Nonfictionfilm.com exclusive: Airbnb gets into doc game, producing Tribeca title 'Gay Chorus Deep South'
'We wanted to help amplify' message of David Charles Rodrigues film, accommodation-sharing company tells NFF
Airbnb, the accommodations-sharing giant that has put a roof over the head of millions of travelers worldwide, is entering the documentary field.
Nonfictionfilm.com can report Airbnb developed and produced Gay Chorus Deep South, a film about a groundbreaking tour of Southern states by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, which will hold its world premiere April 29 at the Tribeca Film Festival.
"This is Airbnb’s first documentary feature film," the San Francisco-based company tells Nonfictionfilm.com exclusively.
We believe that every person - regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity - should not only be treated with dignity and respect, but should be celebrated.
David Charles Rodrigues directed the documentary that follows 300 members of the chorus, led by conductor Tim Seelig, on a 10-day tour of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and the Carolinas.
"The film depicts the challenges the Chorus faced as they took their music inside of people's homes, churches and concert halls to inspire conversation around inclusivity and use the power of song to unite local communities," according to a press release provided to NFF. "The journey also challenges Tim and other Chorus members who fled the South to confront their own fears, pain and prejudices on a journey towards reconciliation."
In a statement to Nonfictionfilm.com, Airbnb Head of Creative James Goode noted, “We believe that every person - regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity - should not only be treated with dignity and respect, but should be celebrated. When we heard the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus was touring to sing about those values, we wanted to help amplify this shared mission.”
“Making this film with Airbnb and the Chorus has been an experience of a lifetime,” Rodrigues commented. “When we learned about the tour, I immediately saw a rare chance of telling an emotional story in divisive times. What we saw up close, was a positive movement of acceptance and belonging. It’s a humbling opportunity to premiere at Tribeca and most importantly to spread the Chorus’s message to the world.”
It's unclear what future plans Airbnb may have to fund and produce additional films -- either fiction or nonfiction. IMDBpro.com does not list any upcoming cinematic projects from the company.
The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus will perform live after the world premiere of the documentary at the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Theater in Manhattan. Watch the film's exclusive trailer below.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.