Review: ‘When the Streetlights Go On,’ starring Chosen Jacobs, Sophie Thatcher, Sam Strike and Queen Latifah

April 13, 2020

by Carla Hay

Sophie Thatcher and Chosen Jacobs in “When the Streetlights Go On” (Photo courtesy of Quibi)

“When the Streetlights Go On”

Directed by Rebecca Thomas and Brett Morgen

Culture Representation: Taking place in Colfax, Illinois, the mystery drama “When the Streetlights Go On” has a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans, Latinos and Asians) representing the middle-class.

Culture Clash: An African American man tells the story of the year he was 15, when two sisters from his high school were murdered within six months of each other.

Culture Audience: “When the Streetlights Go On” will appeal to people who like “mature audience”-level stories about teenagers and don’t mind if the stories have a lot of formulaic clichés.

Sam Strike and Sophie Thatcher in “When the Streetlights Go On” (Photo courtesy of Quibi)

The streaming service Quibi (which launched on April 6, 2020) has set itself apart from its competitors by offering only original content, and each piece of content is 10 minutes or less. Therefore, content that Quibi has labeled a “movie” actually seems more like a limited series, since Quibi will only make the “movie” available in installments that look like episodes. One of the original movies that was part of Quibi’s launch is “When the Streetlights Go On,” a mystery drama about a man who tells the story about what happened in the year that he was 15 years old, when two sisters from a prominent family were murdered within six months of each other, beginning in the summer of 1995.

“When the Streetlights Go On” is narrated by a man named Charlie Chambers, but the entire story is told as a flashback to 1995, in the suburb of Colfax, Illinois, which was devastated by the murders of Chrissy Monroe (played by Kristine Froseth) and Becky Monroe (played by Sophie Thatcher). Charlie is seen in “When the Streetlights Go On” only as his 15-year-old self (played by Chosen Jacobs), as the story unfolds from his perspective.

Chrissy was the sister who was murdered first, and her brutal slaying is shown in the first installment of “When the Streetlights Go On.” A popular high-school student, Chrissy also had a big secret: She was having an affair with her married teacher Steve Carpenter (played by Mark Duplass). Steve is so besotted with Chrissy that he tells her that he’s going to leave his wife for her. One night, while Chrissy and Steve meet in the woods for a tryst in his car, they are ambushed by a man armed with a gun and wearing a ski mask.

The masked man orders Steve to drive all three of them further into the woods, where he orders Steve and Chrissy to strip to their underwear before he shoots both of them in the head. The double homicide has stunned and terrified the community. And it’s at the forefront of the local high school’s gossip when school resumes in the fall, because the murderer hasn’t been caught yet. (“When the Streetlight Goes On” has some violence and language that don’t make it suitable for very young or very sensitive viewers.)

Heading the homicide investigation is Detective Darlene Grasso (played by Queen Latifah), who is a very by-the-numbers generic cop character that has been done many times before in TV shows and movies. Charlie, who’s on the school’s newspaper, seems himself as an aspiring investigative journalist, so he asks to be assigned the story of investigating Chrissy’s murder.

Meanwhile, all eyes at the school are on Chrissy’s younger sister Becky, who is the opposite of Chrissy. Becky is quiet, withdrawn and one of those “quirky” creative types who doesn’t make friends easily. People feel sympathy for her but they also feel awkward around her because they don’t know what to say to her about her tragic loss. And a creepy thing happens when the murderer calls Chrissy’s phone number (which hadn’t been disconnected yet after she died), to apparently taunt the Monroe family and the authorities.

During the course of the story, two very different young men fall under suspicion for murdering Chrissy. One of the possible suspects is Brad Kirchoff (played by Ben Ahlers), who was Chrissy’s high-school boyfriend while was also secretly having an affair with Steve Carpenter. There’s speculation that Brad (who’s a popular but very arrogant guy) might have found out about the affair, and murdered Chrissy and Steve out of jealousy and revenge. It doesn’t help Brad look innocent when he admits that he and Chrissy argued shortly before she was murdered.

The other young man who gets a lot of scrutiny is Casper Tatum (played by Sam Strike), a rebellious delinquent with an arrest record and a drug problem. Casper is one of those students who’s slightly older than high-school age because his failing grades have prevented him from graduating from high school with his original class. Because he’s over 18 and doesn’t seem to have any parental supervision, he has a lot more freedom than other students at the high school.

Because of Casper’s hoodlum reputation, more people in the community think that he’s the murderer than those who think Brad is the one who’s guilty. Casper has a massive crush on Becky, but he thinks he has no chance with her, because even if he weren’t under a cloud of suspicion for murdering her sister, Becky would still be considered out of Casper’s league. But Casper soon learns that Becky has a crush on him too, and they begin dating each other.

Casper and Becky’s relationship is a major scandal in the community. Becky ignores the orders of her parents (played by Cameron Bancroft and Eliza Norbury) to stop seeing Casper. One of the people who is the most offended by this romance is Brad, who thinks Becky is being disrespectful of Chrissy’s memory by dating someone whom a lot of people in the community think is the one who murdered Chrissy.

Needless to say, Brad isn’t shy about telling people that he thinks Casper is the murderer. Brad gets so angry at Becky that he curses her out and physically assaults her at school. Brad later apologizes to Becky, but when Casper hears about the assault, that leads Casper and Brad to have a major brawl at a house party attended by several of the students. It seems like every TV show or movie that’s centered on a high school has to show at least one big fight among students.

Meanwhile, Becky and Charlie become friends, as they bond over their mutual love of reading the same type of literature. You know where this is going: Charlie starts to fall for Becky too. And because Charlie is distracted by his feelings for Becky, it leads to him losing some interest in investigating Chrissy’s murder.

“When the Streetlights Go On” starts off promising, but it rapidly goes downhill when it starts to focus on Charlie falling in love with Becky. What happened to the murder mystery? It takes a back seat in the story after Charlie tries to get Becky to fall in love with him.

The acting in “When the Streetlights Go On” isn’t very remarkable, except for Thatcher, who gives a standout performance as the troubled and complicated Becky. And this story from screenwriters Chris Hutton and Eddie O’Keefe needed a lot of improvement. For example, it would’ve been better to not tell viewers up front that Becky would be murdered too.

When Becky’s death happens at the end, it’s not shocking because viewers know it’s coming. And when the murderer is finally revealed, how this reveal is handled is very rushed and almost like an afterthought. If you want to see yet another story about an angst-ridden teenage love triangle, then “When Streetlights Go On” might not disappoint you. But if you’re looking for a compelling drama about solving a murder mystery, then this isn’t that story.

Quibi premiered “When the Streetlights Go On” in 10 chapters, with the first three chapters debuting on April 6, 2020.

2019 Tribeca Film Festival: Tribeca Talks add Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, Queen Latifah to lineup

March 19, 2019

Tribeca Film Festival - white logo

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro
Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

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

The Tribeca Talks program will return to entertain and inspire audiences at the 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, taking place April 24 – May 5. This year’s lineup will include intimate and once in a lifetime conversations with a diverse list of groundbreaking and critically acclaimed filmmakers, artists, entertainers, and icons.

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series will feature some of the industry’s most renowned filmmakers who will share stories and highlights from their illustrious careers. Longtime filmmaking partners Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro will come together for a conversation at the Beacon Theatre. From Mean Streets to their upcoming The Irishman, the duo will reflect on their decades-long working relationship. This year’s series will also include a conversation with Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro, and Oscar-nominated filmmaker David O. Russell will be joined by his frequent collaborator Jennifer Lawrence.

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers spotlights pioneering creators working across multiple mediums. This accomplished group includes musician Questlove; comedian Sarah Silverman in conversation with Mike Birbiglia; actor and writer Rashida Jones; actors Michael J. Fox and Denis Leary will come together for a one-on-one conversation; and author and VR pioneer Jaron Lanier. There will also be a special Tribeca Talk featuring a conversation with Queen Latifah and Dee Rees about Queen’s extraordinary career followed by the premiere of the Queen Collective shorts.

Tribeca Games Presents a conversation with legendary video game creator Hideo Kojima and actor Norman Reedus to discuss working together on the upcoming video game, Death Stranding.

“Our Tribeca Talks have been so successful because they bring together cultural icons to discuss and debate a wide range of topics,” said Paula Weinstein, EVP of Tribeca Enterprises. “With each participant comes a different perspective and set of career experiences, which, when juxtaposed with those of the other participants and audience members, creates an exclusive experience. No two Tribeca Talks are the same.”

Tribeca Talks: Master Classes, a series of free events to engage with the film industry, will return with each class focusing on a different aspect of the filmmaking process, breaking down the intricacies and discussing them in-depth. This year’s series will offer an inside look at film producing with esteemed Oscar and Golden Globe winner Irwin Winkler. The series will also include a master class on The Art of Cinematic Sound presented by The Dolby Institute and a class discussing the rise of New Online Work (N.O.W.) and the process of translating from the web to the screen.

The Festival announced additional feature films as part of the Movies Plus section. The series gives audiences the opportunity to hear directly from the filmmakers and creators about their projects’ themes through lively panels, discussions, and performances following the screenings. The films include Luce, It Takes a Lunatic, Meeting Gorbachev, The Wrong Man, and Waldo on Weed, and more.

“As cinema continues to grow and change, we wanted to broaden the Tribeca Talks program to include a wider spectrum of filmmakers than ever before,” said Cara Cusumano, Festival Director of the Tribeca Film Festival. “This lineup of speakers includes those creatives at the cutting edge of innovative storytelling alongside some of the all time greats.”

TRIBECA TALKS: DIRECTORS SERIES

In Partnership with Squarespace
Today’s most groundbreaking filmmakers discuss their careers and highlights.

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series – Martin Scorsese with Robert De Niro
Martin Scorsese is an Academy Award®-winning director and one of the most influential and celebrated filmmakers working today. He has directed some of the mostly highly-regarded, critically acclaimed films, including Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and Silence. He will sit down with the Academy Award®-winning actor and frequent collaborator Robert De Niro, who he has directed in nine feature films, including his Academy Award®-winning performance as boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. Scorsese has directed documentaries including the Peabody Award-winning No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and the Emmy Award®-winning George Harrison: Living in the Material World. He was the executive producer on the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire, winning an Emmy Award® and DGA Award for directing the pilot episode. This legendary duo will come together at the Beacon Theatre to reflect upon their illustrious decades of collaboration from Mean Streets to their upcoming film, The Irishman.

  • Event time: Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 PM, Beacon Theatre

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series Guillermo del Toro
Among the most creative and visionary artists working today, Guillermo del Toro will discuss his prolific career turning horror, fairy tales, and the supernatural into world-class filmmaking. Del Toro earned widespread acclaim and multiple Academy Award® wins for 2006 fantasy drama, Pan’s Labyrinth. His 2018 film, The Shape of Water, won four Academy Awards® including Best Director and Best Picture. His other work includes beloved genre films such as Cronos, Mimic, The Devil’s Backbone, Hellboy, Pacific Rim, and Crimson Peak. In this conversation, the auteur will give audiences an exclusive look into his creative process. UPDATE: Alec Baldwin will interview del Toro for this panel.

  • Event time: Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 PM, BMCC

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series David O. Russell with Jennifer Lawrence
David O. Russell is an acclaimed Oscar®-nominated film writer, director, and producer known for his cinema of intense, tragi-comedic characters and worlds. Russell has earned immense acclaim and recognition throughout his career, most notably for his Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winning films The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle. Russell will be joined in conversation by Academy-Award® winning actor and frequent collaborator Jennifer Lawrence, who he has directed to three Golden Globe® wins and three of her four Oscar® nominations, including a Best Actress win for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. This iconic duo will come together for an extraordinary, one-on-one conversation covering their remarkable creative relationship.

  • Event time: Saturday, April 27 at 6:00 PM, BMCC

TRIBECA TALKS: STORYTELLERS

Sponsored by Montefiore
This series celebrates the illustrious careers of today’s most innovative creators, who have broken from traditional roles and pioneered their own forms of storytelling.

Questlove (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Questlove
Questlove is an iconic drummer, DJ, producer, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and, as a member of The Roots, the unmistakable heartbeat of Philadelphia’s most influential hip-hop group. He is the Musical Director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where his Roots crew serves as house band. Beyond that, this five-time Grammy Award®-winning musician’s indisputable reputation has landed him musical directing positions with everyone from D’Angelo and Eminem to Jay-Z. Join Questlove in conversation for a celebration of his boundless and eclectic career.

  • Event time: Tuesday, April 30 at 8:30 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Sarah Silverman with Mike Birbiglia
Sarah Silverman is a force in stand-up comedy, but this two-time Emmy Award® winner works across a variety of mediums and has cemented herself as one of the most versatile talents working today. Silverman’s many credits include the Emmy®-nominated Hulu talk series I Love You, America and the acclaimed films I Smile Back and Battle of the Sexes. She has lent her voice to the Emmy Award®-winning animated series Bob’s Burgers and the Wreck it Ralph films, and received widespread praise for her 2017 Netflix stand-up special A Speck of Dust. Silverman will be joined in conversation by fellow comedian, actor, and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia, best known for his indie breakout films Sleepwalk with Me and Don’t Think Twice – for which he was the writer, director and star – as well as his guest role as Oscar Langstraat on the hit series Billions, and his celebrated solo Broadway play The New One. Silverman and Birbiglia share a unique gift for transforming the deeply personal into the universal and will come together to discuss their creative processes as comedians, storytellers and performers.

  • Event time: Monday, April 29 at 8:00 PM, BMCC

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Michael J. Fox with Denis Leary
Michael J. Fox is an acclaimed television and film actor known for his iconic work on the sitcom Family Ties and the classic film trilogy Back to the Future. At 29, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, news the actor and icon shared publicly in 1998. In 2000, he established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to advance scientific progress toward a cure. In addition to his Parkinson’s advocacy, Fox is a NY Times bestselling author and his acting continues to earn him widespread recognition, including a Grammy®, four Golden Globes®, two SAG® awards and five Emmy Awards®, including a win for his guest appearance on Rescue Me, the critically acclaimed show created by and starring his longtime friend and fellow hockey lover, Denis Leary. Join these two spirited entertainers and friends for an illuminating and lighthearted conversation that will cover the breadth of Fox’s remarkable career.

  • Event time: Tuesday, April 30 at 6:00 PM, BMCC

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Jaron Lanier
Jaron Lanier, a celebrated writer, computer scientist, musician, is frequently cited for his pioneering work in Virtual Reality. He is known for charting a humanistic approach to technology appreciation and criticism, wrote books including Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, has consulted on films such as Minority Report and The Circle, and created music with Philip Glass and T Bone Burnett. Lanier takes a singular approach to the intersection between technology and the arts, evidenced by his significant creative output. In this enticing talk, he discusses his dynamic and prolific career while illustrating the powerful connection between science, music, and storytelling.

  • Event time: Saturday, April 27 at 2:00 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Rashida Jones
Versatile actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and Harvard graduate Rashida Jones will be in conversation to discuss an illustrious and accomplished career that spans across a variety of mediums. She co-wrote and starred in the indie breakout film Celeste and Jesse Forever, and received widespread acclaim for her sophomore directorial effort Quincy—an intimate portrait of her father and music legend Quincy Jones. She is the executive producer of the TNT hit-series Claws and currently stars on the TBS series Angie Tribeca.

  • Event Time: Wednesday, May 1 at 6:00 PM, BMCC

TRIBECA TALKS: MASTER CLASSES

Supported by The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
Tribeca Talks: Master Classes feature in-depth conversations focusing on a specific sector of the filmmaking process.

Tribeca Talks: Master Class The Art of Cinematic Sound
Following the world premiere screening of Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, three of the industry’s most legendary and decorated sound designers will come together in conversation to discuss the art and craft of sound design. Oscar winner Walter Murch created indelible soundscapes on such films as The Conversation, The Godfather and The English Patient, winning three Academy Awards® including for his work on Apocalypse Now, where he coined the term “sound designer.” Ben Burtt transported audiences to a galaxy far, far away, winning Academy Awards® for his masterful sound work on such films as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Gary Rydstrom created visionary sound designs on such iconic films as Jurassic Park, Toy Story, Titanic, and Saving Private Ryan, and has won a total of seven Academy Awards® and two Career Achievement Awards. Join these illustrious sound designers as they speak to their creative process and illuminate how their work has evolved the craft of sound on film. Moderated by the Director of the Dolby® Institute Glenn Kiser.

  • Event Time: Monday, April 29 at 5:00 PM, SVA-02

Tribeca Talks: Master Class Irwin Winkler on the Art and Craft of Producing
With a career spanning over 50 years, Academy Award®-winning producer and director Irwin Winkler is one of the most prolific and decorated producers working in the industry today. His incalculable contributions to cinema include his work on such films as Rocky, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, Creed, Silence, and the upcoming film, The Irishman. He has received numerous honors, including the Commandeur des Arts et Lettres and the 2017 Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award. For this master class discussion, Winkler will walk audiences through his process of getting a movie made, what it really means to be a great producer, and illuminate the innumerable ways in which producing is integral to the filmmaking process.

  • Event Time: Friday, May 3 at 3:30 PM, SVA-2

Tribeca Talks: Master Class The Journey of Digital Storytelling to TV: A Discussion with HBO Talent
Source material for Television series has changed over the past decade. As the media landscape continues to shift, the model of stories that are created solely from original concepts or adapted from literature has become more and more open to interpretation. Now, we see networks like HBO finding unique and diverse voices from the ever-expanding sphere of media. Web series and podcasts have become increasingly exciting areas from which to build a fleshed-out series. Join HBO talent who hail from the digital storytelling space as they discuss the process of transitioning their series to the small screen.

  • Event Time: Saturday, May 4 at 3:30 PM, SVA-1

TRIBECA TALKS: QUEEN LATIFAH WITH DEE REES
with the premiere of the Queen Collective shorts
Sponsored by P&G

Queen Latifah is a critically acclaimed and award winning musician, actor, label president, author and entrepreneur. The first hip-hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Latifah has had immeasurable success in music and acting; she has received Grammy®, Emmy®, and Golden Globe® awards for work, as well as an Academy Award® nomination for her portrayal of Mama Morton in Chicago. The trailblazing, Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter and director Dee Rees, who directed Latifah to a SAG award for her role in the HBO film Bessie, will join Latifah in conversation to discuss her extraordinary and multifaceted career. Together, these two remarkable storytellers will cover Latifah’s creative journey from musician to actor to entrepreneur, and how she is using her influence to mentor and uplift diverse female filmmakers in order to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera

  • Event time: Friday, April 26 at 5:30 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Following the talk will be the debut of The Queen Collective short documentaries. The Queen Collective is a program developed in partnership with Procter & Gamble and Queen Latifah with Flavor Unit Entertainment, aimed at accelerating gender and racial equality behind the camera. Created by diverse young women – these short films inspire positive social change and embody Procter and Gamble’s commitment to supporting gender and racial equity, on-screen and behind the scenes.

  • Ballet After Dark – Directed by B.Monét. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Ballet After Dark tells the story a young woman who found the strength to survive after an attack. She created an organization that is helping sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors find healing after trauma through dance therapy
  • If There Is Light – Directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Fourteen-year-old Janiyah Blackmon wrestles with her new life in New York City as her mom tries to move her family out of the shelter system and into a stable home. With Janiyah Blackmon, McKayla Blackmon, Jakena Blackmon.

TRIBECA GAMES PRESENTS: HIDEO KOJIMA WITH NORMAN REEDUS

World-renowned auteur game creator Hideo Kojima, widely considered the father of the stealth genre, has been hard at work on the highly anticipated PlayStation®4 title Death Stranding. Little is known about this mysterious new project, and speculation from fans and industry alike have created a deafening excitement. To discuss his boundary-pushing new game, Hideo Kojima will be joined by the star of Death Stranding, Norman Reedus, best known for his star-turning performances in The Boondock Saints and the acclaimed series The Walking Dead. Together, they will discuss pushing the boundaries of the video game medium and talk about how their relationship has established over working on the title together. This exclusive conversation will be moderated by game journalist Geoff Keighley, whose work and creation of The Game Awards has furthered the appreciation and understanding of the video game industry.

Death Stranding is a trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC. Created and developed by Kojima Productions. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.

  • Event time: Thursday, April 25 at 6:00 PM, BMCC

MOVIES PLUS

A Tribeca tradition, Movies Plus offers audiences the unique opportunity to continue the experience of a film through buzzworthy conversations or performances after each special screening.

Wynn Handman (pictured at right) in “It Takes a Lunatic” (Photo by Cliff Lipson)

It Takes a Lunatic, directed and produced by Billy Lyons. (USA, UK, Germany) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. A tribute to the life and legacy of influential acting teacher Wynn Handman, whose American Place Theater helped launched the off Broadway scene, as well as the careers of students from Richard Gere and Michael Douglas to Sam Shepard. With Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Susan Lucci, Eric Bogosian, John Leguizamo, Woodie King, Jr.

  • After the Premiere Screening: A conversation with acting teacher, artistic director and film subject Wynn Handman, actors Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas, and director Billy Lyons.
  • Event Time: Friday, May 3 at 8 PM, BMCC

Luce directed by Julius Onah, written by JC Lee, Julius Onah. Produced by John Baker, Julius Onah, Andrew Yang. (USA) – New York Premiere. After writing an inflammatory essay, a high school overachiever finds himself on a collision course with his adoptive parents and an overbearing teacher. A complex drama boasting an amazing ensemble cast, Luce sears the screen. With Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Tim Roth, Norbert Leo Butz, Andrea Bang and Marsha Stephanie Blake. A NEON and Topic release.

  • After the Premiere Screening: Join us in honoring the virtuosic ensemble cast of Luce with an empowering conversation led by Naomi Watts, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Andrea Bang, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and director Julius Onah, discussing their expansive careers and the indelible roles that led each cast member to Luce.
  • Event Time: Sunday, April 28 at 7:30 PM, BMCC

Meeting Gorbachev, directed and written by Werner Herzog, André Singer. Produced by Lucki Stipetic, Svetlana Palmer. (UK, USA) – New York Premiere, Feature Documentary. Profiling one of the most influential figures of 20th-century history, legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog candidly sits down with Mikhail Gorbachev for a revealing look at the life and legacy of the final leader of the Soviet Union. An Orchard release.

  • After the Premiere Screening: Director Werner Herzog will be in conversation with his frequent collaborator and Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University Herb Golder.
  • Event Time: Friday, April 26 at 6:00 PM, Village East Cinema

Waldo On Weed, directed and written by Tommy Avallone. Produced by Lee Leshen, Derrick Kunzer, Raymond Esposito, Josh Bender. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. When Brian and Danielle Dwyer’s son, Waldo, is diagnosed with cancer, they proceed with a controversial—and illegal—treatment plan consisting of one of the most divisive substances in our country: cannabis. With Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer, Brian Dwyer, Danielle Dwyer, Matt Rize, Mike Wert, Larry Anderson, Senator Daylin Leach, Senator Mike Folmer, Dr. Staci Gruber, Dr. Charles Pollack.

  • After the Premiere Screening: a conversation with medical marijuana expert Doctor Junella Chin, patient Lily Derwin, subject Danielle Dwyer, and Senator Daylin Leach. Moderated by actor, comedian and author Whoopi Goldberg.
  • Event Time: Friday, May 3 at 8:30 PM, SVA 2

The Wrong Man directed by Ross Golan, John Hwan. Produced by Jaren Shelton, Ross Golan and John Hwang. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. From multi-platinum songwriter Ross Golan, The Wrong Man is an animated concept film that uses Golan’s poetic lyrics and haunting melodies to tell a tragic story of love gone terribly wrong.

  • After the Screening: A conversation with director and acclaimed songwriter Ross Golan, CEO of Lava Records and board member of The Innocence Project Jason Flom and more
  • Event Time: Saturday, April 27 at 11:00 AM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Tribeca Talks: Prune Nourry and Serendipity
Artist Prune Nourry has spent her working life exploring issues around the human body. At the tender age of 31, Prune is diagnosed with breast cancer and she starts documenting her treatment and its effect on her own body, turning her medical odyssey into an epic artistic adventure — and feature documentary film Serendipity — discovering new meaning in her body of work and its curious relationship to her illness. Join us for a multisensory evening of film, food and conversation that explores the many themes of Prune’s work and opens up a dialogue about narrative medicine.

  • After the Screening: A conversation with Director and Artist Prune Nourry, Columbia University Professor and author Rita Charon, and more. Afterwards, join us for drinks and bites inspired by the work of Prune Nourry.
  • Event Time: Friday, May 3 at 8:00 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Passes and Tickets for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival
The Hudson Pass, an all-access pass to screenings and talks taking place at BMCC, Regal Battery Park Stadium, Village East Cinema, and SVA theaters as well as full access to all events at the Festival Hub at Spring Studios, which includes VR and Immersive projects, Movies Plus screenings and access to festival lounges. The Hudson pass can be purchased online at tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets, or by telephone at (646) 502-5296 or toll-free at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

Single tickets cost $24.00 for evening and weekend screenings, $12.00 for weekday matinee screenings, $30.00 for Tribeca TV and Movies Plus, $40.00 for Tribeca Talks panels and $40.00 for Tribeca Immersive. Single ticket sales begin Tuesday, March 26 and can be purchased online through our film guide or through the call center.

Tickets for events at the Beacon Theatre are now available for purchase. You can find information here.

Packages and passes are now available for purchase on the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival App, on:

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About the Tribeca Film Festival:
The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, brings visionaries and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. The Festival 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. Now in its 18th year, the Festival has evolved into a destination for creativity that reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities. The 18th annual edition will take place April 24 – May 5, 2019.www.tribecafilm.com/festival

Hashtag: #Tribeca2019
Twitter: @Tribeca
Instagram: @tribeca
Facebook: facebook.com/Tribeca

About 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Partners:
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, while expanding opportunities to diverse creators around the globe. AT&T helps millions connect to their passions – no matter where they are. This year, AT&T and Tribeca will once again collaborate to give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers that deserve to be seen. “AT&T Presents Untold Stories” is an inclusive film program in collaboration with Tribeca – a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute.

The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its 2019 Partners: 23andMe, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bai Beverages, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), BVLGARI, CHANEL, Diageo, ESPN, IMDb, Kia, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, Merck, Montefiore, National CineMedia (NCM), Nespresso, New York Magazine, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Prime Video Direct, P&G, PwC, Spring Studios New York, Squarespace, and Status Sparkling Wine.

2019 Academy Awards: performers and presenters announced

February 11, 2019

by Carla Hay

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 6, 2019. (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced several entertainers who will be performers and presenters at the 91st Annual Academy Awards ceremony, which will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. ABC will have the U.S. telecast of the show, which will not have a host. As previously reported, comedian/actor Kevin Hart was going to host the show, but he backed out after the show’s producers demanded that he make a public apology for homophobic remarks that he made several years ago. After getting a  firestorm of backlash for the homophobic remarks, Hart later made several public apologies but remained adamant that he would still not host the Oscars this year.

The celebrities who will be on stage at the Oscars this year are several of those whose songs are nominated for Best Original Song. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper will perform their duet “Shallow” from their movie remake of “A Star Is Born.” Jennifer Hudson will perform “I’ll Fight” from the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary “RBG.” David Rawlings and Gillian Welch will team up for the duet “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from the Western film “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” It has not yet been announced who will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from the Disney musical sequel “Mary Poppins Returns.”** It also hasn’t been announced yet if Kendrick Lamar and SZA will take the stage for “All the Stars” from the superhero flick “Black Panther.”

Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic do the music for the “In Memoriam” segment, which spotlights notable people in the film industry who have died in the year since the previous Oscar ceremony.

Meanwhile, the following celebrities have been announced as presenters at the ceremony: Whoopi Goldberg (who has hosted the Oscars twice in the past), Awkwafina, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Amandla Stenberg, Tessa Thompson Constance Wu, Javier Bardem, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Emilia Clarke, Laura Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Stephan James, Keegan-Michael Key, KiKi Layne, James McAvoy, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Momoa and Sarah Paulson. Goldberg and Bardem are previous Oscar winners.

Other previous Oscar winners taking the stage will be Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney, who won the actor and actress prizes at the 2018 Academy Awards.

Donna Gigliotti (who won an Oscar for Best Picture for 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love) and Emmy-winning director Glenn Weiss are the producers of the 2019 Academy Awards. This will be the first time that Gigliotti is producing the Oscar ceremony. Weiss has directed several major award shows, including the Oscars and the Tonys. He will direct the Oscar ceremony again in 2019.

**February 18, 2019 UPDATE: Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Los Things Go,” the Oscar-nominated song from “Mary Poppins Returns.” British rock band Queen, whose official biopic is the Oscar-nominated film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” will also perform on the show with lead singer Adam Lambert. It has not been revealed which song(s) Queen will perform at the Oscars.

February 19, 2019 UPDATE: These presenters have been added to the Oscar telecast: Elsie Fisher, Danai Gurira, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Keaton, Helen Mirren, John Mulaney, Tyler Perry, Pharrell Williams, Krysten Ritter, Paul Rudd and Michelle Yeoh.

February 21, 2019 UPDATE: These celebrities will present the Best Picture nominees: José Andrés, Dana Carvey, Queen Latifah, Congressman John Lewis, Diego Luna, Tom Morello, Mike Myers, Trevor Noah, Amandla Stenberg, Barbra Streisand and Serena Williams.

2018 Essence Festival: Queen Latifah added to lineup for her first Essence Festival performance

April 26, 2018

Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah in “Girls Trip” (Photo by Michele K. Short)

For the first time in the event’s history, a special performance by multi-talented rapper, singer, actress and producer, Queen Latifah, has been added to the all-star line up for this summer’s ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola concert series, taking place July 6-8 in New Orleans, LA.

Commemorating three decades in the entertainment business, the Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy and SAG Award recipient will be performing alongside Mary J. Blige and Xscape during the Festival’s second evening on Saturday, July 7 in the Louisiana Superdome.  Queen Latifah rounds out a stellar performance roster spotlighting women, including Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and more. The full night-by-night lineup is available here. Single-night tickets are on sale now.
Since the debut release of her classic album All Hail the Queen, Latifah has consistently promoted a message of positivity, empowerment, leadership, fearlessness and unity among women–specifically, young women of color. Fans will be treated to a slew of the Queen’s most popular records including U.N.I.T.Y, Ladies First and Bananas [Who You Gonna Call?], along with a few thrilling surprises.
Join the Festival community by following us on Twitter, @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2018 ESSENCE Festival® on Facebook.  For more information about ticket sales and accommodations and for the latest news about the ESSENCE Festival®, visit www.essencefestival.com.

 

The ESSENCE Festival® is executive produced by ESSENCE Festivals LLC, a division of ESSENCE Communications Inc., and is produced by Solomon Group.

Sponsors of the 2018 ESSENCE Festival® in New Orleans include presenting sponsor Coca-Cola and major sponsors AT&T, Ford, McDonald’s, State Farm and Walmart.

About Essence Communications Inc.

Essence Communications is the number one media company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 15 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content.  With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in MusicBlack Women in HollywoodStreet Style and the ESSENCE Festival.  Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent African-American owned company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of women of color.