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The great thing about film festivals like Tribeca is exposure. Independent films made by new and unknown directors are shared with movie lovers, giving fresh voices the opportunity to reach audiences they'd otherwise never touch. But there’s also a not-so-good thing about that: many of those films never make it past the festival stage. For every two films that land distribution deals, there are at least eight or nine that never see any kind of official release, even though they’re sometimes better than the luckier ones.
For awhile there, writer-director Lou Howe’s TFF 2014 entry Gabriel seemed destined for that fate. That would've been a shame. One of last year’s festival’s best films, Gabriel stars Rory Culkin as a troubled and socially awkward teenager dealing with mental illness and obsessed about reconnecting with an old girlfriend. Culkin’s performance is a superb, a powerful blend of ticking-time-bomb explosiveness and nuanced vulnerability.
Since Gabriel’s April 2014 TFF premiere, its future has been indefinite—at least to the public. Behind the scenes, Oscilloscope Laboratories has been figuring out the official release plans, and now they’ve settled on a date. Gabriel will begin its limited theatrical run on June 19. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it.
To get a feel for one of this summer's best indie films, take a look at Gabriel’s trailer.