The Tribeca Film Festival returns today for another year of film screenings, Q&A panels, and world premieres. Running until May 5th, the New York festival features stories from the greatest storytellers and a number of rising and prominent names in the film industry today.
Now in its 18th year, the line-up will consist of 103 feature films from 124 filmmakers – 50% of which will be directed by women. Alongside features, the schedule also includes short films, virtual experiences, documentaries, and immersive competition sections.
We’ve taken it amongst ourselves to round up just thirteen of the most exciting, unique, and undeniably queer highlights that we think you should try and check out if you’re visiting Tribeca this year.
Directed by Chris Moukarbel, Wig explores the origins of annual New York drag festival Wigstock.
Extravagant drag performances and political statements blended together into a fusion of fun, the festival original ran from 1984 until 2001 before returning again last year.
The impact of the historical festival is told through archival footage and conversations with the likes of Lady Bunny, Neil Patrick Harris, Naomi Smalls, Willam, Charlene Incarnate, Flotilla DeBarge, and Kevin Aviance.
Executive produced by Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson, Ponyboi is a story of an intersex sex-worker and their journey for love.
In a bid to escape his seedy life in New Jersey, a chance encounter with the man of his dreams sees Ponyboi (played by River Gallo) discover his worth.
The short film also stars Keith Allan and Gossip Girl’s Arron Schwartz, while also introducing Sophie Labelle.
GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH
In this documentary, 300 singers of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus take a road trip across the deep south showcasing their ability to bring people together through music – despite political and religious differences.
The road trip sees the many members of the Chorus group confront their own fears and experiences with faith. Directed by David Charles, it’s an insight into how LGBTQ+ issues are tackled in the South and whether music can heal the wounds of intolerance.
An animated documentary and virtual reality experience, Another Dream is a particular highlight in Tribeca’s bustling programme.
Directed by Tamara Shogaolu, the short tells the story of an Egyptian lesbian couple as they flee Cairo to seek asylum and acceptance in the Netherlands.
Audiences will need to interact with the storyline in order to move forward, allowing them to explore the surrounding world and environments.
Featuring traditional 2D and 3D animation alongside hand-painted virtual animation, Another Dream is a groundbreaking experience that comes to life before your very eyes.
Seahorse documents one transgender man’s journey to start a family.
Director Jeanie Finlay follows 30-year-old Freddy McConnell over the course of three years as he begins the path to parenthood and decides to bear his child himself.
From conceiving right up to birth, Seahorse challenges society’s understanding of gender and family in an extraordinary journey of soul searching that will give fatherhood a whole other meaning.
TRIXIE MATTEL: MOVING PARTS
Having graced two seasons of Drag Race, you’d think we’d all know the in’s and out’s of Milwaukee drag queen Trixie Mattel by now. However, Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts is here to show us a side to the extravagantly-painted star that we’ve never been able to see until now.
Director Nick Zeig-Owens offers an unprecedented glimpse behind the dressing room as the drag queen heads around the world on tour, all while juggling family issues and the recording of a new country album.
Offering a candid look into one of Drag Race’s biggest contestants, it’s a must-see for any fan of the show and for anyone who wants to get to know the person behind Trixie Mattel.
THIS PERFECT DAY
Created by a predominately female crew, This Perfect Day stars non-binary lead Michelle Keating in the role of Joan.
Directed by Lydia Rui, videographer on Beyoncé’s Mrs. Carter World Tour, the short film showcases the events that follow as a music store is closing. Also starring Lee Mason, the short was inspired by events in Rui’s life.
CHANGING THE GAME
Focusing on the lives of three high school trans athletes in the United States as they not only transition into their authentic selves but also thrive in their respective sporting fields, Michael Barnett’s Changing the Game shows how anything is possible if you fight hard enough for it.
From wrestling to skiing and track, these teenagers show how they need to fight harder than their cisgender peers for success and how sports has become an outlet for them to gain a sense of purpose in life.
At a time when professional sports stars are openly calling out trans athletes, it’s necessary viewing that could provide these outspoken sporting names with some serious food for thought.
Described as equal parts psychological drama and sexual coming-of-age story, Clementine tells the story of Karen (played by Otmara Marrero) as she comes out of a long-term relationship.
Sneaking into her ex’s summer home, Karen comes across Lana, who is played by Sydney Sweeney. As emotions rise, the scenic lake house becomes the perfect setting for discovery on love and validation in Lara Jean Gallagher’s feature film debut.
Best friends Izzy (Isabelle Barbier), Anuka (Deeksha Ketkar), and Fiona (Sadie Scott) decide it’s time to lose their virginity as the end of their freshman year gets closer in Emily Cohn’s feature directorial debut.
As the girls get an invite to a Crush Party, organised by the coolest girl on campus, it’s a coming-of-age story that’s sure to fit CRSHD right in alongside Ghost World, Mean Girls, and 500 Days of Summer.
Sparkled with candy-coloured visuals and tongue-in-cheek nods to social media, CRSHD looks set to be a glittering and confident addition to Tribeca.
THIS IS NOT BERLIN
Sex, drugs, activism, and art come to the forefront in an 1980s AIDS-era Mexico.
Carlos (Xabiani Ponce de León) and Gera (José Antonio Toledano) are two best friends who become bored of their lives and start to explore the underground nightclub scene in Mexico City.
Taking on a world of freedom, the pair explore a hedonistic spirit of queer awakenings, excess, and protest, in this bold and inventive picture by Hari Sama.
Hanna van Vliet stars as 24-year-old Anne in this short film from Valerie Bisscheroux.
The Dutch webseries sees Anne move into her Amsterdam apartment where she bumps into ex-girlfriend Lily, played by Eline van Gils.
The reappearance in Anne’s life makes her question her past, how they’ve impacted her life, and where she’s heading to next.
Set in the aftermath of her release from prison, XY Chelsea documents whistleblower Chelsea Manning as she adjusts to the real world as a trans woman.
Having been arrested in 2013 for leaking classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks, the former U.S. Army soldier offers insight into her motivations for leaking information and taking on the government.
Directed by Tim Travers Hawkins, XY Chelsea is set to be one of the big talking points from this year’s Tribeca Festival.
For a full list of screenings, including dates, locations, and times, please check out https://www.tribecafilm.com where you can also purchase tickets.