Founded in 2002 as a response to the 9/11 attack, New York City’s 16th Tribeca Film Festival will run this year from April 19th until April 30th. The festival showcases feature films, documentaries, shorts and a slew of high tech seminars and programs that distinguish it from other festivals.
Films to Seek Out at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
Aardvark (Feature Film) A therapist (Jenny Slate, Zootopia) takes on a new patient (Zachary Quinto, Star Trek) who has an array of problems he needs to work. High on the list is a fragile relationship with his brother (Jon Hamm, Mad Men). Complications start when the one who gives therapy falls for the brother and may need some guidance herself.
Acorn and the Firestorm (Documentary) Filmmakers Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard follow the highs and lows of the advocate group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), a collection of low- and moderate-income community-based organizations that championed voter registration, health care, affordable housing, etc. The group’s high point was helping Obama get elected. Its low point was the downward spiral it experienced after two conservatives infiltrated its offices and produced a damaging film.
Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock (Documentary) For months, newspaper headlines and newscasts brought the situation at Standing Rock to the forefront. This non-fiction accounting, executive-produced by actress Shailene Woodley (Divergent), goes into further detail about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s peaceful resistance fight for clean water, the environment and the future of the earth.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story (Documentary) In 2016, Sean “Diddy” Combs aka Puff Daddy spent three fast-paced, nerve-wrecking weeks uniting members of his Bad Boy Records family for colossal reunion concerts. Their efforts culminated in a performance at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center where a who’s who of hip hop culture is assembled: Lil’ Kim, Mase, Faith Evans, Mario Winans, 112, Total, Carl Thomas. Director Daniel Kaufman and Live Nation Productions take viewers on an exclusive look behind the scenes at the history, legacy and nostalgic show.
Chuck (Feature Film) Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber) is the man who inspired Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky series. He’s a New Jersey liquor salesman who managed to duke out 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali. In his ten-year career, he encountered losses, knockouts, and broken noses. A life of drugs, booze, and wild women is also chronicled.
The Clapper (Feature Film) Tracy Morgan, Adam Levine and even Mark Cuban are a part of the supporting cast in this comedy starring Ed Helms (The Hangover) about a professional audience member who becomes famous/infamous when a late-night talk show reaps national attention that threatens his newly evolving relationship with gas station attendant Judy (Amanda Seyfried). Filmmaker Dito Montiel (Boulevard, Tribeca ‘14) directs.
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives (Documentary) He nurtured the careers of Aretha, Whitney, Bruce Springsteen and Santana among others. Director Chris Perkel captures music legend Clive Davis in all his glory; from the ‘60s to the hay day of hip hop. Davis’ five-decade career will likely be unmatched for years to come. Viewers get to see how the midas-touch producer has helped so many musicians enjoy long and successful careers.
Dabka (Feature Film) Somalia pirates are the subject of this fact-based story about a journalist (Evan Peters, he plays Quicksilver in X-Men Days of Future Past) who goes to the East African country to research the environment that leads people to pirating. Barkhad Abdi, who won an Oscar nomination for Captain Phillips and also appeared in the thriller Eye in the Sky, plays a local fixer.
Samba (Feature Film) Cisco, a young Dominican man, spent 15 years in an American jail. He returns to the D.R., can’t find work and becomes a street fighter to raise money. When he’s befriended by Nichi, an Italian boxer, his life takes a different turn.
Thumper (Feature Film) Jordan Ross directs this crime/drama about a troubled new girl (Eliza Taylor) in a school who harbors a deep secret. A volatile gang leader (Pablo Schreiber) is attracted to her and her own hidden secrets put her life in danger. Executive Produced by Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) the film features supporting turns from Lena Headey, Daniel Webber and Ben Feldman.
Tribeca is More than a Series of Film Screenings
Tribeca N.O.W. discovers and highlights New Online Work from independent storytellers who use online space as their canvas. Tribeca Immersive is a Virtual Arcade featuring storyscapes and it explores and celebrates art found in the virtual world. Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival is a showcase of sports and competition films,
Tickets are Available Now
The Tribeca Film Festival starts April 19th, with a variety of feature films, documentaries, shorts and other contemporary sections that provide a bit of something for everyone. For more information about the festival, go to: https://tribecafilm.com. For a schedule and guide: https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide For tickets: https://tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets
Visit NNPA News Wire Film Critic Dwight Brown at DwightBrownInk.com