It came to a close on Sunday evening, June 20, bringing festival goers back together in-person for the first time with world premieres, innovative immersive experiences, podcasts, Tribeca Talks, and more. The festival celebrated the re-opening of New York,* the return of star studded red carpets, and Tribeca’s 20th Anniversary at its multiple open-air venues across all five boroughs.
Tribeca teamed up with emerging director Lance Oppenheim and a diverse host of other contributors and friends of the festival including Robert De Niro, Fran Leibowitz, John Legend, Lin Manuel Miranda, Jon Chu, Stacey Abrams, Whoopi Goldberg, Darren Aronofsky, Steve Buscemi, Patti Smith, Delroy Lindo, John Turturro, Elegance Bratton, Michael Rappaport, Ximena Sariñana, Mike Jackson, Scott Z. Burns, Steve Bognan, Julia Reichert and more to create a behind the scenes short film shot on the move completely on iPhone, capturing the making of Tribeca, the first North American film festival to come back in-person following the pandemic.
This film is a luv letter to New York featuring real life city dwellers with noticeable public faces that celebrates the city’s (alleged) resilience as New York reopens. The crew filmed from opening night of In The Heights, which screened on 9 screens across all the city’s five boroughs, to intimate green room and 1:1 close ups with talent and friends of the festival in addition to snaps from the red carpet and capture of legendary performances. Check out and share the “2021 Tribeca Festival: 20th Anniversary Film” HERE (Credit: Courtesy of Tribeca Studios)
Tribeca kicked off the festival with the world premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly anticipated musical celebration In the Heights, fittingly taking place at the United Palace with Washington Heights as its backdrop. Tribeca’s Centerpiece Gala selection spotlighted director Steven Soderbergh’s new crime drama No Sudden Move. Tribeca closed out the festival with a documentary produced by Dave Chapelle’s Pilot Boy Productions, which took place at the legendary Radio City Music Hall, hosting its first post-COVID event. The premiere was followed by a surprise concert featuring performances by Redman, Talib Kweli, De La Sol, Ghostface Killah, A$AP Ferg, Q-Tip, and Fat Joe.
Other not to miss performances included two legendary rock bands, KISS, performing a medley of their greatest hits set to pyrotechnics, elaborate light displays and a firework finale, as well as, Blondie, performing some of their biggest hits following their documentary screening Blondie: Vivir En La Habana.
As the festival took place during Juneteenth for the first time, Tribeca curated special, festival-wide programming in celebration of the richness of Black stories and storytellers. On Juneteenth, Tribeca presented the first-ever Harry Belafonte Voices For Social Justice Award and awarded it to Stacey Abrams; honored for her outstanding leadership, service and commitment to fighting against injustices through her work as a political leader, voting rights activist, and novelist.
Below, a breakdown of highlights for each day. A full overview of the festival can be found here: https://tribecafilm.com/festival
The festival kicked-off with the world premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly anticipated musical celebration In the Heights. In attendance at the United Palace theater were director Jon M. Chu, creator and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, the cast Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Jimmy Smits, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, Noah Catala, Marc Anthony, Christopher Jackson, as well as Tribeca co-founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal.
In tandem with the premiere at United Palace, Tribeca also hosted members of its 2021 jury at the In The Heights screening at The Battery including Sharon Stone, Helen Hunt, Delroy Lindo, Bryan Cranston, John Turturro, Hari Nef, Justin Bartha, Adria Petty, Ana Lily Amirpour, Elegance Bratton, Tig Notaro, Iyabo Boyd, Judith Godreche, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon. Other guest appearances also include Gayle King.
For the first time ever, the festival’s opening night was screened simultaneously across all five boroughs in multiple open-air venues. The screenplay adapted by Quiara Alegría Hudes, with original songs and lyrics by Miranda, is about a bodega owner Usnavi, played by Anthony Ramos, who hopes, imagines, and sings about a better life. The film also stars Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, and Jimmy Smits. Miranda, Hudes, Scott Sanders, Anthony Bregman, and Mara Jacobs produce.
Emmy/Grammy/Oscar/Tony Award-winner John Legend attended two events at the second day of the Festival, including Storytellers: John Legend and Mike Jackson, a panel with his Get Lifted Film Co. co-lead Mike Jackson at Spring Studios. During the conversation, Legend noted that when it comes to filmmaking, “I bring my sensibility and my taste…I have a strong sense of who I am as a person and what I want my brand to represent.” He also revealed that, especially in documentary filmmaking, he likes being able to enter into people’s worlds to humanize them to show that their lives are valuable.
Emmy Award-winning producer Jackson spoke to Legend’s hands-on involvement in the production process, and said when choosing projects for Get Lifted, he employs the “mic test,” meaning he needs to be able to imagine John speaking about it during an interview. Later in the evening, Legend introduced the documentary he executive produced, Legend of the Underground (HBO) at the film’s premiere.
Musicians D’Angelo and Rhiannon Giddens performed the Red Dead Redemption 2 soundtrack alongside Daniel Lanois, the original soundtrack producer of the 2018 Game of the Year’s soundtrack. This show marks the first live show in New York City to showcase tracks from the Red Dead Redemption 2 soundtrack, along with the first time ever that American soul and R&B artist, D’Angelo joined Lanois and Rhiannon together to perform these songs live.
Day 3 ended with a bang at The Battery where Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer of the legendary rock band KISS were all in attendance for the world premiere of their documentary Kisstory. A line of nearly a hundred diehard fans decked out in full KISS regalia began to form hours ahead of the screening and the band was greeted with cheers and screams upon their arrival. Gene Simmons, wearing his signature makeup and 7 inch platform boots, spent 20 minutes taking selfies with a line of eager NYPD officers tasked with providing security for the event. Immediately following the film, KISS performed a medley of their greatest hits set to pyrotechnics, elaborate light displays and a firework finale.
Earlier in the day, the festival kicked off with Tribeca Games Spotlight for the first-ever official games lineup featuring creator interviews, appearances by special guests, and exclusive gameplay from the eight official selections: Harold Halibut, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Lost In Random, NORCO, Sable, Signalis, The Big Con and Twelve Minutes. Game fans had the opportunity to virtually catch the new Kena: Bridge of Spirits’ trailer, and hear from such celebrities and gaming industry luminaries as Guillermo del Toro, Khalief Adams, Neill Blomkamp, Japanese Breakfast, Tanya DePass, Reggie Fils-Aimé, Bing Gordon, Melissa Joan Hart, Geoff Keighley, Hideo Kojima, Sam Lake, James McAvoy, Norman Reedus, Kiki Wolfkill, Elijah Wood and Jen Zee.
Throughout the city, outdoor in-person immersive installations were located at various locations, and were open and free to the public. Among the installation debuts are Breonna’s Garden, a poignant AR immersive audio ode to Breonna Taylor. Held at WarnerMedia Innovation Lab, the immersive was created in collaboration with her sister, Ju’Niyah Palmer, to honor Bronna’s life while cultivating a safe space online to process complex emotions such as grief. The installation is part of Tribeca’s Juneteenth programming.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville was on hand for the world premiere of Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain. The film is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef became a world-renowned cultural icon. To be released by Focus Features on July 16.
Emmy winner Jasmine Cephas Jones attended the world premiere of Blindspotting. Her partner, In The Heights star Anthony Ramos walked the carpet with her to express his support, while adoring fans stopped the Hamilton pair to get their autographs. Also in attendance were director Rafael Casel and co-stars Helen Hunt, Benjamin Earl Turner, Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder, Lil Buck, and Jon Boogz. After the screening, the director Rafael Casel and co-stars Jasmine Cephas Jones, Helen Hunt, and Benjamin Earl Turner took to the stage for conversation about the series. Blindspotting premieres on STARZ on June 13th.
Stars Luke Kirby, Elijah Wood and Director Amber Sealey walked the carpet at the world premiere of No Man Of God, a psychologically intricate look into Ted Bundy’s criminal investigations. Also in attendance: Daniel Noah, Lisa Whalen, Clarice Jensen, Kim Sherman, Aleksa Palladio, Allison Baver.
Spotted among the audience was Katie Holmes enjoying the premiere.
Two exciting Tribeca Talks took place today: Tribeca Talks: Scott Z. Burns & Matthew Rhys and Tribeca Talks: Tina Fey & Co. Scott Z. Burns and actor Matthew Rhys first posed for the photocall before giving a spirited conversation about Mr. Burns’ illustrious career as a writer, director, producer and playwright. Later in the evening, Tiny Fey, Jeff Richmond, Busy Phillips, Robert Garlock and Meredith Scardino participated in the photocall, then convened on the stage for an animated discussion about collaborating together on such shows as the new hit “Girls5Eva” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
At the Rockaway Beach 30th Street Playground in Queens, Tribeca’s borough-to-borough cinema screened the cult hit Johnny Mnemonic starring Keanu Reeves, and the moving documentary Kiss The Ground narrated by Woody Harrelson. Over in the Bronx at Van Courtland, the mobile cinema screened the comedy Bill & Ted Face The Music starring Keanue Reeves and Alex Winter, and the action packed Edge Of Tomorrow directed by Doug Liman, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.
On day four of the festival, Legendary chef Wolfgang Puck and acclaimed filmmaker and Tribeca alum David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Chef’s Table) attended the world premiere of their documentary, Wolfgang with supportive friends and family alongside them on the carpet, including Tribeca Executive Vice President Paula Weinstein. With Gelb’s wealth of archival material of the chef and mouth-watering food shots, the audience was left hungry. The documentary begins streaming on Disney Plus on June 25.
Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski participated in a Storyteller’s conversation discussing their friendship, motherhood, activism and going back to work.
Actress and trailblazer Rita Moreno, actress Fernanda Gordon, director/producer Mariem Pérez Riera, and co-producer Ilia J.Vélez-Dávila were all in attendance for their New York premiere of Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It. Chronicling Rita’s remarkable career as a multi-talented Puerto Rican actress, the film challenges stifling stereotypes and becoming a role model for women and Latinx people in the industry. Guests included Brian d’arcy James, Tony Plana, Armando Riesco.
Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. and guests hosted a special live recording of a Fuck Your Water Fountain episode from Resistance, a widely acclaimed narrative nonfiction podcast from Gimlet Media and Spotify. This segment on the podcast celebrates little known stories of historical resistance. The event included a musical performance by Ivy Sole, a poetry reading by Dominique Christina, and a stand-up set from Elsa Waithe.
At the Rockaway Beach 30th Street Playground in Queens, Tribeca’s borough-to-borough cinema screened Moana, Stateless, and The Host. Over in the Bronx at Van Courtland, the mobile cinema featured Pacified and the 2020 NOW Lost and Found.
Musician and cultural icon A$AP Rocky attended the premiere of his film Stockholm Syndrome at The Battery on the fifth day, alongside the producers Matthew Perniciaro and Michael Sherman and executive producers Tim Lee, Mimi Rode and Osita Onugha. Also seen on the carpet was A$AP Twelvvy, Kelsey Oluk, and Kathryn Robson. A$AP Ferg was also in attendance for the premiere screening. Stockholm Syndrome explores A$AP Rocky’s life and career while fighting for his freedom after being arrested in Stockholm, Sweden and placed in solitary confinement.
For the Animated Shorts program curated by Whoopi Goldberg, Tribeca Festival’s co-founder Jane Rosenthal introduced Whoopi and thanked her for being with the festival from the start and shared a photo of them from their first festival together. Whoopi said, “these films gave us all what we needed. They gave us hope, humor, love and understanding.
Pardon my French if there are little kids out here in the audience, but shit happens. And it happened. And these films captured that.” Director, writer, producer, Tyler Riggs shared a heartfelt story for the introduction of his short film, GOD’S WAITING ROOM, that 12 years ago this year he and his wife had their first date at the Empire State Building, he looked back on the city and was amazed by its rebirth – this film is about the will to rise out of pain like we have been doing this year.
With/In Vol. 1, a collection of short films capturing quarantine life in 2020, world premiered at Brookfield Place. Bart Freundlich, director and writer of the short film “Intersection,” walked the red carpet with his wife, Julianne Moore, and cast member Talia Balsam. Rebecca Hall, star of “Mother,” also walked the carpet with director and star Morgan Spector, as did Griffin Dunne and Zonia Pelensky, the directors/writers/stars of “One Night Stand,” Chris Cooper, the director and star of “Nuts,” Marianne Leone, the film’s writer and star, With/In producer Celine Rattray and executive producer Margaret Nagle, and post-screening Q&A moderator, journalist Alina Cho. Also in attendance was Sanaa Lathan, director and star of “Leap.”
On the rooftop at Spring Studios, RadioLab co-host Jad Abumrad was joined by filmmaker Jason Reitman for their Tribeca Talks on podcasts. Jad shared several anecdotes. When asked by Reitman when it comes to podcasts “is it the story? Or how do you want to tell it?” Jad replied with “it was how I wanted to tell it and then it became a story.” Jad then advised the audience how to bring in new podcast listeners: word of mouth and people recommending podcasts, rather than press and marketing hits, is key to pushing and reaching different audiences.
On day six, New York icon Fran Lebowitz introduced the world premiere screening of the film Bernstein’s Wall at The Battery. The documentary takes a look at one of the greatest classical music figures of the 20th century, Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein’s daughters Nina and Jamie attended to show their support, as well as Katie Holmes who was spotted in the audience enjoying the film. Director Douglas Tirola, Producer Susan Bedusa, Executive Producers Michael Bloom, Maria Zuckerman and Ryan Heller also attended the premiere.
Christian Slater, Joshua Jackson, Anna Sophia Robb, Hubert Pont-Du Jour, Grace Gummer, and Patrick Macmanus were all in attendance at the world premiere screening of Peacock’s upcoming limited series, Dr. Death. The cast, who had not seen each other since wrapping shooting, hugged each other on the red carpet and repeatedly welcomed back the excited group of photographers who were covering the event.
The Battery saw the world premiere of Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James on day seven. In attendance for photos were: Emmy-nominated director/writer Sacha Jenkins, writer/producer Steve Rivo, producer/editor Jason Pollard, and executive producers, Mass Appeal CEO Peter Bittenbender, Douglas Banker, and Rick’s daughter, Ty James. The film, screening as part of Tribeca’s Juneteenth programming, is the definitive portrait of the legendary funk/R&B icon, set to a soundtrack that compels you to get out of your seat from the opening moments.
The film was paused mid-way through due to New York State’s fireworks display in New York Harbor, which celebrated essential workers as the state reaches a 70% vaccination rate and lifts most COVID restrictions. The audience gave hearty rounds of applause when the fireworks and the reason behind them were announced, as well as after the spectacular light show’s grand finale, before the film continued on.
On the rooftop of Spring Studios, Jason Hirschhorn, Chief Executive Officer of the REDEF Group, a digital content curation company focused on media, music, technology, fashion and sports, joined film and television director and producer Doug Liman for a Tribeca Talk where they look back at what sparked his career, the backstory of Bourne Identity, and take a deep dive into his incredibly successful career. Liman reflects on how he got started in filmmaking noting, “What lit my fire was that my father’s client gave me a projector and a Super 8 sound recorder. I instantly started geeking out on technology and started recording. I started making films at the age of 6.”
Founding members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke of the legendary rock band Blondie joined New York City artist and director Rob Roth for a wildly entertaining Storytellers conversation where they discuss their chart-topping success and fearless spirit, which led to induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Speaking about Jean-Michel Basquiat, the band recalled “He was a good kisser!” and “He smoked a lot of pot.” Clem and Chris reflect back on their favorite Andy Warhol memories, saying they loved “shooting guns in Andy’s factory. No joke. We miss that factory.” The group also discusses the constant changes happening in New York City. Chris humorously comments, saying “Today, there’s not enough of a distinct group of weirdos.”
An unforgettable night wrapped up day 8 with Blondie members Debbie Harry and Clem Burke, director Rob Roth, Tribeca Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal, and special guests Fab 5 Freddy, Rebecca Hall, and Morgan Spector walked the red carpet for the screening of Blondie: Vivir En La Habana. The short film documents the legendary rock band’s 2019 performance in Havana, Cuba. After the film, the audience was treated to a spectacular concert, and everyone cheered, danced, and sang along as Blondie performed some of their biggest hits, including, “Rapture,” “Call Me,” “One Way or Another,” and “The Tide is High.” Debbie dedicated the set to director Rob Roth and thanked Tribeca for the wonderful welcome, as the crowd applauded and called for an encore.
Indeed, the world’s number one job site, partnered with Emmy Award-winning writer, creator, and actor Lena Waithe and her company, Hillman Grad Productions, to create the Rising Voices initiative, which aims to uncover, invest in, and share stories created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) filmmakers and storytellers around the singular theme of the meaning of work, and the idea that jobs can change us all.
Each of the initiative’s 10 films premiered during a special event at Pier 76. Waithe was in attendance, along with Indeed CEO Chris Hyams, Tribeca Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal, Hillman Grad Productions President of Film/TV Rishi Rajani, Indeed Group Vice President of Environmental, Social & Governance LaFawn Davis, and all 10 of the emerging filmmakers.
As part of Tribeca Immersive, AI-powered virtual artists performed along-side three dynamic human artists for a first-of-its-kind, audience-interactive, live music showcase, the WarpSound Music Experience. The musical performances included both a hyper-creative, half-reptilian DJ and a former DMC World Champion turntablist, DJ Dragoon, plus Nayomi, A-Trak, Princess Nokia and Cookies Kawaii. The in real life and virtual artists tag-teamed for a series of genre- and mind-bending duets. Powered by Authentic Artists’ Virtual Artist Platform, the WarpSound Music Experience was a first-ever performance by AI-driven virtual artists producing and performing fresh, original, adaptive music live on stage.
All heads turned at Hudson Yards when the queen Sasha Velour walked by in full-feathered glam to the series preview of Audible Original Hot White Heist. Writer, Creator and Producer Adam Goldman introduced the film created by LGBTQ creatives followed by Director Alan Cumming and Actor/Comedian Bowen Yang who spoke to the podcast through pre-recorded videos. Fabulous fashion moments and performances followed with Vander Von Odd, Neon Calypso, West Dakota, Sasha Colby, Miss Malice, K.James also in attendance.
For the Werewolves Within premiere, based on Ubisoft’s popular VR game of the same name, director Josh Ruben had the whole cast singing “All Star” by Smash Mouth when he was taking pictures on the red carpet. Josh’s introduction included a nod to the past 16 months of change and encouraged everyone to watch his film once or twice, but if they hate it, don’t tweet it. Catherine Curtin rallied everyone to take a group shot including producers as a memory to remember the amazing film.
Day nine of Tribeca saw LFG’s red carpet premiere where director/producer Andrea Nix Fine, director/producer Sean Fine, executive producer Ben Silverman, executive producer Howard Owens, film subject and World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe, producer Abby Greensfelder, CNN Anchor Abby Philips and Marcus Richardson attended the photocall. The groundbreaking documentary follows the story of The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team three months before the 2019 World Cup where they filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation.
Hosted by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Father of the Cyborgs premiered as well on day nine at Brookfield Place, with director David Burke; film subject and neurologist Dr. Phil Kennedy; director of the Georgia Tech BrainLab, Dr. Melody Moore Jackson; and neurobiologist Dr. Darcy B. Kelley in attendance. The film is a fascinating portrait of Kennedy, a brilliant yet divisive figure in the neuro-sugery field, and is a nuanced exploration of neuro-security, ethics and self-experimentation. After the screening, Jen Schwartz of Scientific American led a panel with Kennedy, Jackson, and Kelley that discussed Kennedy’s extraordinary work and legacy within his field of computer-brain interface and beyond.
Brookfield Place also hosted the world premiere of False / Positive, a genre-bending thriller about the perils of parenthood. The cast, including writer/producer Ilana Glazer, Sophia Bush, Zainab Jah, Josh Hamilton, and Sabina Gadecki, walked the red carpet along with director/producer/writer John Lee, producer Jonathan Wang, and editor John Philpot. The film team excitedly greeted Glazer, who’s expecting her first child with husband David Rooklin, upon her arrival at the carpet. She took photos with longtime collaborator Lee as he cradled her baby bump, leading some photographers to mistake him for the baby’s father, until Rooklin jumped in and the soon-to-be mom and dad embraced and posed as the crowd ate it up. “Your baby’s already famous!” Bush exclaimed. “About two weeks left [to go],” Glazer added. During the film’s introduction, Glazer thanked the crew, and, addressing the audience, said that “we hope [the film] moves you.”
At the rooftop of Spring Studios, winners of U.S. Narrative, International Narrative, Documentary, Short Films, Immersive, the Nora Ephron Award, the first-ever Podcast and Games categories, as well as the Special Jury Mentions were announced. The awards ceremony honored the most diverse line-up of creators in Tribeca’s 20 year history and awarded $165,000 in cash prizes. The top honors in feature films went to The Novice, Brighton 4th, and Ascension.
Chanel James and Taylor Garron won the Nora Ephron Award and a $25,000 prize for As of Yet. The award, created nine years ago, honors excellence in storytelling by a female writer or director embodying the spirit and boldness of the late filmmaker.
Tribeca honored innovation in storytelling with its Storyscapes Award for the Immersive section, which went to Felix Gaedtke and Gayatri Parameswaran for Kusunda. The inaugural Tribeca Podcast honors for the Non-Fiction Narrative Award went to Guardians of the River, and the Fiction Narrative Award went to Vermont Ave. In the Games category, the first-ever Tribeca Games Award was given to Norco, created by Geography of Robots and published by Raw Fury. Special Jury Mentions went to Kali Reis, for her magnetic performance in Catch The Fair One, Director Nana Mensah for Queen of Glory, Cast ensemble of Roaring 20s, Mack Fisher, Cinematographer of God’s Waiting Room , The Neutral Ground for documentary, and Dirty Little Secret for animated short.
The Battery hosted the premiere of Tribeca’s 2021 Centerpiece Gala selection, director Steven Soderbergh’s new crime drama No Sudden Move (debuting on HBO Max July 1, 2021). Cast members Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Ray Liotta, Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Noah Jupe, Julia Fox, Frankie Shaw, and Bill Duke walked the carpet along with Soderbergh, writer Ed Solomon, and producer Casey Silver. For more information about the film click here.
“I’d like to thank the cast and crew for flying into Detroit and working within the bubble. It was a big ask on their part,” Soderbergh said as he introduced the film to the sold out Tribeca Festival audience.
For this 45-minute preview of upcoming documentary feature Turning The Table from director Matthew Miele and key cast including restaurateur Melba Wilson, Geoffrey Zakarian and Eric Ripert joined the director and producers Anne Chertoff-Tavelin, Jaret Keller, Berry Welsh and John Molner to share a sneak peak of the work in progress restaurant surviving during the global pandemic followed by a panel led by Katie Couric.
Paula Weinstein, Chief Content Officer, Tribeca Enterprises welcomed P&G Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard to the Tribeca stage for his second consecutive night introducing the latest work from the brand’s Widen the Screen film program, 8:46 Films, created by black creative group Saturday Morning and produced by Tribeca Studios with aims to improve portrayal of Black life on screen and expand inclusion efforts for Black creators both behind the camera and on screen.
“We spent a lot of time talking about the 8 minute and 46 second video we saw last year. It changed the world and connected us in a way that we could have never imagined, said Kwame Hayford, co-founder of Saturday Morning. “We turned pain into progress. Instead of pain and negativity, we channeled that into joy. The Black experience has so many important stories and those stories are the stories that will take us into the future.” Zoey Martinson, Director of Cupids, Camrus Johnson, director She Dreams at Sunrise,
Gibrey Allen, director of Pearl and Henry, and Marshall Tyler, director of Slow Pulse, debuted their films and shared what it was like to create during the Global Pandemic.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Best Picture Oscar winner Fargo, film producer Joel Coen participated in a conversation with Frances McDormand, who won the Oscar for Best Actress with her performance in the film, and Steve Buscemi. The in-person panel spoke to the history of the film, how the actors felt while re-watching themselves 25 years later and teased Coen and McDormand’s next project, the upcoming “Tragedy of Macbeth.”
Also at Spring Studios, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan participated in a Tribeca Talk as part of Tribeca’s Director Series providing a glimpse into this visionary director’s artistic process across his career from The Six Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, The Visit, Split, Servant, and his upcoming film Old. Actor Alex Wolff (Old) moderated the conversation.
At the rooftop of Spring Studios, Tribeca X, in partnership with Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) celebrated the intersection of entertainment and marketing for the first in-person gathering of leading marketing minds since the global pandemic. CEO Tribeca Enterprises and Co-Founder Tribeca Festival, Jane Rosenthal opened up the day with her remarks “I want to take a moment to appreciate that we’re really together in the same room… I mean, roof” which were met with laughter and applause. The day started with conversations featuring Anthony Wood, Founder and Chairman of Roku, the day’s sponsor. Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon joined the stage in a conversation led by James Murdoch, Founder & CEO, Lupa Systems and Google CMO Lorraine Twohill and Andy Berndt, VP & Strategic Advisor at Google discussed Stories worth telling in a conversation moderated by Jane Rosenthal.
For Tribeca’s Closing Night film, the legendary Radio City Music Hall hosted its first event post-COVID, the documentary produced by Dave Chapelle’s Pilot Boy Productions. Filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert walked the red carpet, along with Tribeca Festival co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Enterprises CCO Paula Weinstein, Tribeca Festival director Cara Cusumano, Kathryn and James Murdoch, along with festival jurors Sharon Stone, Iyabo Boyd, Judith Godreche, Sabrina Schmidt Gordon, Delroy Lindo, Omar Metwally, and Hari Nef. The star-studded event was also attended by Jesse Williams, Bob Saget, Dale Moss, Zoe Kravitz, Anthony Anderson and more.
Fueled by the murder of George Floyd, shut-in by the closures of business and unable to perform around the country, the movie follows Chappelle as he provides the community he calls home with two things desperately needed in difficult times – economic and comic relief.
The premiere was followed by a surprise concert featuring performances by Redman, Talib Kweli, De La Sol, Ghostface Killah, A$AP Ferg, Q-Tip, and Fat Joe.
Tribeca presented the inaugural Harry Belafonte Voices For Social Justice Award, named for the famed performer, actor, activist, and civil rights leader. The Belafonte Award recognizes individuals who have used storytelling and the arts to enact change in their communities. The first-ever recipient is political leader Stacey Abrams; honored for her outstanding leadership, service, and commitment to fighting against injustices through her work as a political leader, voting rights activist, and novelist. The Award was presented to her by Rev. Al Sharpton following a conversation with Abrams moderated by Robin Roberts at The Battery.
Award-Winning Director/Producer/Writer Gina Prince-Bythewood sat down for a conversation with actress and Love & Basketball star, Sanaa Lathan on the roof at Spring Studios as part of the Tribeca Talks Director Series.
The conversation centered on the need to tell all stories and equal representation in film/TV. Gina and Sanaa also delved into Gina’s vision for Love & Basketball. Gina said she came up with the story because she was inspired by the film When Harry Met Sally and wanted to create a similar story with a Black cast, and pulled a lot of her vision for the love story from her own personal life.
Gina also discussed the ups and downs of being a director and how important it is to tell your own story and stay authentic to the story you want to tell without letting outside opinions influence your vision as a director/storyteller.
Ahead of the release of 7 Years, an Audible Original Words + Music production from rapper and The Roots frontman Tariq Trotter, the performer and Head of Audible Studios Zola Mashariki came together for an exclusive conversation on the roof at Spring Studios. The two discussed Trotter’s innovative audio production, the evolution of his singular creative voice, the unique joy of Black storytelling, and the integration of song and story to create something truly exceptional for listeners.
For the premiere of the documentary The One and Only Dick Gregory at The Battery, director/writer/producer Andre Gaines, Executive Producer Lena Waithe, and Special Guests were joined on stage to discuss the impact that Dick Gregory’s work had on subsequent generations of artists and activists. The Q&A was moderated by The Grio’s Entertainment Director Cortney Wills.
Kinfolk is an augmented reality app that highlights Black and Brown figures. The viewer can use Kinfolk as a roaming “virtual museum” to bring digital monuments to life through a phone/tablet, hear voice overs from iconic black figures, see generative art emanating from every sculpture and listen to an original afro-futurist jazz composition while walking across various historical sites in NYC. The immersive was created by Idris Brewster, Glenn Cantave, Micah Milner and was part of a special presentation at the Harry Belafonte Award Presentation.
Grammy-winning singer Cécile McLorin Salvant took photos before this afternoon’s Tribeca Talk event at Brookfield Place, a musical storytelling performance where she previewed her wildly original upcoming animated film Ogresse – including some of the film’s songs, accompanied by pianist Sullivan Fortner – and also told personal stories and spoke about her artistic inspirations. The event was part of Tribeca’s Juneteenth programming.
Visual artist JR, named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2018, world premiered his film Paper & Glue this afternoon at Brookfield Place. In the film, which is executive produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, director JR turns the camera on his own work, as he undertakes massive installation efforts, turning some of the most provocative spaces of the world into eye-catching immersive art that challenges perspectives and unites communities. After the film, Tribeca co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal moderated a conversation with JR.
Adrian Brody gave a heartfelt intro for the world premiere of feature film Clean acknowledging the Juneteenth holiday and the tumultuous year that has passed while also celebrating the tremendous work of the film’s cast and crew including director Paul Solet, producer Daniel Sollinger, RZA , Glenn Fleshler, Chandler Air-DuPont, Michelle Wilson, John Blanco, Jade Yorker, and Johnny “Boogotti” Hopkins. Clean is a hyper-violent meditation on the power of the past and the struggle for salvation when an unsuspecting garbage collector becomes the target for a local crime boss.
Over at Astoria Park in Queens, the Tribeca mobile cinema screened Selma, Just Another Girl, and Daughters Of The Dust. Simultaneously, the mobile cinema at Walter Gladwin Park in the Bronx screened The Last Dragon, He Got Game, Shaft.
Paris Hilton arrived in style to Hudson Yards for the screening of documentary This is Paris, part of Tribeca’s 2020 Official Selection: Features. Hilton was joined on the red carpet by sister, Nicky Hilton, both wearing their signature sunglasses as the carpet and screening area was quickly swarmed with adoring fans trying to get a glimpse or photo of the sisters. Paris grabbed fiancé, Carter Reum, to walk the carpet alongside her, which he noted to photographers was the first time he had ever walked one with her. Director Alexandra Dean walked the carpet and introduced the documentary, which is available to stream on Youtube Originals. Paris watched the screening with the audience and joined Alexandra on stage after for the Q&A.
Julia Stiles, Kelsey Grammer and Colman Domingo stunned on the red carpet for the premiere of God Committee with Julia showing off a beautiful backless dress. They were joined by additional cast members Peter Kim and Dan Hedaya, as well as producers Molly Conners, Amanda Bowers, Jonathan Rubenstein, Harris Gurny, Vincent Morano and Wendy Federman. The feature film follows the moral dilemma of members from an organ transplant committee who must decide which patient to save when a donor heart unexpectedly arrives at a New York hospital. Intro remarks were given by writer/director Austin Stark and guest of the film, Dr. Alin Gragossian, who revealed that she was also a transplant beneficiary and honored to be able to use her voice to bring a platform to the importance of organ donation.
A special screening of Martin Scorsese’s film Raging Bull closed out the festival at Battery Park tonight, complete with an introduction by Jane Rosenthal and a thirty minute virtual interview with Scorsese and Robert De Niro, led by Leonardo Dicaprio.
A full overview of the festival can be found here: https://tribecafilm.com/festival
Gregg W. Morris can be reached at email@example.com