'The Drowning' director talks dark, ambiguous psychological thriller
,

'The Drowning' director talks dark, ambiguous psychological thriller

After a private screening of The Drowning, Peter Travers, from Rolling Stone, gives a brief Q&A with director Bette Gordon. ***********Warning! Spoilers!*********** Bette Gordon, best known for her film Variety (1983), is a film director and professor at Columbia. In her new film, The Drowning, she goes deep into the psyche of a middle-aged psychiatrist as…

Salima Koroma's hip-hop documentary 'Bad Rap' promotes cultural inclusivity
,

Salima Koroma's hip-hop documentary 'Bad Rap' promotes cultural inclusivity

Despite hip-hop’s history of increasing the visibility of black and Latino urban youth culture in America, it’s also struggled to include all minorities in the movement. Asian-American artists have struggled to find acceptance, even as hip-hop music found mainstream, commercial success on the global stage. Director Salima Koroma’s interest in this excluded minority group motivated…

'The Wedding Plan' takes lighter approach to Orthodox Judaism
,

'The Wedding Plan' takes lighter approach to Orthodox Judaism

During our interview at the Tribeca International Film Festival last month, Rama Burshtein made the comment that she doesn’t make films for her community, she makes movies about her community. A member of the Orthodox Jewish religion since the age of 25, she’s well aware that showing the universal side of their own unique lifestyle…

Rachel Israel earns praise, top honors for ‘Keep the Change’
,

Rachel Israel earns praise, top honors for ‘Keep the Change’

At this year’s Tribeca International Film Festival, Rachel Israel took the top prize in the US Narrative Competition for her film Keep the Change. The film about adults on the autism spectrum looking for love in New York City debuted to high praise for its honest, funny and compassionate approach. Israel, a graduate of Columbia…

Laurie Simmons follows in daughter Lena Dunham’s footsteps
,

Laurie Simmons follows in daughter Lena Dunham’s footsteps

We’ve seen plenty of film festivals introduce the next generation from an artistic family. But Laurie Simmons is that rare artist making her feature film debut as a writer-director (and star) after her daughter, Lena Dunham, set the path. Not that she’s been waiting. Simmons is one of America’s more successful contemporary artists with works…

‘Divine Order' director takes lighthearted approach to suffrage
,

‘Divine Order' director takes lighthearted approach to suffrage

***Update*** The 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival Nora Ephron Prize winner. The Nora Ephron Prize: Petra Volpe, writer/director of The Divine Order (Switzerland). Jurors Dianna Agron, Joy Bryant, Diane Lane, Zoe Lister-Jones and Christina Ricci awarded the film for its “intrepid and compassionate storytelling, beautiful cinematography (by a woman), complex characterization of the female experience, seamless…