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Now in its 12th year, the Tribeca Film Festival opens today and what was formed as en economic stimulas after 9/11 has now turned into a growing international film festival, screening more than 1400 films from 80 countries. Sometimes criticized for its lack of focus, the past years have showcased some great talent and this year is no different. Vulture lists 18 must-see movies and here are a few narrative features that caught our eye.

Byzantium
It’s another vampire film (he also directed Interview With A Vampire) starring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton from director Neil Jordan, writer and director of the Oscar winning film The Crying Game.

Two mysterious women seek refuge in a run-down coastal resort. Clara meets lonely Noel, who provides shelter in his deserted guesthouse, Byzantium. Schoolgirl Eleanor befriends Frank and tells him their lethal secret. They were born 200 years ago and survive on human blood. As knowledge of their secret spreads, their past catches up on them with deathly consequence.

Watch the trailer for Byzantium and recall the look of Jordan’s directorial eye by watching a clip from The Crying Game.


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At Any Price
Indie director Ramin Bahrani, whom Roger Ebert labeled ‘the director of the decade’, shifts away from his usual low-budget films with unrecognizable casts to this farm drama starring Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid.

In the competitive world of modern agriculture, ambitious Henry Whipple wants his rebellious son Dean to help expand his family’s farming empire. However, Dean has his sights set on becoming a professional race car driver. When a high-stakes investigation into their business is exposed, father and son are pushed into an unexpected crisis that threatens the family’s entire livelihood.

Quaid is a likable choice and word on the street is Efron gives a terrific performance. Watch Quaid in the trailer for At Any Price and then view him in a clip from the under the radar film Smart People.


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Bottled Up
Melissa Leo stars in this drama about the nature of addiction.

Complaining of back pain months after a car accident, Sylvie’s (Marin Ireland) addiction to painkillers is clear to everyone except her mother, Faye (Leo). A promising solution appears in Becket (Josh Hamilton), but relationships and loyalty are soon tested when his feelings fall in an unexpected place.

Leo has become a go-to for being cast in gritty dramas but every once in awhile she’ll pop up in an understated role like this one in the film Everybody’s Fine.


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Not in New York? You can still watch several of the films through the Tribeca Online Festival which will be streaming several titles and releasing others to video on demand during the week.

Here’s a look back at two Miramax titles that played at Tribeca in recent years.

Last Night

Keeping Up With the Steins

Check back for more updates on the Tribeca Film Festival.

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