Celebrating its 15th year of bringing the best and brightest to movie goers, the Tribeca Film Festival 2016 showcased gems in both feature and short length categories. With 101 features and documentaries, 72 shorts and 77 world premieres, the possibilities were endless. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2002 following the attacks on the World Trade Center as a way to help the economic growth of the hard hit downtown region through storytelling and culture, the Tribeca Film Festival is one of the brightest points of the year for the thousands who flock to enjoy the films and events, both in person and online. Let's look back at some of the highlights from the festival as we begin to plan for the wonder that is sure to be TFF 2017.
Contemporary Color: Directed by Bill and Turner Ross, this fascinating documentary focuses on iconic musician David Byrne and an incredible project he spearheaded, celebrating the art of the Color Guard. Byrne cultivated an incredible event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, inviting friends like Saint Vincent, Nelly Furtado and Ira Glass to collaborate on original pieces with 10 Color Guard teams from North America.
Elvis and Nixon: Director Liza Johnson is at the helm of this incredible film featuring the mega-watt talents of Michael Shannon as Elvis and Kevin Spacey as Nixon. When Elvis shows up on the White House lawn just before Christmas of 1970 expecting to be deputized into the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs by the President, the wild ride has just begun!
King Cobra: Directed by Justin Kelly, this drama starring James Franco and Christian Slater looks at the early rise of a gay port headliner and falling out with his producer, resulting in dire consequences.
Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock: Focusing on the astonishing work of legendary music photographer Mick Rock who has spent his career chronicling the likes of Queen, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and so many others, this documentary by Barnaby Clay gives us access to the man behind the lens and his well of amazing stories in creating this stable of work.
Pistol Shrimps: Brent Hodge’s hilarious documentary of an eclectic group of actresses, comedians, musicians and more who comprise a women’s basketball team in Los Angeles is both endearing and wildly entertaining, featuring Aubrey Plaza.
Strike A Pose: When seven young male dancers started out to support pop icon Madonna on her Blonde Ambition tour as well as the documentary Truth or Dare, they had no idea how their lives would change. This powerful look at the aftermath and directions their lives have taken them in the years since is an engaging look at glamour and pain, thanks to directors Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan.
A Hologram For the King: In what feels like a departure for star Tom Hanks, this engaging adaptation of a Dave Egger’s novel places Hanks as the main character, an aging businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia to sell new software to the king.
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: Justin Krook’s documentary takes a true inside look into the life, mind and formative years of eminent DJ Steve Aoki. Particularly engrossing is the backstory of Steve’s dad, Rocky Aoki, daredevil and founder of Benihana. This relationship truly formed the man Steve is today.
The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Bill Purple’s brilliantly directed film starts the formidable Jason Sudeikis and Jessica Biel as a couple in New Orleans who are forever changed by tragedy and the teenage girl (Maisie Williams) who enters their picture in need of help.
As I Open My Eyes: Leyla Bouzid’s film aptly depicts the clash between family and culture as a Tunisian woman fronts a politically charged rock band as their lead singer, much to the defiance of her mother.
All We Had: Katie Holmes stars in and directs this adaptation of the 2014 novel by Annie Weatherwax about a mother and daughter who stumble on hard times.
Geezer: From director Lee Kirk, this hilarious film stars Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day as a happily married suburban dad of two who takes the opportunity of his 40th birthday to try to revisit his former life as the lead singer in a punk rock band.
With films to satisfy the urges of any movie goer, the only question is how will the fine folks at the Tribeca Film Festival top this lineup? Thankfully we have less than a year to bask in the wonder and get ready for the 2017 edition.
Image Courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival