Hey BIZBoost News readers! Tribeca 2022 was the place to be and I was there covering the event for New York Women in Film and Television with some of the dopest media professionals including LaKisa Renee of Cultured Focus Magazine, Clyde Anderson of CA Media, and my fellow NYWIFT colleague Judith Davis of Medium. So much creative awesomeness happened in a matter of two weeks. A lot of the events took place at the exact same time which made me wish there were four of me sometimes lol.
Huge thanks to New York Women in Film and Television, I was amongst some of the most creative visionaries from around the world covering the Tribeca Festival red carpets, talks, and screenings. My resume elevated in a matter of 2 weeks and I am so forever grateful. I had the time of my life as a journalist.
The Tribeca Festival brings visionaries and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. Founded by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, the Festival champions emerging and established voices through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.
Before I dive into my epic experience, I must give a huge congratulations to all of the NYWIFT members who had their projects showcased at this year’s festival. I was honored to interview 4 of them who happen to also be NYWIFT board members for our Women Crush Wednesday Podcast. Alex Cirillo, Leslie Fields-Cruz, Audrey Rosenberg, and Jamie Zelermyer.
After my NYC arrival, I headed over to the Tribeca press office to obtain my industry press credential and headed over to cover the back-to-back red carpets for Butterfly in The Sky which is a wonderfully nostalgic look back at the origin story of Reading Rainbow. After the Premiere Screening, there was a conversation with education advocate and former Reading Rainbow host, LeVar Burton.
Then, The Integrity of Joseph Chambers red carpet brought out Clayne Crawford (Lethal Weapon). Joe (Clayne Crawford) is a family man — a father of two young kids and husband to Tess (Jordana Brewster), living in the country. One morning he wakes up before dawn and decides to go deer hunting by himself — much to Tess’s discontent, who deems it an irresponsible idea, equating it to what eccentric survivalists do.
Simon Baker (The Mentalist) made an appearance on the “Blaze” red carpet. The coming of age genre gets reimagined in this astonishing drama about a family in crisis. Simon Baker stars as the attentive single father of twelve-year-old Blaze (played by Julia Savage), who goes off the rails after experiencing trauma. All three events were held at the SVA Theater.
I attended a few Storyteller’s red carpets and talk events as well including Pharrell Williams with Minya Oh, Tyler Perry with Gayle King, and Cynthia Erivo. Cynthia talked about Broadway needing more diversity and representation on stage and in the audience for people of color. Tyler talked about his career and legacy and so did Pharrell Williams.
Tribeca has expanded from just a film festival and added music as a component. The music events I attended were Hip Hop artist Lil Baby Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby documentary premiere which showcased never-before-seen footage that follows Lil Baby’s transformational journey from local Atlanta hustler to becoming one of hip-hop’s biggest stars and pop culture’s most important voices for change.
Another historical music documentary event that was held was “The DOC”. DJ Clue, and Puma Sabti Curry were among the many on the red carpet. After the Premiere screening, there was a special birthday performance for The DOC by DJ Quik, Das, Kurupt, Xzibit, Slick Rick, Keith Murray, and more. Both events were held at the Beacon Theater.
If that wasn’t enough awesomeness, I covered the 25th-anniversary celebration for Eve’s Bayou. In attendance on the red carpet, were director Kasi Lemmons, producer Caldecot “Cotty” Chubb, Lynn Whitfield (Roz Batiste), Panel Moderator Torell Shavone Taylor, and star of the film Jurnee Smollett.
Another anniversary celebration that was so monumental was The 50th Anniversary of The Godfather. The screening took place at the United Palace Theater. The film was introduced by Robert De Niro and had a panel conversation with Al Pacino.
But wait…There’s more…
Spotted on the red carpet at the VEC Theater was Laurence Fishburne who is the Executive Producer of The Cave of Adullam which won Tribeca Festival Awards for Audience Choice, Best Editing, and Best Documentary Feature.
Some of the most inspirational women I got to interview during Tribeca in addition to our members were the Tribeca Festival Director and VP of Programming Cara Cusumano, MTV Host Jamila Mustafa, one of the most prominent voices shaping the millennial generation as an international award-winning broadcast journalist, and actress. Also, Nadia Hallgren, who directed the Emmy®-nominated documentary “Becoming” about Michelle Obama, and CIVIL which documents Attorney Ben Crump on a mission to root out anti-Black racism and violence by hitting perpetrators where they’re hurt most: their wallets. He has represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. Speaking of Civil, this red carpet was so powerful so see Ben Crump, Mathew Knowles, and George Clinton.
I was so moved by the presence of Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz showed up and out on the red carpet ahead of their “Official Competition” movie premiere.
When a billionaire entrepreneur decides to get into the movie business, he commissions international auteur director Lola Cuevas (Penélope Cruz), Hollywood heartthrob Felix Rivero (Antonio Banderas), and titan of the stage Ivan Torres (Oscar Martínez) to collaborate on a cinematic masterpiece. But when these larger-than-life egos arrive for the shoot, they encounter an unexpected series of “rehearsals” set by Lola in this sharp showbiz satire.
After the premiere screening, there was a Q&A with Director and Screenwriter Gastón Duprat, Director and Screenwriter Mariano Cohn, Screenwriter Andrés Duprat, and cast members, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz.
I was also honored to be personally invited to the “88” after party celebration by Two Lewis, husband of super dope and beloved actress and singer Naturi Naughton. “88” stars Brandon Victor Dixon, Naturi Naughton, Orlando Jones, Thomas Sadoski, William Fichtner, and Amy Sloan.
When Financial Director Femi Jackson (Brandon Victor Dixon) for One USA, a democratic super PAC (political action committee) to elect presidential candidate Harold Roundtree (Orlando Jones), discovers patterns in donations he enlists the help of investment blogger Ira Goldstein (Thomas Sadoski) to dig deeper. Together they uncover a conspiracy and while new seasoned Deputy Executive Director Fred Fowlkes (Michael J. Harney) wants to act, head of One USA Agatha Frost (Amy Sloan) is hesitant. Meanwhile talk show host Ron Holt (William Fichtner) drills Roundtree on campaign finance reform, Citizens United, and the collapse of City District Bank where Roundtree was CEO. Femi and Ira follow the campaign money trail back to its nefarious origins and race to uncover the truth before the presidential primaries.
Eromose returned to Tribeca Festival after his acclaimed Legacy (2010) with a timely political conspiracy thriller. Executive Produced by radio host and media mogul Charlamagne Tha God, 88 captures the cultural zeitgeist of government mistrust and institutional racism with a compelling story fraught with suspense and intrigue.
Last, but not least, among the most epic moments I experienced during Tribeca 2022 was the red carpet prior to the premiere of “Loudmouth”. Loudmouth documents the winding road that is Al Sharpton’s life story as an iconic activist and spiritual leader. Those who did a walk-through during this red carpet were Tribeca Festival Co-Founders Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, Actor Jesse Williams, Singer John Legend, Director Spike Lee, Icon Actress Pam Grier, singer Al B. Sure, Actress Cassandra Freeman, and MSNBC President Rashida Jones, to name a few, and of course Rev. Al Sharpton himself. This event took place at the BMCC. After the Premiere Screening, there was a conversation with Rev. Al Sharpton, Spike Lee, & John Legend.
Thank you to Simon Baker, Ben Crump, and Laurence Fishburne for shouting out New York Women In Film and Television during Tribeca 2022. Thank you again NYWIFT, Katie Chambers, and thank you Tribeca! To be a black woman in entertainment and media, covering the biggest entertainment experience of the year, in the spirit of Juneteenth, makes me feel like my ancestor’s wildest dream.
CHEERS TO TRIBECA 2022…AND THAT’S A WRAP!
Learn more by visiting https://www.tribecafilm.com/