Tribeca Festival Kicks Off With Projects From David Duchovny, Chelsea Peretti and Steven Soderbergh

With 109 narrative and documentary features, as well as a bevy of shorts, TV series, podcasts, games and live music events, the Tribeca Festival offers a wide range of media in its 22nd year.

“It’s all about creating an entire festival program that harmonizes together,” says Tribeca Festival director and VP of programming, Cara Cusuamno. “The idea of discovery is a touchpoint that we come back to quite a lot. Whether it’s the discovery of a specific voice, an artist, or first-time creator in film, television, immersive or the discovery of the audience itself experiencing something that they had not sought out before.”

The festival runs June 7-18. As always, Tribeca Festival will spotlight a number of projects directed by boldface names including Frank Marshall (“Rather”), Chelsea Peretti (“First Time Female Director”) and Steven Soderbergh (“Full Circle”).

“It’s quality first,” says Cusuamno. “These projects would not be in the festival if we didn’t believe in them and we weren’t excited about them, but part of what people love about the movies is the glamor and the stardom. So, we like to have that be a part of the festival as well.”

David Duchovny’s “Bucky F*cking Dent” is one of 93 films making its world premiere at Tribeca this year. Based on Duchovny’s 2016 book of the same name, “Bucky F*cking Dent” follows an aimless thirty-something named Ted, who moves back in with his father Marty (Duchovny) after learning of his father’s terminal illness. Duchovny, who wrote, stars in and directed the film, began working on the project 15 years ago.

“I originally wrote [“Bucky”] as a screenplay and then I tried to get that made, but I couldn’t so I set it aside.” Duchovny eventually turned that screenplay into his 2016 novel. That was followed by rewriting the screenplay, which went into production in 2022.

“I’ve gotten close to making this movie six, seven, eight times and each time it would be me playing Ted, the son,” says Duchovny. “Then in the last couple years I was like, ‘Eh. You’re not young enough to act like that.’ So four months before shooting, I said, ‘Ok. I guess I’m playing the dad.’ I actually really enjoyed it.”

In addition to celebrity-driven fare, there also will be plenty of unknown filmmakers with projects at Tribeca, including “The Graduates” director Hannah Peterson, and Sav Rodgers, who helmed the documentary “Chasing Chasing Amy.”

“The Graduates,” which follows a group of friends who face an unsettling senior year following a tragic event, marks Peterson’s debut feature film. Back in 2018, she became interested in “telling a contemporary story that portrayed what it’s like to come of age in the American  public school system.”

“I interviewed high schoolers and asked about their experiences, their peers, their anxieties, and the highs and lows of high school,” says Peterson. “Nearly everybody I spoke to mentioned this ambient anxiety about safety in their schools. On any given day, a school shooting could happen to them or someone they knew. They were all versed in lockdown drills and many had stories of times that they had thought something bad was really actually happening at their schools. I was struck by the through-line and wanted to explore the human side of that story because I realized it’s a collective trauma that’s being carried around whether students had experienced gun violence in their schools or not.”

“Chasing Chasing Amy,” which is Rodgers’ feature directorial debut, explores the director’s identity via Kevin Smith’s 1997 controversial LGBTQ+ film, “Chasing Amy.”

“The goal was to make a movie about the LGBTQ+ community’s relationship to “Chasing Amy,” Rodgers explains. “My personal narrative wasn’t really supposed to be a part of it but throughout the process of making this film and significantly during the edit of it, I had a really great collaborator say, ‘Hey, you’re the emotional hook for this movie.’”

“Bucky F*cking Dent,” “The Graduates,” and “Chasing Chasing Amy” are seeking distribution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *