The Tribeca Film Festival is going with a music theme for this year's opening film, announcing "Mistaken for Strangers," a documentary about sibling relationships and the band The National as the opening-night selection when the festival kicks off April 17.
Directed by Tom Berninger, younger brother of frontman Matt Berninger, the movie follows the indie-rock group as it hits the road, the younger Berninger taking on the fraught job of roadie. Tribeca chief creative officer Geoff Gilmore called the movie, a "highly personal and lighthearted story about brotherly love." The evening will feature the premiere of the film followed by a performance from the band.
The National, whose five members include two sets of (non-Berninger) brothers, has a long involvement with Hollywood, providing songs for movies such as Tom MCCarthy's "Win Win' and shows including "Game of Thrones." Despite a dark undercurrent, the group has notched an unlikely degree of commercial success, as Times staff writer Todd Martens noted in this piece.
Tribeca in recent years has alternated between studio comedies and name-driven documentaries for its opening-night selection. It kicked off in 2010 with "Shrek Forever After" and began last year's edition with Jason Segel comedy "Five-Year Engagement," while 2011 saw the premiere of Elton John doc "The Union" followed by a performance from the pop star.
Over its history Tribeca has been a platform for a number of breakouts in recent years, world-premiering indie darlings such as Andy Garcia hit "City Island" and Felicity Huffman Oscar nominee "Transamerica." Last year's edition saw the premiere of the Oscar-nominated doc "War Witch" and the feature critical darling "Fairhaven" as well as the Cuba-themed scripted tale "Una Noche," which sparked news headlines when two of its actors disappeared en route to the festival.