The festival just released this year's lineup, and we're happy to announce that 44 out of the 96 films (from a total of 103 filmmakers) on the roster are directed by women. When you break it down, that comes out to 46% of all of this year's projects, which according to Tribeca is the highest percentage the festival has ever featured since it began in 2002.
Even this year's themes — including Activism and Community Engagement, Black Culture, and Female-Centric — seem more inclusive and well-balanced.
The centrepiece film this year will be Drake Doremus' Zoe, a sci-fi romance that stars Ewan McGregor, Léa Seydoux, Rashida Jones, and Christina Aguilera. The closing night film, The Fourth Estate, is just as exciting and even more relevant. Directed by Liz Garbus, the documentary depicts what life was like for New York Times journalists during President Donald Trump's tumultuous first year in office.
Other noteworthy films directed by women include Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (Kate Davis, David Heilbroner), The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan), All About Nina (Eva Vives), and Mary Shelley (Haifaa al-Mansour), Untogether (Emma Forrest), and Slut In A Good Way (Sophie Lorain).
Some of the lead actresses this year include Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Jemima Kirke, Jessica Chastain, Ali Shawkat, and Tessa Thompson.
"We are proud to present a lineup that celebrates American diversity and welcomes new international voices in a time of cultural and social activism," said Paula Weinstein, Executive Vice President of Tribeca Enterprises, in a press release.
Would it have been great to see women make up 50% or more of this year's Tribeca lineup? Definitely. But, right now it's a lot better than most of the trends we're seeing. Over the past decade, only 4% of the directors behind the top 1,100 most-profitable films were women. The Celluloid Ceiling also found that women only held 18% of the top titles — including director, producer, writer, editor, cinematographer — in 250 of 2017's top domestic grossing films.
Still, there's hope. This year, women directed 37% of the films featured at Sundance. Now, Tribeca is raising that percentage even higher. Women are taking to the streets and declaring that "Time's Up" on inequality and minimal representation. The tide's shifting, and we couldn't be more excited.
The Tribeca Film Festival will run from April 18 to April 29 in New York City.
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