Tribeca Film Festival Opens With Documentary About Brothers; The National

Matt Berninger (left) and Tom Berninger in Mistaken For Strangers (TFF)

Matt Berninger (left) and Tom Berninger in Mistaken For Strangers (TFF)

Tom and Matt Berninger are brothers. Matt B. is the front man of the band The National–you know, with that song about the Fake Empire? And Tom B. is a filmmaker. Tom B. loves horror movies and heavy metal. So he began chronicling his new job as a roadie for his brother’s band (again, The National).

The resulting documentary–Mistaken for Strangers (which is also a song title from The National’s album Boxer)–has been chosen to open the Tribeca Film Festival on April 17th. And so has The National.

From the press release:

“Mistaken for Strangers exemplifies the independent spirit and vitality that Tribeca is excited to showcase every year,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer. “We are thrilled to open with a film that embodies the journey of an independent filmmaker, and is at its core a highly personal and lighthearted story about brotherly love. It will be a great night of both indie film and music.”
“We’re really happy to premiere this movie at Tribeca, as New York has been home to us for these past 15 years,” Matt Berninger said. “I was happy to give my brother whatever access he needed. I just didn’t expect this movie to include shower scenes.”
“When my brother asked me along on tour as a roadie, I thought I might as well bring a camera to film the experience,” explained director Tom Berninger. “What started as a pretty modest tour documentary has, over the last two and a half years, grown into something much more personal, and hopefully more entertaining. It’s a huge thrill to be showing this movie at the Tribeca Film Festival.”
The National band members include Matt Berninger, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, and Scott Devendorf. In 2010 the band released High Violet, which sold more than half a million copies worldwide. A brand new studio album from The National is slated for a May release on 4AD with a world tour to follow.

That is just what we in the biz call “good cross-promotion marketing.” Sure, some may argue that it seems a little incestuous for the band to be promoting the film as a way to promote themselves, but since the filmmaker and the lead singer are brothers, to those people we say: poor choice of words, hombre.