Review: From scholarships to scandal, Dan Chen’s ‘ACCEPTED’ is explosive.

ACCEPTED

Accepted offers a unique and intriguing look at the world of Ivy League college admissions and the true cost of getting that first foothold into elite American society. In his first documentary feature, director Dan Chen grounds a broader look at the inequities in the American education system with unbelievable access to T.M. Landry and the deeply personal stories of four dynamic students looking to overcome countless obstacles to achieve their dreams.


TM Landry was a beacon of hope for the underserved community of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. In Dan Chen‘s ACCEPTED, the incoming senior class of 2019 gears up for the admissions process, chasing that elusive stat; 30% of Landry students who receive acceptance to an Ivy League school. But, that’s not all this documentary catches during the school year. An explosive New York Times expose sends shockwaves through the student body. ACCEPTED delves deep into the subsequent chaos. 

 There is a Montessori feeling to the day. Children of all ages break out in small groups in a nondescript warehouse/office building, tackling complex arithmetic and socially relevant discussion. Founder Mike Landry‘s enthusiasm and passion are infectious. He’s the ultimate hype man for his students. He takes calls from them after hours, assisting them with homework. As a former teacher, I am captivated by his fiery pep talks. 

When emotions run high and the stress piles on, our kids start to push back against Mike’s methods. They realize something is incredibly wrong. When media becomes more important than being in the classroom, everything backfires. Going into Accepted knowing nothing, you’d think he was the high school Messiah. Mike Landry is no Wizard. He is the man behind the curtain. 

Adia is an avid animal lover whose spirit almost collapses under Mike Landry. But, her spirit outshines the negativity, and she’s a soul that will undoubtedly achieve greatness. Isaac’s dream school is Stanford. His levelheaded approach to life and learning is something we should all aspire to be. Alicia is the new girl, admittedly baffled by the school’s structure when she arrived halfway through Junior year. When you hear her college essay, you’ll gasp in awe of her eloquence. Cathy would be the first member of her family to attend college. With two disabled older sisters and a widowed mother, a car accident payout allowed her to prepay for two years at Landry. Cathy is a powerful young woman, flipping the script on her narrative. For her, truth and integrity reign supreme. 

The deteriorating mental health of these kids is palpable. Their bravery cost them their potential future. Fear and shame should not be the motivating factor to succeed. You cannot help but walk from the film filled with anger and questions about the socioeconomics of higher education. ACCEPTED is an unexpected emotional rollercoaster. 

 

GREENWICH ENTERTAINMENT is releasing the timely documentary Accepted, from director Dan Chen in theaters and VOD on July 1st!


DIRECTOR:
Dan Chen
PRODUCERS:
Jason Y. Lee
Dan Chen
Jesse Einstein
Mark Monroe
GENRE:
Documentary
RUNTIME:

91m


FESTIVALS & AWARDS:
Tribeca Film Festival 2021
Official Selection
Sidewalk Film Festival 2021
Winner Audience Choice Award Best Black Lens Film
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2021
Official Selection
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection
Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival 2021
Official Selection
Cleveland International Film Festival 2022

Nominee Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Award


  Original New York Times article as referenced in the film linked HERE.


Bentonville Film Festival 2022 short review: ‘Honey and Clover: A Recipe For Disaster’

HONEY AND CLOVER


SYNOPSIS
Honey and Clover are former child stars from the hit show Rink Inc. where they played crime-fighting sisters whose parents owned a roller-skating rink. Past and future collide threatening to reveal their darkest secrets when the two are thrust back into the spotlight together after years of estrangement. They are forced to accept that the only way they can survive is together. Their timely reconnection teaches them to cope with their new lives while coming to terms with the shocking past that tore them apart in this deeply empathetic and magical portrayal of friendship.


A solid proof of concept short, I found myself wanting more information on both the leads and their manager Max, played spectacularly by actor Ray Abruzzo. I want to know who else this guy represents. Give me an entire BoJack Horseman style section in a series of all his clients. Our leading ladies, Theresa Burkhart Gallagher and Jackie Monahan engaging and complex. The short ramps up about 10 minutes in with a fun action scene mirroring their heyday skills. This was badass. The information we’re missing from their youth and everything in between feels pretty pertinent to the present-day chaos. I was genuinely interested. I’d love to see how Rink Inc. came to fruition, from the girls meeting as teens, cut back and forth their success, and their ultimate fallout. I’m assuming that’s the goal with this short. In its current form, Honey and Clover expertly bate the hook. Get me a pair of skates, I’m ready to roll.

Director:                                 Andrea Maxwell
Writers:                                   Matthew Gallagher, Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Jackie Monahan
Producers:                             Matthew Gallagher, Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Andrea Maxwell,
Jackie Monahan, Diana Zollicoffer
Executive Producers:            Emily De Margheriti, Benjamin Sharpe, Greg Tally
Editor:                                     Andrea Maxwell
Cinematographer:                 Sherri Kauk                          
Music:                                     Allyson Newman
Cast:                                       Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Jackie Monahan, Ray Abruzzo, Dan Lauria,
David Barrera
TRT:                                        14:36 min
Country:                                 USA


Screening information:
Thursday, June 23 at 3:00PM
Awkward At Any Age (Competition Shorts)
Walmart World Room (105 North Main Street)

Ticketing information:
https://www.goelevent.com/BFF/e/AwkwardAtAnyAgeCompetitionShorts

Short films in our competition lineup telling stories at key moments of personal growth from childhood to adulthood and beyond. This program includes THE WEIGHT OF IT (Directed by Olivia Marie Valdez, Einar Soler Fernandez, Sandra Afonso Rodriguez), LOVE’S BABY SOFT (Directed by Lanie Zipoy), AMERIGIRL (Directed by Samina Saifee), ANNIVERSARY (Directed by Lain Kienzle), SEASICK (Directed by Lindsey Ryan), WEI-LAI (Directed by Robin Wang), HOPEFUL ROMANTIC (Directed by Kate Vinen) and HONEY AND CLOVER: A RECIPE FOR DISASTER (Directed by Andrea Maxwell).


Bentonville Film Festival 2022 world premiere: ‘The Seven Faces Of Jane’ is a visionary experiment from 8 filmmakers.

THE SEVEN FACES OF JANE

Eight filmmakers come together to create one genre-obliterating film that centers around a woman named Jane. 

Goodbye/Hello

Gillian Jacobs

Jane drops off her daughter at sleepaway camp.

JaneSquared

Gia Coppola

In search of coffee, Jane encounters her doppelganger. 

Tayo

Boma Iluma

Jane reconnects with a previous lover. With super 8 footage overtop flashbacks, this story is pure romantic nostalgia. 

Guardian

Ryan Heffington

Jane rides an emotional and musical rollercoaster from delight to broken-heartedness, celebrating the friendship between her and a friend named Sybil. 

The Lonesome Road

Xan Cassavetes 

Jane picks up a free-spirited hitchhiker. Their drive is a fantasy sequence in more than one way. 

Rose

Julian J. Acosta

Jane encounters a girl running away from her Quinceanera. Their conversation turns to identity and confessions. It’s a celebration of similarities amongst strangers. As Rose, actress Daniela Hernandez is a star. 

The One Who Got Away

Ken Jeong

Community costar Joel McHale reunites with Gilligan Jacobs when Jane flags down a jogger and old friend sharing an intimate past. Jacobs and McHale have explosive chemistry together. When it comes down to it, McHale completely steals this scene. It is a wow of a turn. 

The Audition

Alex Takacs

Jane attends a call for a mysterious audition that begs more questions than answers. Breeda Wool gives us a manic performance you’ll struggle to shake. 

The only visual throughline is Jacobs and Jane’s all-new Ford Mustang Mach E. The automaker worked with producer Roman Coppola to bring the film to life. The stylistic maneuvering never lets you tune out. As each story differs in length and cinematography, The Seven Faces of Jane is an extraordinary film. Bentonville 2022 audiences are in for one wild ride.


Directed by:

Gillian Jacobs, Gia Coppola, Boma Iluma, Ryan Heffington, Xan Cassavetes, Julian J. Acosta, Ken Jeong, Alex Takacs

Starring:

Gillian Jacobs, Anthony Skordi, Chido Nwokocha, Sybil Azur, Emanuela Postacchini, Joni Reiss, Soledad St. Hilaire, Joel McHale, Caroline Ducrocq, Breeda Wool

Produced by:

Roman Coppola p.g.a., Jason Baum p.g.a. Sarah Park. Allison Amon p.g.a. and Luke Ricci

Executive Producers:

Chris Chang, Duffy Culligan, Tara Schaeffer, Alessandro Uzielli and Jordan Weisman

Editors:

Peter Cabada Hagan, Scott Hanson, Armen Harootun, Niles Howard, Jacob Mendel, Michael Wolfe

Cinematographer:

Andy Catarisano

Runtime:

92 minutes


To find out more about Bentonville 2022 click here!

In-Person Festival – June 22 – 26; Virtual Festival – June 22 – July 3

Now in Theaters! ‘OFFICIAL COMPETITION’ is sheer perfection.

PRESENTS

OFFICIAL COMPETITION

Turning a Nobel Prize-winning novel into a movie on the whim of a millionaire, “it” director Lola Cuevas pairs two different kinds of actors to breathe life into her version of the story. What could go wrong casting a serious leading actor with a box office action star? Only everything, of course. If you’ve ever been through the rehearsal process with a director that is secure in their vision, Official Competition is for you. The film is a masterclass in writing and acting. It encompasses all the temperamental moments in the history of cinematic genius.

Oscar Martinez plays Ivan will a cultured legitimacy that feels elevated. He has a pedigree and air that is unmatched. His humble passion is so overblown you’ll give him a standing ovation while rolling your eyes. Antonio Banderas plays Felix with a Blockbuster pretty boy carelessness that is so familiar it’s brilliant. He is every cliché wrapped in a bow. Banderas brings a hot-tempered and diva nature to Felix. Almost play acting against Martinez, the evolution of their chemistry is like a tennis match. Each man absorbs traits from the other.

Penélope Cruz is eccentric director Lola. Her commitment to this character is extraordinary. The interactions between Lola and her leading men will have you smirking. The script allows her to push boundaries that challenge her fellow actors and the audience’s comfort. It’s another role that tops the last. She’s cheeky, powerful, unapologetic, and completely unconventional. Cruz gives her best performance to date.

These three astonishingly talented actors epitomize the industry. Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat explore the sheer absurdity of Hollywood. The cinematography is unforgettable. In many instances, our leads speak directly into the camera. Breaking the fourth wall is equal parts intrusive and entrancing. Official Competition might be the most extraordinary industry farce I’ve ever experienced. Making an award-worthy film while simultaneously acknowledging that awards are meaningless is a stroke of genius. It’s a wild meta joyride.

ONLY IN THEATERS JUNE 17, 2022  

DIRECTED BY Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat

WRITTEN BY Mariano Cohn, Andrés Duprat and Gastón Duprat

STARRING Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, and Oscar Martínez

ABOUT THE DIRECTORS

Gastón Duprat (December 8, 1969, Bahía Blanca – Argentina) and Mariano Cohn (December 1, 1975, Villa Ballester – Buenos Aires, Argentina) have directed ten films including the successful “The Man Next Door,” “The Distinguished Citizen,” “Todo sobre el asado,” “My Masterpiece,” and “4×4” which competed in the most important international film festivals garnered with more than thirty international awards, including a Goya, the Platinum and the Ariel for Best Ibero-American Film. “Official Competition” is his latest, and highly anticipated feature film.

NEW YORK THEATERS

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE MANHATTAN 14

 28 Liberty Street, Suite SC301 | New York, NY 10005

AMC LINCOLN SQUARE

 1998 Broadway | New York, NY 10023

AMC EMPIRE 25 THEATERS

 234 W 42nd St | New York, NY 10036

BAM ROSE CINEMAS

30 Lafayette Ave | Brooklyn, NY 11217

IFC CENTER

323 6th Ave | New York, NY 10014

STORY SCREEN / BEACON THEATER

445 Main St |Beacon, NY 12508

BELLMORE PLAYHOUSE

525 Bedford Ave | Bellmore, NY 11710

NEW CITY CINEMAS

202 S Main St | New City, NY 10956

STARR THEATRE – RHINEBECK

6415 Montgomery St | Rhinebeck, NY 12572

SAG HARBOUR CINEMAS

90 Main St | Sag Harbor, NY 11963

CINEMAPOLIS

120 E Green St | Ithaca, NY 14850

TIME & SPACE LIMITED HUDSON

434 Columbia St | Hudson, NY 12534

MOUNTAIN CINEMA

7971 Main St, Hunter, NY 12442

SPECTRUM 8 THEATERS

290 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY 12209

PICTUREHOUSE

175 Wolfs Ln | Village of Pelham, NY 10803

WESTHAMPTON BEACH PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

76 Main St | Westhampton Beach, NY 11978

CONNECTICUT THEATERS

AVON THEATRE FILM CENTER

272 Bedford St | Stamford, CT 06901

CRITERION CINEMAS NEW HAVEN 9

 86 Temple St | New Haven, CT 06510

NEW JERSEY THEATER

CLAIRIDGE CINEMAS

 486 Bloomfield Ave | Montclair, NJ 07042

114 MIN / SPANISH / COLOR

#IFCFilms

#OfficialCompetitionMovie


The original version of this review appeared on AWFJ.org. To see more reactions to the Official Competition from the amazing members Click Here!


Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: ‘DREAMING WALLS: Inside The Chelsea Hotel’

DREAMING WALLS: Inside The Chelsea Hotel

The Chelsea Hotel was a bohemian enclave in New York City. Artists, movie stars, and musicians passed through the halls during the height of avant-garde Manhattan. Now, the remaining long-term residents of the hotel mingle within the current renovations, attempting to coexist amongst the chaos. 

The residents are an eclectic group of creators. Each possesses a unique story and a timeless aura about them. It just so happens that I know one of the artists and have a few of his pieces. A few years ago, Skye Ferrante (AKA Man Of Wire) recreated selected quotes sculpted from wire for each member of my family. They are one-of-a-kind creations. To watch him is to witness magic. Ferrante provides original and poetic voice-over passages of his own writing as we watch the chemistry between him and his models and his daughter. He is a snapshot, and one of the youngest, of the creative beings left behind.

Filmmakers Maya Duverdier and Amélie van Elmbt watch them maneuver within the halls and their respective spaces, listening to them recall their glory days and how long they think they can survive until renovations are complete. Their emotional attachments vary from apartment to apartment. Haunting footage of dark, cavernous hallways creates an eerie effect, while archival footage and audio layer on top of one another. It’s entrancing and a little rock ‘n roll. Tribeca 2022 audiences are in for a love letter and a history lesson in the form of a breathing time capsule. 


CAST & CREDITS

Directed by Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier

Amélie van Elmbt studied at the IAD Film School. In 2011, she directed her first feature film, Headfirst. Her second feature The Elephant & The Butterfly premiered at Tribeca. Maya Duverdier holds a master’s degree in film from École cantonale d’art de Lausanne. Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel is her first feature-length documentary.

DIRECTOR
Amélie van Elmbt, Maya Duverdier
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (MAIN CREDIT)
Martin Scorsese
PRODUCER
Hanne Phlypo, Quentin Laurent
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Joachim Philippe, Virginie Surdej
COMPOSER
Michael Andrews
EDITOR
Alain Dessauvage, Julie Naas
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Lori Cheatle
CO-PRODUCER
Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Simone van den Broek, David Herdies
US DISTRIBUTOR

Magnolia Pictures


To learn more about Tribeca 2022 click here!

Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: ‘An Act Of Worship’ is required viewing.

An Act Of Worship

Reenactments, sit-down interviews, home videos, photos, and intimate storytelling, Tribeca 2022 feature documentary An Act Of Worship highlights the continued pain and persecution of Muslims in America. Thirty years of pivotal historical trauma shape the community, as told through three female activists and those around them. 

The doc addresses the highs and lows through the lens of personal identity from Oklahoma City to the election of President Obama. His presidency felt like a bait and switch. Then came Trump, and we’re all still reeling from that atrocity. 

The continued trauma permeates everyone who practices Islam. The film does not shy away from the implicit bias we’ve come to acknowledge only recently. It addresses racism head-on with honesty. Imagine if the NYPD monitored Christian charities, households, and churches the same way they harass Muslims. White people would lose their minds. 

Hearing the emotional impact on Muslims is undeniably powerful. Listening to these vibrant and hopeful young people alongside their parents is enlightening. These are the stories we must hear in order to connect new generations and old generations. 

I attended Catholic school from first to eighth grade. I am now an agnostic because of this. But, I distinctly remember my father encouraging me to explore other religions if I felt I needed to. I firmly believe that students in the United States should learn about every religion, its origins, and its belief structure to quell fear based on ignorance or propaganda. Multicultural panels and open discussions are imperative to understand that we’re more alike than different, as cliche as it sounds. An Act Of Worship is undeniably a beautiful and important conversation starter. We need more films like this.


Running Time: 83 Minutes

Language: English, Arabic Country: USA

DIRECTOR
Nausheen Dadabhoy
PRODUCER
Sofian Khan, Kristi Jacobson, Heba Elorbany
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Nausheen Dadabhoy
COMPOSER
Mary Kouyoumdjian
EDITOR
Ben Garchar


Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: Peter Dinklage tackles real estate and relationships in ‘American Dreamer’

AMERICAN DREAMER

There’s something about Peter Dinklage that makes him a brilliant leading man. Tribeca 2022 film American Dreamer is another example of his ability to captivate on screen. In Paul Dektor‘s feature directorial debut, Dinklage plays adjunct social economics professor and lecturer Dr. Phil Loder. As he speaks eloquently to his students, we witness a sly Indian Jones hommage from the front row. Perusing real estate porn, as so many of us do regularly, Phil is serious about finding his slice of heaven and stability in his career. Chasing tenure and respect, he stumbles across a deal in the classifieds that seems too good to be true. With the assistance of his smarmy real estate agent, played to perfection by Matt Dillon, Phil purchases an enormous estate. But there is a catch. His contract contains a “live-in” clause for the previous owner. 

Phil has sold his soul to a woman named Astrid. Thought to be on her deathbed, unpredictable circumstances lead Phil to hire a private detective (Danny Glover) while navigating a complicated relationship with Astrid and her skeptical daughter Maggie. The script dives into the mythic “American Dream” and what the concept means to each of us. Screenwriter Theodore Melfi allows MacLaine and Dinklage to do their proverbial thing. I was hypnotized by the ease of their scenes together. 

Shirley MacLaine brings her truest form with sass and spitfire. Her ability to make you smirk and piss you off is a gift. She’s a legend, and Dinklage keeps pace at every turn. Peter Dinklage has mastered the art of charming his costars and the audience. After watching him in Cyrano, his sex symbol status became solidified. In American Dream, Melfi and Dektor allow him to woo in only the way Peter can woo. Picturing him as a man that constantly has women in the palm of his hand is sheer perfection. His comic timing is unmatched. The magic permeates throughout his fully fleshed-out portrayal of a flawed man.

American Dreamer wins with a great score and soundtrack, stunning locations, funny fantasy sequences, and some clever transitions in the form of novel chapters. I had no idea where this plot was going, and damnit, that’s rare. It is easy to say that it is one of my Top 3 films from the festival this year. I cannot wait for larger audiences to experience this beguiling comedy when it inevitably gets distribution. You’re gonna love it.


DIRECTOR
Paul Dektor
PRODUCERS
Toyo Shimano, Emily Shimano, Theodore Melfi, Kimberly Quinn, Peter Dinklage, David Ginsberg, Paul Dektor
SCREENWRITER
Theodore Melfi
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Nicolas Bolduc
EDITOR
Lisa Robison
COMPOSER
Jeff Russo
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Kevin Root
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS
Trisha Wilson, Dylan Collingwood
CAST

Peter Dinklage, Shirley MacLaine, Matt Dillon, Danny Glover, Kimberly Quinn, Danny Pudi, Michelle Mylett


Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: ‘The Integrity of Joseph Chambers’ sparks conversation about machismo and firearms.

The Integrity of Joseph Chambers

I’ve only shot a gun once in my life. I’ll remember it forever. It was 2008, a hot summer day in Idaho. We were on one of those aimless teenage road trips, far from San Francisco and still without any real responsibilities, so when one of our group had a local friend who was willing to take us shooting – well, then hey, why not?! I remember the giddy feeling as we drove out to a dusty side road, and that the pistol I picked up had the Punisher logo carved onto the grip. I couldn’t quite make out the targets we were to aim for, so I gestured with the pistol, seeking confirmation. Suddenly, the fingers of this local friend were clamped vice-like on my wrist, his voice like fire in my ear. “Don’t point. Not a toy.” That giddy feeling? Gone.

This teenage memory caused me to sympathize deeply with The Integrity of Joseph Chambers, which also centers on a goofy man who is both overwhelmed and armed with a deadly weapon. Joe (Clayne Crawford) is an insurance salesman who envisions himself as a survivalist. He leaves his wife and children at dawn to hunt deer. Time to bring home the bacon (or, well, venison.)

The problem is, the emperor has no clothes. Joe is a total fraud. He is basically performing the character of a hunter – shaving his beard into a macho mustache, dressing up in an outfit straight out of a hunting catalog, and trading his shiny BMW in for a mud-flecked truck. The fact that Joe is also hunting on a friend’s private land only adds to the charade. He uses his rifle as a makeshift machete to clear a path through the underbrush. We are not surprised when things go wrong.

Despite what might seem like low stakes, I’m happy to report that The Integrity of Joseph Chambers is one creepy movie! Cinematographer Oscar Ignacio Jiménez and sound designer Peter Albrechtsen deserve tremendous credit for creating this uncomfortable atmosphere, and for sustaining it during the long middle stretch of the film where Crawford is the only human onscreen.

This is the second collaboration between Clayne Crawford and director Robert Machoian (following 2020’s The Killing of Two Lovers.) That collaborative familiarity provides the foundation for a wonderful Clayne Crawford performance. Joe is alone most of the film; the supporting characters are mostly thin after-thoughts. Crawford shines conveying his inner desires and struggles. I loved how deliberate he was with his movements, and the way he ensures Joe often serves as a visual gag against the background of the woods. We manage to learn a lot about Joe despite not knowing him very well by the end of the film.

It is impossible to consider The Integrity of Joseph Chambers without acknowledging the national tragedies and anxieties surrounding the topic of gun control. Here we are presented with a family man whose life is twisted in knots over the course of a single day. Surely, it is not the fault of his rifle? This is not an anti-gun film, but it speaks loudly regarding the power these weapons hold over the male psyche.


DIRECTOR
Robert Machoian
PRODUCER
Clayne Crawford, Kiki Crawford, Robert Machoian
SCREENWRITER
Robert Machoian
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Oscar Ignacio Jiménez
EDITOR
Yvette M. Amirian, ACE
COMPOSER
William Ryan Fritch
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Bo Clancey, Zareh Amirian, John Foss, Kris Towns, Sara Towns, Nancie Plaia, Sammy Plaia
CO-PRODUCER
Laura Heberton
CAST
Clayne Crawford, Jordana Brewster, Jeffrey Dean Morgan


Available Starting

Sat June 11 – 6:00 PM

At Home

Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: ‘LIFT’ is an education and a celebration.

LIFT

Director David Petersen takes audiences on a journey that spans ten years. In his documentary LIFT, he tells the world about the brilliant and titular program here in New York City that revolves around the art of dance. “New York Theatre Ballet’s LIFT Community Service Program provides scholarships for talented at-risk and underserved children at the School of NYTB, as well as programs that champion dance for the greater good.” Housing insecure youth have the opportunity to break free from the circumstances they cannot control. Steven Melendez once lived in a shelter. As a professional dancer and former student of the program, he returns to introduce ballet to other housing insecure children. The discipline and structure that comes along with ballet transcend the stage. It is vital for kids in school or home environments that would otherwise make them victims of socioeconomic circumstances. The purpose of LIFT is to provide a safe place for them to learn and grow. It is a beautiful safety net, but they have to be willing to commit. These kids have so many obstacles in their paths, and Steven does everything he can to push past his own trauma to better the lives of kids just like him.The documentary follows a small group of kids that Steven nurtured over ten years of ballet. Tough love is necessary as these kids get into trouble. Steven does not have time to mince words. It is the honesty they need to survive and a place to put all their unbridled emotions. The culmination of the film arrives with one special performance. Steven creates a new piece of choreography based on his experiences and those of his handpicked students, and my god, it is a revelatory dance. This choreography is therapy. This choreography is healing. This choreography is lifesaving. Steven knows it, and as the credits roll on LIFT, Tribeca 2022 audiences will know it, too.


Available Starting

Tue June 14 – 6:00 PM

At Home

Only available in New York state

BUY NOW

DIRECTOR
David Petersen
PRODUCER
Mary Recine, David Petersen
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Gary Griffin, Alan Jacobsen, David Petersen
COMPOSER
Kathryn Bostic
EDITOR
M. Watanabe Milmore, David Petersen
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Jody Allen, Sam Pollard, Jannat Gargi, Ruth Johnson, Rocky Collins
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Laura Pilloni
CO-PRODUCER
Martha Southgate, Laura Pilloni
PRINCIPAL ADVISOR
Misty Copeland
ADVISOR
Lourdes Lopez, Wendall Harrington, David Lansky, Nan Roman
CAST
Steven Melendez, Diana Byer, Victor Abreu, Yolanssie Cardona, Sharia Blockwood



Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: ‘My Love Affair With Marriage’ is an animated handbook to the complexities of female existence.

My Love Affair With Marriage

From an early age, songs and fairytales convinced Zelma that Love would solve all her problems as long as she abided by societal expectations of how a girl should act. But as she grew older something didn’t seem right with the concept of love: the more she tried to conform, the more her body resisted. A story about the acceptance of the inner female rebellion.


A musical evolution of one girl’s journey into womanhood, navigating every cliché influence thrown at her from birth. 2D and stop motion animation illustrate Zelma’s life and thoughts. The film charms you with a mix of science and storytelling. Zelma narrates her journey like diary entries performed at a read-aloud. They are honest, funny, and universally relatable. Viewers will grin from ear to ear and nod knowingly. “Biology” explains how Zelma’s chemistry simultaneously affects her actions and reactions. 

The musical numbers are snappy and frequent. The lyrics allow those clichés to become confessions of the ridiculous patriarchal structures. They are predominantly performed by three women, akin to muses, following Zelma through life. The nonsensical expectations of society, combined with the hardwiring of a woman’s brain, create an incredible insight into our behavior. 

I am a big fan of Signe Baumane‘s film Rocks In My Pockets. I was delighted to see My Love Affair With Marriage on Tribeca 2022 slate. This film is something special. It’s unafraid to reveal our innermost thoughts, fears, hopes, regrets, mistakes, and dreams. It celebrates unfiltered authenticity with clever writing and delightful visuals. It’s an outstanding feminist film that will undoubtedly win over audiences everywhere. 



https://www.tribecafilm.com/films/my-love-affair-with-marriage-2022

RT: 107 minutes

Sunday, 06/19/2022, 4:00 PM at VEC-05 – 3rd Screening


Director & Screenwriter: Signe Baumane

Cast: Dagmara Domicnik (“Succession,” “We Are The City”), Matthew Modine (“Stranger Things”), Emma Kenney (“Shameless,” “The Conners”), Cameron Monagha (“Shameless”) and Stephen Lang (Avatar 1-4)

Producers: Roberts Vinovskis, Sturgis Warner, Signe Baumane, Raoul Nadalet

Executive Producers: Matthew Modine, Adam Rackoff, John Jencks


Tribeca 2022 review: Sex sells in new documentary ‘All Man: The International Male Story,’ how one “It” catalog introduced lifestyle branding for men.

ALL MAN: THE INTERNATIONAL MALE STORY

More than outrageous fashions, hunky models, and scandalous undies, ALL MAN: THE INTERNATIONAL MALE STORY is a journey across three decades of the International Male catalog’s lasting impact on fashion, masculinity, and gay rights. With revenues at its peak of $120 million and circulation of over 3 million, the catalog successfully appealed to both gay and straight audiences, and helped transform conservative notions of American masculinity towards a more carefree, cosmopolitan, and confident expression. Written and produced by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jones and narrated by Matt Bomer (MAGIC MIKE, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, etc…), ALL MAN is a character-driven portrait of a band of outsiders who changed the way men looked and how the world looked at them. This is their story – a modern-day fairy tale that really did come true.


The impact of men’s fashion takes center stage in Tribeca 2022 doc ALL MAN: THE INTERNATIONAL MALE STORY. One innovative catalog gave men the freedom to be themselves. Its global and cultural influence spans generations like no other men’s fashion publication. In building International Male, Gene Burkard’s emphasis wasn’t on sex, even if the catalog featured chiseled men in high fashion. He and his creative team broke the mold of selling menswear while pushing a lifestyle brand. In the same way men ogle Victoria’s Secret, International Male became a household object to covet for innumerable reasons. 

Matt Bomer‘s narration adds a brilliant touch of nostalgia in a way that is hard to describe until you experience it for yourself. The film uses archival footage and photography, sit-down interviews, and creative transitional animation. The catalog was bright, smart, sexy, and gave men something to aspire to be. It challenged the idea of masculinity with its European-inspired fashion and copy, written by Gene. He was meticulous in his work ethic, taking customer feedback and recognizing that 75% of their shoppers were women. Watching the images from the catalogs made me want to order (almost) every single article of clothing for my husband. Gene clearly understood the broad appeal. If International Male existed today, I’d be begging them to take my money. 

Everything shifted for International Male once the AIDS epidemic touched the employees and the world. Gene sold the catalog, and the new creative directors were more hesitant to hire queer staff, in fact, firing a huge percentage of them. In the 90s, the positive changes came in the form of more models of color. But with the loss of gay buyers and department stores filled with men’s retail, International Male was no longer a cash cow. But it’s easy to see how the catalog catapulted our current influencers in pop culture with the freedom to express themselves on a gender spectrum now celebrated across the globe. So, thank you, International Male. You made a difference while allowing us to drool.


Written and Produced by
Peter Jones
Directed and Produced by
Bryan Darling
Jesse Finley Reed
Executive Producer
Peter Jones


World Premiere: June 12 2022, 8:30pm (ET) at
Village East Cinema
Run Time: 83 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Language: English


Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: ‘Butterfly In The Sky’ is a warm hug of nostalgia.

BUTTERFLY IN THE SKY

Like toddlers and the Cocomelon theme song, the iconic and space-aged first notes of Reading Rainbow had me running around a corner with eyes wide in anticipation of LeVar Burton telling me about a new book my Mom needed to find me at the library. With a wink and a promise, a group of former educators, a young producing couple, and a newly minted TV star would change the relationship between children and reading. 

When LeVar Burton became a household name following the breakout success of ROOTS, no one would have guessed that his second job, a PBS television show, would have had such an enduring impact on education. Pairing television and reading into a series seemed a daunting, if not impossible, task. But there was something about Burton’s ability to connect with children through the screen. Having kids do book reviews alongside the onsite exploration of story-related subjects engaged viewers in a way that made them feel they were along for the journey. 

Representation was key. With the rotating cast of diverse child reviewers and seeing a loving and tender black man as the host, kids at home garnered self-esteem that they perhaps had not felt before. The film interviews Burton, the creators, and now adult viewers. We learn how the books were selected and how that iconic theme song came to fruition. Reading Rainbow will live in the memories of innumerable individuals. Butterfly In The Sky has the potential to light new sparks of fire for young and old readers alike. It’s a nostalgic warm hug and a brilliant highlight in Tribeca 2022.


To find out more about Tribeca and Butterfly In The Sky, click here!


DIRECTOR
Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
PRODUCER
Bryan Storkel, Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Tony Hardmon, Brett Whitcomb
EDITOR
Bradford Thomason
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis, Bryn Mooser, Justin Lacob, Kathryn Everett, Tony Hsieh, Andy Hsieh, John Brooks Pounders, Dava Whisenant


Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: Travis Stevens’ latest genre fare ‘A Wounded Fawn’ is… different.

A WOUNDED FAWN

I must admit that I might be one of the biggest Travis Stevens fans. His aesthetic gets me every time. The boundary-pushing in sound editing, practical FX, and color saturation are things of beauty. The man knows how to write iconic feminist leads. Understanding how much I love Girl On The Third Floor and Jakob’s Wife is paramount. His latest film premiering at Tribeca 2022 is called A Wounded Fawn, and it pains me to say it confounds me. Let me explain.

The first half, or Act One, as indicated by a dramatic and beautiful bright red title card, is classic throwback magic, dirt filter included. Going into the film, we understand the setup. Bruce is a suave art dealer who invites gallery curator Meredith away for the weekend at his secluded cabin. From the second scene, we know that Bruce is also a serial killer, and poor Meredith is about to be added to his “special” collection. The opening of the film features a specific sculpture of Greek mythology. That piece will come to haunt our characters in a very literal way. 

First, let’s talk about the best parts of the film; the performances. Sarah Lind (Jakob’s Wife) and Josh Ruben knock it out of the park. Lind navigates the cringe and slyly aggressive overtures of Ruben’s Bruce. She walks an incredible line between submissive and badass. Her fight or flight instincts will have you yelling at the screen. Ruben, whose film Werewolves Within is one of my favorites from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, owns this role. He’s creepy as fuck. There’s no other way to describe his nature. Bruce is peak Stevens’ calling card. Ruben doesn’t play the over-the-top premise for laughs but lives in the madness. I sat through the credits and relished in his endurance of that take. When you see it, you’ll understand what I mean. 

Now, let’s discuss Act Two. I found myself confused during this act. I thought maybe I was missing something, or it was over my head somehow. But, no, it’s meant to be a Greek tragedy akin to Agamemnon or Hippolytus. The film is such a departure from Stevens’ first two films that it’s hard to believe they’re by the same person. Can I respect that he’s trying something new? Yes. Did I love the dozen or so specific visuals in red? Absolutely. Was the hyper-augmented sound editing fucking stellar. You’re goddamn right. The payoff of the final laugh-out-loud line of dialogue wasn’t enough to make up for the second half of the film. A Wounded Fawn most definitely lives up to its Midnight section category. It’s the type of film you’d find in the late 70s at a theatre that exclusively shows cult films in the wee hours of the morning. Yet, here I am, needing to talk about the film ad nauseum. For that reason, Travis Stevens has, sort of, done it again. 


The find out more about Tribeca Film Festival 2022 click here!


DIRECTOR
Travis Stevens
PRODUCER
Joe Barbagallo, Laurence Gendron, Travis Stevens
SCREENWRITER
Travis Stevens, Nathan Faudree
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Ksusha Genenfeld
EDITOR
Zach Clark, Travis Stevens
COMPOSER
Vaaal
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Melissa Rossaki, Emily Gotto
CO-PRODUCER
Jonathan Hsu
US DISTRIBUTOR
Shudder
CAST
Josh Ruben, Sarah Lind, Malin Barr, Katie Kuang, Laksmi Hedemark, Tanya Everett, Marshall Taylor Thurman, Leandro Taub, and Neal Mayer

Tribeca 2022 review: ‘FAMILY DINNER’ is a recipe for disaster, and that’s what makes it delicious.

FAMILY DINNER

One of Tribeca 2022 Midnight selections features the sickest fad diet you could ever imagine. When Simi joins her famous nutritionist aunt for the Easter holiday, the tension in the house boils over almost immediately. Simi, an overweight 15-year-old girl, seeks approval and guidance, but things do not go according to plan. Family Dinner is a film that slowly and deliberately crawls under your skin.

Michael Pink creates a lecherous character arc for Stefan. His presence made me shudder with each appearance. Alexander Sladek gives relentless nuance to the role of Filipp. Displaying all the characteristics of a serial killer, what lies beneath the surface is even more disturbing. Sladek is unnerving.

Pia Hierzegger plays Auntie Claudia with an energy that is powerful and scary. The head of the household in every way possible, Hierzegger is astounding. Nina Katlein is spectacular as Simi. Despite every red flag, the bravery in Katliein’s eyes is shocking. Writer-director Peter Hengl’s script allows Simi to be a feminist icon.

The complexity of this script kept me guessing from beginning to end. Just when I thought I’d figured out what was going on, another twist. Much like in the films A Banquet and Honeydew, the preparation and consumption of food become weaponized. The infantilization between mother and son sent shivers down my spine. It is an added layer that compounded my unending distress. If you follow the proverbial breadcrumbs, the finale feels like a natural endpoint to a series of microaggressions that become exponentially more horrendous. Family Dinner had my heart in my throat with bona fide fear. Tribeca audiences are in for a frightful treat.


For more information on Family Dinner and the full Tribeca 2022 experience, click here:

https://tribecafilm.com/films/family-dinner-2022


Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: Lighthearted comedy ‘Four Samosas’ mashes up Wes Anderson and heist films.

FOUR SAMOSAS

The first hour of Ravi Kapoor’s Four Samosas is a cheerful, gorgeous delight. The film follows 4 wayward teens across a few days in Artesia, California. Vinny (Venk Potula), an unmotivated amateur rapper going nowhere fast, is the de-facto leader and protagonist. When his ex-girlfriend, Rina,  becomes engaged to his greatest rival (a game, but over the top Karan Soni), Vinny decides to spring into action. Unfortunately, his brilliant plan is to steal Rina’s wedding diamonds from her father’s grocery store, reasoning that the loss of dowry would dissolve the engagement (great plan, no notes!) To execute the heist, Vinny enlists his Bollywood-hopeful best friend, Zak (Nirvan Patnaik). Local reporter Anjali (Sharmita Bhattacharya) and snack-crazed safe cracker Paru (Sonal Shah), round out the squad.

Intentionally or not, there is quite a bit of inspiration from Wes Anderson on display here. Certainly in the absurdity of the plot. Think Rushmore meets Ocean’s Eleven vibes. This inspiration is even more present in the strength of the cinematography: color, camerawork, and framing are central to driving the film’s plot. This strength means that relatively few filming locations (a shop, a garage, a street on Pioneer Boulevard, a grassy park) can be leveraged into a true sense of place. These visuals bring Artesia, California, and the lives of the few residents who make up this story, to lush life. This is a film that nails so many of the little details.

The heist scenes particularly benefit from this and are worth the price of admission. Rather than take the Michael Bay approach, Four Samosas relies on characters’ expressions (vs explosions) to convey suspense and comedy. Kudos to the costume designer for some of the biggest laughs.

The script is where the Four Samosas comes up a little short. Every interaction feels like a mix of absurdity and broad exposition. In the early going, this balance holds up (the approach is particularly effective during the heist planning scenes.) After the first hour of the film, the rinse-and-repeat nature of these interactions begins to show through. The scenes between the heist and the film’s conclusion totally lack urgency. This is the rare 80-minute feature that drags.

Kapoor nevertheless manages to land the plane effectively with a sincere conclusion. Overall, Four Samosas is a charming ride. This is a warm, love letter to a community that will leave you smiling.


CAST & CREDITS

Directed by Ravi Kapoor

Ravi Kapoor is a director-writer-actor originally from the UK and now based in LA. His first feature, Miss India America, a coming-of-age comedy, played at various festivals and won a number of awards before landing on Netflix and other streamers.

DIRECTOR
Ravi Kapoor
PRODUCER
Ravi Kapoor, Venk Potula, Rajiv Maikhuri, Craig Stovel
SCREENWRITER
Ravi Kapoor
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Aakash Raj
COMPOSER
Sagar Desai
EDITOR
Anisha Acharya
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Caia Diepenrock
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Utkarsh Ambudkar, Karan Soni, Sanjay Sharma, Milan Chakraborty, Kathrin Hamilton, Matthew Young
CO-PRODUCER
Zeena Dhalla, TiE SoCal Angels
CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Moses Israel Guerrero, Smita Bagla
CAST

Venk Potula, Sonal Shah, Sharmita Bhattacharya, Nirvan Patnaik, Karan Soni, Summer Bishil, Meera Simhan


To find out more about Tribeca Fest 2022 click here!


Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review from Unseen Films: ‘BLAZE’

BLAZE

After accidentally witnessing a violent crime, a young girl is left catatonic with shock, and struggles to make sense of what she saw, ultimately finding renewal in the inestimable world of her own imagination.


It is a  brilliantly made, beautifully acted film that is an excellent exploration of dealing with trauma. I applaud the filmmakers for making a film that deals honestly with the subject and doesn’t make it so everything instantly goes away in 90 minutes.

That said, we have to talk about the opening.

I am being more forthcoming than the promotional material for the film in that I am telling you our right that the terrible thing mentioned in the promotional material is a sexual assault, I am also warning you that it is really brutal.  While I hate warning audiences this time there should have been a warning on the content before going in – especially since some write-ups mention the film being about a girl and her invisible dragon- which many, myself included, made us think slightly lighter fare.

I mentioned this because I have friends who are victims of sexual assault and watched them walk out after discovering a film or play not knowing the subject matter. I have a day job where I have come into contact with survivors and I have seen them triggered by off-handed mentions of their own or another’s assault.  I have been yelled at by friends for not mentioning lesser assault in a film recommendation, so despite the filmmaker’s desire that audiences not be told and discover the event on their own, I am warning you.

Critically the assault raises an important question about the structure of the film in that there is no constructive need for us to witness the whole thing when our heroine does not. She only peaks at the rape, hiding behind a tree and listening to what she can hear over the sound in her headphones. There is no rational reason for us to see the rape in detail from multiple angles other than the creating of a head space, which ends up being overdone since the rape hangs over the film. Think about it- I am talking about the start of the film despite the ending being hopeful.

In an age where we label what is in the film, there was, as of this writing (June 3) no warning anywhere. There should be one. More so since I know other festivals such as Sundance and SXSW earlier this year had warnings on films that were much less jarring.

And no I am not big on trigger warnings but this film really requires one- even if my calling for one may make you think it’s not as bad as all that- because someone is not going to get the memo.

Warning given the film is gorgeous and amazingly well made (dare I say it could be called a great film), but everything is colored by the rape and as such, I don’t want to discuss it.

You’re on your own


For more Tribeca coverage from Unseen Films click here!


Remaining screenings:
Fri June 10 – 5:45 PM

Cinépolis: Theater 5

Fri June 17 – 8:00 PM

Village East by Angelika: Theater 2


Review: ‘1982’ is a cinematic wonder.

Visually stunning cinematography heightens the emotional stronghold of 1982. The film is unusually relevant as the war in Ukraine threatens the everyday lives of children and adults in the region. As news of the Lebanon war is a constant din in the film, elementary school children navigate love, exam anxiety, friendship, and all that encompasses those complex feelings. 

Mohamad Dalli plays Wissam with genuine star quality. His performance feels effortless as he attempts to confess his love for classmate Joanna. Miscommunications lead to natural hurt feelings and aggression toward his best friend and scene partner Ghassan Maalouf. The two boys have brilliant chemistry. Add on the object of Wissam’s affection in actress Gia Madi. Their energy is movie magic. 

1982 keeps you on the edge of your seat, heart in your throat from beginning to end. The harrowing juxtaposition of war deliberately creeps up on you. All eyes are on the skies as teachers and students notice the increased activity of planes and then smoke. The intense sense of dread is consuming. All while these kids are just trying to be kids. The film speaks to the resiliency of children. There are many parallels for American audiences, as school shootings fill parents and students with dread. The script has a universality that will touch every single viewer. It might seem like an unusual suggestion, but I believe this is a film that can be and should be, watched with the entire family. With a final touch of much-needed, childlike whimsey, 1982 is a glorious cinematic triumph. 


The award-winning Lebanese film “1982” which is opening exclusively in select theaters beginning June 10th in New York (at the Quad Cinema), followed by Los Angeles (at Laemmle Royal & other locations) on June 24th. The film will then expand into additional theaters nationwide throughout the summer.

About the filmmakerOualid Mouaness is an award winning Lebanese-American writer, director and producer. Liberian born to Lebanese parents, Mouaness grew up between Beirut and Monrovia. His work traverses narrative and documentary feature films, music films, music videos and commercials. Mouaness has produced nine feature length films (docs & narratives): notably, the indie film “Kitchen Privileges” (SXSW 2000) that he co-produced and edited, the acclaimed documentary ‘RIZE’ (Sundance 2005) which was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2006, as well as the South African LAIFF Audience-award-winning documentary “I Am Thalente” (2015), and most recently the experiential documentary “Max Richter’s Sleep” (2020) that had its world premiere at IDFA 2019 and its North American premiere at Sundance 2020. His short film “The Rifle, The Jackal, The Wolf and the Boy” was shortlisted for the Oscars in 2017. His straddling of life in diaspora with a window into life in Lebanon brings a heightened understanding and nuance to his work. He’s a Sundance Institute Fellow and has called Los Angeles home for over two decades. He completed his undergraduate studies in Journalism and Theatre in Beirut and holds an MFA in Film from the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. “1982” is Oualid’s directorial feature film debut.

The countdown is officially on for Tribeca Film Festival 2022. Here are 20 films we’re keeping our eyes on this year.

Tribeca is back in action. The 2022 interaction of the festival will have events including films, talks, masterclasses, immersive selections, and a watch at-home option if you’re not in the city. There is so much to experience this year, but here is a list of films we’re keeping our eyes on. More to come as the festival rolls on over 12 days.


HALFTIME

– Opening Night –

Launches on Netflix on June 14th

HALFTIME offers an intimate peek behind the curtain revealing the grit and determination that makes Jennifer Lopez the icon she is, from her performances onscreen and on stages around the world, to her Super Bowl Halftime show, to the recent Presidential inauguration. The documentary focuses on an international superstar who has inspired people for decades with her perseverance, creative brilliance, and cultural contributions. And it’s only the beginning. HALFTIME serves as the kickoff to the second half of Lopez’s life, as she lays bare her evolution as a Latina, a mother, and an artist, taking agency in her career and using her voice for a greater purpose.

Directed by: Amanda Micheli

Produced by: Benny Medina, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Dave Broome, Angus Wall, Terry Leonard, Jennifer Sofio Hall, Kent Kubena, and Serin Marshall

Screenings: 

6/8 at 7:00pm – United Palace

6/9 at 9:00pm – Village East by Angelika: Theater 1

6/11 at 11:30am – Cinépolis: Theater 4


CAROL AND JOHNNY

The unbelievable, decade-spanning, and surprisingly heart-warming true story of two of America’s most successful bank robbers, Carol & Johnny provides the opportunity for the real-life Bonnie and Clyde to reflect upon and record their unique love story in their own words. Comparing and contrasting the oral histories of both now-elderly ex-cons, Colin Barnicle’s riveting biographical documentary traces the history of the duo with equal intensity and intimacy, transforming true crime into a rich, literary epic. 

If you’re not obsessed with true crime at this point, I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under. This one has an intimate and personal touch to it.

Directed by: Colin Barnicle 

Produced by: Barnicle Brother with Words and Pictures

Section: Viewpoints, Feature Documentary

Screenings:

6/12 a 5:00pm – Village East by Angelika: Theater 2

6/14 at 6:00pm – At-home Virtual Screening  

6/15 at 2:45pm – Village East by Angelika: Theater 6

6/16 at 8:00pm – Village East by Angelika: Theater 2


RUDY! A DOCUMUSICAL

Whether you love, hate, or loved then hated Rudy Giuliani, everyone knows his name. He was “America’s mayor,” Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and a personal lawyer to the former President of the United States. Dissecting the rise and fall of its titular subject with thorough research and an inquisitive eye, Rudy! A Documusical is a political documentary that goes beyond well-known headlines to explore the psyche and circumstances of a man in free-fall.

The downfall of “America’s Mayor” (and yes, we did call him that as someone who experienced 9/11 here in the city as a college student) is one of the most shocking things to witness. Share in the media-frenzied weirdness why don’t you?

World Premiere

Directed by: Jed Rothstein

Produced by: Ross M. Dinerstein and Sarit G. Work

Section: Spotlight Documentary

Screenings: 

6/9 at 8:30pm – SVA Theater 1 Silas 

6/10 at 2:45pm – Cinépolis: Theater 5

6/17 at 8:15pm –  Tribeca Center


FAMILY DINNER

It’s no surprise that the Midnight films happen to be the ones I covet most during Tribeca. This year, Peter Hengl’s film Family Dinner features a young woman named Simi visiting her family for Easter. Seeking the guidance of her famous nutritionist aunt, Claudia, she is introduced to a diet that will take every ounce of willpower. The film simmers in uncomfortable tension. Don’t think that for a moment, I missed  Ant Timpson as one of the executive producers. Family Dinner has all the ingredients for a feast, that might just come back up later.

Fri June 10 – 9:00 PM
Village East by Angelika: Theater 6
 
Sat June 11 – 9:45 PM
Village East by Angelika: Theater 4
 
Wed June 15 – 8:15 PM
Tribeca Film Center

BODY PARTS

This stellar documentary dives headfirst into the “reality” of sex scenes in Hollywood. In conversation with actresses, directors, and intimacy coordinators, Body Parts mixed social relevance and amazing editing to bring you into the bedrooms of some of the most iconic sex scenes in cinematic history. And that’s only the beginning of what this film tackles. Get ready for a lesson in industry intimacy.

DIRECTOR

Kristy Guevara-Flanagan

 
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Ruth Ann Harnisch, Abigail Disney, Daniel Chalfen, Adrienne Becker, Roger Clark
 
CAST
Jane Fonda, Joey Soloway, Angela Robinson, Karyn Kusama, Rose McGowan, David Simon.
 
Sun June 12 – 2:45 PM
Village East by Angelika: Theater 1
 
Mon June 13 – 8:15 PM
Tribeca Film Center
 
Tue June 14 – 6:00 PM
At Home

Only available in New York state

Thu June 16 – 9:00 PM
Cinépolis: Theater 6
 

THE YEAR BETWEEN

(US Narrative Competition) – Clemence Miller, played by comedian writer/director Alex Heller, is coming home to live in her family’s basement after dropping out of college with a newly diagnosed mental illness. Having to face her battered relationships and responsibilities of adulthood, she is driving everyone around her… crazy.

Alex Heller is a tour de force in this unapologetic and in-your-face indie. Wearing all the hats in this film as star, writer, director, and producer. 
 
DIRECTOR
Alex Heller
 
PRODUCER
Eugene Sun Park, Amanda Phillips, Sonya Lunsford, Rachel Gould, Caterin Camargo-Alvarez, Alex Heller
 
SCREENWRITER
Alex Heller
 
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Jason Chiu
 
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Adrienne Becker, Susanna Fogel, J. Smith-Cameron, HaJ
 
CAST
Alex Heller, J. Smith-Cameron, Steve Buscemi, Wyatt Oleff, Emily Robinson, Kyanna Simone, Rajeev Jacob, Waltrudis Buck
 
Sun June 12 – 5:30 PM
Village East by Angelika: Theater 1
 
Available Starting
Tue June 14 – 6:00 PM
At Home
 
Tue June 14 – 8:45 PM
Village East by Angelika: Theater 3
 
Fri June 17 – 9:00 PM
Cinépolis: Theater 6

NAKED GARDENS

(Documentary Competition) – An immersive film from filmmakers Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan (Pahokee), about the unseen world of nudism. Set in the Florida Everglades, NAKED GARDENS follows the stories of individuals drawn to this lifestyle and the dilemmas they face, as they prepare for the Midwinter Naturist Festival.

Charming and insightful, push your judgment aside and meet a community attempting to live and accept one another. They just happen to be nude.

DIRECTOR
Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan
PRODUCER
Patrick Bresnan, Ivete Lucas, Tabs Breese, Julia Nottingham, Roberto Minervini, and Denise Ping Lee
SCREENWRITER
Ivete Lucas
CINEMATOGRAPHER
Patrick Bresnan
EDITOR
Ivete Lucas
 
Fri June 10 – 5:45 PM
Village East by Angelika: Theater 3
 
Sat June 11 – 5:15 PM
Tribeca Film Center
 
Thu June 16 – 5:45 PM
Village East by Angelika: Theater 3


AMERICAN DREAMER

Based on a true story. American Dreamer is the story of Dr. Phil Loder (Peter Dinklage), a low- level, adjunct professor of economics, whose grand dream of owning a home is tragically out of reach…until an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes his way when a lonely, near-death widow (Shirley MacLaine) offers Phil her sprawling estate for pennies. But Phil quickly learns the deal is too good to be true and the American dream is not quite what it used to be.

You had me and most viewers at Peter Dinklage. The man can do no wrong in my book and we’re beyond excited to see him tackle this role based on a true story.


Directed by: Paul Dektor
Written by: Theodore Melfi
Produced by: Toyo Shimano, Emily Shimano, Theodore Melfi, Kimberly Quinn, Peter Dinklage, David Ginsberg, Paul Dektor
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Shirley MacLaine, Matt Dillon, Danny Glover, Kimberly Quinn, Danny Pudi

RT: 106 Minutes

Public Screenings
Saturday, June 11, 2022, 8:00 PM at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 5:30 PM at Village East Cinema: Theater 3
Friday, June 17, 2022, 3:00 PM at Village East Cinema: Theater 3



THERE THERE

World Premiere – Spotlight Category

Directed by: Andrew Bujalski
Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Lili Taylor, Molly Gordon, Lennie James, Avi Nash, Annie LaGanga 
Music by: Jon Natchez, Roy Nathanson

RT: 93 minutes

Ever wonder if falling in love again is worth the effort? If someone you cared about were crazy, or if you were crazy for caring? Could someone you trust destroy you while trying to support you, or vice versa? What if the boundaries were getting awfully blurred? Are we being judged for these choices, and who’s judging? Should we have another drink? Are we even communicating now, are we on the same planet, in the same time and place here?

A lover’s doubt in the cold light of morning leads to a chain of uneasy intimacies–counselors, disrupters, peacemakers, and firestarters–everyone looking to have a little faith rewarded.


Public Screening
Friday, June 10, 2022, 5:30PM at SVA Theater 2 Beatrice
Saturday, June 11, 2022, 6:00PM at Cinépolis: Theater 6
Friday, June 17, 2022, 3:45PM at Village East by Angelika: Theater 4



CORNER OFFICE

World Premiere – Spotlight Narrative Category 
 

Directed by: Joachim Back
Starring: Jon Hamm

RT: 101 minutes

CORNER OFFICE an absurdist tale of a man lost in his own space. Orson (Jon Hamm) is a corporate drone trying to move up in his newly acquired entry-level job who discovers a secret room in his drab, soul-crushing office building; a discovery that causes problems with his new colleagues (Danny Pudi and Sarah Gadon). Director Joachim Back’s Kafka-esque debut feature, adapted by Ted Kupper from Jonas Karlsson’s international best-selling novel The Room, explores how to be sane in a world gone mad.

Public Screenings

Thursday, June 9, 2022, 8:00 PM at BMCC Tribeca PAC
Friday, June 10, 2022, 3:00 PM at Cinépolis: Theater 6
Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 8:30 PM at Village East Cinema: Theater 1



THE COURTROOM

World Premiere – Online Premieres 

Directed by: Lee Sunday Evans
Executive Produced by: Lee Sunday EvansArian MoayedRyan ChanatryGena KonstantinakosAnne Carey
Starring: Marsha Stephanie BlakeMichael BraunKathleen ChalfantHanna CheekMichael ChernusMichael Bryan FrenchMick HilgersLinda PowellKristin VillanuevaBD Wong

 
RT: 87 Minutes
 
In this powerful drama from director Lee Sunday Evans and writer (and Succession breakout star) Arian Moayed, the legal thriller is given a bold and innovative new twist. Adapted verbatim from court transcripts, The Courtroom follows the harrowing journey of Elizabeth Keathley (Kristin Villanueva) a Filipina immigrant who mistakenly registers to vote while on a K3 visa, a crime punishable by deportation. Married with a newborn baby, Elizabeth, with the support of her husband and the tireless efforts of their lawyer, struggles to navigate an increasingly convoluted and nightmarish legal system.
 
Originally presented as a critically-acclaimed off-Broadway play, The Courtroom successfully captures the intensity and intimacy of live theater while also feeling undeniably cinematic. Audiences are thrown directly into Elizabeth’s story and through fluid, immersive direction and striking set design, experience her terror and desperation right alongside her. Evans and Moayed’s fascinating experiment with dramatic reenactment and hybrid storytelling is anchored by standout performances from an accomplished cast of actors – including BD Wong in a moving third act appearance – who bring genuine nuance and emotional heft to an already gripping true story.

Online Screening
Sunday, June 12, 2022, 8:00 PM


THE DROP 

World Premiere – US Narrative Competition

Written & Directed by: Sarah Adina Smith 
Produced by: Mel Eslyn, Jonako Donley, Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass
Starring: Jermaine Fowler, Anna Konkle, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Jillian Bell, Robin Thede, Elisha Henig, Jennifer Lafleur, Joshua Leonard, Aparna Nancherla

RT: 92 Minutes

Lex and Mani’s happy marriage is thrown into a tailspin when Lex accidentally drops their friend’s baby during an otherwise picturesque destination wedding weekend. While the baby is fine, the adults are not.  Lex’s mistake causes a crisis of confidence in those around her, challenging our most primal gender expectations.   

Can a relationship withstand the stress of when things get real? When things get “baby-on-the-pavement” real? 



Public Screenings
Saturday, June 11, 2022, 8:30 PM at SVA1 – Silas
Sunday, June 12, 2022, 9:00 PM at Cinepolis Chelsea -06
Friday, June 17, 2022,  9:30 PM at Village East Cinema -07


 NEXT EXIT 

DIRECTORMali Elfman
WRITERMali Elfman
CAST: Katie Parker, Rahul Kohli, Rose Mciver, Tongayi Chirisa, Tim Griffin, Diva Zappa, Nico Evers-Swindell, and Karen Gillan
 
SYNOPSIS: When a research scientist makes national news proving she can track people into the afterlife, Rose sees a way out and Teddy sees his chance to finally make it. These two strangers, both harboring dark secrets, race to join the doctor’s contentious study and leave this life behind. While Rose is haunted by a ghostly presence that she can’t outrun, Teddy is forced to confront his past. As these two misfits humorously quarrel their way across the country, they meet people along the way who force them to reckon with what is really driving them.
 
This genre-bending road trip film will get under your skin with its incredibly thoughtful performances. Parker and Kohli’s chemistry is cinematic magic. 
 
RUN TIME: 106 minutes
GENRE: Dramedy, Horror, Fantasy
 

TRIBECA PREMIERE DATE: June 10, 2022 / 6:15 p.m. ET / Village East by Angelika Theater 7 


TAURUS

DIRECTOR: Tim Sutton
WRITER:  Tim Sutton
CAST: Colson Baker, Maddie Hasson, Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory, Megan Fox, Ruby Rose, Scoot McNairy, Lil TJay, Naomi Wild
 
SYNOPSIS: A rising but troubled musician searches for the inspiration to record one last song, pushing himself deep into the void. A work of fiction that explores fame, addiction, the artistic process, and the music industry, Taurus is a soulful and universal cautionary tale. 
 
 Colson Baker ( AKA Machine Gun Kelly) gives an award-worthy performance. While described as a work of fiction, the story is a cautionary tale. 
 
RUN TIME: 95 Minutes
GENRE: Drama, Music
 

TRIBECA PREMIERE DATE: June 9, 2022 / 8 p.m. ET / Beacon Theatre


FOUR SAMOSAS

*WORLD PREMIERE**
 
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Ravi Kapoor
CAST: Venk Potula, Sonal Shah, Sharmita Bhattacharya, Nirvan Patnaik, Karan Soni, Summer Bishil, Meera Simhan


 
 Synopsis: Determined to disrupt the wedding of his ex-girlfriend by stealing her dowry, underachieving, wanna-be rapper Vinny and his neighborhood pals in LA’s “Little India” concoct a plan to take her family jewels from a supermarket safe.
 

Tribeca Film Festival 2022 In-Person Screening Info
– Friday, June 10th at 6:00pm ET at VEC-06 (181-189 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003) *World Premiere*
– Saturday, June 11th at 8:45pm ET at CIN-04 (260 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011)
– Saturday, June 18th at 2:45pm ET at CIN-04 (260 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011)
 
Tribeca Film Festival 2022 Online Screening Info
– Available online starting on June 12th at 6:00p EST


CHERRY

**WORLD PREMIERE**
 
DIRECTOR: Sophie Galibert
CAST: Alex Trewhitt, Joe Sachem, Dan Schultz, Sandy Duarte, Alice Bang, Hannah Alline, Melinda DeKay, Angela Nicholas, Charlie S. Jensen, Darius Levanté
 
 

Synopsis: Cherry, a driftless 25-year-old young woman discovers she is 11 weeks pregnant and has only 24 hours to make a consequential decision.
 

Tribeca Film Festival 2022 Online Screening Info
– Available online starting on June 11th at 6:00p EST

 


GOD SAVE THE QUEENS

**WORLD PREMIERE**

WRITER/DIRECTOR: Jordan Danger
CAST: Justin Andrew Honard AKA Alaska Thunderfuck, Jay Jackson AKA Laganja Estranja, Kelly Mantle, Jordan Michael Green, Peter Facinelli, Michelle Visage, Joaquim De Almeida, Lunell, Zack Gottsagen

Synopsis: A dramedy about four Drag Queens who find themselves at the very same therapy retreat. In an effort to overcome issues holding them back, they dissect their dilemmas, seen through vignettes of their lives. They discover common ground; Perhaps, it wasn’t serendipity that brought them together. Maybe they’re not alone? 


Tribeca 2022 Online Screening Info
– Available online starting on June 8th at 8:00p EST


YOU CAN LIVE FOREVER

**WORLD PREMIERE**
 
WRITER/DIRECTORS: Sarah Watts, Mark Slutsky
CAST: Anwen O’Driscoll, June Laporte, Liane Balaban, Deragh Campbell, Tim Campbell, Antoine Yared, Hasani Freeman
 

Synopsis: When lesbian teen Jaime is sent to live in a Jehovah’s Witness community, she falls hard for a devout Witness girl and the two embark on an intense affair with consequences that will reshape the rest of their lives. 


Tribeca Film Festival 2022 In-Person Screening Info
– Saturday, June 11th at 5:30p ET at VEC-06 (181-189 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003) *World Premiere*
– Sunday, June 12th at 2:30p ET at VEC-06 (181-189 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003) 
– Tuesday, June 14th at 9:00p ET at VEC-06 (181-189 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003)
 

The Integrity of Joseph Chambers

Desperate to acquire the skills necessary to provide for his family in case of an apocalypse, insurance salesman Joseph Chambers goes deer hunting for the first time ever, alone, when his experienced buddy is too sick to join him.
 
DIRECTOR
Robert Machoian
 
PRODUCER
Clayne Crawford, Kiki Crawford, Robert Machoian
 
SCREENWRITER
Robert Machoian
 
 
CAST
Clayne Crawford, Jordana Brewster, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
 
WORLD PREMIERE – Thursday, June 9th, 5:30 PM at SVA Theater 2 Beatrice

Subject

SUBJECT explores the life-altering experience of sharing one’s life on screen through key participants of acclaimed documentaries The Staircase, Hoop Dreams, The Wolfpack, Capturing the Friedmans, and The Square. These erstwhile documentary “stars” reveal the highs and lows of their experiences as well as the everyday realities of having their lives put under a microscope. Also featuring commentary from influential names in the doc world, the film unpacks vital issues around the ethics and responsibility inherent in documentary filmmaking. As tens of millions of people consume documentaries in an unprecedented “golden era,” SUBJECT urges audiences to consider the often profound impact on their participants.

DIRECTOR
Jennifer Tiexiera, Camilla Hall
 
PRODUCER
Camilla Hall, Jennifer Tiexiera, Joe Caterini
 
SCREENWRITER
Jennifer Tiexiera, Camilla Hall, and Lauren Saffa
 
 
CAST
Arthur Agee, Ahmed Hassan, Margie Ratliff, Michael Peterson, Mukunda Angulo, Jesse Friedman, Elaine Friedman, Lisa Walsh, Susanne Reisenbichler
 
Sat June 11 – 4:30 PM
SVA Theater 2 Beatrice

At this time, SVA Theatre requires proof of vaccination for entry. Masks must be worn at all times. More Info

Mon June 13 – 5:30 PM
Cinépolis: Theater 4
 
Sat June 18 – 3:00 PM
Cinépolis: Theater 6

Don’t forget to check in here at Reel News Daily throughout the fest for reviews, photos, insights, and shared content from our amazing friends at UnseenFilms!

The 2022 Tribeca Festival will take place across the city from June 8-19.


Review: Christina Ricci stars in ‘MONSTROUS,’ a visually spectacular story of unresolved trauma.

MONSTROUS

***Official Selection – 2022 Glasgow FrightFest***

A terrifying new horror awaits Laura (Christina Ricci) and her seven-year-old son Cody when they flee her abusive ex-husband and try to settle into a new life in an idyllic and remote lakeside farmhouse. Still traumatized, their physical and mental well-being are pushed to the limit as their fragile existence is threatened.


The pastel-soaked costumes from Morgan DeGroff contrast perfectly with the thoughtful set and production design from Mars Feehery and Taylor Jean. The house has an era-perfect look, simultaneously possessing an eerieness that is hard to describe. The entire film is a genre lover’s dream.

Santino Barnard plays Cody with maturity beyond his years. Ultimately, Monstrous belongs to Christina Ricci. She is glorious as Laura. Navigating sexism, motherhood, and abuse, Ricci rides the emotional nuances of deep-seated trauma and grief. As a mother, her performance had my heart in my throat.

Assisted by clever editing, the final twist makes the script’s build-up more powerful. Monstrous morphs genres instantly, jolting the audience alongside Laura. This device results in a creative spin on loss and acceptance. It speaks to our coping mechanisms and unresolved trauma we all try desperately to hide.


In Theaters and On Demand May 13, 2022

Directed by Chris Sivertson (I Know Who Killed Me, All Cheerleaders Die)

Written by Carol Chrest (The Prophet’s Game)


Starring

Christina Ricci (“Yellowjackets,” The Matrix Resurrections, Buffalo ’66, Casper)

Colleen Camp (SliverClueDie Hard With a Vengeance)

Santino Bernard (8-Bit ChristmasPenny Dreadful: City of Angels, “Bing”)

Don Baldaramos (Suburbicon, “Castle”)

Nick Vallelonga (Green BookThe Many Saints of Newark, The Birthday Cake)

RT: 89 minutes


Review: Inconsistencies aside, ‘ESCAPE THE FIELD’ is a solid horror maze of madness.

ESCAPE THE FIELD

The fear is inescapable in Emerson Moore’s horror-thriller about six strangers who suddenly awaken in a remote, endless cornfield. Stripped of their possessions, they are left with only six items: a gun with a single bullet, matches, a lantern, a knife, a compass, and a flask of water. As mysterious sirens blare in the distance and traps appear at every turn, the group realizes it’s been plunged into a cat-and-mouse game with an unseen evil, and survival depends upon solving a diabolical — and deadly — puzzle.


With reminiscent aspects of the cult favorite The CubeEscape the Field is an intriguing foray into the escape room genre. A cornfield is our game board, making for an entirely different dynamic in a scenario we’ve seen for years. An eclectic group of people comprises this cast. Writer-director  Emerson Moore, alongside screenwriter Joshua Dobkin and Sean Wathen, take a different approach, mixing ideas from past films to brand new and exciting elements. There’s a lot to chew on in Escape The Field. 

Shane West plays Ryan with intimidation and alpha male toxicity. West ups the anty with emotional unpredictability elevated by a clever script device. Theo Rossi plays Tyler. If you haven’t been paying attention to indie cinema or mainstream television series, Rossi has become a familiar face and a damn fine actor. Escape the Field is no exception. Rossi has this undeniably accessible aura about him. Jordan Claire Robbins plays Sam, a doctor whose skills are pertinent to the group’s survival. Robbins’ neighborly energy brings trustworthiness and ease to the viewers. You’re rooting for her. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tahirah Sharif. Her presence drastically improves Escape The Field every second she’s onscreen. 

The solutions to the puzzles evolve from difficult to unchallenging and back again. This inconsistency is forgivable from someone who is an avid winner of ‘Escape The Room’ experiences. (*Nerd alert)  Escape The Field has all the raw elements of a spectacular franchise. I’d watch a prequel and a sequel, as long as the next film’s evolution takes notes from its incarnation. Make sure you stick around after the credits begin to roll. You don’t want to miss one final moment of goodness. 


U.S. Release Date: In Select Theaters, On Digital and On Demand on May 6, 2022.


Cities:                                    New York (Cinema Village), Los Angeles (Lumiere Cinema), and key cities nationwide.           

Cast:                                      Jordan Claire Robbins, Theo Rossi, Tahirah Sharif, Julian Feder, Elena Juatco, and Shane West

Directed by:                           Emerson Moore         

Written by:                             Emerson Moore and Joshua Dobkin & Sean Wathen

Produced by:                        Andrew Davies Gans, Michael Philip, Jason Moring and Emerson Moore

Genre:                                    Thriller            

Rating:                                   R

Running Time:                      88 minutes