Tessa Thompson, Trayvon Martin docuseries among 2018 Tribeca Film Festival standouts

Tessa Thompson, Trayvon Martin docuseries among 2018 Tribeca Film Festival standouts

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The Tribeca Film Festival has long sought to carve a unique lane for itself in the shadow of larger festivals like Sundance, Toronto, Venice, and Telluride. This year, however, the annual New York City event — launched by cofounders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal in 2002 as a means to revitalize lower Manhattan’s cultural identity in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks — found its stride during 11 days in April, broaching a wealth of serious subjects and boasting plenty of unexpected moments.

Read on for EW’s key takeaways from the festival.

Marvel stars up the ante in female-driven year

In her best work to date, Creed and Thor: Ragnarok star Tessa Thompson gives a masterfully nuanced performance in Nia DaCosta’s Little Woods as a former drug pusher struggling to make ends meet against the backdrop of a fracking-ravaged town in North Dakota. And in one of the most assured feature-length directorial debuts in recent memory, Karen Gillan solidified herself as a filmmaker to watch with The Party’s Just Beginning. Describing this haunting tale of suicide, the Guardians of the Galaxy actress tells EW the film is her “twisted love letter” her Scottish Highland homeland.

Both films represent Tribeca’s ongoing initiatives to bring more women into the fold, as the festival increased the overall tally of female directors showing projects at the event to 46 percent.

Laia Costa becomes the breakout star of the festival 

Spanish actress La

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