Movies directed by a diverse group of personalities -- including Mia Wasikowska, Demetri Martin and the famous-named lead singer of the modern-rock band Rooney -- will make their world premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival next month.
The New York confab, cofounded by Robert De Niro, is celebrating its 15th edition this year. It is unveiling some intriguing experiments to mark the occasion.
Among the movies making their world premiere, the festival said Wednesday in its first round of slate announcements, are "Nerdland," a movie from animated powerhouse Titmouse that stars Paul Rudd and Patton Oswalt; "Contemporary Color," which looks at a color guard performance staged by David Byrne at the Barclays Center last summer that featured the likes of Ad-Rock and Nelly Furtado; and "Madly," a collection of romance-centric shorts directed by such personalities as Gael García Bernal, Mia Wasikowska and Sebastian Silva.
That latter selection is one of a number of foreign-centric stories organizers said Tribeca will spotlight this year. The list also included the international premiere of "Junction 48," Udi Aloni's scripted movie, cowritten by the indie writer and auteur Oren Moverman, that follows a rapper named Kareem as he's caught in the middle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
But it is the U.S. narrative titles where viewers will recognize some familiar names -- in unfamiliar roles. Tribeca will showcase a number of directorial debuts from people who tend to work outside film.
In comedian Demetri Martin's first helming effort "Dean," an illustrator (Martin) "falls hard for an L.A. woman while trying to prevent his father from selling the family home. Gillian Jacobs and Kevin Kline also star.
There's also Rooney frontman Robert Schwartzman (brother of Jason), making his filmmaking debut with "Dreamland," a love story involving a pianist. Jason Schwartzman and mom Talia Shire also appear in the movie.
And in "Women Who Kill," the Web series phenom Ingrid Jungermann ("F to 7th") has made a story of romance, true crime and podcasting set in the LGBTQ community.
"We are ... inspired to see new voices transcending traditions and taking risks by telling their stories their own way," festival director Genna Terranova said of the selections in a statement.
Tribeca is also touting its high proportion of female directors at this year's gathering, putting the percentage at one-third, its highest ever.
Among the other notable narrative features making their world premieres at the confab are "Kicks," directed by Justin Tipping, about a teenager on a quest to retrieve his stolen sneakers in the Bay Area. Also set in the region is Ian Olds' "The Fixer," about a foreign correspondent who returns to work for a small paper in Northern California and gets more than he bargains for. The film stars James Franco, as so many indie movies do.
Tribeca kicks off April 13 with the premiere of "The First Monday in May," about a popular exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.