The Tribeca Film Festival returns to New York City today, April 18 and runs through April 29. The brainchild of Robert De Niro, the fest has always been known for including lots of LGBTQ titles on its roster, maybe partially because De Niro’s father was gay himself.
As we look forward to this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, we’ve rounded-up five queer films that most piqued our interest. Four are documentaries about riveting subjects, while the fifth is a feature film about a woman returning to the community that previously shunned her for her sexuality.
With his artistic partner, composer Alan Menken, Howard Ashman scored an Off-Broadway sensation with Little Shop of Horrors, and revitalized Disney with hits like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. At age 40, he died of AIDS-related complications.
Ashman’s heartbreaking story is one of great loss. Because of this horrible disease, there is so much great work he never got to create. However, his indelible mark on music and film is still felt today. He gave a mermaid her voice, a beast his soul and he gave us stories to we can never forget.
Thankfully, the documentary Howard memorializes his legacy and introduces his story to an audience who is more than familiar with his work. Told entirely through archival footage and interviews with Ashman’s family, friends, associates and longtime partner Bill Lauch, Howard is an intimate tribute that is not to be missed.
This is the new film from Sebastián Lelio, the Academy Award-winning director of A Fantastic Woman. Disobedience follows a woman as she returns to the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to her childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
Written by Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz and based on Naomi Alderman’s book, the film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.
André Leon Talley’s impact on the fashion world is indelible. He’s been a fixture of the fashion world for more than 40 years. Kate Novack’s thoroughly moving documentary recounts the Vogue editor’s life and career through intimate conversations, rich archival footage and testimonials from fashion icons like Anna Wintour and Marc Jacobs. But what’s refreshing about Novack’s film is that she focuses less on Talley’s famously flamboyant media persona, and more so on his upbringing and the quiet haven of his house and garden in White Plains, New York.
Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui’s riveting documentary paints an authentic portrait of legendary fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who hanged himself in 2010. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends, collaborators and family mixed with footage of his boundary-breaking fashion shows, captivating visuals and archive audio, McQueen offers audience members a vivid portrait of the tortured — but inspired — artist.
5. Studio 54
Studio 54 was the epicenter of ’70s hedonism. Now 39 years later, a feature documentary tells the real story behind the greatest nightclub of all time, profiling the rise and fall of the iconic institution. Director Matt Tyrnauer skillfully tells the one-of-a-kind story of Studio 54 with never-before-seen footage, music from the era, present-day commentary by owner Ian Schrager and recollections from regulars and staff.