Celebrating its 18th year of bringing the best and brightest to moviegoers, the Tribeca Film Festival 2019 showcased cinematic gems in both feature- and short-length categories. With an estimated attendance of more than 146,000 attending over a staggering 618 screenings, Talks, Virtual Arcade and Tribeca Cinema360, the possibilities were endless. Some of the highlights was Tribeca Talks and the Tribeca Celebrates Pride event honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a day of conversations. This year, 40% of the feature films were directed by women, 29% of the feature films and 13% of the feature films were from individuals who identify as LGBTQIA. 111 features, 63 short films, 33 immersive storytelling projects, 18 television projects and 21 N.O.W (New Online Work) projecgs represented an astonishing 44 countries. The power of the Tribeca Film Festival could be felt far and wide, as the Festival continues to carry a great impact through a compelling and entertaining programming slate of films.
Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2002 in response to 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 attend to enjoy the films and events, both in person and online. Let’s look back at some of the highlights of this year’s festival as we begin to plan for the wonder that is sure to be TFF 2020.
Some of our favorite selections from the 2019 TFF are:
BLOW THE MAN DOWN: written and directed by Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole, this family drama puts the Connolly sisters smack in the middle of a crime, needing to cover up a crime while trying to grieve the loss of their Mom. Their small Maine fishing village feels like an additional featured character in the film.
BURNING CANE : this stunning masterpiece written and directed by Phillip Youmans delves into the love that a religious mother has for her troubled son among the cane fields of rural Louisiana. The characters are so well developed and the scenery so vivid that this one is hard to shake after you leave the theater.
MYSTIFY: MICHAEL HUTCHENCE: one of the most powerful films screening this year, this documentary makes its world premiere at the festival. Fans of the band INXS will love it, though the compelling nature and gorgeous footage of the band’s late frontman will captivate even the filmgoer who isn’t familiar with the music. Directed and written by Richard Lowenstein, the film features lots of family footage, live clips and interviews with the people closest to Hutchence including his sister Tina who essentially raised him as well as former girlfiends like Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen. Even devoted fans will discover new tidbits of information about Hutchence’s life, which ended tragically in 1997.
CROWN VIC: One night plays out in vivid drama as a newbie police officer and an established one spend a shift together as partners in the same car, searching for two cop killers in LA. The visuals are fantastic and the drama is palpable in this gem directed and written by Joel Souza.
A REGULAR WOMAN: based on real events and directed by Sherry Hormann, the film tells the story of Hatun "Aynur" Sürücü, a Turkish-Kurdish woman living in Berlin with her young son. Her harrowing tale that culminates in her brother murdering her in an honor killing is one that will haunt you beyond putting a face to this horrifying situation.
LOST TRANSMISSIONS: Simon Pegg lays it all out with his inspired portrayal of famed record producer Theo Ross who goes off his schizophrenia meds and Juno Temple is the sensitive songwriter who does everything she can to get him help. Katherine O’Brien did a solid job writing and directing this incredible project.
RED, WHITE & WASTED: directors Andrei Bowden-Schwarts & Sam B. Jones have given us a raw look into the redneck culture in the heart of Orlando, Florida. We meet Video Pat, King of videography and lover of mudding in his multitude of trucks. We follow his family and how his word is rocked with the last mudhole in the region closes.
ALL I CAN SAY: rock photographer Danny Clinch directed this documentary along with Taryn Gould, Colleen Hennessy and Shannon Hoon. About Hoon, the late lead singer of the alternative band Blind Melon, this film is told completely using his in-depth video diary to give the audience an inside look at his life.
CIRCUS OF BOOKS: writer/ director Rachel Mason brings us a documentary that features her parents who owned a gay pornography shop in LA. Funny and lovely, this world premiere is a great ride and story of family.
LOW TIDE: this building thriller directed and written by Kevin McMullin, introduces us to three friends who spend the summer on the Jersey Shore, hanging out and creating havoc. When a treasure sets the boys on a wild ride that swirls around suspicion and violence.
SWALLOW: disturbing and hypnotic, writer and director Carlo Mirabella-Davis brings us a world premiere that focuses on Hunter, a lonely and pregnant housewife. As she gives into her compulsion to eat dangerous objects, her husband and his family try to assume some control to help her but her dark secrets are too powerful to stifle.
PLUS ONE: this rom-com from Jeff Chan put single friends Alice and Ben being invited to a plethora of weddings during one long summer. They pledge to be each other’s plus one and chaos ensues! Jack Quaid is a standout.
THE QUIET ONE: director Oliver Murray looks at the extraordinary life of former founding member of the Rolling stones, bassist Bill Wyman using personal photos, unseen footage and a vast archive of memorabilia.
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 only have a few short months to bask in the wonder of the 2020 edition.
Photo Credit : Christine Connallon