Always Shine posterThis year’s Tribeca Film Festival showcased some of the most exhilarating films shown at any film festival in years. The Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. The Festival has screened over 1400 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002. Since its founding, it has attracted an international audience of more than 4 million attendees and has generated an estimated $750 million in economic activity for New York City.

COMPETITION CAN BE A KILLER. That was the theme of my two favorite films at the Tribeca Film Festival 2016. King Cobra promised to be and was one of the wildest movies at the Festival.
Starring James Franco, Garrett Clayton, and Christian Slater, the drama digs into the circumstances of a real-life murder in the early 2000s gay porn scene. But just because it’s set in the porn industry doesn’t mean there are gratuitous scenes, according to writer-director Justin Kelly.

James Franco never ceases to amaze me with his talents and choices, same with Slater. He’s in my favorite TV show Mr. Robot. He also has range and makes interesting choices. This film was not only about the hardcore gay scene but hard core competition.

It also explores dark places, where older gay men in porn realize their limited shelf life, and groom young boys (some under age) for this life of what initially seems like luxury, fresh off a bus from the Midwest. You see them transform from hicks from the sticks to slicks using their dicks to survive and then enjoying the power that comes with that.

Another stand out film was Always Shine directed by Sophia Takal.  Shot in Big Sur, that magical and mysterious place provided a backdrop of tension in itself almost like another character in the film.  The two very B list actresses and friends exchange strange energy that ends in murder while staying at a secluded modern house. This director knows precisely how to build insecure female tension. Two best friends, Anna and Beth, who take this weekend trip to Big Sur to reestablish a bond that has been broken by years of competition and jealousy. Well anything BUT a happy end happens as tensions mount, leading to the utterly unexpected yet inevitable confrontation that will change both of their lives forever.

Best short of the festival was written and directed by the talented Matthew Modine and starring his daughter, singer and actress Ruby Modine. Featuring Kevin Nealon and Elizabeth Perkins who he worked with on Weeds, SUPER SEX was part of the California Dreaming Section of the Tribeca Film Festival. Ed Asner plays the dad of Nealon and Perkins who are in a quandary, trying to figure out what to get their aging father. Finding the perfect present proves hard for them. He says he has everything he needs, he just wants to be loved. His children set out to provide it in a way they’ve never imagined.  Ruby plays the wonderfully endearing prostitute so well, making Super Sex super fun!

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Cynthia Parsons McDaniel works as an artist in the mediums of video installation, collage and illustration and diorama. She recently attended the National Academy Museum & School in New York City for Drawing and Visual Story Telling and Monotype Printmaking. Her collages were shown in a group exhibition at the NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN. Other exhibitions Include CHESTERFIELD GALLERY, ART TAKES SOHO, TRIBECA ART + CULTURE NIGHT, SEEME + SCOPE ART FAIR + MIAMI ART BASEL + CHASHAMA GALA + ARMORY SHOW + GUILD HALL MEMBERS EXHIBITION EASTHAMPTON LI She is represented by the New York Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan. At the American Museum of Natural History she studied with the curator in charge of building and maintaining their DIORAMAS. She has written about design, film and theater for METROPOLIS, ELLE DECOR, IN STYLE, ELLE, DAILY NEWS, FASHION JOURNAL and NEWSWEEK. She has contributed to five books on design and film related subjects. She was nominated for an EMMY while a producer at NBC. She was head of pr and marketing at Cannon Films, New Line Cinema and VP Grammercy Pictures, then special projects editor at IN STYLE and Features Editor New York Daily News. McDaniel then went back to working with actors on MAD MEN, WEEDS AND 30 ROCK and doing personal publicity and creating Tony, Emmy, Grammy and Academy Award Campaigns. She has produced events and handled press including European Film Awards in Berlin, Cannes Film Festival Party at Hotel Du Cap, Sundance and Toronto Film Festival and Elton John's Oscar party, re-opening of the Hall of Mirrors and the Royal Opera House at Versailles and the Bob Hope Memorial Library Ellis Island. The short she produced was shown at both the Tribeca Film Festival and the London Film festival. She recently did props for Boardwalk Empire (HBO) including window displays using antiques She has wrote a one act play about early broadway called ZIGGY and created the props by hand using various antiques and paper techniques. She has worked on over 200 movies as studio executive and worked as unit publicist in ROME BERLIN LONDON BUDAPEST LOS ANGELES PARIS working with some renowned directors including Fellini, Wertmuller, Godard and The Coen Brothers just to name a few. She was the personal publicist for Daniel Day-Lewis, Carrie Fisher, Lauren Bacall, Matthew Modine, Jane Krakowski, Paul Bettany and many other gifted actors. She is a member of National Women Film Critics Circle. She contributes to the national Arts Express Syndicate Radio WBAI RADIO. She is currently writing a memoir.


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