'Blind Ambition'.

Two Australian documentaries, Robert Coe and Warwick Ross’ Blind Ambition and Eddie Martin’s The Kids, will make their world premiere in competition at Tribeca Film Festival in June.

Blind Ambition, directed and produced by Coe and Ross for Third Man Films, follows four Zimbabwean refugees who form their country’s first Wine Tasting Olympics team, and the mission that drives them to compete.

Coe and Ross said to premiere at Tribeca was “absolutely thrilling.”

“We are truly grateful to Tinashe, Joseph, Marlvin and Pardon for letting us into their lives and giving us the opportunity to bring their inspiring underdog story to the screen,” they told IF in a joint statement.

“Their talent, perseverance and relentless optimism showed us just how irrepressible the human spirit can be and we can’t wait to share their journey with the Tribeca audience and Australian audiences soon after.”

Writing the film with the pair were Paul Murphy and Madeleine Ross. A theatrical release is planned via Madman Entertainment later this year, while Protagonist is handling international sales.

Martin’s The Kids, produced by Shannon Swan, explores the divergent paths taken by the original cast of director Larry Clark and writer Harmony Korine’s 1995 indie cult film, the NY-set Kids.

US-based co-producers for The Kids include Hamilton Chango Harris, Peter Bici, Caroline Rothstein and Jessica Forsyth, with the film shot by cinematographer Hugh Miller.

“Tribeca makes perfect sense for our film and we’re honoured to be invited into this years competition,” Martin tells IF. 

“We’re also thrilled family and friends related to our story can attend the world premiere. That’s really important for us as filmmakers.”

Produced by 6 Seasons Production, Umbrella Entertainment is handling local distribution while Dogwoof is handling world sales.

Both docs were supported by Screen Australia.

‘The Kids’. (Photo: Gunars Elmuts)

Blind Ambition and The Kids will compete for Best Documentary Feature, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing against six other films: Bing Liu and Joshua Altman’s All These Sons; Jessica Kingdon’s Ascension (Ascension 登楼叹), directed by Jessica Kingdon; Drew Xanthopoulos’ Fathom; Suzanne Joe Kai’s Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres; Maya Cueva and Leah Galant’s On the Divide and Max Eriksson’s The Scars of Ali Boulala.

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival, its 20th anniversary edition, will run in person in New York from June 9-20, with a feature line-up of 66 films from 23 countries. More than 60 per cent of the films are directed by female, BIPOC, and LGBTQI+ filmmakers.

Many of the films will also be available for US audiences to view online the day after they premiere in person through the Tribeca at Home virtual hub.

“Despite the challenges our industry faced this past year, it did not stop filmmakers, artists, and storytellers from creating compelling, entertaining, and thought-provoking content,” said Paula Weinstein, chief content officer of Tribeca Enterprises.

“The selections for each of these categories represent the tenacity and commitment of our creative community and we are so proud to include them as part of this year’s Festival and share them with our returning in-person audiences.”

There is special curated Juneteenth programming, highlighted throughout different verticals of the festival to celebrate voices from the African Diaspora, with special emphasis on African-American artists, performers, filmmakers, and interdisciplinary creators. 

As previously announced, the Opening Night film will be Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights, the screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical.

Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks.

Full line-up here.

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