7 Queer Movies to Check Out at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival
Matthew Creith READ TIME: 8 MIN.
The Tribeca Festival is returning for another year of premiering high-profile projects in New York City, running in the Big Apple from June 7–18. Some highly anticipated films are coming out of the festival that will undoubtedly become fan favorites. The centerpiece of Tribeca this year is Peter Sohn's "Elemental," the latest offering from Walt Disney Studios that seeks to present a world where all of the elements of nature live in complete symbiosis. But, like many of the festivals unveiling new projects this summer and fall, Tribeca has a healthy slate of queer offerings for loyal attendees to enjoy.
Here is a list of just a few of the queer offerings premiering at the Tribeca Festival this year that audiences should look out for:
To kick the festivities off this year, Billy Porter and Luke Evans star in "Our Son" as long-term companions on the path of separating. Porter plays Gabriel, a talented artist grappling with a profound struggle to reignite his creative and personal passions while also tending to the needs of his and Nicky's (Evans) young son. As the pressures of life intensify, stress and anxiety begin to unravel the fabric of their relationship, ultimately leading the couple down an irreversible course. With the daunting task of sharing this heartbreaking news with their closest friends and family, the couple embarks on a transformative journey of self-discovery and unwavering support for their son. "Our Son" has a stellar supporting cast that includes Broadway actor Andrew Rannells, "Grey's Anatomy" alum Kate Burton, and "Creed" performer Phylicia Rashad.
'Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field'
Patricia Field might not be a household name to some, but everyone certainly knows her work on the big and small screens. A costume designer by trade, Field has clothed Sarah Jessica Parker in "Sex and the City," Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada," and America Ferrera in "Ugly Betty." But Field's story is much more layered than the costumes she creates, and her life is explored in the new documentary set to have its world premiere at Tribeca: "Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field." The new film will feature interviews with famous faces like Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Michael Urie, and Vanessa Williams told through the lens of some of the designer's iconic creations.
You might know actor Randall Park for his starring role in "Fresh Off the Boat" or for playing Jimmy Woo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the multitalented comedian is also a director, and his new film "Shortcomings" will have its New York premiere at Tribeca. The movie stars Justin H. Min, Ally Maki, out actor Sherry Cola, Tavi Gevinson, Debby Ryan, and Sonoya Mizuno.
The drama "Shortcomings" will immerse audiences in a compelling exploration of contemporary relationships, identity, and cultural nuances. Based on Adrian Tomine's graphic novel, the movie delves into the intertwined lives of Min's Ben Tanaka and Maki's Miko Hayashi, a California couple grappling with the intricate complexities of their connection and personal sense of self. When Miko makes the life-altering decision to pursue work in New York City, Ben confronts his deepest fears and insecurities, embarking on a soul-searching journey to determine his next steps.
'It's Only Life After All'
Adding to the list of New York premieres taking place at the Tribeca Festival is the documentary "It's Only Life After All," a deep dive into the inner workings of the famed band Indigo Girls. The two band members first met at Emory University, but their folk-rock music stylings helped propel them to superstardom. Directed by Alexandria Bombach, "It's Only Life After All" will dive into Emily Saliers and Amy Ray's backgrounds, successes, failures, and their undying commitment to upholding the rights of LGBTQ+ and Indigenous people. Activism and artistry collide in this beautiful depiction of music and love.
'Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed'
During his lifetime, Hollywood icon Rock Hudson was one of the most celebrated performers of his generation. Beloved by women worldwide, Hudson enjoyed a career on the silver screen that every budding actor would dream of. But behind the scenes, he hid his personal life as a gay man from his loyal fanbase in order to continue working in a business unprepared for a gay leading man type.
Now, the documentary "Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed" will detail the life, and many loves, of Rock Hudson's inner world. With its world premiere at Tribeca and subsequent release later this summer on HBO, helmer Stephen Kijak's newest documentary will explore sexuality, AIDS, and queer representation through the eyes of a legendary actor taken too soon.
'Chasing Chasing Amy'
The 1997 film "Chasing Amy" was born from writer/director Kevin Smith's personal experience dating a woman comfortable with her bisexuality. Starring Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and Joey Lauren Adams, the film was groundbreaking for its mainstream appeal of a once touchy subject matter, specifically LGBTQ+ issues and liberal ideologies. The independent feature has gained a cult following since its initial release. It is often regarded as one of the modern films to inspire queer representation from artists in front of and behind the camera, but it comes with its own baggage.
Now, Tribeca will honor the legacy of "Chasing Amy" with the world premiere of "Chasing Chasing Amy," a documentary from the inspirational mind of director Sav Rodgers. Rodgers interviews Smith and others about the making of "Chasing Amy," its impact on LGBTQ+ audiences, and the complicated history behind Hollywood and queer voices.
Film festivals do a fantastic job lately of showcasing stories from the LGBTQ+ point of view, but often the Intersex community gets overlooked. However, director Julie Cohen wants to fix that by presenting the world premiere of the new documentary "Every Body" at Tribeca this year. Nominated for the Academy Award for her work on 2018's "RBG," it is clear that Cohen takes subject matters seriously, and "Every Body" is poised to be a valuable peek into a group longing for their voices to be heard.
"Every Body" stars real-life intersex individuals Sean Saifa Wall, River Gallo, and Alicia Roth Weigel as they discuss their experiences with nonconsensual surgeries performed on them at the request of their parents. This is often done to make sense of one's gender and sex, but because it was completed when they were minors, the three individuals find themselves at a crossroads in determining where they see themselves now as adults. With struggling to understand their circumstances, social pressure, and stigmas galore, "Every Body" shines a light on outdated procedures still performed on children today.