Tribeca screens variety, successes

The Tribeca Film Festival is an annual event premiering breakout films in New York City. This year’s festival ran from April 16-27. Over 175 films were shown in a number of genres across seven categories including the World Narrative Competition, World Documentary Competition, Spotlight, Viewpoints, Midnight, Storyscapes and Short Film Programs. These films were selected from a broad spectrum of both known and unknown writers and directors.

One outstanding film shown this year was “Third Person,” directed by Paul Haggis. It was studded with stars such as Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Adrien Brody, Olivia Wilde and Maria Bello. Haggis, the director of the critically acclaimed movie “Crash,” brings the same mental sweat in this drama about life, love and forgiveness. Three stories of complicated relationships span three different cities while colliding themes and camera shots and story lines seem to connect each one without any actual interaction. The ending can be interpreted differently depending on your viewpoint. This movie has a multitude of details that makes the viewer want to watch the narrative play out again and again to catch what they may have missed in order to put the puzzle pieces together at the end.

A documentary, “Fishtail,” depicted life on a cattle ranch in Montana. This film is brought to audiences from director Andrew Renzi, who was featured at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and has earned awards for his work. He captures the simplicity and passion that describes the lifestyle of a rugged living on the plains and in the valleys of the American Midwest. The camera focused on the ranch, loosely basing the structure on an average day for the ranchers. However, there were more scenery shots with the backdrop of a poignant score.

The hour-long documentary is hard to watch at points such as when newborn calves are tagged and castrated or when a mother cow is giving birth. However, the vivid cinematography of the majestic landscape and third-person point of view camera angles during the daily rituals relay the point that there passion pervades every action in a cowboy’s life on the edge of the wilderness.

Depending on the time and hype given to each film, red carpets were rolled out for some premieres while others, often already premiered, gained little attention. “Fishtail” had a small turnout with a few people while, comparatively, “Third Person” garnered a huge audience that filled almost every seat. Most audience members were writers and critics for publications and the number of people in the audience increased as the day continued. They seemed as young as 18 and extended in age to late 60s; most of the older writers wore badges that granted the most accessibility to the festival while many younger writers had lower entry badges. 

Emily Balan can be reached at

Author: Emily Balan

Emily is the news editor for The Setonian and writes for the news section. She also writes for The Diplomatic Envoy where she holds the layout & copy editor position. She will be graduating in spring 2016 from the School of Diplomacy with a BS in diplomacy and international relations and a BA in philosophy, with minors in French and journalism.

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