Sunday, April 24, 2016

What I Learned at the Tribeca Film Festival

Tribeca Film Festival is something that every aspiring filmmaker loves. For five extra bucks on a ticket (and an hour in line for rush) you get to prove to everyone that you love movies more than everybody else and explain to them perfectly legitimate reasons why your movie didn’t get in but should have. Who cares if you liked the movie? The bragging rights are worth it.

So this year, my first time going, I got all this and also watched movies at Tribeca Film Festival I really liked and helped me improve my craft. Here’s what I learned from the movies I saw.


I loved Norah Ephron and so really wanted to see the movie that got her award this year (given to great female directors). Tribeca Film Festival’s Adult Life Skills was the kind of movie I normally hate, done so well that I really liked it. Few movies irritate me more than dramas about dysfunctional, privileged, dissatisfied people engaging in naval gazing. But this movie had real spunk, creativity, real, legitimate drama, endearing characters and great humor


I was interested in this Tribeca Film Festival movie because I’m really interested in knowing more about Scientology. But the movie began with the documentarian admitting that nobody in the church would talk to him, so the whole movie was about he and some ex-Scientologists attempting to re-construct the goings on in the church. There are a lot of good filmmaking tools used. But the best part was when the Scientologists started following them around with video cameras.


Waiting in line for Tribeca Film Festival rush tickets to My Scientology Movie I didn’t think I or my friend were going to make it in. There were too many people ahead of us. Then there seemed like a miracle: a lady offered my friend and I a free ticket. My friend insisted I take it even though it meant I might get to go in without her.

Yes, it is totally legitimate to take way too many pictures
of yourself at the film festivals.
But then there was another moral dilemma: behind us we discovered there was a group of friends behind us who all had tickets except for the one friend who would have to stay behind and attempt to get rush tickets. My friend looked at me and told me that I could solve that problem for the lady right there. And reminded me that if my whole group of friends went into see a movie I would be praying someone gave me an extra ticket to join them. I really wanted to see the movie. But I had just heard a sermon on how Christians should be a different kind of community who make different—more generous—choices.

I decided to give her the ticket, trusting that what God willed would happen.

And guess what? My friend and I got in anyway.

Life lesson: movies, and bragging rights about movies are worth the extra five bucks. But loving people is more important. Even more than the Tribeca Film Festival. 

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