2019 Tribeca Film Festival Hilights

After 12 days filled with film and television premieres, Immersive and V.R. experiences, not to miss reunions, talks, and concerts, the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, came to a close on Sunday evening, May 5, with an estimated attendance of more than 146,000 people to 618 screenings and Talks, and the Virtual Arcade and Tribeca Cinema360.

From April 24 – May 5, the Festival presented 111 features, 63 short films, 33 immersive storytelling projects, 18 television projects, and 21 N.O.W. (New Online Work) projects representing 44 countries. Tribeca hosted 22 Tribeca Talks and the Tribeca Celebrates Pride event honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a day of conversations.

This year, 40% of the feature films had one or more women directors, people of color directed 29% of the feature films and 13% of the feature films were from individuals who identify as LGBTQIA.

Below are highlights and clip handouts of conversations, interviews, and select moments from the Festival.


As the Festival wraps, five of the films available for acquisition have announced distribution deals, with additional offers on the table and deals to be announced soon.

● Low Tide (World Premiere) directed by Kevin McMullin, will be distributed by A24 and DirectTV in the US.
● Plus One (World Premiere), directed by Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer, was bought by RLJE Films for North American rights, ahead of the premiere at the festival, and will release in summer 2019. The film was also the recipient of the Tribeca Narrative Audience Award.
● White As Snow (International Premiere), directed by Anne Fontaine, was bought by Cohen Media Group for North American rights ahead of the premiere at the festival.
● Circus of Books (World Premiere) directed by Rachel Mason, was bought by Netflix for worldwide rights.
● It Takes A Lunatic (World Premiere), directed by Billy Lyons, will be distributed by Netflix.
● Additionally the production company Rustic Films, producers of Something Else (World Premiere), signed a first look deal with Well Go USA. Rustic Film’s principals include producer David Lawson Jr. and writer-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.


The 2019 Festival opened with The Apollo, a documentary about the fabled cultural anchor on Harlem’s West 125th St. and the legendary African American artists of the past nine decades that have graced its stage. [interviews and introductions from opening night]

While constantly exploring the future of film, Tribeca paid tribute to the past with special events that celebrated the 40th anniversary of Apocalypse Now (with a screening of a new, never-before-seen restored version of the film, entitled Apocalypse Now Final Cut), the 30th anniversary of Say Anything…, and reunion screenings of 1994’s Reality Bites and 1984’s This is Spinal Tap [ clips from the Apocalypse Now red carpet & conversation, the Say Anything red carpet, the Lisa Loeb surprise performance and the cast and creators conversation at the Reality Bites and footage from the This is Spinal Tap red carpet]

The Festival closed with director Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, about a struggling musician who is the only person on Earth who knows The Beatles.

Video from post-screening Q&As from select films:

● Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts: Post Premiere Q&A with Trixie Mattel
● Ask Dr. Ruth: Post Premiere Q&A with director Ryan White, Dr. Ruth and Annette Insdorf
● The Kill Team: Post Premiere Q&A with director Dan Krauss, Alexander Skarsgård and Nat Wolff
● The Wrong Man: Post Premiere Q&A with directors John Hwan and Ross Golan, Jason Flom, and social justice advocates Noura Jackson and Yusef Salam
● Standing Up, Falling Down: Post Premiere Q&A with director Matt Ratner, Billy Crystal and Ben Schwartz


This year’s festival took off with the premiere of The Apollo, a documentary about the cultural anchor of Harlem and closed with the premiere of Yesterday, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Hamish Patel. Other films and projects celebrating music include Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice and This Is Spinal Tap. This year, special performances after screenings included:

● The Apollo (Opening Night) – a special performance by singer and songwriter, Alice Smith included a cover of “I Put A Spell On You” [Interviews from the carpet with Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Roger Ross Williams, Angela Bassett, Smokey Robinson and more]
● Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men – a surprise 30-minute performance from all living members of the group and featured greatest hits, “Bring Da Ruckus,” “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’,” and “Triumph” [Interviews from the carpet with Sacha Jenkins, RZA, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Al Sharpton and more]
● Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts – performance by Drag Race All-Star, Trixie Mattel [Performance clip]
● Between Me And My Mind – Trey Anastasio performed with the Trey Anastasio Band
● Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice – Sheryl Crow took to the stage to perform several of the singer’s iconic hits, including “When Will I Be Loved” and “You’re No Good” [Footage from carpet, conversation and performance]
● In Living Color 25th Anniversary Reunion after party – dj’ed by Shawn Wayans [Interviews from the carpet and panel clips]
● This Is Spinal Tap – Actors Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer reunited to perform a tribute concert to the band Spinal Tap. Elvis Castello made a surprise return to close the show [Interviews from carpet]
● Inna De Yard: The Soul Of Jamaica – performance by Ken Boothe
● Gay Chorus Deep South – performance by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus [Performance Clip and interviews from carpet]
● Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion – a surprise performance by Lil’ Kim
● Reality Bites, 25th Anniversary Reunion – Lisa Loeb made a surprise appearance and sang “Stay” [Performance]
● Yesterday (Closing Night) – Hamish Patel took the stage to perform, “Something”


Tribeca TV, this year debuted several highly-anticipated new and returning TV series. The program line-up included 18 shows made up of five series world premieres, two season premieres, two New York premieres, one feature documentary, two series reunions, one Tribeca TV: Talk, and five indie pilots. The section included projects from Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and cable networks, A&E Network, HBO, Nat Geo, Showtime, Starz, /SundanceNOW, TV Land, and USA.

Highlights include World Premieres of The Boys, [Interviews from the carpet], Chernobyl [Clips from Post Premiere Q&A] Tuca & Bertie [Clips from Post Premiere Q&A], [Interviews from the carpet], Season Premiere of Vida [Interviews from the Post Premiere Q&A], New York Premiere of Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men [Interviews from the carpet], TV Reunions of In Living Color [Clips from Post Premiere Q&A], [Interviews from the carpet] and The Simpsons [Clips from Post Premiere Q&A], [Interviews from the carpet] and a special farewell Talk with Mr. Robot [Clips from Post Premiere Q&A], [Interviews from the carpet].


The 2019 Tribeca Immersive program included 33 innovative VR, AR, MR and immersive experiences inside the Virtual Arcade and Cinema360. Top creators joined the Tribeca Immersive programming, including Baobab Studios with Bonfire and Felix & Paul with Gymnasia, both who had their world premiere at the Virtual Arcade. Newcomers, Anagram with The Collider and Pilot Theater with Traitor thrilled attendees with their unique approach to storytelling.

The 2019 Storyscapes Award, presented by AT&T, recognizes groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology; the award was given to Celine Tricart, the creator of The Key, an interactive VR experience taking the viewer on a journey through memories. See more images of Tribeca Immersive here.


The Festival presented 22 Tribeca Talks featuring conversations between acclaimed directors,
musicians, journalists, actors, writers, and more. Highlights from the program include:

TRIBECA TALKS: DIRECTORS SERIES brought some of today’s most groundbreaking filmmakers to discuss their careers and highlights. Sponsored by Squarespace.
● Guillermo del Toro with Alec Baldwin
● Martin Scorsese with Robert De Niro [Full talk via Tribeca Facebook, clips from the Talk] [red carpet]
● David O. Russell with Jennifer Lawrence and surprise guest Robert De Niro [Russell & De Niro clip from the Talk]
● Marielle Heller with Jo Piazza [clips from the Talk]

TRIBECA TALKS: STORYTELLERS celebrated innovative creators who have broken from the mold and pioneered their own forms of storytelling, often mastering multiple mediums. Sponsored by Montefiore.

● Jaron Lanier
● Sarah Silverman with Mike Birbiglia [red carpet interview & red carpet b-roll]
● Michael J. Fox with Denis Leary [clips from the Talk]
● Questlove with Boots Riley [clips from the Talk]
● Rashida Jones with Hasan Minhaj [clips from the Talk]

Queen Latifah was joined in conversation with Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter and director, Dee Rees. Queen Latifah highlighted the female filmmakers behind the short films featured in The Queen Collective, a program developed in partnership with Procter & Gamble and Flavor Unit Entertainment, aimed at accelerating gender and racial equality behind the camera. Following the conversation was the world premiere of the shorts Ballet After Dark, directed by B.Monét and If There Is Light, directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson.
● [Red carpet]

Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus discussed pushing the boundaries of the video game medium and talk about how their relationship has established over working on the title together.
● [clips from the Talk]

TRIBECA TALKS: MASTER CLASSES featured a line-up of conversations focusing on specific sectors of the filmmaking process.

● Irwin Winkler on the Art and Craft of Producing
● Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound [red carpet & clips from the Talk]
● The Journey of Digital Storytelling to TV: A Discussion with the Creators of High Maintenance

TRIBECA TALKS: FUTURE OF FILM returned with conversations centering around the intersection of storytelling and technology.
● Building the New Storytellers with Ken Perlin (Cave), Lance Weiler (Where There’s Smoke), Alfredo Salazar-Caro (Dreams of the Jaguar’s Daughter), and Jeremy Bailenson (Founder, Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab).
● Immersive Storytelling Across the Mediums with immersive pioneer Jessica Brillhart, filmmaker Aaron Katz, who’s visually immersive podcast Earth Break is having its world premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
● Is Anyone Home?: Location-Based Entertainment and the Future of Immersive with distributor Coline Delbaere with the DV Group, MWM Immersive producer Ethan Stearns (War Remains), and Atlas V producer Antoine Cayrol (Ayahuasca).
● Sharing Is Caring: Shared Experienced in Mixed Reality with project creators Adam May (Drop in the Ocean), Lucy Hammond (Traitor) and May Abdalla and Amy Rose (The Collider).
● The Art of Adaptation with Mattias Schelebourg (Dr. Who: Runaway), Pete Billington and Jessica Shamash (Wolves in the Walls).

A conversation about ESPN’s 30 for 30 series with Alex Gibney, Ezra Edelman, Marina Zenovich, Connor Schell, moderated by Chris Connelly.

Following a screening of Serendipity, a conversation with Director and Artist Prune Nourry, Columbia University Professor and author Rita Charon. Moderated by author Nina Collins.

The Festival hosted a preview of Tribeca and iHeartRadio’s first joint original podcast, Fierce, an all women created, produced, and hosted series that will join the iHeartPodcast Network in summer 2019.

N.O.W. (New Online Work)

Now in its 6th year, Tribeca N.O.W. is a program that discovers, highlights, and celebrates New Online Word from independent storytellers who choose to create and share their work in the online space.

Tribeca N.O.W. Showcase brought the latest work from 12 independent online creators to the big screen as official Tribeca selections. [trailers & clips; red carpet photos]
● HEADSPACE: Sci-fi, documentary, drama, and comedy collide in this collection of works that push aesthetic boundaries and challenge storytelling tropes: neurotica., created by Laura Moss & Nick Kocher; The Future is Then, created by Sarah Salovaara; Release, created by Joe Penna & Ryan Morrison; Sweater, created by Nick Borenstein; Kiss of the Rabbit God, created by Andrew Thomas Huang; Walk Run Cha-Cha, created by Laura Nix.
● REALITY CHECK: a cornucopia of personalities are at the center of these evergreen stories of parenthood, aging, and sexuality. Plus, President Obama: Adult Ed, created by Matt Dellapina; Anne+, created by Maud Wiemeijer & Valerie Bisscheroux; Frame by Frame, created by Yvonne Michelle Shirley; Better Days, created by Nabeel Muscatwalla & Adam Turkel; 99, created by Nick Borenstein; MotherStruck, created by Staceyann Chin & Micaela Birmingham.

● The New York Times’ Op-Docs – Featuring Stories Of Immigration. For the third year in a row, The New York Times’ Op-Docs brings five inventively crafted documentary shorts to Tribeca N.O.W. This year’s group of films, produced with Concordia Studio, find a common thread in stories of immigration and belonging, captured with poignant and unflinching eloquence by a diverse range of artists. Boca del Lobo, directed by Jesse Moss; Darlin, directed by Isabel Castro; El Vacio, directed by Deborah Esquenazi; To Be Queen, directed by Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman; Walk Run Cha-Cha, directed by Laura Nix .
● Topic – Digital Studios. Tribeca N.O.W. spotlighted Topic’s commitment to supporting and cultivating creators of online work. These formally dynamic documentary projects—offering meditations on familial connection, historical memory, and photographic representation—epitomize the experimentation that Topic pursues in the digital space. Black 14, directed by Darius Clark Monroe; Frame by Frame, directed by Yvonne Shirley; Passing: A Family in Black & White, directed by Robin Cloud; Obits, directed by Alix Lambert & Manual Cinema.

Tribeca hosted a daylong, private industry market that brought together leading online and immersive storytellers to pitch new projects to a wide range of industry, including distributors, agents, and networks.



New York premiere of Ask Dr. Ruth
30th Anniversary Screening of Say Anything…

The Simpsons – 30th Anniversary
World premiere of Tuca & Bertie

Tribeca Talks: In Living Color – Celebrating 25 Years since the Finale
Tribeca Talks: Storytellers – Michael J. Fox with Denis Leary

● Footage of the ceremony and interviews with the winners can be found here.
● Audience Awards – Plus One, written and directed by Jeff Chan and Andrew Rhymer, was honored with the Narrative award and Gay Chorus Deep South, directed by David Charles Rodrigues, was given the Documentary award.
○ Chosen by audiences, who voted throughout the Festival with the official app.


● Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – Burning Cane written and directed by Phillip Youmans.
● Best International Narrative Feature – House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae) written and directed by Bora Kim.
● Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Phillip Youmans for Burning Cane.
● Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Blow the Man Down written by Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy.
● Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Haley Bennett in Swallow.
● Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film – Wendell Pierce in Burning Cane.
● Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film – Cinematography by Kang Gook-hyun for House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae).
● Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film – Noah Land (Nuh Tepesi) written by Cenk Ertürk.
● Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ji-hu Park in House of Hummingbird (Beol-sae).
● Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film – Ali Atay in Noah Land (Nuh Tepesi).
● Best New Narrative Director – Edgar Nito, director of The Gasoline Thieves (Huachicolero).
● The Nora Ephron Award – Rania Attieh, co-director of Initials S.G.


● Best Documentary Feature – Scheme Birds, directed by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin.
● Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award – Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin for Scheme Birds.
● Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film – Cinematography by Yang Sun and Shuang Liang for Our Time Machine.
● Best Editing in a Documentary Film – Editing by Jennifer Tiexiera for 17 Blocks.


● Best Narrative Short – Maja, directed by Marijana Jankovic.
● Best Documentary Short – Learning To Skateboard In a Warzone (If You’re A Girl), directed by Carol Dysinger.
● Shorts Animation Award – My Mother’s Eyes, directed and written by Jenny Wright.
● Student Visionary Award – Jebel Banat, directed and written by Sharine Atif.

Tribeca X Award

● Almost Human, directed by Jeppe Rønde, was honored with the Feature award, The Face of Distracted Driving, directed by Errol Morris, was honored with the Short award, History of Memory, directed by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason for Redglass Pictures, The Garage by HP, was honored with the Episodic award, and The 100%, directed by Hernan Barangan for Springbok Entertainment, was honored with the VR award.

Tribeca Celebrates Pride was a successful day devoted to the intersection between queer activism and art, featuring programming and conversations with LGBTQ+ luminaries Neil Patrick Harris, John Cameron Mitchell, Larry Kramer, Asia Kate Dillon and more.

Talks included:
● Activism Through the Ages [social clip 1; clip 2; clip 3 (featuring Staceyann Chin), clip here (with Jason Walker) clip here (featuring Stacey Lentz)]
● Being a Multi-Hyphenate [social clips of Alok Vaid Menon and Jacob Tobia]
● Asia Kate Dillon speech
● John Cameron Mitchell in conversation with Patti Harrison [social clips 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5]
● Out in Office [social clips of U.S. House of Representatives members Malcolm Kenyatta, Sara McBride and David Cicilline]
● Out in Sports [social clip of Joanna Lohman and Wade A. Davis]
● Representing Hollywood [clips 1 & 2 of Joe Machota, Simon Halls and Kevin Huvane]
● Who Gets to Tell Whose Story? [clips 1, 2 & 3 of Angelica Ross, Tiq Milan, Tanya Saracho and Ser Anzoategui]

Tribeca Celebrates Pride ended with the world premiere of the documentary Wig, about Wigstock, an annual drag festival that glamorously signaled the end of summer for the gay community in NYC for almost twenty years and returned just last year. [Wig red carpet footage].


Tribeca X celebrates the intersection of advertising and storytelling. The invite-only inaugural Tribeca X: A Day of Conversations brought together industry leaders and creators from brands, agencies and filmmaking to discuss the landscape of branded entertainment and examine the achievements of brands that are adventurous and distinctive in their work. Sponsored by PwC.

Participants included keynote speaker, P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard; Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard; TBWA Worldwide Chief Diversity Officer Doug Melville; President & CEO of The Ad Council Lisa Sherman; Actress/Creator Natasha Lyonne, and more.


● P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard Keynote [clip 1; clip 2]
● Creator Spotlight: Natasha Lyonne [clip 1; clip 2; clip 3; clip 4; clip 5]
● What’s Next For Women in Branded Entertainment?, Emma Reeves, Executive Director, Free The Bid [clip from Talk]

# # #


About the Tribeca Film Festival:
The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, brings visionaries and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. The Festival champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Now in its 18th year, the Festival has evolved into a destination for creativity that reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities. www.tribecafilm.com/festival

Hashtag: #Tribeca2019
Twitter: @Tribeca
Instagram: @tribeca
Facebook: facebook.com/Tribeca

About 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Partners:
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, while expanding opportunities to diverse creators around the globe. AT&T helps millions connect to their passions – no matter where they are. This year, AT&T and Tribeca will once again collaborate to give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers that deserve to be seen. “AT&T Presents Untold Stories” is an inclusive film program in collaboration with Tribeca – a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute.

The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its 2019 Partners: 23andMe, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bai Beverages, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), BVLGARI, CHANEL, CNN Films, Diageo, ESPN, HBO, IMDbPro, Kia, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, Merck, Montefiore, National CineMedia (NCM), Nespresso, New York Magazine, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Prime Video Direct, P&G, PwC, Salesforce, Spring Studios New York, Squarespace, Status Sparkling Wine, and Stella Artois.