Tribeca Film Festival 2022 – Films to Keep an Eye Out For

The Tribeca Film Festival is just around the corner and once again this year it is packed with an array of interesting films. Here are some that you could check out:

AMERICAN DREAMER – World Premiere – Spotlight Category

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

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.

BATTLEGROUND – World Premiere – Documentary Competition

Directed by: Cynthia Lowen
Produced by: Rebecca Stern and Cynthia Lowen
Executive Produced by: Jeff Sobrato, Dexter Braff, Nicole Shipley, Ryan Harrington, and Ruth Ann Harnisch
Featuring: Alexis McGill Johnson, Jenna King, Nancy Northup

In the 50 years since Roe was passed, constitutional protections for abortion have never been so endangered – or the anti-abortion movement so emboldened. How have we arrived here? ‘Battleground’ follows three women who lead formidable anti-abortion organizations in their single-minded quest to overturn Roe v. Wade, as they face down forces equally determined to safeguard women’s access to safe and legal abortions.

Who are anti-abortion people? What are they driven by, what do they believe, how do they operate and what are their goals? ‘Battleground’ gets inside the anti-abortion movement as never seen before to answer these questions, with many surprises: they are women, young people, even Democrats. With close access, the film shows how the anti-choice movement is strategizing and organizing, and their determination to overturn Roe at any cost. As their power and influence propels the Supreme Court sharply right, and states race to enact unconstitutional abortion bans, the film also depicts those on the front lines of the fierce fight to maintain access.

It is widely expected that the Supreme Court will overturn or significantly dismantle Roe in June 2022 with the decision on Dobbs vs. Mississippi. Should Roe be overturned, 26 states stand poised to ban abortion. ‘Battleground’ is required viewing for anyone with a stake in the future of abortion in America.

BROADWAY RISING – World Premiere – Movies Plus

Directed by: Amy Rice
Produced by: Sam Bisbee, Justin Mikita, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Christopher G. Cowen, and Amy Rice

Broadway Rising tells the inspiring journey back to the stage and the toll of the pandemic on the Broadway community after a historic closure. The feature-length documentary follows subjects from all areas of the Broadway community – stage doormen, wardrobe technicians, playwrights, producers, actors, ushers, dancers, directors – to paint a full picture of the strength and diversity of the people on the stage and behind the scenes & their resilience, hope and dedication of being part of Broadway’s reopening.

CHOP AND STEELE – World Premiere – Movies Plus Category

Directed by: ​​Ben Steinbauer and Berndt Mader
Starring: Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher
Produced by: Ben Steinbauer, Janice Woods, Greta Kovach, Katie Steinbauer, Don Swaynos

For years, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher toured as part of the Found Footage Festival, with a sideline in absurdist morning-show pranks. Then they got sued. From the director of “Winnebago Man” comes a David and Goliath story where David pees himself on national television. With Joe Pickett, Nick Prueher, Albertina Rizzo, Allie Carroll, Howie Mandel, Reggie Watts, David Cross, Bobcat Goldthwaite, The Yes Men, Kurt Braunholer, Davy Rothbart, Jon Lee, Alyson Levy.

CORNER OFFICE – World Premiere – Spotlight Narrative Category

Directed by: Joachim Back
Starring: Jon Hamm

CORNER OFFICE is 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.

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

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 do things get “baby-on-the-pavement” real? 

ENDANGERED – World Premiere – Spotlight Documentary Category

Directed by: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Executive Producers: Ronan Farrow, Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady

With riveting access and kinetic visual flair, Endangered is a sobering look at the erosion of democracy & freedom of the press in the United States and abroad.

FASHION REIMAGINED – World Premiere – Spotlight Documentary

Directed by: Becky Hutner
Produced by: Becky Hutner, Lindsay Lowe, Andrea van Beuern

Fashion designer Amy Powney of cult label Mother of Pearl is a rising star in the London fashion scene. Raised off-the-grid in rural England by activist parents, Amy has always felt uneasy about the devastating environmental impact of her industry. When she wins the coveted Vogue award for the Best Young Designer of the Year, which comes with a big cash prize, Amy decides to use the money to create a sustainable collection from field to finished garment, and transform her entire business. Over the following three years, her own personal revolution becomes the precursor of a much bigger, societal change.

Leonard Cohen with his Guitar ready to go out on Tour. Circa late-2000s. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of the Cohen Estate 

HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song –  New York Premiere – Movie Plus Category

Featuring interviews with: Judy Collins, Clive Davis, Brandi Carlile, Rufus Wainwright, Eric Church, Hal Willner, John Lissauer, Dominique Issermann, Regina Spektor, Amanda Palmer, Glen Hansard, Larry “Ratso” Sloman, and many more 

Directed by: Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine 

Executive Producers: Jonathan Dana, Morgan Neville, Robert Kory, Mike Drews, Robin Sagon Drews

Consulting Producers: Alan Light and Celeste Schaefer Snyder

HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song is a definitive exploration of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen as seen through the prism of his internationally renowned hymn, “Hallelujah.” This feature-length documentary weaves together three creative strands: The songwriter and his times; the song’s dramatic journey from record label reject to chart-topping hit; and moving testimonies from major recording artists for whom “Hallelujah” has become a personal touchstone. Approved for production by Leonard Cohen just before his 80th birthday in 2014, the film accesses a wealth of never-before-seen archival materials from the Cohen Trust including Cohen’s personal notebooks, journals and photographs, performance footage, and extremely rare audio recordings and interviews.

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

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.

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