Now that COVID-19 is in the rearview for the most part, it’s time to welcome the creative energy that the 2021 Tribeca Festival brings year after year. Presented by AT&T the 20th-anniversary celebration is not only a celebration of art but a return to the community as we usher in live events.

“After a year of closed cinemas, canceled gatherings, and virtual everything, it is with joy and hopes that we finally invite New Yorkers out of their homes and back to the movies. Immersed in the city itself, Tribeca 2021 will bring once-in-a-lifetime big-screen experiences to filmmakers and audiences alike as we reconnect, re-imagine, and reopen through the shared experience of film,” said Cara Cusumano, festival director and vice president of programming for the Tribeca Festival.

The Tribeca Festival (June 9 through June 20) features 66 films from filmmakers across the globe and 54 world premieres culled from nearly 3,000 submissions. 2021 marks more than 60% of this year’s films are directed by women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Films slated to premiere at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, but postponed due to COVID-19, will also screen at the festival.

One of the best documentaries that I’ve seen in a long time is “La Madrina: The Savage Life of Lorine Padilla.” It should not be missed. Run do not walk to watch this stunning look at one woman’s life growing up in the Bronx.

Here are the highlights of films by or about POC:

African Americans:


Caleb Slain (director)


Agazi Desta (director)

“Cherry Lemonade”

Aisha Ford (director)

“Magnolia Bloom”

Tayo Amos (director)

“19 Seventy Free: Part 1”

Louis Bryant (director), AmaYah Harrison (director)


TJ O’Grady Peyton (director)

“Queen of Glory”

Nana Mensah (Director/Writer)

“Bitchin’: The Sound of Fury of Rick James”

Rick James (Musician), Sacha Jenkins (director)

“Stockholm Syndrome”

A$AP Rocky (rapper)

“As of Yet”

Taylor Garron (director), Chanel James (director)

“The Legend of The Underground”

Giselle Bailey (director), Nneka Onuorah (director)

“The Neutral Ground”

CJ Hunt (director/writer)

“The One and Only Dick Gregory”

Andre Gaines (filmmaker)

“A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks”

Gordon Parks (subject)

“The Death of My Two Fathers”

Sol Guy (director)


Jamila Wignot (director), Alvin Ailey (subject)


“In The Heights”

Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator), Anthony Ramos (actor)

“Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It”

Mariem Pérez Riera (director), Rita Moreno (actress)

“On the Divide”

Maya Cueva (director)

“Tigre Gente”

Marcos Uzquiano (director)

“Miss Panama”

Lamar Bailey Karamañites (director), Pascale Boucicaut (director)


In partnership with the Puerto Rican Day Parade

In 1970, a group of young Puerto Rican activists took over a decrepit hospital in New York City, launching a battle for their lives, their community, and healthcare for all.

“Perfume de Gardenias”

Macha Colón (director), Luz María Rondón (actress)

“The Perfect David (El Perfecto David)”

Felipe Gómez Aparicio (director), Pablo Ingercher (producer)


Vee Bravo (director)


Samantha Aldana (filmmaker)

“Two Jacked”

Jon Huertas (filmmaker)

“With/In Vol I and II”

20 Questions, Sebastian Gutierrez (director/writer)

Coco & Gigi, Rosie Perez (director/writer)


Rodrigo Reyes (director)


Michèle Stephenson (director)


Cecilia Aldarondo (director)

“La Madrina: The Savage Life of Lorine Padilla”

Raquel Cepeda (director)

“I Carry You With Me”

Armando Espitia (actor), Christian Vazquez (actor)

“My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To”

Jonathan Cuartas (filmmaker)


Marité Ugás (director), Mariana Rondón (producer)

Afro Latinos:

“Miss Panama”

Lamar Bailey Karamañites (director)

“Through the Night”

Loira Limbal (director)