Female empowerment is a strong theme at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and one of the platinum titles playing is Nia DaCosta’s western drama Little Woods which follows two estranged sisters, one a shrewd illegal pharmaceutical seller who is trying to go legit (Tessa Thompson), and the other helpless single parent (Lily James) who are both looking to become untangled by their poverty-stricken circumstances.

In an effort to save their late mother’s home, and to unleash herself from the confines of her rural North Dakota oil fracking town, Thompson’s Ollie is pulled back into a career she’s already been collared for by the cops. Both characters are raw and further resonate both actresses’ canons; Thompson with her streak of strong-willed femme parts like Charlotte Hale on Westworld and Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok; and James who continues to rally by playing against her period resume in Downton Abbey and War and Peace. 

Here DaCosta talks about her inspirations for the film, which Thompson also executive produced. UK foreign sales outfit Independent is handling rights. Click here for more showtimes at Tribeca.

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