How to Attend Tribeca Film Festival as a Student

This year’s 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, taking place from April 24th to May 5th, is an ode to original storytelling. Founded in 2001, the festival has grown from its infancy in independent film, to its teenage years now sharing stories in film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. From over 9,295 total cinematic submissions, this year’s festival lineup includes 103 films; in the competition sections for U.S. narrative, international narrative and documentary, 50% of the films are directed by women. Another 40% of the feature films have female directors, 29% are headed by POC directors and 13% are created by LGBTQIA-identifying persons.  

Single tickets are $24 for evening and weekend screenings, $12 for weekday matinee screenings, $30 for Tribeca TV and Movies Plus, and $40 for both Tribeca Talks panels and Tribeca Immersive The Hudson Pass, an all-access pass to the festival, is also available for purchase. Ticket sales begin on March 26th and can be bought online or on the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival app.

There are over 100 films debuting at Tribeca this year and viewing all of the screenings is not a realistic option for most attendees. This list of carefully curated must-sees will make your decision much easier.

Feature Films

Burning Cane

Directed and written by Phillip Youmans. (USA) – World Premiere. Set among the cane fields of rural Louisiana, Burning Cane follows a deeply religious mother struggling to reconcile her convictions of faith with the love she has for her troubled son.

The Apollo

Academy and Emmy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, The Apollo chronicles the history and legacy of the New York City landmark, the Apollo Theater. The Apollo follows a new production of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me as it comes to the theater’s grand stage. The creation of this vibrant multi-media stage show frames the way in which The Apollo explores the current struggle of black lives in America, the role that art plays in that struggle and the broad range of African American achievement that the Apollo Theater represents.


Directed and written by Carlo Mirabella-Davis. (USA) – World Premiere. Hunter, a newly pregnant housewife, finds herself increasingly compelled to consume dangerous objects. As her husband and his family tighten their control over her life, she must confront the dark secret behind her new obsession.

The Place of No Words

Directed and written by Mark Webber. (UK, USA, Australia) – World Premiere. A three year old asks his father an unanswerable question: “Where do we go when we die?”  Together, they embark on an epic journey of fantasy realms and mythical creatures in a quest for the answer.


Directed and written by Guy Nattiv. (USA) – US Premiere. Adapted from his Academy Award® -winning short film of the same name, Guy Nattiv traces the true story of Bryon Widney, a white supremacist who begins a path to redemption through a romance with a single mother intent on keeping her children out of the movement.


For They Know Not What They Do

Directed by Daniel Karslake, written by Nancy Kennedy, Daniel Karslake, and produced by Daniel Karslake, Sheri Heitker, Barbara Simon. (USA) – World Premiere. When the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality, the backlash by the religious right was swift, severe, and successful. Karslake’s documentary looks at four faith-based families with LGBTQ children caught in the crosshairs of sexuality, identity, and scripture

Leftover Women

Directed, written, and produced by Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia. (Israel) – World Premiere. In China, single women are under immense pressure to marry young or face the stigma that comes with being “leftover.” Through marriage markets, matchmakers, and government-sponsored dating festivals, Leftover Women follows three hopeful singles seeking to define love on their own terms.

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation

Directed by Barak Goodman, written by Barak Goodman, Don Kleszy. Produced by Barak Goodman, Jamila Ephron, Mark Samels. (USA) – World Premiere. 50 years after the legendary fest, this electric retelling of Woodstock, from the point of view of those who were on the ground, evokes the freedom, passion, community, and joy the three-day music festival created.

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem

Directed by Yu Gu, written by Elizabeth Ai. Produced by Yu Gu, Elizabeth Ai. (USA, UK) – World Premiere. Football and feminism collide in this documentary that follows former NFL cheerleaders battling the league to end wage theft and illegal employment practices that have persisted for 50 years. Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.

At the Heart of Gold

Directed and written by Erin Lee Carr. Produced by Sarah Gibson, Dr. Steven Ungerleider, David Ulich. (USA) – World Premiere. In 2016, USA Gymnastics was rocked by the revelation that national team doctor Larry Nassar had been abusing young athletes for decades. Tribeca alum Erin Lee Carr’s unflinching documentary unpacks the scandal, its coverup, and aftermath, while giving voice to the survivors.  An HBO Documentary Film.

Short Films


Directed and written by Will Kindrick. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. An unexpected user is accidentally launched through a series of turbulent splash portals when his government enforced dating app malfunctions in his bathtub.

Framing Agnes

Directed by Chase Joynt, Kristen Schilt. (USA) – North American Premiere, Short Documentary. In 2017, trans artists gained access to a 1950s archive of never-before-seen histories of transgender people. Through reenactment and documentary, they revive the past to redefine the future.


Hook Up 2.0

Directed and written by Dana Nachman. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. A sorority girl figures out a way to eliminate all risk from the late-night ritual that is the college hook up. Now all she needs is to find a guy to test out her idea on… and with.


Directed and written by Haley Finnegan, written by Haley Finnegan. (USA) – New York Premiere, Short Narrative. A couple embarks on an epic road trip in an attempt to gain more followers after their Instagram rival’s fame doubles overnight.

Lost Weekend

Directed by Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. In 1984, friends from small town Pennsylvania win an MTV contest and the chance to party with Van Halen for 48 Hours.