Cinema buffs, this one's for you: The Tribeca Film Festival is coming to small screens this year. As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, from June 9 to 20, the festival that Robert De Niro cofounded will offer Tribeca at Home, a dedicated virtual cinema for home streaming.
With three levels of passes — $25 for short films only, $50 for the award-winning films (available June 19–20) and $150 for all of the festival's virtual content — you can tailor your experience to your interests and budget. You can also stream single films for $15. (Get details here: tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets) This is a rare chance to enjoy the festival's strong mix of features and documentaries without flying to Manhattan and standing in line. Whet your appetite and mark your watch list with these standout selections. When they hit it big later in the year, you can say you saw them at Tribeca!
A contender in the International Narrative Competition, this smoked-fish-out-of-water comedy follows a father and former wrestling champ's trip to America. Kakhi (Soviet Olympic contender Levan Tediashvili, 73) travels from Georgia to Brooklyn's Brighton Beach to rescue his mob-indebted son, Soso (Giorgi Tabidze), from an American dream turned nightmare.
Check it out here: Brighton 4th
The One and Only Dick Gregory
At long last, a documentary about the influential, groundbreaking African American stand-up comic, and civil rights and vegetarian activist, from debut feature director Andre Gaines and executive producers Kevin Hart and Lena Waithe.
Check it out here: The One and Only Dick Gregory
Forever 007 Pierce Brosnan, 68, plays a hunky fertility doctor, with Gretchen Mol as his faithful nurse. Dr. Hindle invades the life of a married couple (Justin Theroux and Broad City's Ilana Glazer, who also cowrote and produced) who are struggling to get pregnant. And that's just the start of the loving pair's problems in this twisted thriller (with a hat tip to Rosemary's Baby) about the extremes to which some parents will go to achieve their perfect family dreams — and the doctors who enable them.
Check it out here: False Positive
Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story
Legendary, big-haired, racy romance author Collins, who died in 2015, at 77, wrote 32 novels that sold more than 500 million copies. Two husbands, three children and a wild ride of a life that began in London and ended in Beverly Hills prove to be the stuff of multiple novels in Laura Fairrie's nonfiction narrative that embraces Collins’ motto, “Girls can do anything.”
Check it out here: Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story
Another oddball black comedy in the international competition is Thomas Daneskov's outrageous Danish midlife adventure about a lovable loser (an animal-skin-wrapped Rasmus Bjerg, looking like a Vikings extra). Martin abandons his family and city life to reinvent himself caveman-style in the Norwegian forest. Once there, he learns more lessons on the nature of manhood than he expected to after falling in with a drug pusher on the lam.
Check it out here: Wild Men
Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It
Can't stop, won't stop: The feisty, pint-sized chanteuse Rita Moreno (89) had her first Broadway role at 13 and, at 30, became the first Latina to win an Academy Award for best supporting actress (for West Side Story). In 2015, President Barack Obama honored the Puerto Rican native as the embodiment of the American dream. And, like the talented, hard-working EGOT actress herself, this Oscar-bound documentary from Mariem Pérez Riera (executive-produced by Norman Lear, 98, and Lin Manuel Miranda) is endlessly entertaining — and salty, too.
Check it out here: Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It
Queen of Glory
In this Narrative Competition contender, writer-star-producer Nana Mensah makes her high-profile directing debut in a female-driven dramedy about a Columbia University doctoral student, Sarah (Mensah), who inherits her mother's Christian bookstore in the Bronx. In settling her mother's estate, reconnecting with her estranged father and stepping off the Ivy League path, Sarah's character allows Mensah to open a window on a vital and under-seen subculture: New York's Ghanaian American community.
Check it out here: Queen of Glory
India Sweets and Spices
UCLA Film School alum Geeta Malik, who also scored the Academy Gold Fellowship for Women and the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, represents a generation of female directors taking advantage of new opportunities — and being recognized by a festival that has long been female-forward. Malik directs her award-winning script, exploring the sentimental journey of a rebellious rising UCLA sophomore, Alia (Sophia Ali, Dahlia Qadri of Grey's Anatomy), who returns home for a New Jersey summer, inevitably clashing with her wealthy, controlling parents (Manisha Koirala, 50, and Adil Hussain, 57).
Check it out here: India Sweets and Spices
Thelma M. Adams, the former film critic for Us Weekly and the New York Post, is a novelist who writes on film for AARP, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.