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Tribeca Film more than doubles distribution slate

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Expansion is the word out of New York City this morning as Tribeca Film ramps up its distribution plans and announces U.S. deals for nine new titles.

Tribeca Enterprises announced that its distribution label, Tribeca Film, will expand to commercially release 26 films over the next year, more than double the number of titles released in 2010. In addition, the label acquired U.S. rights to nine titles it plans to release across multiple platforms.

The curated selection of films includes many genres and features stars including Zach Braff, Vincent Gallo and Zoe Kravitz and filmmakers such as Peter Mullan, Jerzy Skolimowski and Vincent D’Onofrio.

Here’s information we received on the films. They will be released theatrically, on video-on-demand and via other platforms throughout 2011:

· Beware the Gonzo. From director and writer Brian Gobuloff (writer of The Basketball Diaries) comes a teen-angst comedy about an underground newspaper aiming to give voice to high school misfits. The film stars Zoe Kravitz, Ezra Miller, Jesse McCartney, Amy Sedaris, Campbell Scott, and James Urbaniak.

· The Bleeding House. Written and directed by comic book writer and first time filmmaker Philip Gelatt, this taut horror thriller is an original take on the home invasion genre about a family with a haunted past visited by a sweet-talking Texan killer who has come for retribution.

· Brother’s Justice. This Hollywood satire marks Dax Shepard’s directorial debut and is co-directed by David Palmer. The film follows Shepard as he makes the rash decision to abandon comedy in pursuit of his true dream: to become an internationally-renowned martial arts star. Winner of the audience award at the Austin Film Festival and an official selection of the Hollywood Film Festival, it features performances by Tom Arnold, Bradley Cooper, David Koechner, Michael Rosenbaum and Nate Tuck.

· Don’t Go in the Woods. Vincent D’Onofrio makes his feature-length directorial debut with this uproarious rock ‘n’ roll horror musical about the fate of a young band seeking a quiet place to write songs in the wrong neck of the woods. The film has screened at the Woodstock Film Festival, the Sarasota Film Festival and the Savannah Film Festival.

· Grave Encounters. Directed and written by first time filmmakers the Vicious Brothers, this cinéma-vérité style supernatural thriller follows a ghost-hunting reality television show host and crew as they shoot an episode inside an abandoned psychiatric hospital, where unexplained phenomena have been reported for years. All in the name of good television, they voluntarily lock themselves inside the building for the night and begin a paranormal investigation, capturing everything on camera. They quickly realize that the building is more than just haunted – it is alive – and it has no intention of ever letting them leave.

· The High Cost of Living. Director Deborah Chow’s dark romantic drama about intertwined fates centers on the burgeoning relationship between an unlikely pair. Nathalie (Isabelle Blais) is expecting her first child, and Henry (Zach Braff) is on his way to his next drug deal. Their paths fatefully collide one night in an event that will irrevocably change their lives. The film was an official selection of the Toronto Film Festival.

· NEDS. Peter Mullan’s third feature as a writer and director, after Orphans and The Magdalene Sisters, is a violent 1970s coming-of-age drama set in a gritty section of Glasgow. NEDS won Best Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival and was chosen Best Film at the 2011 London Evening Standard Awards.

· Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston. No one represented the 1970s quite like legendary designer Halston. In this stylish documentary, director Whitney Sudler-Smith takes a fabulous fun-and-fact-filled journey through Halston’s life and times. Interviews with friends and witnesses (including Liza Minnelli, Diane Von Furstenberg, André Leon Talley, Anjelica Huston, Bob Colacello and Billy Joel, among others) round out this glittering evocation of the man who defined the decadent era.

Tribeca Film will release the following on VOD and other platforms:

· Essential Killing. A gripping adventure thriller directed by acclaimed Polish auteur Jerzy Skolimowski. A captured Taliban fighter (Vincent Gallo) is interrogated, tortured and then moved to an unnamed snowy detention camp in Europe. Following an accident involving his transport convoy, he becomes an escaped convict on a continent he does not know. Essential Killing world premiered In Competition at the Venice International Film Festival, and won the Special Jury Prize and Best Actor for Vincent Gallo’s performance.

Previously announced titles from Tribeca Film include the following, which will be released in theatres in multiple markets, as well as via VOD and other platforms:

· The Bang Bang Club. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Steven Silver makes his feature directorial debut with this electrifying tale of a young band of war photographers who documented the last days of apartheid in South Africa. Based on a true story, the film stars Ryan Phillippe, Malin Akerman and Taylor Kitsch and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

· Janie Jones. Directed by David M. Rosenthal, Janie Jones is a charming rock ‘n’ roll road trip drama about a father and daughter finding their way to each other. The film stars Abigail Breslin, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Shue and Brittany Snow and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

· Last Night. Director Massy Tadjedin makes her directorial debut with a carefully crafted romantic drama about two couples confronting temptation and the limits of fidelity over the course of one night. Starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet, the film was an official selection at the Toronto, Venice and Rome Film Festivals.

Fourteen more titles will be added to the Tribeca Film slate in the coming months.

“With the rapidly evolving landscape, Tribeca Film provides strategic opportunities and plans to customize campaigns using new platforms for distribution,” said Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal. “We see real opportunities for filmmakers and audiences.”

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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