Irish director Jim Sheridan will be amongst the competition jurors at the Tribeca Film Festival, which begins tomorrow (April 18) in New York City. The ‘In America’ and ‘My Left Foot’ director is amongst 39 jurors, selected from a diverse group of filmmakers, writers, producers, actors, critics and business leaders.
Six-time Oscar-nominee Sheridan will help judge the festival’s World Narrative Competition. His co-jurors on that panel include US actresses Patricia Clarkson (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and Dakota Fanning (The Twilight Saga); British director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral); Entertainment Weekly film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum and director and producer Irwin Winkler (Goodfellas). Winkler has also been named President of the Jury and will preside over the festival’s six jury panels.
The other five competition panels at Tribeca, which runs until April 29, are the World Documentary Competition; Best New Narrative Director; Best New Documentary Director; Narrative Short Film Competition and Documentary and Student Short Film Competitions. A total of €133,000 ($175,000) will be handed out in prizes over the six competitions.
Alongside his judging commitments Dubliner Sheridan will also take part in the Tribeca Talks Directors Series on April 28 when he will be interviewed by his daughter, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter Naomi Sheridan, at New York’s SVA Theater 2 Beatrice.
The Sheridans won’t be the only Irish representatives at the festival with four Irish feature films and two shorts also selected to screen at the prestigious festival.
The features include Terry George’s ‘Whole Lotta Sole’, Macdara Vallely’s ‘Babygirl’, Ian Fitzgibbon’s ‘Death of a Superhero’ and Safinez Bousbia’s documentary ‘El Gusto’.
The Irish short films showing are Lorcan Finnegan’s ‘Foxes’, which was produced by Brunella Cocchiglia for Dublin’s Lovely Productions, and Cathal Burke’s ‘ScreenShot’, which was made as part of the MA in Production and Direction at Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media.
Speaking to IFTN, ‘Babygirl’ director Macdara Vallely said he was particularly proud that his second feature was receiving its world premiere at the festival given that the film - about a Bronx teenager from the city’s Latin community - was shot in New York.
He said: “I’m just so happy for them. It’s a pretty young cast and they’re all from New York, so it’ll be great for them to be there with their family and friends. Normally when you premiere a film at a festival it happens in another part of the world and not everybody gets to go. So this will be a bit different and that’s exciting. It’s a real New York story so Tribeca just feels right for the world premiere.”