Last year I wrote an article about how obsessed the Tribeca Film Festival seems to be with actor/writer/director/producer/student/teacher/artist James Franco. As a follow up, I thought I’d let our readers know if Tribeca Film has shaken its Franco Fever for this year’s festival.
Today marks the start of the 15th annual edition of the Tribeca Film Festival… and guess who stars in not just one, but TWO films this year?
James Franco, of course. This marks the third year, after 2007 and 2014, that two movies starring Franco were featured at that year’s Tribeca Film Festival. First up is The Fixer, which reunites Franco with director Ian Olds — who previously directed perhaps Franco’s oddest film, the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival feature Francophrenia (Or Don’t Kill Me, I Know Where the Baby Is), which barely received a release. The Fixer is part of Tribeca’s U.S. Narrative Competition:
The Fixer, directed by Ian Olds, written by Paul Felten and Ian Olds. (USA) – World Premiere. After an exiled Afghan journalist (Dominic Rains) arrives in a small town in Northern California, he lands a menial job as a crime reporter for the local newspaper. Restless in his new position, he teams up with an eccentric local (James Franco) to investigate the town’s peculiar subculture only to find things quickly taking a dangerous turn. With Melissa Leo, Rachel Brosnahan, Tim Kniffin, Thomas Jay Ryan.
The second film is King Cobra, which is part of the festival’s non-competition Midnight section (thank goodness, because what would happen if a James Franco movie competed against another James Franco movie?):
King Cobra, directed and written by Justin Kelly. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. This ripped-from-the-headlines drama covers the early rise of gay porn headliner Sean Paul Lockhart (Garrett Clayton), aka Brent Corrigan, before his falling out with the producer (Christian Slater) who made him famous. When Sean decides he’d be better off a free agent, a cash-strapped pair of rival producers (James Franco and Keegan Allen) aim to cash in by any means possible. With Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald
Here’s a brief updated overview of every film associated with James Franco that appeared at the Tribeca Film Festival stretching back to the festival’s very first year (click the image for a larger version):
The Fixer and King Cobra mark the fourteenth and fifteenth projects that involved Franco to appear in the program of the Tribeca Film Festival. Appropriate for year 15 of Tribeca, right?
Of course, part of the reason why Franco appears so often in Tribeca movies is that he is incredibly prolific as an an actor/filmmaker. Over the last decade, he has regularly been involved in a dozen or more projects every year in various roles, and many of them are the type of indie projects that are tailor-made for film festivals. However, that doesn’t fully explain why Franco is so prominently featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, especially in recent years — a Franco-related film has appeared at Tribeca every year from 2010 to 2016 — that’s seven straight years of Tribeca programming. If that wasn’t enough, Tribeca Films (the parent film studio that puts on the festival) has distributed three films featuring Franco (one of which, Palo Alto, was featured at the festival).
So, after a year of pondering have you come up with any theory on why Tribeca Film has such a thing for Franco yet? Give us your best theory behind Tribeca’s bad case of Francophrenia in our comments.