Tribeca Film Festival, Featuring "Venus in Fur" and Films Starring Zoe Kazan, John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Patrick Stewart, Begins April 16

By Carey Purcell
16 Apr 2014

John Lithgow
John Lithgow

The 13th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival, a series intended to connect filmmakers with audiences and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center, begins April 16 and continues through April 27. 

Films of note for theatregoers include "Venus in Fur," directed and written by Roman Polanski and co-written by David Ives, who penned the award-winning stage adaptation that played Broadway in 2012. The film will be presented as part of the Spotlight series. 

"Thomas (Matthieu Almaric) is a theater director staging an adaptation of an obscure 19th century Austrian nove," press notes state. "Frustrated by the quality of actresses he has auditioned, Thomas is about to give up when mysterious Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner, Polanski's wife) arrives in his theater unannounced, knowing every line by heart. As the two begin a fevered, intense, and at times aggressive collaboration, the lines between passion and obsession (and theater and reality) begin to blur in auteur Roman Polanski's latest New York stage adaptation."

The festival also offers "All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State," a documentary about former Texas governor Ann Richards. Richards was the subject of the play Ann, which played Broadway in 2013, starring Holland Taylor. Here's how the film is billed: "An unmissable documentary for any political junkie, 'All About Ann' celebrates the achievements of larger-than-life Ann Richards, who became the first elected female governor of Texas. Her cool demeanor, acid wit, and passion for social inclusivity made her one of the most powerful and progressive governors in U.S. history, a liberal democrat intent on building 'the new Texas.' But, when the 1994 election begins, Richards is faced with her toughest challenge yet, as an increasingly conservative majority turn towards a new, pro-business candidate: George W. Bush." Following its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film will premiere on HBO April 28. 



The festival presents the world premiere of "5 to 7," a comedy of errors following an affair between a novelist and a diplomat featuring Glenn Close and Frank Langella. "Young aspiring novelist Brian (Anton Yelchin) meets Arielle (Bérénice Marlohe), the sophisticated wife of a French Diplomat. They soon embark on a 'cinq-a-sept' affair that challenges Brian's traditional American ideas of love and relationships."

"In Your Eyes," a new film by Joss Whedon that stars Zoe Kazan, is also presented. "East Coast housewife Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) lives a comfortable, sheltered life, but she always knew there was something special about herself. Charismatic ex-con Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) has paid his debt to society and is ready for a fresh start in New Mexico, including a burgeoning flirtation with local good-time-gal Donna (Nikki Reed). When the two polar opposites realize they are strangely connected, an utterly unique metaphysical romance begins."

Another take on love is presented in "Love is Strange," the story of longtime partners played by John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. "John Lithgow and Alfred Molina star as Ben and George, a Manhattan couple who are finally given the opportunity to make their union official. But when Ben loses his teaching job as a result, the relationship is tested in unconventional ways — leaving them to lean more heavily than ever on their love to hold things together."

Patrick Stewart stars in the film adaptation of the play Match, also part of the Festival. "Seattle couple (Matthew Lillard and Carla Gugino) travel to New York to interview colorful former dancer Tobi (played with remarkable dexterity by Patrick Stewart) for research on a dissertation about dance. But soon, common niceties and social graces erode when the questions turn personal and the true nature of the interview is called into question."

Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Tribeca Film Festival enables the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema. 

Visit tribecafilm.com for more information.