Films premiering on Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis, artist Banksy, Stanley Kubrick, Pharrell Williams, Larry Flynt and more
The Tribeca Film Festival announced its full lineup Tuesday, packing its schedule with a slew of world premiere documentaries. Among the highest profile titles are Citizen Penn, Don Hardy's documentary on actor Sean Penn's effort to help Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake of 2010, and John Lewis: Good Trouble, Dawn Porter's documentary on the civil rights leader and congressman who recently announced he is battling pancreatic cancer.
Sami Khan, Oscar-nominated this year for the short St. Louis Superman, will unveil his documentary The Last Out, the story of "three Cuban baseball players with Major League dreams who, facing difficult choices, embark on radically different paths when those dreams don’t pan out." Wake Up on Mars, meanwhile, follows the same story as the Oscar-nominated short Life Overtakes Me, chronicling the strange phenomenon in Sweden of "resignation syndrome" that has seen hundreds of immigrant children there fall into a mysterious coma. Dea Gjinovci directed The Last Out, focusing on two teenage sisters in a vegetative state.
This year’s festival embraces the unique power of film to bring people together -- whether that’s literally the communal experience of watching a film in a packed theater, or the more intangible way a great film can make you empathize with a stranger’s struggle.
Director Stanley Kubrick was famously reticent about being photographed or doing interviews, which makes the documentary Kubrick by Kubrick one of the most intriguing world premieres at Tribeca. According to the festival, Gregory Monro's film offers "a rare and transcendent journey into the life and films of the legendary Stanley Kubrick like we've never seen before, featuring a treasure trove of unearthed interview recordings from the master himself."
Nadia Szold's film Larry Flynt for President looks at the Hustler publisher's quixotic run for president in 1984, assembled from "never before seen footage" of Flynt's campaign.
Inevitably, the shadow of Coronavirus (Covid-19) hangs over Tribeca, as it does SXSW and other major public gatherings in the U.S. and abroad. Twitter, Facebook and Amazon have pulled out of Tribeca, which runs from March 13-22. Tribeca, set for April 15-26, made no mention of the epidemic in announcing its lineup, and in fact festival director Cara Cusumano touted the virtues of people gathering in close spaces.
“This year’s festival embraces the unique power of film to bring people together -- whether that’s literally the communal experience of watching a film in a packed theater, or the more intangible way a great film can make you empathize with a stranger’s struggle,” Cusumano said in a statement Tuesday. “In an election year where we will go to the polls to make big decisions about our future together, these films are an opportunity for connection and understanding.”
Dear Mr. Brody, directed by award-winning filmmaker Keith Maitland, rewinds to 1970 for the story of "eccentric hippie millionaire Michael Brody, Jr. [who] decided to give $25 million away to anyone who needed it, sparking a media frenzy and thousands of letters from strangers all requesting his help."
George Clooney is the executive producer of The Art of Political Murder, directed by Paul Taylor, a documentary Tribeca describes as a "political crime thriller." HBO will later air the film that centers on the murder of human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi, who was killed following Guatemala's civil war.
As previously announced, the festival will open with the premiere of Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President, directed by Mary Wharton, a documentary that "catalogues the role of popular music in helping to propel a peanut farmer from Georgia all the way to the White House." Willie Nelson, Nile Rodgers and Paul Shafer will perform live after the premiere.
This is the full selection of documentary films slated for Tribeca 2020:
499, directed by Rodrigo Reyes, written by Rodrigo Reyes, Lorena Padila. Produced by Inti Cordera, Andrew Houchens. (Mexico) - World Premiere. The powerful hybrid documentary 499 examines Cortez's legacy almost five centuries later through the eyes of a stranded conquistador traveling through Mexico. The film is a cinematic meditation on the violence that still vibrates through society. With Eduardo San Juan Breña. In Nahuatl, Spanish with English subtitles. TFI supported.
Dear Mr. Brody, directed and written by Keith Maitland. Produced by Megan Gilbride, Melissa Robyn Glassman, Keith Maitland, Sarah Wilson. (USA) - World Premiere. In 1970, eccentric hippie millionaire Michael Brody, Jr. decided to give $25 million away to anyone who needed it, sparking a media frenzy and thousands of letters from strangers all requesting his help.
Enemies Of the State, directed by Sonia Kennebeck. Produced by Ines Hofmann Kanna. (USA) - World Premiere. When their hacker son is targeted by the US Government, the DeHarts will do anything to protect him. And so begins to unravel a web of secrets in this twisty, stranger-than-fiction cyber-thriller story. With Joel Widman.
Father Soldier Son, directed by Catrin Einhorn, Leslye Davis. Produced by Leslye Davis, Catrin Einhorn, Kathleen Lingo, Nancy Donaldson Gauss. (USA) - World Premiere. This intimate documentary from the New York Times follows one American family over the course of ten years, becoming an intergenerational exploration of the meaning of sacrifice, purpose, family and American manhood in the aftermath of war. A Netflix release.
Jacinta, directed by Jessica Earnshaw. Produced by Jessica Earnshaw, Holly Meehl, Nimisha Mukerji. (USA) - World Premiere. An astonishing and ultimately hopeful record of the hereditary nature of trauma, Jacinta follows the lives of three generations of women struggling to maintain stability. TFI supported.
Landfall, directed by Cecilia Aldarondo. Produced by Ines Hofmann Kanna, Cecilia Aldarondo. (USA) - World Premiere. Chronicling the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Landfall is a sensitive and urgent portrait of the continued fraught relationship between the US and Puerto Rico, a land in mourning and resistance. In English, Spanish with English subtitles. TFI supported.
The Last Out, directed by Sami Khan, Michael Gassert, written by Sami Khan. Produced by Michael Gassert, Jonathan Miller, Sami Khan. (USA) - World Premiere. An affecting story of raw talent, passion and naivete, The Last Out follows three Cuban baseball players with Major League dreams who, facing difficult choices, embark on radically different paths when those dreams don’t pan out. With Happy Oliveros, Carlos O. González, and Victor Baró. In English, Spanish with English subtitles. Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
Pray Away, directed by Kristine Stolakis. Produced by Jessica Devaney, Anya Rous. (USA) - World Premiere. Pray Away is a powerful exposé on gay conversion programs, revealing the damage inflicted by shame and repression through intimate testimonies from current members and former leaders of the pray the gay away movement. TFI supported.
Socks on Fire, directed and written by Bo McGuire. Produced by Tatiana Bears, Amy Dotson. (USA) - World Premiere. Bo McGuire returns home to rural Alabama to document the bitter property feud between his homophobic aunt and gay uncle. Blending home videos with cinematic reenactments, McGuire paints a riveting picture of a house divided. With Odessa Young, Carron Clark, Chuck Duck, Michael Patrick Nicholson, John Washington.
Simple As Water, directed by Megan Mylan. Produced by Robin Hessman, Megan Mylan. (USA, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Germany) - World Premiere. Megan Mylan’s closely observed fragments of lives cut between Turkey, Greece, Germany, and the U.S.. Each unfolding scene portrays the elemental bonds holding together Syrian families pulled apart by war, searching for a new life. In Arabic, English with English subtitles.
Wake Up On Mars (Réveil sur Mars), directed and written by Dea Gjinovci. Produced by Sophie Faudel, Dea Gjinovci, Britta Rindelaub, Jasmin Basic. (France, Switzerland) - World Premiere. Two teenage sisters lie in a vegetative state in the small Swedish home of their Kosovar family, the cause of their mysterious malady, known as “resignation syndrome,” entwined with their personal trauma experienced as refugees. With Furkan Demiri, Djeneta Demiri, Ibadeta Demiri, Nurje Demiri, Muharrem Demiri, Resul Demiri. In Albanian, Swedish with English subtitles.
Wonderboy, directed and written by Anissa Bonnefont. Produced by Stella Maris Pictures. (France) - International Premiere. French fashion house Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing allows the camera to become his confidante as he embarks on a search for his birth mother, in this enchanting documentary about adoption and identity. In French with English subtitles.
Documentaries consistently make waves at Tribeca as notable filmmakers and major stories are represented in this section through high-profile premieres.
Ice Cold, directed by Karam Gill, written by Karam Gill, Nicholas Stafford Briggs. Produced by Peter Scalettar, Carmen Garcia Durazo, Andrew Primavera. (USA) - World Premiere. From Executive Producers Migos & Quality Control, explore one of rap music’s most elaborate forms of personal expression...jewelry. Fans love it; haters only see superficiality. Ice Cold cuts deep into the “bling bling” obsession to examine its often overlooked socioeconomic motivations. With Migos, Lil Yachty, J Balvin, Slick Rick, Ben Baller, ASAP Ferg.
The Art of Political Murder, directed by Paul Taylor. Produced by Teddy Leifer, Regina K. Scully. (UK) - World Premiere. The shocking murder of human rights activist Bishop Juan Gerardi in the aftermath of the Guatemalan Civil War sets the ground for a powerful battle between justice and corruption in this political crime thriller Executive Produced by George Clooney. With Francisco Goldman, Ronalth Ochaeta, Claudia Méndez Arriaza, Leopoldo Zeissig, Rubén Chanax, Arturo Aguilar. In English, Spanish with English subtitles. An HBO Documentary Films release.
Athlete A, directed by Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk. Produced by Serin Marshall, Jen Sey, Julie Parker Benello. (USA) - World Premiere. In the riveting Athlete A, filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk delve into the world of elite competitive gymnastics and the toxic culture within that allowed sexual abuse to go on for decades unchecked. A Netflix Release. Also playing as part of the ESPN/Tribeca Sports Film Festival.
Banksy Most Wanted, directed and written by Aurélia Rouvier, Laurent Richard, Seamus Haley. Produced by Laurent Richard. (France) - World Premiere. Banksy is a household name, but behind this name hides a multitude of stories, artworks, stunts, political statements and identities, leading to one of the art world’s biggest unanswered questions- who is Banksy? In English, French with English subtitles.
Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road, directed by Brent Wilson, written by Brent Wilson, Jason Fine. Produced by Tim Headington, Theresa Steele Page, Brent Wilson. (USA) - World Premiere. The Beach Boys’ lead songwriter takes a drive around Los Angeles with Rolling Stone editor and longtime friend Jason Fine in this nonlinear cinematic memoir, as vivid and multifaceted as his music. With Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Sir Elton John, Linda Perry, Jim James, Nick Jonas, Gustavo Dudamel.
Helmut Newton: the Bad and the Beautiful, directed and written by Gero von Boehm. Produced by Felix von Boehm. (Germany) - World Premiere. Catherine Deneuve, Grace Jones, Charlotte Rampling, Isabella Rossellini, Anna Wintour and others give their take on legendary photographer Helmut Newton’s life, art, and legacy, in this portrait of a man who was at once provocative, unconventional, subversive and genius in his depiction of women. With Grace Jones, Sylvia Gobbel, Isabella Rossellini, Anna Wintour, Nadja Auermann, Phyllis Posnick, Charlotte Rampling, Marianne Faithfull, Claudia Schiffer, Hanna Schygulla, Carla Sozzani, Arja Toyryla, June Newton. In English, French, German with English subtitles.
Hydration, directed by Mimi Valdés. Produced by Pharrell Williams, Mimi Valdés, Jerry Kolber, Adam "Tex" Davis. (USA) - World Premiere. Hydration takes audiences backstage and behind the scenes of Pharrell’s ground-breaking Something in the Water festival, using music to bring together his divided hometown of Virginia Beach. Featuring exhilarating live performances by legendary music artists Jay Z, Missy Elliot, Gwen Stefani and others. With Pharrell Williams, Gwen Stefani, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Pusha T, Dave Grohl, Snoop Dogg and more.
Kubrick by Kubrick (Kubrick par Kubrick), directed and written by Gregory Monro. Produced by Jeremy Zelnik, Martin Laurent. (France) - World Premiere. A rare and transcendent journey into the life and films of the legendary Stanley Kubrick like we've never seen before, featuring a treasure trove of unearthed interview recordings from the master himself. In English, French with English subtitles.
Larry Flynt for President, directed by Nadia Szold, written by Nadia Szold, Tchavdar Georgiev. Produced by Ben Browning, Lauren Mekhael, Steven Prince, Ivan Orlic. (USA) - World Premiere. Assembled from never before seen footage shot in 1983, this fascinating film documents controversial Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt’s unlikely bid for the White House after a gunman’s bullet left him partially paralyzed. With Larry Flynt.
Not Going Quietly, directed by Nicholas Bruckman, written by Amanda Roddy, Nicholas Bruckman. Produced by Amanda Roddy. (USA) - World Premiere. An intimate, inspiring look at activist and loving father Ady Barkan, diagnosed with ALS at age 32 and who, in spite of declining physical abilities, embarks on a nationwide campaign for healthcare reform. With Ady Barkan, Rachael King, Elizabeth Jaff, Ana Maria Archila, Nate Smith, Tracey Corder.
Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles, directed by Laura Gabbert. Produced by Steve Robillard, Mohamed Al Rafi, Jeff Frey, Lauren Deuterman. (USA) - World Premiere. Follow celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi as he assembles a star-studded team of the world’s most innovative pastry chefs to put on a Versailles-themed culinary gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, Ghaya Oliveira, Dinara Kasko, Sam Bompas, Janice Wong. In English, French, Hebrew, Russian, Ukrainian with English subtitles.
Rebuilding Paradise, directed by Ron Howard. Produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Xan Parker. (USA) - New York Premiere. Director Ron Howard profiles several survivors of California's deadliest wildfire who must decide whether to leave or to remain and rebuild in a town that is now on the front lines of the climate crisis. With Woody Culleton, Michelle John, Carly Ingersoll, Matt Gates, Zach Boston. A National Geographic release.
Ricky Powell: The Individualist, directed by Josh Swade, written by Josh Swade, Christopher McGlynn. Produced by Josh Swade, Christopher McGlynn, Eamon O'Neil. (USA) - World Premiere. Ricky Powell boasts a quintessential New York story, rising to fame as a street photographer in the 80’s and 90’s and touring with the Beastie Boys, capturing some of the wildest moments in popular culture. With Ricky Powell, Natasha Lyonne, Debi Mazar, Mike D, Laurence Fishburne, Chuck D, LL Cool J, DMC.
Somebody Up There Likes Me, directed by Mike Figgis. Produced by Peter Worsley, Louis Figgis. (UK) - North American Premiere. A series of intimate conversations with Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, whose extraordinary music career placed him at the forefront of the British R&B explosion to rock ‘n’ roll stardom. With Ronnie Wood, Sally Wood, Imelda May, Damien Hirst, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Sir Rod Stewart, Charlie Watts.
Stockton on My Mind, directed by Marc Levin, written by James Lester, Marc Levin. Produced by Marc Levin, Mike Marangu, Cassius Michael Kim, Daphne Pinkerson. (USA) - World Premiere. In 2016, Stanford graduate Michael Tubbs became the youngest and first African-American mayor of Stockton, California. Stockton On My Mind follows Mayor Tubbs through his first term in office as he tirelessly advances his innovative proposals for a city at a turning point. With Mayor Michael Tubbs. An HBO Documentary Films Release.
This Is Paris, directed and written by Alexandra Haggiag Dean. Produced by Aaron Saidman. (USA) - World Premiere. There’s Paris Hilton and there’s “Paris Hilton”, the latter a character created by a teenage girl desperate to escape into a fantasy. Alexandra Dean’s revealing documentary offers the real Paris’ untold story. With Paris Hilton, Kathy Hilton, Nicky Hilton Rothschild. A YouTube Originals release.
Tough Love: The Lennox Lewis Documentary, directed by Rick Lazes, Seth Koch, written by Josh Dubin, Seth Koch. Produced by Chad A. Verdi, Rick Lazes, Nick Koskoff, Tom DeNucci. (USA) - World Premiere. Lennox Lewis’ rise from humble beginnings in the East End of London to the top of the boxing world defied the odds. Using never before seen footage from Lewis’ personal archives, Tough Love: The Lennox Lewis Documentary shines a light on what makes a true champ. With Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Dr. Dre, Nelson Mandela, Emmanuel Steward, Jim Lampley.
Wojnarowicz, directed by Chris McKim. Produced by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Chris McKim. (USA) - World Premiere. A collage-like, incisive look at the life of writer, painter and thinker David Wojnarowicz, whose powerful, unapologetic way of seeing the world gave voice to queer rights at a critical time in US history. With David Wojnarowicz, Fran Lebowitz, Peter Hujar, Kiki Smith, Richard Kern, Nan Goldin, Carlos McCormack.
Yung Lean: In My Head, directed and written by Henrik Burman. Produced by David Herdies & Michael Krotkiewski, Ludvig Andersson. (Sweden) - World Premiere. When a Swedish teen rapper finds a rabid fanbase via the internet, international superstar Yung Lean is born. But as his fame grows, darkness settles in, blurring the line between reality and his own vivid imagination. With Jonatan Leandoer Håstad, Axel Tufvesson, Carl-Mikael Berlander, Benjamin Reichwald, Emilio Fagone, Oskar Ekman. In English, Russian, Swedish with English subtitles.
Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, directed by Muta'Ali, produced by Jevon Frank, Victorious De Costa, Muta'Ali (USA) – World Premiere. In 1989, a black youth was murdered in Brooklyn when he was misidentified as the boyfriend of a local white girl. The aftermath of Yusuf Hawkins’ death exploded into a social movement, exposing racial prejudices that continue to plague us today. With Al Sharpton, Amir Hawkins, Diane Hawkins, Freddy Hawkins, Mayor David Dinkins. An HBO Documentary Film release.
A Glitch in the Matrix, directed by Rodney Ascher. Produced by Ross Dinerstein. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Are we living in a simulation? Acclaimed documentarian Rodney Ascher (Room 27, The Nightmare) tackles this question with compelling testimony, philosophical evidence and scientific explanation in this engaging journey for the truth.
Harley, directed by Jean-Cosme Delaloye, written by Jean-Cosme Delaloye, Lila Place. Produced by Jean-Cosme Delaloye. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. With inklings of American Movie, Jean-Cosme Delaloye’s Harley stands out as an outrageously entertaining portrait of Harley Breite, a thriving criminal defense lawyer attempting to win over his Dulcinea.
La Madrina: The Savage Life of Lorine Padilla, directed, written, and produced by Raquel Cepeda. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. While the Bronx burned, Lorine claimed her place as queen of the NYC street gang The Savage Skulls. 40 years later, she examines her impact in the intervening years: as mother, spiritual advisor, activist, and keeper of a controversial legacy. With Lorine Padilla, Elizabeth Maldonado, Senator Luis Sepulveda, Council Member Ritchie Torres.
Miracle Fishing, directed by Miles Hargrove, written by Miles Hargrove, Eric F. Martin. Produced by Eric F. Martin. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. In 1994, Tom Hargrove was kidnapped in Colombia by the FARC. With a $6M ransom price and without support from the authorities, Tom’s wife and sons pick up the phone (and a Video8 camcorder) to negotiate directly with the largest terrorist group in the Western Hemisphere. In English, German, Spanish with English subtitles.
P.S. Burn This Letter Please, directed and written by Michael Seligman, Jennifer Tiexiera. Produced by Jennifer Tiexiera, Michael Seligman, Craig Olsen. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. A box found in an abandoned storage unit unearths a time capsule of correspondences from a forgotten era: the underground drag scene in 1950’s New York City. Firsthand accounts and newly discovered footage help cast a long overdue spotlight on the unsung pioneers of drag. With Henry Arango, Michael Alogna, James Bidgood, Robert Bouvard, Terry Noel, Joseph Touchette, Claude Diaz, George Roth, Esther Newton, Joe E. Jeffreys, George Chauncey, Robert Corber, Thomasine Barlett, Michael Henry Adams.
The State of Texas vs. Melissa, directed by Sabrina Van Tassel. Produced by Isaac Sharry, Sabrina Van Tassel, Philippe de Bourbon. (France) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Melissa Lucio was the first Hispanic woman sentenced to death in Texas. For ten years she has been awaiting her fate, and now faces her last appeal. Van Tassel's urgent documentary is the portrait of a woman against the entire system.
Stateless (Apátrida), directed and written by Michèle Stephenson. Produced by Michèle Stephenson, Jennifer Holness, Lea Marin. (USA, Dominican Republic, Haiti) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. In 2013, the Dominican Republic stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, rendering over 200,000 people without nationality, identity or homeland. Stateless explores this complex history and politics through one young woman’s fight to protect the right to citizenship for all people. With Rosa Iris Diendomi-Álvarez, Teofilo Murat, Gladys Feliz. In Creole, Spanish with English subtitles. TFI supported.
Stray, directed and written by Elizabeth Lo. Produced by Elizabeth Lo, Shane Boris. (Turkey, Hong Kong) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Bringing us into the world of Zeytin, a stray dog living life on the streets of Istanbul, Stray delivers a deceptively simple and wonderfully touching journey of marginalization and resilience. In Turkish with English subtitles.
Through the Night, directed by Loira Limbal, written by Loira Limbal, Malika Zouhali-Worrall. Produced by Jameka Autry. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. This poignant and intimate documentary examines the emotional toll on families in pursuit of the American dream, told through the lens of a 24-hour daycare center in Westchester, New York. With Delores "Nunu" Hogan, Patrick Hogan, Marisol Valencia, Shanona Tate. In English, Spanish with English subtitles.
A Tribeca tradition, Movies Plus offers audiences the unique opportunity to continue the experience of a film through buzzworthy conversations or performances after each special screening. Past Movies Plus experiences have included a Sheryl Crow tribute to Linda Ronstadt (2019), the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus performed after the world premiere of Gay Chorus Deep South (2019), and a Broadway-style performance following Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018).
Citizen Penn, directed and written by Don Hardy. Produced by Shawn Dailey, Don Hardy. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. On January 12, 2010 a devastating 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti altering the landscape and lives of millions. Aid workers from around the globe descended on the island, along with one unlikely leader – actor and filmmaker Sean Penn. With Sean Penn, Ann Lee, Anderson Cooper, Cecile Accilien.
After the Movie: A conversation with director Don Hardy along with Sean Penn and CORE CEO Ann Lee.
Disclosure, directed and written by Sam Feder. Produced by Amy Scholder. (USA) - New York Premiere, Feature Documentary. Executive Producer Laverne Cox amplifies this study of transgender representation in the media, bringing together trans creatives and activists to deconstruct scenes from cinema through the ages in order to confront our evolving understanding of gender. With Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Jen Richards, Mj Rodriguez, Chaz Bono.
After the Movie: A conversation led by Laverne Cox (Executive Producer), and Sam Feder (Director) with some very special guests, about the current rise and history of transgender representation in film and television.
Call Your Mother, directed by Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady. Produced by Eleanor Galloway. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Comedians’ mothers take center stage in this documentary from the directors Rachel Grady & Heidi Ewing (TFF 2006 selection Jesus Camp), a hilarious ode to moms and the way they have shaped the work of some of comedy’s biggest stars. With Louie Anderson, Awkwafina, Jimmy Carr, Bridget Everett, Fortune Feimster, Rachel Feinstein, Jim Gaffigan, Judy Gold, Jen Kirkman, Jo Koy, Bobby Lee, The Lucas Brothers, Norm Macdonald, Jim Norton, Tig Notaro, Yvonne Orji, Kristen Schaal, Roy Wood Jr..
After the Movie: A conversation with comedians Bridget Everett, Rachel Feinstein, Judy Gold, Roy Wood Jr. and more.
Don’t Try to Understand: A Year in the Life of Earl "DMX" Simmons, directed by Christopher Frierson. Produced by Clark Slater. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Hip-hop icon DMX returns from a recent stint in prison determined to reignite his career, but his comeback proves ill-fated when faced with the mounting pressures of fatherhood, faith and addiction. This unfiltered documentary presents an intimate glimpse into the man behind the public persona.
After the Movie: A special performance by DMX.
Freedia Got a Gun, directed by Chris McKim. Produced by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Chris McKim. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. After losing her brother to gun violence, New Orleans’ queen of bounce Big Freedia uses her national platform to shine a spotlight on gun reform in this achingly honest and human documentary plea for activism and reform. With Big Freedia.
After the Movie: A conversation with musician Big Freedia, journalist and executive producer Charles Blow, director and producer Chris McKim and producer Randy Barbato.
Fries! The Movie, directed and written by Michael Steed. Produced by Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. To better understand the globe’s obsession with the fried potato, chefs, food scientists, historians and celebrities, including Malcom Gladwell and Chrissy Teigen, take the audience on a joyous and mouth watering journey around the world to delve into everyone’s favorite fried food. With Chrissy Teigen, Malcolm Gladwell, Eric Ripert, Dave Arnold, Harold McGee.
After the Movie: A conversation with cookbook author and model Chrissy Teigen, chef Eric Ripert, Museum of Food and Drink founder Dave Arnold, and director Michael Steed.
The Go-Go's, directed by Alison Ellwood. Produced by Trevor Birney. (USA) - New York Premiere, Feature Documentary. Through a wealth of archival material and candid interviews, Director Alison Ellwood takes us on a nostalgic look back at the Go-Go’s rise to fame in the 80s all the way to today, as the band collaborates on new music for the first time in nineteen years. With Charlotte Caffey, Belinda Carlisle, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin. A Showtime release.
After the Movie: A special performance by The Go-Go’s.
John Lewis: Good Trouble, directed by Dawn Porter. Produced by Laura Michalchyshyn, Dawn Porter, Erika Alexander, Ben Arnon. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Using a combination of vérité and archival along with the 80-year old Georgia Congressman’s own words, John Lewis: Good Trouble examines Lewis’ current work and activism, and takes a look back at a lifetime of campaigning for political and social change. A Magnolia Pictures and Participant release.
After the Movie: A conversation with director and producer Dawn Porter and subjects from the film.
Kiss the Ground, directed by Josh Tickell, Rebecca Tickell, written by Josh Tickell, Rebecca Tickell, Johnny O'Hara. Produced by Rebecca Tickell, Josh Tickell, Bill Benenson, Darius Fisher. (USA, France, China, Uganda, Zimbabwe) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. A revolutionary group of activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians band together in a global movement of “Regenerative Agriculture” that could balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world, narrated by Woody Harrelson. With Woody Harrelson, Ian Somerhalder, Gisele Bündchen, Patricia Arquette, David Arquette, Tom Brady, Jason Mraz. In English, French with English subtitles.
After the Movie: A conversation with model and activist and Executive Producer Gisele Bündchen, actor and activist Ian Somerhalder and directors Rebecca Tickell and Josh Tickell.
The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show, directed by Yoruba Richen, written by Yoruba Richen, Valerie Thomas, Elia Gasull Balada. Produced by Valerie Thomas, Joan Walsh. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. While the country was embroiled in a divisive election with racial tensions flaring, civil rights activist Harry Belafonte guest hosted The Tonight Show for one week in 1968 transforming it into a multicultural political experience. With Harry Belafonte, Whoopi Goldberg, Questlove, Tamron Hall.
After the Movie: A conversation with Artivist, Producer and Executive Director of Sankofa.org Gina Belafonte, director Yoruba Richen and Producer Joan Walsh. Moderated by Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editorial director and publisher of The Nation.
Truth To Power, directed, written and produced by Garin Hovannisian. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. The Grammy-winning lead singer of System of a Down, Serj Tankian helps to awaken a political revolution on the other side of the world, inspiring Armenia's struggle for democracy through his music and message. With Serj Tankian, Rick Rubin, Tom Morello, Shavo Odadjian, John Dolmayan, Carla Garapedian.
After the Movie: A special performance by System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, accompanied by the NYU Symphony Orchestra.
Underplayed, directed by Stacey Lee. Produced by William Crouse. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. From Delia Derbyshire to Alison Wonderland this inspiring music documentary portrays radical female artists breaking the rhythm of inequality in the electronic music industry and opening doors for the next generation. With Alison Wonderland, Tygapaw, Tokimonsta & Suzanne Ciani.
After the Movie: A World Class performance by iconic Brooklyn artist, Tygapaw, presenting an inspiring interactive vision of electronic music today.
With Drawn Arms, directed by Glenn Kaino, Afshin Shahidi. Produced by Glen Zipper, Sean Stuart. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. At the 1968 Olympics, gold medalist Tommie Smith iconically raised his fist in a symbol of black struggle and solidarity. With Drawn Arms follows Smith as he looks back 50 years to the moment that helped define a movement and changed the course of his life forever.
After the Movie: A conversation with directors Glenn Kaino and Afshin Shahidi, subject Tommie Smith and musician and executive producer John Legend.
WOMEN AT WORK
What does it mean to be a working woman today? As the question becomes a more urgent part of the cultural conversation, Tribeca has curated a group of documentaries that seek to answer it across industries from sports, science, and law enforcement. These films consider how women in the workplace have struggled and thrived and always gotten the job done.
Girls Can't Surf, directed by Christopher Neliusm and written by Christopher Nelius and Julie Anne DeRuvo. Produced by Michaela Perske and Christopher Nelius. (Australia, USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Under the radical glow of Australian sun, peroxide hair and fluorescent surf-shorts, a dark wave of male chauvinism crashed down on 1980’s surf culture. Girls Can’t Surf shares the untold story of pioneering women who surfed against this tide. With Pam Burridge, Lisa Anderson, Wendy Botha, Jodie Cooper, Rochelle Ballard, Pauline Menczer, Jolene Smith, Jorja Smith, Nic Carroll, Jamie Brissick, Ian Cairns, Alisa Schwarzstein, Frieda Zamba. Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
Picture a Scientist, directed by Ian Cheney, Sharon Shattuck. Produced by Manette Pottle, Ian Cheney, Sharon Shattuck. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Despite the minimal news coverage, sexual harassment and gender inequality against women are no less prevalent in science than they are in pop culture and corporate America. Picture a Scientist illuminates this uncomfortable truth while also advocating for change.
After the Screening: A conversation with directors Sharon Shattuck, Ian Cheney and groundbreaking scientists and film subjects, Raychelle Burks Ph.D., Jane Willenbring, Ph.D., and Nancy Hopkins Ph.D.. Hosted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Women in Blue, directed and written by Deirdre Fishel. Produced by Beth Levison. (USA) - World Premiere, Feature Documentary. After a high-profile police shooting rocks the Minneapolis Police department, its first female chief is forced to resign. Women in Blue takes a look at policing in America, as it follows the stories of the women officers who carry on the effort to reform the department and restore trust in the community. With Alice White, Melissa Chiodo, Janée Harteau, Erin Grabosky, Catherine Johnson, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Medaria Arradondo. TFI supported.
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.