10 Films and Events We Look Forward to at the 18th Annual Tribeca Film Festival
written by Amanda Lederle
There are so many good films, events, and parts of culture I would want to immerse myself in, so narrowing it down to just 10 was not easy. From seeing influential on and off screen figures speaking about the filmmaking process to their social, political effects on communities, this year’s Tribeca Film Festival ( April 24- May 5) is looking energetic and inspiring!
As a festival goer, I know to not overbook myself so that I don’t rush from one theatre to the next or miss out on meals. With that in mind my chosen 10, generally lined up to be one a day so you can map out your festival week with ease.
So get your pass, map out your nearby restaurants and coffee shops, it’s festival time!
1. SHORTS! We start with Shorts because there are various dates, mostly at the beginning of the festival. In this year’s lineup there are 63 short films. You can choose from Sci Fi, Nature, Comedy (Funhouse), LGBTQ, and even animated shorts curated by Whoopi Goldberg! Gasp. The list goes on and with such variety, you are bound to find one you like. Two really stood out:
THE BOXERS OF BRULE (Jessie Adler, 2018, New York Premiere) directed by Adler, a Human Rights Storyteller, shares journey of a Lakota woman who creates a boxing team to combat youth suicide.
THE DOWNFALL OF SANTA CLAUS (Robert Depuis, 2018, North American Premiere) from Norwegian filmmaker Depuis brings to life in claymation a boy’s faith in St. Nick which is the only reason Santa Claus exists!
2. IN LIVING COLOR (Tribeca TV, Premiere Episode from 1990)
Sound the alarm and cancel all your plans on April 27, this is an event you do not want to miss. If you grew up watching In Living Color, like I did, you are in for a treat! Under the TV category, Tribeca is celebrating the premiere episode to celebrate its debut in 1990. This show set the stage for well-known actors like Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, David Alan Grier, Tommy Davidson and obviously, the Wayan brothers. Audience members will have a special experience with a post-screening conversation with creator and star Keenan Ivory Wayans and co-stars Shawn Wayans, Kim Wayans, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, and Rosie Perez. This is surely a not to miss event for fans.
3. SEE YOU YESTERDAY (Stefon Bristol, 2019, World Premiere)
Bristol, a Bushwick Film Festival alum and 2018 Rising Star Award winner, teamed up with Spike Lee to further develop his short, same name, into this feature. A timely cultural commentary, this story is about two friends who make a time machine to go back in time to save her brother from being wrongfully killed by a police officer. This feature film will be released on Netflix this year.
4.TRIXIE MATTEL: MOVING PARTS (Nick Zeig-Owens, 2019, World Premiere)
Calling all RuPaul’s Drag Race fans! Your Drag Race All-Star winner, Trixie Mattel gives you a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be a folk singer, host your own talk show, relationships that falter and the trials of being on the road after winning Drag Race. A for attending audiences is a performance by Trixie Mattel treat after the screening!
5. LUCKY GRANDMA (Sasie Sealy, 2019, World Premiere)
Tsai Chin, (who has also been in two Bond films, one as a Bond girl) stars as a gambling grandmother who finds herself in trouble between New York gangsters. Directed by Sasie Sealy, a Tribeca alum winner of two film awards is sure to showcase this dark comedy of an immigrant woman with a punch of striking visuals. This film was the winner of the 2018 Untold Stories, a pitch in presented by AT&T and Tribeca Film Institute with a $1 million prize. The film celebrates women of color, on and behind camera.
6. GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH (David Charles Rodrigues, 2019, World Premiere)
This documentary chronicles the journey of 300 members of the Gay Men's Chorus of San Francisco traveling in the South. If you want to see a 100-minute film about bravery, friendship, and acceptance you’ve found it here. In Rodrigues’ feature documentary debut, viewers are introduced to members’ stories of being ostracized, relationships with the church and community and the transformation of common humanity. If this film doesn’t open your heart to sing, I don’t know what will!
7. TUCA AND BERTIE (Tribeca TV, 2019, World Premiere)
Get ready to laugh. Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong voice this animated episodic series about two 30-year-old friends. Did I mention they are also birds? If you like the humor and style of Bojack Horseman, you are in for a treat! Paulie, wanna cracker? (I’m sorry, I had to throw in a pet bird joke #sorrynotsorry). This Netflix show is debuting at the festival and will be available to watch at home on May 3. Stay after the screening for an conversation with Ali Wong, Tiffany Haddish and creator, Lisa Hanawalt.
8. THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION (Lisa Cortes and Farah X, 2019, World Premiere)
Rewind to a time where 80s and 90s hip hop fashion was dominated by men, standout voices like Mary J Blige, Missy Elliot and Lil’Kim expressed themselves through fashion to be heard. This film from two women of color looks at the journey of female hip hop artists and their influence as fashion icons. Cortes is known for her work as producer on MONSTER’S BALL (Marc Forster, 2001) and PRECIOUS (Lee Daniels, 2009). Farah X has worked with high profile brands including Calvin Klein, Coach and music icons like Prince, Mariah Carey, and J.Lo.
9. LOST TRANSMISSIONS (Katharine O’Brien, 2019, World Premiere)
Juno Temple and Simon Pegg star in this commentary about the mental healthcare system and homeless landscape in LA. Pegg plays a music producer who stops taking his schizophrenia medication while Temple’s character gathers her friends to find him to get into treatment. I am looking forward to seeing how Pegg portrays this character alongside the backdrop of this urban cityscape. This is O’Brien’s feature debut.
10. Tribeca Pride
A whole day dedicated to LGBTQ conversations, I am squealing with excitement! From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. you can enjoy a full day of discussions about activism, representation in politics and Hollywood, being multi-creative and much more. The whole day is a preamble to the evenings World Premiere of the documentary, WIG (Chris Moukarbel, 2019) a film about the drag movement through archival and contemporary footage.
This is going to be a night to remember! Screening also begins with 7 specially selected LBGTQ+ shorts. Following the feature is a drag performance hosted by Lady Bunny including Charlene Incarnate, Bobby Samplsize, Flotilla and many more. The full day will be sprinkled by community members and big screen actors like Neil Patrick Harris and John Cameron Mitchell and community leaders like Alok Vaid Menon and Jacob Tobia.
For Tickets and passes to the 18th Annual Tribeca Film Festival visit: www.tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets
If you are attending and watching any of these films let us know what you think and share a picture of you at the screening. Tag @BushwickFilmFest.
Enjoy the show!
This article was written by BFF contributing writer Amanda Lederle. Amanda is a film enthusiast that has dedicated her life to mental health awareness, CreateBeing.com. Amanda has a background in Film Studies and lives with their partner and chinchilla, Chewbacca in Toronto, Canada.