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BITCHIN’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, directed by Sacha Jenkins
BITCHIN’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, directed by Sacha Jenkins

The 2021 Tribeca Festival unveiled its full lineup of specially curated Juneteenth programming, highlighting the voices of the African Diaspora with an emphasis on African-American artists, performers, filmmakers, and interdisciplinary creators all culminating on Juneteenth (June 19th).

For the first time ever, Tribeca will present The Harry Belafonte Voices For Social Justice Award named for the famed actor, activist and civil rights leader. The Belafonte Award recognizes individuals who have used storytelling and the arts to enact change in their communities. This year’s inaugural recipient is 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. Tribeca’s Juneteenth programming, in partnership with Indeed, takes place throughout the Festival, which runs June 9-20.

New highlights for the Juneteenth program include: the Tribeca Talk Black Filmmaker Foundation Panel: Is the Past Really Past? featuring a discussion with writer and educator Jelani Cobb, actor and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, director Melina Matsoukas, director Kasi Lemmons and moderated by founder of Black Filmmaker Foundation Warrington Hudlin, official feature selections from the 2020 Tribeca Festival including The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show, Stateless, Through the Night, Yusef Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, and She Paradise as well as a discussion with GRAMMY-Winning Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant on her work for the upcoming animated film Ogresse with musical selections performed live with accompaniment by pianist Sullivan Fortner.

In addition, Tribeca’s Juneteenth programming will recognize outstanding work from organizations that have created programs to support and uplift Black and diverse storytellers. Audible, the first-ever exclusive audio entertainment sponsor of Tribeca Festival, will host “7 Years: A Conversation with Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Zola Mashariki,” a panel discussing Trotter’s innovative audio production, and the unique joy of Black storytelling, especially through the integration of song and story. Indeed, the official partners of Juneteenth will debut Rising Voices, a diverse filmmaker program in collaboration with Lena Waithe featuring 10 short films from BIPOC filmmakers. As part of Procter & Gamble’s commitment to Widen the Screen, The festival will debut eight original films from creatives and filmmakers including four documentaries from Queen collective, which returns for the third year, and four 8:46 films, a program that is new to the Festival for 2021.

The Juneteenth program will roll out in-person across the Festival’s outdoor venues and will span all five New York City boroughs with special screenings as part of the Black Cinema Revival featuring modern black classic cinema with screenings of Selma, Just Another Girl on the IRT, Daughters of the Dust, The Last Dragon, He Got Game, Shaft, Dead Presidents, and Love and Basketball. Select programs will also be available for consumers around the country through the Tribeca at Home platform.

Previously announced Juneteenth program highlights include: the 30th anniversary screening and reunion of the critically acclaimed feature film, The Five Heartbeats featuring a conversation with the cast; the world premiere of the feature documentary The Neutral Ground featuring a conversation with writer and director CJ Hunt, executive producer Roy Wood Jr. (The Daily Show), and Pulitzer-Prize winning creator of the 1619 Project Nikole Hannah-Jones; the world premiere of Season 2 of Oprah Winfrey Network’s David Makes Man followed by a discussion with series creator, executive producer, and Academy-Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney and showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence; the world premiere of the feature documentary The One and Only Dick Gregory featuring a conversation with director Andre Gaines, executive producer Lena Waithe, and special guests; and the world premiere of the documentary Stockholm Syndrome following musician and cultural icon A$AP Rocky exploring his life and career while fighting for his freedom after being arrested in Stockholm, Sweden; the documentary Ferguson Rises, as part of Tribeca at Home, directed by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu bringing a new portrait of the community of Ferguson, the family and friends of Michael Brown, and a narrative from within the city of hope, love and renewal; the world premiere of “Breonna’s Garden” created by artist Lady PheOnix Ruach Shaddai, an AR experience in collaboration with Ju’Niyah Palmer to honor the life of her sister, Breonna Taylor; and Tribeca Talks: Directors Series panel with director Gina Prince-Bythewood in conversation with actress Sanaa Lathan.

FEATURE FILMS (OUT-OF-COMPETITION)
Features selected for the 2020 Tribeca Festival program will be showcased as part of the special Juneteenth program.

The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show (2020 Official Selection: Features)
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.

Yusef Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn (2020 Official Selection: Features)
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 continues to plague us today.

She Paradise (2020 Official Selection: Features)
When naïve teenager Sparkle joins a dance crew of confident older girls, she encounters an alluring but unsettling new world of sex and money in this snapshot of sisterhood in Trinidad and Tobago.

Stateless (2020 Official Selection: Features)
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.

Through the Night (2020 Official Selection: Features)
This poignant and intimate documentary examines the emotional toll of our modern economy on families, told through the lens of a 24-hour daycare center in Westchester, New York.

JUNETEENTH – TRIBECA FEATURE FILM SELECTION U.S. NARRATIVE COMPETITION
Tribeca’s U.S. Narrative Competition showcases extraordinary work from breakout independent voices and distinguished filmmaking talent. These world premieres will vie for the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Queen of Glory, directed and written by Nana Mensah. Produced by Jamund Washington, Kelley Robins Hicks, Baff Akoto, Nana Mensah, Anya Migdal. (United States) – World Premiere. Ghanaian-American Sarah (Nana Mensah) is all set to abandon her Ivy League doctoral program to follow her married lover across the country. Her plans are derailed, however when her mother’s sudden death leaves her the owner of a neighborhood bookshop in the Bronx. With Nana Mensah, Meeko Gattuso, Oberon KA Adjepong, Adam Leon.

SPOTLIGHT DOCUMENTARY
Documentaries consistently make waves at Tribeca as notable filmmakers and major stories are represented in this section through high-profile premieres.

BITCHIN’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, directed by Sacha Jenkins, written by Sacha Jenkins, Steve Rivo, Jason Pollard. Produced by Steve Rivo. (United States) – World Premiere. This incredibly entertaining profile of legendary funk/R&B icon Rick James captures the peaks and valleys of his storied career to reveal a complicated and rebellious soul, driven to share his talent with the world. A Showtime Documentary Films release.

A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks, directed by John Maggio. Produced by John Maggio, Monica Berra, Richard Lowe, George Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt, Matthew Henderson (United States) – World Premiere. This documentary chronicles renaissance man Gordon Parks’ stellar career from staff photographer for LIFE magazine, through his artistic development photographing everyday Americans, through his evolution as a novelist and groundbreaking filmmaker. An HBO Documentary Films release.

Stockholm Syndrome, directed by The Architects. Produced by Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Sherman, Bow and Arrow Entertainment, Olive Hill Media. (United States, Sweden) – World Premiere. Musician and cultural icon A$AP Rocky explores his life and career while fighting for his freedom after being arrested in Stockholm, Sweden. Placed in solitary confinement amidst the rising tensions of the case becoming a global media storm reaching the highest levels of government, Rocky contemplates who he truly is and how this experience will shape who he is meant to become. With A$AP Rocky.

VIEWPOINTS
Viewpoints, which includes narratives and documentaries, recognizes distinct voices in independent filmmaking by creating a home for bold directorial visions and embracing distinct characters or points of view.

as of yet, directed by Chanel James, Taylor Garron, written by Taylor Garron. Produced by Ashley Edouard, Taylor Garron. (United States) – World Premiere, Feature Narrative. Told entirely through video calls and digital diaries, Naomi (Taylor Garron who also wrote and co-directs) navigates a problematic roommate and a burgeoning romance all while locked down during the Coronavirus pandemic. With Taylor Garron, Eva Victor, Amir Khan, Quinta Brunson, Ayo Edebiri.

The Death Of My Two Fathers, directed by Sol Guy, written by Sol Guy, Matthew Cooke, Shoshana Guy. Produced by Stine Moisen, Sol Guy. (United States) – US Premiere, Feature Documentary. After putting it off for twenty years, filmmaker Sol Guy finally confronts the six tapes his father recorded before dying. Using those tapes as a framework, Guy recounts his family’s story—and his own—for his two teenage kids. With Sol Guy, William Guy, Travestine Guy, Freye Parkhouse, Barbara Ogletree, Leora Gesser.

The Legend of the Underground, directed and produced by Giselle Bailey, Nneka Onuorah. (Nigeria, United States) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. A timely documentary uncovering rampant discrimination in Nigeria while exploring the lives of several non conformist men who must choose to live imperiled lives there or flee to the USA. An HBO Documentary Films release.

MOVIES PLUS
Tribeca’s unique Movies Plus events bring the film experience off the screen with live conversations and performances after each screening.

The Neutral Ground, directed and written by CJ Hunt. Produced by Darcy McKinnon. (United States) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. With sharp humor and a critical sense of curiosity, comedian CJ Hunt documents the fraught removal of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans. As the scope of his film expands, Hunt investigates the origins of a romanticized Confederacy and confronts hard truths much of America has yet to face. With CJ Hunt.

  • After the Movie: A conversation with CJ Hunt, executive producer Roy Wood Jr. (The Daily Show), and Pulitzer-Prize winning creator of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones on confronting the ongoing legacy of America’s Original Sin.

The One and Only Dick Gregory, The One and Only Dick Gregory, written and directed by Andre Gaines. Produced by Andre Gaines, Valerie Edwards. (United States) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. This revealing portrait of comedian/activist Dick Gregory documents his many personal reinventions throughout the decades, from celebrity to civil rights hero and beyond, while hearing from the incredible entertainers who have been inspired by his blueprint. Executive Produced by Kevin Hart and Lena Waithe, with Dick Gregory, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Lena Waithe, Harry Belafonte.

  • After the Movie: A conversation with Andre Gaines, executive producer Lena Waithe, and special guests on the impact that Dick Gregory’s work has had on subsequent generations of artists and activists.

TRIBECA CRITICS’ WEEK
Tribeca Critics’ Week is a section of the Festival that presents a curated slate of feature films from film critics including Eric Kohn (IndieWire), Hunter Harris and Tre’vell Anderson.

Ailey, directed by Jamila Wignot. Produced by Lauren DeFilippo. (United States) – New York Premiere, Feature Documentary. Told by the man himself, interwoven with decades of awe-inspiring dance footage of his world-famous dance company, Ailey recounts Alvin Ailey’s life story, from humble his Texan beginnings to becoming one of the most iconic choreographers of his generation. With Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, George Faison. A Neon release.

SHORT FILMS (OUT-OF-COMPETITION)
Shorts selected for the 2020 Tribeca Festival program will be showcased as part of the special Juneteenth program.

INDEED: RISING VOICES
In partnership with Emmy Award-winning writer, creator and actor Lena Waithe and her company Hillman Grad Productions, Indeed: Rising Voices was created to uncover, invest in and share stories created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) filmmakers across the US around the meaning of work and the idea that jobs have the power to change us all. Indeed, Ventureland and PRETTYBIRD filmmakers and program mentors Calmatic, Paul Hunter and Melina Matsoukas selected the 10 winning screenplays

Rising Voices will debut 10 shorts from 10 Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) filmmaker teams. Participating filmmakers include: Johnson Cheng, David Fortune, Stacy Pascal Gaspard, Deondray & Quincy LeNear Gossfield, Kantú Lentz, Boma Iluma, Gabriela Ortega, Dre Ryan, Elisee Junior St. Preux, Shelly Yo

  • After the Screening: A conversation with screenwriter, actress, producer, and founder of Hillman Grad Productions Lena Waithe

WIDEN THE SCREEN – P&G Presents Queen Collective & 8:46
Procter & Gamble in partnership with Tribeca Studios will premiere 8 original films as part of Widen The Screen, an expansive content creation, talent development, and partnership platform that celebrates creativity and enables Black Creators to share the full richness of the Black experience.

QUEEN COLLECTIVE
Back for its third year, Queen Collective will debut four documentaries, supported by Procter & Gamble and created by four diverse young women, aimed at accelerating gender and racial equality behind the camera.

Black Birth, directed by Haimy Assefa, produced by Dominique Turner. (United States) – World Premiere. Three expectant mothers, including the director, navigate the joys, fears, and complexity of Black motherhood in America.

Change the Name, directed and produced by Cai Thomas, produced by Donald Conley. (United States) – World Premiere. Student activists and educators from Village Leadership Academy campaign to change the name of a park from a slaveholder to abolitionists Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.

Game Changer, directed and produced by Tina Charles, produced by Veronique Bernard. (United States)- World Premiere. Tanya DePass, a lifelong Chicagoan and African-American gamer, is determined to make the gaming industry more inclusive for everyone, including people like her.

A Song of Grace, directed by Arielle Knight, produced by Jamil McGinnis and Jessica Ann Peavy. (United States) – World Premiere. A Song of Grace tells a poetic story about a black mother raising an exceptional young artist.

  • After the Screening: actor, producer Queen Latifah will be joined by the year-three Queen Collective filmmakers.

8:46 FILMS: SATURDAY MORNING
A collective of Black creative executives, collaborated with Tribeca Studios and Procter & Gamble to produce four short films influenced by the length of time it took for George Floyd’s life to change the world, reclaiming the story to build a legacy of hope.

Cupids, directed by Zoey Martinson, produced by Korey Jackson. (United States) – World Premiere. In this playful comedy, three kids worry that their beloved school bus driver will be lonely this summer without them. They set out to find her a partner and imagine the perfect matches. With Melanie Nicholls-King, Toryn Isabella Coote, Scarlett London Diviney, Julius Sampson.

Pearl and Henry, directed by Gibrey Allen, produced by Greta Hagen-Richardson, Kenneth Reynolds, and Weenta Girmay. (United States) – World Premiere. Pearl and Henry enjoy the simple pleasures of their daily routine. Despite the changing world around them, they find comfort and peace in a connection built on decades of joy, vulnerability, and trust. With Rhonda Johnson Dents and Lance E. Nichols.

She Dreams at Sunrise, directed by Camrus Johnson, produced by Moon Jelly Pictures and Double Plus Productions. (United States) – World Premiere. In this heartwarming animated film, a 70-year-old woman with meningitis lives between her dream world and reality while her great nephew and caretaker helps mend the past in this heartwarming animated film.

Slow Pulse, directed by Marshall Tyler, produced by Moira Griffin, Efuru Flowers and Jeremy Hartman. (United States) – World Premiere. In this moving story of love and dedication, Bernard Brash (Jimmie Fails) heals and finds hope by learning how to dance. With Jimmie Fails

  • After the Screening: A conversation with the 8:46 Filmmakers and special guests.

JUNETEENTH – TRIBECA SHORTS SELECTION SHINING STARS
Enjoy these shorts celebrating Juneteenth.

Magnolia Bloom, directed by Tayo Amos, written by Matt Mitchell, Joi Elaine. Produced by Julia Dillard, Matt Mitchell. (United States) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. In 1950s Las Vegas, a black singer (Lex Scott Davis) is on the verge of her big break, but she risks it all when she learns her audience won’t be integrated. With Lex Scott Davis, Wes McGee, Joseph Lloyd Lopez.

Silence, directed by Tj O’Grady Peyton, written by Ivan Cush, Tj O’Grady Peyton. Produced by Yuka Nakamura, James Chamberlain. (Japan, UK) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. A young man (Kai Joseph Keenan-Felix) wanders around the city, where people wearing masks come and go. One day, he finds a girl (Lauryn Bryan) dancing ballet in an abandoned building. With Kai Joseph Keenan-Felix, Lauryn Bryan, Kai Owen, Antoine Murray, Samuel Mena Garcia, Dom Bryan, Demarre King, Kijuan Whitton.

19 Seventy Free: Part 1, directed by Louis Bryant III, AmaYah Harrison, written by Louis Bryant III, AmaYah Harrison, Darien Dorsey. Produced by Louis Bryant III, AmaYah Harrison, Taura Stinson, Darien Dorsey. (United States) – World Premiere, Short Narrative. 19 Seventy Free is a visual EP celebrating the complexities of black love and artistic freedom with music as its primary voice. With Darien Dorsey, Amina Malika, James Mario Bowen.

JUNETEENTH – TRIBECA IMMERSIVE PROGRAM OUTDOOR INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES
Outdoor in-person Immersive installations at various locations throughout NYC; these experiences are free and open to everyone throughout the Festival. Those available virtually can be accessed via the Tribeca Festival website.

Breonna’s Garden (World Premiere) – United States
Project Creator: Lady PheOnix Ruach Shaddai
Key Collaborator: Stuart ‘Sutu’ Campbell
She who plants a garden plants hope. Breonna’s Garden is an AR experience created in collaboration with Ju’Niyah Palmer to honor the life of her sister, Breonna Taylor. Outdoor location to be announced.

Kinfolk (World Premiere) – United States
Project Creators: Idris Brewster, Glenn Cantave, Micah Milner
Key Collaborators: Erica Buddhington, Langston League, Angela Fan, Keenyn Omari, Joe Gordon, The Light Clinic
Kinfolk is an augmented reality app that highlights Black and Brown figures. The viewer can use Kinfolk to bring digital monuments to life through a phone/tablet, hear voice overs for each icon, see generative art emanating from every sculpture, and listen to an original afrofuturist jazz composition.
Outdoor location to be announced.

JUPITER INVINCIBLE (World Premiere) – United States
Project Creator: Ram Devineni
Key Collaborator: Yusef Komunyakaa
An augmented reality comic book about an African-American slave, Jupiter, who is suddenly given the power of immortality.

Un(re)solved (World Premiere) – United States
Project Creator: Tamara Shogaolu
Key Collaborators: FRONTLINE, Ado Ato Pictures, StoryCorps, Hudson Scenic, Northeastern University’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, Black Public Media
Say their names. Know their stories. Visit the Un(re)solved installation and use augmented reality to bring civil rights era murders, often racist killings, out of the shadows of the past. Un(re)solved has an accompanying WebGL immersive 3D experience for at-home audiences that will be available on the Tribeca Festival website.
Outdoor location to be announced.

VIRTUAL ARCADE
VR experiences are accessible through the Museum of Other Realities to those who have an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality users. Oculus Quest users can access the MOR using Oculus Link or the Virtual Desktop application that connects a wireless headset with a VR-ready PC. Tickets go on sale May 24.

The Changing Same: Episode 1 (New York Premiere) – United States
Project Creators: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, Yasmin Elayat
Key Collaborators: James George, Alexander Porter, Rad Mora, Elliott Mitchell
The Changing Same is a magical realist, immersive, episodic virtual reality experience where the participant travels through time and space to witness the connected historical experiences of racial injustice in America.

Mine (World Premiere) – United States
Project Creator: Rise-Home Stories Project
Key Collaborators: Randall Dottin, Luisa Danta
When the sudden disappearance of water, their main life-source, threatens to upend a vibrant utopia, Blaze, an intrepid teen must save their community before it’s too late. Created through a unique collaboration of artists, land, and housing activists, Mine is an animated web series that explores the difficult and worthwhile fight for the community you love.

POV: Points of View (World Premiere) – United States
Project Creator: Alton Glass
Key Collaborators: Donovan DeBoer
LOS ANGELES 2025: After serving two years in prison for biometric hacking. Cassius Moore, a 21 year old black male, qualifies for early release under a new federal drone program. He is assigned to an artificially intelligent weaponized drone to follow him around and record his every move.

JUNETEENTH – TRIBECA TV SELECTION

David Makes Man (Oprah Winfrey Network) – Season 2 World Premiere
Executive Producers: Dee Harris-Lawrence, Tarell McCraney, Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, John Strauss
Cast: Kwame Patterson, Arlen Escarpeta, Akili McDowell, Cayden Williams, Alana Arenas, Travis Coles
David (Kwame Patterson and Akili McDowell) is in his 30s, a rising businessman facing an opportunity that will change him and his community forever.

  • After the Screening: A conversation with series creator and executive producer, Tarell McCraney, and showrunner, Dee Harris-Lawrence.

Blindspotting (Starz) – World Premiere
Executive Producers: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder, Ken Lee, Emily Gerson Saines, Tim Palen, Seith Mann
Cast: Jasmine Cephas Jones, Benjamin Turner, Candace Nicholas-Lippman, Atticus Woodward, Jaylen Barron, Helen Hunt, Rafael Casal
As Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones) is ready to ring in the new year with Miles (Rafael Casal), she finds him being dragged out of their apartment and into the back of a squad car.

  • After the Screening: A conversation with cast members Rafael Casal, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Helen Hunt.

JUNETEENTH – TRIBECA AT HOME SELECTION

FEATURES

Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away, directed by Devin Amar, Charles Todd, Matt Mitchener. Produced by Sheira Rees-Davies, John Beug. (United States) – Online World Premiere. A music-filled profile of guitar legend George ‘Buddy’ Guy, whose unique, intense style, forged from years of gigging in Chicago clubs, inspired generations of blues musicians. With Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Gary Clark Jr, Kingfish.

Ferguson Rises, directed by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, written by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, Bradinn French, Jeff Striker, Kai Bowe, Daisy Mo. Produced by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, Daisy Mo, Tanayi Seabrook, TJ Odebunmi, Lisa Smithline, David Oyelowo, Jessica Oyelowo, Nick Moon, Tamika Lamison. (United States) – Online World Premiere. Before George Floyd, before Breonna Taylor, before America knew about Black Lives Matter, there was Michael Brown, Jr. Six years after the fatal shooting of an unarmed Brown by a white police officer, and the subsequent days of protest, filmmaker Mobolaji Olambiwonnu brings a new portrait of the community of Ferguson, the family and friends of Michael Brown, and a narrative from within the city of hope, love and renewal. With Michael Brown Sr., Susan Ankenbrand, Ank Ankenbrand, Rev. Renita Lamkin, Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Montague Simmons

No Running, directed by Delmar Washington, written by Delmar Washington. Produced by Eric B. Fleischman, Maurice Fadida. (United States) – Online World Premiere. With Skylan Brooks, Taryn Manning, Shane West, Diamond White, Rutina Wesley, Bill Engvall. When a young Black man’s girlfriend mysteriously disappears, he’s forced to go on the run, staying one step ahead of suspicious police to clear his name and to find out if otherworldly forces are to blame.

They’re Trying to Kill Us, written, Produced & Directed by John Lewis, Keegan Kuhn, Executive Produced by Chris Paul, Billie Eilish, Keegan Kuhn, John Lewis, Greg Anzalone, Jay Karandikar. They’re Trying To Kill Us, executive produced by NBA All-Star Chris Paul and Grammy winning artist Billie Eilish, is the follow-up feature length documentary to the award-winning film What The Health, focusing on food (in)justice told through the lens of Hip Hop. Audiences journey with co-director John Lewis as he crosses the country seeking answers to why Americans of Color suffer from disproportionately higher rates of chronic disease than their European American counterparts, while examining the intersections of food, disease, race, poverty, institutional racism and government corruption.

The First Step, directed by Brandon Kramer, written by Lance Kramer (United States) – Online World Premiere. In this revealing observational portrait, Black progressive activist and polit-ical commentator Van Jones navigates increasingly tense and isolating political and racial divides in his attempt to become a “bridge builder” during the Trump administration.

Venus as a Boy, directed and written by Ty Hodges. Produced by Ty Hodges, Gian Franco, Roya Rastegar, Sanjay M. Sharma. (United States) – Online World Premiere. Fresh off a heartbreak, enigmatic starving artist Hunter and alluring, confident Ruby have a whirlwind romance in Venice Beach, but can it survive the harsh realities of her glitzy NYC art world? With Ty Hodges, Olivia Culpo, Trace Lysette, Bai Ling, Estelle, Gilles Marini, Daniel Bonjour, Stacy Barthe.

DOCUMENTARY

Being BeBe, directed by Emily Branham. Produced by Emily Branham, Marc Smolowitz, Jonathan Goodman Levitt. (United States, Cameroon) – Online World Premiere. In 2009, Bebe Zahara Benet was crowned the first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. But the franchise hadn’t yet achieved notoriety, so without an infrastructure to support her next steps, Bebe was confronted with the fickleness of fame… With BeBe Zahara Benet (aka Nea Marshall Kudi Ngwa). In English, French, Pidgin with English subtitles.

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SHORTS

Cherry Lemonade, directed and written by Aisha Ford. Produced by Jane Hare, Katie Pyne, Nadine Nadoo, Tema L. Staig, Allison Vanore, Jeff Vespa, Annika Hylmo, Uzma Xina Kang. (United States) – Online World Premiere, Short Narrative. On a hot summer day in the hood, a Black girl (Eris Baker) learns to take the lead on her own terms. With Eris Baker, Skylan Brooks, Chance Harlem Jr, Alexander Jones III, Skyler Priest, Meagan Harmon.

Enough, directed by Caleb Slain. Written and produced by Rick Stevenson. (United States) – Online World Premiere, Short Narrative. A dream, a nightmare, a musical. Ten years in the making, welcome to the stormy inner world of one boy (Nathan Nzanga) growing up in America. With Nathan Nzanga, Max Losee.

Waves, directed and written by Agazi Desta. Produced by Miles Alva, Anabel Iñigo. (United States) – Online US Premiere, Short Narrative. A Black, deaf teen (Omete Anassi) wants “Waves” for prom night, but his haircut falls into the hands of an inattentive, rookie barber (Jason Dalhouse). With Omete Anassi, Jason Dalhouse, Larry Banks, Eric Davis, Dameon Victorian, Barry Wilkins, Derrick Stephon Miller, Terrell Wilds.

JUNETEENTH PODCASTS SELECTIONS

7 Years: A Conversation with Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Zola Mashariki
To mark the release of 7 Years, an Audible Original Words + Music production from rapper and The Roots frontman Tariq Trotter, join this exclusive conversation between the performer and Head of Audible Studios Zola Mashariki. The two will discuss 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.

Live Recording: Resistance: Resistance is a widely acclaimed narrative nonfiction podcast from Gimlet Media and Spotify. It was released last fall by a homegrown team inspired by the extraordinary movements for Black lives sweeping the country. Resistance takes listeners to the frontlines to hear stories from the generation fighting for change. Host Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. and guests are coming to Tribeca to do a special live recording of a Fuck Your Water Fountain Episode, a segment on the podcast that celebrates little known stories of historical resistance.

EAR HUSTLE event, Ear Hustle: Launched in 2017 from Radiotopia and PRX, this is the first podcast created and produced in prison. The show features stories of the daily realities of life inside California’s San Quentin State Prison, shared by those living it, as well as stories from the outside, post-incarceration. Ear Hustle was co-founded by Bay Area artist Nigel Poor alongside Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, who were incarcerated at the time. Rahsaan “New York” Thomas joined the team as a co-host inside San Quentin in 2019. Heard by listeners more than 50 million times across the globe, in 2020, Ear Hustle was named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in audio reporting, the first time the category was recognized, for bringing audiences “a consistently surprising and beautifully crafted series on life behind bars.” Ear Hustle has also received recognition from the Peabody Awards, the duPont-Columbia awards, the Third Coast International Audio Festival, and more. Hosts Earlonne Woods and Nigel Poor will sit down together to discuss their years of collaboration, share behind-the-scenes stories from their show, and speak about what’s next.

Un(re)solved, created by FRONTLINE PBS (United States) – World Premiere, Narrative Nonfiction What prompted the FBI to reinvestigate over one hundred unsolved civil rights era murders? And what does justice look like for families whose loved ones were killed? Reporter James Edwards seeks answers to these questions, reflecting on his own family’s experiences along the way.

Black Santa, created by Jordan Crafton (United States) – World Premiere, Fiction Slide and his friends are risking it all for a Christmas miracle, as they look for “Black Santa” of the Brooklyn projects. Slide’s love for sixteen-year-old Gianna has him and his friends willing to risk it all for a Christmas miracle. But first, they must receive a pardon from “Frosty the Snowman” to travel through “Jack Frost’s” Projects. This Christmas tale is like none else. It’s a holiday story with a modern twist.

Guardians of the River, created by House of Pod and Wild Bird Trust (United States, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa) – World Premiere, Narrative Nonfiction This is the story of the guardians of the Okavango water system, a network of rivers spanning three countries in Africa, and home to some of the most endangered animals on the planet. These guardians have a monumental task: trying to protect a remote, near pristine environment facing threats from all sides. This podcast follows what happens when worlds connect, and at times collide, with the common goal of protecting a place.

JUNETEENTH – TRIBECA TALKS
Tribeca Talks: Director Series, this conversation series showcases the careers of influential filmmakers. Panelists: Director Gina Prince-Bythewood in conversation with actress Sanaa Lathan

Black Filmmaker Foundation Panel: Is the Past Really Past?
Panelists: Writer and educator Jelani Cobb, actor and director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, director and actress Kasi Lemmons, director Melina Matsoukas
Moderator: Founder of Black Filmmaker Foundation Warrington Hudlin

Black Women in Cinema Panel, sponsored by Warner Media Innovation Lab/AT&T
Topic: Reclaiming Our Image: Black Women Directing Black Women on Screen
Panelists: Directors Loira Limbal, Ekwa Msangi, Nana Mensah and others to be announced

Ogresse, GRAMMY-Winning Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant discusses her work on the upcoming animated film OGRESSE, based on her wildly original and widely acclaimed song cycle. Get a glimpse at this groundbreaking work-in-progress, followed by musical selections performed live with accompaniment by Pianist Sullivan Fortner.

JUNETEENTH – TRIBECA ANNIVERSARY REUNION

The Five Heartbeats – 30th Anniversary, five friends leave their neighborhood and head for a new type of music – Motown. Coming in on the tail end of a rhythm and blues singing group explosion, The Five Heartbeats (Robert Townsend, Michael Wright, Leon Robinson, Harry J. Lennix, Tico Wells), rise and fall within the space of seven years. Along the way, the group deals with all manner of fame and fortune distractions — jealousy, greed, too much womanizing and drugs all take a toll.

  • After the Screening: An in-person conversation with Robert Townsend, John Terrell, Tico Wells, Leon Robinson, James Hawthorne, Harry Lennix, Michael Wright moderated by Loren Hammonds.
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