25 Must-Watch Films During Tribeca Film Festival 2018

New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival is kicking off its seventeenth year with a bang! Out of the 96 films on this year’s roster, a whopping 46% of films are directed by women (that’s nearly half!) and 46 of the films are from first-time directors. “We are proud to present a lineup that celebrates American diversity and welcomes new international voices in a time of cultural and social activism,” says Paula Weinstein, Executive Vice President of Tribeca Enterprises. “Our films succeed in being both entertaining and illuminating, which is what you desire from great storytellers.”

Tribeca Film Festival 2018 runs from April 18 to April 29 and, as an avid film junkie, this will be my sixth year in a row attending and covering the festival for my YouTube channel. One of my favorite Tribeca traditions is scouring the film selections to find the ones I’m most interested in checking out and this year I’ve decided to share that with you guys.

Below is a list of films premiering at Tribeca Film Festival that have caught my eye:

7 STAGES TO ACHIEVE ETERNAL BLISS BY PASSING THROUGH THE GATEWAY CHOSEN BY THE HOLY STORSH

7 Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh, directed by Vivieno Caldinelli, written by Christopher Hewitson, Clayton Hewitson, Justin Jones. Produced by Patrick McErlean, Michael Moran, Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller, Lisa Whalen, Elijah Wood. (USA) – World Premiere. Midwestern couple Claire and Paul are thrilled to find a great deal on an affordable Los Angeles apartment. But the rent is cheap for a reason: cult members keep breaking in at random to commit ritual suicide in their bathtub. With Kate Micucci, Sam Huntington, Dan Harmon, Taika Waititi, Mark McKinney.

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ALL ABOUT NINA

All About Nina, directed and written by Eva Vives. Produced by Eric B. Fleischman, Sean Tabibian, Natalie Qasabian, Eva Vives. (USA) – World Premiere. Nina Geld’s passion and talent have made her a rising star in the comedy scene, but she’s an emotional mess offstage. When a new professional opportunity coincides with a romantic one, she is forced to reckon with the intersection of her life and her art. With Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common, Chace Crawford, Clea DuVall, Kate del Castillo, Beau Bridges.

ALL THESE SMALL MOMENTS

All These Small Moments, directed and written by Melissa Miller Costanzo. Produced by Lauren Avinoam, Jed Mellick, Katie Leary. (USA) – World Premiere. Howie Sheffield is at a turning point. As he watches his parents’ relationship crumbling, he becomes infatuated with Odessa, a woman he sees each day on the bus ride to school. With Brendan Meyer, Jemima Kirke, Molly Ringwald, Brian d’Arcy James, Sam McCarthy, Harley Quinn Smith.

BACK ROADS

Back Roads, directed by Alex Pettyfer, written by Tawni O’Dell, Adrian Lyne. Produced by Craig Robinson, Michael Ohoven, Ashley Mansour, Alex Pettyfer, Jake Seal, Dan Spilo. (USA) – World Premiere. A young man cares for his sisters after their mother is imprisoned for murdering their abusive father. When he strikes up an affair with a married woman, long-dormant family secrets bubble to the surface in this noir thriller. With Alex Pettyfer, Jennifer Morrison, Nicola Peltz, June Carryl, Juliette Lewis.

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BLUE NIGHT

Blue Night, directed by Fabien Constant, written by Laura Eason. Produced by Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alison Benson. (USA) – World Premiere. A devastating diagnosis sends a famous singer reeling through the streets of New York City in this French New Wave-inspired drama. With Sarah Jessica Parker, Simon Baker, Jacqueline Bisset, Common, Taylor Kinney, Renée Zellweger, Waleed Zuaiter.

BRAID

Braid, directed and written by Mitzi Peirone. Produced by Logan Steinhardt, Arielle Elwes. (USA) – World Premiere. Two drug dealers on the lam seek refuge inside their mentally unstable friend’s mansion. But in order to stay, they have to participate in her elaborate, and increasingly dangerous, game of permanent make-believe. With Madeline Brewer, Imogen Waterhouse, Sarah Hay, Scott Cohen.

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CARGO

Cargo, directed by Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke, written by Yolanda Ramke. Produced by Russell Akerman, Samantha Jennings, John Schoenfelder, Kristine Ceyton. (Australia) – International Premiere. An infected father navigates a zombie-riddled Australian Outback with his infant daughter. Fortunately, he’s found an Aboriginal community that may hold the disease’s cure. Unfortunately, he has only 48 hours to live. With Martin Freeman. A Netflix release.

EGG

Egg, directed by Marianna Palka, written by Risa Mickenberg. Produced by Michele Ganeless, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche. (USA) – World Premiere. In provocateur Marianna Palka’s sharp and unflinching satire, two couples and a surrogate lay bare the complications, contradictions, heartbreak, and absurdities implicit in how we think about motherhood. With Christina Hendricks, Anna Camp, Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, Gbenga Akinnagbe.

HOWARD

Howard, directed and written by Don Hahn. Produced by Don Hahn, Lori Korngiebel. (USA) – World Premiere. Howard Ashman, the once-in-a-generation songwriting talent, penned the lyrics for Little Shop of Horrors and revitalized Disney with his work on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Howard is a tribute to the lyricist and to the power of musical storytelling. With Howard Ashman, Alan Menken, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Bill Lauch, Sarah Gillespie, Peter Schneider.

IN A RELATIONSHIP

In a Relationship, directed and written by Sam Boyd. Produced by Jorge Garcia Castro, David Hunter, Ross Putman. (USA) – World Premiere. Long-term couple Owen and Hallie are breaking up — or maybe not? — and just as their relationship reaches a turning point, Matt and Willa embark on a romance of their own. A funny and deeply felt chronicle of one summer in the lives of two couples in Los Angeles. With Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Dree Hemingway, Patrick Gibson, Jay Ellis, Melora Walters.

JELLYFISH

Jellyfish, directed by James Gardner, written by James Gardner, Simon Lord. Produced by James Gardner, Nikolas Holttum. (UK) – World Premiere, Feature Narrative. Sarah Taylor’s hardscrabble life has turned her into a teenage terror. When her drama teacher helps her channel her ferocious wit into comedy, her life’s delicate balance is set on a collision course with her newfound passion. With Liv Hil, Sinéad Matthews, Cyril Nri, Angus Barnett.

JONATHAN

Jonathan, directed by Bill Oliver, written by Peter Nickowitz, Bill Oliver, Gregory Davis. Produced by Randy Manis, Ricky Tollman. (USA) – World Premiere. Jonathan is a young man with a strange condition that only his brother understands. But when he begins to yearn for a different life, their unique bond becomes increasingly tested in this twisty sci-fi drama. With Ansel Elgort, Suki Waterhouse, Patricia Clarkson.

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MARY SHELLEY

Mary Shelley, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, written by Emma Jensen. Produced by Amy Baer, Alan Moloney, Ruth Coady. (Ireland, UK, Luxembourg, USA) – U.S. Premiere. The story of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin’s whirlwind romance with the tempestuous poet Percy Shelley, a romance that led to her creation of one of the most enduring works of gothic literature before the age of 20: Frankenstein. With Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Joanne Froggatt, Tom Sturridge, Maisie Williams. An IFC release.

ROLL RED ROLL

Roll Red Roll, directed by Nancy Schwartzman. Produced by Nancy Schwartzman, Jessica Devaney, Steven Lake. (USA) – World Premiere. At a 2012 pre-season high-school football party in Steubenville, Ohio, a young woman was raped. The aftermath exposed an entire culture of complicity — and Roll Red Roll maps out the roles that peer pressure, denial, sports machismo, and social media each played in the tragedy.

SAY HER NAME: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SANDRA BLAND

Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, directed by Kate Davis, David Heilbroner. Produced by David Heilbroner, Kate Davis. (USA) – World Premiere. Sandra Bland was a bright, energetic activist whose life was cut short when a traffic stop resulted in a mysterious jail cell death just three days later. Say Her Name follows the two-year battle to uncover the truth. An HBO release.

SLUT IN A GOOD WAY

Slut in a Good Way, directed by Sophie Lorain, written by Catherine Léger. Produced by Martin Paul-Hus. (Canada) – International Premiere, Feature Narrative. Three 17-year-old girlfriends get a job at the Toy Depot for the holiday season and become smitten with the guys who work alongside them in this charming teen sex comedy. With Marguerite Bouchard, Rose Adam, Romane Denis, Alex Godbout, Anthony Therrien, Vassili Schneider.

SONG OF BACK AND NECK

Song of Back and Neck, directed and written by Paul Lieberstein. Produced by Paul Lieberstein, Jennifer Prediger, Kim Leadford. (USA) – World Premiere. A hapless man seeking treatment for his crippling back pain discovers a very unusual talent and unexpected love in this inventive romantic comedy from writer-director-star Paul Lieberstein (The Office). With Paul Lieberstein, Rosemarie DeWitt, Clark Duke, Brian d’Arcy James, Robert Pine, Paul Feig.

SONGWRITER

Songwriter, directed and written by Murray Cummings. Produced by Kimmie Kim. (UK) – North American Premiere. Songwriter is an intimate immersion into the intense and collaborative process that created Ed Sheeran’s chart-topping album, ÷.

THE AMERICAN MEME

The American Meme, directed and written by Bert Marcus. Produced by Bert Marcus, Cassandra Hamar. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Paris Hilton, the Fat Jew, Kirill Bichutsky, and Brittany Furlan have all used social media to achieve massive internet fame. But, is it worth it? With DJ Khaled, Emily Ratajkowski, Hailey Baldwin.

THE DARK

The Dark, directed and written by Justin P. Lange. Produced by Danny Krausz, Kurt Stocker, Laura Permutter, Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith. (Austria) – World Premiere. Undead and hating it, young flesh-eater Mina haunts the woods surrounding her childhood home. When she befriends a physically abused boy, she must figure out why, for once, she isn’t feeling homicidal. With Nadia Alexander, Toby Nichols, Karl Markovics.

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THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, directed by Desiree Akhavan, written by Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele. Produced by Michael B. Clark, Alex Turtlelaub, Cecilia Frugiuele, Jonathan Montepare. (USA) – New York Premiere. After Cameron is caught making out with another girl on prom night, her conservative guardians send her to gay conversion therapy. There, she forges an unlikely community with her fellow teens in this Sundance-winning coming of age story. With Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle.

THE PARTY’S JUST BEGINNING

The Party’s Just Beginning, directed and written by Karen Gillan. Produced by Mali Elfman, Andru R. Davies, Claire Mundell. (Scotland) – International Premiere. Lucy is a sharp-witted, foul-mouthed, heavy-drinking twenty-something who is still reeling from a recent loss. This surreal coming-of-age tale is a love letter to Gillan’s hometown in the Scottish Highlands. With Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, Matthew Beard, Paul Higgins, Siobhan Redmond, Jamie Quinn, Rachel Jackson.

THE SEAGULL

The Seagull, directed by Michael Mayer, written by Stephen Karam. Produced by Jay Franke, David Herro, Robert Salerno, Tom Hulce, Leslie Urdang. (USA) – World Premiere. A sumptuous adaptation of the classic Chekhov play transports the audience to a picturesque lakeside estate, where a love triangle unfolds between the legendary diva Irina, her lover Boris, and the ingénue Nina. With Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan, Corey Stoll, Elisabeth Moss, Mare Winningham, Jon Tenney, Glenn Fleshler, Michael Zegen, Billy Howle, Brian Dennehy. A Sony Pictures Classic release.

UNTOGETHER

Untogether, directed and written by Emma Forrest. Produced by Scott LaStaiti, Luke Daniels, Brandon Hogan. (USA) – World Premiere. Former writing prodigy Andrea (Jemima Kirke) tries not to fall for her one-night stand, while her sister Tara (Lola Kirke) throws herself into a newfound religious zeal (and the arms of her charismatic rabbi) to avoid the truth about her current relationship in this multi-character romantic drama. With Jemima Kirke, Lola Kirke, Jamie Dornan, Ben Mendelsohn, Billy Crystal, Alice Eve, Jennifer Grey, Scott Caan.

ZOE

Zoe, directed by Drake Doremus, written by Richard Greenberg. Produced by Kevin Walsh, Michael Pruss, Drake Doremus, Robert George. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Narrative. In a future world where cutting-edge technologies can simulate the high of true love, two colleagues at a revolutionary research lab yearn for a connection that’s real. With Léa Seydoux, Ewan McGregor, Christina Aguilera, Rashida Jones, Theo James, Miranda Otto, Matthew Gray Gubler, Anthony Shim.

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