Women fimmakers at Tribeca Film Festival

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The 2007 Tribeca Film Festival spotlights women filmmakers with fiction and documentary features, including:

2 Days in Paris – Actress Julie Delpy writes, directs, edits, produces, stars in and even composes music for her directorial debut. With a snappy comic edge, the story revolves around Marion bringing her American boyfriend Jack (Adam Goldberg) on a visit to Paris. Between clashes of culture, language and flirtatious ex-boyfriends, their relationship is tested.

Autism: The Musical – Trisha Regan follows eleven autistic children as they work together to create and perform a live musical production in this documentary.

Between Heaven and Earth – Masha Novikova co-directs (with Frank van den Engel) this documentary that takes us to the heart of the Eurasian continent, the ancient center of the world where the Silk Road connected China to Europe, where circus is a deeply rooted cultural phenomenon. The film focuses on two circus artists, whose lifelong friendship is affected by the differing political choices they make under the dictatorship in Uzbekistan. In Russian and Uzbek.

Beyond Belief – Beth Murphy’s documentary traces the steps of two courageous women who translate the grief and suffering they experienced when their husbands died on September 11 into compassion for others whose loss, they realize, mirrors their own. They travel to Kabul to help other widows, soon recognizing that the plight of the Afghan women leaves them feeling almost blessed. In English and Dari.

The Business of Being Born – Abby Epstein’s documentary shows that birth– a miracle, rite of passage and natural part of life– is a booming business.

The Cake Eaters – Mary Stuart Masterdon directs and Jayce Bartok writes this drama about two families brought together by the return of one family’s son — a reunion that conjures up old ghosts and issues that must be addressed.

Descent – Talia Lugacy directs and co-wrote this thriller about a college co-ed who is brutally raped and struggles alone to rebuild her life.

The Devil Came on Horseback – acclaimed docmakers Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg expose the genocide raging in Darfur, Sudan as seen through the eyes of a former U.S. marine who returns home to make the story public.

Fraulein – Andrea Staka wrote and directed this drama about Ruza, a women who left Serbia over 30 years ago for Zurich, where she leads a life laced in by routines she’s painstakingly knit for herself, until Ana arrives and things begin to unravel.

Invisibles – Isabel Coixet co-directed (with Mariano Barroso, and others) this series of short films focusing on people who suffer from the world’s overlooked problems.

Lady Chatterley – Pascale Ferran directs and co-wrote this French adaptation of the second (and much less well-known) version of D.H. Lawrence’s erotic tale.

The Man of Two Havanas – Vivien Lesnick Weisman directed, Tirsa Hackshaw and Sara Grace Monson scripted this documentary about Cuban journalist Max Lesnik, as told by his daughter. Lesnik, a childhood friend of Fidel Castro, was involved in the Cuban Revolution but eventually moved to Little Havana (Miami), where he founded Replica, the Spanish language publication. The film delves into the story behind the Cuban embargo and shows how the US has used Cuban nationals to commit acts of violance against their own people.

Normal Adolescent Behavior – Written and directed by Beth Schacter, this drama shows Wendy and her friends avoiding the heartless world of random hookups and friends-with-benefits by spending all their time together. When Wendy meets Sean, she’s torn between her genuine affection and desire for him and her commitment to her friends.

The Sugar Curtain – Camila Guzman Urzua’s documentary is the portrayal of the singular experience shared by people of her generation — those living Cuba’s utopian dream during the golden era of the revolution. It’s also a lament for the end of that dream, which began to fizzle after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Third Monday in October – co-directed by Vanessa Roth and Alexandra Dixon, this documentary focuses on student council races in four different middle schools across the U.S.

The Third Wave – Alison Thompson’s documentary is about the dramatic adventure of four volunteers who travel to Peraliya, Sri Lanka, after the 2004 tsunami– and their planned two-week journey becomes a year of heartbreak and rebirth.

Tootie’s Last Suit – Lisa Katzman directs this documentary portrait of Tootie Montana, Mardis Gras Indian chief.

Two in One – Kira Muratova directed, Renata Litvinova co-wrote (with Yevgeni Golubenko) this Russian dramady about how the death of an actor turns a theatrical drama into a real one.

Vivere – Angelina Maccarone wrote and directed this romantic drama that takes place on Christmas Eve, when Francesca, setting out for Rotterdam to find her little sister who’s run off with her musician boyfriend, befriends Gerlinde, a heartbroken older woman at the end of her rope.

A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory – Esther B. Robinson’s documentary is a portrait of her uncle, Danny Williams, who was Andy Warhol’s onetime lover, collaborator and a filmmaker in his own right. Williams disappeared mysteriously at age 27. In exploring The Factory era, the film is an homage to Williams’s talent and a journey of family discovery.

For futher information about these films, additional women filmmaker titles, screening and ticketing information, visit Tribeca Film Festival

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).