Tribeca International Film Festival: Movies Not To Miss

With this year’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in full swing, Across the Margin acquaints you with the films you won’t want to miss…

by: Jennifer Parker

The Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from June 9 — 20, is a tremendous ode to the art of filmmaking. For filmmakers, to have their work chosen to be a part of the festival is akin to such life-altering achievements such as having a child or landing a dream job. To learn more about this prestigious festival I urge you to peruse their website, a veritable treasure trove of filmic history which is blissfully easy to navigate. This year’s festival is a combination of outdoor screenings and a virtual platform, and the virtual lineup can be found here. While even the most devoted festival goer can’t possibly see all 324 films that comprise this year’s festival in less than two weeks, I have taken in my fair share, and here are a few that I could not recommend more:

Accepted
Documentary
Director: Dan Chen. Producer: Jason Y. Lee, Dan Chen, Jesse Einstein, Mark Monroe.

Synopsis: Accepted follows four high school seniors in rural Louisiana who attend T.M. Landry, an unconventional K-12 school located in a sparse warehouse made famous for sending its graduates to elite universities like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. The students aim to meet the intense expectations of Mike Landry, the imposing founder of the school who charts a relentless course towards their college dreams. When the New York Times published an expose on Landry’s controversial methods, the school buckled under the scrutiny. Each senior is left to contend with uncomfortable truths about their school and the college admissions system, and decide for themselves what they are willing to do to be accepted.

A-Ha The Movie
Documentary
Director/Screenwriter: Thomas Robsahm. Producer: Thomas Robasham, Yngve Sæther
Trailer

Synopsis: A-Ha The Movie explores the famed Norwegian synth-pop band formed in Oslo in 1982 overnight rise to fame with their 1985 hit, “Take on Me” and their desire to make music. A-Ha was the first pop sensation to make it out of Norway, and this documentary displays that they only had a “Plan A.”

Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James
Documentary
Director: Sacha Jenkins. Producer: Steve Rivo

Synopsis: In Bitchin’, framed television producer, filmmaker, writer, musician, artist, curator, and chronicler of hip-hop, graffiti, punk, and metal cultures Sacha Jenkins (Fresh Dressed, Word is Bond) profiles funk/R&B icon Rick James. Best known for his charismatic and sexually charged stage presence, James has been celebrated for his catalog of hit songs such as “Superfreak” and “Mary Jane.”

The Conductor
Documentary
Director: Bernadette Wegenstein. Producer: Annette Porter
Trailer

Synopsis: The Conductor tells the story of Marin Alsop, who was told she couldn’t become a music conductor because she was a girl. Alsop persisted, broke through, and became one of the world’s most renowned classical music conductors.

Creation Stories
Narrative Film
Director: Nick Moran. Producer: Shelley Hammond, Hollie Richmond, Nathan McGough, Ben Dillon
Trailer

Synopsis: Music producer and Creation Records co-founder Alan McGee was instrumental in creating the Britpop soundtrack of the 90’s by launching era-defining bands including Oasis, Primal Scream, and My Bloody Valentine. Creation Stories charts McGee’s rollercoaster ride from working-class Glasgow schoolkid to becoming one of the biggest and most influential music moguls in Britain.

No Man of God
Narrative Film
Director: Amber Sealey. Producer: Daniel Noah, Lisa Whalen, Elijah Wood, Kim Sherman

Synopsis: In 1980, Ted Bundy was sentenced to death by electrocution. Before his sentence was carried out he agreed to meet with one person to discuss the details of his crimes. No Man of God is based on the true story of the odd and complex relationship that developed between FBI agent Bill Hagmaier and Ted Bundy before his execution on January 24, 1989.

The Queen of Basketball
Documentary
Director: Ben Proudfoot. Producer: Elizabeth Brooke, Abby Lynn Kang Davis, Gabriel Berk Godoi, Ben Proudfoot, Brandon Somerhalder, Sarah Stewart.
Trailer

Synopsis: Lucy Harris is one of the greatest living women’s basketball players almost no one has ever heard of. She has won 3 National Titles, scored the first basket in women’s Olympic basketball at the ‘76 Olympics, and was, remarkably, drafted to the NBA. The Queen of Basketball is a short documentary about a woman telling her own story with the help of filmmaker, Dan Proudfoot.

North By Current
Documentary
Director: Angelo Madsen Minax. Producer: Felix Endara.
Trailer

Synopsis: North By Current is a rumination on identity and familial responsibility. After the inconclusive death of his infant niece, trans filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax returns to his rural Michigan hometown determined to make a film about the family’s wrongful persecution. Instead, he pivots to excavate the depths of generational addiction, Christian fervor, and trans embodiment.

Stockholm Syndrome
Documentary
Directed by The Architects (The Architects are collaborative filmmakers, thinkers, and builders).
Producers: Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Sherman.

Synopsis: In 2019, Harlem-bred Rakim Mayers (aka A$AP Rocky) was thrown in a Stockholm prison following a violent altercation with a pair of local provocateurs. Stockholm Syndrome chronicles the meteoric rise of A$AP Rocky, capturing the exuberance of youth and urgency of hip-hop in equal parts, before taking a detour into darkness.

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