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The Most Complete Annotated Overview of the Nora Ephron Award and Other Women Filmmakers at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival

By Nora Lee Mandel

According to the Tribeca Film Festival, the work of women directors is being seen in 46 of the 105 feature film selections (hmm, I counted 45 narratives and documentaries – so what one did I miss?) and 24 of the 65 shorts (depends on which films are considered shorts). Many filmmakers will attend at Manhattan theaters from April 18 – 29, 2017 for the 17th annual showcase of international narrative and documentary shorts and features.

For me, the anticipated centerpiece of the Festival each year is the Nora Ephron Award, going to “One narrative film Director or written by a woman with a film making its International or World Premiere, which recognizes a woman who embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron.” As in previous years, the Festival Press Office will not commit to identifying the award-eligible films in advance. I presume eight, possibly nine, women-directed films showing in competitions could be eligible, or maybe 13 other non-competition categories as well. I will also continue to be the only film critic to check in on previous Ephron Award winners.
The jurors for the sixth annual Nora Ephron Award are: Joanna Gleason (Tony-winning actress); Rebecca Keegan is a Vanity Fair Hollywood correspondent; and Sasheer Zamata (comedian/actress/writer).


I also spotlight films with other women collaborators in the Festival’s feature and short films – writers, cinematographers, editors, and composers. Including N.O.W. (New Online Work) shorts for online platforms, “Immersive” virtual reality projects, and TFI Sloan Works-In-Progress, this report is, therefore, the most complete overview with commentary of all the work by women credited in films at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival! I will complete the complete overview as soon as possible after the last awards and conclusion.

NORA EPHRON AWARD-ELIGIBLE: FEATURE FILMS BY WOMEN WRITER/DIRECTORS IN COMPETITION AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL: presumed
All About Nina
Lemonade (Luna de Miere)
Little Woods
Mapplethorpe
O.G.
The Party's Just Beginning
State Like Sleep
Virgins (Vierges/Ein Betulot Bakrayot)


OTHER FEATURE NARRATIVE FILMS DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
In SPOTLIGHT NARRATIVE
All These Small Moments
Daughter of Mine (Figlia mia)
Egg
Mary Shelley
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Nico, 1988
Untogether
In VIEWPOINTS - NARRATIVES
Dead Women Walking
The Elephant and the Butterfly (Drôle de Père)
M
Slut in a Good Way (Charlotte A Du Fun)

In MIDNIGHT
Braid
Cargo

In INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE COMPETITION
Amateurs (Amatörer)
In SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Radium Girls
Woman Walks Ahead

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
In SPECIAL SCREENINGS
The Fourth Estate Closing Night
Love, Gilda Opening Night
Bathtubs Over Broadway
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes
The Gospel According to André
It's a Hard Truth Ain't It
Netizens
In DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Blowin' Up
Island of the Hungry Ghosts
The Rachel Divide
United Skates
Yellow is Forbidden

In SPOTLIGHT DOCUMENTARY
The Bleeding Edge
General Magic
Roll Red Roll
Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
Time for Ilhan
Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie

In VIEWPOINTS DOCUMENTARY
Charm City
The Feeling of Being Watched
The Proposal
In TRIBECA TV
Mr. Soul!
Rest in Power

SHORTS DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
9 at 38
The Girl And The Picture
The History of White People in America
Homeless: The Soundtrack
Hula Girl
Into My Life
Locked In
A Mountain To Climb
New York Times Op-Docs
Notes from Dunblane: Lessons from a School Shootings
The River of the Kukamas (The El Rio de los Kukamas)
RX: Early Detection A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee
Salam
Wendy’s Shabbat


NARRATIVE SHORTS
Bao
Five Minutes
Knuckles
Laboratory Conditions
The Last Romantic (El Último Romántico)
Late Afternoon
The Life of Esteban (Het Leven van Estaban)
The Love Letter (Michtav Ahava Lam ‘em Sheli)
Mirette
Paper Roof
So You Like the Neighborhood
Welcome Home
We Were Three (Vi var tre)


N.O.W. (NEW ONLINE WORK) SHOWCASES
The 99 Names of God
Cleaner Daze
Dinette
Driver Ed
Home
Snugglr
Under Her Skin

TRIBECA IMMERSIVE WITH WOMEN PROJECT DIRECTORS: VIRTUAL REALITY
1000 Cut Journey
An Obituary (boogo)
Chalkroom
Dinner Party
The Hidden
Meeting A Monster
Queerskins: a love story
Spheres: Pale Blue Dot

WOMEN CREW-ED FILMS: WITH WOMEN WRITERS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS, EDITORS AND COMPOSERS AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
Features
The American Meme
Back Roads
Blue Night
Call Her Ganda
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable
The Dark
Disobedience
Duck Butter
Every Act of Life
House Two
Jellyfish
Maine
McQueen
The Night Eats The World (La Nuit A Dévoré Le Monde)
No Greater Law
Obey
Ryuichi Sakamato: Coda
Studio 54
The Seagull
Sunday’s Illness (La Enfermedad Del Domingo
Tanzania Transit
To Dust
Tully
We the Animals
When Lambs Become Lions
When She Runs

Shorts
Blind Audition
Cosmic Debris
How Tommy Lemenchick Became A Grade 7 Legend
The Motion of Stars (Die Bewegung der Sterne)
Sidelined
Souls of Totality
UI – Soon We Will All Be One
The Velvet Underground Played At My High School

NORA EPHRON AWARD-ELIGIBLE FILMS IN COMPETITION BY WOMEN DIRECTORS AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

All About Nina
Writer/Director Eva Vives; Editors Saira Haider and Susan Littenberg (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The raw performance by Mary Louise Winstead as “Nina” dominates the film, and papers over other characters that make less sense. I thought it had a shot at the Nora Ephron Award for its parallels with her This Is My Life (1992).
So, nu: My commentary on the Jewish women.


Lemonade (Luna de Miere)
Director Ioana Uricaru; Writers Ioana Uricaru and Tatiana Ionascu (Romania/Canada/Germany/Sweden) (International Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
With lacerating relevance, this is a devastating verité-style debut that imagines what a young mother and nurse can go through to legally get a green card in the United States, heightened by Malina Manovici’s heartbreaking performance as the desperate “Mara”.


Little Woods
Director and Writer Nia Dacosta; Editor Catrin Hedstrom (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Winner of the Nora Ephron Award, the jury declared: “"For its sure-footed storytelling featuring an unconventional heroine who pushes past expectations of what is bravery in a woman’s life or in cinema. In watching this portrait of a woman at a crossroads in small-town America, we found ourselves wanting to see more stories from this filmmaker and more of her vision of a woman in the world.”
My commentary forthcoming on FF2 Media.


Mapplethorpe
Synopsis & Trailer
Director, Co-writer, and Co-Editor Ondi Timoner; cinematographer Nancy Schreiber (USA) (World Premiere)
Runner-up, Audience Award for Narrative Film
Striking is the honesty of showing the artist’s manipulations, selfishness, ambition, and insensitivity – as well as his talent and the class and racial issues in his milieu.


O.G.
Synopsis & Trailer
Director Madeleine Sackler (USA) (World Premiere)
The best fiction film in this year’s festival! Jeffrey Wright was awarded Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film, with the jury explaining “This year’s best actor has been transforming himself on stage, film, and television for many years. His performance in this year’s competition entry testifies to his talent, sensitivity, and craft. With masterful restraint, the inner life of his character seethes out of his pores. He has crafted a performance that solidifies his standing as one of the greatest actors working today.” While anchored by Wright, the verisimilitude of filming entirely at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, Pendleton, Indiana, and including many first-time actors who are bound there, in speaking and background roles, adds tremendously to the extraordinary realism and tensions.


The Party's Just Beginning
Synopsis & Trailer
Director, Writer, and Star Karen Gillan (Scotland) (International Premiere)
My commentary forthcoming


State Like Sleep
Synopsis & Trailer
Writer/Director Meredith Danluck (USA) (World Premiere)
What a disappointment that a woman director would allow noir clichés, including a castrating mother and a young woman (played by Katherine Waterston) falling into bed with an older man (Michael Shannon) again and again.


Virgins (Vierges/Ein Betulot Bakrayot)
Synopsis & Trailer
Director Keren Ben Rafael; Writers Keren Ben Rafael and Elise Benroubi; Co-Editor Danielle Avizur (France/Israel/Belgium) (World Premiere)
Well-acted, charming blend of magic realism with cynicism.
So, nu: My commentary on the Israeli-Russian Jewish women.


OTHER FEATURE FILMS DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

All These Small Moments
Synopsis & Trailer
Director/Writer Melissa Miller Costanzo (USA) (World Premiere)
My commentary forthcoming


Amateurs (Amatörer)
Director/Co-Writer/Co-Editor Gabriela Pichler (Sweden) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


Braid
Director/Writer Mitzi Peirone (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen

Cargo
Co-Director/Writer Yolanda Ramke; Co-Editor Dany Cooper (Australia) (International Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Developed from Ramke’s 2013 short, this version blends The Walking Dead with aborigine persecution and mythology.
Available on Netflix May 18, 2018


Daughter of Mine (Figlia mia)
Director Laura Bispuri; Writers Francesca Manieri and Laura Bispuri; Editor Carlotta Cristiani (Italy/Germany/Switzerland) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Slow revelations about a girl from two very different women in a small town are heightened by emotional performances from Valeria Golino, Alba Rohrwacher, and Sara Casu.
Bispuri is a past recipient of the Nora Ephron Award for Sworn Virgin.


Dead Woman Walking
Director/Writer Hagar Ben-Asher (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


Egg
Director Marianna Palka; Writer Risa Mickenberg; Cinematographer Zelmira Gainza; Editor Sophie Corra (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


The Elephant and the Butterfly (Drôle de Père)
Director/Co-Writer/Mother of the Star Amélie van Elmbt (Belgium/France) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The auteur combines her experience of five years of single mothering with more of being a filmmaker by casting her daughter Lina (her child with filmmaker Jacques Doillon) as the lead. Her Elsa is irresistibly charming in introducing the papa she’s never met before (and his extended family) to the joys and frustrations of parenting.
Blue Fox will release this Martin Scorsese executive produced/Dardenne Brothers’ produced film (another Dardenne was in the crew) in Summer 2018.


M
Director/Writer/Star Sara Forestier; Co-Editors Pauline Casalis, Isabelle Devinck, Sara Forestier, and Joëlle Hache (France) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
A gritty fairy tale, this is a surprisingly convincing and touching romance between two disparate, damaged yet cinematically charismatic people linked by the potential power of words – not spoken and not read.


Mary Shelley
Director Haifaa al-Mansour; Writer Emma Jensen; Composer Amelia Warner (Ireland/UK/Luxembourg/USA) (US Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
This contemporary spin on 19th century figures who challenged conventional society is fresh and realistic.
IFC Films will release in theaters May 25.


The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Director Desiree Akhavan; Writers Desiree Akhavan and Cecilia Frugiuele; Cinematographer Ashley O’Connor; Editor Sara Shaw (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Based on the book by Emily M. Danforth (that I haven’t read yet), this is a broadly drawn condemnation of homosexual conversion therapy that depends heavily on the audience appeal of wholesome young star Chloë Grace Moretz growing up on screen.
Filmrise will release in theaters August 10.


Nico, 1988
Director/Writer Susanna Nicchiarelli; Cinematographer Crystel Fournier (Italy/Belgium) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Trina Dryholm’s charismatic performance lifts a familiar tale of rock ‘n’ roll excess and an attempt to move beyond a wild youth (with Andy Warhol) more usually enacted about famous men (since Mark Rydell’s fictional The Rose from 1979).
Magnolia will release in theaters July 4.


Radium Girls
Directors Lydia Dean Pilcher and Ginny Mohler; Writers Ginny Mohler and Brittany Shaw; Composer Lillie McDonough (USA) (World Premiere) Special Screening
Synopsis & Trailer
Inspired by Kate Moore’s The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women, that I haven’t read yet. Recipient of a Sloan Foundation production grant at NYU-Tisch.
After this premiere, filmmakers Pilcher and Mohler will participate on a panel with co-star Joey King, and environmental scientist Dr. Betsy Southerland about the film and how the real life “Radium Girls” of the 1920’s were empowered by the early women's movement to speak out about the health consequences of their factory work.
My commentary forthcoming


Slut in a Good Way (Charlotte A Du Fun)
Director Sophie Lorain; Writer Catherine Léger; Cinematographer Alexis Durand Brault (Canada) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Diverse teenagers at work (hormones and all) in a retail toy store is a refreshing setting for flirtation and competition.


Untogether
Director/Writer Emma Forrest; Cinematographer Autumn Durald; Editor Sophie Carra (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


Woman Walks Ahead
Director Susanna White; Co-Editor Lucia Zucchetti; (USA) (US Premiere) Special Screening
Synopsis & Trailer
Beautiful looking, stirring, well-acted historical epic that makes real people (Jessica Chastain as Catherine Weidon and Michael Greyeyes as Sitting Bull) a feminist and a genocide protester who history rolls over.
A24 releases in theaters June 29


DOCUMENTARIES
Bathtubs Over Broadway
Director/Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Cinematographer Dava Whisenan (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Despite the insistent emphasis on ignorance about Broadway musicals, this charming visual and musical introduction to the creators and performers of 1950’s – 1980’s “industrials” shows for large corporations will hopefully fuel preservation and archival efforts.


Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes
Director/Writer Sophie Huber (Switzerland/USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Smoothly updates the nostalgic history, photography and production in the famed jazz label to its current incarnation with younger artists influenced by hip hop.

Blowin’ Up
Director/Writer Stephanie Wang-Breal (with producing partner Carrie Weprin) (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Sensitive and empathetic, the mostly cinema verité profile of the ten-year-old, women-run alternative-sentencing Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court (in Kew Gardens, near my home, though interstitial images are confusingly of Manhattan) for women in the sex trade, focusing on the collaborative work of the judge, lawyers (prosecutors and defense), social service agencies, including GEMS, and victims/choice-makers who are trying to change their lives/choices.
Funded in part by ITVS, the documentary presumably will be shown on PBS at some point.


Charm City
Director Marilyn Ness (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


The Feeling of Being Watched
Director/Writer Assia Boundaoul; Cinematographer Shuling Yong; Editor Rabab Hai Yahya; Composer Angelica Negron (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Her curiosity about how her own Muslim community outside Chicago has been treated by the FBI turns from a case study (applicable to Queens neighborhoods, too) into a full-fledged investigation, community organizing, and law suit, and crosses over into an obsession she takes very personally.


The Fourth Estate
Director Liz Garbus (USA) (World Premiere) Closing Night
Synopsis & Trailer
A panel follows with Garbus and journalists on covering the first year of the Trump presidency.
Showtime will premiere the docu-series on May 27.
Not seen yet

Synopsis & Trailer

General Magic
Co-Director/Co-Writer Sarah Kerruish; Editors Anna Meller and Claire Ferguson (US) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Kerruish’s then and now footage intimately illuminates a forgotten, visionary “failure” in Silicon Valley.
So, nu: my commentary on the Jewish woman


The Gospel According to André
Director Kate Novack; Co-Composer Sofia Hultquist (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Premiere will be followed by a panel with the director, producers, and subject.
Not seen yet


Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Director Gabrielle Brady; Editor Katharine Fiedler (Germany/UK/Australia) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Winner of Best Documentary, the jury declared the award “goes to a film that demonstrates extraordinary mastery of the full symphonic range of cinematic tools: cinematography, editing, score, sound design, and, perhaps greatest of all, an exquisite use of metaphor…[A] film that moved us deeply, impressed us immensely, and made us feel we were witnessing nothing less than the emergence, fully formed, of a major new cinematic talent…”
This documentary deftly blends artsy gazes at Australian government-protected crab migration from the jungle to the sea, with the anguish of dead and barely living contemporary refugees and asylum-seekers who came from the sea to a hopeless prison on Christmas Island, and the people who help both populations.


It's a Hard Truth Ain't It
Co-Director Madeline Sackler; Editor Leigh Johnson (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


Love, Gilda
Director Lisa D’Apolito; Co-Editors Anne Alvergue and Kristen Nutile; Composer Miriam Cutler (USA) (World Premiere) Opening Night Gala
Synopsis & Trailer
CNN will show the bio-doc later this year.
Not seen yet


Mr. Soul!: Ellis Haizlip and the Birth of Black Power TV
Co-Director/Writer Melissa Haizlip; Co-Editor Annukka Lilja (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not seen yet


Netizens
Director/Writer Cynthia Lowen; Cinematographers Caitlin Yatsko and Rachel Lears; Editor Emily Williams (USA) (World Premiere) Opening Night Gala
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


The Proposal
Director Jill Magid; Editor Hannah Buck (Italy/Belgium) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not seen yet.


The Rachel Divide
Director Laura Brownstein (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
While showing in limited theaters, Netflix is making the documentary available as of April 27.
My commentary forthcoming


Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
Co-Director Julia Willoughby Nason (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
After the premiere, the directors will participate in a panel with the parents of Trayvon Martin.
Paramount Network will show the documentary later this year.
Not seen yet


Roll Red Roll
Director/Co-Producer Nancy Schwartzman (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Even if you followed all the national news from Steubenville, OH about the case of a young girl raped by high school football players, you never got close to the whole story piece together and revealed here.


Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
Co-Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Editor Kate Davis (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
HBO will show the film later in 2018.
Not yet seen


Time for Ilhan
Director/Producer Norah Shapiro (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Intimate case study of how American politics is changing at the local level, by following the whole stretch of a state legislative campaign of a Muslim, Somali, immigrant mother in Minnesota.
So, nu: my commentary on the Jewish woman.


Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie
Director/Writer/Producer Andrea Nevins; Editor Azin Samari (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


United Skates
Directors/Co-Cinematographers Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown; Editor Katharine Garrison (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Winner of the Audience Award for Documentary
Combines thrilling musical dance on skates with an incisive exposé of racism in roller rink management against African-American entertainment options, and intimate cinema verité close-ups of the impacts on families, local businesses, and regional and national communities.
Were the few African-Americans on line for the film because there isn’t a rink like this left in NYC?


Yellow Is Forbidden
Director Pietra Brettkelly; Co-Editor Margot Francis (NZ) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Intimate portrait of Chinese woman fashion designer Guo Pei marketing herself and her elaborate clothes to the newly wealthy at home and the tradition-bound Chambre Syndicate de la Haute Couture in Paris.


SHORTS DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

9 at 38
Director Catherine K. Lee; Co-Editor Sarah Kim (South Korea/USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Bold Moves section
My commentary forthcoming


Bao
Director/Writer Domee Shi; Editor Katherine Ringgold (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G section
Disney/Pixar
My commentary forthcoming


Five Minutes
Director Justine Bateman (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Lighten Up section
Not seen yet


The Girl and the Picture
Director/Writer Vanessa Roth (USA) (NY Premiere) Special Screening
Synopsis & Trailer
Produced with The USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education
My commentary forthcoming

The History of White People in America
Co-Director Clementine Briand (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G section
My commentary forthcoming


Homeless: The Soundtrack
Director/Co-Producer/Co-Editor/Co-Cinematographer Irene Taylor Brodsky; Co-Composer "Cami" Jenni Alpert (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Home Sweet Home section
Produced for ITVS, so will presumably be shown on PBS at some point.
My commentary forthcoming


Hula Girl
Co-Director/Writer Amy Hill (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Bold Moves section
Not seen yet


Into My Life
Directors Ivana Hucíková, Sarah Keeling, and Grace Remington; Cinematographers Ivana Hucíková and Sarah Keeling; Editor Ivana Hucíková (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in NY: Homemade section
Not seen yet


Knuckles
Director/Writer Laura Groombridge (Australia) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Make or Break section
My commentary forthcoming


Laboratory Conditions
Director Jocelyn Stamat (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Into the Void section
My commentary forthcoming


The Last Romantic (El Último Romántico)
Director/Co-Writer/Co-Editor Natalia Garcia Agraz (Mexico) (International Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Lighten Up section
My commentary forthcoming


Late Afternoon
Director/Writer Louise Bagnall; Co-Cinematographers Áine McGuinness and Louise Bagnall (Ireland) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G section
My commentary forthcoming


The Life of Esteban (Het Leven van Estaban)
Director/Writer Inès Eshun; Co-Cinematographers Áine McGuinness and Louise Bagnall (Belgium) (International Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Make or Break section
My commentary forthcoming


Locked In
Director/Writer Alison Ellwood (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in ESPN Sports section and will be shown on ESPN
Not seen yet


The Love Letter (Michtav Ahava Lam ‘em Sheli)
Director/Writer Atara Frisch (Israel) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Make or Break section
Not seen yet


Mirette
Director/Writer Helen O’Hanlon (UK) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Magic Act section
Based on Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
My commentary forthcoming


A Mountain to Climb
Director Kristen Lappas (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in ESPN Sports Shorts section, and will be shown on ESPN.
My commentary forthcoming


New York Times Op-Docs
Tribeca N.O.W. Special Screening:
The Blue Line - Director Samantha Knowles
Birth Control Your Own Adventure - Director Sindha Aghe
Not seen yet


Notes from Dunblane: Lessons from a School Shootings
Director Kim Snyder; Writers Kim Snyder and Maria Cuomo Cole; Editor Penelope Falk (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Aftermath section
Not seen yet


Paper Roof
Director/Writer Judith Tong; Editor Shermaine Chan (Singapore) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Loose Ends section
My commentary forthcoming


The River of the Kukamas (The El Rio de los Kukamas)
Director/Writer/Cinematographer/Editor Nika Belianina (Peru) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Home Sweet Home section
My commentary forthcoming


RX: Early Detection A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee
Director/Writer/Producer/Cinematographer Cathy Chermol Schrijver; Editor Paula Heredia (USA) (NY Premiere) Special Screening
Synopsis & Trailer
HBO will show the documentary later this year.
Not yet seen


So You Like the Neighborhood
Director/Writer/Co-Producer/Editor Jean Pesce (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Lighten Up section
My commentary forthcoming


Salam
Director/Writer Claire Fowler (USA/Wales) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Loose Ends section
My commentary forthcoming


Welcome Home (Velkommen til oss)
Director/Writer/Producer/Editor Armita Keyani (Norway) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Lighten Up section
My commentary forthcoming


Wendy’s Shabbat
Director/Writer/Co-Producer Rachel Myers; Cinematographer Jeanne Tyson; Editor Dana Turken (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Home Sweet Home section
My commentary forthcoming


We Were Three (Vi var tre)
Director/Co-Writer Caroline Ingvarsson; Editor Matilda Henningsson (Sweden/Norway) (International Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Loose Ends section
Not yet seen


TRIBECA IMMERSIVE WITH WOMEN PROJECT DIRECTORS: VIRTUAL REALITY

1000 Cut Journey
Project Creators/Directors Courtney Cogburn and Elise Ogle; Writer Courtney Cogburn (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Chalkroom
Project Creator/Director Laurie Anderson (Taiwan) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Dinner Party
Project Co-Creators Charlotte Stoudt and Laura Wexler (Puerto Rico/USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Meeting A Monster
Project Creator Gabriela Arp (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


An Obituary (boogo)
Project Creator/Director Jean Yoon (South Korea) (US Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Queerskins: a love story
Project Co-Creator Illya Szilak (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Spheres: Pale Blue Dot
Project Creator Eliza McNitt (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


N.O.W. (NEW ONLINE WORK) SHOWCASES

The 99 Names of God
Project Creator Yumna Al-Arashi (UK) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Cleaner Daze
Project Creator Tess Sweet (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Dinette
Project Creator Shaina Feinberg (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Driver Ed
Project Co-Creator Amanda Cowper (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Home
Project Co-Creator Keylee Sudduth (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Snugglr
Project Creators Georgia Bernstein and Cemre Paksoy (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


Under Her Skin
Project Creators Rémy Bennett and Kelsey Bennett (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not yet seen


TRIBECA FILM INSTITUTE/ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION FILMMAKER FUND: :
This year’s winning projects for $150,000 in awards were chosen by a jury that included Wren Arthur (Olive Productions), Darcy Heusel (Neon) and Anjali Tripathi (astrophysicist):
The New Miracle - written by Gillian Weeks, which centers on the creation of the first test-tube baby
The Spark - directed by Eva Weber and written by Ruth Greenberg, which is set in India and follows the only woman trainee at the local energy company confronted by her past as an electricity thief.

WOMEN CREW-ED: FILMS BY WOMEN WRITERS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS EDITORS, AND COMPOSERS AT 2018 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
Fiction Features
Back Roads
Synopsis & Trailer
Co-Writer Tawni O’Dell, based on her novel (that I haven’t read yet) (USA) (World Premiere)
My commentary forthcoming


Blue Night
Writer Laura Eason; Composer Amie Doherty (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


The Dark
Editor Julia Drack (Austria) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


Duck Butter
Co-writer/star Alia Shawkat; Cinematographer Hillary Spera (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film jury noted: “a strikingly raw, connected, and honest performance about a character struggling to be raw, connected, and honest. This woman also co-wrote, co-produced and helped conceive this film…so it goes without saying that without Alia Shawkat there would be no Duck Butter.”
The Orchard released the film in NY/LA on April 27, and will make it available on digital platforms nationwide on May 1.
Just as I thought this 24-hour sexy romance was going to bog down in millennial immaturity, as did several others in the Festival, Shawkat’s “Naima” demonstrates surprising self-awareness and strength.
I spotted her co-star Laia Costa along the Rush Ticket line helping to sell fundraising tickets for the documentary The Bleeding Edge.


Jellyfish
Editor Sian Clarke (UK) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The editing keeps the focus on the extraordinary performance by young Liv Hill!


Maine
Editor Sofi Marshall (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Beautiful scenery.


The Night Eats The World (La Nuit A Dévoré Le Monde)
Editor Isabelle Manquillet (France) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
A Parisian episode of The Walking Dead.


Obey
Editors Agnieska Liggett and Emma Gaffney (UK) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The editing greatly builds up the suspense.


The Seagull
Editors Annette Davey (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play
My commentary forthcoming


Sunday’s Illness (La Enfermedad Del Domingo
Editor Teresa Font (Spain) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The elegant editing helps turn a soap opera into an elegy.


To Dust
Editor Allyson Johnson; Composer Ariel Marx (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
A few lost threads and possible inaccuracies aside, I laughed, I cried, I was completely charmed!
My commentary on the Jewish women.

We the Animals
Editor Keiko Deguchi (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Based on the novel by Justin Torres (that I haven’t read yet)
Not seen yet.


When She Runs
Co-Writer Kristin Anderson (USA) (World Premiere) (Tribeca ESPN Sports Film Festival)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


Documentary Features
The American Meme
Editor Monique Zavistovski (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not seen yet


Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable
Co-Writer/Editor Carol Martori (USA) (World Premiere) (Tribeca ESPN Sports Film Festival)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


Call Her Ganda
Editor/Co-Writer Victoria Chalk (USA/Philippines) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The tragic case of the murder of a transgender woman in the Philippines is deftly put within the cultural traditions and family life of the city and country, in contrast to the historical and current context of U.S. colonial attitudes and legal framework that protects the accused soldier, as the progress is followed. Several of the Filipina activists joined the filmmakers at the screening I attended, and updated the audience on the good and bad news.


Every Act of Life
Co-Cinematographer Autumn Eakin (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not seen yet


House Two
Co-Editor RA Fedde (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The editing is key to building up empathy for the Marines’ scapegoat as amnesia gives way to revelations and cover-up.


McQueen
Editor Cinzia Baldessari (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Not seen yet


No Greater Law
Co-Editor Mags Arnold (UK/USA) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Presented at the Festival by A & E Indies, so presumably will be shown on A & E Network.
Not yet seen


Ryuichi Sakamato: Coda
Co-Editor Misayo Kushida (USA/Japan) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
The editing ties together the long time frame of influences on the musician/composer.
My note on 9/11 reference.


Studio 54
Editor Andrea Lewis (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
My commentary forthcoming


Tanzania Transit
Co-writer/production manager Esther Eenstroom (Netherlands) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Awarded Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film: the jury commented beyond the look of the film “To witness the care taken in the framing of each shot of this remarkable film conveys pleasure in and of itself. That the aesthetic rigor of each of these images also opens the space for us to contemplate the challenges of being human with such gentleness is transfixing. This is a movie that dares to have no beginning and no end. We honor Niels van Koevorden with the Cinematography Award for Tanzania Transit because it gives us the deep slow shiver of seeing anew!”
This trip travels into the canon of great railroad documentaries! Though we see many passengers over three days across the country, the story focuses on a traditional Masai grandfather and grandson, a commercial preacher selling his get healthy and rich powers, and a woman entrepreneur gradually revealing to other women and mothers how she is determined to rise above the terrible hard knocks she’s experienced.


When Lambs Become Lions
Co-Editor Caitlyn Greene (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
From the jury: “The award for Best Editing goes to a film that unfolds with the urgency and tension one expects from the best Hollywood thrillers. From the opening frame to its startling climax, this film kept us on the edge of our seats. It’s also worth noting that one of the films three editors is also the film's brilliant cinematographer, producer, and director, Jon Kasbe, and the jury could have recognized him in either of those disciplines. But ultimately it was the film's incredible pacing that led us to present the award for Best Editing to the team from When Lambs Become Lions.”
Such an intimate, up-close, and empathetic portrait of rangers protecting and poachers killing elephants in Kenya, that the main characters have the power of fiction.


Shorts
Blind Audition
Editor Linda Kokkores (Germany) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Lighten Up! section
Not yet seen


Cosmic Debris
Cinematographers Genéa Gaudet and Teodora Totoiu; Editor Chelsi Johnston (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Animated Shorts Curated By Whoopi G section
My commentary forthcoming


How Tommy Lemenchick Became A Grade 7 Legend
Editor Veronique Barbe (Canada) (US Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Magic Act section
Not yet seen


The Motion of Stars (Die Bewegung der Sterne)
Editor Barbara Sidler (Austria) (North American Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Magic Act section
Not yet seen


Sidelined
Cinematographer Hillary Spera (USA) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in NY Homemade section
Not yet seen


Souls of Totality
Co-Writer Kate Tretry (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Loose Ends section
Not yet seen


UI – Soon We Will All Be One
Cinematographer Petra Korner, AAC (Austria) (World Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Into The Void section
My commentary forthcoming


The Velvet Underground Played At My High School
Writer Marina Donahue (USA) (NY Premiere)
Synopsis & Trailer
Screening in Into The Void section
My commentary forthcoming




updated 5/1/2018




Nora Lee Mandel is a member of New York Film Critics Online and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Her reviews are counted in the Rotten Tomatoes TomatoMeter:


Complete Index to Nora Lee Mandel's Movie Reviews

Since August 2006, edited versions of most of my reviews of documentaries/indie/foreign films are at Film-Forward; since 2012, festival overviews at FilmFestivalTraveler; and, since 2016, coverage of women-made films at FF2 Media. Shorter versions of my older reviews are at IMDb's comments, where non-English-language films are listed by their native titles.






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