Tribeca Film Festival releases 2021 feature lineup

New documentary films from acclaimed directors such as Morgan Neville and Bing Liu highlight the 2021 lineup of the Tribeca Film Festival, which was announced on Tuesday. Tribeca’s total announced lineup for ...
April 21, 2021

New documentary films from acclaimed directors such as Morgan Neville and Bing Liu highlight the 2021 lineup of the Tribeca Film Festival, which was announced on Tuesday.

Tribeca’s total announced lineup for this, the 20th edition of the festival, includes 66 films from across 23 countries. The festival runs from June 9 to 20 this summer, with live in-person events at outdoor venues across New York City.

This year’s lineup includes the work of 15 returning directors, along with 56 world premieres, one international premiere, four North American premieres, one U.S. premiere and four New York premieres.

Neville’s Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, produced for HBO Max, CNN Films, and Focus Features will have its world premiere at the fest, as will All These Sons, produced and directed by Liu (pictured) and Joshua Altman.

Fest organizers say they received a record high 11,222 submissions across all of their categories this year. From those submissions, more than 60 per cent of the feature films announced for Tribeca are directed by female, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ directors.

The festival will also hold special curated Juneteenth programming celebrating African American artists, performers and filmmakers.

Tribeca’s competition categories include eight documentary features, and six U.S. and six international narrative films. The feature line-up also boasts eight Spotlight narrative films, 11 spotlight documentaries, 13 Viewpoints, three movies in the Midnight category, seven Movies Plus selections and three Tribeca Critics’ Week selections.

Much of Tribeca’s lineup this year will also be made available for U.S. audiences to watch online through the Tribeca at Home virtual hub, the day after their premieres.

The non-fiction film selections in the festival’s Documentary Competition will compete this year for Best Documentary Feature, Best Cinematography and Best Editing. The festival will also award the Albert Maysles Award to the best new documentary director for first-time feature directors.

Several feature films whose Tribeca 2020 premieres were canceled last year have been invited back for this year’s festival. Some documentary features included in this group include Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn directed by Muta’Ali, Enemies of the State directed by Sonia Kennebeck, La Madrina: The [Savage] Life of Lorine Padilla directed by Raquel Cepeda, and The State of Texas vs. Melissa, directed by Sabrina Van Tassel.

Here are the films selected for the Tribeca Documentary Competition and the Spotlight Documentary category. Visit the Tribeca Film Festival website for the full lineup.

Documentary Competition

All These Sons, directed and produced by Bing Liu and Joshua Altman. Co-produced by Zak Piper, Kelsey Carr. (United States); World Premiere.

Ascension, directed and produced by Jessica Kingdon. Co-produced by Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell. (United States); World Premiere.

Blind Ambition, directed, produced and written by Robert Coe and Warwick Ross. Co-written by Paul Murphy and Madeleine Ross. (Australia); World Premiere.

Fathom, directed by Drew Xanthopoulos. Produced by Megan Gilbride. (United States); World Premiere. Also an Apple TV+ release.

The Kids, directed by Eddie Martin. Produced by Shannon Swan. (Australia); World Premiere.

Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres directed, produced and written by Suzanne Joe Kai. (United States); World Premiere.

On the Divide, directed and written by Leah Galant and Maya Cueva. Produced by Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Amanda Spain and Elizabeth Woodward. (United States); World Premiere.

The Scars of Ali Boulala, directed and written by Max Eriksson. Co-written by Mikel Cee Karlsson. Produced by Mario Adamson and Ashley Smith. (Sweden, Norway); World Premiere.

Spotlight Documentary

A-ha the Movie, directed and written by Thomas Robsahm, co-directed by Aslaug Holm. Produced by Yngve Sæther. (Norway, Germany); World Premiere.

Bernstein’s Wall, directed and written by Douglas Tirola. Produced by Susan Bedusa. (United States); World Premiere.

BITCHIN’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, directed and written by Sacha Jenkins. Co-written by Steve Rivo and Jason Pollard. Produced by Steve Rivo. (United States); World Premiere. This is a Showtime Documentary Films release, and is part of Tribeca’s Juneteenth programming.

A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks, directed and produced by John Maggio. Co-produced by Monica Berra, Richard Lowe, George Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt and Matthew Henderson. (United States); World Premiere. This is an HBO Documentary Films release and is part of Tribeca’s Juneteenth programming.

Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story, directed by Laura Fairrie. Produced by John Battsek and Lizzie Gillet. (United Kingdom); World Premiere. This is a CNN Films release.

LFG, directed, produced and written by Andrea Nix Fine. Co-directed and produced by Sean Fine. Co-produced by Abby Greensfelder. (United States); World Premiere. This is an HBO Max release.

The Lost Leonardo, directed by Andreas Koefoed. Produced by Andreas Dalsgaard and Christoph Jörg. (Denmark, France, Sweden); World Premiere. This is a Sony Pictures Classics release.

The Price of Freedom, directed and produced by Judd Ehrlich. Co-produced by Aidan Tumas and Elena Gaby. (United States); World Premiere.

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, directed and produced by Morgan Neville. Co-produced by Caitrin Rogers. (United States); World Premiere. This is a CNN Films, HBO Max and Focus Features release.

Stockholm Syndrome, directed by The Architects. Produced by Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Sherman, Bow and Arrow Entertainment and Olive Hill Media. (United States, Sweden); World Premiere.

Wolfgang, directed and produced by David Gelb. Written and produced by Brian McGinn. Co-produced by Jason Sterman. (United States); World Premiere. This is a Disney+ release.

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 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.