The Films We Loved at Tribeca Film Festival 2019

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The Tribeca Film Festival recently came to an end. While we didn’t get to see all of the over 100 films, we saw plenty of comedies, dramas, and documentaries. We’ve compiled a list of our favorites.

Whether you’re a film buff or just like to watch the occasional movie, this is the list for you. Every filmmaker at TFF hopes to leave with a distribution deal so their work can be seen by a wider audience. We hope you get to enjoy many of these films at your local cinema or streaming platform in the near future,

Feature Films


Director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s Depression-era thriller “Dreamland” stars Margot Robbie as a bank robber on the run. If you loved her as Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya,” this film is for you.  it’s good to see a Hollywood movie with a strong female protagonist. Robbie’s performance will most likely garner another Oscar nomination.

“Lucky Grandma”

Director Sasie Sealy brings to life a dark comedy about immigrant life, what it’s like to get older, and an unexpected friendship. The film tells the story of a newly widowed 80-year-old grandma who decides to head to the casino after getting advice from a psychic – only her luck doesn’t last and leads to questionable events. New Yorkers will love that the film is set in Chinatown, and features many  older people who inhabit this gritty urban neighborhood.

“Stray Dolls”

Filmmaker Sonejuhi Sinha’s “Stray Dolls” is an edgy and dark thriller about what it’s like to be a new immigrant in America. Leaving India behind to break with a life of petty crime, Riz comes to the U.S. to work as a cleaner at the Tides Plaza Motel. Its manager Una, played by Cynthia Nixon,  houses and employs several other young people in dire straits, who we learn more about as events unfold. This film will leave you completely rattled.

“The Weekend”

It’s nice to see Sasheer Zamata from “Saturday Night Life” in a film’s lead role. In “The Weekend,” she plays Zadie, a comedian who’s still in love with her ex-boyfriend, who now has a new girlfriend..  For some reason, she agrees to go on a weekend getaway with the couple. Her still unresolved feelings cause problems but also lead to revelations. Writer and director Stella Meghie brings a heart-warming and lovely film to the screen.


Written by rom-com legend Richard Curtis and directed by Danny Boyle, “Yesterday” is a  musical that tells the story of a young musician who gets into an accident and wakes up in a world where the Beatles never existed. He soon starts singing the band’s famous songs and passes them on as his very own.


“After Parkland”

The events that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day in 2018 are still in our hearts and minds. “After Parkland” seems like the inevitable next step to remember that tragic day. Filmmakers Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman look at several survivors—David Hogg, Victoria Gonzalez, Sam Zeiff, Dillon McCooty, along with Manuel Oliver, who lost his son Joaquin in the shooting, and Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was a victim.

“Ask Dr. Ruth”

You may know Dr. Ruth Westheimer as a sex therapist, but her life is so much more. Born in 1928 in Germany as the only child of Orthodox Jews, Dr. Ruth escaped the Holocaust as a child, eventually emigrating to the United States in the 1950s. She began her career in media as a radio personality on 1980’s “Sexually Speaking.”  An unexpected hit, the show catapulted her into an unlikely celebrity.

“Leftover Women”

In China, single women who fail to snag husbands are stigmatized as “leftover women,” upon whom parents and society exert tremendous pressure to find a partner. “Leftover Women,” made by filmmakers Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia, follows three of these women – Hua Mei, a 34-year-old lawyer; Min, a 28-year-old radio broadcaster; and Qi, a 36-year-old professor – as they navigate matchmakers, group date events, marriage markets, therapists, and fraught relationships.

“Mystify: Michael Hutchence”

If you are a fan of 80s music, you’ll no doubt remember Michael Hutchence from the Australian rock band INXS who died suddenly at the age of 37. Director Richard Lowenstein looks at his rise to fame, his personal life, his drug addiction, the traumatic brain injury that changed the course of his life, and his never-ending struggle to make peace with himself.

“A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem”

Are you a firm believer in equal pay for women and men? This documentary will not only interest you but it will puzzle you when you find out the National Football League believes it doesn’t have to pay its cheerleaders. The film, directed by Yu Gu, follows two women who filed class-action suits to challenge this situation. These hard-working women followed their dream without realizing it offered no financial award.

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