After 4 days of non-stop movie watching, networking, and conversations, I am still really energized!
Here’s a rundown of the last few days:
Friday April 19th
I decided to hit some panel discussions and events. First I attended the New Chick Flicks talk at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. The focus landed primarily on women in documentary filmmaking and the event highlighted the lack of opportunities for women behind the camera in narrative film. Ultimately, the takeaway was that women filmmakers should not wait to be offered jobs and they instead need to just make their own films. Next I went to the poorly-titled Look Who’s Talking program (Am I the only one who hears “Look Who’s Talking” and thinks of those stupid talking baby movies?). This program was about underrepresented voices in the cinema (ie Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Women) and the panelists were diverse and well-informed. Ultimately, the message was the same as the earlier program: the only way to make up for the lack of opportunities is to create your own work.
Later, I attended the highly anticipated premiere screening of GBF. It’s a high school movie that cleverly uses the tropes of high school movies to look at those teen years from a different perspective. It’s the classic nerd to popular kid overnight story, but this time it’s because the lead character,Tanner (Michael J. Willet) becomes the school’s first out student and all the popular girls will do anything to have this season’s hot new accessory, a GBF (Gay Best Friend). Director Darren Stein does a nice job with a young cast that also includes “Pretty Little Liars” resident dead girl Sasha Pieterse as one of the queen bees.
I wrapped up Friday at the Bombay Sapphire sponsored party for short filmmakers. I was invited because I specialize in casting shorts, and it was great to meet so many young and accomplished filmmakers!
Saturday April 20th
The next day featured some indie features with New York ties. Bottled Up with Melissa Leo and New York stage and film vets Josh Hamilton and Marin Ireland, tells the story of a mother who enables her daughter’s prescription drug addiction until a handsome nature lover enters their lives.
Deep Powder is a rich girl/ poor boy romance set in the early 1980s that centers around an ill-fated South American coke run. What the film lacks in story it makes up in lovely visuals and lush acting from the two leads: Shiloh Fernandez and Haley Bennett.
Sunday April 21st
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors is set during the days leading up to Hurricane Sandy. A teen with autism rides the subway alone while his mother and sister search for him. The highlight is Azul Rodriguez as the lost boy’s sister.
The last event for Sunday was a panel discussion about creating branded content. Once again there was an excellent assembly of knowledgeable leaders in that field. It’s only been four days, but TriBeCa is shaping up to be pretty amazing so far. I’ll check back in with more up dates tomorrow.