On its first full day, the Tribeca Film Festival showcased movies about everything from apartheid to health care crusaders. It also offered up three short films by Karl Lagerfeld about ice cream—ads, really, commissioned by the European dairy snack mega-brand Magnum and starring Rachel Bilson. A model-heavy crowd got its first taste last night at the IAC Building. Bilson plays a ballerina, a starlet, and an art student in the films, and is hot and bothered in each scenario until she sinks her teeth into a chocolate-coated ice cream bar. It's about more than finding a cold treat, Lagerfeld insisted: "It's a need, a stimulation." Did the indefatigable designer sample the product on set? "I don't eat sugar," he said.
The Bang Bang Club, a drama about war photographers in apartheid-era South Africa, resonated with the premiere crowd in a different—and grimly contemporary—way, given the recent deaths in Libya of photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros. "Movies like this show us problems that I think people forget about when they live in New York and have a fast life," offered Doutzen Kroes. On his way in, paparazzi target Ryan Phillippe explained how he'd initially struggled to embrace the role. "I did have reservations about playing a photographer, quite honestly," he admitted. "The last decade or so of my life I've been pursued and hounded and invaded by them." As he made his way down the red carpet, the cameras clicked.
Maggie Betts' lyrical and intimate tale of Africa, The Carrier, focuses on an AIDS-ravaged family in Zambia. "The landscape and the heart of the people lent itself to this kind of tragic beauty," Betts said at the after-party at Kenmare. Betts' efforts were more than enough to move Christy Turlington Burns. "She expressed the prevalence of HIV in a country through this complex family dynamic," the model and activist said. (Turlington Burns' own documentary, No Woman, No Cry, premiered at last year's festival and airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network for Mother's Day.) "It was very astute, and it had a certain poetry about it."