Here's a quick look at what's been released.
The 2018 Tribeca Film Festival is officially off-and-running in downtown New York City. No Film School will be covering quite a bit of this year's offerings—be sure to read our most anticipated of this year's fest—including feature films, television pilots, live talks, and interactive experiences. If you want to get even more excited and be further "in the know," scroll down to view our collection of trailers representing projects premiering over the next 10 days. See you at the festival!
Bobby Kennedy For President
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: The eye-opening and transformative four-part docuseries Bobby Kennedy for President utilizes rare and never-before-seen archival footage – digitized here for the first time – to transport us to a turbulent and dynamic era, letting Bobby's voice and viewpoint be the guiding force. With new interviews with RFK confidantes and staffers including William Vanden Heuvel, Rep. John Lewis, Paul Schrade, Marian Wright Edelman, Peter Edelman, and Dolores Huerta, acclaimed director Dawn Porter (Trapped, Spies of Mississippi, Gideon's Army) reveals anew what America gained and what it lost in the life, vision, politics, and hope of Bobby Kennedy.
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: Epic adversaries return to the dojo in Cobra Kai, an all-new series that reunites the adversaries from the iconic film franchise The Karate Kid. Thirty years after the All-Valley Karate Tournament of 1984, a down-and-out Johnny Lawrence seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo. This reignites his rivalry with a now-successful Daniel LaRusso, who has struggled to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi. The two men address their past demons and present frustrations the only way they know how: through karate.
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: After the death of her estranged rabbi father, New York photographer Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns to the Orthodox Jewish community in North London where she grew up to attend his funeral. There, she is reunited with two childhood friends: shy Esti (Rachel McAdams) and devout Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), who Ronit discovers, to her surprise, are now a married couple. The community bristles at Ronit’s secular dress and manners, but, despite their differences, she falls back into an easy companionship with Dovid and Esti—especially Esti. Ronit’s disruptive presence at home puts increasing pressure on a tinderbox of pent-up emotions, threatening to ignite long-dormant passions and controversies.
Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio, who was recently awarded the Academy Award® for A Fantastic Woman, brings to life a taboo romantic drama within a cloistered community in his English-language debut. With its keen sense of place and richly drawn characters, all brought to life by a trio of stunning performances, Disobedience asks powerful questions about the nature of love and loyalty, faith and freedom.
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: Being a teenage girl is already difficult enough—so imagine also being an undead ghoul. That’s the horrible reality for Mina, a young woman who has been cursed to haunt her childhood home in the woods: Nobody gets in, and nobody gets out alive. That is, until she comes across Alex, a blind boy around her once-living age who is dealing with his own trauma. After she effortlessly dispatches his companion, Mina lets Alex live, and, by doing so, she begins to notice some old feelings, such as empathy and love, have resurfaced. It could be just a fluke—or Mina might be more alive than previously thought.
The Dark, the debut of writer-director Justin P. Lange, cleverly subverts the tropes of both zombie cinema and classical ghost stories. Lange’s emotionally potent and quietly unnerving horror-drama taps into some of the vibes of Let the Right One In and features a remarkable performance from young star Nadia Alexander, who won the prize for Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film for Blame at Tribeca in 2017. Despite her character’s undead state, Alexander is The Dark’s beating heart.
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: One-time pop star Martina has hit rock bottom: no career, no relationship, no sex drive, and, most of all, no direction forward. But then, persistent fangirl Francisca pressures her way into Martina’s apartment, revealing that she believes herself to be Martina’s long-lost sister—and, at the same time, Francisca’s boyfriend César catches Martina’s eye, stirring her previously dormant desire. In a flash, the Argentine singer is flying to Chile to pursue this promising young lover and, while she’s at it, a better sense of self.
Writer-director Che Sandoval deftly mingles the passions, obsessions, and heartbreaks of his characters in this fresh, comic take on the road movie, one predicated on Martina’s search for inspiration, both in the bedroom and out. Antonella Costa, marvelous in the title role, captures Martina’s overconfidence with humor and sensitivity. As her unease in this new land evaporates, she starts to warm to the idea of a new family, and she comes to terms with a lesson from Franscisca’s search for a sibling, audiences are treated to the blooming of a new type of Martina—funny, sexy, and in control of her destiny.
Into the Okavango
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: As the Earth’s truly pristine expanses disappear more and more each day, the Okavango Delta remains an Edenic oasis with an abundance of animal species roaming its air, water, and land. But despite the spectacular sights of African elephants splashing in the river, rarely seen birds soaring above, and wildebeest migrating across its grassy expanses, the Okavango river basin—which provides water to more than one million people—is under dire threat.
Enter Dr. Steve Boyes and a team of international scientists, photographers, filmmakers, and African guides, who have made it their mission to track the cause—or causes—of the threats to the Okavango Delta’s source waters and to determine how they can protect the river basin before it gets any worse. In an epic four-month journey down the Okavango Delta’s source rivers—beginning in Angola, venturing into Namibia, and, finally, emptying into the Delta in Botswana—the team faces a series of unforeseen trials—including a terrifying run-in with a territorial hippopotamus. Director Neil Gelinas uses his extensive background working with National Geographic and filming in the wild to bring audiences a stunningly photographed tale of passion and conservation.
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: From the Emmy Award-winning creators at Baobab Studios comes a thrilling blend of animation and immersive theatre. Step into the shoes of Jack and experience a world completely re-imagined from the classic fairy tale. Jack is a ground-breaking experience that must be seen to be believed.
Kaiser! The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: In Brazil in the ’80s, soccer superstars had it all: the adoration of millions of fans, the frenzied attention of the world's sports media, and all the glamor Rio de Janeiro's nightclubs had to offer. But among the ranks of the country's elite athletes, one of the biggest sports celebrities of his generation harbored a secret: He had never played a single game.
Weaving together tales of fake injuries, of gangster club owners, and of Rio's steamy nightlife scene, Louis Myles's rollicking documentary uncovers the stranger-than-fiction double life of Carlos "Kaiser" Henrique Raposo, a self-styled football V.I.P. whose 26-year club career spanned continents and some of Brazil's most famous teams—even though he never set foot on the pitch. A stylish, celebratory, and surprisingly sensitive look at the man behind the myth, Kaiser revels in unraveling the half-truths and alternate realities behind of one of the biggest fraudulent stories in the history of sports.
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: Beginning with his modest upbringing in London, Lee Alexander McQueen quickly ascended the ranks of the international fashion world. After graduating from Central Saint Martins and establishing his eponymous label, McQueen became head designer of Givenchy at age 27 and went on to win the Fashion Awards’ (then the British Fashion Awards) prize for British Designer of the Year four times. His theatrical runway shows and daring designs existed on the cutting edge of ’90s fashion, his controversial and confrontational work earning him equal attention from fans and detractors alike. At the same time, he also forged a friendship with the influential stylist Isabella Blow, cultivating an intimate relationship that would last until her death in 2007. As McQueen’s star rose, so did the pressure, and accompanying anxiety, to constantly strive for ever greater heights of genius.
Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui’s stunning documentary tells McQueen’s story through the testimonials from his closest friends and family. Featuring personal archives extending back to the earliest days of his career, as well as dynamic footage of his most boundary-pushing shows and creations, McQueen offers a vivid portrait of the tortured but inspired auteur’s work and persona.
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: From 1968 to 1973, the public-television variety show SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national exposure, and, as a result, found the program an improbable place to call home. With participants’ recollections and a bevy of great archival clips, Mr. SOUL! captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fcy_hXagl3E
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: 19-year-old Leon returns home to take care of his alcoholic mother and adjust to life as an adult after an adolescence spent in and out of foster care. Frustrated by his lack of an education and his bleak financial prospects, Leon finds solace in the boxing ring. He soon meets the rebellious and beautiful Twiggy (Sophie Kennedy Clark), who is squatting in abandoned houses to escape her family’s unfeeling affluence. As rumblings of riots begin in the streets and police and protesters engulf his neighborhood, Leon must decide whether to join his friends and fight or seek a new life with Twiggy.
Set against a turbulent backdrop, Obey is a raw and unflinching look at one young man’s struggle to better himself when the world appears to be dead-set against him. Writer-director Jamie Jones perfectly captures the volatile energy that permeated one of London’s most violent periods of social unrest. And newcomer Marcus Rutherford, as Leon, delivers an astounding performance, full of fire, rage, and vulnerability.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: Picnic at Hanging Rock is a gripping reimagining of the 1975 film that plunges viewers into the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day, 1900, exploring the far-reaching impact of this vanishing on Appleyard College’s students, staff, and enigmatic headmistress. Theories soon run rampant, paranoia sets in, and long-held secrets surface as the Rock exerts its strange power and the dark stain of the unsolved mystery continues to spread.
Scarface (35th Anniversary Screening)
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: Brian De Palma’s modernization of Howard Hawks’ 1932 classic Scarface is a somber consideration for the humanizing motives of evil men. It went on to receive three Golden Globe nominations and has become one of the most referenced films in pop culture. Al Pacino delivers his riskiest performance in a career-defining role, garnering a cult following for the film. Revisit the gangland masterpiece thirty-five years later, a rich, harrowing, eminently quotable ride to excess and self-destruction that laid the groundwork for the myriad of anti-hero stories to come.
Surviving Theater 9
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: After the mass shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, filmmaker Tim McGrath and his fellow survivors offer an inside look in this intriguing and inspiring movie.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcD5uRVO2SE
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: Twenty-two-year-old Tess moves to New York City, aiming to pursue a new life. When she interviews for, and lands, a position at one of the best restaurants in the city, she thinks she’s found a steady income and a safe place to wait. But, as she tastes expensive wine, explores dive bars, and learns who she can trust, Tess is quickly intoxicated by the chaotic, adrenalized world that lurks just beneath the restaurant’s sheen. Sweetbitter illuminates the sensory journey of developing a palate—of how the sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and umami threaten and complement each other as they teach the mouth to taste.
Unbanned: The Legend of the AJ1
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=p79nXVeyj4s
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: In 1984, the Chicago Bulls recruited an unassuming young basketball player named Michael Jordan. At the time, his place in the annals of NBA history was by no means assured—but then, he lent his name to a pair of sneakers by Nike: the now-iconic Air Jordan 1. Upon release, the shoe simultaneously scandalized the league and made its namesake a hero. Through interviews with the likes of Spike Lee, Jason Sudeikis, and Jordan himself, Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1 examines the dawn of the sneaker craze and how has intersected with music, sports, celebrity, and sociopolitical issues .
Westworld: Season 2
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjVqDg32_8s
Synopsis from the Tribeca Film Festival: As a new chapter begins, Westworld continues on its dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin.
For more, see our complete coverage of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.