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Beginning on the 14th of April, the highly anticipated Tribeca Film Festival will run for 11 days, highlighting some of the world’s best upcoming independent features and documentaries.
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by philanthropist Craig Hatkoff, Film and Television Producer Jane Rosenthal and acclaimed actor Robert De Niro. From its humble beginnings in 2002, the festival now attracts an estimated 3 million people annually – including celebrities from the worlds of art, film, and music. The Tribeca Film Festival not only celebrates New York as a cultural hub for film and artistic expression, but has also introduced many talented filmmakers to a whole new audience.

Beamafilm has some great films that have been part of Tribeca Film Festival throughout the years, starting with the 2013 Best Documentary Feature Winner The Kill Team. Director Dan Krauss is well known as a cinematographer for documentaries such as Broadway Idiot and The Most Dangerous Man in America, and The Kill Team was Krauss’s extraordinary directorial debut. The film looks at the devastating moral tensions that tear at soldiers’ psyches, focusing on the harrowing story of Private Adam Winfield. As a 21 year old soldier in Afghanistan, Private Winfield attempted to alert the military to heinous war crimes his platoon was committing. His pleas went unheard, and with his safety in jeopardy Private Winfield was forced to make a split-second decision that tested his morals. The logical illogic of soldiers from this expose is clear, as their Army training and their role as “peacekeepers” violently conflict.  The Kill Team is a powerful reminder of the atrocities of war and the soldiers’ struggles when they return home to the countries they were defending.

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Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia had its premiere at Tribeca in 2013, chronicling the celebrated life and career of the late author, and last lion of the age of American liberalism. A blend of archival footage and interviews from the people who knew Vidal best remind us why he will forever stand as one of the most brilliant and fearless critics of our time. Director Nicholas Wrathall respectfully captures Vidal’s final years through candid vérité footage, focusing on the impact Vidal still has at his age, and the memories he will leave behind.  Vidal shares his insightful thoughts on the state of the Republic and the health of US democracy as well as his view of the twenty-first century and how it has been shaped by events of our past.  Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia is truly the last word and testimony of this multi-faceted figure.

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The Tribeca Film Festival is well known for encouraging filmmakers to share the stories of New York, and how the city influences people and their aspirations. A film that beautifully exemplifies these themes is the powerful expose Nas: Time is Illmatic.  An urban poet who elegantly elucidated the transition from childhood to manhood, Nas fostered inspiration for his music from his home neighbourhood in New York’s Queensbridge projects. Artist and Director One9  delves deep into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. Fuelled by ample footage of live performances and recollections from Nas in the studio, Nas: Time Is Illmatic lets the music speak for itself, and was a standout addition to the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

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Throughout Tribeca’s short 14 year history it has shown countless powerful and moving films. Crystal Moselle’s The Wolfpack is was one of the 2015 festival’s stand out films. The film is an extraordinary coming of age story that highlights the powerful influence of cinema on a group of adolescents who were being sheltered from society. Also in 2015, Tribeca premiered Cosima Spender’s Palio, a heart-stopping look at the worlds’ oldest horserace, held in the heart of Siena. Tribeca also saw the premiere of Frédéric Tcheng’s retrospective on the Christian Dior fashion house in Dior and I, as well as Black White + Gray, looking at the relationship between curator Sam Wagstaff and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and the legacy the pair left behind. Finally, The One Percent Documentary premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2006, exploring the small percentage of Americans who control the half the wealth of the USA, and the danger to the economy that percent poses.

Be sure to check out these great documentaries from the Tribeca Film Festival Archives on Beamafilm.

By Max Comp.

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