One of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival standouts is Katie Holmes’ directorial debut All We Hadin which the former Dawson’s Creek actress directs herself as a homeless mother struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. As Rita Carmichael, Holmes’ character lives out of a car, suffers a bad streak with men, all with her teenage daughter Ruthie (Stefania Owen) in tow. Her tribulations are set against the Great Recession. Rita’s life turns for the better after landing a job in a diner and meeting Lee (Luke Wilson), a former addict.

The Guardian called Holmes performance “brazen…She burrows deep under the skin of Rita, a woman firmly aware of her many flaws and tragically unable to address them.”

Says Holmes about what drew her to the pic’s source material, Annie Weatherwax’s 2014 novel, “I felt like these characters were original, authentic and refreshing. It dealt with very important circumstances and tragic circumstances, but every character survived and they were all survivors and there was a poetry to each one. I just really felt connected to them all.”

Holmes caught the directing bug after helming an AOL short on powerful women. She chose producer and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal as her subject, which led to Rosenthal serving as a producer on All We Had. Prior to All We Had, Holmes helmed an ESPN 30 for 30 doc about gymnast Nadia Comaneci. Next up for Holmes, she’s reprising her role as Jacqueline Kennedy in the Reelz mini-series The Kennedys After CamelotClick for upcoming festival showtimes.