10 Movies to Look Out for at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

10 Movies to Look Out for at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

These films are sure to take home awards.

These films are sure to take home awards.

Text: Truman Ports

Founded in 2002 by Robert de Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, the Tribeca Film Festival has been providing quality movies from established and budding directors and actors for sixteen years. A Lower Manhattan tradition, the Tribeca Film Festival is a movie buff's dream; quality documentaries, innovative writing and storytelling, and quite frequently, more diversity than Hollywood is daring to ever offer. The festival runs now through April 30, and you can check out the schedule to find showings and purchase last minute tickets before they sell out. And to celebrate New York's premier film festival, we've collected 10 movies to watch out for, as they're sure to eventually get the wide releases they deserve.

Blame, directed by Quinn Shephard

Written and directed by Quinn Shephard, Blame is a contemporary parallel to Arthur Miller's play The Crucible. Shephard herself plays a slightly unstable high schooler named Abigail who is cast in the lead role in a school production of The Crucible, much to the chagrin of mean girl Melissa (Nadia Alexander). With substitute drama teacher and director Jeremy (Chris Messina) working closely with Abigail, Melissa finds opportunity to strike and a chain of accusations are made, resembling the infamous Salem Witch Trials.

One Percent More Humid, directed by Liz W. Garcia

This female written and directed film features Juno Temple and Julia Garner as childhood friends who are back in their New England hometown for the summer. While things seem to be okay on the surface, Iris (Temple) and Catherine (Garner) are both running and trying to cope in their own way with a shared trauma from the past. In running from the unthinkable, the two move further away from one another and into romantic entanglements that are no good for either of them.

The Boy Downstairs, directed by Sophie Brooks

Former Girls actress Zosia Mamet stars in first time writer-director Sophie Brooks's twist on the romantic comedy. The Boy Downstairs tells the story of Diana (Mamet) who winds up back in New York City after residing in London for two years. In search for an apartment, Diana lands on the one of her dreams. The catch? Her ex-boyfriend Ben (Matthew Shear) lives in the apartment below her.

My Friend Dahmer, directed by Marc Meyers

Marc Meyers wrote and directed this movie about notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (played by Disney star Ross Lynch) in his high school years. Adapted from the graphic novel written by Dahmer's real life classmate Derf Backderf (played by Alex Wolff in the film), My Friend Dahmer examines and tries to make sense of the turning point in the teenage years of the soon-to-be murderer through his school and home life.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, directed by David France

After 2015's Stonewall received major backlash for more or less erasing people of color from the famous Stonewall riots, this documentary film about transgender woman of color Marsha P. Johnson, cited to be the first person to fight back in a confrontation with the police during the Stonewall uprising, will be a refreshing, accurate look at the historical movement and woman. Directed by Academy Award-nominated David France (How to Survive a Plague), this film looks at Johnson's accomplishments as well as the mystery surrounding her death that was dubbed a suicide by the police, but perhaps something more sinister by her friends.

A Suitable Girl, directed by Sarita Khurana, Smriti Mundhra

Directors Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra managed to capture the lives of three young Indian women for four years. The documentary examines the culture surrounding arranged marriages, and under the direction of two female Indian filmmakers, removes the Western lens that frequently inhibits us from understanding situations different from ours.

Saturday Church, directed by Damon Cardasis

It's rare that LGBTQ stories are told with people of color as the focal point and in leading roles. Writer and director Damon Cardasis is changing that with Saturday Church, the story of a single working mother who has to leave her two boys at home under the care of their Aunt Rose. The oldest son, Ulysses, begins exploring his identity and sexuality through his mother's clothes and shoes, disturbing his Aunt Rose. Ulysses finds his way into the West Village where he is free to discover himself and make supportive friends, that is, until he has to go home to Aunt Rose.

For Ahkeem, directed by Jeremy S. Levine, Landon Van Soest

This coming-of-age documentary focuses on 17-year-old Daje Shelton from St. Louis, Missouri. The police's murder of unarmed teenager Mike Brown sets the political climate for the lives of Daje and those around her as she tries to navigate the world and her expulsion from school. The film follows Daje for two years as she attends an alternative schooling program, and discovers and works against the unjust system America has set up to stop her and other black teenagers from succeeding.

Flower, directed by Max Winkler

Budding actress Zoey Deutch stars in Flower, a movie about 17-year-old Erica Vandross who's extracurricular activities include seducing older men with her two best friends in exchange for money. Erica's father is in prison, her free-spirited mother (Kathryn Hahn) is slightly inattentive, and so Erica is left to essentially raise herself. Things take a turn when Erica's mother invites her new boyfriend (Tim Heidecker) and his just out of rehab son (Joey Morgan) to move in with them.

Whitney. “can I be me,” directed by Nick Broomfield, Rudi Dolezal

Whitney Houston: the legend, the icon, the otherworldly talented, but also, the troubled human being. Documentarian Nick Broomfield and music video director Rudi Dolezal teamed up to present some behind the scene footage during the height of Houston's career, all of which has never been seen before. Nothing is off limits, and it all leads up to the singer's tragic death in 2012. Still one of the greatest female vocalists of all time, this film is sure to conjure some tears.

Credits: Photos courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

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