Tribeca 2022: 15 Must-See Festival Films and Events You Can Attend or Stream at Home

·12 min read

After launching a delayed hybrid version of its annual event last summer, the Tribeca Festival is back with a multi-pronged approach to its vast programming this month. Once again, the festival will host a number of in-person events, including films, talks, masterclasses, and starry events, but those looking to enjoy the event from home will still be able to participate, thanks to the Tribeca At Home platform.

This year’s festival will open with the Jennifer Lopez Netflix documentary “Halftime” on June 8. The film, directed by Oscar-nominated Tribeca alum Amanda Micheli (“Vegas Baby”), will host its world premiere at the festival before premiering on the streamer June 14. The festival will close with the Al Sharpton-centric documentary “Loudmouth” on June 18, and also host a gala screening of B.J. Novak’s “Vengeance.” In between, it will screen a variety of films from new names, rising stars, and old favorites.

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The 2022 Tribeca Festival will feature 12 days of events and experiences across New York City with a curated lineup of films, live concerts, performances, talks, and demonstrations. Venues include the Beacon Theater, the United Palace, Pier 57, Spring Studios, BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, SVA Theatre, Village East by Angelika, Cinépolis Chelsea, Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place, and Battery Park City.

The festival runs June 8 – 19, and tickets for all events are now on sale. For those looking to attend virtually, the Tribeca At Home platform offers robust programming June 9 – 26, with more information available right here.

David Ehrlich, Eric Kohn, Ryan Lattanzio, and Samantha Bergeson also contributed to this article.

“Halftime” - Credit: screenshot/Netflix
“Halftime” - Credit: screenshot/Netflix

screenshot/Netflix

Films

“Battleground”

There are “timely” films and then there is Cynthia Lowen’s “Battleground,” which already seemed prescient and necessary and very, very scary when it was first announced and now seems positively chilling. The documentary aims to take audiences inside the lives of three extremely different women who have all made overturning Roe v. Wade a central part of their lives. And when we say “extremely different,” we mean both from each other and from what others might expect a pro-life crusader to look like.

Lowen’s film includes “Gen Z activists, members of the Christian Right, and even some Democrats,” all grouped around the desire to end bodily autonomy for all women, regardless of what those women actually want for themselves. While “giving a platform” to these kinds of people might rankle some, as women’s rights continue to be chipped away at in this country, it seems more important than ever to understand who is behind such pushes, even (especially?) the people you’d never expect. Lowen and her “Battleground” will rip the mask off those faces, and will inevitably stir big responses in the process. —KE 

“Blaze”

Lauded Aussie painter Del Kathryn Barton has already dipped her toe in the film world, co-directing the animated short “The Nightingale and the Rose” alongside Brendan Fletcher in 2015 (based on Oscar Wilde’s short story of the same name) and casting no less than Cate Blanchett in her solo short film debut “Red” in 2017. Her strong visual sense will surely guide her feature debut “Blaze,” which combines live action with VFX and stop-motion animation techniques.

Starring Simon Baker and Julia Savage, the film follows the eponymous Blaze (Savage), who accidentally witnesses a terrible crime and, per the film’s IMDb page, “struggles to make sense of what she saw, ultimately finding renewal in the inestimable world of her own imagination.” The imaginative work is poised to launch a whole new chapter for the established artist’s career. —KE 

“Corner Office”

Jon Hamm, fresh off his “that’s what the military is for!” performance in “Top Gun: Maverick,” returns for another Don Draper fly-by, but this one is inverted 180 degrees. Subverting his screen persona as a dashing, implosive, the rules don’t apply to me type, the “Mad Men” actor stars in Joachim Back’s “Corner Office” as a pathologically fastidious stooge — with a honkin’ mustache and a sad pair of glasses — whose only purpose in life is to be a good employee and climb the corporate ladder.

Alas, his intolerance towards his colleagues’ faults and indiscretions doesn’t seem to endear our man to any of the other people at his company (including Danny Pudi and Sarah Gadon), which he just may come to regret during this cock-eyed satire of a world in which doing good work may no longer be its own reward. —DE

“Don’t Make Me Go” - Credit: Courtesy of Prime Video
“Don’t Make Me Go” - Credit: Courtesy of Prime Video

Courtesy of Prime Video

“Don’t Make Me Go”

John Cho stars as single father Max with a terminal illness who tries to make up for soon-to-be lost time with his teenage daughter Wally (Mia Isaac) by embarking on a cross-country drive from California to New Orleans for his twentieth college reunion. To complicate the road trip father-daughter dramedy even further, Max also hopes to reunite with Wally’s mother at the reunion after she left the family years ago.

Jemaine Clement and Kaya Scodelario also star in the R-rated feature which comes from rising filmmaker Hannah Marks, who follows up her 2021 Tribeca favorite “Mark, Mary & Some Other People” with a different kind of complicated (but surely still funny) dramedy. Marks will also appear in the Amazon Studios film, following recent roles in “I Used to Go Here” and “Dinner in America.” The “Banana Split” alum is also currently in pre-production on teen mystery “Turtles All the Way Down,” which she will direct from a script adapted from the popular John Green novel. —SB

“The Drop”

Sarah Adina Smith has honed an idiosyncratic voice for films that blend the philosophical with the surreal and mystical. Her debut feature, 2014’s “The Midnight Swim,” found three sisters swirling in supernatural menace at an eerie lake house where they’d gathered to piece together the disappearance of their mother. Her follow-up, 2016’s “Buster’s Mal Heart,” showcased a loopy turn from future Oscar-winner Rami Malek as a Unabomber-type recluse bent out of shape over the impending YTK.

Her next film, “The Drop,” collides social cringe-comedy with millennial satire (ever a match) as a couple’s (Anna Konkle of “PEN15” and Jermaine Fowler of “Coming 2 America”) trip to a tropical destination wedding of friends (Jennifer LaFleur and Aparna Nancherla) gets disrupted by an unsettling event: one of them drops the betrothed couple’s baby in full view of the wedding party. The film is executive produced by the Duplass brothers. —RL 

“Family Dinner”

Billed as the horror genre’s “first great Easter film,” Peter Hengl’s debut feature tells the story of an overweight 15-year-old girl named Simi who winds up with all too much on her plate when she visits her nutritionist aunt Claudia’s house for the holiday weekend. It’s no surprise that Claudia takes a militant approach to her niece’s diet, but Simi’s uncle and teenage cousin are acting strangely towards her too — enough so that Simi begins to suspect that something truly sinister may be responsible for the horror that her body seems to inspire from a weight-obsessed society.

Another moody and unsettling Austrian chiller with enough deep shadows and creeping dread to evoke local favorites like “Goodnight, Mommy,” “Family Dinner” promises to flesh out physical insecurities into the stuff of full-blown nightmares; what the resurrection of Jesus Christ has to do with it is anyone’s guess, but we can only assume that he’ll take Simi’s side. —DE

“The Integrity of Joseph Chambers”
“The Integrity of Joseph Chambers”

“The Integrity of Joseph Chambers”

Director Robert Machoian’s “The Killing of Two Lovers” was a memorable breakout from Sundance 2020 that turned on the ferocity of leading man Clayne Crawford and the tense, spare tale of an estranged husband and father driven to desperate salvage his family. Now, the pair have reteamed for another tense drama though one that once again calls for Crawford to play a family driven to desperate ends.

In this case, he plays a man in the midst of the current pandemic-era recession who attempts to hunt for sustenance, a decision that leads to a shocking hunting accident. The movie, shot in Alabama in late 2020, also stars Jordana Brewster as the protagonist’s wife, Michael Raymond-James as a character named Lone Wolf, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Expect another gripping, atmospheric story of masculine bravado driven to a breaking point, and one that captures the modern anxiety of the pandemic age in the process. —EK

“Lynch/Oz”

Alexandre O. Philippe has a great track record for amplifying key moments in film history: “Doc of the Dead” looked at zombie movie culture, “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene” explored the artistry of a certain “Psycho” twist, and “Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist” delivered exactly that. All of which is to say that while a feature-length project about David Lynch’s obsession with “The Wizard of Oz” might sound like overkill, if anyone’s going to do it, Philippe’s the guy.

“Lynch/Oz” promises a complex look at the way the 1939 classic reverberates across Lynch’s oeuvre, connecting the dots on everything from “Blue Velvet” to “Twin Peaks.” It’s not the most radical idea when you consider how Lynch’s work is all about exaggerated visions pitched somewhere between dream and nightmare, much like Dorothy’s iconic journey. But the connection has never been scrutinized like this, as the documentary promises insights from a wide array of movie people, including John Waters and Karyn Kusama. Lynch’s films are always worth revisiting from new angles, and “Lynch/Oz” offers a perfect one. —EK

“Subject”

Try this super-clever idea on for size: it’s a documentary about famous documentary subjects. Per its official page on the Tribeca site, co-directors (and Tribeca alums) Jennifer Tiexiera and Camilla Hall use their “Subject” to unpack “the ethics and responsibility inherent in documentary filmmaking while putting “some of most successful documentaries of the past three decades under the microscope, revealing the impact their commercial success has had on the lives of the onscreen participants.”

The doc focuses on the real people whose lives were chronicled in films and series like “The Staircase,” “Hoop Dreams,” “The Wolfpack,” “The Square,” and “Capturing the Friedmans,” and relies on doc luminaries like Sonya Childress, Sam Pollard, Thom Powers, Gordon Quinn, and more to speak to the crazy, vivid, and important experiences of these people and their stories. Tribeca has always programmed wonderful docs, and “Subject” sounds like the kind of clever pick audiences will love chewing on. —KE

“There There”

Since his 2002 debut “Funny Ha Ha,” the consummate portrait of Gen Y listlessness and the one to launch a thousand mumblecore movies and imitations, Andrew Bujalski has been all over the film festival block. From SXSW to Sundance, you never know when a new Bujalski gem or oddity might show up at a festival.

His first feature since 2018’s “Support the Girls” and his 2019 contribution as a screenwriter on Disney’s live-action hybrid “Lady and the Tramp,” “There There” finds Bujalski back at Tribeca with another character piece. The film stars Jason Schwartzman, Lili Taylor, Lennie James, and Molly Gordon, and is set up as a sort of jazzy anthology film tackling and twisting the plights and pratfalls of 21st-century life. “There There” looks to transport Bujalski (and us) back to the freeform style of his earlier films, from “Mutual Appreciation” to “Computer Chess.” —RL 

“You Can Live Forever”

The last decade has been something of a golden age for repressed period romances about women who love each other in defiance of social norms, but Mark Slutsky and Sarah Watts’ “You Can Live Forever” stands out for several reasons, the most obvious of which is the film’s religious milieu. Set in the last days of Discmen (the early 1990s), this tender Canadian drama begins when a secretly queer but openly secular teen girl named Jamie goes to stay with the Jehovah’s Witness side of her family after her father dies, a hail Mary that triggers all sorts of tension between Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirts and “The Truth.”

When Jamie falls hard for a devout member of the local congregation, both girls inevitably start to realize that “good news” often comes from unexpected places. Anchored by raw performances, a sensitive attention to the interplay between nature and nurture, and a micro-budget approach that grounds even the film’s most familiar moments in a place of truth — a truth, if not the Truth — “You Can Live Forever” is a sweetly moving story about two people weighing the promise of eternal life against a potential slice of heaven right here on Earth. —DE

Events

“The Godfather”

Tribeca makes a meal out of its annual run of retrospectives and reunions, and this year, that starry lineup (also including “Heat,” “Velvet Goldmine,” and “Eve’s Bayou”) includes one hell of a classic: a fresh restoration of Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. (Bonus: a new introduction from star, and Tribeca regular, Al Pacino). —KE

“The Godfather” - Credit: Paramount Pictures
“The Godfather” - Credit: Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Juneteenth Programming

Essentially a festival-within-the-festival, Tribeca’s robust lineup of Juneteenth programming includes films (both available in-person and online), talks, podcasts, a special Critics’ Week lineup, outdoor events, and much more to provide much to celebrate and consider in the lead up to the holiday. —KE

Master Class: Intimacy Coordinator Alicia Rodis

Pioneering intimacy coordinator Alicia Rodis will be on hand (alongside lauded filmmaker Crystal Moselle) to share her insights during a one-hour masterclass. Rodis will talk extensively about the role of an intimacy coordinator and her experiences working on productions like “Mare of Easttown,” “And Just Like That,” and “Search Party.” While the position is still somewhat new to many (even inside the industry), Rodis is arguably the biggest start in I.C. galaxy, and one always eager to share her insights.

For those interested in further programming related to the topic, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan’s documentary “Body Parts” is also screening at the festival, and “ uncovers the often invisible processes involved in creating intimacy for mainstream American film and television, the toll these scenes exact on those directly involved, and the impact on women and girls in the real world.” —KE

Storytellers: Taylor Swift with Mike Mills

Arguably the hottest ticket at this year’s festival, Taylor Swift (yes, the Taylor Swift) will sit down with fellow filmmaker Mike Mills to discuss her career, with a special look at her turn to filmmaking. Swift’s short film “All Too Well: The Short Film” — which she directed, wrote, produced, and starred in — will be screened, before an in-depth chat with Mills about her latest career move. —KE

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