The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival will showcase 63 diverse and engaging short films in competition, including 31 world premieres. There will also be special screening programs for the annual Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival and the debut of shorts from The Queen Collective, a program aimed at accelerating gender and racial equality behind the camera. The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 24 – May 5.
The flagship New York Shorts Program this year is entitled Streetwise and contains all world premiere narrative films, and back by popular demand are comedy (Funhouse) and sci-fi (Down to Earth). Among the new programs are the music-focused On Tour and the female-focused No Shortcuts documentary programs, and curated especially for late-night is the self-explanatory program WTF.
Some of the notable actors featured in the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Shorts Film program include Lorraine Bracco, Brian Dennehy, Veronica Dunne, Brianna Hildebrand, Amanda Plummer, Bella Ramsey, and Keenan Thompson.
The 2019 Oscar winner Bao, directed by Domee Shi world premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival and is the latest in the Festival’s long tradition of curating films that have been nominated or won an Oscar. Recipients of the Tribeca Film Festival awards for Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best Animated Short will qualify for consideration in the Academy Awards’ Short Films category, provided the film complies with Academy rules. Tribeca Film Festival also gives out a Student Visionary Award to a student filmmaker.
The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Shorts Program is as follows:
Animated Shorts Curated by Whoopi G
Showcasing imaginative storytelling and captivating craft.
This program is suggested for those 14 and older.
La Noria, directed and written by Carlos Baena. (Spain) – New York Premiere. A young boy who loves to draw and build ferris wheels encounters strange creatures that turn his life upside down. With English subtitles.
PeiXes, directed and written by Juan C. Pena. (Spain) – New York Premiere. A bold fish wants to see that there is beyond the water, and it is determined to succeed… With Antón Cancelas. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Mind My Mind, directed and written by Floor Adams. (Netherlands) – International Premiere. When relying on social scripts to survive the social world, it’s not easy to go off-script. Especially if you’re obsessed with German dive bombers and just want to date a girl. With Simon Hodges, Cézanne Tegelberg, Adam Fields, Faye Bloomfield, Lesley Hughes, Elias Vervecken.
My Mother’s Eyes, directed and written by Jenny Wright. (UK) – New York Premiere. My Mother’s Eyes is a story about motherhood and loss in the abstracted world of childhood memory.
These American Truths, directed by Ed Bell, Clementine Briand, Pierce Freelon, Jon Halperin, Aaron Keane, Drew Takahashi, written by Pierce Freelon, Jon Halperin. (USA) – World Premiere. How skin became color, color became race, and race became power. Or… the relationship of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson in an animated musical.
The Downfall of Santa Claus (Julenissens fall), directed and written by Robert Depuis. (Norway) – North American Premiere. Santa Claus whole existence is dependent on a little boy’s faith. With Jan Sælid, Jonathan Gebuhr, Fridtjov Såheim, Tone Merete Aas Skålevik. In Norwegian with English subtitles.
Down To Earth
Sci-Fi shorts explore the “gravity” of the situations.
Storm, directed and written by Will Kindrick. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. An unexpected user is accidentally launched through a series of turbulent splash portals when his government enforced dating app malfunctions in his bathtub. With John Bubniak, Corey Potter, Gwen Van Dam, RJ Howard, Corey L Page.
Bunker Burger, directed and written by Adam Yorke. (Canada) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. The members of an underground, post-apocalyptic bunker invite a psychologist from the radioactive and chaotic surface to audition for a place to live among them. With Enrico Colantoni, Sara Mitich, Tony Babcock, Jennifer Vallance, Sarah Gnocato, Bethanie Ho.
Flyby, directed and written by Jesse Mittelstadt. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. When a passing asteroid begins to affect how people perceive time, one man struggles to keep up with a life that is quickly disappearing into the future. With Tommee May, Riley Egan, Adam Mayfield, Akul Dang, Bardot Corso, Charles Chu, Chelsea Harris, Chris Reagan, Justin Rupple, Phil Abrams, Ryan Shrime, Torrey Devitto, Valeria Maldonado, Caity Ware.
Unregistered, directed by Sophia Banks, written by Erin Dignam. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. Unregistered is a narrative short film following a new couple navigating analog and digital connections in the not-too-distant future of a dystopian Los Angeles. With Dylan Penn, Trevor Jackson, David Lee Smith.
Zero, directed and written by The Brother’s Lynch. (USA, UK) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. After a mysterious electromagnetic pulse renders the world’s technology useless, a young girl finds herself isolated and alone with only her father’s strict set of rules to keep her alive. With Bella Ramsey, Nigel O’Neill, Danny Shooter, James Oliver Wheatley.
The Shipment, directed and written by Bobby Bala. (Canada) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. Unable to afford repairs to his old broken ship, a struggling interplanetary transporter and his daughter are stranded on a wretched spaceport as his morality is put to the test. With Aleks Paunovic, Ishana Bala, Robert Maillet, Omari Newton.
Shorts that show their true colors.
This Perfect Day, directed and written by Lydia Rui. (Australia) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. Across the street, a music store is closing. With only a few minutes to make their move, Julia realizes it’s time for them to face their fears. With Michelle Keating, Lee Mason, Hannah Koch.
Ponyboi, directed and written by River Gallo. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. Ponyboi, an intersex sex-worker, looks for love and to escape his seedy life in New Jersey. Through an encounter with the man of his dreams, Ponyboi discovers his worth. With River Gallo, Keith Allan, Aaron Schwartz, Sophie Labelle, Logan Arevelo.
War Paint, directed by J.C. Doler, Taylor Bracewell, written by J.C. Doler. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. War Paint is a reverse first-person narrative telling the true story of Joe, a veteran of the Vietnam war. The film follows him as he enlists, prepares, and heads off to war. With J.C. Doler, Alex Dafnis, Patrick Kirton, Chris Alan Evans, Paul Petersen, Clayton Henderson.
Street Flame, directed and written by Katherine Propper. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. Following the death of their friend, a crew of skaters and motley street teens imagine their own rituals to commemorate her on their own terms. With Sauve Sidle, Isaiah Shepard, Jessica Price, Kaitlyn Mitchell, Curtis Rhodes.
Driving Lessons, directed and written by Marziyeh Riahi. (Iran) – North American Premiere, Short Narrative. According Iranian law, Bahareh must have her traditional, chauvinistic husband accompany her on driving lessons so she and her instructor will not be alone. With Linda Kiani, Alireza Sanifar, Salar Khamseh, Sanaz Mesbah. In Persian with English subtitles.
Maja, directed by Marijana Jankovic, written by Marijana Jankovic, Adam August. (Denmark) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. Maja, a six-year-old Serbian girl, has a difficult time interacting with the other kids—and she ends up being misunderstood and lonesome. With Selena Marsenic, Jesper Christensen, Dejan Cukic, Marijana Jankovic. In Danish, Serbian with English subtitles.
Forces of Nature
Character docs that demand attention.
99 Problems, directed by Ross Killeen. (Ireland) – International Premiere, Short Documentary. The inside scoop on the murky world of the ice cream business.
Framing Agnes, directed by Chase Joynt, Kristen Schilt. (USA) – North American Premiere, Short Documentary. In 2017, trans artists gained access to a 1950s archive of never-before-seen histories of transgender people. Through reenactment and documentary, they revive the past to redefine the future. With Angelica Ross, Chase Joynt, Max Wolf Valerio, Silas Howard, Zackary Drucker.
Stanley Stellar: Here for this Reason, directed and written by Eric Leven. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. 40 years of New York City gay history told through photographs and the man behind the camera there to capture it all.
War Mothers: Unbreakable, directed by Stefan Bugryn. (Ukraine, Australia) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. What does an 18-year-old do when war comes to her country? In Ukrainian with English subtitles.
St. Louis Superman, directed by Smriti Mundhra, Sami Khan. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Documentary. Bruce Franks Jr., a Ferguson activist and battle rapper who was elected to the overwhelmingly white and Republican Missouri House of Representatives, must overcome both personal trauma and political obstacles to pass a critical bill for his community.
It’s all fun and games in these comedic shorts.
Hook Up 2.0, directed and written by Dana Nachman. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. A sorority girl figures out a way to eliminate all risk from the late-night ritual that is the college hook up. Now all she needs is to find a guy to test out her idea on… and with. With Veronica Dunne, Billy Meade.
Westfalia, directed and written by Haley Finnegan, written by Haley Finnegan. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. A couple embarks on an epic road trip in an attempt to gain more followers after their Instagram rival’s fame doubles overnight. With Haley Finnegan, Brian Flynn, Nicholas DePriest, Belle Adams, Laura Lawson Visconti, Nick Visconti.
Lady Hater, directed and written by Alexandra Barreto. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. A self-proclaimed “guy’s girl” finds herself stuck in an all-female, goddess seminar. With Allyn Rachel, Natalie Zea.
I Think She Likes You, directed by Bridey Elliott, written by Teresa Lee (Screenplay), Christine Medrano. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. When Justine and Julia pick Jake up at a bar, it’s not quite the threesome he was expecting. With Christine Medrano, Teresa Lee, Josh Fadem.
Peggy, directed and written by Justin O’Neal Miller. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. Everything always seems to work out perfectly for Peggy, but her social graces are put to the test when she throws a birthday party for her eight-year-old son. With Jason MacDonald, Sarah Blackman, Josh Warren, Kurt Yue.
Hard-ish Bodies, directed and written by Mike Carreon. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. A plus-size male stripper knocks on the wrong door and is thrust into the criminal underworld. His only chance to save the club and himself is to do what he does best … DANCE! With Mike Carreon, James C Leary, Regina Soto, Heidi Lornz, Marcone Cangussu, Adam Mengesha, Isaac Garza, Meghan Malone.
40 Minutes Over Maui, directed by Michael Feld, Josh Covitt, written by Steve Feld, Michael Feld, Josh Covitt. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. For 40 minutes on January 13, 2018, the fate of the world hung in the balance. For Larry and Penny… their Hawaiian vacation became a lot more meaningful. With Julie Brister, Johnny Ray Meeks.
Docs that make a difference.
Keepers of the Wild, directed and written by Adam McClelland. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Documentary. Keepers of the Wild follows baby orphan elephants and their human keepers in the constant struggle to keep these majestic, complex and loving animals alive and wild in Kenya’s largest National Park.
A Tale of Two Kitchens, directed by Trisha Ziff, written by Trisha Ziff, Sheerly Avni. (USA, Mexico) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Two countries, two restaurants, one vision. A Tale of Two Kitchens explores how a restaurant is a place of dignity and community across Mexico City and San Francisco. In English, Spanish with English subtitles. A Netflix release.
All On a Mardi Gras Day, directed and written by Michal Pietrzyk. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Documentary. In a gentrifying New Orleans, Demond is part of a secret culture called Mardi Gras Indians, African-American men who spend all year sewing feathered suits to decide who’s “the prettiest.”
Learning To Skateboard In a Warzone (If You’re A Girl), directed by Carol Dysinger. (UK) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You’re A Girl) is the story of young Afghan girls learning to read, write—and skateboard—in Kabul. In Dari with English subtitles.
Navigating life is tough in these female-focused docs.
Reality Baby, directed by Nodlag Houlihan. (Ireland) – International Premiere, Short Documentary. A group of friends is given lifelike baby dolls to care for over 24 hours. How will they rise to the challenges of teenage motherhood?
Little Miss Sumo, directed and written by Matt Kay. (Japan, Taiwan R.O.C., UK, USA) – North American Premiere, Short Documentary. Female sumo wrestling champion Hiyori confronts obstacles both inside and outside the ring in an attempt to change Japan’s national sport forever. In English, Japanese with English subtitles. Also playing in Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival: Sports Shorts
A Love Song for Latasha, directed by Sophia Nahli Allison. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. A dreamlike conversation with the past and the present, this film reimagines a more nuanced narrative of Latasha Harlins by excavating intimate memories shared by her cousin and best friend. With Tybee O’Bard, Shinese Harlins, Zoe Flint, Nnenna Brown, Juanita Jennings, Marley Cortez, Londyn Sharp, Raigan Alex, Irie Hudson.
After Maria, directed by Nadia Hallgren. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Strong Puerto Rican women forced to flee the island after Hurricane Maria have bonded like family in a FEMA hotel in the Bronx. They seek stability in their new life as forces try to pull them apart. In Spanish with English subtitles. A Netflix release.
Music docs that speak to heart and soul.
Xmas Cake – This American Shelf-Life, directed by May Yam, written by Petra Hanson. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. A coming-of-middle-age story about a female singers’ journey from hot to not, and what ensues across cultures—from New York to Tokyo. With Petra Hanson.
Lost Weekend, directed by Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. In 1984, two friends from small town Pennsylvania win an MTV contest and the chance to party with Van Halen for 48 Hours. With Kurt Jefferis, Tom Winnick.
A Song Can’t Burn, directed and written by Roscoe Neil. (UK) – New York Premiere, Short Documentary. A Song Can’t Burn follows a Scottish musician working with refugee children who have crossed the border from Syria to Lebanon.
Lazarus, directed by David Darg. (USA, Malawi, UK) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Lazarus is a short documentary following Lazarus Chigwandali, a street musician with Albinism from Malawi as he teams up with a London-based music producer to record his debut album. With Clem Kwizombe, Esau Mwamwaya, Johan Hugo, Ikponwosa Ero. In Chechewa, English with English subtitles.
That’s My Jazz, directed by Ben Proudfoot. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Milt Abel Jr., a world-renowned pastry chef, reflects on his relationship with his deceased father and famed Kansas City jazz musician, Milton Abel Sr. With Albert Trepanier Jr., Bobby “Hurricane” Spencer, Cathy Luke, Henry Franklin, Ibrahima Sow, Kaleb Ross, Lasse Funch Sørenson, Lasse Mørck, Marie Buch Hoyer, Michael Be Holden, Norman Weatherly, Retha Spencer, Richard Spicer, Søren Høst.
Roads Less Traveled
East of the River, directed and written by Hannah Peterson. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. When Teonna is unexpectedly suspended from school, she encounters a girl from her past who takes her on an adventure through the city. With Ayiana T. Davis, Steloni Mason, Malachi Mack.
Pearl (Zhen Zhu), directed and written by Yuchao Feng. (China) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. In a desolate Chinese fishing village, a single mother gives her 6-year-old daughter one final lesson. With Lu Liu, Yating Cao, Menghua Zhong, Jinnai Chen. In Chinese with English subtitles.
Black Hat, directed by Sarah Smith, written by Phillip Guttmann. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. A pious Hasidic man living a secret double life misplaces his hat one night, which will cause his two separate lives to collide in a way he never imagined. With Adam Silver, Sebastian Velmont, Shelly Kurtz, Alan Lennick, Carolyn Michelle Smith, Nicholas Hylander.
Snare, directed by Madeleine Gottlieb, written by Madeleine Gottlieb, James Fraser. (Australia) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. At an aging Chinese restaurant in 1997, a dad asks his punk musician son to help him follow his dreams. With Steve Rodgers, James Fraser.
Carlito Leaves Forever, directed and written by Quentin Lazzarotto. (France, Peru) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. A short poetic film following Carlito, a young man living in an indigenous village at the heart of the Amazonian jungle, who decided to leave and change his life forever. With Carlito Tirira Meshi, Alfonsina Sehua Tioshe.
Jebel Banat, directed and written by Sharine Atif. (Egypt) – North American Premiere, Short Narrative. Two Bedouin sisters hide on a mountain, escaping forced marriages and embarking on a journey of freedom. With Sara Soumaya Abed, Jala Hesham, Soliman El Jebaly. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Where I End And You Begin, directed and written by Will Hoffman, Julius Metoyer. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. Snapshots of different lives are woven together to illuminate something deeply human about the country: despite obvious differences, emotions provide a common ground.
New York shorts that can handle themselves.
The Dishwasher, directed and written by Nick Hartanto, Sam Roden. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. A chef at a fine dining restaurant in New York City asks a Mexican dishwasher to find good tortillas. With Kevin Balmore, Elisha Yaffe, Holly Lynn Ellis, Teddy Cañez, Arisleyda Lombert, Richie Moriarty. In English, Spanish with English subtitles.
Night Swim, directed by Victoria Rivera, written by Victoria Rivera and Neda Jebelli. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. Three teenage girls break into a shut down pool. When uninvited guests show up, their friendship is tested and one of them is left behind. With Adriana Santos, Chloe Roe, Adea Lennox.
Rogers and Tilden, directed by Henry Hayes, written by Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Henry Hayes. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. Fresh out of prison in a Brooklyn he barely recognizes, Marcus is looking to seize his second chance. But first, he needs that driver’s license. With Gbenga Akinnagbe, Curtiss Cook Jr, Lorrie Odom.
Master Maggie, directed by Matthew Bonifacio, written by Julianna Gelinas Bonifacio, Matthew Bonifacio. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. A celebrity acting coach is interrupted by an unknown actor begging for her help for a TV audition. What follows is an unexpected journey for the both of them. With Lorraine Bracco, Neil Jain, Kenan Thompson, Brian Dennehy, Chris Henry Coffey.
Metronome (In Time), directed and written by Scott Floyd Lochmus. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. In this wordless fable, an ailing elderly maestro and a young piano prodigy venture out of their musical isolation in hopes of selling their beloved piano. With David Patrick Kelly, Gabriel Gurevich, Patrick Cannell, Adaku Ononogbo, Mehdi Barakchian, Valerie Steinberg.
The Neighbors’ Window, directed and written by Marshall Curry. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. The Neighbors’ Window tells the true story of a middle-aged woman with small children whose life is shaken up when two free-spirited twenty-somethings move in across the street. With Maria Dizzia, Greg Keller, Juliana Canfield, Bret Lada.
Watch These Films curated especially for late-night.
Twist, directed and written by Aly Migliori. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. No choice but to walk home alone, Hannah sees an opportunity for a ride, but others see an opportunity in her. With Helena Howard, Megan Seely, Henry Dwyer, Mike Donovan, Justin Hofstad, Matthew Russell.
Whiteout, directed by Lance Edmands, written by Lance Edmands, Sarah Tihany. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. When a young couple encounters a strange old man wandering in a snowstorm, they must decide if he needs help, or if he has more sinister intentions. With Sarah Tihany, David Call, Patrick M Walsh Jr..
His Hands, directed and written by Arron Blake, Darius Shu. (UK) – North American Premiere, Short Narrative. Two men of different ages meet for the strangest encounter of their lives. With Arron Blake, Philip Brisebois.
Momster, directed and written by Drew Denny. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. When notorious bank robber, the Momster, catches her daughter Angel mid-gunfight, Angel thinks she’s being rescued… until she realizes she has to do the saving. With Brianna Hildebrand, Amanda Plummer, John Ennis, Josh Fadem, Ryan Simpkins.
Hunting Season, directed by Shannon Kohli, written by Hannah Levien. (Canada) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. Callie, a small town gas station attendant, has an unexpected encounter which will change the course of her life forever. With Hannah Levien, Luke Camilleri.
11:50, directed and written by Yiguo Chen. (China) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. In the pouring rain, a junkie takes the hotel key of a man that his car has accidentally killed. As he walks into the hotel and finds that room, he has to face a mysterious journey that will never have an end. In Chinese with English subtitles.
Snaggletooth, directed and written by Colin Bishopp. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. An unusual girl needs to get her teeth fixed at midnight. With Jolie Ledford, Sierra Marcks, Susan Louise O’Connor, Thomas Cokenias.
Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival: Sports Shorts
A spectrum of stories, styles, and sports, this collection of athletically-minded short films will take audiences on the exciting personal journeys of these athletes.
The Boxers of Brule, directed and written by Jessie Adler. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Shaionna, a young Lakota woman, creates a girls’ boxing team to combat the youth suicide epidemic threatening the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation. With the odds stacked against her, she must confront her own demons while fighting to bring hope and healing to her community. With Shaionna Grassrope-Ziegler, Davita Thompson, Shilea Grassrope, Pam Ziegler, Jada Whitelight, Rianna Rodriguez. In English with English subtitles.
Mack Wrestle (Mack Wrestles), directed by Taylor Hess, Erin Sanger. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Documentary. Mack Beggs loved wrestling—it gave him a sense of purpose and a sense of self. Mack Wrestles, takes the audience behind the scenes as this gifted athlete from Euless, Texas, struggles against the outside forces that stigmatize transgender athletes.
Who Says I Can’t (Who Says I Can’t), directed by Kristen Lappas. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Rob Mendez was born without arms or legs, but after more than a decade of acting as an assistant football coach, he finally got the opportunity he’d always wanted: the head coaching position at a major high school. Who Says I Can’t chronicles Mendez’ first season at the helm of his own team.
Also playing in Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival: Sports Shorts —Little Miss Sumo
The Queen Collective shorts
The debut of two Queen Collective documentaries, supported by Proctor & Gamble, aimed at accelerating gender and racial equality behind the camera. Created by diverse young women – these short films inspire positive social change and embody Procter and Gamble’s commitment to supporting gender and racial equity, on-screen and behind the scenes.
Ballet After Dark, directed by B.Monét. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Ballet After Dark tells the story a young woman who found the strength to survive after an attack. She created an organization that is helping sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors find healing after trauma through dance therapy.
If There Is Light, directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Fourteen-year-old Janiyah Blackmon wrestles with her new life in New York City as her mom tries to move her family out of the shelter system and into a stable home. With Janiyah Blackmon, McKayla Blackmon, Jakena Blackmon.