reReel Life: Flick Pix

Maven's Nest

Reel Life: Flick Pix



ANNOTATED OVERVIEW OF WOMEN FILMMAKERS AT THE 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

By Nora Lee Mandel

The 23rd Tribeca Film Festival June 5 - 16, 2024 continued its original revitalizing role for New York City, still for post-pandemic. This year, the Festival touted “103 feature films from 114 filmmakers across 48 countries, including 86 World Premieres, two international premieres, six North American premieres, and eight New York premieres. Half of all films in competition are directed by women…There are 30 films directed by first-time filmmakers.”



For those of us who follow women in film, the anticipated centerpiece of the Festival since 2013 is the Nora Ephron Award “created to honor the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer”. Thanks to FF2 Media for featuring my annual coverage of the Ephron Award, including the 2023 winner. I am usually the only film critic to follow previous winners of the Ephron Award.

In 2020, the Ephron Award guidelines were more explicit than before: “One narrative film directed by or written by a woman making its World or International Premiere” and the award-eligible films were identified in advance. In 2021, even films not shown in competition were evidently eligible. Last year, one publicist informed me that “It is only for first time filmmakers.” So I applied that additional guideline this year, only to be told by publicists of debut directors’ films that theirs were not eligible for the award, while the final winners had made a feature together a decade ago. I could only guess eligibility in advance.

The jurors for the 2024 Nora Ephron Award: Selma Blair, actor, social change activist, and cosmetics entrepreneur; Chan Phung, film studio executive; and, Lucy Hale, actor.

2024 Nora Ephron Award Winner: Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge for Don't You Let Me Go (Uruguay) - World Premiere. Jury Statement: “We (the jury) loved this poignant, life-affirming film that celebrates love and female friendships. We were moved and delighted by how the film beautifully honors the experiences of grief and life’s most special moments.”


I also spotlight people who identify as female on the creative team, what I call, only in writing, “Women Crew-Ed Films”, the work of women collaborators in the Festival’s feature and short films, television offerings, N.O.W. (New Online Work) shorts for online platforms and “immersive” virtual reality projects– writers, cinematographers, editors, and composers, and more. Some of these artists may be future directors, but all should be considered for future work-to-watch.
Many of the films not already picked up for commercial theatrical or network/platform distribution continue on the festival circuit around the U.S. and world, particularly the shorts. So you will still have opportunities to see these women filmmakers’ work that I recommend.

While my capsule reviews couldn’t be posted until their Tribeca premieres, all my recommended films in the Festival that I can access -- shorts and features, by those who identify as female and others -- are listed at: Mandel Maven's Nest Reel Life: Flick Pix.



NORA EPHRON AWARD-ELIGIBLE?: FEATURE NARRATIVE FILMS BY WOMEN WRITER/DIRECTORS AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL (*winners)

Adult Best Friends
Arzé
Come Closer
The French Italian
Hunters on a White Field (Jakt)
Nuked
The Other, Gold
Under the Grey Sky (Pod szarym niebem)


OTHER POSSIBLY EPHRON-ELIGIBLE NARRATIVE FEATURES WRITTEN/DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Beacon
Bikechess
Bitterroot
Daddio
Darkest Miriam
The Devil’s Bath (Das Teufels Bad)
Don’t You Let Me Go (Agarrame fuerte)*
The Everything Pot
Family Therapy
The Freshly Cut Grass (El aroma del pasto recién cortado)
Hannah Einbinder: Everything Must Go
In The Summers
Jazzy
A Mistake
Samia
Treasure
Winter Spring Summer or Fall


SPECIAL SCREENINGS

Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge
Tim Burton Docuseries


DOCUMENTARY FEATURES DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

1-800-On Her Own
Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme
Bam Bam: The Sister Nancy Story
The Cranes Call
The Debutantes
Driver
Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes
Emergent City
Following Harry
I’m Your Venus
It Was All a Dream
Luther: Never Too Much
Made in Ethiopia
Missing From Fire Trail Road
New Wave
Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution
Quad Gods
Satisfied
Searching for Amani
Witches


SHORTS DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Narrative Shorts

Bite
Bright White Light
The Brown Dog
Budō
Clodagh
The Creators
Dirty Towel
Ebb & Flow
Earthshine
Fire Fucking Fire
Fuck-a-Fan
In the Shadow of the Cypress
I Want to Violently Crash into the Windshield of Love
Jane Austen’s Period Drama
Kasbi
Kum-Kum
Learning English
Lice
The Mayfly
Mermaids
My Best Friend
Nate and John
Next Week
Oh, Christmas Tree
Perfect Ten
Punta Salinas
Ripe!
¡salsa!
Smile, God Loves You
Swollen
Veo Veo A Family

Mazda Presents Moving the Spotlight Shorts
Bloomed in The Water
Deep Into The Forest
Leading Man
Keba, Interrupted
Stud Country
When Everything Burns (Cuando Todo Arde)


Documentary Shorts
Depression Is A Beast
Motorcycle Mary
Out of the Dark: Cal Calamia
Pastrana
The Solace of Sisterhood


EPISODICS: TRIBECA TV
Breath of Fire
Hollywood Black
Mastermind: To Think Like A Killer
Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken
My Lady Jane
The Stanford Prison Experiment: Unlocking the Truth
An Update on Our Family


EPISODICS: N.O.W. (NEW ONLINE WORK) SHOWCASE
I Need Your Love
Le Parrot
This Really Happened


TRIBECA X AWARD SELECTIONS: Brand/Storyteller Collaborations
Feature Films
Audrey’s Children
Black Girls
One Good Reason

Short Films
Love
Huracán Ramírez vs. La Piñata Enchilada
One Good Reason
UGO: A Homecoming Story

Episodics
Adidas Originals CypHERS
The Foundation of Belleza
Santa Story: The Note

Commercials
Home

Tribeca X Film-Related Talks
Every Mother Counts: Inspiring Action and Driving Change Through the Power of Storytelling
Beyond Type 1: Harnessing the Power of Authentic Storytelling to Change the Conversation


TRIBECA TALKS
Alison Roman: Creativity, Connection, and Navigating Storytelling in the Digital Age
Beyond the Screen: The Convergence of Film, Stage, and Music
Championing the Next Generation: Through Her Lens Conversation
Kerry Washington and Nicole Avant: Legacy and Impact in Storytelling
Laverne Cox: Storyteller


IMMERSIVE: VIRTUAL REALITY
Talk - The Art of Designing Large-Scale Digital and Spatial Experiences

AT&T PRESENTS “UNTOLD STORIES”
Winner: Lilian T. Mehrel for Honeyjoon

WOMEN CREW-ED: FILMS BY WOMEN WRITERS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS, EDITORS AND COMPOSERS AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

NARRATIVE FEATURES

All My Friends Are Dead
Bad Shabbos
Color Book
Crossing
The Dog Thief (Perros)
Era Oculta- Hidden Era
Eternal Playground (La récréation de Juillet)
Firebrand
Griffin in Summer
Kill
Restless
Some Rain Must Fall
Swimming Home
The Wasp
The Weekend


DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

Alien Weaponry: Kua Tupu Te Ara
Checkpoint Zoo
Dust to Dust: Yuima Nakazato
Hacking Hate
Linda Perry: Let It Die Here
Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburner
Pirópolis
Rebel Country
Rebel Nun
Skywalkers: A Love Story
Slave Play. Not A Movie. A Play
Soldiers of Song
Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple
They All Came Out To Montreux


SHORTS

Narrative Shorts
Budd, Sweat & Tearz
Catharsis
The Cost of Flesh
A Family Guide To Hunting
Five Ways to Get Rid of a Hickey
The HongFu Hotel
original skins
Sea Lion Cow
Some Kind of Paradise
À toi les oreilles


Documentary Shorts
Jumpman
Lost Bois


EPISODICS: TRIBECA TV
In the Arena: Serena Williams
Mr. Loverman
Presumed Innocent
The Turning Point: To Be Destroyed


EPISODICS: N.O.W. (NEW ONLINE WORK) SHOWCASE
Juice


NORA EPHRON AWARD-ELIGIBLE FILMS BY WOMEN DIRECTORS AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL? (*winners)

Adult Best Friends
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer/Co-Star: Delaney Buffett; Co-Writer/Co-Star: Katie Corwin; Cinematographer: Jessica Pantoja; Composer: Alexandra Kalinowski (U.S.) World Premiere in U.S. Narrative Competition
Friends and writing team/co-stars Delaney Buffett and Katie Corwin crossed the Rubican of turning 30 years old by making this mostly comic film about long-time friends, like themselves, drifting apart due to different life goals. While realtor “Katie” in the movie wants to settle down into marriage with a stable chiropractor boyfriend (Mason Gooding as “John”), this “Delaney” is barely committed to her advertising job and still prefers wild weekend partying with one-night stands.
“Katie” plans a nostalgic trip to their former beach haunts as a comfortable place to introduce her BFF to her upcoming life changes that will inevitably impact their time together. Jibes against the stereotype of emotionally immature guys, whatever their business successes, are similarly balanced with mature ones who are ready to move beyond bachelor party behavior. Though their weekend doesn’t go as “Katie” hoped, I did expect a struggle that would lead to more of a self-realization crisis. But the emphasis safely stays on friendship evolution.

Arzé
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Mira Shaib; Cinematographer: Heyjin Jun (Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia) North American Premiere in Viewpoints
The ongoing economic, sectarian, and emigrant crises in Beirut, Lebanon are grist for a humanistic, female-centered quest with surprising humor. Inspired by neo-realist films from DeSica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) to contemporary Dardenne Brothers, debut director Shaib developed the script along with her brother Faissal Sam Shahib and his co-writer over several years.
With a name meaning Lebanon’s emblematic cedar tree, “Arzé” (Diamand Abou Abboud) is an entrepreneurial single mother, making and distributing spinach pies (fatayers). She supports her now teenage son “Kinan” (Bilal Al Hamw, a non-professional in his first role) and her sister “Layla” (Betty Taoutel), who has been agoraphobic since her fiancé was caught up in the civil war. (It wasn’t clear if the nervous sister is at least helping with the baking.)
“Arzé” is a risk-taking negotiator. She calculates her profits would significantly increase if her son would deliver her pies via a used moped that a dealer is willing to sell to a woman on just barely do-able terms. However, she didn’t get her irresponsible, smitten son on board while he’s distracted by his girlfriend’s eminent legal departure from Lebanon with her family.
She has to get through crowds of protesters to search every segregated neighborhood for the moped. In a tour de force performance, Abou Abboud puts on the appropriate scarf, religious symbol, and accent of such as Shia and Sunni Muslims, Maronite Christians, and Palestinians to track down needed information and very cleverly put that to use. But as funny as her charades are, she has to confront her family with truths they had been avoiding.
It’s an unusual for a film so grounded in realism and tragedy to still be heartwarming, amusing, and even hopeful.

Come Closer
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Tom Nesher (Israel, Italy) World Premiere in Viewpoints
Viewpoints Award: Jury statement: “[W]hen choosing a winner, our decision was unanimous. This film pulled us all in from the first few frames and we felt that we were in skillful hands as it is fiercely executed and superbly performed.”
Gird yourself that the opening scenes were conceived before October 7, 2023, because you might find images of a young Israeli “kidnapped” by his friends and brought to a beach rave triggering of the Nova festival, let alone a death soon follows. Israel is right now living through national trauma over the deaths of young people. (See the sensitively cathartic drawings of @shoshke_engelmayer on Instagram). Debut writer/director Nesher was inspired by her and her family’s experiences five years ago, yet the deep feelings exposed in this drama are achingly relevant.
Wild child disco bartender “Eden” (Lia Elalouf) is totally bereft of the younger brother “Natti” (Ido Tako) she considered her twin ballast through their parents’ rocky marriage. She is shocked to the core to discover he kept a big secret from her: his sweet high school girlfriend “Maya” (Darya Rosenn), who is so unlike her.
“Eden” cleverly seeks her out, but becomes dangerously obsessed in using her to connect with the person they both so cared for in their very different ways. Rather than too many films opting for the ghostly connection, these two women are very much alive and their different needs for grieving and love overwhelm each other, emotionally and physically.
The suspense intensely builds as to what risks they will take to explore this difficult relationship, when they go to the brink, pull back, go over, while seeking fulfillment for the hole in their lives. Both actresses in their first lead roles seem to bare their souls. This film is a frank portrait of women coping with overwhelming loss.


The French Italian
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Rachel Wolther; Cinematographer: Charlotte Hornsby; Editor: Tessa Greenberg (U.S.) World Premiere in U.S. Narrative Competition
Wolther attempts to comically combine insights of how changes toward young adult maturity intersected with changes in work and residential life from the pandemic. For those living in small New York City apartments, the isolation led to either going stir crazy, cocooning with a partner, ultra sensitivity to the immediate physical and people environment, and discomfort adapting back to the office. Leaving college friends behind intertwines with heightened obsession and curiosity about neighbors.
This anthropological freight justifies a thin reed of absurdity. The couple at home in a rent-stabilized brownstone apartment are unemployed publicist “Valerie” (Cat Cohen) and unidentified professional working-at-home “Douglas” (Aristotle Athari). Their curiosity about their basement neighbor (Jon Rudnitsky) quietly smoking a bong in the garden is aggravated when a girlfriend (Chloe Cherry) appears along with a dog, karaoke machine, and loud arguments. Rather than attempt a risky confrontation, they entertain their friends with their imaginings of the neighbors’ lives. However, their friends sleuth online who the others really are.
Their somewhat obnoxious friends egg them on to get revenge through pranking the neighbors. The prank amusingly extends, but keeps escalating as they enjoy the manipulation. Not only does it end up consuming more and more of their time, it leads them into an ironic comeuppance about their talents and lives that makes them even less appealing to the audience. Maybe they are better off just staying at a parents’ home in the suburbs.

Hunters on a White Field (Jakt)
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Sarah Gyllenstierna (Sweden) World Premiere in International Narrative Competition
Debut feature director Sarah Gyllenstierna started her career in Spike Lee’s crew and she has a sure hand with macho men and themes, in this return to her native Sweden. Based on the novel by Mats Wägeus not yet available in English, the set-up has resonance from Deliverance (1972), here with three men in the woods. “Henrik” (Jens Hultén) is the host, and Alpha male, for the last hunting hurrah at his brother’s cabin. His old friend “Greger” (Magnus Krepper) brings his ambitious associate, the nature-loving “Alex” (Ardalan Esmaili, so fine in 2017’s The Charmer.) There are rifles, ammo, and plenty of booze. But the old-timers insist they have rules (more like rituals) for killing and butchering ducks and bucks that prevent chaos, hinting at a societal allegory about prey.
In the forest’s pre-dawn, twilight, moonlight, and firelight, cinematographer Josua Enblom closely follows “Alex” as he nervously tries to support these rules and man up and over all expectations. Intense close-ups and loud changes in his breathing keep the sights and sounds on the physical and human. (Sound Editor is Patrik Strömdahl.) The music by Ola Fløttum increases the pressure on him, until the closing noises of nature, letting the audience finally breathe after the twists of this thriller.

Nuked
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Deena Kashper (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
Debut filmmaker Kasper put together an excellent cast experienced in comedy, some with improv, to buck up her amusing script inspired by the 2018 Hawaii incident that accidentally set off a missile alert for 38 minutes. Here a location in Arkansas stands in for a rented mansion 40th birthday party site in disaster-plagued California.
In this “unplugged party” the birthday hosts are played by Anna Camp (as a newly successful Tik Tok influencer) and Justin Bartha (as a teacher), three couples attend (some familiar from previous comic work), that a guy in each duo were college friends– Brits played by George Young (as, I think, a doctor) and Lucy Punch (as a new mother); ex-musicians played with charismatic chemistry by Ignacio Serricchio and Tawny Newsome; and the gay pair played by Maulik Pancholy (as a recent cancer survivor) and Stephen Guarino. All are facing a maturity crisis that the movies used to depict as a 30th birthday theme – Marriage? Children? Career Choice? Work/Life Balance? Technology dependence? Still in love?
The dinner story is set up by a Chef (played by a seriously funny Natasha Leggero), who specializes in very detailed cannabis edible courses. Bartha, who is also an executive producer, describes this in interviews as an “adult stoner comedy”. Designed as a relief from pandemic tensions (one bemoans post-nuclear potential for “We’ll have to wear masks again!”), there is giggly silliness as well as character realizations.

The Other, Gold
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director: Sharae Nikai; Writer: Sharae Nikai; Composer: Hélène Choyer (U.S.) World Premiere in U.S. Narrative Competition

Under the Grey Sky (Pod szarym niebem)
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Mara Tamkovich; Editor: Katarzyna Lesniak (Poland) World Premiere in International Narrative Competition
This gripping docu-drama starkly reminds the world that Russia isn’t the only European dictatorship heavily suppressing dissent and free press. Re-enacting events from 2020 in Belarus, gutsy journalist “Lena Antonova”, fictionalizing Katsiaryna Andreyeva (played by Aliaksandra Vaitsekhovich) is first seen on a balcony broadcasting live video of a government attack on a peaceful protest against the president, Putin ally Aleksandr Lukashenko. Like out of a dystopian future, a drone hones in on the apartment and police arrest her. While she is detained, more and more charges are brought against her. (The plight of The Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich in Russia is parallel.) By 2022 she is transferred to a tougher prison where Russian bombers are constantly heard overhead on their way to Ukraine, as a tangible threat.
Steadfast support by her loyal husband “Ilja Iharou”, the fictionalization of Igor Ilyash (played by Valentin Novopolskij), gets him sometimes beaten and thrown in jail, as he finds a lawyer and brings her permitted supplies when he is allowed to visit. In between, he dreams in flashbacks of their close relationship and her increasing commitment to the cause – “Now I can make a real difference.” A chessboard becomes a continuing visual metaphor linking past and present with their Kafkaesque predicament. She keeps insisting he should leave the country for his safety – just as he had warned her to work from Poland. Emotionally wrought over her “martyrdom”, he asks her to sign a confession, like he had been pressured to do. Even as she wants to be with him, reading a Solzhenitsyn book in the prison library makes her realistically cynical.
This grim, yet humanistic, film, the debut feature by writer/director Tamkovich, herself a former journalist in Belarus, was produced and financed in Poland, and Poland’s ambassador is seen insisting on attending her courtroom appearances. An epilogue shows Andreyeva’s original broadcast of riot police bloodying protesters, and the “V” she bravely flashed in court to her husband, still in Belarus. The title comes from a protest anthem heard in the film and over the credits, with the translated chorus line of “And I will live here”.

OTHER POSSIBLY EPHRON-ELIGIBLE NARRATIVE FEATURES DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Beacon
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Roxy Shih; Cinematographer: Daphne Quin Wu (U.S.) World Premiere in Midnight
Stark landscapes surround two ambiguous characters. “Emily” (Julia Goldani Telles) is first seen in a small sailboat in the middle of the ocean, stubbornly setting out on a quixotic quest that follows family tradition to circumnavigate the world alone without modern devices. Other than tape recorded messages from her family and by her. At the equator, she is already very hungry.
A fierce storm interrupts her journey, and she is not sure what happened before she finds herself recovering from injuries in the house of lighthouse keeper Ismael (full-bearded Demián Bichir). Still fiercely independent, she is on his wavelength with sailors’ legends of traitorous sirens, mermaids, and maybe Waterworld. Their actions suddenly swing wildly from paternal to paranoid, caring to cruel. Inside by candlelight and outside on the rugged, windswept island (that must have challenged the camera work), the isolation pushes them between myths, dreams, lies, and reality we too question.
Despite some credibility issues, the two actors and direction make this a tense thriller.

Bikechess
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Assel Aushakimova; Editor: Alanté Kavaïté (Kazakhstan) World Premiere in International Narrative Competition
Best International Narrative Feature - Jury Statement: “This film caught the jury unaware. With a lightness of style and use of cinematic language that led us into a society of oppressed youth and passive leadership. With stylish performances, and generous cinematography, we met a country and the state of the world.”
Aushakimova takes us behind the scenes of making propaganda in the authoritarian state of Kazakhstan. Calling this an “absurdist tragi-comedy”, she uses real situations, reports, and “discoveries” trumpeted by the official media to glorify the country and its president.
Her fictional TV correspondent “Dina” (played by Saltanat Nauruz, who also starred in Aushakimova’s first film) is no fool. An ambitious single woman, she is bored by the nonsense she has to cover (like the titular “sport”), yet tries to make her TV pieces have some human interest and efficient production. To keep her own interest, she occasionally beds her married cameraman, while deftly fending off lecherous interviewees. Amidst constant office gossip, can her professional goal really just be press officer in a government agency?
After quite awhile on screen going along with the system (and the blatant propaganda set-up scenes go on at length to emphasize that participants tolerate them), we see her be useful to her far more rebellious younger sister. “Zhanna” is a tattooed, lesbian punk who punctures the banality, with consequences. She proves how much easier it is for all to just keep going along.

Bitterroot
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Editor: Vera Brunner-Sung; Composer: Carla Patullo – World Premiere in U.S. Narrative Competition
Originally refugees from Southeast Asia, the Hmong diaspora community in Missoula, Montana has not been seen on screen. They are now three generations, all played by Hmong, professional and nonprofessional actors, and we see close-up the pressures on the sandwich generation in the middle, especially on a man, through “Lue” (played by Wa Yang).
Recently divorced, “Lue” is back living with his elderly mother (played by Qu Kue), helping her tend the family farm and selling their produce at the town’s outdoor market. Working by day doing maintenance at a local college, he only releases his hurt feelings late at night by sadly singing karaoke at a bar.
As his mother gets more frail, she unceasingly nags him to get re-married and have children for the sake of his family and community – like his aggressively confrontational sister. She resorts to a traditional Hmong matchmaker and shaman to influence him. Dodging them gets more difficult, though he does join with other Hmong men to harvest profitably rare mushrooms. Including lone fly fishing, the varieties of the beautiful Western landscapes soothe him; Director of Photography Ki Jin Kim was bestowed “Special Jury Mention for Cinematography in a U.S. Feature: For its marriage of the spiritual and the literal, and its contrast between natural beauty and the mundane.”
When he meets a Native American woman living in a R.V. in the forest (played by April Charlo), she introduces him to rituals and spirituality that help open him up more to nature. Watching “Lue” is heartbreaking as he comes to term with his failings. His life sensitively plays out unconventionally, influenced by his ethnic background and home scene.

Daddio
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Christy Hall; Editor: Lisa Zeno Churgin (U.S.) New York Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
Sony Pictures Classics releases June 28.
Debut writer director Christy Hall creates an unusual two-hander. Sean Penn is talkative New York cabbie who “likes to push buttons” and calls himself “Clark”. Dakota Johnson is his icy, texting passenger he calls “Girlie”. He chattily reveals his life story, proffering lessons from his failed marriages. She’s a much-traveled IT executive, and Hall says she is “a modern woman.” However, with all her sexting I wouldn’t have been surprised if she was a call girl. Even as “Girlie” finally becomes a more sympathetic character when she reveals her childhood, she never calls him the titular nickname.
But the real star is cinematographer Phedon Papamichael’s recreation of a long, in real time, traffic-stalled night drive from JFK Airport (in Queens, not Brooklyn as the Press Notes aver) to Midtown Manhattan, integrated into their conversation by Lisa Zeno Churgin’s editing.

Darkest Miriam
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Naomi Jaye, based on the novel The Incident Report by Martha Baillie; Co-Composer: Eliza Niemi (Canada) World Premiere in Viewpoints
Jaye’s touching film is as quirky and compelling as the menagerie of urban characters we meet who visit a (real) branch of the Toronto Public Library, next to the Allan Gardens Conservatory.
Librarian “Miriam Gordon” (Britt Lower, of Severance) buries herself in the stacks. The patrons and books around her are merging in her mind with hauntings by her father and Rigoletto. After a bike accident, she sits out in the sun for lunch and does more than just her usual people watch. She lets herself first flirt, then build a tender relationship with Slovenian immigrant artist/cabbie “Janko Priajtelj” (the magnetic Tom Mercier, in a more heartbreakingly gentle role than in 2019’s Synonyms). Their off-kilter dialogue is mostly taken from the source book.
Re-titled to the lover’s pet name for her, this sensitive adaptation of Baillie’s epistolary novel seems sadly less optimistic about life. But its emotional poignance is as resonant as the opera themes you will be humming.

The Devil’s Bath (Das Teufels Bad)
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director/Co-Writer: Veronika Franz; Based on historical research by Kathy Stuart; Composer/Star: Anja F Plaschg (Austria, Germany) North American Premiere in Midnight
At IFC Center June 21; Shudder streams June 28.
Miscategorized by Tribeca, the distributor, and the publicity as “horror”, The Devil’s Bath is a serious dramatic evocation of the circumscribed, oppressed lives of women in rural 17th and 18 century Europe, bound by societal and religious pressures with limited choices. When hopelessness teetered them into depression, hundreds of women felt their only option was horrific.
From forewarnings in a shocking prologue of a woman and soon after of a farm worker, Anja Plaschg anchors the film in a stunning emotional performance as “Agnes”, a young bride fascinated by nature. Plaschg, who has been public about her own struggle with depression, envelopes her fragile character in a spiritually haunting aural atmosphere as the score’s composer, through her musical persona Soap&Skin, including period instruments the hurdy gurdy and duduk flute in traditionally inspired melodies. (The soundtrack has already been released in Europe where she and the film have garnered multiple awards.)
“Agnes”s domineering mother-in-law (Maria Hofstätter) expects her to be a work horse and brood mare, ignoring the inadequacies of her hulking husband “Wolf” (David Scheid). She warns her own family she’s scared what will happen, but they force her back. Despite her fervent prayers, she sees only one solution to save her immortal soul.
“Agnes” is based on the real case of Ewa Lizlfellner in 1750’s Upper Austria, among many Catholics and Lutherans documented by historian Kathy Stuart in Suicide by Proxy. Co-Directors/Writers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala open up this Robert Bresson-like portrait of a faith-based community to dark woods and misty mountains with Martin Gschlacht’s 35mm cinematography. The Devil’s Bath is a wrenchingly unique experience.

Don’t You Let Me Go (Agarrame fuerte)*
Synopsis and Schedule
Directors/Writers: Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge; Cinematographer: Yarará Rodríguez; Editors: Lucía Casal and Stephanie Tabárez (Uruguay) World Premiere in International Narrative Competition
My background commentary is on FF2 Media.
Investigating the recent experiences of previous Nora Ephron Award winners, I noted a similarity to this year’s winners: the gaps between their feature films. For Guevara and Jorge, their debut film was 2009, second one 2013, then this year; their own biographies are like their sister awardees: “Between the two of them, they had four children, occasionally teach film, and currently, they are developing new projects.” So the role of the toddler in their Ephron-selection is central to the story; the child leads the three women through the flashback/time travel to the best time of their friendship.

The Everything Pot
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Sherise Dorf; Composers: Jina Hyojin An and Shirley Song (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
Despite sitcom elements, Dorf’s feature debut is of cross-generation amusement. Lisa Edelstein gets to stretch her little seen comic moves as “Rachel Flotkin”, an L.A. mom coping with empty nest blues by going online with awkward etiquette and more embarrassment IRL (in real life) over a wedding invitation and the titular gift.
Gradually, it is revealed that “Rachel” knew the groom “Charlie Kahn” (James Wolk) when she mentored him at the advertising agency of their boss “Gail” (Gina Torres), who is now her BFF next door neighbor. There are misunderstandings with their partners (Delaney Rowe as “Clare Forrester” the bride, and comic Erik Griffin as “Rachel”s husband of 23 years “Adam”) and missed cues about suggestive platonic friendship. The exaggerated jealousies are attributed to wedding planning stress, solved with a vague time lapse to the finale. The spirit of Nora Ephron is entertainingly updated for evites, online wedding registries. and sexting, though this pleasant film is oddly not eligible for Tribeca’s Nora Ephron Award.

Family Therapy
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Sonja Prosenc; Editor: Ivana Fumić (Slovenia, Italy, Norway, Croatia, Serbia) World Premiere in International Narrative Competition
A well-executed social satirical exaggeration. But it is familiar comedy of manners, and not just because Prosenc was inspired by Pasolini’s Teorema, where a stranger comes into a bourgeois home and shakes up each family member and the unit.
To a tongue-in-cheek pompous score by Silence, based on Purcell’s “King Arthur”, sarcastic chapter headings appear: “Welcome”, “Uncharted Territories”, “The Chosen Ones”, “Ennui”, and “Under Control”. The tightly wound family – father “Aleksander” (Marko Mandić), mother “Olivia” (Katarina Stegnar), and teenage daughter “Agata” (Mila Bezjak) – literally live in a Philip Johnson-like glass house. (Production design details are wonderfully illustrative in each scene.) The figurative stone thrower is “Julien” (charismatic Canadian Aliocha Schneider), the father’s 25-year old son from an early relationship.
Their first obvious selfishness is not helping a possible refugee family. They also cannot control the adjacent wild woods that continually intrude. The cracks in their personas start appearing before the glass walls shatter, as the expectations and vulnerabilities of each are gradually exposed by the helpfully protean “Julien”. All become more interesting once more of their true selves are revealed, and you can become sympathetic to why they were trying to appear to be “the perfect family”.

The Freshly Cut Grass (El aroma del pasto recién cortado)
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Celina Murga; Co-Writer: Lucía Osorio (Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, Mexico, U.S.) World Premiere in International Narrative Competition
Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature - Jury Statement: “For the dexterous formality and humorous treatment of domestic chaos.”
Did the jury mix up this serious film on gendered power relationships with Arzé?
The formal set up is at an agricultural college in Argentina, like one of their plant experiments. In what the director calls a “mirror”, both a male (“Pablo”, played by Joaquín Furriel), and a female (“Natalia”, played by Marina de Tavira) are professors showing bad judgment in allowing too close relationships with a student of the opposite sex. Alternating on screen with much the same dialogue to their spouses, children, paramour, and male employers, the innuendo on social media affects each of their marriages (not humorously at all) and their jobs in different way because of their gender. I tried hard to keep track of the two families, but frequently got confused.
The director has emphasized that both teachers are in the midst of a mid-life crisis, but, rather, I saw they work in a situation of great temptation with aggressive young adults. While they enjoy the flirtations and sensuality, they are not on the younger generation’s wavelength, and are not comfortable socializing in that milieu. Giving in to these temptations impacts their children too, in ways they either did not predict or really didn’t want to happen. If I did interpret the double conclusions correctly, the power of the patriarchy is predictable – but I also missed the significance of the title.

Hannah Einbinder: Everything Must Go
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Sandi Honig; Writer: Hannah Einbinder (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Narrative s
MAX premieres June 13.
I am not a fan of cable TV comedy stand-up specials, and the actress’s inaugural one is no exception, as it evinced no originality. Perhaps when I get a chance to watch the comedienne in the HBO series Hacks I will be more appreciative of her talents. Filmed in Los Angeles in April 2024, I did not get the title. I have no idea why Tribeca characterized this as “a narrative film” rather than a TV show.
All I found of note is her concluding bit that referenced her Jewish background.

In The Summers
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Alessandra Lacorazza (U.S.) New York Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
In Lacorazza’s closely personal debut, the intense cast makes her dramatized semi-autobiographical story their own. Two sisters from California grow up over four chapters/summers when they arrive in New Mexico to stay with their faither during the long school vacations.
Their father “Vicente” is the charismatic René Pérez Joglar (aka Residente, Puerto Rican rapper/singer/songwriter, from the former alternative hip hop band Calle 13). He channels the power that can sell out stadiums into exposed vulnerability of a divorced, loving father desperately trying to deal with, at least, alcoholism, addiction, and guilt. (The composer of the varieties of atmospheric Spanish music is Eduardo Cabra Martínez, aka Visitante, co-founder of Calle 13, Perez’s step-brother
In the opening, the girls are young, with Dreya Castillo is the elder “Violeta” and Luciana Quiñonez as “Eva”. Now living in his mother’s former house, he’s nervous because he hasn’t seen his children for quite some time. He is most comfortable teaching them about the stars. But his idea of playing a game with them is pool at a bar where his old friend “Carmen” (Emma Ramos) the bartender is reluctant to let him have a whole pitcher of beer. Through the years, she becomes their back-up summer parent. “Violeta”s internal identity struggle is indicated when she abruptly cuts short her long hair, and her father has shouting match on the phone with her mother.
In the second summer/Chapter II, Kimay Thais Limon is “Violeta” is on the verge of high school; Allison Salinas plays her sister. They can tell the house is now a mess. He gets drunk, encourages his older daughter to smoke weed. He insists on hosting a party and the girls are happy to decorate the house, though his behavior embarrasses them. But “Violeta” is even happier to spend time with a neighbor her age, “Camila”.
By the fourth summer, the father has a new wife and baby, with more pressures on him, and more guilts hanging on him. The daughters become young adults and are warmly fond of their new little sister. “Eva” is a skateboarder (played by Sasha Calle) clearly showing his negative influence. But we don’t know much about her life the rest of the year, as the film is more focused on “Violeta”. Now played by Lio Mehiel, showing her emotional range like in Mutt last year, she is Lacorazza’s surrogate and gets to finally express her crush on “Camila” (now played by Sharlene Cruz).
Somehow, that’s supposed to be enough of a resolution for them all to share smiles, whatever actually happened in the filmmaker’s life. But the build-up of crises and tensions just fades into the changing photographs and symbols at the family altar.

Jazzy
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Morrisa Matz; Co-Writer: Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux; Based on stories by: Jasmine Bearkiller Shangreaux and Syriah Fool Head Means; Co-Editor/Co-Writer: Vanara Taing; Co-Editor: Laura Colwell; Composer: Alexis Marsh (U.S.) World Premiere in U.S. Narrative Competition
Winner, Best Performance in a U.S. Narrative Feature: Jasmine Bearkiller Shangreaux - Jury statement: “For its truth, unflinching honesty, realness and heart.”
More than a familiar look at a young girl growing up, Matz continues shining a light on the particular challenges of Native American females she began with last year’s Another Country. She filmed “Jazzy” (Jasmine Bearkiller Shangreaux), her goddaughter, over six years living in Spearfish, South Dakota. The semi-fictional titular “Jazzy” lives in a trailer park and her social life revolves around the long bus rides to and from their rural school with the neighboring blonde kids.
Her interactions on screen are freely joyous with her best friend since age five “Syriah” (Syriah Fool Head Means), related through their extended families. Great-granddaughter of Indian activist Russel Means, her family’s move away within the state to the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation prompts the biggest crisis the girls face in this semi-autobiographical story. In her new home, “Syriah” is expected to spend more time with her grandmother and other elders to learn the language, rituals, and traditions. Compared to “Jazzy”s more assimilationist family, “Syriah” already has responsibilities, that become evident when the family gathers for a funeral memorial service that includes Lily Gladstone, as her aunt. As an actress, she notes: “that wasn't really true cause we are really close friends in real life.”
Cinematographer Andrew Hajek films the girls in a style reminiscent of Andrea Arnold’s American Honey (2016). But the wide open scenery that echoes their names is a statement of Americana more than the final July 4th sparklers.

A Mistake
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Co-Editor: Christine Jeffs, based on the novel (New Zealand) World Premiere in Spotlight Narrative

Samia
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Yasemin Samdereli, in collaboration with Deka Mohammed Osman; Co-Writer: Nasrin Şamdereli (Italy, Germany, Belgium, Sweden) World Premiere in International Narrative Competition
Special Jury Mention for an International Narrative Feature - Jury Statement: “Special commendation for the film Samia for exploring the vital issue of refugees with humanity and integrity. Thanks to the beautiful performances by everyone involved.”

Treasure
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Julia Von Heinz, based on the 1999 novel by Lily Brett originally titled Too Many Men; Cinematographer: Daniela Knapp; Editor: Sandie Bompar; Co-Composer: Mary Komasa (Germany, France) International Premiere in Spotlight Narratives
Bleecker Street Films releases in theaters June 14.
Lena Dunham, as “Ruth Rothwax”, and Stephen Fry, as “Edek Rothwax”, make a delightful duo as daughter and father within a very ftresaureraught environment. He and her late mother were concentration camp survivors, and, as was true for many, they barely ever told their daughter about that source of their nightmares. They also didn’t speak of their lives and families in Poland before the Nazi invasion, or their reunion in a Displaced Persons camp before they could emigrate.
It is 1991. Americans can now visit Eastern Europe that had been behind the (Holocuast-denying) Iron Curtain. A self-possessed feminist, the daughter brings her octogenarian father back for the first time to see where he grew up in Łódź and hopes for him to finally open up about his memories. A gregarious guy, he’s just glad to spend time with her.
Speaking English with a Polish accent, “Edek” can still speak Polish (not any Yiddish) and enjoys conversations with cab drivers and hotel clerks, even as they try to steer them to more conventional tourist sites. He only quiets when he sees familiar streets in his hometown – and recognizes his family’s factory building. She wants to hear more about this business – “You never told me.” The security guard and the driver are uneasy that he came to reclaim his property. But father and daughter are both more thinking about her mother, and he finds where she lived and he courted her.
They go on to his family’s now decrepit apartment – which is the heart of the film, and it is surprising that any place, let alone any thing, could have really survived squatters for 50 years. A shabby, very old couple live there, and are full of excuses how they got it during the war. “Edek” asks if there were any personal items, and the couple keep denying there were any. They are very poor, but also liars, who have been waiting all these years for this opportunity to cash in. “Ruth” is willing to buy these first items she’s seen that are connected to family members she never heard of before, but when her now somber father quickly leaves she’s bereft of a translator. Here, and later in the film, any negotiations are tainted by the suspicious residents convinced that the visiting Jews are rich who must have hidden gold that these scavengers have tried to find all these years. They have to evoke the many more Poles in the book with antisemitic/oblivious/indifferent attitudes.
The memories come back even more painfully to “Edek” when they visit Auschwitz – and he angrily corrects the tour guide (Fry is wrenching) to locate the spot where he was separated from his wife. The guide brightly points out that survivors have the privilege to drive in carts from Auschwitz to Birkenau – and he finds his old barracks. “Ruth” feels guilty for putting him through this. But after facing that, he can deal with looking for what he considers treasure in his hometown.
Through all the emotional ups and many downs of this trip through times and crimes, Dunham and Fry nag disagreements about her life and his flirtations, as well as their tears, to make them comfortably seem as if they’ve been together for years. I look forward to the next project with this pair.
I cover more of the Jewish context at: Treasure.

Winter Spring Summer or Fall
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Tiffany Paulsen (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Narrative

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge - Opening Night Gala
Synopsis and Schedule
Directors: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Trish Dalton; Cinematographer: Michelle McCabe; Co-Editor: Hannah Vanderlan; Composer: Allyson Newman (U.S.) World Premiere
Hulu streams June 25.
Though this is a conventional bio-doc, Diane Halfin von Furstenberg has had an extraordinary life. While she has given many interviews over the years, including about her background on PBS’s Finding Your Roots, she, close friends, and multi-generations of family members talk very frankly about her personal experiences. (Maureen Dowd’s New York Times profile identifies a producer of the film as a long-time family friend.) There is a plethora of quick montages of photographs and home movies, including Annie Leibovitz snaps of her most recent wedding.
She speaks movingly about being a miracle child of an Auschwitz survivor, and caring for her traumatized mother who still managed to raise her grandchildren. DvF, as her brand is known, was just “a middle-class Jewish girl” from Brussels when she left the blondes there and fell in with a sexy, high society crowd, married a hard-partying, bi-sexual Austrian prince, quickly had two children with him, and adopted his last name.
Many viewers will be most interested in gawking at her varied international romantic escapades, when she insisted on living with the freedom a man would have. (Her pithy sayings are chapter headings.) Despite divorce, she was with her ex when he died of AIDS. Even as his connections did open key doors for her fashion business, she is proud of how hard-working she was, continued to be as her designs rose, fell, and rose again in popularity, and she still is in her ‘70s, planning retrospective exhibitions. Famous Women praise her support for women activists around the world, though it is not clear what her self-named philanthropic awards are for or achieve.

Tim Burton Docuseries
Synopsis and Schedule
Showrunner/Director: Tara Wood; Editor: Carissa Bronson; Composer: Melisa McGregor (U.S.) World Premiere in NOW
After Screening of Episode 1: Conversation with Wood and guests

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES DIRECTED BY WOMEN AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

1-800-On-Her-Own
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Cinematographer: Dana Flor; Editor: Kristina Motwani; Music by: Ani DiFranco (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight+
Premiere followed by a special performance by subject Ani DiFranco, and Q&A moderated by Muna’s Katie Gavin
Flor has made a dizzying documentation of Ani DiFranco from Buffalo, NY, teenage folk singer/songwriter in the mid-1980s, to a Portrait of the Artist as entrepreneur in middle age. With free range through DiFranco’s boxes of archives, and digitizing the many years of different media formats, she flashes through performances of some of DiFranco’s catchy, acerbic, fan-fave songs (“Shameless”, “Letter to a John”, “To the Teeth”, “Not A Pretty Girl”, plus more). She’s seen in undated clips at ever larger venues and festivals to ever more adoring audiences in her astonishingly varied personas symbolized by her changing hair color and styles as she ages – gay, bi, punk, piercings, Afro-braids, and buzz cut to stymie sexist commodification.
While DiFranco’s 2019 memoir No Walls and the Recurring Dream provides background and details on her life and music up to then, Flor was embedded in DiFranco’s New Orleans home with her two children during the pandemic, struggling like every other entrepreneur and mother to balance her job and their schooling. As much as Flor shows the uniqueness, impact (she influenced Prince!), and crises (described in voice-overs by co-workers) with DiFranco’s self-owned iconic label Righteous Babe Records, of the titular phone number, she also looks in the mirror with her quinquagenarian face as she worries about her marriage, her finances, and her new album, with its necessary promotion. She also feels obligations to her devoted fans, seen and heard from in clips. (I was at a show on her double-bill tour with Bob Dylan where her thin young acolytes didn’t stick around to see the old man.)
The difficulties she’s seen having now with new collaborators may not be only because they’re younger, but because they’re outside her folk singer/activist milieu of yore. Similarly, not mentioned are the other artists who she mentored and whose work was released through her label. Her support was key to Anaïs Mitchell for her early work, including a 2010 concept album of Hadestown when it was just a community theater workshop. DiFranco sang the part of “Persephone” on that album and in concert versions before it went on to Broadway and won eight Tonys. This winter, DiFranco took on the role in the full theater production, for her first extended return to NYC where she launched her professional career in the 1990s. (I happened to be at the Library of Congress performance when Mitchell donated materials from that early workshop and the Broadway run to their American musical theater collection.)
The documentary may be confusing as an introduction to DiFranco’s oeuvre, surprising to the faithful, and entertainingly absorbing to those somewhat familiar with her work and changing image over the past three decades.

Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Joslyn Jensen (U.S.) World Premiere in Documentary Competition

Bam Bam: The Sister Nancy Story
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Alison Duke (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight+
The title Bam Bam: The Sister Nancy Story will have familiarity for the target audience of reggae/dancehall and hip hop/rap fans, who will appreciate the many testimonial interviews with stars. However, hers is also a woman’s story for those with a more general interest in popular/world music, despite the mostly un-subtitled thick Jamaican patois and genre jargon, that parallels the careers of blues greats like Alberta Hunter and Etta James.
“Bam Bam” is the title of “Sister Nancy”s 1982 version of a popular reggae instrumental tune that she overlaid with lyrics interpreted as empowering women at a time when they rarely got the microphone to “toast”. (I am reminded of Aretha Franklin’s cover of “Respect” vs. Otis Redding’s original.) Seen with her large family in Kingston, she recalls following to the stage her brother, dancehall pioneer “Brigadier Jerry”. He introduced her to an important record producer, seen in photos, a few archival performance clips, and unnecessary reenactments.
This track on her only album is repeatedly said to be the most-sampled reggae song ever. But she didn’t know about this burgeoning success when she left Jamaica to join her mother working in New Jersey (she can relax in their home there now), even as she squeezed in weekend overseas gigs. Years later, her TV-watching daughter recognized the anthem featured in music videos and suggested she get a lawyer to collect royalties. The publicity around her efforts brought her mainstream attention (this film may too); many fans had assumed the legend was dead. Now a mature performer, she has found new admirers around the world (seen here in London), as she still proudly wraps herself in the Jamaican flag.

The Cranes Call
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Cinematographer: Laura Warner (France, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Ukraine, U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
Print and broadcast media in democratic countries have been full of reports on atrocities committed by Russia since its invasion of Ukraine February 2022. At the trans-national governmental level, there are two courts based in The Hague, inspired by the Nuremberg trials, that would seem to be set up to call out Russia’s violations of international law: the United Nations’ International Court of Justice and the treaty-established International Criminal Court (detailed in The Reckoning). The latter has issued arrest warrants for President Putin for just one activity he has taken since the invasion: “the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
But the Clooney Foundation for Justice proposes a different legal tactic: to achieve accountability through a concept they call “Justice Beyond Borders” through the principle of “universal jurisdiction” such that any country can arrest individual perpetrators of human rights abuses who come through their borders. Anya Neistat, the foundation’s investigator in Ukraine profiled in this documentary, lays out the context: “I never thought I’d still be chasing Russian war criminals, in Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and now Ukraine. I see crimes committed by the same people, the same units, under the same commanders. I’ve seen the photographs. I’ve been investigating them for 20 years. Because they have never been punished.” For jarring contrast, there’s too long interludes of Neistat at home with her family.
Local associate Solomiia Stasiv, while coping with the impact on her own family in eastern Ukraine, leads Neistat to front-line villages that have not made horror headlines like Bucha has. Warner and camera accompany them on interviews with those willing to be public witnesses. One walks them through a basement where he and others were tortured, explicitly describing room by room. Another helpfully hands over a USB stick found amidst Russian soldiers’ garbage when they hastily retreated. Neistat is thrilled it provides “a gold mine” of army personnel details. However, it is a bit confusing that back in New York, foundation founder Amal Clooney tells Neistat she has to go back to each witness and location to get more specific permissions and pinpoint sites. An experienced investigator didn’t think to do that the first time, even as they were dodging explosions? But as a human rights legal expert, Clooney insists they are the victims’ lawyers and for justice to prevail they have to prepare the most convincing briefs possible.
They follow-up on writers who stopped their creative work to get information to the Ukrainian human rights group Truth Hounds. Volodymyr Vakulenko managed to bury his diary of the brutalities the Russians committed in his village of Kapytolivka before they murdered him. (The film’s title comes from his last lines.) Poet/novelist Victoria Amelina dug up his backyard for hours to find it, took it to a museum for restoration, and arranged for its publication – before she was killed by a Russian missile on a restaurant in Kramatorsk where she was meeting a visiting delegation. The documentary concludes with Stasiv tearfully reading Amelina’s poem “Testimonies”, that I couldn’t find in translation online. There is a link in an obituary to her poem ”The Crow”.

The Debutantes
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Cinematographer: Contessa Gayles; Editor: Stefani Saintonge: Assistant Editor: Arielle Davis (U.S.) World Premiere in Documentary Competition
NBC News Studios/BET Studios/Paramount+
The Rust Belt city of Canton, Ohio seems an unlikely place to revive a quaint tradition for African-American young women. But after skipping a generation, Stark County Alumnae of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Leila Green Alliance of Black School Educators organized the 2022 Stark County Debutante Cotillion as a legacy to pass on. Seeing a lack of programs for girls and distressing stats about their challenges, they re-defined the event as a year-long leadership training program for Black high schoolers of broader backgrounds than the middle-class debs of Canton’s factories heyday seen in the elegant archival (undated) footage and photographs. NBC News Studios, the network’s documentary division, was a rich source of footage from the past.
The mentors (identified with their debutante year) want to showcase Black female beauty, achievement, and the ability to thrive, as well as indulge in some nostalgia. Health, etiquette, and confidence-building classes (dance lessons alone demand two hours per week, in heels) are framed by the countdown to the Debutante Ball, and by clips from Toni Morrison’s inspiring 2004 commencement speech at Wellesley College. A local Black professional woman gives them practical advice on how to act “when you are in a business meeting and you are the only Black female in the room”. Behavior guidelines match one girl’s mother’s succinct rule: “You can’t act ghetto.”
Gayles intimately follows three young women and their families (though the editing seemed to favor the cheerleader). The girls make their own video diaries to express their pressures when it’s not easy to shoehorn their complicated, fractured families into old-fashioned notions of respectability. Instead of the cotillion serving as a presentation to “society”, the girls see this experience as helping them get college and job opportunities.
The “old school” requirement for male escorts and dance partners is resented less about contemporary gender fluidity than that some girls do not have a trustworthy male in their lives to participate, making the choreographer’s insistence that “men lead” uncomfortable. It is sad to see one girl who considers her single mother her best friend to have to sit out the culmination activities. The girls do get to express their own hopes by posing on fantasy sets for interstitials the director calls “dreamscape worlds”.
Suspense builds if any of the three will be selected “Miss Deb” for a scholarship award. I was more worried if all three would be able to complete the not insubstantial requirements up through the white dress selection to the ball. I thought one had announced on video she was dropping out, but there she was in her finale gown. Gayles evinces empathy for both generations involved and seems to be looking forward to the next cotillion in 2025.

Driver
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer/Co-Editor: Nesa Azimi; Co-Cinematographer: Carissa Henderson (U.S.) World Premiere in Documentary Competition
A road movie with a strong sense of direction, Driver is an intimate seat inside the cabs of women truck drivers. The driver we spend the most time with over several years, and learn the most about, is Desiree Wood. Living in her 18-wheeler, she crosses the U.S. to not only desperately hang on to her owner-operated vehicle, but to also passionately organize “REAL WOMEN in Trucking”. Empathizing that the workers tend to come, like her, from abused and marginalized backgrounds, she leads petition drives and protests against the difficult conditions specific to female drivers, on top of the time, mechanical, and financial pressures all face.
Amidst sunrises, sunsets, scenery, and seasons resonant of a Woody Guthrie song (updated with wind farms and CB radios), we hear women drivers in person and on a help line reveal that their required trainers sexually and physically assaulted them, with no one believing their evidence. We get to see a “Weigh Station” for big rigs in action (though that’s one of many regulations not explained) and the limited sanitary facilities at truck stops. Their 24/7 movement makes it difficult for them to track income and payments on mobile devices, as unscrupulous companies take merciless advantage of their stresses.
The pandemic put a spotlight on front-line workers when supply lines were disrupted. There was much talk of the need for more drivers, like women, though these have bitterly learned to scorn the misleading and overly optimistic recruitment efforts. Yet some we meet in and out of their trucks have been driving for decades. Debut documentary feature director Azimi embeds within observational filmmaking too rigidly, so the 12 insightful on-screen participants are only identified in passing conversations and the final credits list.

Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Nanette Burstein (U.S.) North American Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
HBO Documentary premieres August 3

Emergent City
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director: Kelly Anderson; Co-Cinematographer: Viola Wan; Composer and Sound Designer: Gisela Fullà Silvestre (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary

Following Harry
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Editor: Susanne Rostock; Cinematographer: Martina Radwan (Canada) World Premiere in Spotlight+
After the Premiere Screening, activist/academic/author Angela Davis presented the 2024 Harry Belafonte Voices for Social Justice Awards, including to: Rosario Dawson (“Actrivist”, Designer and Producer), aja monet (Grammy-nominated Surrealist Blues Poet), and, Carmen Perez (President of the Belafonte-founded The Gathering for Justice), who were all interviewed in the film about their activism, and then participated in a panel discussion.
Rostock’s bio-documentary of Harry Belafonte Sing Your Song (2012) concluded with his final questions about his life: “I tried to envision playing out the rest of my life in reflection. But there’s too much to be done. What do you do now?” This film opens with a quick montage of clips from his diverse performance career and civil rights activism with leading figures, like a synopsis of the earlier project. He decides on working through others, specifically through young people, and then the camera follows him the last 12 years of his life as he took on the role of Movement Elder, modeling the way he saw African elders lead.
Year by year on screen, the issues go by, with the victims, like the shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012 – and his killer found innocent in 2013, through #BlackLivesMatter and protests after George Floyd’s murder with the killing of three demonstrators by a young man with an AR-15 style rifle in 2020 and he too being found innocent the next year. In between is the election of Donald Trump and the Women’s March the day after his inauguration. And on and on with a lot of shared rhetoric and jargon.
With each enflaming incident, Belafonte gives advice from his past experiences, seen in quick flashback memories, though the young people seem familiar only with the names Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. While he talks about these leaders, he doesn’t advise on the hard work of grassroots community organizing that’s necessary over many years. (As John Lewis did in such encounters.) Maybe that’s why so many of the young people he’s seen talking to here seem to be social media flash-in-the-pans who only stay dedicated to a daunting problem like gun control for a few years.
For example, while he and the film focus on the leaders of the Women’s March, who seem to have been working out of his office, what was actually of enormous significance about that unexpectedly huge event was how so many participating women went back home feeling empowered to get involved in political action, and ran for local, state, and national offices. (Interestingly, I haven’t seen an academic study if the progenitor 1963 March on Washington, for which Belafonte brought in the performers and celebrities, had the same multiplier effect.) With mass incarceration identified as the “New Jim Crowe” (with no credit to Michelle Alexander for raising the alarm), the exceptions are the incarcerated activists who don’t have other distractions.
He reminds his mentees of the importance of nonviolence through a training session at the historic Highlander Research and Education Center. But that’s contradicted by taking them to Palestine, perhaps during an ongoing violent Intifada, to claim they are living under “apartheid”, resonant of Belafonte’s activism for South Africa. There’s also a disconnect when he sponsors a session for social justice songwriting, but rap is barely included (by a white boy), though Chuck D is briefly seen in the film as a Belafonte admirer.
Unfortunately, the injustices are still with us that Belafonte worked so hard to solve during his life (1927 – 2023). This film is a fond tribute that in his last years he encouraged younger people to keep fighting.

I’m Your Venus
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Kimberly Reed; Co-Cinematographer: Rose Bush; Editors include: Dava Whisenant, Sasha Friedlander, and Taina Carrion-Perez (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary

It Was All a Dream
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Co-Cinematographer: dream hampton; Co-Cinematographer: Nicole Jefferson Asher; Composer: Stas Thee Boss; Editors include: Nayla Davis and Hypatia Porter (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary

Luther: Never Too Much
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Dawn Porter (U.S.) New York Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
CNN Films/Sony Music Entertainment

Made in Ethiopia
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director: Xinyan Yu; Co-Editor: Siyi Chen (U.S., Ethiopia, Denmark, UK, Canada, Korea, Republic of) World Premiere in Documentary Competition
Special Jury Mention for a Documentary Feature - Jury statement: “For its multi-faceted exploration of the personal and collective cost of today’s face of globalization, we award to Made In Ethiopia. Congratulations to the makers for opening a window to the lived experiences of those most directly impacted by the global labor industrial complex.”
Courtesy of Dogwoof

Missing From Fire Trail Road
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Sabrina Van Tassel; Co-Editor: Hélène Lanfranchi (U.S., France) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
FilmRise release
Van Tassel’s documentary opens like yet another true crime story, where family members return to the last place their victim was seen. But the picturesque wooded, waterfront road where the sisters of Mary Ellen Johnson Davis keep putting up flyers with her photograph and date of disappearance, November 25, 2020, is in the Tulalip Reservation of western Washington State, and theirs is a Native American family.
Her unsolved case is soon put in the context of one of many Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW, sometimes adding a “P” for “People”), by activists, including executive producer Deborah Parker. This and other families’ frustration and anger over the lack of law enforcement’s progress points to the “hot potato” of legal jurisdiction over non-native men assaulting and murdering women with impunity on reservations, making their lands a “dumping ground” for broken minds and bodies. (The “man camps” of farm and fishery workers seen at the end are disconcerting.)
The contextual lens widens to multi-generational trauma from the forced removal of native children to the Federal government’s Indian boarding schools, even through 1969. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is seen listening to elderly survivors, like her own relatives, on her “The Road to Healing” tour after the release of the first investigation into what others call a genocidal system.
Physical removal to foster care has replaced those frequently religious-run institutions (as dramatized in the Canadian series Little Bird). That a possible motive for Mary Ellen’s disappearance could be the money she wrung from the state over the abuse suffered in her assigned foster home chillingly recalls the century-old violence portrayed in Killers of the Flower Moon. Not mentioned is that research into fetal alcohol syndrome has provided an unsympathetic scientific excuse for removing native children from their troubled mothers, losing their supportive tribal culture that the film shows being revitalized.
While local and FBI officials say in interviews that Mary Ellen’s case is still open, her sisters, like so many other family members, diligently pursue their own leads and are not giving up.

New Wave
Synopsis and Schedule
Director /Writer: Elizabeth Ai; Co-Editor: Christina Sun Kim (U.S.) World Premiere in Documentary Competition
Special Jury Mention for New Documentary Director- Jury statement: “Loss, identity, the unspoken longing of mothers and daughters, fathers and sons pulsing and animated by an 80s soundtrack. This raw portrait of the American Vietnamese Community is a story we’ve never seen before, where music becomes a way to escape from the old and belong to the new. For her powerful, evocative and emotionally honest storytelling.”
Teenage rebellion against immigrant parents is a traditional assimilation experience. The immigrants’ obligation to work hard to not only support the family, but to bring over all the relatives is also familiar from earlier ethnic waves. Elizabeth Ai’s autobiographical story updates the imagery and stresses to the Vietnamese who fled the final days of the war in the 1970s to make it in 1980s Los Angeles. She adds contemporary awareness of the mental health impacts on both generations of the war and the work.
Though she relies too much on her explanatory voice-overs and unnecessary reenactments among a plethora of colorful archival material, her focus on Americanization through a genre of popular music is entertaining. Teens, like her adored babysitter Aunt Myra, who were young children when their parents brought them to the U.S. and into Vietnamese enclaves sheltered from outside racism and hostility, wore out cassette and VCR tapes playing and dancing to cover versions of disco tunes sung by young Vietnamese immigrants like themselves that was (confusingly) called “New Wave”. Sexy clothes and wildly sprayed hair styles were de rigueur as the opposite of demure Vietnamese culture. Extensively interviewed are two prominent exponents of this music: Ian “DJ BPM” Nguyen on losing himself at his turntables to forget his father’s disapproval, and “Vietnamese Madonna” entrepreneur Lynda Trang Đài, who is still, 40 years later, singing to fans with barely a moment to reflect on the regrets and pressures in her life.
Towards the end, Ai is able to elicit brief insights, in Vietnamese, from matter-of-fact grandparents about the expectations they forced on the first generation. That leads her to a difficult reconciliation, after a long estrangement, with her own mostly absent mother, so her young daughter can finally meet her grandmother. (Though I couldn’t catch what a little Vietnamese kid calls “Grandma”.) Choosing insight over too much nostalgia, New Wave is supported by The Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, so is doubtless headed to PBS.

Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Page Hurwitz; Cinematographer: Carissa Dorson; Co-Editors: Jeni Matson, Ann Roy, and Giselle Munro (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight+
Netflix releases June 18

Power of the Dream
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Dawn Porter (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
Prime Video release

Quad Gods
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Jess Jacklin; Co-Editor: Enat Sid (U.S.) World Premiere in Documentary Competition
HBO Documentary release premieres July 10.

Satisfied
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director/Co-Writer: Melissa Haizlip; Editor: Miki Watanabe Milmore (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight+
Introduced by Ariana DeBose [her Hamilton co-star], then After the Movie: Performance by film subject Renée Elise Goldsberry, with guests Kelli O’Hara (executive producer), Sara Bareilles [her Girls5Eva co-star], Leslie Odom Jr. [another Hamilton co-star], and Billy Porter.
Not just another of the usual schmaltzy celebrity/show biz profiles of a “Broadway Baby”. Goldsberry is a “Broadway Mother”, trying to birth babies while helping to birth the Revolutionary show Hamilton for a very moving, extraordinarily intimate behind-the-scenes story.
The directors and the editor have experience with smoothly editing archival material, integrated with current interviews, for absorbing interest and build-up of emotion. They had incredibly rich resources with Goldsberry’s video blogs confiding her personal and professional lives and their intersection since 2014. That was the year she and her very supportive lawyer husband Alexis Johnson fulfilled an adoption of a toddler girl from an orphanage in Ethiopia. Just as she was cocooning with her and their older son, she was repeatedly importuned to audition for a workshop production of a wordy rap mixtape. Her first chance to originate a role is illustrated with her rare footage from those early rehearsals and previews for Hamilton, pre-opening at the Public Theater. In between, she narrates flashback footage that fills in her family struggles behind her professional successes, and her guilt feelings when they conflict. She is unusually frank about her many miscarriages.
Not told chronologically, it is only during the tense lead-up to the Tony Awards that she leads the audience back to her captured-on-video private school childhood, from Texas to Michigan, where she “fell in love with theater”. Especially touching is her reunion with her high school acting teacher. Why did he chose her for classic musicals? “Everything about her!” Her mother was surprised: “I didn’t expect them to cast a brown girl.” (The film is dedicated in his memory.) I didn’t expect to cry and laugh, but I did.

Searching for Amani
Synopsis and Schedule
Directors: Co-Cinematographer Nicole Gormley and Co-Writer Debra Aroko; Co-Writer: Vickie Curtis; Co-Editor: Tessa Malsam: Co-Composer: Monica Sonand (Kenya, U.S.) World Premiere in Viewpoints
Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director - Jury statement: “Exquisitely crafted with a taut narrative, this documentary paints a nuanced portrait of issues that often are ignored or worse unknown by those outside of a community. It is extremely difficult to take a topic that affects the world, and to tell a story about that topic in an intimate and personal fashion that is both subversive and charming. So much of the success of a documentary is based on its main character, and the passion, curiosity, and relentlessness of 13-year-old [sic] Simon Ali was awe inspiring.”
First-time feature directors Gormley and Aroko encouraged young teenager Simon Ali to use a video camera like the citizen journalists he admired on TV, and much of the footage in this film is his over several years. Unlike so many teens who use cameras for self-promotion and self-aggrandizement, he was more interested in asking questions to find out what is happening in his rural Kenyan county that is roiled by changes and killings. He is motivated by grief – his father was shot by unknown assailants while at work as a ranger guide in one of the country’s largest wildlife conservancies. (Animated maps help with geography and smoothly edited in news clips provide wider contexts.) With almost no police help, his widowed mother and fatherless older and younger siblings hope his investigation can bring them justice.
In addition to thoughtfully and patiently interviewing co-workers and witnesses, black and white, in English and Swahili, he accompanies Heron from high school to his friend’s tribal pastoralist village to learn the impact of climate change on these livestock herders who have moved into the region from their traditional grazing areas. Those pressures have led some to take over access to green grass and water by any means necessary.
Simon and his family’s heartbreak personalize wider issues that are usually covered by anonymous statistics and economics. Every viewer will look forward to Simon continuing his journalism education to keep reporting his point-of-view on Africa, and that more young folks outside the usual broadcasting centers can be similarly encouraged.

Witches
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Editor: Elizabeth Sankey; Cinematographer: Chloë Thomson (UK) World Premiere in Viewpoints
MUBI release in 2025.
Special Jury Mention for Viewpoints - Jury statement: “Our honorable mention, another unanimous winner, explores the taboo subject of women’s mental health during and after pregnancy. Expertly crafted through the lens of cinema and witchcraft, we hope everyone will get a chance to see Witches by Elizabeth Sankey.”

SHORTS

Narrative Shorts

Bite
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Jorey Worb; Editor: Anjoum Agrama (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Pride, No Prejudice”

Bright White Light
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director/Writer/Editor: Henna Välkky (Finland) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Life Cycles”

The Brown Dog
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director: Nadia Hallgren (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Off Your Meds”

Budō
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director: Amanda Aagard (Sweden) International Premiere in “Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G”
Special Jury Mention for Animated Short - Jury statement: “With appreciation for its quirky and humorous narrative and capturing viewers with its remarkably intricate manner of portraying its characters and surroundings.”

Clodagh
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Portia A. Buckley (Ireland) New York Premiere in Shorts Program “Pride, No Prejudice”

The Creators
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Cinematographer/Editor: Madeleine Homan (U.K.) North American Premiere precedes screenings of Boys Go To Jupiter

Dirty Towel
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Co-Writer: Callie Carpinteri; Co-Writer/Co-Star: Emma Parks; Cinematographer: Emilee Ford; Composer: Rosalind Wong (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Get Comfortable”

Earthshine
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Starr Nathan (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Unbought & Unbossed”

Ebb & Flow
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Editor: Nay Tabbara (Lebanon, Qatar, U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Pride, No Prejudice”
Student Visionary Award- Jury Comment: “Because of how it captured the extraordinary and the ordinary in the life of a teenage girl pursuing her first kiss against a background of chaos and war.”

The End of the Party
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Kate Sullivan; Writer: Adriana Santos; Cinematographer: Em Michelle Gonzales; Editor: Sofia Kerpan (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Unbought & Unbossed”

Fire Fucking Fire
Synopsis and Schedule
Directors/Writers: Julia Eringer and Co-Star Rachel Paulson; Cinematographer: Tamara Santos; Editor: Alexandria Bombach (U.S.) New York Premiere in Shorts Program “Socially Awkward”

Fuck-a-Fan
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Muriel d'Ansembourg; Editor: Tessel Flora de Vries (Netherlands) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Get Comfortable”

In the Shadow of the Cypress
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director/Co-Writer: Shirin Sohani (Iran) New York Premiere in “Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G”
Best Animated Short - Jury statement: “For using a distinctive visual style, unique imagery and exceptional sound design to bring to life a poignant family relationship, characterized by love and protection amidst an effective portrayal of the profound impact of PTSD on both the individual and those around them”

I Want to Violently Crash into the Windshield of Love
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Fernanda Tovar; Cinematographer: Rosa Hadit (Mexico) World Premiere in Shorts Program “¡Viva Vida!”

Jane Austen’s Period Drama
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director/Co-Writer/Co-Editor/Co-Star: Julia Aks (U.S.) New York Premiere in Shorts Program “Get Comfortable”

Kasbi
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Farah Jabir; Editor: Kima Hibbert (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “It’s Complicated”

Kum-Kum
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Editor/Co-Cinematographer: Dur Ahmed Jamjoom (Saudi Arabia) International Premiere in Shorts Program “Course Correction”

Learning English
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Jean Liu; Cinematographer: Pip White; Editor: Tiffany Lin (U.S.) New York Premiere in Shorts Program “Get Comfortable”

Lice
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Vindhya Gupta; Cinematographer: Maria Belen Poncio; Composer: Matija Strniša (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Pride, No Prejudice”

The Mayfly
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Editor: Sue Perrotto; Writer: Betty Lynn Buckley (U.S.) New York Premiere in “Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G”

Mermaids
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Sarah Malléon; Editor: Juliette Penant (Martinique) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Course Correction”

My Best Friend
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Elina Street; Cinematographer: Alexa Carroll (U.S., France) North American Premiere in Shorts Program “It’s Complicated”

Nate & John
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Editor: Jumai Yusuf (U.S.) World Premiere in “Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G”

Next Week
Synopsis and Schedule
Directors: Mona Koochek & Shaneixqui Brown (Canada) World Premiere in Shorts

Oh, Christmas Tree
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Katie Aselton; Editor: Kenzie Woodrow (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts

Perfect Ten
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Alyssa Litman; Cinematographer: Jacki Moonves (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Socially Awkward”

Punta Salinas
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Co-Editor: Maria del Mar Rosario; Composer: Xenia Rubinos (Puerto Rico) New York Premiere in Shorts Program “¡Viva Vida!”

Ripe!
Synopsis and Schedule
Directors: Tusk (Kerry Furrh & Olivia Mitchell); Co-Writers: Bridget Arnet and Christa M Philippeaux (Spain) Worlds Premiere in Shorts Program “Pride, No Prejudice”
Best Narrative Short - Jury statement: “For beautifully capturing the raw and realistic essence of a teen summer romance and containing extraordinary performances that bring to life the bittersweet charm of youthful love; and for immersing the audience in the evocative feeling of summer in every scene.”
Re: the closing song

¡salsa!
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Antonina Kerguelen Roman (Colombia) World Premiere in Shorts Programs “Vis-Ability” and “Get Comfortable”

Smile, God Loves You
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Editor: Elexis Ray Goodwin (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Unbought & Unbossed”

Swollen
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer/Co-Star: Roxy Sophie Sorkin; Editor: Anjoum Agrama (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Off Your Meds”

Veo Veo A Family
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Laura Kosann; Cinematographer: Sonja Tsypin; Editor: Cecilia Delgado; Composer: Emily Rice (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “NY People Watching”

Mazda Presents Moving the Spotlight Shorts

Bloomed in the Water
Synopsis
Director/Writer: Joanne Mony Park; Editor: Youmin Kang

Deep Into The Forest
Synopsis
Director/Co-Writer: Xinhao “Violet” Lu; Co-Writer: April Yixiao Peng; Editor Yumeng “Judith” Zhu

Keba, Interrupted
Synopsis
Director/Writer/Editor: Meja Shoba; Composer: Angelique Thérese Anthony

Leading Man
Synopsis
Director/Writer: Whitney Houser; Co-Director: Amanda Michaels
Most Moving Narrative Award “Recognizing radically human screenwriting with the power to create change”

Stud Country
Synopsis
Directors: Lina Abascal & Alexandra Kern: Editors: Zoé Kraft & Jill Sarao
Challenger Spirit Award “Recognizing overall excellence in filmmaking, created through perseverance and resilience”
Los Angeles Times Short Doc

When Everything Burns (Cuando Todo Arde)
Synopsis
Director/Writer/Editor: Maria Belen Poncio; Cinematographer: Gianna Badiali
Exceptional Craftsmanship Award “Recognizing a director whose work demonstrates a profound sense of humanity, artistry and attention to detail”

Documentary Shorts

Depression Is A Beast
Synopsis and Schedule
Director/Writer: Courtney Dixon; Cinematographer: Kristian Zuniga (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Programs “Vis-Ability” and “Life Cycles”

Motorcycle Mary
Synopsis and Schedule
Director: Haley Watson; Composer: Katya Richardson (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Personal Best”

Out of the Dark: Cal Calamia
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director: Sarah Klein (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Personal Best”

Pastrana
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director/Co-Writer: Melissa Brogni; Co-Writer: Júlia Cazarré; Cinematographer: Lívia Pasqual (Brazil) North American Premiere in Shorts Program “Personal Best”

The Solace of Sisterhood
Synopsis and Schedule
Directors/Writers: Geneva Peschka and Anna Andersen; Co-Cinematographer: Safiyah Chiniere; Editor: Tiffany Taveras; Composer: Sarah Lynch (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Unbought & Unbossed”

EPISODICS: TRIBECA TV

Breath of Fire
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Directors/Co-Executive Producers: Hayley Pappas and Smiley Stevens; co-executive producer Hayley Phelan, author of Vanity Fair article, “The Second Coming of Guru Jagat” the series is based on; composer Sarah Lipstate (U.S.) World Premiere After the Screening: Conversation with Pappas, Stevens and Phelan.
4-part Max docu-series

Hollywood Black
Synopsis and Schedule
Showrunner/Executive Producer: Shayla Harris (U.S.) World Premiere
After the Screening: Conversation includes Lena Waithe, moderated by Valerie Complex.
4-part MGM+ docu-series

Mastermind: To Think Like A Killer
Synopsis and Schedule
Showrunner: Dani Sloane; Director: Abby Fuller;
After the Screening: Conversation with executive producers Dakota Fanning and Rebecca Evans, subject and consulting producer Dr. Ann Burgess, director, and showrunner
3-episode docu-series streams on Hulu July 11.

Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Showrunner/Co-Director: Amy Scott; (U.S.) World Premiere
After the Screening: Short acoustic performance by Etheridge
2-part docu-series on Paramount+

My Lady Jane
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Showrunner/Co-Executive Producers: Gemma Burgess and Meredith Glynn; Director: Jamie Babbitt; Writers of first episode: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, based on their novel; Writer of other episodes include: Story Editor Alyssa Lerner (U.S.) World Premiere
After the Screening: Conversation with cast and creative team
8 episodes on Amazon Prime, premieres June 27

The Stanford Prison Experiment: Unlocking the Truth
Synopsis and Schedule
Showrunner/Director: Juliette Eisner of Muck Media; Editor: Steph Kelly (U.S., Vietnam, France) International Premiere
After the Screening: Conversation with Eisner, other crew, and participants.
National Geographic 3-part docu-series

An Update on Our Family
Synopsis and Schedule
Showrunner/Director: Rachel Mason; Co-Executive Producer: Caitlin Moscatello, author of New York Magazine article “Un-Adopted” that is the basis of the program; Archival Producer: Rachael Morrison (U.S.) World Premiere
After the NOW Special Screening: Conversation with Mason and guests
3-part Max docu-series

EPISODICS: N.O.W. (New Online Work)/ ONLINE SHOWCASE 2024

I Need Your Love
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Creator/Co-Star: Camille Trust; Cinematographer: Danielle Elise Bartley; Co-Editor: Sophia de Baun (U.S.) World Premiere in Indie NOW Showcase B

Le Parrot
Synopsis and Schedule
Project Creator/Director/Writer: Rachael Sonnenberg (U.S.) World Premiere in Indie NOW Showcase A

This Really Happened
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Creators/Writers: Olivia AbiAssi & Kallen Prosterman; Director: Emily Cohn; Editor: Kate Pedatella (U.S.) World Premiere in Indie NOW Showcase B

IMMERSIVE: VIRTUAL REALITY CREATED BY WOMEN

The Art of Designing Large-Scale Digital and Spatial Experiences
Synopsis and Schedule
Panelists include artist Robertina Šebjanič, CO_SONIC 38,144 km²

WOMEN CREW-ED: FILMS BY WOMEN WRITERS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS, EDITORS AND COMPOSERS AT 2024 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

NARRATIVE FEATURES

All My Friends Are Dead
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Jessica Sarah Flaum (U.S.) World Premiere in Escape From Tribeca

Bad Shabbos
Synopsis and Schedule
Editor: Kait Plum (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
First Place, Audience Award, Narrative Category

Color Book
Synopsis and Schedule
Editor: Oriana Soddu (U.S.) World Premiere in Viewpoints

Crossing
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Lisabi Fridell; Co-Editor: Emma Lagrelius (Sweden, Denmark, Georgia, Turkey, France) North American Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
MUBI release

The Dog Thief (Perros)
Synopsis and Schedule
Editor: Urzula Barba Hopfner (Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, France, Italy) World Premiere in International Narrative Competition

Era Oculta – Hidden Era
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Franziska Ruess (Colombia, Germany, Mozambique) World Premiere in Viewpoints

Eternal Playground (La récréation de Juillet)
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Editor: Lisa Desiles; Cinematographer: Tara-Jay Bangalter (France) World Premiere in in International Narrative Competition

Firebrand
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writers: Henrietta Ashworth and Jessica Ashworth, based on the novel Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle; Cinematographer: Hélène Louvart (UK, US) North American Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
Roadside Attractions releases in theaters June 14

Griffin in Summer
Synopsis and Schedule
Composer: Nami Melumad (U.S.) World Premiere in U.S. Narrative Competition
Winner, Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature” – Jury Statement: “For its precocious and unexpected storytelling, and well-crafted performance.”
Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature – Jury statement: “For its delightful humor, distinct point of view and specificity of tone.”
Special Jury Mention for New Narrative Director – Jury statement: “This film had the audience in the palm of its hand from the first minute. It straddled the very thin line between heartwarming, tragic, hilarious and awkward. It fills a void in the marketplace for films that touch on sophisticated themes while remaining family friendly. Never pandering, always fresh, full of relatable universal experiences while being incredibly specific and nuanced--this film also features a breakout performance from a young exciting newcomer! The director of this film made one of the funniest films of the year and we cannot wait to see where he goes next.”

Kill
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Ayesha Syed (India) New York Premiere in Escape from Tribeca

Restless
Synopsis and Schedule
Editor: Anna Meller; Sound Designer: Ines Adriana (UK) World Premiere in Viewpoints
Restless is enormously entertaining and satisfying for anyone who has suffered from a noisy neighbor. (Like at our Air B’n’B in Washington D.C. last year.) Considerably supported by Meller’s editing and Adriana’s sound design, Lyndsey Marshal makes “Nicky” a very sympathetic “Everywoman”. Overworked at a typical English underfunded, understaffed care home, she is mourning the recent deaths of her parents and missing her son who just left for university. Alone, she is coping through meditation, yoga, her cat, and her favorite pieces from the classical canon.
Into what was her parents’ adjacent Council house comes the scary lout “Deano” (Aston McAuley). He holds cocaine-fueled parties for his cronies to promote his drug-dealing business. His huge sound system continually plays what debut writer/director Jed Hart identifies as “aggressive and transient dance music”, that I would have called thrash and death metal.
“Nicky”s efforts to politely and communally deal with her aural intruders are met by streams of British and common English profanity and threats. Sleep deprivation strains her composure, tipping her over the edge. Intimately familiar with the houses and her fellow working-class neighbors, like the colorful “Jackie Macintyre” (Kate Robbins), she cleverly, yet believably, ratchets up her efforts to stop the noise. How low and far will she go? For herself and the audience, the middle-aged lady revenges, which should be winked in a more demonstrative title.

A Shallow Tale of a Writer Who Decided to Write About A Serial Killer
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Natalie Kingston (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
Second Place, Audience Award, Narrative Category

Some Rain Must Fall
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Constanze Schmitt (China, U.S., France, Singapore) North American Premiere in International Narrative Competition
Best Performance in an International Narrative Feature - Jury Statement: “Yu Aier -For her beautifully sustained performance of unabated suffering.”
Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature - Jury Statement: “For the daring use of color and creation of searing visual tension as a cinematic reinforcement of suffering.”
Spoiler Alert

Swimming Home
Synopsis and Schedule
Adapted from Deborah Levy’s 2012 novel (Brazil, Greece, Netherlands, UK) North American Premiere in International Narrative Competition

The Wasp
Synopsis and Schedule
Writer: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (UK) World Premiere in Spotlight Narrative
Shout Studios release

The Weekend
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Vanessa Kanu (Nigeria) World Premiere in Midnight
As the first “Nollywood” (Nigerian movie biz) film to premiere at Tribeca, the story may need to be seen as a satire of Westerner’s African stereotypes for the audience to be comfortable, even in a “Midnight” selection. But these filmmakers seem to place The Weekend in the genre where city-dwellers, whether from the country’s capital (here “Luc Chezeta”, played by Bucci Franklin, from Lagos) or who made it overseas, reluctantly return to their home village with their curious affianced in tow (here “Nikiya”, played by Uzoamaka Aniunoh), particularly when pregnant or expecting to be. The Prodigal Son is usually estranged from his father (here “Meki”, played by Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey) and has been nagged to return by his mother (here “Omicha”, played by Gloria Anozie-Young).
After going through a menacing checkpoint, this city couple is warmly welcomed by his parents, to “Nicky”s gratitude; as the only daughter of a single mom who had recently died she longs for family. “Luc”s sister “Kama” (Meg Otanwa) arrives in time for their parents’ exuberant 50th anniversary celebration, that seems to bring the entire village dancing around their large compound. But she’s accompanied by her obnoxious, abusive Ghanian boyfriend “Zeido” (James Timothy Gardiner), who keeps bragging he’s a “Man of Substance”. “Luc” tries to defend his sister. But the family has already settled on their traditional way of meting out justice, a collective tradition that “Luc” had fled, a tradition that’s stomach-turning, though somewhat familiar in a horror film. But this is uncomfortably redolent of colonial fears of secret “tribal customs”.
Other than the mordant story (Kanu is one of three credited writers), the production is fabulous, from the acting (the female roles are strong characters) to the all-Nigerian creative team. With his fourth feature, director Daniel Oriahi was sure about the look he wanted, achieved with his repeat cinematographer Kagho Idhebor: (per press notes) “careful lighting ensures that characters' dark-skinned features are appropriately illuminated without compromising the eerie ambiance required for night and interior scenes.” Michael Ogunlade’s score is deliciously ominous and mysterious, using drums both for cultural resonance and percussive tension.


DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

Alien Weaponry: Kua Tupu Te Ara
Synopsis and Schedule
Editor: Sacha Campbell (New Zealand) World Premiere in Viewpoints

Checkpoint Zoo
Synopsis and Schedule
Composer: Anne Nikitin (U.S., Ukraine) World Premiere in Documentary Competition
Second Place, Audience Award, Documentary Category
This documentary is a thriller about war and tragedy, loss and rescue, love of animals and commitment, at a private park in Ukraine, near the city of Kharkiv, just 15 miles from the Russian border. Director Joshua Zeman and his crew smoothly edit together real-time videos from “Day 1” on, in the continuing on-screen count from February 2022 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with retrospective interviews in a room where they can still hear explosions outside. (The Russians are now again attacking Kharkiv.)
The 600+ acre Feldman Ecopark, stocked with over 5,500 animals of some 300 species to encourage children to care for animals by entrepreneur/Parliament member/philanthropist Alexander Feldman (a bear of a guy) was in the No Man’s Land between Ukrainian and Russian forces. Rockets whizz over and sometimes land on humans and their fenced and caged in terrified charges. With most humans fleeing for their lives, a handful of long-time staff bravely stay behind to try to feed and care for what tearful curator Svitlana calls “her children” (she loves the baby tapir the best), but put out a call for help.
Young veterinarian Tymofii responds, sees the extent of the crisis, and brings in his intrepid friends. (I was reminded of my great-uncle who left what is now western Ukraine as a teen for America and graduated as a livestock vet in 1907.) Of the video generation, they record and post themselves feeding and interacting with the frightened animals, first comically (especially with the moose, camel, kangaroo, and ostriches) and affectionately as they connect with their favorites. (Feldman’s beloved is a chimp he raised with his family.)
Then the physical situation deteriorates, immediate evacuations, in whatever oversize vehicles they can commandeer, become necessary, but the daily processing is slow. We see Feldman’s personal estate fill up into a Noah’s Ark, as he sells off his collections to pay for the effort.
Not only does the risky situation at the park get worse for all, you worry they can’t bring the large predators – tigers, lions, bears, wolves, and more—onto the same grounds. A weeping Feldman posts what he thinks may be his last missive: with no large vehicles, no more anesthetics and nowhere to go, he will have to put down these noble beasts. Thousands around the world respond to make the trucks, medicines, and facilities available. (We saw a similar response in the recent PBS Nature episode “Saving the Animals of Ukraine”, about pets in the war zone, albeit some Ukrainians kept surprising menageries.) However, the bombs don’t stop, and if you haven’t cried yet, now you’ll weep. Nikitin’s dramatic score reminded me of “Peer Gynt Suite”.
Despite a concluding scroll tallying up the numbers saved, lives changed, and memorials, there are unanswered questions: Was transferring some of the animals to zoos elsewhere in Ukraine like in Kharkiv and Odesa really for sanctuary? How long could the smaller ones last on Feldman’s estate? But I was reminded of the classic ending to John Frankenheimer’s The Train (1964) as the camera weighs human loss vs. Nazi-looted art; here the cost all the living pay for the unprovoked war is too damn high.

Dust to Dust: Yuima Nakazato
Synopsis and Schedule
Editor: Mariko Ide (Japan) International Premiere in Documentary Spotlight
Winner, Human/Nature Award: “prize established to amplify a film that best exemplifies solution-oriented environmental storytelling”.

Hacking Hate
Synopsis and Schedule
Composer: Kate Havnevik (Japan) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
Best Documentary Feature: Hacking Hate - Jury statement: “The documentary jury awards a film that bravely and fearlessly investigates the misuse of the internet to encourage hate and bias by allowing media giants to profit and foster the continuation of the outrage. On trial are first amendment freedoms that have been violated for profit.”

Linda Perry: Let It Die Here
Synopsis and Schedule
Editor: Camille Getz (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight+
After the Movie: Performance by subject Linda Perry

Made in England: The Films of Powell & Pressburger
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Editor: Margarida Cartaxo (UK World Premiere in Spotlight+
Cohen Media Group release

Pirópolis
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Valentina Arango; Editor: Mayra Morán (U.S.) World Premiere in Documentary Competition
Chilean director Nicolás Molina loves directing his camera at fires, at trees burning, scorched, or bubbling with embers, and those scarily close shots illuminate his documentary. The transfixed people watching their homes burn down also seem too close. If the all-volunteer fire brigade with the odd name "Pompe France” that he embeds us with was just dealing with learning how to put out the wildfires that engulf climate changed drought-stricken eucalyptus fields in the hills surrounding Valparaíso, they and we would be less confused.
Older members of the unit are retiring, and the new leadership is trying to recruit and inculcate newcomers into the brigade’s particular esprit de corps. That includes the first women, whose grudgingly accepted presence necessitates physical re-arrangements in their clubhouse, er, firehouse. But as the country’s new president struggles with the aftermath of a referendum that rejected a new constitution, the firefighters find themselves in the middle of a different crisis. They are ordered to turn the hoses they have only just learned how to handle efficiently onto their fellow citizens colorfully protesting in the streets. The captain warns the director he better run before his camera gets ruined. Politics can be more dangerous than wildfires.

Rebel Country
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Janet Lee (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight+

Rebel Nun
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Kari Lia (U.S., UK) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
Universal Pictures release

Skywalkers: A Love Story
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Cinematographer: Angela Nikola; Co-Editor: Alannah Byrnes (US, China, Hong Kong, Russia, France, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Spain) New York Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
Netflix release

Slave Play. Not A Movie. A Play
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Editor: Lara Fox (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
HBO Documentary Films release

Soldiers of Song
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Cinematographer/Editor: Julia Bolshakova; Co-Cinematographers: Vicky Markolefa, and Olga Gurenko (Ukraine) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary

Stevie Van Zandt: Disciple
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Editor: Teki Cruickshank; Composer: Isabella Summers (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary
HBO Documentary Films release premieres June 22.

They All Came Out To Montreux
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Editor: Janka Troeber (U.S.) World Premiere in Spotlight Documentary

SHORTS


Narrative Shorts

¡Beso de lengua!
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Constanza Moctezuma (Mexico) World Premiere in Shorts Program “It’s Complicated”

Budd, Sweat & Tearz
Synopsis and Schedule
Composer: Hannah Barnett (UK) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Unbought & Unbossed”
Special Jury Mention for Student Visionary- Jury Statement: “For its clear-eyed and compelling portrait of resilience and innovation in the face of injustice and structural hurdles.”

Catharsis
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Jo Jo Lam (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Off Your Meds”

The Cost of Flesh
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Flore Desbiens (France) North American Premiere showing precedes She Loved Blossoms More

A Family Guide to Hunting
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Carmiel Banasky; Co-Editor: Shannon C. Griffin; Composer: Denise Santos (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Off Your Meds”

Five Ways To Get Rid of a Hickey
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writers: Natalia Mejías and Francisca Lizana; Editor: Antonieta Díaz; Composer: Martina Lluvias (Chile) World Premiere in Shorts Program “¡Viva Vida!”

The HongFu Hotel
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Editor: Yumeng “Judith” Zhu (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “NY People Watching”

original skin
Synopsis and Schedule
Writer: Eve Hedderwick Turner; Editor: Amber Saunders (UK) New York Premiere in Shorts Program “It’s Complicated”

Sea Lion Cow
Synopsis and Schedule
Song: Bella Fratkin (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “NY People Watching”

Some Kind of Paradise
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Writer: Talisha Elger; Cinematographer: Sharon Pulwer; Composer: Natasha Frank (U.S.) New York Premiere in Shorts Program “It’s Complicated”

À toi les oreilles
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Isabelle Stachtchenko; Editor: Myriam Magassouba (Canada) New York Premiere in Shorts Program “Course Correction”

Documentary Shorts

Jumpman
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Meena Singh (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “Personal Best”

Lost Bois
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Maddy Talias; Editor: Dani Okon (U.S.) World Premiere in Shorts Program “It’s Complicated”

EPISODICS: TRIBECA TV

In the Arena: Serena Williams
Synopsis and Schedule
Co-Director: Lauren Fisher; Cinematographer: Ayana Baraka (U.S.) World Premiere
After the Screening: Conversation with Williams
8-part docu-series premieres on ESPN July 10

Mr. Loverman
Synopsis and Schedule
Based on 2013 novel by Bernadine Evaristo; Executive Producers Fable Pictures: Faye Ward, Hannah Farrell and Hannah Price; Producers include Irma Inniss; Editors include: Kim Gaster and Emma Oxley (UK) World Premiere
8-episode series for BBC-One/iPlayer; Sony Pictures Television will distribute internationally
After the Screening: Conversation with cast and producers

Presumed Innocent
Synopsis and Schedule
Directors include: Anne Sewitsky; Writers include: Miki Johnson (US) World Premiere
8-episode series premieres on Apple+ June 12
After the Screening: Conversation with cast and creative team includes Sewitsky

The Turning Point: To Be Destroyed
Synopsis and Schedule
Cinematographer: Allie Humenuk (U.S.) World Premiere
MSNBC premieres July 21

EPISODICS: N.O.W. (NEW ONLINE WORK) SHOWCASE

Juice
Synopsis and Schedule
Writers include Emily Lloyd-Saini; Cinematographers include Vanessa Whyte (UK) U.S. Premiere in Indie Showcase A
6 episodes were shown on BBC in 2023

TRIBECA X AWARD SELECTIONS: Brand/Storyteller Collaborations

Feature Films
Audrey’s Children
Director: Ami Canaan Mann with Ronald McDonald House Charities
Winner, Best Feature
Black Girls
Director: B. Monét with Procter & Gamble

Short Films
Love
Director: Isabel Vaca with Rababan Clothes
Huracán Ramírez vs. La Piñata Enchilada
Co-Director: Tania Verduzco with Apple
One Good Reason
Co-Director: Perri Pelz with ServiceNow, Tribeca Studios
Winner, Best Short Award and Social Impact Award
UGO: A Homecoming Story
Co-Director: Blessing Uzzi with WhatsApp

Episodic Series
Adidas Originals CypHERS
Director: Maya Table with Adidas
The Foundation of Belleza
Director: Gabriela Ortega with Sephora
Santa Story: The Note
Co-Director: Bryce Dallas Howard with Coca-Cola and WPP X/VML
Winner, Best Episodic

Commercial
Home
Director: Allison A. Waite for Delta

Tribeca X Film-Related Speakers
Every Mother Counts: Inspiring Action and Driving Change Through the Power of Storytelling
Synopsis and Schedule
Christy Turlington Burns and Abby Phillip

Beyond Type 1: Harnessing the Power of Authentic Storytelling to Change the Conversation
Synopsis and Schedule
Kelsey Bascomb, Brooke Shields and Rowan Henchy

TRIBECA TALKS

Alison Roman: Creativity, Connection, and Navigating Storytelling in the Digital Age
Synopsis and Schedule

Beyond the Screen: The Convergence of Film, Stage, and Music
Synopsis and Schedule
Panelists: Reshma Shetty and Guneet Monga

Championing the Next Generation: Through Her Lens Conversation
Synopsis and Schedule
Panelists: Kerry Washington, Patty Jenkins, Laura Karpman, and Perri Peltz

Kerry Washington and Nicole Avant: Legacy and Impact in Storytelling
Synopsis and Schedule

Laverne Cox: Storyteller
Synopsis and Schedule


My Perspectives on Past Tribeca Film Festivals:

My coverage of female filmmakers and of Nora Ephron Award winners at 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.

My coverage of Nora Ephron Award at 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

My coverage of female filmmakers and Nora Ephron Award winner at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival,

My 2020 Tribeca Film Festival coverage of features by female filmmakers.

Let me know what female filmmaker’s work I missed at the Festival. I continually update this guide as theatrical and streaming release information is available. Contact Nora Lee Mandel at mandelshultz@yahoo.com or @NLM_MavensNest



updated 7/9/2024

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

Complete Index to Nora Lee Mandel's Movie Reviews

My reviews have appeared on: Film-Forward; FF2 Media; Lilith, FilmFestivalTraveler; and, Alliance of Women Film Journalists and for Jewish film festivals. 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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