Review: ‘Good Girl Jane,’ starring Rain Spencer, Andie MacDowell and Patrick Gibson

July 17, 2022

by Carla Hay

Rain Spencer in “Good Girl Jane” (Photo by Jake Saner)

“Good Girl Jane”

Directed by Sarah Elizabeth Mintz 

Culture Representation: Taking place in the Los Angeles area, from 2005 to 2006, the dramatic film “Good Girl Jane” has a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans, Latinos and Asians) representing the working-class, middle-class and criminal underground.

Culture Clash: A quiet teenage misfit falls in with a druggie crowd at her high school, begins dating her drug dealer, and descends deeper into drug addiction, while she tries to hide her addiction from her family.

Culture Audience: “Good Girl Jane” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching well-acted cautionary tales about how easily drug addiction can take over someone’s life.

Rain Spencer and Andie MacDowell in “Good Girl Jane” (Photo by Jake Saner)

The dramatic film “Good Girl Jane” could have been yet another “good girl gone bad” story about a teenage drug addict. Rain Spencer’s emotionally stirring performance is the main reason to watch when the plot becomes predictable. This is not a movie that is groundbreaking, but some of it is heartbreaking, even if it’s told from the privileged perspective of a protagonist who is more likely to go to rehab than go to prison for drug crimes. “Good Girl Jane” had its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, where it won two grand jury prizes: Best U.S. Narrative Feature and Best Performance in a U.S. Narrative Feature, a prize awarded to Spencer.

Written and directed by Sarah Elizabeth Mintz, “Good Girl Jane” hits a lot of familiar beats and tones of movies that have covered the same subject matter of middle-class American teenagers who become drug addicts. If it’s a teenage girl, she usually has a “good girl” reputation with no previous history of drug use. And then, she meets someone or a group of people who are heavy drug users. And in order to be “accepted” into this social circle, she starts doing drugs and becomes addicted. It’s a cliché because it happens all too often in real life.

If you know this is the plot of “Good Girl Jane,” then you know what’s coming even before the movie starts. Fortunately, “Good Girl Jane” is not preachy, nor does it try to put most of the blame on the druggie clique that influences the protagonist to start doing drugs. The mistakes and self-destructiveness are the full responsibility of the person who made these lifestyle choices.

In “Good Girl Jane” (which takes place in the Los Angeles area, from 2005 to 2006), the title character is Jane Rosen (played by Spencer, in her feature-film debut), who goes from being a shy loner to a “wild child” drug addict in a matter of months. The movie begins in the autumn of 2005, when 17-year-old Jane has transferred from an elite private school to a public school, where she hasn’t yet made any friends. The reason for the transfer is revealed in bits and pieces throughout the story.

Jane lives with her sister Izzie Rosen (played by Eloisa Huggins), who’s about 15 or 16 years old, and their divorced mother Ruth Rosen (played by Andie MacDowell), who is a therapist. It’s never specified how long Ruth and her ex-husband Elliott Rosen (played by Gale Harold) have been divorced. However, Elliott doesn’t live too far away, and he has visitation rights.

Elliott is a busy executive who works at an unnamed music company. Part of his job is to go to concerts and nightclubs. Elliott is only in a few scenes in the movie, but it’s easy to see why he and Ruth got divorced: He’s a very inattentive and flaky parent.

For example, Jane and Izzie are scheduled to spend a weekend of visitation time with Elliott. It was already pre-arranged that Jane and Izzie would be staying at Elliott’s place for the weekend. Instead, he takes them to dinner at a restaurant, and then rushes them through the meal because he says that after this dinner, he has to go to a nightclub for work-related reasons. Jane and Izzie are too young to go to the nightclub with him.

At the restaurant, Elliott also tells Jane and Izzie that they can’t stay for the weekend at his place after all because he’s too busy with work. Elliott then drops off Jane and Izzie back at their mother’s house with half-hearted apologies for backing out of this father-daughter visitation. Ruth is furious, but she tries not to have a loud argument with Elliott in front of their children.

Ruth wants to emotionally connect with Jane, but Ruth’s attempts to uplift moody and withdrawn Jane just come across as criticism that Jane doesn’t want to hear. For example, when Jane is at home, she’s usually on her laptop computer (where she frequents Internet chat rooms) while listening to hardcore heavy metal music. Ruth doesn’t like Jane’s choice of music and tells Jane that the music can have a negative effect on Jane’s attitude. Ruth might have noticed that Jane is unhappy. But instead of Ruth asking Jane what’s wrong and asking how she can help as a parent, Ruth chooses to complain about Jane’s taste in music.

Jane secretly smokes cigarettes at school. When Ruth picks up some of Jane’s clothes to do laundry, Ruth smells cigarette smoke on the clothes and says in a condescending voice, “Please don’t smoke,” and starts to lecture Jane about how smoking is unattractive and bad for her health. Jane denies that she smokes cigarettes and says the cigarette odor is from being around people who smoke cigarettes at school.

Ruth is not a deliberately alienating parent. However, Ruth gives the impression that she knows more about what’s going on in her clients’ lives than she knows what’s going on in Jane’s life because Ruth spends more time asking the right questions of her clients. On the other hand, Jane doesn’t give Ruth much leeway to have a close emotional bond with her, because Jane is the type of sulky and secretive teen who would most likely say everything is fine if a parent asked her what’s bothering her.

Jane likes to wear baggy clothes and hooded sweatshirts. She often walks with a slight slouch, as if she wants to be invisible yet noticed as being “aloofly cool” at the same time. At school, when she tries to sit at a table with some other students, they tell her that the seat she wants is saved for someone else. It’s a predictable “social outcast” scene in movies about teenage misfits.

Even though Izzie and Jane go to the same school, they rarely speak to each other when they’re at school. Viewers find out later that Izzie, who has an upbeat and outgoing personality, is having an easier time adjusting to this transfer and is making more of an effort than Jane to befriend other students. There are also hints that Jane feels like their mother loves Izzie more than she loves Jane.

There’s a reason why Jane seems to be anti-social: She was cruelly bullied at her previous school, which is the main reason why Jane and Izzie have transferred to their current school. The details of the bullying are eventually revealed in the movie. But there are indications that some of the bullies are still harassing Jane online, based on the messages she gets when she’s on her computer.

One day, after classes have ended for the day, some of the school’s stoners are taking a SUV ride near Jane while she’s walking somewhere, and they invite her to party with them. A rebellious brat named Bailey Avett (played by Odessa A’zion) is the driver. The other pals in the SUV are tall and blue-haired Benji (played by Diego Chiat), easygoing Kaya (played by Jules Lorenzo) and androgynous Abel (played by Olan Prenatt). Jane already knows about this clique’s druggie reputation.

At first, Jane is hesitant to go with them, because she says she has to be at home by a certain time. But she changes her mind when they say that where they’re going won’t take long. Inside the car, the partiers are smoking weed, and Benji snorts some cocaine. They all go to the rooftop of a house, where more marijuana is smoked, cocaine is snorted, and apparent tabs of LSD are consumed, but Jane declines to partake in any of these drugs.

Instead, Jane takes a drink of alcohol offered by Kaya. During this rooftop party, these new acquaintances somewhat taunt Jane for being a “good girl” for not doing drugs with them. And you know what that means: In order to fit in with them and prove them wrong, Jane is going to start doing the same drugs.

That moment comes one night when Jane goes to a house party that she was invited to by this group of stoners. It’s where Jane does cocaine for the first time. And it’s also the first time that Jane feels like she has found a group of people at her school who could be her friends.

Also at the party is the group’s main drug dealer. He’s a 21-year-old Irish immigrant named James “Jamie” McKenna (played by Patrick Gibson), who projects an image of laid-back confidence. Although Jane and Benji had a mild flirtation with each other when they first met, Jane ends up being more interested in Jamie. After eyeing each other with some interest, Jamie and Jane sense their mutual attraction, they start talking, and then have a dip together in the house’s swimming pool.

It’s the beginning of a very co-dependent and toxic relationship. The more experienced Jamie pursues Jane, who plays hard to get, but eventually she gives in to Jamie’s persistent and amorous attention. He showers her with compliments and says many other things that Jane wants to hear. Not much is known about Jane’s dating history, but there are plenty of hints that Jamie is the first adult whom Jane has ever dated.

It isn’t long before Jane has lost her virginity to Jamie in the back seat of his car. It’s not as romantic as Jane expected because it’s on the same night that Jane finds out that Jamie is a meth addict who has occasional seizures because of his addiction. Jane quickly gets addicted to cocaine, which she usually snorts. But she also joins Jamie in his meth-smoking binges because she wants to know what it feels like. Jamie also injects meth if he wants a quicker and more intense high.

You know where all of this is going, of course. The only questions are how low will Jane go in her drug addiction and if anything will happen to set her on a path to possible recovery. Jane gets so caught up in her relationship with Jamie that she starts skipping school to hang out with him. And that includes accompanying Jamie to some of his drug deals. Jane witnesses some things that are shocking to her but won’t be that shocking to people who’ve seen enough of these kinds of “drug addict downward spiral” movies.

Spencer’s performance as Jane is particularly effective in showing how quickly someone’s boundaries and tolerance for being in demeaning and dangerous situations can change when drug addiction is involved. It would be easy to blame Jamie for being a “bad influence” on Jane. But the truth is that Jane already had low self-esteem going into this relationship, and she made the wrong choices in where to get emotional validation. Her drug use was a direct result of her own free will.

“Good Girl Jane” is also authentic in showing how denial is a huge part of the disease of drug addiction. People try to tell Jane some unsavory things about Jamie, but Jane brushes off those concerns as just unsubstantiated gossip. Some of the things she hears about Jamie are that he sleeps around with a lot of the teenage girls who are his drug-buying customers and that he’s legally married to someone whom Jane has never met.

A cliché that “Good Girl Jane” thankfully avoids is showing a scenario where divorced parents put aside their differences to come to the rescue of a drug-addicted child. That doesn’t happen in “Good Girl Jane,” which takes a more realistic approach that emotionally distant parents don’t automatically change their ways when a child is crying out for help. The movie also shows that even when someeone is a therapist, that person still might have a hard time accepting and dealing with painful truths about having a drug addict in the family.

One of the best things about “Good Girl Jane” is showing how Izzie reacts to finding out that Jane is a drug addict. Spencer and Huggins have some emotionally powerful scenes together that are among the movie’s standout moments. And there’s a particularly impactful scene that Spencer and MacDowell have toward the end of the movie. This mother-daughter scene is a like a tidal wave of the pent-up despair that Jane has been feeling before and after Jane’s drug addiction.

There’s nothing particularly extraordinary about this tale of a teenager who becomes a drug addict. Sadly, what happens to Jane happens to people from all walks of life. However, one of the movie’s faults is that it seems to willfully take for granted that Jane is a lot better off than many drug addicts because she has the privilege and resources to get professional rehabilitation for her drug addiction.

And it goes without saying that if Jane were a person of color or if she were poor, she would most liklely be treated very differently by law enforcement if her illegal drug activity resulted in her getting entangled in the criminal justice system. It’s a reality that’s implied, based on things that are shown in the movie. “Good Girl Jane” doesn’t really explore these social inequality issues in-depth, because even with Jane’s privilege, what she goes through is enough to show that drug addiction can be a nightmare for anyone.

2022 Tribeca Film Festival: complete list of winners

June 16, 2022

The following is a press release from the Tribeca Film Festival:

The 21st annual Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, announced the winning storytellers in its competition categories at this year’s awards ceremony at Tribeca eatery Thalassa. Awards were given in the following competition categories: Feature Film, Short Film, Audio Storytelling, Immersive, Games, Human / Nature, AT&T Untold Stories, and Tribeca X.

The ceremony awarded $165,000 in cash prizes. The Festival, which hosts over 600 events across New York City, concludes on June 19th.

“Today’s honorees are a testament to the vitality of cinematic storytelling, representing the most exciting achievements across countries, genres, and platforms,” said Cara Cusumano, Festival Director and Vice President of Programming. “We are proud to recognize such a diverse and innovative group of works and creators with today’s well-deserved award winners.”

A special Virtual Award Winner Screenings series will be available for U.S. audiences via Tribeca At Home on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19, 2022.

Tickets can be purchased at tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets. Competition winners in the Short Films Category, presented by Meta, are available to stream on the Meta Quest 2 virtual-reality headset as well as the Tribeca page on Facebook through Sunday, June 19.

In cash awards and in-kind services provided by sponsors, some award winners received the unique Tribeca Festival Art Award. Supported by CHANEL, the world-class artists donated work to honored filmmakers.

The winners of the Audience Award, which are determined by audience votes throughout the Festival, will be announced next week.

2022 Winners and Special Jury Mentions, as selected by the 2022 Festival Jury, are as follows:

U.S. NARRATIVE COMPETITION

Rain Spencer and Andie MacDowell in “Good Girl Jane” (Photo by Jake Saner)

The Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature: Good Girl Jane, (United States) – World Premiere, presented by OKX. Bullied out of private school and at odds with her divorced parents, lonely high schooler Jane spirals out of control after falling in with a hard-partying crowd and becoming smitten with a dangerously charismatic bad boy. Directed and written by Sarah Elizabeth Mintz. Produced by Fred Bernstein, Dominique Telson, Lauren Pratt, Sarah Elizabeth Mintz, Simone Williams. With Rain Spencer, Patrick Gibson, Andie MacDowell, Odessa A’Zion, Olan Prenatt, Eloisa Huggins. The winner receives $20,000.

Shyrley Rodriguez, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Liza Colón-Zayas and Daphne Rubin-Vega in “Allswell” (Photo by Oren Soffer)

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature: Ben Snyder and Elizabeth Rodriguez for Allswell, (United States) – World Premiere. 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. Directed and written by Ben Snyder, and written by Elizabeth Rodriguez. Produced by Gia Walsh, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Vince Jolivette, Ben Snyder, Ari Issler, Paul Jarrett, Kara Baker. With Elizabeth Rodriguez, Liza Colon-Zayas, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Felix Solis, Max Cassella, Michael Rispoli, Shirley Rodriguez, MacKenzie Lansing, and J. Cameron Barnett. The winner received $2,500.

Katie Parker and Rahul Kohli in “Next Exit” (Photo courtesy of No Traffic For Ghosts LLC)

Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature: Azuli Anderson for Next Exit, (United States) – World Premiere. In a world where ghosts are real and front-page news, a controversial new medical procedure allows people to peacefully kill themselves. In the midst of this breakthrough, two strangers travel cross country together to end their lives, only to unexpectedly find what they’ve been missing along the way. Directed and written by Mali Elfman. Produced by Derek Bishé, Narineh Hacopian. With Katie Parker, Rahul Kohli, Rose McIver, Karen Gillan, Tongayi Chirisa, Diva Zappa.

Rain Spencer in “Good Girl Jane” (Photo by Jake Saner)

Best Performance in a U.S. Narrative Feature: Rain Spencer in Good Girl Jane, (United States) – World Premiere. Bullied out of private school and at odds with her divorced parents, lonely high schooler Jane spirals out of control after falling in with a hard-partying crowd and becoming smitten with a dangerously charismatic bad boy. Directed and written by Sarah Elizabeth Mintz. Produced by Fred Bernstein, Dominique Telson, Lauren Pratt, Sarah Elizabeth Mintz, Simone Williams. With Rain Spencer, Patrick Gibson, Andie MacDowell, Odessa A’Zion, Olan Prenatt, Eloisa Huggins.

Special Jury Mention for Best Performance in a U.S. Narrative Feature: Liz Carbel Sierra in God’s Time, (United States) – World Premiere. A heart-racing, NYC-set dark comedy that sees two best bros in recovery for addiction trying to prevent the potential murder of their mutual crush’s ex-boyfriend.

Directed and written by Daniel Antebi. Produced by Emily Korteweg, Andrew Hutcheson, Reid Hannaford. With Ben Groh, Dion Costelloe, Liz Caribel Sierra, Jared Abrahamson, Christiane Seidel.

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE COMPETITION

Kārlis Arnolds Avots and Alise Danovska in “January” (Photo by Andrejs Strokins)

Best International Narrative Feature: January (Janvaris), (Latvia, Lithuania, Poland) – World Premiere. An aspiring filmmaker tries to search for who he is against the backdrop of Latvian independence in this dark but dreamy coming-of-age story. Directed by Viesturs Kairiss. Written by Viesturs Kairiss, Andris Feldmanis, Livia Ulman. Produced by Inese Boka-Grūbe, Gints Grūbe. With Kārlis Arnolds Avots, Alise Danovska, Sandis Runge, Baiba Broka, Aleksas Kazanavičius, Juhan Ulfsak. In Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, with English subtitles. The winner received $20,000.

Enrique Araoz in “The Visitor” (Photo by German Nocella)

Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature: Martín Boulocq and Rodrigo Hasbún for The Visitor, (Bolivia, Uruguay) – World Premiere. In the atmospheric and visually-compelling drama The Visitor, an ex-convict returns home in search of a new life and a chance to reconnect with his estranged young daughter, only to be met with resistance from his father-in-law – an influential pastor in the Evangelical community in town. Directed by Martín Boulocq. Written by Martín Boulocq, Rodrigo Hasbún. Produced by Andrea Camponovo, Alvaro Olmos. With Enrique Aráoz, César Troncoso, Mirella Pascual, Svet Ailyn Mena, Romel Vargas, Teresa Gutiérrez. In Spanish with English subtitles. The winner received $2,500.

“We Might As Well Be Dead” (Photo by Jan Mayntz)

Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature: Jan Mayntz for We Might As Well Be Dead (Wir könnten genauso gut tot sein), (Germany, Romania) – International Premiere. The disappearance of a dog and the sudden isolation of a security guard’s daughter start a bizarre chain of events in an apartment complex obsessed with keeping up appearances. Directed by Natalia Sinelnikova. Written by Natalia Sinelnikova, Viktor Gallandi. Produced by Julia Wagner. With Ioana Iacob, Pola Geiger, Jörg Schüttauf, Şiir Eloğlu, Moritz Jahn, Susanne Wuest, Knut Berger, Mina Özlem Sağdıç. In German, Polish with English subtitles.

Dorota Pomykała (pictured at far right) in “Woman on the Roof”

Best Performance in an International Narrative Feature: Dorota Pomykała for Woman on a Roof, (Poland, France, Sweden) – World Premiere. One morning a 60-year-old midwife does something extremely unexpected, which breaks her family and life apart. Inspired by a true story, this is a complex character portrayal told with outstanding cinematic realism. Directed and written by Anna Jadowska.

Produced by Maria Blicharska. With Dorota Pomykala, Bogdan Koca, Adam Bobik. In Polish with English subtitles.

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Jason Wilson (pictured at right) in”The Cave of Adullam” (Photo by Greg Harriott)

Best Documentary Feature: The Cave of Adullam, (United States) – World Premiere. Living by the mantra ‘it’s easier to raise boys than to repair broken men’, martial arts sensei Jason Wilson tenderly guides his often-troubled young Detroit students with a beautifully effective blend of compassion and tough love. Directed by Laura Checkoway. Produced by Laurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland, Roy Bank, Joe Plummer, Laura Checkoway. With Jason Wilson, Kevin L. Collins Jr., Gabriel Davenport, Daniel White, Tamarkus Williams. The winner receives $20,000.

“The Wild One”

Best Cinematography in a Documentary Feature: Boris Levy for The Wild One, (France) – World Premiere. Jack Garfein — Holocaust survivor, theater and film director, key figure in the formation of the Actors Studio — vividly, animatedly, passionately recalls a life where historical tragedy and personal art formed a unique, driving, uncompromising vision. Directed, written, and produced by Tessa

Louise-Salomé. With Jack Garfein, Willem Dafoe, Peter Bogdanovich, Irène Jacob, Boby Sotto, Dick Guttman, Blanche Baker, Patricia Bosworth, Foster Hirsch, Geoffrey Horne, Kate Rennebohm. The winner receives $2,500.

“The Cave of Adullam” (Photo by Greg Harriott)

Best Editing in a Documentary Feature: Christopher McGlynn for The Cave of Adullam, (United States)

– World Premiere. Living by the mantra ‘it’s easier to raise boys than to repair broken men’, martial arts sensei Jason Wilson tenderly guides his often-troubled young Detroit students with a beautifully effective blend of compassion and tough love. Directed by Laura Checkoway. Produced by Laurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland, Roy Bank, Joe Plummer, Laura Checkoway. With Jason Wilson, Kevin L. Collins Jr., Gabriel Davenport, Daniel White, Tamarkus Williams. The winner receives $2,500.

BEST NEW NARRATIVE DIRECTOR COMPETITION

“Huesera”

Best New Narrative Director: Michelle Garza Cervera for Huesera, (Mexico) – Feature Narrative, World Premiere. Valeria has long dreamed about becoming a mother. After learning that she’s pregnant, she expects to feel happy, yet something’s off. Nightmarish visions and an unshakeable paranoia have her questioning what she wants, and an ancient evil spirit may be the cause. Directed by Michelle Garza Cervera. Written by Michelle Garza Cervera, Abia Castillo. Produced by Paulina Villavicencio, Edher Campos. With Natalia Solián, Alfonso Dosal, Mayra Batalla, Mercedes Hernández, Aída López, Martha Claudia Moreno. In Spanish with English subtitles. An XYZ release. The winner receives $10,000.

Special Jury Mention for Best New Narrative Director: Floor van der Meulen for Pink Moon, (Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia) – World Premiere. An adult daughter kidnaps her father, whisking him away to a cabin in the snow, hoping to alter his unexpected announcement that he has had enough of life and will end it by his next birthday. Directed by Floor van der Meulen. Written by Bastiaan Kroeger. Produced by Derk-Jan Warrink and Koji Nelissen. With Julia Akkermans, Johan Leysen, Eelco Smits, Anniek Pheifer, Sinem Kavus.

BEST NEW DOCUMENTARY DIRECTOR COMPETITION

Edward Buckles Jr. in “Katrina Babies” (Photo by Myesha Evon Gardner)

The Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director: Edward Buckles Jr. for Katrina Babies, (United States) – World Premiere. Katrina Babies is a first-person account of the short-term and long-term devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, as told by young people who were between the ages of 3 and 19 when the levees broke. Directed by Edward Buckles Jr.. Written by Edward Buckles Jr., Luther Clement Lam, Audrey Rosenberg. Produced by Edward Buckles Jr., Audrey Rosenberg, Rebecca Teitel. With Miesha Williams, Cierra Chenier, Arnold Burks, Damaris Calliet, Calvin Baxter, Quintina Thomas Green. An HBO Documentary Films release. The winner receives $10,000.

NORA EPHRON COMPETITION

“Huesera”

Nora Ephron Award: Michelle Garza Cervera for Huesera, (Mexico) – Feature Narrative, World Premiere. Valeria has long dreamed about becoming a mother. After learning that she’s pregnant, she expects to feel happy, yet something’s off. Nightmarish visions and an unshakeable paranoia have her questioning what she wants, and an ancient evil spirit may be the cause. Directed by Michelle Garza Cervera. Written by Michelle Garza Cervera, Abia Castillo. Produced by Paulina Villavicencio, Edher Campos. With Natalia Solián, Alfonso Dosal, Mayra Batalla, Mercedes Hernández, Aída López, Martha Claudia Moreno. In Spanish with English subtitles. An XYZ release. The winner receives $20,000.

SHORTS COMPETITION

Sigirid Husjord and Ola Hoemsnes Sandum in “Night Ride” (Photo by Vegard Landsverk)

Best Narrative Short: Night Ride (Nattrikken), (Norway) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. It is a cold night in December. As Ebba waits for the tram, an unexpected turn of events transforms the ride home into something she was not expecting. Directed and written by Eirik Tveiten. Produced by Gaute Lid Larssen, Heidi Arnesen. With Sigrid Husjord, Ola Hoemsnes Sandum, Axel Barø Aasen. In Norwegian with English subtitles. The winner receives $5,000.

“Heart Valley” (Photo Christopher Cargill)

Best Documentary Short: Heart Valley, (UK, Wales) World Premiere, Short Documentary. Heart Valley follows a day in the life of solitary Welsh shepherd Wilf Davies. Directed by Christian Cargill. Written by Kiran Sidhu. Produced by Christian Cargill, Lily Wakeley, Kiran Sidhu. With Evan Wilf Davies.

Richard “Mac” McKinney in “Stranger at the Gate” (Photo by Karl Schroder)

Special Jury Mention for Best Documentary Short: Stranger at the Gate, (United States) – New York Premiere, Short Documentary. A U.S. Marine plots a terrorist attack on a small-town American mosque. His plan takes an unexpected turn when he comes face-to-face with the people he sets out to kill. Directed by Joshua Seftel. Produced by Mohannad Malas, Suzanne Hillinger, Conall Jones, Jeremy Mack, Anna Rowe, Eric Nichols. With Bibi Bahrami, Dr. Saber Bahrami, Dana McKinney, Emily McKinney, Richard “Mac” McKinney, Jomo Williams.

“More Than I Remember”

Best Animated Short: More Than I Remember, (United States) – New York Premiere, Short Animation. Fourteen-year-old Mugeni awakes to the sounds of bombs. As her family scatters to the surrounding forests to save themselves, Mugeni finds herself completely alone. Directed by Amy Bench. Written by Mugeni Ornella, Amy Bench, Carolyn Merriman. Produced by Amy Bench, Carolyn Merriman. With Mugeni Ornella. The winner receives $5,000.

Student Visionary: Daydreamers, (Belgium) – North American Premiere, Short Narrative. A father and his daughter are very passionate about motorcycles. An eye condition jeopardizes their shared hobby. Directed by Ante Pask. Written by Ante Pask, Emiel van Wouwe. Produced by Ella Bal, Ante Pask.With Jurgen Delnaet, Flo Martens, Robby Cleiren. In Dutch with English subtitles. The winner receives $5,000.

TRIBECA AUDIO STORYTELLING COMPETITION

“Mother Country Radicals”

Best Audio Storytelling in Nonfiction: Mother Country Radicals.

In 1970, Bernardine Dohrn declared war on the United States. Now, her son Zayd tells the story of how she was radicalized, and became the most wanted woman in America. Created by Zayd Ayers Dohrn, executive produced by Zayd Ayers Dohrn, Jon Favreau, Sarah Geismer, Lyra Smith, Alison Falzetta, Misha Euceph, with sound design by Arwen Nicks, Stephanie Cohn, Ariana Gharib Lee, and Misha Euceph, and music by Andy Clausen.

Special Jury Mention Best Audio Storytelling in Nonfiction: I Was Never There.

Take a trip into the countercultural movements swirling through West Virginia in the 1970s and 80s. Jamie Zelermyer and her mother Karen investigate the shocking disappearance of their friend Marsha “Mudd” Ferber and explore her evolution from suburban housewife to back-to-the-land hippie to drug-dealing bar owner. As mother and daughter venture deeper into the mystery of Marsha’s disappearance, the two process their own history: Jamie reflects on her nontraditional upbringing and Karen reckons with the joyful and complicated consequences of her decisions. Created by Jamie and Karen Zelermeyer, produced by Adesuwa Agbonile, Lindsey Kratochwill, Liz Smith, Alessandra Wollner, edited by Jenny Kaplan and Liz Smith. Executive produced by Jamie Zelermyer, Jenny Kaplan (Wonder Media Network), and Karen Zelermyer, with sound design by Liz Smith.

“The Hollowed Out”

Best Audio Storytelling in Fiction: The Hollowed Out.

When a journalist returns to her hometown to investigate a suspicious accident involving a friend, she finds fractured relationships and mysterious rumors about what’s really going on in her town. Created, written, edited, and produced by Brit and Nick Kewin. Starring Stephanie Costa, Carolyn Taylor, Moynan King, Madison Cheeatow, Shomari Downer, Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll, with sound design by Justin Helle.

TRIBECA IMMERSIVE COMPETITION

“Kubo Walks the City”

Storyscapes Award: Kubo Walks The City, (France, South Korea) – North American Premiere. Seoul, 1934. Korea is under Japanese occupation. Like “ethno-detectives,” viewers follow in the footsteps of Kubo, a Korean writer, in his urban flânerie. Through caricatures that mock the shortcomings of a Korean society emerging from the poverty and archaisms of the past, explore a city recklessly discovering the modernity and prosperity that come with occupation. Directed by Hayoun Kwon and produced by Innerspace VR. The winner receives $10,000.

Special Jury Mention for Storyscapes Award: EVOLVER, (United Kingdom, France, United States) – World Premiere. EVOLVER from Marshmallow Laser Feast is a collective virtual reality experience which drops audiences deep inside the landscape of the body, following the flow of oxygen through our branching ecosystem, to a single ‘breathing’ cell. Through this transcendental narrative, it becomes clear that breath not only sparks life, but also connects us to the natural world through the cycle of respiration.

Project Creators: Marshmallow Laser Feast, Jonny Greenwood, Meredith Monk, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Howard Skempton. Producers: Nicole Shanahan (Bia-Echo), Edward R. Pressman, and & Sam Pressman (Pressman Film), Terrence Malick (TF Malick Productions), Antoine Cayrol (Atlas V), and Mike Jones (Marshmallow Laser Feast).

“LGBTQ + VR Museum”

New Voices Award: LGBTQ + VR Museum, (United Kingdom, Denmark) – North American Premiere. LGBTQ + VR Museum is the world’s first virtual reality museum dedicated to celebrating the stories and artwork of LGBTQ people by preserving queer personal histories. The museum contains 3D scans of touching personal artifacts, from wedding shoes to a teddy bear, chosen by people in the LGBTQ community and accompanied by their stories told in their own words. The in-person version presented at Tribeca is a never-before-seen multiplayer biometric experience controlled by users’ emotions in real-time. Project Creators: Antonia Forster and Thomas Terkildsen. Producer: Albert Millis.

TRIBECA GAMES COMPETITION

“Thirsty Suitors”

Tribeca Games Award: Thirsty Suitors, (United States) – World Premiere. Jala is a young woman returning home for her sister’s wedding and confronting her past. With wildly varied gameplay, Jala will fight skate punks, random suitors, and ultimately, her exes, in the ultimate battle to heal old hurts and ignite new truths, bringing Jala closer to understanding what she wants from her future. Can she learn to love herself and heal the wounds of her past? Created by Outerloop Games. Published by Annapurna Interactive

Special Jury Mention for Tribeca Games Award: Oxenfree II: Lost Signals (United States) – World Premiere. OXENFREE II: Lost Signals is the mind-bending follow-up to the critically-acclaimed narrative adventure game OXENFREE from Night School Studio. In the small coastal town of Camena, unnaturally occurring electromagnetic waves are causing interference with electrical and radio equipment.

Reluctantly, Riley Poverly returns to her hometown to investigate the mystery. What she finds is more than she bargained for. Created by Night School Studios. Published by Netflix.

HUMAN / NATURE COMPETITION

Edward Buckles Jr. holding a photo in “Katrina Babies” (Photo by Myesha Evon Gardner)

HUMAN / NATURE Award: Katrina Babies, (United States) – World Premiere, presented by Bulleit. Katrina Babies is a first-person account of the short-term and long-term devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, as told by young people who were between the ages of 3 and 19 when the levees broke. Directed by Edward Buckles Jr.. Written by Edward Buckles Jr., Luther Clement Lam, Audrey Rosenberg. Produced by Edward Buckles Jr., Audrey Rosenberg, Rebecca Teitel. With Miesha Williams, Cierra Chenier, Arnold Burks, Damaris Calliet, Calvin Baxter, Quintina Thomas Green. An HBO Documentary Films release. The winner receives $5,000 and a custom engraved bottle of Bulleit Bourbon.

AT&T PRESENTS UNTOLD STORIES COMPETITION

AT&T Presents Untold Stories: Smoking Tigers, (United States). Over one summer spent at an elite academic bootcamp, a lonely Korean American teenager hides her true identity to fit in, only to discover the bittersweet pains of adulthood. Directed and Written by So Young Shelly Yo. Produced by Guo Guo. Untold Stories is a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and the Tribeca Festival that awards $1 million dollars, mentorship, and distribution support to systemically underrepresented filmmakers to produce their films. Smoking Tigers will also be guaranteed a premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Festival, subject to timely delivery of the film and granted a dedicated “first look” opportunity with HBO Max.

TRIBECA X AWARD COMPETITION

“The Beauty of Blackness”

Best Feature for Tribeca X: The Beauty of Blackness. Brand: Sephora. Agency: Epic Digital, VOX Creative, Digitas, Ventureland. Directors: Kianna Moore and Tiffany Johnson. In 1973, Eunice Johnson, the founder of Ebony and Jet, noticed a problem: Black women had to mix their own foundation in order to find a color that matched their skin. To tackle the problem, Johnson launched Fashion Fair, the first national cosmetics company that focused entirely on Black women. The brand triggered a renaissance in style among Black women and the global cosmetics industry took notice. Now, Fashion Fair is staging its comeback as a Black-owned business in a new era defined by massive cultural shifts and increased competition. The Beauty of Blackness follows current Fashion Fair CEO Desiree Rogers and President Cheryl Mayberry McKissack as they face the massive undertaking that goes into reviving an iconic beauty brand amidst a new cultural context and gives a front-row look to how the industry has changed, and how much progress we still have to make.

“The Comeback”

Best Short for Tribeca X: The Comeback. Brand: Apple. Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab Shanghai. Director: Zhang Meng. The story follows a disheartened young stunt double-slash-wannabe director, his father, and a rag-tag crew of villagers as they set out to shoot an out-of-this-world movie in hopes of reviving their fading village and making it “internet famous”. This 23-minute heartwarming story is set to encourage everyone to never stop believing in their dreams, even if that dream is as far aways as Mars. Will they succeed in the end? A multi-genre movie mixes up Hollywood sci-fi, traditional Kung Fu action and nostalgic feel-good comedy, entirely shot on iPhone.

“Stories About Helpful People”

Best Series for Tribeca X: Stories About Helpful People. Brand: Zendesk. Creative Studio: Even/Odd. Directors: Sindha Agha, Erin Brethauer, and Tim Hussin. As a customer support company, everything Zendesk does — from how they build their customer experience software to the way they work with customers, is all about being helpful. It’s the spirit they believe in. “Stories About Helpful People” is a series of mini-documentaries and photo stories. It’s a series intended to inspire the Zendesk community to rally around the spirit of helpfulness. In GOLDEN AGE KARATE, a high school student helps a group of senior citizens get through a vulnerable time, by teaching them karate. In ERIC AND THE BEES, a U.S. military veteran discovers that beekeeping helps him cope with PTSD — and teaches other vets the healing powers of the hive.

Best Immersive for Tribeca X: Emerging Radiance: Honoring the Nikkei Farmers of Bellevue. Brand: Meta. Creators: Tani Ikeda and Michelle Kumata. Emerging Radiance, directed by Tani Ikeda and illustrated by Michelle Kumata, celebrates the untold stories of Japanese American strawberry farmer

who lived in Bellevue from 1920 to 1942. With a hand-painted mural and Spark AR Instagram filters, visitors have the opportunity to meet Toshio Ito, Rae Matsuoka Takekawa, and Mitsuko Hashiguchi, three survivors of the World War II incarceration camps, as they share in their own words their connections to the land before World War II, during incarceration, and post-World War II. Produced by Meta Open Arts.

About the Tribeca Festival

The Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, brings artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, games, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. Tribeca champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Tribeca will celebrate its 21st year from June 8–19, 2022.

In 2019, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a private investment company with locations in New York and Mumbai, bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.

About the 2022 Tribeca Festival Partners

The 2022 Tribeca Festival is presented by OKX and with the support of our partners: AT&T, Audible, Bayer’s One a Day, Bloomberg Philanthropies, CHANEL, City National Bank, CNN Films, Converse, Diageo, Discovery+, DoorDash, Indeed, Meta, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Sephora, Spring Studios New York, P&G, United Airlines and Unreal Engine.

June 18, 2022 UPDATE:

AUDIENCE AWARD – NARRATIVE

Babetida Sadjo and Souléymane Sy Savané in “Our Father, the Devil” (Photo by Tinx Chan)

First Place: Our Father, the Devil – Directed by Ellie Foumbi
Marie Cissé’s (Babetida Sadjo) troubled past comes calling with the arrival of Father Patrick (Souléymane Sy Savané), an African priest whom she recognizes from a terrifying episode in her homeland.

Second Place: Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying– Directed by Parker Seaman
A personalized video message to a coworker who contracted COVID, ignites an artistic fire in two aspiring directors, inspiring them to take a cross country road trip to visit their sick friend.

AUDIENCE AWARD – DOCUMENTARY

Jason Wilson (pictued at right) in “The Cave of Adullam” (Photo by Greg Harriott)

First Place: The Cave of Adullam– Directed by Laura Checkoway
A heartwarming look at Detroit martial arts teacher Jason Wilson, who mentors young Black boys, giving them rare and invaluable experience of being seen and cared for as the vulnerable beings they are.

Second Place: Lift– Directed by David Peterson New York Theatre Ballet’s Project LIFT program has been offering scholarships to homeless, home insecure and at-risk children, exposing them to the beauty and discipline of ballet, often for the first time while helping them develop talent they never knew they had.

AUDIENCE AWARD – ONLINE

Alex Trewhitt in “Cherry” (Photo by Damien Steck)

First Place: Cherry – Directed by Sophia Galibert
A driftless and uncommitted 25-year-old in Los Angeles discovers she has only 24 hours to make one of the most consequential decisions of her life, what to do about an unplanned pregnancy.

Second Place: In Her Name– Directed by Sarah Carter
Frustrated, aspiring artist Freya has to put her career on hold to care for her formerly famous artist dad. When her estranged, well-heeled sister Fiona shows up, the sisters grapple with the impending demise of their father, reigniting their sibling rivalry.

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