Tribeca unveils film lineup, Spitzer in spotlight

Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:48pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday unveiled its first group of films for April's event, including one documentary about the prostitution scandal that brought down former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.

The as yet untitled nonfiction film by director Alex Gibney, whose "Taxi to the Dark Side" won an Oscar for its exploration of U.S. tactics in dealing with terror suspects, will be shown as a work in progress.

Spitzer was dubbed the "Sheriff of Wall Street" when he was the New York state's attorney general because of his crusades against greed and corruption in financial markets, and his popularity helped him become the state's governor in 2007.

But in March of 2008, he was forced to resign in disgrace after media reports that he was a client of a prostitution service. There can be little doubt that the Spitzer film will be a hot ticket at Tribeca.

The festival, which runs from April 21 to May 2 this year, was created by Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro, his producing partner Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 as a way to celebrate the city following the September 11 attacks.

Since then, it has grown to become one of the major stops on the global film festival circuit along with gatherings in Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and the Sundance festival in Utah.

For 2010, Tribeca organizers hired former Sundance director Geoffrey Gilmore to help build on its past success, and on Wednesday announced 33 films that will screen, including 24 in its documentary and narrative feature competitions. Ultimately, Tribeca will show 85 feature-length movies and 47 short films.

Earlier this month, organizers said DreamWorks Animation's new "Shrek Forever After in 3-D" will open the festival, and they unveiled two new initiatives, one to distribute movies online and eventually in theaters and a second that will allow Web surfers to watch festival films on their computers.

But at the core of any film festival are the competitions and at the 2010 Tribeca festival, 12 narratives and 12 documentaries will compete for $100,000 in cash prizes.   Continued...