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A spotlight on Tribeca Film Festival’s documentaries

New York’s Tribeca Film Festival has become known for championing documentaries. Tom Brook takes a look at two of the highlights from 2013.

Tribeca is still a relatively young festival, but it has forged a clear identity with a focus on documentary films.

One notable example in 2013 is Matt Wolf’s Teenage, based on the work of punk writer, Jon Savage.  Using archive footage, montages and filmed portraits, Teenage tells the story of youth culture in the early 20th century in America, England and Germany.

Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar are the Indian filmmakers behind the documentary Powerless. Set in the city of Kanpur, it draws attention to the dire electricity shortage in northern India.

The film has two opposing protagonists – one, Ritu Maheshwari, is the head of the local power company. Loha Singh heads up the ‘Robin Hood’ style bandits who siphon off energy from the wealthy to give to those without.

Powerless presents a wider criticism of India’s shaky infrastructure in the context of a rapidly advancing global economy.

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