Hot damn ho, here we go again.
It’s about time for the Tribeca Film Festival, and because you’re here, you know the best way to experience a festival is the blackest way.
This year, I’m taking over for editor Angela Helm, who usually has y’all covered for the blackest experiences of what she has dubbed “the badass downtown sister to golden girl Sundance.” This is a special one for me — it’s not only my first time covering Tribeca, but it’s my first time attending!
So, without further ado:
1. The Apollo, feature documentary, directed by Roger Ross Williams. World premiere / Opening night film
Of course, the first film is on next level blackness since it is about—and will take place at—the blackest theater ever. “Where stars are born and legends are made”—shout-out to that lucky stump.
The Apollo will chronicle the theater’s rich and iconic history, as well as follow its inaugural staging of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. Fun fact: the documentary’s helmer, Roger Ross Williams, is the first African-American director to win the Academy Award (Best Short Documentary, Music by Prudence), and he is also a Tribeca alum.
2. See You Yesterday, feature narrative, directed by Stefon Bristol. World premiere
This sci-fi film follows a pair of Brooklyn teens who desperately try to reverse the tragic effects of a police shooting. See You Yesterday stars Eden Duncan-Smith, Brian Vaughn Bradley, Jr., and Danté Crichlow. King of New York film, Spike Lee, adds his producer boost to his protegé, Stefon Bristol, who is coming to Tribeca with his first feature
Oh, and the trailer for this one just dropped well ... yesterday (April 22).
3. Goldie, feature narrative, directed by Sam De Jong. North American premiere
Goldie looks to be 90 minutes of formidable black girl magic. It features a teenager trying to keep her sisters together while having to face overwhelming obstacles thrown at her by the system. Slick Woods (born Simone Marie Thompson), whose lovely gap-toothed smile you may recognize in Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty campaigns, stars as the titular character.
4. Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men, documentary series, directed by Sacha Jenkins. New York premiere
Just in time to honor the 25th anniversary of Wu-Tang’s debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), this series will reflect on the eccentric rap group’s career, including reflective interviews and never-before-seen archival footage and performances.
All of the current living members—RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Raekwon da Chef, Cappadonna and Masta Killa—will be in attendance at the screening.
Ooh baby, I’m going to like this raw ... footage.
5. The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion, feature documentary, directed by Lisa Cortés and Farah X. World premiere
Hip-hop is (historically) a man’s world, but it’ll be nothing (and fashionably drab) without the influence of a woman or a girl. The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion will follow the journeys of fabulous folks such as fashion architect Misa Hylton and streetwear designer April Walker, focusing on how fashion affected everything from music videos to world culture. Notable subjects in the documentary will include Dapper Dan and Kerby Jean-Raymond.
6. Devil’s Pie — D’Angelo, feature documentary, directed by Carine Bijlsma. World premiere
Always wondered about D’Angelo’s rollercoaster career? The rise and the fall, also known as his infamously sudden disappearance? Devil’s Pie — D’Angelo will feature never-before-seen footage and acutely honest interviews, following the Grammy Award-winning soul-R&B artist’s comeback tour, as well as his personal life.
7. 17 Blocks, feature documentary, directed by Davy Rothbart. World premiere
From the mouths of babes—and their eyes, too. 17 Blocks follows nine-year-old Emmanuel Sanford, who captures his version of Washington, D.C., via his home video camera while living 17 blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Filmmaker and This American Life contributor Davy Rothbart befriended the family in the process of helming the film, which documents 20 years of their lives.
8. The Weekend, feature narrative, directed by Stella Meghie. New York premiere
One of life’s greatest tragedies involves the inevitable breakup. But it’s extra tragic when you’re the one who can’t seem to get over your ex (even to the point where you can’t stop inserting them into your comedic stand-up material), while your ex moves right along to someone completely different from you. The solution? Tag along with the new couple to your mom’s bed and breakfast! Wait ... what?
The Weekend stars Sasheer Zamata, Tone Bell, DeWanda Wise, Kym Whitley, and Y’lan Noel.
9. What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali, feature documentary, directed by Antoine Fuqua. World premiere
You’ll never forget Muhammad Ali’s name and even if you tried, he wouldn’t let you. The famed heavyweight champ who floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee will have his life chronicled in a two-part documentary in his own words. From his iconic athletic career to his unforgettable social activism, What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali is one to see. Along with director Antoine Fuqua, the late champ’s ex-wife Lonnie Ali is expected to attend a screening.
10. Burning Cane, feature narrative, directed by Phillip Youmans. World premiere
Burning Cane invites the audience to Southeastern Louisiana and into the lives of a worried mother (Karen Kaia Livers) and her diseased dog; her alcoholic son (Dominique McClellan); his wife (Emyri Crutchfield); and a preacher (Wendell Pierce) coping with his wife’s death. This is Youmans’ feature film debut.
Big Honorable Mention — In Living Color, Tribeca TV
It’s really been 25 years (since the series finale), y’all. As part of its Tribeca TV showcase, the festival will air the pilot from the legendary sketch show. This gon’ be fly. Just like its girls.
After the Screening: A conversation with creator and star Keenen Ivory Wayans, and co-stars Shawn Wayans, Kim Wayans, Tommy Davidson, and David Alan Grier.
Also, check out Tribeca’s Immersive and VR programming, as well as the Tribeca Talks series.
Tickets for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival can be purchased online; via telephone at (646) 502 5296 / (866) 941 FEST (3378); or at the box office of every participating theater (Regal Battery Park, Village East Cinema, SVA, BMCC and the Festival Hub located at Spring Studios) and will open one hour prior to the event.
There is also an option for Rush Tickets, which will be the same price as advance tickets, payable upon entry. A standby line will begin approximately 45 minutes prior to the scheduled event time and patrons can purchase a maximum of one (1) Rush Ticket per person.
The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival will take place April 24 - May 5.