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The Evolution of Indie Narrative at the 20th Tribeca Film Festival


By Roger Costa

The 2021 edition of the celebrated NYC’s Tribeca Film Festival brought joy, outdoor living, and optimism during the Pandemic crisis, celebrating once again the magic of movie storytelling. With live outdoor screenings taking place all over the city, Tribeca offered a high quality selection of indie films, demonstrating its evolution in the beginning of the new decade, the shapes and styles predominating in the future and how it finally merged into the era of the virtual industry, gaining as much attention as the mainstream. Here are some of the most satisfying films still available to screen virtually at the Festival’s portal:

In the intense and visually inventive SEE FOR ME, a blind woman becomes entangled with a couple of bandits inside a mansion where she’s cat-sitting. Highly involving and convincing, the atmosphere is suspenseful and intriguing while the sense of the unknown predominates through the protagonist’s perspective. Actress Skyler Davenport gives a breakthrough performance in Randall Okita’s accomplished sophomore feature.

The Pandemic-set rom-com 7 DAYS finds two strangers trapped inside a house during Lockdown, forcing them to deal with each other’s differences and ideals and the uncertainties of the Pandemic. Funny, irreverent and authentic, it is a fabulous showcase for both talented actors/comedians who keep the film always fresh and unexpectedly relevant. Director and co-writer Roshan Sethi shows off powerful control of the material proving to be an emerging comedic force.

A timely romantic comedy about sexual liberation and interconnections, MARK, MARY & SOME OTHER PEOPLE is a wise interracial romance that takes us through an unforgettable mushroom trip set during a honeymoon. Two hipsters meet and fall deeply in love for each other, in what perfectly represents the so-called “soulmate”. In a much modern turn, they engage in an open relationship, allowing each other to see other people. Charming, stylish and immersive, writer/director Hannah Marks scores an accomplished look at modern relationships and polygamy.

A boxer goes on a deadly hunt for the men responsible for her sister’s kidnapping in CATCH THE FAIR ONE, a gripping, intensely violent and raw depiction of human trafficking and its traumatic consequences. Masterly crafted, meticulously observed and built on details, director Josef Kubota Wladyka composes a knockout revenge thriller, one which images prove the commitment and engagement of its stylist and timely humanitarian alert. Undoubtedly among this year’s best films.

In GOD’S WAITING ROOM three individuals have their lives connected through a heart rendering coming-of-age story about redemption, ambition and pure love.

Love also predominates in the charming, enchantingly modern love story DATING & NEW YORK, a smart and old fashioned ode to young love, dating apps and to the city of lights.

A net of conspiracy and dangerous science are at the core of the intense, mind-bending and bloody horror drama FALSE POSITIVE, where a couple struggle to impregnate and end up at the hands of a mercenary doctor.

Tender and optimistic AS OF YET finds two girlfriends trying to connect and adapt to the era of Pandemic and its virtual lifestyle, while seeking for young pleasure.

The gorgeous Vanessa Kirby wanders the streets of Manhattan in the enigmatic, puzzle-like drama ITALIAN STUDIES an engaging look at teenhood in the city.

And Elijah Wood gives a career-changing performance in the true-story psychological drama NO MAN OF GOD, playing the FBI agent who interviewed the infamous murderer Ted Bunny in Reagan’s era, before his execution.

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