Friday, April 13, 2012

Romance, Action Bookend 11th Tribeca Film Festival

Violet (Emily Blunt) and Tom (Jason Segel) face many challenges before their wedding day in "The Five-Year Engagement." Photo by Glen Wilson/Universal Studios.

THERE’S a long road between betrothal and nuptials, Violet (Emily Blunt) and Tom (Jason Segel) discover, and there exists any number of obstacles along the way.

They are explored in broad comedic outlines in “The Five-Year Engagement." From the producers of the 2011 smash, “Bridesmaids,” the film makes its world premiere as the opener of the 11th Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (18 April) at New York’s Ziegfeld Theatre.

TFF closes on 29 April with the world premiere of “Marvel’s The Avengers.” Based on the popular comic book series, the film brings together a who's who of superheroes – The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America – to rid the world of an evil, greedy, mendacious forces that threaten global safety. The star-studded cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson.

In the TFF gala spot is “Benji,” part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. The world-premiere documentary chronicles the too-short life of Chicago basketball uber phenom, Ben Wilson. He was killed at the tender and promising age of 17. From Coodie and Chike, who are best known for music videos, "Benji" is a portrait of not dreams deferred, but dreams destroyed.

As is customary, TFF offers a wide array of feature film and shorts, as well as an ever-growing list of nonfilm programming. The latter includes talks, panels and roundtables, featuring appearances by Michael Moore, Rob Lowe, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Elmore Leonard and festival co-founder Robert DeNiro.

Ben Wilson is the main topic of conversation in "Benji." Photo from Associated Press.

New this year at TFF is the daylong conference from the Tribeca Film Institute, Interactive Day (23 April). It will explore such matters as the future of news and interactive literacy.

Returning is the slate of family-friendly free events: Tribeca Drive-In (19-21 April), Tribeca/NYFEST Soccer Day (21 April), Family Festival Street Fair (28 April) and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day (28 April).

Stay tuned for more from TFF in the coming days.

Visit to learn more about the 11th Tribeca Film Festival, including screening times, panels and ticket information.

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