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Film Coverage: TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL, The End is Near

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To the world of film and documentaries, the month of April is known for the debute of submissions and screenings at the TriBeCa Film Festival, that runs from April 17th, to April 28th. According to its founders, Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, the mission of the festival is “to enable the international film community and the general public to experience the power of film by redefining the film festival experience.” The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002, after the World Trade Center attack to celebrate New York City as a major filmmaking city and to contribute to the hope and recovery of lower Manhattan. I covered the last day of the festival this Sunday, which featured a series of short movie screenings titled, The End is Near, featuring works that all have tragic or catastrophic endings. As hipsters crowded the room, the host introduced each director and producer along with their short films; The Acrobat, Snow in Paradise, Grace, Grandma’s Not A Toaster and The Epilogue. (To name a few) A Q&A followed the screening, which was no more than two hours.

The showing started off with The Acrobat, by the Spanish director Gerardo Herrero, about a young girl who dreamt of becoming an acrobat. The narrator described that the dreams of an Acrobat are like many other peoples dreams, broken. The roles of the main character changed as she started off as a child with a dream and ended as a woman who will never be able to dance again because of a car accident.  She stood on the ledge of a building on the verge of committing suicide. The narrator asked, “What if she left that dream behind?” Then revealed  how she would have lived her life alternatively, if she hadn’t chosen the path of becoming a acrobat. We then saw her as a married woman with a kid and no career but of a housewife. The tone of the film quickly changed as she hit a pedestrian with her car. It becomes self-realization when she sees that the woman she hit was actually her. I believe that the theme of this short film was that you can’t change your destiny, no matter how you try to avoid things, you will end up on the path that is in your destiny. I really enjoyed the concept of this film. Although Herrero is from Spain, he said he chose to make the film in english because it is more universal, also because “It saved a lot of money to translate.” He said the hardest part about making the film was the casting. He had to find a young girl and a woman with similar features, once he found the young girl, the woman had to cancel because she was a “real acrobat” with a busy schedule. “We said forget about her and just hired an actress who looked like the girl. It was difficult.” Here is a trailer:

My favorite out of the bunch was called Grace, directed by Keir Burrows. The film was based in London and featured a series of actors all going through hard times. The thing is liked most about this film is that although each character were strangers to each other they all shared that mutual feeling of despair.  The Narrator Rodney was a criminal, he had a reputation as a lowlife hustler on the street who was dating a girl named Sam who often sells her body for money. Sam played the role of an innocent girl in front of her mother but would disguise herself at night when she went out to rob and steal with Rodney. We also see the story of a couple, Charles and Vanessa, who spent the night bickering on their way home. The argument got heated as Charles left Vanessa behind. While he was gone,Vanessa got mugged  by Sam and Rodney for her purse. Charles saved the night when he returned to the scene to apologize. Somehow Sam ended up stabbing Charles, who was her math professor. At the end of the 20 minute film, none of the characters problems really matter anymore because there were much greater things that headed their way. You see, their nation was being attacked by nuclear bombs so their issues did not matter anymore. The theme of this short film was to be grateful for the things you have because you never know when you’ll lose them.

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