One of the things I love about the Tribeca Film Festival is that I can get in all my favorite festival flicks and knock out a few Broadway shows before the Tonys take over Manhattan!!!
Often referred to as the “sister” of the Sundance Film Festival held at the top of the year, one can always count on Tribeca to keep it real, funky and fresh!
Among the 98 screenings taking place between Wednesday, April 19, and Sunday, April 30, in downtown NYC: The Boy Downstairs, featuring Zosia Mamet as a heartbroken New Yorker hunting for an apartment; the Amanda Seyfried comedy The Clapper; and Pilgrimage, starring Tom Holland (that’s the new Spider-Man!) in a 13th-century Ireland-set period piece. Meanwhile, Lena Dunham, director Kathryn Bigelow, Kobe Bryant, Scarlett Johansson and Barbra Streisand will sit down and open up in 2017’s Tribeca Talks series.
Here are some of the hottest tickets to look for as the festival kicks off today through April 29th in New York..
My former Howard University alum and Uptown hustler is in the house. Generation X gets to relive its glory days when we get a chance to walk down memory lane with the Notorious B.I.G., Mase, Lil’ Kim, Faith, Total, Mary J. Blige and more. This doc is a hot ticket, but passes may be available the day of.
The LGBT movement has yet another black woman, Marsha P. Johnson, to thank for doing the work and fighting the power. Featuring never-before-seen footage and rediscovered interviews, Academy Award nominee David France (How to Survive a Plague) follows a new investigation into the mysterious death of the self-described “street queen” who left this world too soon.
3. NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE – For Ahkeem, documentary directed by Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest (USA)
A year before Michael Brown was shot down dead in the streets in the suburb of my hometown STL -Ferguson, Mo., his peer, 17-year-old Daje Shelton, was coming into her own in neighboring North St. Louis. Daje falls in love, gets into disagreements with her friends and what teen doesn’t think she knows more than her mom. Yet as with so many black teenage girls, the stakes are so much higher and the safety net so much smaller.
4. WORLD PREMIERE – Whitney. “Can I Be Me,” documentary directed by Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal, written by Nick Broomfield (U.K.)
“The Voice”. A Jersey girl who became America’s most beloved, most awarded female recording artist of all time, Miss Whitney Houston. Featuring largely never-before-seen footage, Whitney breaks down the story behind the angelic. five-octave voice and the freefall that no one could prevent. Soon to be seen on Showtime
5. WORLD PREMIERE – The People’s House, virtual reality project creators: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël (Felix & Paul Studios) (Canada)
Who doesn’t miss the Obamas? With every passing day Barack, Michelle, Sasha and Malia are feel and look like the best thing that ever happen to America since The Clinton’s and The Kennedy’s. Don’t worry…I got you! if you didn’t make it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over the last eight years, no through the transportive power of VR, you can get a personalized tour from the Obamas through the West Wing and its private residences.
6. WORLD PREMIERE – FEATURE DOCUMENTARY – Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives; directed by Chris Perket
Speaking of Whitney Houston and Puff Daddy, Chris Perkel’s riveting profile of the legendary music man who discovered her – Clive Davis spans a remarkable five decades. A career that provides an incredible tour of the most sensational music of the cultural revolution, from the ’60s to the rise of hip-hop. Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Santana, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Alicia Keys, Sean “Puffy” Combs, and a great many more attest to Davis as, in Aretha Franklin’s words, “the greatest record man of all time.” This amazing film is definitive, fascinating and ceaselessly entertaining proof.”
7. WORLD PREMIERE – FEATURE DOCUMENTARY – Wasted! The Story of Food Waste; directed by Anna Chai and Nari Kye
Every year 80% of the world’s water, 40% of the world’s land, and 10% of the world’s energy is dedicated to growing the food we eat, yet in the same year 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown out. That’s a third of all food grown around the world being wasted before it even reaches a plate. WASTED! The Story of Food Waste sheds a light on the pressing issue of food waste. Executive Produced by author and chef Anthony Bourdain, the film doesn’t simply focus on the problem, but offers solutions like reorienting consumer perspectives on the food that is normally cast aside, and what changes we can make to our food production chain to create a more sustainable food system.
7. WORLD PREMIERE – FEATURE NARRATIVE – A Thousand Junkies; directed by Tommy Swerdlow
With a sensitive eye and no loss of comic skill from his days as a screenwriter for ’90s family favorites like Cool Runnings and Little Giants, Tommy Swerdlow crafts a comedy balanced on the fine line between reliance and dependence — not just the drugs his anti-heroes seek but the faulty relationships that have enabled or resisted their habits over time. As the film edges closer to the absurd, driven by the hyperbole natural to desperate men (see: the film’s title), it delivers both the inevitable and the wholly unexpected: a drug movie that struggles to find any drugs, and a road movie that drives in circles.
8. TRIBECA TALKS: STORYTELLERS – Common with Nelson George
My boyfriend (lol), Chicago Native, Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, and three-time Grammy® winner Common has crafted an impressive career as a renowned hip-hop artist and notable actor. Director/screenwriter (“A Ballerina’s Tale” and Netflix’s “The Get Down”) Nelson George joins Common to discuss the power of the combination of film and music.
After the Movie: This conversation will begin with a screening of a never-before-seen extended version of Letter to the Free (Directed by Bradford Young), followed by a conversation with Nelson George and a live performance by Common.
8. WORLD PREMIERE – FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: BOMBSHELL – The Hedy Lamarr Story; directed by Alexandra Dean
Startlet. Screen Siren. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World. All phrases used to describe 1940’s Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr. Alexandra Dean’s illuminating documentary adds Inventor to the list. An Austrian Jew who acted by day and drew mechanical and electronic inventions by night, Lamarr came up with a “secret communication system” to help the Allies to beat the Nazis. Weaving in Lamarr’s own voice from archival recordings, Dean reveals how Lamarr gave her patent to the Navy, received no credit for her contributions, and wound up impoverished in her latter years. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a film for lovers of history, Hollywood and science. Being a classic film lover, y’all know I am all over this one!
9. WORLD PREMIERE – FEATURE DOCUMENTARY: LA 92; directed by Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin
Twenty-five years after the verdict, Academy Award®-winning directors Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (Undefeated) draw on archival news images and unseen footage to craft an in-depth portrait of those riots and the tempestuous relationship between Los Angeles’s African American community and those charged with protecting it.
10. GALA: THE GODFATHER AND THE GODFATHER: PART II; directed Francis Ford Coppola
Last and certainly not least – my all-time favorite film, arguably two of the best films ever made and winners of nine Academy Awards® between them, Francis Ford Coppola’s epic masterpieces paint a chilling, multi-generational portrait of the Corleone crime family’s rise and near fall from power in America. Tribeca celebrates the legacy of one of the most influential film sagas of all time with this 45th anniversary screening and reunion event. After the Movie: A 45th anniversary conversation with Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Robert De Niro. Moderated by Taylor Hackford.
AND!!!! Anyone that know me, knows I am turning backflips over this one…
Can’t make it to the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival? This year, for the first time in Tribeca’s history, internet users worldwide will be able to watch the festival’s closing-night event on April 29, with a panel discussion about “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II” with director Francis Ford Coppola and actors Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and Robert De Niro. (“Godfather” star Marlon Brando died in 2004. via FACEBOOK LIVE.
Other sessions to be available include conversations featuring Kobe Bryant, Lena Dunham, Ron Howard, Matt LeBlanc, Michael Moore, Elizabeth Moss, Zac Posen, Geoffrey Rush, and Emily Watson.
Passes and single tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival are on sale and can be purchased online; via telephone at 646-502-5296 or 866-941-FEST (3378); or ticket outlets at Cinepolis Chelsea (260 W. 23 St.) or at the Oculus Westfield World Trade Center (185 Greenwich St., at the concierge desk).
Tickets to special events at Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre are available at Ticketmaster. Discounts on general screenings and Tribeca Talks panels for students, seniors and select downtown Manhattan residents available at ticket outlet locations only.
*The “rush” system functions as a standby line that will form at the venue approximately 45 minutes prior to scheduled start time. Admittance is based on availability and will begin 15 minutes prior to start. There is a limit of one rush ticket per person.
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