H.P. Mendoza and Paul Raci Channel Our Weird Obsession with Self-Help in ‘Secret Art of Human Flight’ — Tribeca First Look

San Francisco microbudget filmmaker H.P Mendoza is bringing his Bay Area sensibilities to Tribeca.

The filmmaker best known for “Colma: The Musical” about the small town in San Mateo County, California is now turning his camera on a subject less musical but still as likely to become weirdly contagious: the pursuit of self-help. “The Secret Art of Human Flight” premieres at the Tribeca Festival this month, and IndieWire below shares the exclusive first trailer of the movie.

The cast includes Paul Raci, Oscar-nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2021 for his starring role in “Sound of Metal,” and he’s joined by cast members including Grant Rosenmeyer, Lucy DeVito, Nican Robinson, Reina Hardesty, Maggie Grace, and Sendhil Ramamurthy.

Mendoza directs the film from a screenplay by Jesse Orenshein. Mendoza shot the film with “I Think You Should Leave” cinematographer Markus Mentzer.

Per the festival synopsis, “After the sudden and tragic loss of his wife, Ben (Grant Rosenmeyer) turns to a mysterious self-help book that will train him to learn how to fly. Or at least he hopes, as he turns his life upside down under the advisement of an eccentric spiritual guide (Paul Raci) who may very well be a con artist. Fending off his worried sister and an ambitious detective who is convinced he killed his wife, Ben risks it all to fly in an effort to get through his grief. Writer-director H.P. Mendoza deftly walks the line between absurdity and the seriousness of loss and grief. This endearing story has the perfect dose of melancholy and poignancy with a ton of laughs. Raci, in particular, is a hilarious delight as a guide with a shady past. An altogether delightful, whimsical film and a great tale of grief and healing.”

As IndieWire wrote previously, “Mendoza’s best work blends quirkiness and unexpected twists with an undercurrent of melancholy, and this one seems likely to keep that welcome tradition alive.”

The film will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Festival on June 8 in the U.S. Narrative Competition. XYZ Films is handling sales.

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