Arts and Entertainment

Tribeca Film Festival Features

The Arts & Entertainment Department visited the Tribeca Film Festival. Here are some of the highlights and the best new things to check out.

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This year’s Tribeca Film Festival (April 24 to May 5) was bolstered with a slate of over 100 titles, including several world and New York premieres of films starring casts of big names like Jared Leto, Elijah Wood, Margot Robbie, and Fionn Whitehead.

The Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro (yes, that one), and Craig Hatkoff, has become more than a place to see some new films. Now on its 18th run, the festival is a creative platform for the next generation of great filmmakers. Out of a total of 9,295 submissions, the 2019 Festival chose to feature a lineup full of women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA community.

Despite being called a film festival, though, in recent years, it has also recognized advances in gaming, television, and virtual reality, with something going wildly not-right (but not wrong) at each year’s Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards.

The Arts & Entertainment Department visited the Tribeca Film Festival. Here are some of the highlights and the best new things to check out.


- The top three juried awards were all awarded to first-time directors.
- Phillip Youmans was the first black director; he is also the youngest to win his the narrative competition for his film, “Burning Cane.” He is also the youngest director to have a feature at the Festival.
- The Festival continued its Art Awards Program, which awards winners of each film category a cash prize and a piece of art from an acclaimed contemporary artist.
- The cast and crew of Ben Stiller’s “Reality Bites” met for a screening and panel of the film for its 25th anniversary.
- Robert De Niro!

Notable Films


Directed by the young Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. It is a western about an adventure-hungry teenager (Finn Cole) who meets a fugitive femme fatale (Margot Robbie). The movie is equal parts bildungsroman and crime drama. Set in a picturesque town in Texas during the Dust Bowl, every frame is a love-letter to the wild beauty of sandstorms engulfing barns, green trees in the sweltering heat, and specks of dust rising up in the morning sun. Despite being too focused on aesthetics, the film delivers the theme of teenage idealism clashing with the harshness of reality.


Directed by Tanya Wexler, Buffaloed follows Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch), an ordinary girl living in Buffalo, NY with one goal in life: to get rich. In an attempt to fulfill her dream, she gets tangled up in the dirty business of tax collection, and trouble ensues. Deutch delivers a funny and realistic performance of a girl down on her luck. The film itself, while not a visual masterpiece, is effective in its storytelling and banks on the classic dilemmas of being an adult without being boring. While the romance between Dahl and her lawyer boyfriend seemed unnatural and a distraction from the main story, “Buffaloed” is a highly entertaining movie that perfectly captures the alternating mundanities and joys of just trying to make it big in life.

The Short History of the Long Road

A heart-wrenching film, “The Short History of the Long Road,” directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy, follows a teenage girl named Nola (Sabrina Carpenter) and her father Clint (Steven Ogg) as they venture around the U.S. They are just two nomads and their RVs. When disaster strikes, Nola finds herself suddenly on the road alone with nowhere to go and no one to go to for help, forced to take the wheel for the first time. While her final destination remains unknown, Simon-Kennedy does an excellent job of illustrating the realities of isolation, which Carpenter delivers beautifully in a grief-filled performance of a girl trying to get over her past. While idealized in certain areas, “The Short History of the Long Road” is a bildungsroman that typifies the precariousness of life constantly lived on the edge, and it is a must-watch for anyone in search of an emotional drama.

Good Posture

Directed by Dolly Wells and instantly charming and thoughtful, this film is about a young film school graduate (Grace Van Patten) whose lack of ambition and self-reliance leads to her search for greater meaning and a place to live in the bustling city of New York. Wells, always an actress filling the roles of deep, well-written characters, translates these values to her position as director in this gentle film that is both a coming-of-age drama and comedy. Van Patten seems to mature opposite Emily Mortimer onscreen. The characters communicate through passive-aggressive note-writing and witty banter that somehow gives audiences a sense of nostalgia over such a deeply-rooted companionship. This is only further elevated by a great, if at sometimes slow, story and talented cast.

Directors We Want to See More of

Best New Narrative Director: Edgar Nito (The Gasoline Thieves)
Best New Documentary Director: Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin (Scheme Birds)
Nora Ephron Award: Rania Attieh (Initials S.G.)

Films You Should Check Out

Best Narrative: Burning Cane
Best Documentary: Scheme Birds
Best International Narrative: House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae)
Best Narrative Short: Maja
Best Documentary Short: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)
Student Visionary Award: Jebel Banat
Tribeca Critics Week: American Factory, Driveways, In Fabric, This is Not Berlin (Esto no es Berlin), The Weekend
This Used to be New York: Martha, Other Music, The Projectionist