Stefano + Nader - STEFANO RABATTI + NADER SARHAN
(Photo : Photo Credit: Angelo Turetta)
The Tribeca Film Festival came to an end on April 28th after having showed over 100 feature length and short films.
Throughout the festival there were many great films from all around the world. While not all the films were seen, this reporter had the opportunity of seeing over 30 feature narrative films. Documentaries and short films were not seen due to time restrictions.
The following list is the ten films that were most enjoyed by this reporter:
10. Big Bad Wolves: One of the most surprising entries in the horror genre, the Israeli film is a ride of twists and turns that leads to one of the most unpredictable endings. The film revolves around a series of brutal murders that puts the lives of three men on a collision course. Directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado incredibly balance comedy with brutal torture but effectively create an entertaining and fun experience.
9. Oxyana: One of the few documentaries seen, Oxyana is an unflinching take on the addiction of Oxycodin in Oceana, West Virginia. Director Sean Dunne presents frightening cases that can be nauseating to see but effective as they ultimately transform the way one views the small towns in the US.
8. Wadjda: "Wadjda" is a powerful film that that will resonate through its central character and its probing thematic portrayal. The film marks the first movie directed by a Saudi Arabian woman and tells the story of a young girl who challenges her country's traditions in Saudi Arabia. Anchored by a career making performance by Reem Abdullad, "Wadjda" is sure to be a hit when it lands in theaters.
7. Harmony Lessons: Emir Baigazin's directional debut tells the story of Aslan, a young teenager who is bullied constantly by Bolat, a low-ranking player in a larger scheme that extorts money from the youngest kids. The movie is brutal as it depicts torture of children, and animals and can put audiences off. Nevertheless it is a relevant and universal film that will provoke conversation in the future.
6. Bluebird: Lance Edmand's "Bluebird" is one of the most impressive films at the festival. Edmand's film tells the story of Lesly, a woman whose life changes after she sees a bluebird. The movie is a bleak but resounding and unforgettable experience filled with outstanding performances by Amy Morton, Emily Meade, Louisa Krause and John Slattery. The film also showcases impeccable camera work and striking set design.
5. The Rocket: The film about a boy living in Laos trying to change his luck won the best narrative film award at the festival. Kim Mourdant's movie is very dynamic and its non actors are deserving of all the credit as they bring energy to the film. It is an uplifting and riveting story that will bring audiences to laughter, tears and tremendous amounts of exhiliration.
4. Run and Jump: Steph Green's "Run and Jump" is a spirited journey that tells the story of Vanetia Casey and her struggles to get her life back together after her 38-year old husband Connor suffers a stroke. Filled with uplifting music, bright colors and handicam cinematography, the film is always energetic and positive. The performances by Maxine Peake, Edward Macliam and Will Forte are also top notch and some of the best in the festival.
3. Floating Skyscrapers: Labeled as the first gay film in Poland, "Floating Skyscrapers" is also a coming of age story in which the main character Kuba must learn to accept his sexuality and seek acceptance. Raw in its depictions of sex, Tom Wasilweski's second features is poignant, magnetic and tragic film that resonates.
2. What Richard Did: Last year's winner of the Irish Film and Television award is a bleak and emotional film with an incredible turn by newcomer Jack Reynor. The film tells the story of Richard Karlsen, a golden-boy athlete and undisputed alpha-male who does something that destroys all his dreams and shatters the lives of the people closest to him. The film is devastating and one that may turn many audiences off. However it is one that could leave audiences thinking about it for days.
1. Ali Blue Eyes: Raw and honest, "Ali Blue Eyes" tells the story of Stefano and Nader, two teenagers, who share their time between a robbery at the supermarket and the mornings at the disco, but their friendship is destined to crack. The film is subtle and captures the realism in Italian Cinema. Non Actors Stefano Rabitti and Nader Sarhan bring depth and striking performances that may mark the beginning of a long career for these two young men. The film was by far one of the best in the festival.