Founded in 2001 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, the Tribeca Film Festival was created after 9/11 to help revitalize lower Manhattan. Running April 18th – 29th, it’s known for providing a platform for films focused on New York City itself and its inhabitants.
When I was reviewing the line up, there were so many films I wanted to see about women, fashion and cultural trends. Here’s a few of my must sees. Let us know in the comments if you have the chance to see any of our picks or others.
If you’ve ever received an email from a stranger asking to borrow money, you may have digitally met a con artist similar to the ones featured in this film. It follows American teenager Eze, who is forced to relocate to his mother’s homeland, Nigeria. When he gets there, he connects with a cunning cousin who is an actual Nigerian Prince scammer. He then joins the family business and inherits the headaches that accompany it.
Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
Sandra Bland was pulled over for failing to signal when changing traffic lanes in Walker County, Texas in 2015. She was arrested and died in a jail cell three days later. This documentary tries to uncover the details of this tragedy and how it impacted public dialogues about race relations in the US.
The Rachel Divide
Rachel Dolezal is the former head of the Spokane, Washington NAACP office. When it was revealed that she is a white women, identifying as a black woman, she quickly became a national story. After resigning from the NAACP in 2015, Dolezal is now challenged to explain her choices to the press and her family. The film airs on Netflix on April 27th.
The Gospel According to André
André Leon Talley was not supposed to be ALT, as he is called in the fashion industry. He was raised in Durham, North Carolina by a loving and devout grandmother who worked as a maid in the dorms at Duke University. He was also a gay black man in the conservative and segregated South, where he was a victim of police brutality. But he became the Editor-At-Large of Vogue. His ability to seamlessly break barriers is exposed in this film.
Unbanned: The Legend of AJ1
In 1984, Nike approached up-and-coming Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan to be the face of a shoe. But the launch of the Air Jordan 1 became a controversial one for the company and the league. Some Nike executives did not want Phil Knight to name a shoe after a black man. And the NBA banned Jordan from wearing such a colorful sneaker, which only fueled its popularity. The people who lived through it are now telling the full AJ1 story.
Roller skating rink culture has been well-documented in films like Roll Bounce and ATL. Rinks have been long-standing entertainment venues that have promoted musical artists and supported competitive skating teams. But new zoning laws and racial tensions are impeding avid skaters from having a safe place to skate. This documentary follows activists who are fighting these rapid changes to maintain this pastime.