Tribeca will close its 2021 festival with an untitled film from Dave Chappelle’s Pilot Boy Productions and the Oscar-winning directors of American Factory, Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar.
The documentary follows Chappelle — fueled by the murder of George Floyd, shut-in by the closure of business and unable to perform around the country — as he hosts a series of outdoor concerts in his home state of Ohio.
What began as an experimental socially-distanced live comedy show in a neighbor’s cornfield offers a window into the challenges of the early days of the pandemic, the emotions that erupted across the U.S. amid the Black Lives Matter movement, and the leadership of youth in a rural Ohio village who started weekly marches and rallies.
The film will have its world premiere at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall June 19 as part of Tribeca’s 12-day festival.
Chappelle serves as producer with Ohio-based Reichert and Bognar producing and directing.
“Premiering our film at Tribeca and closing out the festival at Radio City Music Hall is a big honor,” Chappelle said in a statement. “Our film is about courage and resilience, something New Yorkers can relate to.”
“Dave is our neighbor. We see him in the grocery store, and on the street. When Dave came to us with the idea, we were immediately struck by the challenge to tell the story of our part of the world during the pandemic and the national reckoning on racial injustice,” Reichert added. “This was a historic moment and we really wanted to chronicle this place and this time, it just felt right.”
As festivals worldwide grapple with how to accommodate in-person screenings and devise protocols, Tribeca is working, for this presentation, with Radio City Music Hall, which will open its doors for the first time in over a year. All guests will need to be fully-vaccinated for the screening, and provide proof upon entry to the event of having received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or their single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine no later than June 5.
Exceptions will be made for children under the age of 16, Tribeca stated, who may provide proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test, negative PCR COVID-19 test or full vaccination, and may only attend with a fully vaccinated adult.
Photo: Pilot Boy Productions 2020 Mathieu Bitton