By Tyler Armey, Entertainment Media Intern | GLAAD.org
The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, unveiled its 2019 feature film lineup, which includes 14 LGBTQ-inclusive films, the most ever for the New York City-based festival. Continuing its tradition of elevating exceptional storytelling rooted in today’s global film communities, the 18th installation of Tribeca will showcase debut works from emerging talent and new works from notable filmmakers during its run from April 24th – May 5th.
Of the 103 films premiering at the festival, half are directed by women with 40% directed by one or more women; 29% are directed by people of color; and 13% of films are directed by an LGBTQIA-identifying person. “Every festival is shaped by and reflective of its community, and we are fortunate that our hometown just happens to be the most diverse city on Earth,” says Festival Director Cara Cusumano.
Tribeca features 3 domestic and international narrative features amongst the queer inclusive films in its respective competition categories. This includes 1 domestic and 1 international documentary feature in both competitions as well as 2 documentaries in the Spotlight and Midnight categories; 4 features represented in Viewpoints, a category celebrating distinct voices in filmmaking; and 3 features in Movies Plus, a category that supplements each screening with a special panel or presentation.
In addition to the film categories, there is one project premiering in the Storyscapes category, which recognizes groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology.
Below is a highlight of notable LGBTQ-inclusive films screening at Tribeca. For a full list of the featured films, click here.
Clementine, directed and written by Lara Jean Gallagher. Produced by Aimee Lynn Barneburg, Davis Priestley, Karina Ripper. (USA) – World Premiere. Reeling from a one-sided breakup, heartbroken Karen breaks into her ex’s lakehouse. There, she strikes up a complicated relationship with provocative younger woman Lana in this beautifully rendered psychological drama and sexual coming of age story. (Cast: Otmara Marrero, Sydney Sweeney, Will Brittain, Sonya Walger)
Flawless (Haneshef), directed and written by Sharon Maymon, Tal Granit. Produced by Osnat Handelsman Keren, Talia Kleinhendler, Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, Thanassis Karathanos, Martin Hampel. (Israel, Germany) – World Premiere. Three teenage girls in search of physical perfection are drawn down a dark path of black-market plastic surgery, an impulsive adventure that ultimately becomes a journey of self-discovery. (Cast: Stav Strashko, Netsanet Zenaneh Mekonnen, Noam Lugasy, Arad Triffon Reshef, Niv Sultan, Asi Levy)
House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae), directed and written by Bora Kim. Produced by Zoe Sua Cho, Bora Kim. (South Korea, USA) – North American Premiere. In 1994 Seoul, quiet eighth-grader Eunhee spends her time consumed by love and friendship, shoplifting, and karaoke. But it’s in her new teacher that Eunhee finds the unlikely connection that she has been desperately seeking in this touching coming-of-age drama. (Cast: Jihu Park, Saebyuk Kim, Seungyeon Lee, Ingi Jeong)
For They Know Not What They Do, directed by Daniel Karslake, written by Nancy Kennedy, Daniel Karslake. Produced by Daniel Karslake, Sheri Heitker, Barbara Simon. (USA) – World Premiere. When the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality, the backlash by the religious right was swift, severe, and successful. Karslake’s documentary looks at four faith-based families with LGBTQ children caught in the crosshairs of sexuality, identity, and scripture.
Seahorse, directed and written by Jeanie Finlay. Produced by Andrea Cornwell, Jeanie Finlay. (UK) – World Premiere. Director Jeanie Finlay charts a transgender man’s path to parenthood after he decides to carry his child himself. The pregnancy prompts an unexpected and profound reckoning with conventions of masculinity, self-definition and biology.
Halston, directed and written by Frédéric Tcheng. Produced by Roland Ballester, Frédéric Tcheng, Stephanie Levy, Paul Dallas. (USA) – New York Premiere. From Jackie Kennedy to Studio 54, Halston’s minimalist designs put American fashion on the map in the 1970s. Tribeca alum Frédéric Tcheng examines the work and life of the enigmatic visionary who called himself Halston. (With Tavi Gevinson, Cornelia Guest, Liza Minnelli, Marisa Berenson, Joel Schumacher, Pat Cleveland. A 1091 Media’s The Orchard and CNN release.)
Changing the Game, directed by Michael Barnett, written by Michael Barnett, Michael Mahaffie. Produced by Clare Tucker, Alex Schmider. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Transgender high school athletes from across the country compete at the top of their fields, while also challenging the boundaries and perceptions of fairness and discrimination. With Mack Beggs, Sarah Rose Huckman, Andraya Yearwood. (Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival)
Circus of Books, directed and written by Rachel Mason. Produced by Rachel Mason, Kathryn Robson, Cynthia Childs, Adam Baran. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. How do you explain to your friends that your mom and pop run a gay pornography shop? That is just one question asked in this playful documentary about the titular LA store and its unlikely proprietors. (With Larry Flynt, Justin Honard (aka Alaska Thunderfuck), Jeff Stryker)
CRSHD, directed and written by Emily Cohn. Produced by Emily Cohn, Jennifer George, Abby Pucker, Barrett Rouen. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Narrative. Best friends Izzy, Anuka, and Fiona have a pact to lose their virginity before the summer break. They pin their hopes on getting into their college’s super exclusive “crush party.” (Cast: Isabelle Barbier, Deeksha Ketkar, Sadie Scott, Will Janowitz, L.H. González, Abdul Seidu)
Goldie, directed and written by Sam De Jong. Produced by Luca Borghese, Ben Howe. (USA) – North American Premiere, Feature Narrative. Goldie takes care of her sisters while their mom is in prison, but her true dream is stardom. With child protective services looming and a real music video shoot on the horizon, Goldie’s last option is to make her dreams come true or lose it all in Sam de Jong’s stylish and gritty New York City fable. (Cast: Slick Woods, George Sample III, Danny Hoch, Khris Davis, Marsha Stephanie Blake, A$AP Ferg)
You Don’t Nomi, directed and written by Jeffrey McHale. Produced by Jeffrey McHale, Ariana Garfinkel, Suzanne Zionts. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Released in 1995, Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls was met by critics and audiences with near universal derision. You Don’t Nomi traces the film’s redemptive journey from notorious flop to cult classic, and maybe even masterpiece. (With Peaches Christ, Jeffery Conway, April Kidwell, Haley Mlotek, Adam Nayman, David Schmader)
Gay Chorus Deep South, directed by David Charles Rodrigues, written by David Charles Rodrigues, Jeff Gilbert. Produced by Bud Johnston, Jesse Moss. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. To confront a resurgence of anti-LGBTQ laws, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on an unprecedented bus tour through the Deep South, celebrating music, challenging intolerance, and confronting their own dark coming out stories. (With The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Dr. Tim Seelig, Ashlé, Jimmy White.) After the Premiere Screening: a special performance by The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts, directed and written by Nick Zeig-Owens. Produced by David Silver. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. With razor-sharp wit and authentic country music chops, Trixie Mattel charmed audiences and judges as winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. But the grind of performing and the pressure of the title proves that heavy is the head that wears the tiara. After the Premiere Screening: a special performance by Drag Race All-Star Trixie Mattel.
XY Chelsea, directed by Tim Travers awkins, written by Mark Monroe. Produced by Julia Nottingham, Lucas Ochoa, Thomas Benski, Isabel Davis. (UK) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Following the shock commutation of her sentence, whistleblower and trans woman Chelsea Manning prepares to leave an all-male military prison in Kansas and transition to living life for the first time as a free woman. (With Chelsea Manning, Nancy Hollander, Vince Ward, Chase Strange. A Showtime release.) After the Premiere Screening: a conversation with film subject Chelsea Manning, producer Isabel Davis, and director Tim Hawkins.
Another Dream (حلم آخر), created by Tamara Shogaolu, Ado Ato Pictures. (Netherlands, USA, Egypt) – World Premiere. Another Dream brings to life the gripping, true story of an Egyptian lesbian couple. Faced with a post-Revolution backlash against their community, they must choose between love and home. Key Collaborators: Lauren Dubowski, Natalya Sarch, Nada El-Kouny, Anastasia Semenoff (alpha_rats), Martijn Zandvliet, Gata Mahardika, Ytje Veenstra, Audioimmersive.com.
SHORT FORM, NO LIMITS
Black Hat, directed by Sarah Smith written by Phillip Guttmann. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. A pious Hasidic man living a secret double life misplaces his hat one night, which will cause his two separate lives to collide in a way he never imagined. With Adam Silver, Sebastian Velmont, Shelly Kurtz, Alan Lennick, Carolyn Michelle Smith, Nicholas Hylander.
Carlito Leaves Forever, directed and written by Quentin Lazzarotto. (France, Peru) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. A short poetic film following Carlito, a young man living in an indigenous village at the heart of the Amazonian jungle, who decided to leave and change his life forever. With Carlito Tirira Meshi, Alfonsina Sehua Tioshe.
Framing Agnes, directed by Chase Joynt, Kristen Schilt. (USA) – North American Premiere, Short Documentary. In 2017, trans artists gained access to a 1950s archive of never-before-seen histories of transgender people. Through reenactment and documentary, they revive the past to redefine the future. With Angelica Ross, Chase Joynt, Max Wolf Valerio, Silas Howard, Zackary Drucker.
His Hands, directed and written by Arron Blake, Darius Shu. (UK) – North American Premiere, Short Narrative. Two men of different ages meet for the strangest encounter of their lives. With Arron Blake, Philip Brisebois.
I Think She Likes You, directed by Bridey Elliott, written by Teresa Lee (Screenplay), Christine Medrano. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. When Justine and Julia pick Jake up at a bar, it’s not quite the threesome he was expecting. With Christine Medrano, Teresa Lee, Josh Fadem.
Mack Wrestles, directed by Taylor Hess, Erin Sanger. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Documentary. Mack Beggs loved wrestling—it gave him a sense of purpose and a sense of self. Mack Wrestles takes the audience behind the scenes as this gifted athlete from Euless, Texas, struggles against the outside forces that stigmatize transgender athletes.
Momster, directed and written by Drew Denny. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. When notorious bank robber, the Momster, catches her daughter Angel mid-gunfight, Angel thinks she’s being rescued… until she realizes she has to do the saving. With Brianna Hildebrand, Amanda Plummer, John Ennis, Josh Fadem, Ryan Simpkins.
Ponyboi, directed and written by River Gallo and Sadé Clacken Joseph. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. Ponyboi, an intersex sex-worker, looks for love and to escape his seedy life in New Jersey. Through an encounter with the man of his dreams, Ponyboi discovers his worth. With River Gallo, Keith Allan, Aaron Schwartz, Sophie Labelle, Logan Arevelo.
Stanley Stellar: Here for this Reason, directed and written by Eric Leven. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. 40 years of New York City gay history told through photographs and the man behind the camera there to capture it all.
This Perfect Day, directed and written by Lydia Rui. (Australia) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. Across the street, a music store is closing. With only a few minutes to make their move, Julia realizes it’s time for them to face their fears. With Michelle Keating, Lee Mason, Hannah Koch.
Bunker Burger, directed and written by LGBTQ filmmaker, Adam Yorke. (Canada) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. The members of an underground, post-apocalyptic bunker invite a psychologist from the radioactive and chaotic surface to audition for a place to live among them. With Enrico Colantoni, Sara Mitich, Tony Babcock, Jennifer Vallance, Sarah Gnocato, Bethanie Ho.