The Tribeca Film Festival wound down Sunday, reaching what organizers said was a 95% attendance rate at its screenings and panels. Of course, what plays to packed houses within the festival bubble won't necessarily bring the crowds in outside it. What movies can you expect will attract some interest long after the last screening has ended? Here's a diverse, but by no means exhaustive, list.
"The Flat": Tribeca is known for documentaries, and this year was no exception. Receiving some of the best buzz from the festival was Arnon Goldfinger's "The Flat," a nonfiction tale about an Israeli man who begins to uncover some things about his Jewish grandparents after his grandmother dies and he is left cleaning out the Tel Aviv apartment she once shared with her husband. Reviews have been strong, and, without giving anything away, we'll just say it's a story that soon hops countries en route to some surprising discoveries.
"The World Before Her": We're a bit removed from "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Slumdog Millionaire," but a movie that combines elements of both in a story of Indian beauty pageants can only be interesting. The jury agreed too, handing Canadian director Nisha Pahuja its top documentary prize.
"Una Noche": Hey, when your stars defect in an art-imitating-life twist, that always helps. Also of assistance: when you have a well-made and well-regarded movie, as Lucy Mulloy does, telling compellingly of the fictional (but entirely plausible) aspirations of three very different teenagers in a bleak but poetic Havana. The movie still doesn't have U.S. distribution, but with all the attention paid the defectors, don't be surprised if that ends soon, particularly for a company with a Latin focus.
"Resolution": Starting out as a story about a man trying to get his buddy to go to rehab, Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorehead's film soon evolves into a tale of secrets and narrative revelations. A smart marketer will call it a thriller, and maybe in the confines of a film festival it is, but many have recognized it for something else: strong storytelling with suspense and emotion.
"Fairhaven": More to come on this one shortly, but suffice it to say that Tom O'Brien's wistful drama about men in their 30s, stuck in and returning to their small New England town, will conjure up the 1990s hit "Beautiful Girls." That's a good thing. Starring Chris Messina, the suddenly omnipresent indie actor, in a movie that could easily have played Sundance to some acclaim.
— Steven Zeitchik
Photo: A scene from "Resolution." Credit: Tribeca Film Festival.