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For more than 20 years, the Tribeca Festival has offered emerging filmmakers a showcase of star-studded New York City. This year, however, the festival is offering well-known actors the chance to present themselves as directors. Michael Shannon, David Duchovny, Chelsea Peretti, Jennifer Esposito, John Slattery and partners Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater have all directed films that will have their world premieres there, with Rabe and Linklater, Shannon, Peretti and Esposito making their directorial debuts .
In addition to these selections, Tribeca will present the North American and New York premieres, respectively, of the Steve Buscemi film The listenerwhich had its world premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, and Randall Park Defects, which premiered at Sundance. And the festival will close with the 30th anniversary screening of A Tale of the Bronxthe directorial debut of Tribeca co-founder Robert De Niro.
While Tribeca didn’t set out to showcase all of these actor-directed films, festival director and programming vp Cara Cusumano says the phenomenon is in keeping with her support of interdisciplinary storytelling. “Seeing people crossing in front of and behind the camera and between different storytelling spaces felt like the kind of thing we’re excited about,” she says. DAY.
This year, Tribeca’s storytelling comes during the writers’ strike, and Cusumano says the festival is monitoring things but hasn’t yet had to adjust plans in response to the disruption.
Read on to learn more about this year’s actor-directed world premieres.
Bucky F*cking Dent
Duchovny writes, directs and produces this film adaptation of his novel about a Yankee Stadium salesman and aspiring novelist (Logan Marshall-Green) who returns home to care for his terminally ill father and Red Sox lover (Duchovny), against the backdrop of 1978 baseball season, when Bucky Dent ended the Red Sox’s playoff run. Also starring Stephanie Beatriz, Pamela Adlon, Evan Handler and Daphne Rubin-Vega.
The owl of the center
Based on the novel by Chuck Klosterman, the directorial debut of Rabe and Linklater follows the characters played by Ed Harris, Henry Golding, Vanessa Hudgens, August Blanco Rosenstein, Finn Wittrock and Rabe as they prepare for a historic blizzard in the small town of Owl, North Dakota, in 1984, which partially isolated them from contemporary pop culture. Linklater also wrote the screenplay.
Shannon steps behind the camera to direct this adaptation of Brett Neveu’s 2002 play about a mother (Judy Greer) who comes to terms with her son murdering his high school classmates as she and her husband search comfort in church and is invited to meet with the mothers of her victim child. Alexander Skarsgard, Tracy Letts and Alison Pill round out the cast.
First time female director
Peretti makes his directorial debut with this ensemble comedy that he wrote, produced and starred in. After her male predecessor is fired for inappropriate behavior, the new director of Peretti’s Glendale theater struggles to stage her Southern rural drama. The cast includes Megan Mullally, Max Greenfield, Blake Anderson, Megan Stalter, Kate Berlant and Amy Poehler, who is also one of the producers.
In her directorial debut, Esposito focuses on the women of the Larusso Staten Island crime family as they deal with their turbulent world and its unspoken rules in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Esposito also wrote, produced and starred in the film, which starred Annabella Sciorra and Domenick Lombardozzi.
Slattery’s dark comedy stars a colleague Mad Men alum Jon Hamm as the chief of police in a small town where two women with the same name are murdered days apart. The film, which also starred Tina Fey and Ted Lasso‘s Nick Mohammed and was written by Paul Bernbaum, has Hamm’s character trying to solve the case while dealing with nosy neighbors, contract killers, cheating husbands and lonely individuals.
This story first appeared in the May 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to register now.