2019 Tribeca Film Festival Celebrates Diversity

2019 Tribeca Film Festival Celebrates Diversity

This year’s festival features an inclusive lineup of work by established and emerging filmmakers.

This year’s festival features an inclusive lineup of work by established and emerging filmmakers.

Text: Emma Li

The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival returns to New York City tomorrow and will last until May 5, taking place at venues all across Manhattan. The festival will premiere more than 100 feature films as well as retrospective screenings of classics. Other forms include genre films, shorts, and interactive and virtual reality programming.

Tribeca Film Festival has always been a champion of the city and its creativity since the start. This year, Tribeca embraces diversity at its newest height: 40 percent of the festival’s feature films were directed by females, 29 percent were by people of color, and 13 percent were by individuals who identify as LGBTQIA.

The festival’s opening will be Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams’ “The Apollo”, HBO’s new documentary about the Harlem show venue that will be having a world premiere, fittingly, at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The same day’s closing presentation will be Danny Boyle’s (“Trainspotting”, “Slumdog Millionaire”) “Yesterday”, which follows the protagonist entering a world where no one knows the Beatles. The film also has a cameo featuring Ed Sheeran who plays himself in the film.

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) in "Yesterday"

Screenwriter Semi Chellas will make her feature directorial debut with “American Woman”, based on a novel of the same name. The film tells the story of Patty Hearst (Sarah Gadon) through the perspective of activist and fugitive Jenny Shimada (Hong Chau).

Jenny Shimada (Hong Chau) in "American Woman"

19-year-old Phillip Youmans is the writer-director of “Burning Cane”, which he produced before finishing high school. Even so, Youmans’ sophisticated storytelling presents a mature vision that is sure to be a stand out at the festival.

Wendell Pierce in "Burning Cane"

“The Place of No Words” establishes the portrait of a father, son, and their relationship as the former is nearing death. Mark Webber employed his signature “reality cinema” approach, as the film stars Webber himself along with his wife and their son.

Christoph Waltz will be making his directorial debut with his crime drama “Georgetown” starring fellow Academy-Award winning actress Vanessa Redgrave.

“Framing John DeLorean” starring Alec Baldwin will be having its world premiere at the festival. The documentary film follows the life and career of automaker John DeLorean and his career at General Motors.

“Dreamland”, a Depression-era thriller drama that she also stars in. Margot Robbie co-produced the film with her husband Tom Ackerley, who worked to produce “I, Tonya”, a biopic of figure skater Tonya Harding played by Robbie.

Allison Wells (Margot Robbie) in "Dreamland"

“A Day in the Life of America” directed by Jared Leto is a crowd-sourced documentary that follows a day in the life of people across the U.S. celebrating the Fourth of July.

Rising stars Sabrina Carpenter, Haley Bennett, and Sydney Sweeney will also be part of the festival lineup in “The Short History of the Long Road”, “Swallow”, and “Clementine”, respectively.

Hunter (Haley Bennett) in "Swallow"

In addition to feature films, this year's shorts will showcase talent from the likes of Andrew Thomas Huang. His film "Kiss of the Rabbit God" follows a young Chinese restaurant worker’s journey of sexual awakening and self-discovery after falling in love with an 18th century Qing dynasty god named the Tu'er Shen.

This year, Tribeca Film Festival’s notable panel discussions will include Alec Baldwin’s interview with director Guillermo del Toro on April 25. Later on, the festival will see Jennifer Lawrence and director David O. Russell in conversation on the 27th and director Martin Scorsese and festival co-founder Robert De Niro together on the 28th.

Single screening tickets, passes, and ticket packages are available for purchase on Tribeca’s website.

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