SXSW Film Review: 'Fort Tilden'

2 (not) broke girls

A funny thing happens on the way to the Rockaways. It's a long bicycle ride to an obscure beach at Fort Tilden from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but it's worth the time spent with these two knuckleheads, as they set off with the promise of an afternoon rolling on Molly with cute boys at the beach in their sights.

Harper (Bridey Elliott) and her best friend Allie (Clare McNulty) are two privileged twentysomethings who find that getting to the beach isn't so easy when you fit reality around sophomore logic. As the day wears on, Allie begins to discover that being as cool as her friend isn't getting her anywhere. A voluntourist who announces her upcoming Peace Corps assignment in Liberia to snickers about doing it for the Facebook posts, the brat in her is beginning to grow up, a balance achieved by McNulty. Sure, the kids are mean, but so is Harper, who is played with a Tina Fey-like charm by Elliott. Cruel dialogue in youngster hip-speak and a terrific soundtrack keep this light, while cinematography by Brian Lannin takes us right into that hot, hassled summer day. In fact, Lannin's baking city pavement has us smelling gas fumes, as the girls struggle towards a destination that, like the day, is not what they expected.

Fort Tilden took the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature.

Fort Tilden

Narrative Competition, World Premiere
Wednesday, March 12, 11am, VCC
Friday, March 14, 1:30pm, Stateside

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at For scheduling on the go, here's a SXSW Film Pocket Guide, which includes the handy Film Grid. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

More South by Southwest
SXSW Expands SouthBites Programming
SXSW Expands SouthBites Programming
David Chang announced as featured speaker

Brandon Watson, Sept. 30, 2014

Two More Acquisitions for SXSW Alumni
Two More Acquisitions for SXSW Alumni
'Honeymoon' and 'Thank You a Lot' picked up

Monica Riese, March 28, 2014

Unleashing the <i>Hounds of Love</i>
Unleashing the Hounds of Love
Director Ben Young on his serial-killer couple drama

Richard Whittaker, May 12, 2017

Ben Wheatley  Catches <i>Free Fire</i>
Ben Wheatley Catches Free Fire
Director on making his U.S. action debut

Richard Whittaker, April 21, 2017

More by Anne Harris
Making the Cut
Making the Cut
New season of Project Runway puts Austin designer Lindsey Creel in the spotlight

Aug. 7, 2015

Austin Dames Host Kitchen Sale Fundraiser
Austin Dames Host Kitchen Sale Fundraiser
Rummage for groovy kitchenware at Mueller Farmers' Market

June 12, 2015


South by Southwest, SXSW, SXSW 2014, SXSW Film 2014, narrative, review, Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers, Bridey Elliott, Clare McNulty, Brian Lannin

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)