Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, as a way to uplift the city of New York after the September 11 attacks, the Tribeca Film Festival (now known as simply the Tribeca Festival) has been debuting notable films since its inception in 2002.
Probably the biggest question we ask of all Hollywood (and its New York iteration) is “where are the Latinxs?!” We are such a huge part of America, so it’s only natural that we are a huge part of the film industry. Sadly, we all know, this isn’t the case. Despite being the biggest moviegoers in the country, Latinxs only made up 3.5% of lead/co-lead roles in films from 2007 to 2019.
But we are seeing change. More films and shows starring Latinx casts are being greenlit and made, new Latinx actors are making a name for themselves in Hollywood, and we are making important moves behind the camera. We are pleased to see 18 Latinxs narrative films, documentary features, and shorts (plus a TV show) are premiering this year at the Tribeca Festival, which runs from June 8-19. Here are five that we are particularly excited about seeing.
The Story: “The relationship between a spoiled white Argentinian teenager and the Black Dominican nanny who raised her is pushed to its limit when a night of partying leads to a troubling disappearance.”
The Director: Silvina Schnicer, Ulises Porra
The Cast: Cecile Van Welie, Magnolia Núñez, Adelanny Padilla, Genesis Buret, Javier Hermida, Richard Douglas
Why We’re Excited About It: This looks like an edge-of-your-seat film that explores the topics of race, socioeconomic status, the idea of family, and privilege. We are also here for a movie that mixes in Argentinian and Dominican characters and cultures.
The Story: “Three Nuyorican sisters navigate the daunting life challenges of single motherhood, career, and family, all while finding humor and solace within the bonds of sisterhood in this absorbing dramedy.”
The Director: Ben Snyder
The Cast: Elizabeth Rodriguez, Liza Colon-Zayas, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Felix Solis, Max Casella, Michael Rispoli, Shyrley Rodriguez, MacKenzie Lansing, J. Cameron Barnett
Why We’re Excited About It: Sisterhood is everything, and seeing it represented by Latinas in New York, is something that’s needed. Allswell just looks like a warm, feel-good film that both entertains and uplifts.
The Story: “With riveting access and kinetic visual flair, Endangered is a sobering look at the erosion of democracy and freedom of the press in the United States and abroad.”
The Director: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
The Cast: Patrícia Campos Mello, Carl Juste, Sáshenka Gutiérrez, Oliver Laughland
Why We’re Excited About It: Endangered is one of the four Latinx documentary features being shown at the Tribeca Festival, and it focuses on reporters around the world (including in Mexico City and Sao Paulo) who are endangered for simply wanting to document and report the truth. The freedom of the press has to be protected, and the public has the right to be informed. Films like this highlight the problems that keep reporters scared and the truth hidden. Here’s hoping Endanged helps create some positive changes to happen.
Fifth of June (Cinco de junio)
The Story: “Fifth of June is a reflection of police brutality, in which a group of young protesters are kidnapped by the same forces they are protesting.”
The Director: Humberto Flores Jáuregui
Starring: Jesús Estrada Escobedo, Max Valencia, Mónica Velasco, Oswaldo Rada Barba, Héctor Contreras
Why We’re Excited About It: Curated by Jose F. Rodriguez, the Latinx Short Films Program falls under the festival’s theme of exploring the human condition. Fifth of June shines a light on a major problem–police brutality–and puts anyone who has protested something into the shoes of characters who have been punished for it. This film sounds terrifying, and the description alone leaves us wanting to know more.
The Story: “In the heart of Corona, Queens, two Ecuadorian siblings are placed at odds with each other when one reveals a sudden urge to leave their home.”
The Director: Emilio Subía
Starring: Isaias Badilla, Sol León, Josué Caraballo, Nabil Tawil, Liliana Serrano
Why We’re Excited About It: Ñaños is another entry in the short film category; it’s always interesting to see how filmmakers pack a punch and deliver an engaging story within a limited time frame. We like how the story centers on Ecuadorian characters (there isn’t a lot of representation of South Americans in film, aside from the drug cartel narratives) and siblings. We are also intrigued by the immigration aspect of the story – why one wants to leave their home and what that means for their relationship.