Tribeca Fest 24

The Hollywood Strikes hit the entertainment industry in 2023.  Work stoppages caused disruptions along the chain from Hollywood to independent cinema.  The film festival circuit did escape the five-month long actors and writer’s dispute.   As I cover the Tribeca Film Festival there is a marked difference in the level of entrants. A number of foreign filmmakers along with titles from female directors made the cut this year.  The New York City film event unveiled 114 narrative and documentary titles. 

In Sexual Demand

Hot masculine top, athletic body, how hard would it be for a guy with this description on his profile to hook-up on Grindr?   Nicolas Finegan’s Some Kind of Paradise short film handles the challenges of a Gay Life based on isolation, fast food sex and the ins and outs of emotional intimacy.  John Brodsky makes a subtle impression of a sexually in demand man boxed in, suddenly tapping into awakening feelings.

Black Table
Black Table

Since the fall of Jim Crow, African Americans have made inroads to higher education, however not without challenges. Recent headlines of the US Supreme Court tossing College Admission Affirmative Action Programs are the latest struggles. For People of Color, navigating certain spaces can be tricky, a balancing act of fitting in, yet trying to retain identity.  Black Table, is the story not just about race but of social economic class attending Yale University in the 1990’s. The film is a soft chronicle of unconscious prejudices faced at an Ivy League Institution with the always hanging question, “Do You Belong Here?” Co-Directors John Antonio James and Bill Mack offer an honourable perspective about New Haven. 


Recently, I noticed more filmmakers focusing on the plight of women in the Middle East. Once upon Beirut was called The Paris of the Middle East.  A once prosperous city with a freewheeling spirit population made up of diverse groups.  Now, the Mediterranean capital struggles with corruption, simmering conflict and citizens looking for an escape hatch.  All if these elements come together in Mira Shaib’s first film Arze describes itself as a comedy drama of titular character Aze trying to stay afloat with a teenage son and an emotional challenged sister while dreaming of a way to earn more money by buying a scooter. The irony of making life easier turns into a nightmare when the moped is stolen.  What follows is a tale of urban frustration rooted in survival.

Arze at Tribeca Film Festival

How do you make a touching film short about hair lice? Hindu director Vindhya Gupta’s eloquently shot Lice shows the answer.  The story of a blossoming friendship coming to life under ticklish circumstances. 


All films were reviewed online. The Tribeca Film Festival runs until June 16th.