BSO Preview: The 10 Films We Can’t Wait to See at #Tribeca2019 – BlackSportsOnline
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BSO Preview: The 10 Films We Can’t Wait to See at #Tribeca2019

Beginning this week April 24th, film fans, actors, and industry pros will flock en masse to NYC for the 18th installment of Robert Dinero’s Tribeca Film Festival (TFF). The TFF’s mission is “to enable the international film community and the general public to experience the power of film by redefining the film festival experience.” BSO will be live during the entire festival bringing you movie previews, reviews, and interviews with the people behind many of this year’s projects.

If you’re a film festival newbie, the films are broken down into categories, including: narratives, documentaries, features, and shorts. Plus there are Tribeca Talks, Immersive, Interactive and Tribeca TV. Enough to have your head spinning. How do you decide which films to see among the several dozen premieres? BSO is here to help you, with the 10 films we are most looking forward to viewing.

10. 17 Blocks

Director Davy Rothbart and screenwriter Jennifer Tiexiera with family footage, weave together the story of the Sanford family. Growing up 17 blocks within the shadow of the nation’s capital, 17 Blocks is a family’s story of love, loss, life, death, poverty and addiction.

This film offers the kind of intimate access that will leave you filled with a gamut of emotions.

9. The Apollo

When you think of Harlem, it doesn’t take long before the world famous Apollo Theater comes to mind. The famed stage has been the launching point for some of the world’s most famous and successful entertainers. Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Luther Vandross, Dave Chappelle, Lauryn Hill, and Jimi Hendrix to name a few.

Helmed by Academy and Emmy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, The Apollo chronicles the unique history and contemporary legacy of the Apollo Theater. The feature-length documentary includes archival footage, music, comedy and dance performances, and behind-the-scenes verité with the team that makes the theater run and also features interviews with Patti LaBelle, Pharrell Williams, Smokey Robinson, Jamie Foxx, and more. This film will open the 18th annual TFF..

8. Gully

Directed by Nabil Elderkin, featuring supporting actors Terrence Howard, Amber Heard, Robin Givens, and John Corbett, Gully, focuses on three best friends—Calvin (Jacob Latimore), Nicky (Charlie Plummer) and Jesse (Kelvin Harrison Jr.)—who struggle to survive in the bleak and alien environment of a dystopian Los Angeles. In the Bildungsroman tradition, these young boys are traumatized by troubled family relationships and socioeconomic hardships, they seek escape through video games, doing drugs, and hard partying, which provide only a temporary relief from their pain.

7. Dreamland

Native New Yorker, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, directs this Texas set film where Eugene Evans (Finn Cole) a young man living on a farm where his family is coping with dust storms and the Depression, tries to help makes ends meet. After five people are killed during a robbery in a nearby town and a $20,000 bounty is placed for the capture of the bank robber Allison Wells (Margot Robbie), he sees an opportunity—one that’s more in his grasp than he ever imagined when he finds her hiding out in the family barn but nigh impossible when he predictably becomes enamored by her. 

6. The Weekend

Incredibly funny take on the love triangle trope. The Weekend, directed by Canadian Stella Meghie, tells the story 29-year-old comedian Zadie (Sasheer Zamata), her old boyfriend Bradford (Tone Bell) whom she still loves, and his new girlfriend Margo (DeWanda Wise).

The three end up spending the weekend at Zadie’s mother’s (Kym Whitley) bed and breakfast. As one would imagine, hilarity and hijinks ensue.

5. A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem

Director Yu Gu shines a spotlight on the NFL and its practices around wage theft and illegal employment of cheerleaders. Several former cheerleaders, sharing both their legal and personal struggles as they fight for minimum wage to end 50 years of inequality inflicted by the NFL.

The film focuses on an historic class-action lawsuit that cheerleaders were finally able to bring against the NFL. The subjects of the film inspire each other to take on the behemoth that is the NFL, and share a story that is very timely.

4. What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali

The Champ is here! Directed by the great Antoine Fuqua, What’s My Name gives us the definitive look at the life and legend of the icon, Muhammad Ali. Utilizing an all-archival approach—including some never-before-seen-or-heard material, Ali sets the record straight in his own words.

3. Dominican Dream

What’s the price of a dream deferred? How do we define success? These are just some of the questions asked by the documentary Dominican Dream, the story of NYC hoops legend Felipe Lopez. From his immigration to the United States, his prep school dominance, time at St. John’s, making the NBA, and finally retiring. What happened to the “Dominican Jordan”? What is he doing now? If he had to do it all over again, would he do it the same?

2. A Kid From Coney Island

Chike Ozah and Coodie Simmons take viewers along on a deeply personal journey, following basketball star Stephon Marbury from his early days on the streets of Coney Island, through high school, and on through his career as a professional. Along the way Starbury’s closest friends and family share their insights of a kid pursuing a dream, but also the massive weight and expectation placed on him to obtain his goals.

1. Wu Tang Clan Of Mics and Men

On 25th anniversary of the group’s debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the series looks back on their career with reflective interviews from each of the nine living members and never-before-seen archival footage and performances. Their ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit brought them together to overcome the poverty, violence, and oppression of their neighborhoods. Music and a shared lyrical genius allowed them to form one of the most recognized musical movements in the world.

The Tribeca Film Festival promises to be an extraordinary display of creativity that we will be talking about for some time. Founded in 2002 as a response to the devastating 9/11 attacks that ended many lives and caused major destruction. The TFF not only celebrates New York City as a major filmmaking center but also contributes to the long-term recovery and redevelopment of lower Manhattan.

Tickets are available at the official festival website. Prices are $10 (matinée screenings before 6pm, Mon–Fri), $20 (evening and weekend screenings) or $40 (conversations and special events). You can also purchase passes for individual days or the entire festival.