Meet the 19-Year-Old Wunderkind Director Stunning the Tribeca Film Festival
In the festival’s 18-year history, it’s something the Tribeca Film Festival programmers and planners have never had to consider. The awards ceremony and most of the events thrown for filmmakers are typically sponsored by liquor companies, and are 21-and-over. This year, however, one of their marquee competitors is underage. “We were like, hmm, do you think he has a fake ID?” one of the festival’s programmers joked to me. “Obviously, we did not ask him that.”
It’s not entirely out of the question. Phillip Youmans, whose film Burning Cane premieres at the festival Thursday, is a freshman at New York University. At 19, he is the youngest filmmaker ever accepted to compete in the Tribeca Film Festival.
He wrote and directed the film, which will vie for the Founders Award in the U.S. Narrative Competition. In recent years, the section included critically hailed indies like Reed Morano’s Meadowland, Ingrid Jungermann’s Women Who Kill, and Nia DaCosta’s Little Woods, which opened in theaters last weekend.