Emily Abt`s emotionally powerful feature, Toe To Toe, tells the story of a love/hate relationship between lacrosse mates Tosha and Jesse, two senior girls at a competitive Washington, D.C., prep school. Tosha is a fiercely determined African American scholarship student from Anacostia, one of Washington`s poorest areas, while Jesse is a privileged, but troubled, white girl from Bethesda, who deals with promiscuous tendencies that pull her toward self-destruction. The two forge a close and genuine friendship on the field, but that bond is tested when the obstacles presented by societal circumstances threaten to tear them apart. Abt draws penetrating performances from bright, young talents Louisa Krause (Jesse) and Sonequa Martin (Tosha). Together they craft a complex story rich with nuance and authenticity, avoiding predictability and challenging tired racial narratives. Inspired by the disturbing fact that interracial friendships end at age 14 for 87 percent of American teenagers, Toe To Toe is a powerful reminder of the transforming power of honesty and the way that those who test us often make us better. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]
Martha has run away from an abusive hippie-like cult where she was living as Marcy May for two years. She turns to her sister and brother-in-law who take her in and want to help her. The problem is Martha is having a hard time separating dreams from reality and when haunting memories of her past keep resurfacing, she may need more help than anyone is able to give her.
Major-league rookie pitcher Hopper Gibson (Johnny Simmons) has lost his focus. After choking on the mound, he’s sent down to the minors and prescribed sessions with an unorthodox sports therapist (Paul Giamatti), who pushes him to uncover the origins of his anxiety. Beneath it all is his fraught relationship with his overbearing ex-con father (Ethan Hawke), whose tough love is the source of both his success and his paralysis. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]
The story of Jane – a bright eyed young woman in her mid 20’s living with autism – and her overprotective, and recently engaged older sister, Bianca. When their parents announce that they are moving out of their Brooklyn brownstone, and heading to the suburbs of New Jersey, they propose the sisters move in together – a suggestion that throws Bianca’s newly engaged life through a loop, and forces her to re-examine her relationship with her sister.
Peter Latang (Jesse Wakeman) left working class Warwick, Rhode Island to reinvent himself as a slick, Wall Street mover and shaker. Fifteen years later, when he’s forced to return home to bury his Grandmother he loses his wallet on the trip. Stranded, the only person he can think of to help him out is his next door neighbor and former childhood friend Donald Treebeck (Kris Avedisian). Donald hasn’t changed a bit, and what starts as a simple favor turns into a long van ride into their past. [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW]
A struggling single mother, Julia takes a security job working nights at an abandoned apartment building in a last ditch effort to get her life together. As she patrols the hollow and vast superstructure, her scurrilous on-duty partner and a local vagrant begin toying with her, testing her sanity and eventually forcing her into the rotting catacombs below the building. [Synopsis courtesy of LA Film Festival]
Sarah’s (Dianna Agron) life is as bland as the desert town she’s lived in her whole life. With a future devoid of any passion more inevitable with each passing day, she welcomes the sudden appearance of a sexy, spontaneous stranger named Pepper (Paz de la Huerta). Broke and on the run from a debt she cannot pay, Pepper insinuates herself into Sarah’s quiet life while introducing her to the thrill of drugs, sex, and spirituality. Quiet curiosity quickly develops into profound connection and Sarah finds herself abandoning her friends and family for Pepper’s intoxicating impulsiveness. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]
Convinced that reuniting with his old girlfriend will bring his dreams to fruition, Gabriel risks it all in a desperate and increasingly obsessive pursuit. First-time writer-director Lou Howe authentically portrays the heartbreaking reality of a young man battling his inner demons, establishing himself as an extraordinary new filmmaking talent. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]