Happy 20th to the Tribeca Film Festival!
By Christine Connallon & Mike Perciaccante
The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival celebrates 20 years of brining the best programming to audiences that inspire, educate and entertain. With a mixture of in person events at outdoor venues throughout the boroughs of New York City from June 9-20 as well as a virtual elements to keep everyone safe, there were 66 films to entice and thrill from 81 filmmakers in 23 different countries. With a whopping 56 world premieres, 4 North American premieres and 1 international premiere, there was truly something for everyone!
7 Days: Directed by Roshan Sethi, this is a modern day rom com of a couple set up by their traditional Indian parents on a pre-arranged date. The date is less than stellar and they would most likely never see each other again except for...COVID! When the pandemic forces Ravi and Rita to to shelter-in-place at Rita's place, things change and a week changes more than just their thought process about the world and each other.
Accepted: This fascinated doc from Tribeca alum Dan Chen gives us a startling look at the TM Landry Prep School in Louisiana, where the students sported an amazing 100% acceptance admissions rate to college. A Ne York Times expose rocked the school and founder Mike Landry when his untraditional methods were revealed. We have a bird's eye view into the lives of the students impacted in the situation.
Bunny King: Director Gaysorn Thavat takes us into the emotional life of Bunny King, a down on her luck mother who is struggling to get her life back on track and get her two kids back from foster care. As she deals with a system that isn't always fair as the obstacles continue to mount. .
North By Current: Filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax takes us back to his Michigan hometown to look at the ramifications of his young niece's death on his family as well as the generational trauma and religious ties that bring his family together as well as tear them apart. Loss, misunderstanding and expectations play into the fracturing of relationships but ultimately bring a family back together.
A-HA The Movie: Director Thomas Robsahm introduces us to the Norwegian band in a way that fans here in the States may not have known the synth-pop trio. Magne Furuholmen, Morten Harket and Pal Waktaar-Savoy have been on the global radar of music fans since the mid 1980s with "Take On Me" and the iconic video that accompanied the song. Where are they now? Do they like each other? A movie about relationships as much as a film about a band and the music industry, this documentary is a must-see.
Bitchin': The Sound And Fury of Rick James: This profile of legendary R&B/ funk icon Rick James takes us on a wild ride through his incredible rise and the bumps along the way. Showcasing the man as the artist he is and going beyond just his cultural facade, Sacha Jenkins does an amazing job of painting a full picture of a complicated and talented man.
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain: This highly anticipated documentary takes us into the life of culinary and cultural powerhouse Anthony Bourdain using home movies, moving interviews and never seen footage to better understand his passion and curiosity about the world around him. This powerful tribute to a man who made a major impact on us all is a gift to fans.
Stockholm Syndrome: You may know him as A$AP Rocky or as Rakim Mayers but his impact on the worlds of music and fashion is undeniable. Those he didn't know his work became aware of Rocky when he was incarcerated in Stockholm after a violent altercation with some locals who provoked him. This documentary has its thrills and chills in delving into the dangers of fame and inequities of the Swedish judicial system.
Wolfgang: Filmmaker and Tribeca alum David Gelb takes us into the life of one of the OG celebrity chefs, Wolfgang Puck. From a troubled childhood in Austria to his meteoric rise as a chef on the scene in France and here in America, his incredible career is one that inspires and delights as well as makes a viewer hungry for more!
Shapeless: A stunning collaboration by filmmaker Samantha Aldana and writer/ producer/ actress Kelly Murtagh, Shapeless is part horror movie and part exploration on body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Set in the haunted realm of New Orleans, protagonist Ivy is battling professional advancement as a singer while dealing with an eating disorder. But what is really happening to her?
12 Mighty Orphans: This true story of a football team made up of boys from a Fort Worth orphanage during the great depression called the Mighty Mites is truly an underdog story for the ages. The talented coach who needed a change and took a job at an orphanage helped transform his own life and those of the scrawny players who made up for it with heart and grit. This must see stars Luke Wilson, Martin Sheen, Vinessa Shaw, Robert Duval and Levi Dylan.
Last Film Show: This drama about a clever nine-year old boy in India who becomes enchanted by film. Samay and his pals find themselves at home in a rundown movie theater and when they are thrown out, they find a way to bring film to their remote area and share the wonder of cinema with their elders. Pan Nalin does a fantastic job directing this one of a kind gorgeous film.
The Novice: This standout thriller from Isabelle Fuhrman builds in anticipation as a college freshman becomes obsessed about her place in her university's rowing team. Alex Dall will outperform her teammates and her physical and psychological fixation on become the best on the team showcases the fierce competitive world of collegiate rowing as well as how determination can become out of control.
We can't wait to see what the 2022 Tribeca Festival will bring!
Photos Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival.