The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by American Express®, today announced its feature film selections in the Spotlight and Cinemania sections, as well as Special Screenings and the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival lineup.

A perennial audience favorite, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, sponsored by Time Warner Cable, has become a leading platform to present independent sports and competition-themed films. The 2012 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival is comprised of five films, all of which will screen throughout the Festival and again all together at Tribeca Cinemas during Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day on Saturday, April 28.

Celebrating competition, passion, and teamwork—and proving that sports is much more than just a game—these documentary films run the gamut from an energetic profile of two iconoclastic MLB pitchers in Knuckleball! and the inspirational story of Ethiopian villagers with amazing athletic abilities in Town of Runners to a teenage basketball player whose life was cut tragically short in Benji and a slew of sports stars whose competitive spirit costs them their fortunes in Broke.

The 2012 online Film Guide will go live on Monday, March 12. The 11th Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 18 to 29 in lower Manhattan.


Benji
Directed by Coodie and Chike
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

In 1984, 17-year-old Ben Wilson was a symbol of everything promising about Chicago: a sweet-natured youngster from the city’s fabled South Side, and America’s top high school basketball prospect. His senseless murder on the day before his senior season devastated the city of Chicago and sent ripples of anguish nationwide. A stirring portrait of a phenom admired both on the court and off, Benji tells the story of a legend who might’ve been.

Broke
Directed by Billy Corben
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

More money, more problems. Sucked into bad investments, stalked by freeloaders, saddled with medical issues, and naturally prone to showing off, most pro athletes end up broke within a few years of retirement. Drawing surprisingly vulnerable confessions from retired stars like Marvin Miller, Jamal Mashburn, Bernie Kosar, and Andre Rison, this fascinating documentary digs into the psychology of men whose competitive nature carries them to victory on the field and ruin off it.

Knuckleball!
Directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, written by Christine Schomer, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

This classic sports story recounts the trials and triumphs of two of the best known knuckleball pitchers in the MLB: Tim Wakefield, a Red Sox veteran who recently announced his retirement after 19 years, and R.A. Dickey, an up-and-comer with the Mets looking to make a name for himself. This energetic documentary from the directors of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work deconstructs the controversial and erratic knuckleball style.

On the Mat 
Directed and written by Fredric Golding
(USA) – World Premiere, Documentary

Achieving greatness in high school wrestling requires a level of devotion unmatched perhaps by any other sport. That greatness has become a yearly expectation at Lake Stevens High, winner of seven Washington state championships in the past 10 years. Narrated by Lake Stevens wrestling alum Chris Pratt (Moneyball), this riveting documentary follows the team over the course of a season as they fight through injuries and academic issues to maintain their school’s legacy.

Town of Runners 
Directed by Jerry Rothwell

(UK) – World Premiere, Documentary

Over the past two decades the small, rural Ethiopian town of Bekoji has been the unlikely home to numerous Olympic champion long-distance runners, whose athletic success has paved the way for a generation of young Ethiopians searching for a better future. With a keen artistic eye, TFF award winner Jerry Rothwell (Donor Unknown) follows two teenage track hopefuls who face the challenge of growing up and striving for greatness in a developing nation. In Amharic, Oromo with subtitles.


Check out more of the slate:
TFF 2012: World Narrative Competition
TFF 2012: World Documentary Competition
TFF 2012: Viewpoints
TFF 2012: Spotlight
TFF 2012: Special Screenings

Get ahead of the crowd and buy your advance ticket package today! Learn more: TFF 2012 Ticket Packages

Want more Tribeca news?
Follow Tribeca on Facebook.
Follow Tribeca on Twitter, and use hashtag #TFF.
Register on TribecaFilm.com today, and subscribe to the Tribeca Newsletter.