Black Talent And Films At 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

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Black Talent And Films At 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
Posted by Wilson Morales

April 14, 2016

The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 19 to April 30 in New York City.

The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, will open the 16th edition with the world premiere of the feature length documentary at Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. The premiere will be followed by a special concert featuring performances by Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Earth, Wind & Fire, and more, taking opening night beyond the screen to honor the legendary music executive and producer. The Tribeca Film Festival runs April 19 to April 30.

Based on Davis’ 2013 bestselling autobiography, the film is an inspiring story of courage, resilience, talent, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. These qualities drove Davis – a child of early 20th Century working-class Brooklyn who lost both parents while a teenager – to full academic scholarships to NYU and Harvard Law School and a brief but impactful stint as a white-shoe lawyer.  His unrelenting drive to be the best and a twist of fate led Davis to assume the presidency of Columbia Records at just 35 years of age. It was only after the discovery of Janis Joplin at the Monterey Pop Festival, and Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Santana and Aerosmith shortly thereafter, that it became dramatically evident that he had a previously unexplored natural gift that would command a career that has created the soundtrack for three generations of American culture.

Along with the feature film Saturday Church, and docs Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives , Whitney. “can I be me,” and Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story, the music genre seem to be in high demand when black-themed films are discussed.

Congrats to those films that will be playing this year and hopefully, the rest of the world, will get a chance to see them, should it be picked up for theatrical release.

Here’s a breakdown of some films that have African American themes or has Black talent in prominent roles

U.S. Narrative Competition

Tribeca’s U.S. Narrative Competition recognizes the extraordinary work emerging from thriving American independent film communities today, affirming Tribeca’s commitment to discovering and elevating truly fresh, independent voices. These ten films will compete for the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Saturday Church, directed and written by Damon Cardasis. (USA) – World Premiere. 14-year-old Ulysses is a shy and effeminate teen being raised in the Bronx by his strict Aunt Rose. He finds escape in a rich fantasy life of music and dance, and soon with a vibrant transgender youth community called Saturday Church. Damon Cardasis’ directorial debut is a rousing celebration of one boy’s search for his identity. With Luka Kain, Margot Bingham, Regina Taylor, Marquis Rodriguez, MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Alexia Garcia.

World Documentary Competition

In its 16 year history, Tribeca’s esteemed documentary competition has showcased discovery directors, future Oscar nominees, and legendary filmmakers. This year’s selection continues the tradition of spotlighting the best in nonfiction film with 12 stories of artists and activists, social justice and personal conflict, politics and romance, and so much more. These films will compete for Best Documentary Feature, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing.

Copwatch, directed by Camilla Hall. (USA) – World Premiere. In 1990, a California citizen journalist began recording police interactions with the public. A one-man operation, he titled his work “Copwatch.” Now, decades later, the initiative has expanded to cities around the country, including New York, where Ramsey Orta filmed Eric Garner’s fatal arrest. In her feature film debut, director Camilla Hall crafts an intriguing and timely profile of citizen-journalist-activists who seek to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, directed by David France, written by David France, Mark Blane. (USA) – World Premiere. Featuring never-before-seen footage and rediscovered interviews, Academy Award nominee David France (How to Survive a Plague) follows a new investigation into the mysterious death of self-described “street queen” Marsha P. Johnson. Credited as one of the courageous black transgender activists who instigated the Stonewall Riots of 1969, thereby spearheading the modern gay civil rights movement.

True Conviction, directed by Jamie Meltzer, written by Jamie Meltzer, Jeff Gilbert. (USA) – World Premiere. There’s a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by three exonerated men, with decades in prison served between them, who look to free innocent people from behind bars. True Conviction follows these change-makers with no small task in front of them as they rebuild their lives and families, learn to investigate cases, work to support one another, and try and fix the criminal justice system.

SPOTLIGHT NARRATIVE

Supported by The Lincoln Motor Company

With a focus on marquee filmmakers and star performers, The Spotlight Narrative section is a launching pad for some of 2017’s most exciting new independent premieres for a wide audience of film lovers.

Dabka, directed and written by Bryan Buckley. (USA) – World Premiere. When rookie journalist Jay Bahadur (Evan Peters) has an inspiring chance encounter with his idol (Al Pacino), he uproots his life and moves to Somalia looking for the story of a lifetime. Hooking up with a local fixer (Barkhad Abdi), he attempts to embed himself with the local Somali pirates, only to find himself quickly in over his head. Based on the true story of one reporter’s risk-taking adventure that ultimately brought the world an unprecedented first-person account of the pirates of Somalia. With Melanie Griffith. In English, Somali with subtitles.

SPOTLIGHT DOCUMENTARY

Supported by The Lincoln Motor Company

Over the past 15 years, Tribeca has solidified itself as one of the preeminent documentary film destinations in the country. The Spotlight Documentary section‘s 16 high-profile world premieres represent the major stories and acclaimed filmmakers that will be making waves in 2017.

LA 92, directed by Daniel Lindsay, TJ Martin. (USA) – World Premiere. Few images are seared into the American consciousness with the anger and clarity of the beating of Rodney King and the riots following his abusers’ acquittal. Twenty-five years later, Academy Award-winning directors Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin draw on archival news images and unseen footage to paint an in-depth portrait of those riots and the tempestuous relationship between Los Angeles’ African-American community and those charged with protecting it. A National Geographic release.

Whitney. “can I be me,” directed by Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal, written by Nick Broomfield. (U.K.) – World Premiere. Whitney Houston was the most awarded female recording artist of all time, with more consecutive number one hits than The Beatles, and on top of that she was America’s Sweetheart. Yet despite her fame, talent, and success, she died tragically at the age of 48. Featuring largely never-before-seen footage and Broomfield and Dolezal’s moving documentary tells the story of the girl behind the voice. A Showtime release.

VIEWPOINTS

Encompassing documentaries, narratives, and hybrid work, American and international films, first time filmmakers and Oscar nominees, Viewpoints is Tribeca’s home for bold directorial visions, underrepresented perspectives, and innovative style. 

For Ahkeem, directed by Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest. (USA) – North American Premiere, Documentary. Beginning one year before the events in Ferguson, Missouri, Levine and Van Soest’s intimate and cinematic For Ahkeem is the coming of age story of 17-year-old Daje Shelton in neighboring North St. Louis. Falling in love and fighting with mom, Daje struggles with typical teen growing pains, but also must increasingly combat the institutional and social roadblocks that keep black teens like her from succeeding in America.

GALAS

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story, directed by Daniel Kaufman. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.  A raw and exclusive look behind the scenes at the history and legacy of Bad Boy through a complex portrait of the label’s mastermind, Sean “Diddy” Combs aka Puff Daddy, as he tries to reunite his Bad Boy Family in the course of a frantic three-week rehearsal period. This Live Nation Productions documentary finds him reuniting with the biggest names from Bad Boy’s history for a wildly successful pair of concerts at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center. With Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans, Total.

 

 


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