Earlier today, the Feature Films for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival were announced in a MASSIVE press release that ran something like sixteen pages (seen HERE). In order to let you properly digest all of the films in each of the diverse categories, I’ve parsed them out into their own chapters on “The Chronicles”. Let’s take a look at the Spotlight Documentary Category.
Documentaries consistently make waves at Tribeca as notable filmmakers and major stories are represented in this section through high-profile premieres. Past documentaries include Chiemi Karasawa’s Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (2013), Jon Greenhalgh’s Team Foxcatcher (2016), Dan Lindsay’s and TJ Martin’s LA 92 (2017), Norah Shapiro’s Time For Ilhan (2018), Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui’s McQueen (2018), and Nancy Schwartzman’s Roll Red Roll (2018).
After Parkland, directed and written by Emily Taguchi, Jake Lefferman. Produced by Emily Taguchi, Jake Lefferman, Jeanmarie Condon, Steven Baker. (USA) – World Premiere. In the immediate aftermath of the devastating 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, filmmakers embedded with students and parents whose lives were forever changed—from quiet hours of grief and reflection to those of political awakening.
At the Heart of Gold, directed and written by Erin Lee Carr. Produced by Sarah Gibson, Dr. Steven Ungerleider, David Ulich. (USA) – World Premiere. In 2016, USA Gymnastics was rocked by the revelation that national team doctor Larry Nassar had been abusing young athletes for decades. Tribeca alum Erin Lee Carr’s unflinching documentary unpacks the scandal, its coverup, and aftermath, while giving voice to the survivors. An HBO Documentary Film.
Devil’s Pie – D’Angelo, directed and written by Carine Bijlsma. Produced by Mira Mendel, René Mendel, Julia Nottingham, Thomas Benski, Lucas Ochoa, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker. (Netherlands, UK, USA) – World Premiere. Acclaimed R&B artist D’Angelo was on the precipice of super-stardom when he disappeared entirely from the public eye in 2000. Now preparing a comeback tour, Bijlsma’s film finds D’Angelo at a crossroads between a haunted past and uncertain future.
Dominican Dream, directed by Jonathan Hock. Produced by Phil Aromando, Alex Evans. (USA) – World Premiere. In the early 1990s, the future of basketball belonged to a young Dominican immigrant named Felipe Lopez. Featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated at the age of 17, Lopez’s story is the ultimate profile of the American dream. An ESPN release. Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
Framing John DeLorean, directed by Don Argott & Sheena M. Joyce, written by Dan Greeney & Alexandra Orton for Narrative Scenes. Produced by Tamir Ardon, Nick Spicer, Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce. (USA) – World Premiere. The success of infamous auto executive/playboy John DeLorean made his name synonymous with his iconic design. But he and his company crashed in the ‘80s amid mismanagement, corruption, and a controversial coke bust. With Alec Baldwin, Josh Charles, Morena Baccarin, Dean Winters, Michael Rispoli, Jason Jones. A Sundance Selects release.
Halston, directed and written by Frédéric Tcheng. Produced by Roland Ballester, Frédéric Tcheng, Stephanie Levy, Paul Dallas. (USA) – New York Premiere. From Jackie Kennedy to Studio 54, Halston’s minimalist designs put American fashion on the map in the 1970s. Tribeca alum Frédéric Tcheng examines the work and life of the enigmatic visionary who called himself Halston. With Tavi Gevinson, Cornelia Guest, Liza Minnelli, Marisa Berenson, Joel Schumacher, Pat Cleveland. A 1091 Media’s The Orchard and CNN release.
A Kid From Coney Island, directed and written by Chike Ozah & Coodie Simmons. Produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Jason Samuels. (USA, China) – World Premiere. From the streets of Coney Island to the NBA, the story of basketball star Stephon Marbury reveals that often life is about the journey, not the destination—and the unexpected places your dreams may take you. Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
Lil’ Buck: Real Swan, directed and written by Louis Wallecan. Produced by Victor Lech, Crayton Jr. Armmer, Lil’ Buck, Nadim Cheikhouha, Machine Molle. (France, USA) – World Premiere. Dancer Lil’ Buck grew up jookin and bucking on the streets of Memphis. After a breathtaking video of him dancing to Camille Saint-Saëns’ “The Swan” accompanied by cellist Yo-Yo Ma went viral, everything changed.
Maiden, directed and written by Alex Holmes. Produced by Victoria Gregory, Alex Holmes. (UK) – New York Premiere. Every three years, The Whitbread Round the World Race tested the mettle of the most seasoned seamen in a grueling global sailing showdown, but even the most accomplished yachtsmen in the world weren’t prepared for 24-year-old Tracy Edwards and her all-female crew. A Sony Pictures Classic Release.
Nomad: In The Footsteps Of Bruce Chatwin, directed and written by Werner Herzog. Produced by BBC Studios. (UK) – World Premiere. When legendary writer Bruce Chatwin was dying of AIDS, his friend Werner Herzog made a final visit. As a parting gift, Chatwin gave Herzog his rucksack. Thirty years later, Herzog sets out on his own journey, inspired by Chatwin’s passion for the nomadic life.
Picture Character, directed by Martha Shane, Ian Cheney. Produced by Jennifer Lee, Ian Cheney, Martha Shane. (USA, Germany, Japan, Argentina, Austria, UK, Scotland) – World Premiere. Emojis are a worldwide phenomenon, with some arguing that these smiling poops and heart-eyed faces are on the verge of actually becoming their own language. But where do they come from? Who, if anyone, is in charge of this new global digital language?
The Quiet One, directed by Oliver Murray. Produced by Jennifer Corcoran, Jamie Clark. (UK) – World Premiere. As an original member of The Rolling Stones, bassist Bill Wyman has lived an extraordinary life. In this equally extraordinary film, he pulls back the curtain on the hours of unseen footage, personal photographs, and vast archive of memorabilia he has amassed. An IFC Films release.
Sublime, directed by Bill Guttentag, written by Bill Guttentag & Nayeema Raza. Produced by Bill Guttentag, Nayeema Raza, Terry Leonard. (USA) – World Premiere. Iconic California band Sublime fused reggae, punk, ska, dub, and hip-hip into a genre-defying new sound that electrified audiences and airways in the mid-1990s. This definitive documentary charts their meteoric rise, tragic end, and lasting legacy.
A Taste of Sky, directed by Michael Yuchen Lei. Produced by Andrew F. Renzi. (USA, Bolivia, Denmark) – World Premiere. A Taste of Sky delicately details the journey of two students from Gustu, the groundbreaking cooking school and fine-dining restaurant founded by Noma’s Claus Meyer in La Paz, Bolivia. With Kenzo Hirose, Claus Meyer, Maria Claudia Chura.
What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali, directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by Steven Leckart. Produced by Sean Stuart. (USA) – World Premiere. One of the most iconic figures in athletic history, Muhammad Ali’s incredible story from world champion boxer to inspiring social activist is explored through his own voice and never-before-seen archival material by acclaimed filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, with executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter. An HBO Sports release.
Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation, directed by Barak Goodman, written by Barak Goodman, Don Kleszy. Produced by Barak Goodman, Jamila Ephron, Mark Samels. (USA) – World Premiere. 50 years after the legendary fest, this electric retelling of Woodstock, from the point of view of those who were on the ground, evokes the freedom, passion, community, and joy the three-day music festival created.
Piercing Ken Thoughts: Stay tuned for more alerts from this massive media festival. I’ll be adding each grouping into a post of their own for easier digestion. As we’ve noted earlier, the full press piece was about sixteen pages long and I didn’t want to overwhelm you. What do you think of these films? Which ones are of most interest to you? Chime in down below as I am eager to hear. Tickets and details on how to attend can be learned on the official website linked below. To see the other films in the competition and more about the 2019 festival please click on THIS TAG.
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Official Website: https://www.tribecafilm.com/