The Tribeca Film Festival announced this morning its World Narrative and Documentary Competition Selections plus its Out-of-Competition Viewpoints titles for its 13th edition.
Tribeca has announced 47 of the 87 feature-length films which will comprise this year's lineup, which includes the U.S. Premiere of Venezuelan film Pelo malo / Bad Hair (pictured left) by Mariana Rondón and the Mexican film Güeros by Alonso Ruizpalacios, the international premiere of the Argentinean film Maravilla by Juan Pablo Cadaveira, and the Puerto Rican film Mala Mala by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini.
Screening in the Viewpoints section, Pelo malo tells the story of Junior, a nine-year-old living in Caracas, wants nothing more than to straighten his unruly hair to look like a singer for his school photo—a fixation that stirs homophobic panic in his overtaxed mother. Each effort Junior makes to alter his appearance and gain his mother’s love is brushed off with abrasive avoidance until he’s ultimately faced with a heartbreaking decision. With a painfully tender performance by Samuel Lange, writer-director Rondón directs this coming-of-age drama about the search for identity clashing with intolerance.
A water balloon suddenly dropping from the sky exploding on a mother’s head in the frantic first moments of Güeros (pictured right), this striking debut feature -and the only Latin American film in the World Narrative Competition, which announces its director, Alonso Ruizpalacios, as a bold new voice of Mexican cinema. Set amidst the 1999 student strikes in Mexico City, this coming-of-age tale finds two brothers venturing through the city in a sentimental search for an aging legendary musician. Shot in beautiful black-and-white, Güeros brims with youthful exuberance.
Also participating in the Viewpoint section, Cadaveira's Maravilla (pictured below left) is the true underdog story of the Argentinian boxer Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martinez, as he sets out to reclaim the title of Middleweight champion that was unfairly snatched from him in 2011 by Julio Chávez, Jr. Focusing on the rise of Martinez from penniless amateur to world champion and sporting celebrity, director Juan Pablo Cadaveira offers a fascinating glimpse into today’s boxing landscape, revealing the politics of the sporting profession that often places entertainment value over the sport itself.
Competing in the World Documentary Feature section, Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles’ Mala Mala vibrant and visually striking immersion in the transgender community of Puerto Rico celebrates the breadth of experiences among trans-identifying women: from campaigning for government-recognized human rights, to working in the sex industry, or performing as part of drag troupe, “The Doll House.” Unapologetic and unconventional, Mala Mala explores the ways internal and external identity pave the path of self discovery through the unique yet universal stories of its fascinating cast of characters.
The 2014 Tribevca film selection was chosen from a total of 6,117 submissions and includes feature films from 32 countries, including 55 world premieres, 6 international premieres, 12 North American premieres, 9 U.S. Premieres and 5 New York premieres. The 13th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival will run April 16-27 in New York City.