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FESTIVALARTICLE

Golden Age: Announcing the 2019 Editions of Tribeca TV and Tribeca N.O.W.

The very best stories that the small screen and the online world have to offer, presented on the big screen they deserve.

The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, will debut highly-anticipated new and returning TV series and spotlight creative online storytelling work at its 18th annual edition. The Tribeca TV lineup will include 16 shows made up of eight series premieres, two season premieres, one feature documentary, and five indie pilots. The N.O.W. (New Online Work) section, sponsored by HBO, will showcase 12 projects from creators who are using digital platforms to tell original stories, in addition to special spotlight programs. The N.O.W. Creators Market will return to connect online creators with industry professionals.

Building on the Festival's successful anniversary and retrospective programming, for the first time this year, Tribeca TV will celebrate anniversaries of two acclaimed series: the iconic sketch comedy landmark In Living Color and The Simpsons, the longest-running American sitcom, marking its milestone 30th anniversary. The hit series Mr. Robot will return to Tribeca after its first episode screened at the Festival in 2015 to celebrate the final season with a special Tribeca Talks conversation with stars Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, and creator Sam Esmail. The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 24th through May 5th.

Tribeca TV will showcase several world premieres, including Amazon's The Boys (pictured below), a darkly funny take on superheroes, executive produced by Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg, and Netflix's Tuca & Bertie, an animated comedy series starring the voices of two singular comedians: Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong. On Tour with Asperger’s Are Us is an HBO documentary series from the Duplass Brothers that follows a comedy group whose members are all on the autism spectrum as they venture on a cross-country tour. Julianna Margulies leads Nat Geo'sThe Hot Zone, a miniseries inspired by the true story about the origins of the Ebola virus and its arrival on U.S soil. HBO's Chernobyl tells the story of the 1986 nuclear accident of title and stars Jessie Buckley, Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, and Emily Watson; it will premiere at Tribeca on the date of the actual disaster.

Shows premiering their upcoming seasons at the Festival include Starz's Vida, the critically acclaimed series about two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles whose circumstances force them to confront their past and their differences; Vida will debut the first episode from its sophomore season at Tribeca. Paramount's Younger (pictured below), the hit comedy about a recent divorcée dealing with the complications of lying about her age to restart her career and love life, will premiere the first episode of its sixth season. A&E's I Want My MTV, a feature documentary about the rise of the network that came to define a generation, will also premiere as part of this year's Tribeca TV program.

Making their New York premieres at this year’s Festival are Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, a Showtime documentary series about one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time, as well as AMC's State of the Union, an original comedy directed by Stephen Frears, written by Nick Hornby, and starring Chris O’Dowd and Rosamund Pike whose story is centered around the challenges of a contemporary relationship. Each 10-minute episode is set in a pub before a couple’s weekly marital therapy session. Finally, Tribeca TV will spotlight upcoming independent voices in episodic storytelling with its Pilot Season section.

"When some of the most cinematic storytelling continues to happen on screens of all sizes and shapes, we were particularly inspired this year by the scope, innovation, and accomplishment of the so-called 'small' screen,” said Cara Cusumano, Festival Director of the Tribeca Film Festival. "It's a privilege to showcase these diverse works with a robust program that speaks to the limitless potential of the episodic form."

Tribeca TV will also bring two of the most influential series in television history to the big screen. Twenty-five years after its finale, In Living Color, the sketch comedy series recognized for launching the careers of Keenen Ivory Wayans and other members of the Wayans Family, as well as Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier, and Jennifer Lopez, will be celebrated at Tribeca with a screening of its first episode, followed by a conversation with creator and costar Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Kim Wayans, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, and Rosie Perez. The Simpsons needs little introduction: the satirical animated show that has become part of our cultural fabric will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. A screening of two episodes of the series will be followed at the Festival by a panel featuring James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Matt Selman, Al Jean, and Harry Shearer, moderated by Lisa Simpson herself, Yeardley Smith.

This year's two-part N.O.W. Showcase will feature the latest work from 11 unique online creators. The first N.O.W. Showcase, “Headspace,” will include a range of projects, from Kiss of the Rabbit God (pictured below), a narrative short about sexual awakening and self-discovery set in a Chinese restaurant, to Release, a science-fiction series built around the fallout of a rapidly spreading and unknown airborne disease. “Reality Check,” the second N.O.W. Showcase, includes Frame by Frame, a documentary series about the impact of photojournalists; Better Days, a coming-of-age comedy series about a young Muslim-American twenty-something; and 99, a comedic narrative about a mother and her adult son shopping for a Bar Mitzvah gift at a 99 Cent store. N.O.W. will also host two special screenings featuring Topic Studios documentary work, as well as the New York Times Op-Docs, a collection of five short films that all tackle immigration-related issues.

"Each year, our small but mighty section of New Online Work showcases an increasingly diverse group of perspectives, genres, and formats,” said Liza Domnitz, Senior Programmer, Tribeca Film Festival. “In 2019, we selected a group of filmmakers whose work delves into the reality of the everyday minutiae of life—career confusion, single motherhood, burgeoning sexuality—as well as the dissociative ways our brains utilize to get through it all. Through 12 works that mix comedy, sci-fi, documentary, and movement, the 2019 N.O.W. program promises an eclectically evocative mix of voices."

This year’s Tribeca TV and N.O.W. programs will include more world premieres, more networks (both established and emerging), more formats, and more diverse storytelling than ever before. Tribeca will continue to support creators in diverse mediums, reflected by the expansion of its programming into these now well-established sections of the Festival. Check out the lineup:

REUNIONS

In Living Color — Celebrating 25 Years Since its Series Finale

Twenty-five years after its finale, the cast and creator of the groundbreaking sketch comedy show In Living Color will reunite to reflect on the Emmy Award-winning show that upended the landscape of television comedy and launched the careers of some of the greatest entertainers of our time. Following a screening of the pilot episode of In Living Color, the series creator and stars will come together to celebrate the show’s immeasurable influence and illuminate how the show continues to be equal parts subversive and hilarious.

After the Screening: A conversation with creator and star Keenan Ivory Wayans, and co-stars Shawn Wayans, Kim Wayans, Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, and Rosie Perez
Event time: April 27th at 5:00 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

The Simpsons — 30th Anniversary

In the thirty years since The Simpsons first debuted, the satirical cartoon has become the very center of popular culture, a juggernaut that’s ingrained in the cultural fabric of America. In the three decades it has been on the air, the show has influenced popular culture, media, and politics by brilliantly and incisively depicting the ridiculous pageant of American society. Following a screening of the episodes "Marge vs. the Monorail" and "The Day the Earth Stood Cool," the creative team of The Simpsons will come together to celebrate the immeasurable legacy of the longest-running animated series in television history.

After the Screening: A conversation with executive producers James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, and Matt Selman, and the voice of many, Harry Shearer. Moderated by Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson.
Event time: April 28th at 5:00 PM, BMCC

TRIBECA TV
With media support from Vulture, the entertainment and culture site from New York Magazine

The Boys (Amazon Prime Video) — New Series World Premiere
Executive Producers: Eric Kripke, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Neal H. Moritz, Pavun Shetty, Ori Marmur, Ken F. Levin, Jason Netter

The Boys is a fun and irreverent take on what happens when superheroes abuse their superpowers rather than use them for good. Based on a comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.

After the screening: A conversation with series stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, Erin Moriarty, Jessie T. Usher, Laz Alonso, Chace Crawford, Karen Fukuhara, and Elisabeth Shue, and executive producer/showrunner Eric Kripke.
Screen time: April 29th at 8:45 PM, SVA Theatre

Chernobyl (HBO/Sky) — New Series World Premiere
Executive Producers: Carolyn Strauss, Jane Featherstone, Craig Mazin

Chernobyl dramatizes the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from disaster, all the while battling a culture of disinformation.

After the Screening: A conversation with cast members Jessie Buckley, Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, and Emily Watson, writer Craig Mazin, and director Johan Renck
Screen time: April 26th at 8:00 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

The Hot Zone (National Geographic) — New Series World Premiere
Executive Producers: Lynda Obst, David Zucker, Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson, Jenn Vintar

The Hot Zone is based on Richard Preston’s bestseller, and is inspired by a true story about the origins of the Ebola virus and its arrival on U.S. soil.

After the Screening: A conversation with showrunners and executive producers Kelly Souders, Brian Peterson, and Lynda Obst, bestselling author Richard Preston, technical supervisor Dr. Michael Smit, epidemiologist Dr. Wan Yang, and cast members Julianna Margulies, Liam Cunningham, and Noah Emmerich. Hosted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

I Want My MTV (A&E Network) — World Premiere, Feature Documentary
Produced by: David Kennedy, Nick Quested, Tyler Measom, Patrick Waldrop
Directed and written by Tyler Measom and Patrick Waldrop

In 1981, a new music-centric network launched that would come to define a generation. Featuring the musicians, VJs, and executives who were there from the beginning, Tyler Measom and Patrick Waldrop’s energetic documentary revisits the early days of the cultural juggernaut.

After the Screening: A conversation with film directors Tyler Measom and Patrick Waldrop, MTV co-founder John Sykes, former MTV CEO Judy McGrath, Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, and original MTV VJ Mark Goodman
Screen time: May 1st at 9:00 PM, SVA

On Tour With Asperger's Are Us (HBO) — New Series World Premiere
Executive Producers: Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, Mel Eslyn, Carolyn Craddock, Alex Lehmann, Sean Bradley

This six-part documentary series follows the first all-autistic comedy troupe as it navigates its first cross-country tour.

After the Screening: A comedy performance by the featured comedy troupe Asperger’s Are Us
Screen time: April 29th at 8:00 PM, SVA

State of the Union (SundanceTV/SundanceNOW) — New Series New York Premiere
Executive Producers: Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman

An original comedy series about contemporary relationships. Each 10-minute episode is set in a pub immediately before Louise (Rosamund Pike) and Tom (Chris O’Dowd) have their weekly marital therapy session.

After the Screening: A conversation with director and executive producer Stephen Frears, screenwriter and executive producer Nick Hornby, and cast member Rosamund Pike
Screen time: May 4th at 6:30 PM, SVA

Tuca & Bertie (Netflix) — New Series World Premiere
Creator: Lisa Hanawalt
Executive Producers: Lisa Hanawalt, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong

Tuca & Bertie is an animated comedy series about the friendship between two 30-year-old bird women who live in the same apartment building. It features Tuca, a cocky, care-free toucan, and Bertie, an anxious, daydreaming songbird.

After the Screening: A conversation with stars Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish, and creator Lisa Hanawalt
Screen time: May 1st at 8:30 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Vida (Starz) — Season 2 World Premiere
Executive Producers: Tanya Saracho, Robin Schwartz, Marc Turtletaub, Peter Saraf, Stephanie Langhoff

In the second season of Vida, Lyn and Emma begin the monumental task of rebuilding the bar. They navigate obstacles while contemplating the relationships in their lives, including their own, and are forced to dig deep to unearth what their mother’s legacy means to them.

After the Screening: A conversation with executive producer Tanya Saracho and cast members Melissa Barrera, Mishel Prada, Ser Anzoategui, Chelsea Rendon, Carlos Miranda, Roberta Colindrez, and Raúl Castillo
Screen time: May 2nd at 5:30 PM, SVA

Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men (Showtime) — New Series New York Premiere
Director: Sacha Jenkins
Executive Producers: Sacha Jenkins, Peter Bittenbender, Chris Gary, Peter J. Scalettar

The series looks back on the group’s career, combining intimate interviews from each of its nine living members with never-before-seen archival footage and performances. Join us at the Beacon Theatre for the premiere with all of the living members in attendance: RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Raekwon da Chef, Cappadonna, and Masta Killa.

Screen time: April 25th at 8:00 PM, Beacon Theatre

Younger (Paramount Network) — Season 6 World Premiere
Executive Producer: Darren Star

Younger follows Liza, a talented and aspiring editor navigating the highly competitive world of publishing—while juggling the complications of the lie she created about her age to land her dream job. Starring Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor, Nico Tortorella, Peter Hermann, Molly Bernard, and Charles Michael Davis.

After the Screening: A conversation with executive producer Darren Star and cast members Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor, Nico Tortorella, Peter Hermann, Molly Bernard, and Charles Michael Davis
Screen time: April 25th at 6:00 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Tribeca Talks: A Farewell to Mr. Robot (USA)

Four years ago, the pilot episode of Mr. Robot had its New York premiere at Tribeca. Now the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning series returns for a special celebration of the show and a look ahead to its fourth and final season. Join Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, and series creator Sam Esmail as they look back on three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series—and share new and exclusive information about what to expect when the show returns.

Tribeca Talk: A conversation with stars Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, and creator Sam Esmail
Event time: April 28th at 3:00 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

PILOT SEASON

Following successful programs at both the Tribeca Film Festival and September's Tribeca TV Festival, Tribeca is continuing its tradition of opening submissions to independently produced TV pilots. Gunpowder & Sky recently acquired Zelda Williams' Shrimp following its 2018 Tribeca TV Festival premiere and On the Spectrum, also from 2018, recently announced it would be adapted by Parenthood's Jason Katims for Amazon.

Screening Showcase: April 29th at 8:00 PM, Village East Cinema

Awokened (USA) — World Premiere
Executive Producers: Daryl Wein, David Walton, Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello

Awokened is an independent half hour cable/streaming show about a guy who has a spiritual awakening that changes his life forever. With David Walton, Majandra Delfino, Hannah Simone, Jeremy Sisto, Zoe Lister-Jones, Paul W. Downs, Lamorne Morris.

DC Noir (USA) — World Premiere
Executive Producers: George Pelecanos, Ginny Grenham

DC Noir is a crime series composed of stories that follow an array of different characters living and dying on the fringes of society in the nation’s capital. With Jay O. Sanders, Marcus Craig-Bradford, Thaddeus Street, Wale Florin, Kia Goodwin, Anwan Glover, Backyard Band.

Halfway (USA) — World Premiere
Executive Producer: Kimberley Browning

Krystal just got released from prison, and now must navigate the new rules, and an intimidating crew of fellow ex-con women residents of a Christian halfway house. With Anastasia Leddick, Noemi Gonzalez, Joy Nash, Shondrella Avery, Dot-Marie Jones, Garrick Bernard.

Lady Liberty (USA) — World Premiere
Executive Producers: Julia Lindon, Taylor Lee Nagel, Melinda Andrade

An aspiring comedian (Shea Miller) learns to embrace her queerness to find her comedic voice, and more importantly, her community. With Julia Lindon, Jason Sudeikis, Rebecca Henderson, Karen Eilbacher, Yoni Lotan, Chip Hamilton.

Unimundo 45 (USA) — World Premiere
Executive Producer: Kimberley Browning

After Trump wins the White House, a jaded Latina news producer reconnects with her suppressed activist side and becomes an unlikely TV news star. With Elizabeth De Razzo, Maria Camargo, Luis Fernandez-Gil, Garrick Bernard, Jandres Burgos, Blanca Araceli.

Tribeca N.O.W.
Sponsored by HBO

Tribeca New Online Work (N.O.W.) highlights independent creators who use the web sphere as an exhibition space to tell their stories. Previous selections have gone on to achieve recognition in the form of awards and network pick-up, including High Maintenance from creators Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair and the Gotham award nominees Cleaner Daze, from creator Tess Sweet, and The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo, from creator Brian Jordan Alvarez. This year’s slate includes episodic, short form, and documentary work from both up-and-coming and seasoned filmmakers.

N.O.W. SHOWCASE: HEADSPACE
Sci-fi, documentary, drama, and comedy collide in this collection of works that push aesthetic boundaries and challenge storytelling tropes.

Premiere Screening: Thursday, April 25th, 6:30 PM, Regal Battery Park Theater

neurotica., created by Laura Moss & Nick Kocher (USA) — World Premiere

A comedic sci-fi anthology series exploring personal anxieties. In episode 1, "eureka!," a chronic procrastinator (Karen Gillan) meets an otherworldly being responsible for giving humanity its great ideas. Also starring Jillian Bell.

Laura Moss is a filmmaker from New York City. Her recent short film, Allen Anders: Live at the Comedy Castle - circa 1987 premiered at SXSW 2018. Her previous short, Fry Day, screened at SXSW and Tribeca in 2017. Laura was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Her debut feature, After Birth, will be produced by Fangoria Films in 2019.

Nick Kocher is a stand-up comic and writer who has written for Saturday Night Live, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and the occasional Marvel comic book. He is also one half of the sketch comedy group BriTANicK.

The Future is Then, created by Sarah Salovaara (USA) — Episodes 1 & 2 (World Premiere)

Set in 1996, The Future is Then follows a widowed Trinidadian woman who is recruited to be the brains behind the scenes of an Expedia-esque start up, run by three twenty-something white dudes.

Sarah Salovaara is a filmmaker from New York City. Her work is primarily concerned with the retooling of gender roles and genre tropes. Her previous series, Let Me Die a Nun, starring Ana Fabrega and Hari Nef, was nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award in 2017.

Release, created by Joe Penna & Ryan Morrison — Episodes 1 & 2 (World Premiere)

When a deadly and mysterious airborne disease spreads from remote areas of the world to the United States, the country is thrust into chaos and panic as it strikes the quiet outskirts of a large American city.

Joe Penna is a Brazilian writer and director. For the past 12 years, he has maintained a YouTube channel dedicated to inventive music videos and short films, and was selected as one of the top 10 new directors at the 20th Cannes Lions Saatchi and Saatchi New Directors' Showcase. Penna's debut feature, Arctic, was shot entirely on location in Iceland and stars Mads Mikkelsen, and was part of the Official Selection for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. He is currently in pre-production on Stowaway, starring Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette.

Ryan Morrison is a writer, producer and editor from the Boston area. For the last seven years Morrison has been a creating content with his producing partner Joe Penna on their YouTube channel, “MysteryGuitarMan,” and over the last few years Morrison has written, produced and edited several short films that have been featured on their channel. Arctic, which Morrison co-wrote, edited, and executive produced with director Joe Penna, was his first feature film.

Sweater, created by Nick Borenstein (USA) — World Premiere

Corey's day couldn't be worse. Then he gets a free coffee.

Nick Borenstein is a New York-based writer, director, dancer, and actor. He wrote, directed, and starred in the comedic digital series Trip, a selection of IFP's Screen Forward Lab, and The Buddy System, a short film that was developed into a digital series for Elite Daily. His most recent series was a finalist for Sundance Institute’s YouTube New Voices Lab, and he staged a live dance performance entitled "5INCO" during his 2019 Artist Residency at Casa Lü in Mexico City. Nick has also worked in the programming, casting and marketing departments at ABC, NBC, HBO, Comedy Central, Pivot TV, Hud:sun Media, and Topic Studios.

Kiss of the Rabbit God, created by Andrew Thomas Huang (USA) — World Premiere

A young Chinese restaurant worker falls in love with a god who leads him on a journey of sexual awakening and self-discovery.

Andrew Thomas Huang studied Fine Art at the University of Southern California, graduating in 2007. His film and video work has been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; MoMA PS1; The Barbican Centre, London; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. As an experimental filmmaker with a background in puppetry, animation, live action performance and visual effects, Huang's work bridges the gap between video art and film, expanding beyond into installation and alternative modes of storytelling.

Walk Run Cha-Cha, created by Laura Nix (USA) — World Premiere

Paul and Millie Cao reunited in Los Angeles after being separated by the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they become ballroom dancers to reconnect and make up for lost time in this moving documentary short.

Laura Nix is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She previously directed the feature documentary films Inventing Tomorrow (Sundance 2018), The Yes Men Are Revolting (TIFF, Berlinale 2014), and The Light In Her Eyes (IDFA 2011). She is currently developing a feature-length film based on the San Gabriel ballroom dance community.

N.O.W. SHOWCASE: REALITY CHECK
A cornucopia of personalities are at the center of these evergreen stories of parenthood, aging, and sexuality. Plus, President Obama.

Premiere Screening: Thursday, April 25th, 9:15 PM, Regal Battery Park Theater

Adult Ed, created by Matt Dellapina (USA) — Episode 2, Episode 4 (World Premiere)

A disgraced former teacher starts tutoring fellow failures around New York City while coming to grips with the toughest lesson of his life: fatherhood. With Campbell Scott.

Matt Dellapina, born and raised in the Bronx, cut his teeth on the New York stage for years, becoming a mainstay of the Off-Broadway scene. This work soon bloomed into a dynamic onscreen career; his recent credits include Dirty 30, Fits and Starts from Laura Terruso (Hello, My Name Is Doris), and Ruin Me, now streaming on ABC Shudder. Also a playwright and screenwriter (including the plays Interstate, Deacon of the Bronx, and the upcoming digital series Meetings), Dellapina serves as Co-Artistic Director of Slant Theatre Project, where he help found the New York City storytelling series On This Island.

Anne+, created by Maud Wiemeijer & Valerie Bisscheroux (NED) — Episode 1 (North American Premiere), Episode 2 (International Premiere)

The weekend 24-year-old Anne moves into her Amsterdam apartment, she unexpectedly runs into ex-girlfriend Lily. Her reappearance pushes Anne to reflect on the diverse women from her past and their influence on her life.

Maud Wiemeijer is a screenwriter. She studied Theatre Studies at the University of Amsterdam and graduated in 2016, and worked as trainee copywriter at Vandejong Creative Agency. In 2015 she created the concept for the (web)series Anne+, which she developed and co-wrote with director Valerie Bisscheroux. The series premiered at the Nederlands Film Festival and aired on national Dutch television. In her work, representation of (sexual) diversity is always at the forefront.

Valerie Bisscheroux is a film director. Her main focus and incentive as a filmmaker is the positive and nuanced representation of LGBTQ+ characters and storylines in films and series, content that was lacking when she was younger and of which there is still a shortage today. She graduated from The Netherlands Film Academy in 2017 as a creative producer, and with Anne+, Valerie made her debut as a director.

Frame by Frame, created by Yvonne Michelle Shirley (USA) — Episodes 1 & 2 (World Premiere).

Celebrated photojournalists explore images of the people and events that helped shape the American experience in this documentary series, and discuss how working with photographs impacts them personally. Featuring Pete Souza and Alysia Burton Steele.

Yvonne Michelle Shirley is a director and producer of narrative and documentary films inspired by the social realist tradition. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Film Program, her work includes Flowers, which won Best Short Film in the HBO Short Film Competition at the 2016 American Black Film Festival, and Miasia: The Nature of Experience. Currently, Yvonne is producing a feature length documentary on the artist, Gil Scott-Heron, directed by Orlando Bagwell (Eyes on the Prize, Malcolm X: Make It Plain).

Better Days, created by Nabeel Muscatwalla & Adam Turkel (USA) — Episodes 1 & 5 (World Premiere), Episode 2 (New York Premiere)

A Muslim-American twenty-something faces a series of awkward encounters as he tries to get on with his day.

Nabeel Muscatwalla is an LA-based comedian. He can be seen writing and performing sketch comedy on Maude Nights at UCB LA. He can be heard discussing pop culture on the Toast The Town podcast. He performs regularly in the Sunday Team at ComedySportz and in the ensemble of Story Pirates. Nabeel graduated from Northwestern University in 2018, where he was a member of Mee-Ow (’18 director), The Titanic Players, and NSTV.

Adam Turkel is a writer/director/editor born, raised, and based in NYC. His 2018 short Freehand was an official selection of the Boston Film Festival and HollyWeb Festival, among others. His 2016 short 39 Across won Best Student Film at the Big Apple Film Festival and was the recipient of Northwestern University’s Joann Torretta Award. He currently works in the theatre department at WME.

99, created by Nick Borenstein (USA) — World Premiere

A mother and son shop for a Bar Mitzvah gift at a 99 Cent store.

Nick Borenstein is a New York-based writer, director, dancer, and actor. He wrote, directed, and starred in the comedic digital series Trip, a selection of IFP's Screen Forward Lab, and The Buddy System, a short film that was developed into a digital series for Elite Daily. His most recent series was a finalist for Sundance Institute’s YouTube New Voices Lab, and he staged a live dance performance entitled "5INCO" during his 2019 Artist Residency at Casa Lü in Mexico City. Nick has also worked in the programming, casting and marketing departments at ABC, NBC, HBO, Comedy Central, Pivot TV, Hud:sun Media, and Topic Studios.

MotherStruck, created by Staceyann Chin & Micaela Birmingham (USA) — Episodes 1 & 2 (World Premiere)

The true story of a lesbian's quest to become a mother. With her closest friends by her side, she embarks on a wild road toward motherhood.

Staceyann Chin is a 2017 LGBTQ Humanist Award recipient. Widely known as a co-writer of and original performer in Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, her poetry has seen the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets' Café, one-woman-shows Off-Broadway, writing workshops in Sweden, South Africa, and Australia. Chin’s three one-woman shows, Hands Afire, Unspeakable Things, and Border/Clash all opened to rave reviews at the Culture Project in New York City. Her critically acclaimed solo theater piece MotherStruck, directed by Cynthia Nixon and produced by Rosie O’Donnell, opened in New York in December of 2015.

Micaela Birmingham is an Emmy Award-winning writer and director with projects spanning public service, comedy, and branded content. As Head of Studio for Scary Mommy, Micaela oversees the development and production of original series. She is the creator of Lullaby League, a competition show hosted by Jim O'Heir in which a cappella singers compete to sing a real baby to sleep. Birmingham is also the creator and executive producer of the popular web series Momsplained and Madge the Vag. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on CNN and the TEDx stage.

TRIBECA N.O.W. SPECIAL SCREENINGS

• The New York Times' Op-Docs Featuring Stories Of Immigration

For the third year in a row, the New York Times' Op-Docs brings five inventively-crafted documentary shorts to Tribeca N.O.W. This year’s group of films, produced with Concordia Studio, find a common thread in stories of immigration and belonging, captured with poignant and unflinching eloquence by a diverse range of artists.

After the screening, please join us for a conversation with the filmmakers, moderated by the New York Times’ national immigration reporter, Caitlin Dickerson.

Walk Run Cha-Cha., directed by Laura Nix (USA) — World Premiere
Paul and Millie Cao lost their youth to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they have become successful professionals in Southern California—and are rediscovering themselves on the dance floor.

Darlin, directed by Isabel Castro (USA) — World Premiere
Darlin follows a Honduran family in the months after their separation under the zero tolerance policy.

El Vacio, directed by Deborah Esquenazi (USA) — World Premiere
In a mesmerizing confessional built from home video and animation, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio explores the mental prisons and personal trauma created by immigration policy.

La Reina de Watermelon Thump, directed by Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman (USA) — World Premiere
In Luling, the "toughest town in Texas", two Latina high school girls compete to be the next Watermelon Thump Queen.

Boca del Lobo, directed by Jesse Moss (USA) — World Premiere
Mario Guevara, a reporter for Mundo Hispanico, investigates the impact of ICE arrests on his Atlanta community.

Topic Studios Digital Docs

Tribeca N.O.W. is excited to spotlight Topic Studios’ commitment to supporting and cultivating creators of online work. These formally dynamic documentary projects—offering meditations on familial connection, historical memory, and photographic representation—epitomize the experimentation that Topic pursues in the digital space.

After the screening, please join us for a moderated conversation with the filmmakers.

Black 14, directed by Darius Clark Monroe (USA)
Directed by Darius Clark Monroe and executive produced by Spike Lee, this documentary short tells the story of what happened when a group of college athletes decided to protest racial injustice.

Frame by Frame, directed by Yvonne Shirley (USA) — World Premiere
Celebrated photojournalists explore images of the people and events that helped shape the American experience, and discuss how working with photographs impacts them personally. Featuring Pete Souza and Alysia Burton Steele.

Passing: A Family in Black & White, directed by Robin Cloud (USA) — World Premiere
Filmmaker Robin Cloud reaches out to her long lost Nebraska cousins—who unbeknownst to them were passing for white - in an attempt to bring them back into her family.

Obits, directed by Alix Lambert & Manual Cinema (USA) — World Premiere
Obits explores the unexpected connections between the lives of three strangers who all died on the same day, revealing how much more we have in common than we might think.

TRIBECA N.O.W. CREATORS MARKET

A first-of-its-kind daylong, private industry market that brings together leading online and immersive storytellers (2019 Tribeca N.O.W. Showcase creators plus an additional curated group of online and VR writers/performers/influencers) to pitch new projects to a wide-range of industry, including distributors, agencies and brands.

The following online and VR/immersive filmmakers will participate in the Creators Market:

Robin Cloud is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and director. Her first narrative short, Out Again (2017), was executive produced by Refinery29 as part of their Shatterbox Anthology and has screened at over 35 film festivals. Her production company, Cloud Creative Media, was launched in March of 2016 and focuses on creating independent narrative and documentary films and series.

A Chicago native, Jade Daugherty is a comedy writer/performer currently living in Brooklyn, NY. She loves hot dogs and dichotomies.
Fred Soligan has directed work for UCB, BricTV, The New Yorker, and IFC Comedy Cribs. In 2018, projects he directed won awards at festivals like NYTVF and UrbanWorld.

Alex Goyette is a writer/director with projects that have been featured on Netflix, MTV, and Amazon. In 2014, Alex wrote and directed EXPELLED, which topped all digital download charts on its first day of release.

Nora Hawari is a first generation Arab-American filmmaker who seeks to change the world through her love of cinema. Nora acts, writes, and directs all her own original work.

Betsy Kenney and Dara Katz are writing partners and performers based in New York City. Dubbed the new “Genre Queens” by Splitsider, they are the creators of the '90s action-packed thriller Bounty Hunters, the Aaron Spelling-inspired IFC Comedy Crib series The Place We Live, and most recently, the chilling “true” crime anthology unSOLVABLE. They perform regularly at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater and their work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Decider, Time Out, and Vice.

Noah Levenson's viral interactive projects have received millions of views and enthusiastic praise from Fast Company, SFist, Bustle, and many more. He's created sketches about the internet with Key & Peele and written about meme culture for the NY Daily News. Previously, he served as Editorial Director of MTV2.

Originally from Hunan, China, Mijie Li served as co-producer on the Sundance-winning documentary, American Factory. Her first feature, Confucian Dream, will have its world premiere at Hot Docs in 2019.
Born in Shanghai, J. Faye Yuan is a New York based bilingual writer, producer, and editor. Her mobile documentary launched at POV Hackathon 9 and was a finalist at Sundance New Frontier.

Alix Lambert has directed and produced three feature length documentaries: The Mark of Cain, Bayou Blue, and Mentor, as well as numerous shorts. She was a writer on the HBO show Deadwood and a writer/producer on John from Cincinnati. She has conceived, written, and directed two short series for MOCA tv: Crime: The Animated Series and Ambiance. She is the author of Crime and The Silencing.

Manual Cinema is a performance collective, design studio, and film/ video production company founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive stories for stage and screen.

Lilian Mehrel is an award-winning writer and director who distills the humor and poetics of life into stories. She earned her NYU Tisch Grad Film MFA with a PDSoros Fellowship, and wrote/illustrated a family memoir as a Dartmouth Senior Fellow. Her awards include HFPA, Tribeca Film Institute, Google, and Alfred P. Sloan.
Mary Evangelista is an award-winning filmmaker born in the Philippines with an MFA from NYU Tisch. Mary pursues transformative stories full of bullish heart/levity. Her screenings include Tribeca 2019 (co-creator, Water Melts), Sundance 2019 (creator, Fran This Summer), and Slamdance 2018 (producer, Fish Bones). She is a Film Independent's Project Involve Directing Fellow.

Krista Nylen is a creator and product designer. She studied creative writing at Williams College and attended Harvard Business School, focusing on emerging technology. She currently works at Spotify, specializing in new content experiences.

Vishaal Reddy is an actor, singer, and creator based in New York. Vishaal hopes to develop more TV and film content geared towards making South Asian stories more multi-dimensional and accessible to the masses. As a member of the queer community, he hopes to challenge stereotypes that often plague queer people of color's narratives in media.

Emily Diana Ruth is a Canadian/British filmmaker currently in Toronto. Emily created and directed the series COLD, starring Emily Basso (Captain Fantastic), for Verizon’s Go90. She graduated from York University in Canada with a BFA in Film Production and Screenwriting.

Tamara Shogaolu is an international director with a track record in featuring her work at film festivals, galleries, and museums worldwide. She is a 2018 Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs Fellow.

Christian Teelucksingh is the founder of Breakthrough Ideas LLC, a turnkey production company, directing and producing projects from commercials to documentaries. At BTI, Christian works with a team to create, innovate, and turn ideas into action.

Celine Tricart is a director, cinematographer and founder of Lucid Dreams Productions whose work has gathered numerous awards. She is considered a pioneer in both 3D and virtual reality. Celine produced and directed Maria Bello’s “Sun Ladies” VR experience about the women fighting ISIS in Iraq, which premiered at Sundance 2018.

Alice Trueman is an award-winning, upcoming writer/director from the UK. She is currently developing new work with the British Film Institute and created the new comedy sketch webseries Spoon the Prune.

Rain Valdez is an out and proud transgender actress and award-winning filmmaker. She played Coco in season 2 of TV Land’s Lopez and doubles in Amazon's Transparent as Miss Van Nuys on screen and a producer behind the scenes. She recently starred in a half-hour comedy pilot directed by Paul Feig for Freeform TV, and also just completed showrunning and starring in Razor Tongue, a web series she wrote.

Also participating in the Tribeca N.O.W. Creators Market are N.O.W Showcase creators Nick Borenstein, Micaela Birmingham, Matt Dellapina, Andrew Thomas Huang, Laura Moss and Nick Kocher, Nabeel Muscatwalla and Adam Turkel, Laura Nix, Sarah Salovaara, Yvonne Michelle Shirley, and Maud Wiemeijer and Valerie Bischeroux.

Tickets for events at the Beacon Theatre are available for purchase online starting Tuesday, March 19th. You can more find information here.

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