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Female Directors Make History At The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

There are 30 female directors showing feature-length films at TFF 2015—a statistic that marks a huge first for the Festival.

We can’t wait for New York audiences to experience our wildly innovative (and rather impressive, if we do say so ourselves) line-up for our 14th annual Festival. While there are already several notable stats floating around out there—such as 40 out of our total 119 feature-length filmmakers will be making their feature directorial debuts—one stands out in particular. 33% of our feature filmmakers are women, which marks the highest percentage in Festival history. We expect this percentage to grow and grow in the coming Festival years.

33% of our feature filmmakers are women, which marks the highest percentage in Festival history.

Out of the 30 women filmmakers represented at this year’s Festival, 9 directors (as well as 2 screenwriters) are eligible to receive the Nora Ephron Award, sponsored by Coach. Created at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival to honor Ephron, the award recognizes a woman who embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer. With the Nora Ephron Award, we hope to inspire upcoming women directors and writers to bring compelling stories to the screen. If the TFF 2015 line-up is any indication, we are achieving this goal.

Along these lines, we are especially proud to feature 9 women directors in one of our most popular Festival programs—the World Documentary Feature Competition (click here to see the full line-up). 7 of these talented women are New York based filmmakers. Note too that 4-time Festival alumnae Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (The Devil Came On Horseback, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Knuckleball!, ESPN Nine for IX’s Let Them Wear Towels) return this year with In My Father’s House, a film that chronicles rapper Che "Rhymefest" Smith’s journey to reconnect with his estranged father and  to strengthen his relationship with his own growing family.

Another returning filmmaker is Ivy Meeropol, who examined her family’s fascinating legacy (her grandparents were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg) in the TFF 2004 documentary, Heir To An Execution. Her latest film, Indian Point, explores the fears and controversy surrounding the deteriorating nuclear power plant—located just 35 miles from the heart of Times Square.

We should also mention that Leah Wolchok will make her directorial debut at the 2015 Festival with Very Semi-Serious, which looks back at how The New Yorker pioneered and fostered the single-panel cartoon. A recipient of the TFI Documentary Fund in 2011, Wolchok offers a thoughtful and humorous film that provides a behind-the-scenes look at the world of cartooning with both legends and aspiring artists offering insight into their process and craft.

With the Nora Ephron Award, we hope to inspire upcoming women directors and writers to bring compelling stories to the screen.

Don’t miss these exceptional films and the chance to celebrate  women filmmakers at the 2015 Festival. It’s only a little more than a month away!


ALWAYS SHINE is today's selection for our ongoing #WomensHistoryMonth commemoration of Tribeca films from women directors. In Sophia Takal's critically-acclaimed sophomore feature, the writer-director spins a slinky, menacing tale of breakable bonds beget by a toxic industry. Heightened by go-for-broke lead performances from @AllTheNewsThatsFitzToPrint and Tribeca's 2016 Best Actress winner Mackenzie Davis, this sensationally self-reflexive thriller unfolds like a dream and lingers like a ghost.


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