Turkish film headed for Tribeca as festival expands world view

“Tepenin Ardı”

March 07, 2012, Wednesday/ 16:55:00

The Turkish film “Tepenin Ardı” (Beyond the Hill) will be competing in next month’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, whose partial lineup was announced Tuesday in what presented an expanded panorama of films from all over the world.

Films about the treatment of women in India and a gay man in Israel will open the competitions at Tribeca among a range of foreign stories and dozens of movies starring James Franco, Abbie Cornish, Kate Bosworth and others.

Ninety feature films will screen at Tribeca, one of the largest film festivals in the United States that showcases independent cinema and was co-founded by actor Robert De Niro.

The selection “amply reflects the Tribeca Film Festival’s commitment to fostering dialogue between the global filmmaking community and US audiences and auteurs,” the festival’s organizers said in a press release posted Tuesday on the festival’s website, www.tribecafilm.com.

“Borders figure prominently in this year’s slate … from the Unites States’ desert border with Mexico (‘The Girl’) and ocean gulf from Cuba (‘Una Noche’), to the ancestral lines separating a Turkish family’s feudal farmland from nearby nomadic peoples (‘Beyond the Hill’),” the statement added.

“Beyond the Hill” is screenwriter/director Emin Alper’s debut feature and is one of the six international productions among the total 12 that will vie for awards in Tribeca’s world narrative competition. The Turkish-Greek co-production, which had its world premiere last month at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won two awards, will have its North American premiere at Tribeca. The film follows the story of a retired forester who is having trouble with nomads grazing their livestock on his land. His revenge plan leads the families to a dire blood feud.

“Yossi,” a fiction film about a closeted gay man living in Tel Aviv, will open the narrative competition, while “The World Before Her,” which connects women in India from the Miss India Beauty pageant to a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls, will open the documentary lineup, festival organizers said.

Other international pro-ductions in the narrative competition included “The Girl,” an American/Mexican production starring Cornish as a single mother who helps smuggle immigrants over the border. Argentinian director Daniel Burman’s “All In” (“La Suerte En Tus Manos”), a romantic comedy about a professional poker player and “Una Noche,” set in Cuba, which depicts one day in the life of two teenagers contemplating fleeing to Miami, are also on the bill.

The experimental “Francophrenia (or Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is)” offers audiences an indie look at Oscar nominee James Franco’s turn on the TV soap “General Hospital” and a portrait of one celebrity’s paranoia. It screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year and is co-directed by Franco and Ian Olds.

“First Winter” is a fictional tale about a group of Brooklyn hipsters coping with a blackout in a remote farmhouse. It screens alongside other US indie films such as “While You Were Here,” starring Kate Bosworth as a wife looking to reinvigorate her marriage.

Among US documentaries, “The List” tells the true story of how a former American reconstruction contractor in Iraq, Kirk Johnson, founded a project upon returning the United States to help abandoned Iraqis who have risked their lives working for the military trying to flee the country.

“Downeast” shows America’s job struggles through one Italian immigrant’s push to open a lobster plant, while “Off Label” shows wayward uses for pharmaceuticals outside their prescribed function, and “Sexy Baby” examines social media, “sexting” and sex culture in America.

Outside the United States, “High Tech, Low Life” takes a look at a pair of rogue bloggers aiming to stem Internet censorship in China, while the Algerian “El Gusto,” which premiered to acclaim in Abu Dhabi in October, promises a catchy look at music’s healing power centered around a once popular musical form known as chaabi.

“Town of Runners” follows two teenage track hopefuls from a rural Ethiopian town of Bekoji that has produced several Olympic champions, and “Turn Off The Lights” reveals the moral complexities of three men rediscovering their lives in a community in Romania after years in prison.

The New York City festival will present films from 32 countries and for the first time has designated opening films for narrative and documentary competition sections. The festival is slated for April 18-29.

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