Docs

“Woodstock”, “What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali” to screen at Tribeca ’19

The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) has revealed the complete feature film lineup for its 18th annual event, featuring the latest documentaries from notable filmmakers Barak Goodman and Antoine Fuqua, as well as emerging ...
March 5, 2019

The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) has revealed the complete feature film lineup for its 18th annual event, featuring the latest documentaries from notable filmmakers Barak Goodman and Antoine Fuqua, as well as emerging talent like Jeanie Finlay and Davy Rothbart.

The projects were among the 96 films from 103 filmmakers and 27 countries across the narrative and documentary genres. Included are 81 world premieres, three international premieres, eight North American premieres and one U.S. premiere.

In all, 51 documentaries will screen over the 12-day festival, including Roger Ross Williams’ previously announced feature-length documentary The Apollo from HBO Documentary Films, which chronicles the history and legacy of the historic theater, which will open this year’s event.

Academy Award-nominated director Barak Goodman will have two films world premiering as part of Tribeca ’19 in the Spotlight Documentary and Movies Plus categories. They are Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (pictured), which revisits the 1969 Woodstock music festival from the point of view of those who were on the ground, and Slay the Dragon, directed and produced alongside Chris Durrance, which takes an in-depth look at how gerrymandering has become a hot-button political topic and symbol for everything broken about the American electoral process.

Acclaimed filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, with executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter, will world premiere the HBO Sports documentary What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali (Spotlight Documentary). The film will provide extensive insight into one of the most iconic figures in athletic history through his own voice and never-before-seen archival material.

In the Documentary Competition tract, meanwhile, Jeanie Finlay‘s Seahorse will chart a transgender man’s path to parenthood after he decides to carry his child himself, and Davy Rothbart’s 17 Blocks will utilize two decades of intimate home video to recount the story of the Sanford family, whose struggles with addiction and gun violence eventually lead to a journey of love, loss, and acceptance.

Twelve documentary films are scheduled to debut in competition, with an additional 16 non-fiction projects premiering in the Spotlight Documentaries category. All competing films will vie for cash prizes totaling US$165,000, as well as artwork from the Art Awards program, offering donated work from contemporary artists. For the seventh year, the Nora Ephron Award will award $25,000 to the female filmmaker in this year’s program who embodies the spirit and boldness of the late filmmaker.

An additional eight documentaries will screen in the Viewpoints selection: Danny Clinch, Taryn Gould, Colleen Hennessy and Shannon Hoon’s All I Can Say; Michael Barnett’s Changing the Game; Rachel Mason’s Circus of Books; Jared Leto’s A Day in the Life of AmericaNanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang’s One Child Nation; Joel Van Haren’s Plucked; Andrei Bowden-Schwartz and Sam B. Jones’ Red, White & Wasted; and Steven Cantor‘s What Will Become of Us. 

In total, this year’s program features 42 first-time filmmakers, with 19 directors returning to Tribeca with their latest projects. One or more women directors feature in 40% of projects, while 29% of the feature films are directed by people of color and 13% are by individuals who identify as LGBTQIA.

The 2019 festival was programmed from more than 9,295 total submissions.

“There are many factors we consider each year when selecting films for the Festival program,” said TFF artistic director Frederic Boyer in a statement. “We look at styles, approaches, tones, perspectives; we examine storylines and character development; we search for uniqueness and untold stories. Most importantly, we also pay attention to what stirs emotions, sparks inspiration and makes us think. It’s an exciting process for us, and we look forward to sharing this year’s original films with audiences.”

The Tribeca Immersive, Short Films, Tribeca Talks, Tribeca TV and N.O.W. (New Online Work) lineups will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival will take place April 24 – May 5 in New York City.

The full list of documentaries – including the Spotlight, Viewpoints and Special Screenings tracts – can be found by visiting Tribeca’s website, while the films competing in competition can be found below:

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

17 Blocks, directed by Davy Rothbart, written by Jennifer Tiexiera. Produced by Alex Turtletaub, Michael B. Clark, Marc Turtletaub, Rachel Dengiz, Davy Rothbart. (USA) – World Premiere.
Using two decades of intimate home video, 17 Blocks tells the story of the Sanford family, whose struggles with addiction and gun violence eventually lead to a journey of love, loss, and acceptance.

The Dog Doc, directed by Cindy Meehl. Produced by Alice Henty, Cindy Meehl. (USA) – World Premiere.
Called a maverick, a miracle-worker, and a quack, Dr. Marty Goldstein is a pioneer of integrative veterinary medicine. By holistically treating animals after other vets have given up, Goldstein provides a last hope for pet owners with nothing left to lose.

For They Know Not What They Do, directed by Daniel Karslake, written by Nancy Kennedy, Daniel Karslake. Produced by Daniel Karslake, Sheri Heitker, Barbara Simon. (USA) – World Premiere.
When the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality, the backlash by the religious right was swift, severe, and successful. Karslake’s documentary looks at four faith-based families with LGBTQ children caught in the crosshairs of sexuality, identity, and scripture.

Leftover Women, directed, written, and produced by Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia. (Israel) – World Premiere.
In China, single women are under immense pressure to marry young or face the stigma that comes with being “leftover.” Through marriage markets, matchmakers, and government-sponsored dating festivals, Leftover Women follows three hopeful singles seeking to define love on their own terms.

Mystify: Michael Hutchence, directed and written by Richard Lowenstein. Produced by Maya Gnyp, John Battsek, Sue Murray, Mark Fennessy, Richard Lowenstein, Lynn-Maree Milburn, Andrew de Groot. (Australia) – World Premiere.
Michael Hutchence was flying high as the lead singer of the legendary rock band INXS until his untimely death in 1997. Richard Lowenstein’s kinetic yet intimate documentary examines Hutchence’s deeply felt life through his many loves and demons. With Kylie Minogue, Helena Christensen.

Our Time Machine, directed by Yang Sun, S. Leo Chiang, written by S. Leo Chiang, Bob Lee. Produced by S. Leo Chiang, Yang Sun. (China) – World Premiere.
Conceptual artist and puppeteer Ma Liang begins work on an ambitious performance piece about time and memory. For collaboration, he turns to his father, a former director of the Shanghai Chinese Opera, who is beginning to lose his own memories. TFI Supported.

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, directed by Matt Wolf. Produced by Kyle Martin, Andrew Kortschak, Walter Kortschak. (USA) – World Premiere.
Beginning in the 1970s, Marion Stokes recorded an incredible 70,000 VHS tapes of unfiltered daily television. At the time, her compulsion raised eyebrows, but revisited through the lens of today’s media landscape, Stokes’ unusual life’s work becomes an extraordinary archive of television — and American — history.

Rewind, directed by Sasha Joseph Neulinger. Produced by Thomas Winston. (USA) – World Premiere.
Rewind is an unflinching personal narrative that reconstructs the unthinkable story of director Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s boyhood and bravely exposes the dynamics of abuse passed through generations.

Scheme Birds, directed and written by Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin. Produced by Mario Adamson, Ruth Reid. (Scotland, Sweden) – World Premiere.
As her childhood turns into motherhood, teenage troublemaker Gemma comes of age in her fading Scottish steel town. But in a place where “you either get knocked up or locked up,” innocent games can easily turn into serious crime.

Seahorse, directed and written by Jeanie Finlay. Produced by Andrea Cornwell, Jeanie Finlay. (UK) – World Premiere.
Director Jeanie Finlay charts a transgender man’s path to parenthood after he decides to carry his child himself. The pregnancy prompts an unexpected and profound reckoning with conventions of masculinity, self-definition and biology.

Watson, directed by Lesley Chilcott. Produced by Louise Runge Lesley Chilcott, Wolfgang Knopfler. (USA, Costa Rica, Tonga) – World Premiere.
Founder of Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd, Captain Paul Watson has spent 40 years fighting to end the destruction of the ocean’s wildlife and its habitat. Part pirate, part philosopher, Watson’s methods stop at nothing to protect what lies beneath.

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem, directed by Yu Gu, written by Elizabeth Ai. Produced by Yu Gu, Elizabeth Ai. (USA, UK) – World Premiere.
Football and feminism collide in this documentary that follows former NFL cheerleaders battling the league to end wage theft and illegal employment practices that have persisted for 50 years. Also playing as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. 

SPOTLIGHT DOCUMENTARY

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 Dr. Steven Ungerleider, David Ulich. Executive produced by Sarah Gibson. (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 cover up, 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, Rene 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 Frederic Tcheng. Produced by Roland Ballester, Frederic 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 Frederic 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-Saens’ “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. (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.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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