Tribecca Festival goes hybrid


Tribeca Film Festival closing night is the world premiere of Dave Chappell's documentary.(P:hoto courtesy of Tribecca Festival)
Tribeca Film Festival closing night is the world premiere of Dave Chappell’s documentary.(Photo courtesy of Tribecca Festival)

Certainly, the Covid pandemic dramatically changed the arts and entertainment world including that of film festivals. But it also taught us we could work from home and enjoy plays and movies on line at home.

Some popular film festivals have been postponed yet another year to 2022. However, the New York’s Tribecca Festival is going ahead with its culturally and politically focused films in hybrid – at home and in-person – mode, June 9-20, 2021.

The festival includes Talks such as from storytellers John Legend and Mike Jackson, Games, Comedy and Films.

In person films range from “In the Heights” to “Johnny Mnemonic.” See In the Boroughs.

A highlight is the premiere showing of Dave Chappelle’s Untitled Documentary. To see it in person at Radio City Music Hall June 19, you must be fully vaccinated. And have proof.

Tickets are available for in-person showings  in NYC and the boroughs and for at home viewing. For ticket info visit


Bastards’ Road: The hardships of PTSD and the power of cinematography


Jonathan Hancock in Badlands National Park in Bastard's Road.
Jonathan Hancock in Badlands National Park in Bastard’s Road.

4 Stars

PTSD is a very difficult subject for many people to fully understand. Therefore, it is an even more difficult topic to make into a film. However, Bastards’ Road does an excellent job of representing this condition through clever cinematographic choices.

Bastards’ Road is a 96 minute documentary that focuses on veteran Jon Hancock, an American who served in the Iraq War. After returning home  the horrendous things he had both seen and done followed him, resulting in chaos in his personal life and mental health.

Ranging from alcohol abuse to suicidal tendencies, Jon had come home as a different man and found it difficult to get help.

To heal himself, he journeys across the United States on foot, visiting his friends from the Marines along the way, as he contemplates both the war and his life.

One amazing aspect of this film is the cinematographic choices that are used. For example, in the film, we see many shots of Jon walking past beautiful, relaxing landscapes. In these shots, he is often shadowed and silhouetted while the nature is colored in soft, pastel colors.

In a sense, this represents Jon’s dark, internal struggles, but also the fact that there will always be hope for him, which is shown by the light and color in the background.

Here, the audience is able to visually see and understand how disconnected Jon is from the world and the extent to what he is going through. By casting him in shadows, the audience can understand the emotional darkness that the shadows symbolize.

Additionally, the film includes actual footage from the Iraq War that we see while Jon and his friends discuss the horrors of war. While this footage is not always pleasant to watch, it heightens the overall stories and allows the viewer to better understand war and PTSD and therefore relate to the veterans.

When the audience is able to see actual footage of the events that, years later, still haunt these men, it is easier to understand where Jon and his friends are coming from. This footage is utilized perfectly, as it is weaved within the veterans’ personal stories.

Bastards’ Road is an incredibly heartfelt narrative that shows the difficulties of war and overcoming your past. Through cinematic techniques, the quality of the film is increased, resulting in a superb film without a dull moment.

Whether you like or dislike documentaries or movies about war, this film’s uniqueness and beauty makes it a must-see for everyone, due in part to its importance and educational value.

Reviewer Charles Babikian

To see a clip visit

(Where to catch the film: A Gravitas Ventures award-winning feature documentary, “Bastards’ Road” can be found on TVOD/digital platforms & DVD.  Find it at  Link Tree/ bastgardsroad.) 

Oscar night

Oscar poster art (courtesy of Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences)
Oscar poster art (courtesy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Well, we’ve had Golden Globes (Hollywood Foreign Press Association), Critics Choice  (see Yahoo’s Critics’ Choice Awards)Screen Actors Guild (SAGA) and BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts.)  awards.

Which brings us to next Sunday, when a couple of months later than their usual time slot, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscars will air.

Considering most of us have been watching more TV this past year than usual, we arguably have been more interested in television’s show and acting awards than what we’d normally see in the theaters if we could or wanted to go.

However, Oscar night has been a time to see how Hollywood dresses up, hear political statements and sometimes honor the people and films we want to see that we missed.

So maybe as theaters reopen and production companies opt to put their 2020 films on Peacock, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, apple tv or Amazon Prime Video,  we may get to see why a film or person was chosen, this year.

However the following timetable and highlights are what the Academy says Oscar Night, April 25, 2021 will be like this year.

It all starts at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT with the five nominated original songs  performed by Celeste, H.E.R., Leslie Odom, Jr., Laura Paushini, Daniel Pemberton, Molly Sanden and Diane Warren as the lead-in called “Oscars: Into the Spotlight.”

Then, Ariana DeBose (“Hamilton”) and Lil Rel Howery (“Bad Trip”), will continue will with insiders’ peaks of the night that include an appearance by DJ Tara at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

The Oscars’ main event will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. and in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

It will be followed by “Oscars: After Dark” hosted by Colman Domingo (“Zolz”) and Andrew Rannells (“The Prom”) with interviews by film critic Elvis Mitchell and a recap of the evening.

Both specials are executive-produced by Michael Antinoro and David Chamberlin, alongside producers Collins, Sher and Soderbergh.

To allow for social distancing and following COVID protocols, the 93rd Oscars will be held at Union Station in Los Angeles, the Dolby® Theatre in Hollywood and international locations via satellite.

Jodie Jacobs