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Tilda Swinton at the indieWIRE and Apple Filmmaker Talks

Last week at the Tribeca Filmmaker party, we spied some slick posters promoting the Filmmaker Talks happening throughout the festival put on by indieWIRE and Apple. With a slate of emerging and established creative voices including Natalie Portman, So Yong Kim & Bradley Rust Grey, Kirby Dick, Gael Garcia Bernal & Diego Luna, Ti West, Gabriel Noble and Spike Lee, this is by far one of the best (and free!) creative series worth hitting in SoHo these days.

Which is why we made our way down to Apple Store last night to see the exquisite Tilda Swinton sit down with John Cameron Mitchell to discuss her highly anticipated performance in Julia, which makes its U.S. debut next week. If the trailer is any indication, the film evokes another powerful, force-to-be-reckoned-with performance from the Academy Award-winning actress; Swinton plays a middle-aged alcoholic lurching from one crisis to another until, ultimately, kidnapping a millionaire’s grandson.

The event definitely impressed as an intimate chance to hear Swinton to discuss clips from the film, share personal stories about the late filmmaker Derek Jarman (who gave Swinton her first break), possible plans to recreate her performance art piece The Maybe for MoMa, and most importantly, radiate a deep love of cinema.

In addition to her distinct and memorable acting career, we learned this love for cinema is also evidenced in a choicey foundation Swinton is developing called 8 ½. Inspired by the Fellini film, she’s launching the foundation with Mark Cousins to provide kids with their own “cinema day” on their 8 1/2 birthday. The thought is to broaden the current Pixar-loving youth with inspiring world cinema through boxed sets including films such as The Red Balloon. If that isn’t impressive enough, Swinton also recently started an 8 1/2 day film festival housed in an abandoned Bingo Hall in her hometown of Nairn located in northern Scotland. The festival already expanded to Beijing which makes a girl hope a US debut might be possible as well.

Unlike the intensity we feel from many of her characters, Swinton left us walking out with several laughs, wanting to go see the super 8 films by Jarman playing at the old Dia space, and maybe even ponder a trip to Northern Scotland for her next festival. One thing’s for sure, we’ll be first in line to catch Julia on May 8.

Join indieWIRE and the Apple Store tonight at 5 p.m. for another intimate discussion featuring filmmaker Kirby Dick discussing what we believe to be one of the best films at Tribeca this year: Outrage, which plays this Friday, May 2.

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