Festival Virtual, gives more opportunities to filmmakers and also delivers to audiences a range of compelling films that they otherwise would not be able to see.


“We are excited to be offering audiences more choices through Tribeca Film,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer at Tribeca. “One of Tribeca’s missions has always been to find new ways for audiences to discover film and for filmmakers to get attention for their work. We feel Tribeca Film gives us a way to accomplish that, not just in conjunction with the Tribeca Film Festival but year-round and nationwide.”