2018 Tribeca Film Festival: Actresses to shine at world premieres

Since its inception in 2001, the Tribeca Film Festival has highlighted a wide range of films — both narrative and documentary — that celebrate cinema and storytelling.

Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center, the festival has evolved over the last 17 years and has championed both established storytellers and the debut work from filmmakers like Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale), Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp) and David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi).

This year’s festival, which runs from April 18 to 29, continues to expand Tribeca’s offerings, including programs that focus on TV, virtual reality, gaming, and music.  

The festival kicks off with the world premiere of “Love, Gilda,” a documentary about Emmy and Grammy award-winning comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner, on April 18.  

Here are some other films making either their United States or world premiere at the festival that are worth checking out:

Disobedience: Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz stars alongside Rachel McAdams in this romantic drama about a pair of childhood friends whose passion for one another is reignited after years of being torn apart. Based on Naomi Alderman’s book, the film also stars Alessandro Nivola, who won Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival for his role in One Percent More Humid (written and directed by Ridgefield High School graduate Liz W. Garcia).

Little Woods: Written and Directed by first time feature filmmaker Nia DaCosta, this film stars Tessa Thompson (Creed, Westworld) and Lily James (Downton Abbey, Cinderella) in a dramatic thriller set in the fracking boomtown of Little Woods, North Dakota. Thompson and James, two of Hollywood’s best young actresses, play estranged sisters who are driven to extremes when their mother dies, leaving them with one week to pay back her mortgage.

Mary Shelley: Ever wonder how Frankenstein came to be one of the most famous stories in the world? Elle Fanning (Maleficent, The Beguiled) stars as 18-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin who falls in love with poet Percy Shelley, an affair that results in Mary writing the timeless classic. Like the other two films listed above, Mary Shelley will be making its US premiere at Tribeca. The film was directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, who became the first Saudi Arabian female filmmaker to ever direct a Hollywood film. The picture also stars Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones fame.

Woman Walks Ahead: Fresh off his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Sam Rockwell stars alongside Best Actress nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help) in this period drama based on a true story. Chastain plays 19th-century Brooklyn artist Catherine Weldon who journeys west on a mission to paint a portrait of the legendary chief Sitting Bull, only to find a very different world—and man—than she was expecting. Written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders), the film also stars Ciarán Hinds (The Terror) and Bill Camp (The Night Of).

O.G.: America’s prison system receives an examination in this grizzly drama starring Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) and Boyd Holbrook (Narcos). Louis (Wright) is five weeks away from being released after serving a 24-year sentence when he is jumped and forced to befriend a younger cellmate (Holbrook).

All About Nina: Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Fargo, 10 Cloverfield Lane) stars as Nina Geld, a provocative stand-up comedian whose career is taking off but whose personal life is a near-disaster. Common, Beau Bridges, and Clea DuVall costar.

Bathtubs Over Broadway: It’s not all drama at Tribeca. This comedy documentary traces a disaffected comedy writer as he stumbles on a hidden world of bizarre corporate entertainment. Along the way, he makes connections with David Letterman, Martin Short, and Florence Henderson.

For more information on the festival, visit www.tribecafilm.com/festival.