Ever have a high-school science teacher you were convinced had simply given up on life? Or wondered whether your sixth-grade English teacher was actually adding shots of whiskey to his coffee cup… or shots of coffee to his whiskey cup? That’s sort of the gist of Teacher of the Year, one of the short film selections at next week’s Tribeca Film Festival. Directed by Chris Modoono, the tragicomic short follows the extraordinarily bad day of Mr. Collins (Gil Zabarsky), an elementary school teacher who is overtaken by depression and cynicism when his wife leaves him.
Former Saturday Night Live cast-member and current author Rachel Dratch shows up as Collins’ assistant principal, and the comedian has her own memories of not-so-happy instructors. “I think my eighth grade history teacher had a nervous breakdown,” says Dratch. “She suddenly wasn’t there anymore and we had this row of subs. It was like a mom dating a row of new boyfriends. Then in fourth grade, one of the teachers apparently had an affair with the principal, but that was all scuttlebutt.”
Take a look at an exclusive clip below.
The Tribeca Film Festival runs in New York from April 18-29, and Teacher of the Year premieres on April 21.