Just as they did this summer and at Sundance this past winter, women will now dominate The Tribeca Film Festival, which starts tonight in New York City. Many of the 90 films being screened at the festival center on female protagonists but were directed by women as well.
Daryl Wein, director of the anticipated film Lola Versus starring Greta Gerwig said, “It’s a moment happening now for women in film and we’re happy to be a part of it,” he adds, noting last year’s Bridesmaids and Lena Dunham’s recently debuted HBO series Girls. “They’re obviously our brethren.” His filmmaking partner Zoe Lister-Jones corrected: “Sistren.”
Leading roles aren’t usually as common for women, though in the last year, festivals like Tribeca and Sundance show that that the winds are changing. But only 7% of the top 250 top-grossing films released in 2010 were directed by women, 10% were written by women and 24% were produced by women. Early research shows that when the number of women in behind the camera roles increases, so do the roles for women in front of the camera and so does the content interesting to women and girls worldwide. Hollywood legend Jane Fonda recently said, “Until more women wield the power to decide what movies and TV shows get made, Hollywood culture won’t really yield all the fascinating complexities that are the realities of women’s lives,” she said. “Until then, we’re accepting supporting roles in an industry many of us have devoted our lives to.”
But there are not too many women in supporting roles at Tribeca, which was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, this year. They are front and center. Some of the films getting the most buzz include David Riker’s The Girl starring Abbie Cornish. She plays a Texas single mother who, desperate for money to regain custody of her son, haphazardly smuggles Mexican immigrants across the border. Lister-Jones and Wein’s film, Lola Versus, is about “what it’s really like to be a single woman in New York, approaching 30 (watch the trailer below.)” Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna is an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, relocated to contemporary Rajasthan, India. Freida Pinto stars as the title character, a peasant who falls in love with a British businessman. Deadfall centers on the fallout of a brother-sister pair on the run (Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde) as well as Kate Mara, as a police officer and daughter to the police chief and Sissy Spacek as the mother of an ex-con boxer.
As for directors, Kat Coiro’s While We Were Here, is a black-and-white drama about a wife (Kate Bosworth) and husband (Iddo Goldberg) travelling in Naples, where Bosworth’s character is lured by a young American abroad (Jamie Blackley). Julie Delpy’s 2 Days in New York, her follow up to 2 Days in Paris, will hit the festival and co-stars Chris Rock. Actress Sarah Polley goes behind the camera again for Take This Waltz starring Michelle Williams as a tempted young wife (watch the trailer below.) Lynn Shelton directs Your Sister’s Sister a story of two sisters (Emily Blunt and Rosemarie Dewitt) and their shared loved interest (Mark Duplass.)