Tribeca Festival 2012

Films in this section compete for Best Documentary Feature, Best New Documentary Director, and Best Editing.

View other Tribeca Festival Films by strand: Cinemania, Special Screenings, Spotlight, Viewpoints, World Narrative Competition

The Flat The Flat
The Flat and Ballroom Dancer
Ballroom Dancer (Country: Denmark; Year: 2011; Director: Christian Bonke, Andreas Koefoed; Stars: Vyacheslav 'Slavik' Kryklyvyy), Official Site, Trailer
A former world number one Latin dancer bids to make a comeback.
North American premiere
Downeast (Year: 2012; Director: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin)
Gouldsboro, Maine. Hit hard by the closure of the sardine canning factory, its laid-off residents—mostly 70-year-olds—just want to get back to work. So why is Italian immigrant Antonio Bussone having so much trouble getting federal funds to open a new lobster processing plant? Charged with the spirit of a generation that still gives it 110 percent, this poignant and poetic documentary sheds new light on the trying task of putting America back to work.
World premiere
Fame High (Country: US; Year: 2012; Director: Scott Hamilton Kennedy)
The drama, competition, heartbreak, and triumph among a group of struggling students at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
World premiere
The Flat (Hadira) (Country: Israel; Year: 2011; Director: Arnon Goldfinger; Writer: Arnon Goldfinger; Stars: Arnon Goldfinger)
An Israeli man cleaning out his grandmother's flat makes a strange discovery that leads him to uncover a secret history.
North American premiere
High Tech, Low Life (Country: US, China; Year: 2012; Director: Stephen Maing)
With the Chinese government employing 40,000 “internet police,” more than half a million websites are blocked in the country. Local TV stations only publicise “the good news.” The rising tide of censorship has aroused a wave of citizen reporters committed to investigating local news stories and crime scenes. This timely and probing documentary tracks rogue bloggers Zola and Tiger Temple as they risk political persecution to become China’s uncensored eyes and ears.
World premiere
Planet Of Snail Planet Of Snail
Planet Of Snail and Off Label
The List (Country: US; Year: 2012; Director: Beth Murphy)
Portrait of Kirk Johnson who, after leading rebuilding teams in war-torn cities in Iraq, returned to America to establish and advocate for a growing number of Iraqi citizens now targeted by radical militias because they aided the US in the reconstruction effort.
World premiere
Off Label (Country: US; Year: 2012; Director: Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher)
Exploration of pharamceutical companies' ethics and reach.
World premiere
Planet Of Snail (Country: South Korea; Year: 2011; Director: Seung-Jun Yi; Stars: Young-Chan, Soon-Ho), Official Site
Documentary about a deaf-blind man and his wife.
North American premiere
The Revisionaries (Year: 2012; Director: Scott Thurman), Official Site
Once in a decade, the 15 members of the Texas State Board of Education meet in Austin to revise the textbook standards for five million schoolchildren. Led by Don McLeroy, a Young-Earth Creationist and Evangelical Christian, the panel implements standards that will ultimately go into effect in science and history textbooks for schoolchildren across the nation. The Revisionaries is a galvanising peek behind the curtain at the politicisation of education.
World premiere
The Virgin, The Copts And Me (La Vierge, les Coptes et Moi) (Country: France, Qatar, Egypt; Year: 2012; Director: Namir Abdel Messeeh)
The Virgin, The Copts And Me is a humorous fictional documentary and family-drama-cum-culture-clash set in Egypt about religion in the diaspora, the art of cinema and the boundless creativity of the filmmakers. Making good use of his mother as the film’s wonderful main protagonist, this directorial debut charmingly and wittily exposes the manipulative aspects of documentary filmmaking.
North American premiere
Wavumba Wavumba
Wavumba and The Virgin, The Copts And Me
Wavumba (Year: 2012; Director: Jeroen Van Velzen; Writer: Mohammed Masoud Muyongo, Juma Lonya Mwapitu), Official Site
Documentary steeped in the fishermen lore of Kenya. Revisiting a childhood fairy tale of a spirit-filled island with the magic to either bless or curse a fisherman’s journey, Dutch filmmaker Jeroen van Velzen explores his memories via Masoud, a real-life legend of shark fishing. His glory days long gone, Masoud relives his youth through grandiose stories told with swaggering pride and heartbreaking nostalgia.
North American premiere
The World Before Her (Year: 2012; Director: Nisha Pahuja; Writer: Nisha Pahuja)
Weaving together the seemingly opposing stories of the Miss India beauty pageant and a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls, director Nisha Pahuja illuminates the situation of women across contemporary India, drawing surprising parallels in the way women are perceived and the opportunities that are afforded them in both modernizing and traditional cultures.
World premiere

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