Docs

Tribeca Film Festival reveals 2022 lineup

New documentary films on subjects such as Al Sharpton, the WNBA, Reading Rainbow and hip-hop superstar Lil Baby are part of the lineup for the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, released on Tuesday ...
April 19, 2022

New documentary films on subjects such as Al Sharpton, the WNBA, Reading Rainbow and hip-hop superstar Lil Baby are part of the lineup for the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, released on Tuesday (April 19).

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from June 8 to 19, includes 110 feature films from 150 filmmakers across 40 countries, including 88 world premieres. The festival’s shorts program, meanwhile, includes 43 Academy Award–qualified short films from 25 countries.

The 2022 Tribeca lineup will be available exclusively online for U.S. audiences through the Tribeca at Home platform, and can be viewed from June 9 to 26.

Among the selections for this year’s festival are Butterfly in the Sky (pictured) by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb, a documentary about the literary children’s TV program Reading Rainbow. Its screening at the festival will be followed by a conversation with the program’s host, actor and reading advocate LeVar Burton.

Recording artist Lil Baby will also make an in-person appearance, performing a set after the world premiere of Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby, while athletes from the New York Liberty WNBA team will participate in a panel discussion after the premiere of Unfinished Business, a film from acclaimed director Alison Klayman that takes a look at the WNBA through the lens of one of its landmark teams.

Closing out the festival on June 19 will be the premiere of Loudmouth from Josh Alexander, a documentary about the preacher and activist Reverend Al Sharpton and his decades-long struggle against structural racism across the U.S.

These documentaries are part of the Movies Plus section at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, that pair screenings with live performances and conversations about the film’s topics. The section also includes the world premiere of McEnroe, a documentary on tennis legend John McEnroe, directed by Barney Douglas; the world premiere of Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song from Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine that covers Cohen’s evolution as an artist through examining his most famous song; the world premiere of Broadway Rising directed by Amy Rice about the return of Broadway from being shut down for COVID-19;  and the world premiere of Game Change Game, from Maxime Quoilin and Spike Jordan about the NBA’s return amid COVID-19.

A trio of world-premiering music docs also round out the section. God Said Give ‘em Drum Machines, directed by Kristian Hill, explores the origins of techno music by young Black artists in Detroit. The DOC, in Dave Caplan’s directorial debut, tells the story of hip-hop icon The DOC, 30 years after he lost his voice, as he contemplates surgery to restore it. And Tíu is a documentary about Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men as they commemorate the 10-year anniversary of their popular debut album My Head Is an Animal.

Below are the films selected for the Tribeca Documentary Competition and the Spotlight Documentary category. Visit the festival’s website for the full lineup.

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

An Act of Worship
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Nausheen Dadabhoy
Producers: Sofian Khan, Kristi Jacobson, Heba Elorbany. (USA)

A lyrical portrait of the last 20 years of Muslim life in the U.S.

Battleground
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Cynthia Lowen
Producers: Cynthia Lowen, Rebecca Stern
Executive producers: Jeff Sobrato, Dexter Braff, Nicole Shipley, Ryan Harrington, Cindy Meehl, Ruth Ann Harnisch.

The story of three anti-choice organizations working to overturn Roe v. Wade, and groups determined to protect women’s access to safe and legal abortions.

The Cave of Adullam
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director/producer: Laura Checkoway
Executive producers: Joe Plummer, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Sugland, Jenifer Westphal, Roy Bank

The story of a martial arts sensei guiding young and often troubled Detroit students.

Hidden Letters
(China/Germany/Norway/U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Violet Du Feng
Co-director: Zhao Qing
Producers: Violet Du Feng, Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas, Jean Tsien, Su Kim
Executive producers: James Costa, Ken Pelletier, Chandra Jessee, Sally Jo Fifer, Jaeson Ma

The story of two women in modern-day China working to protect the ancient secret language of Nushu.

Katrina Babies
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Edward Buckles Jr.
Producers: Edward Buckles Jr., Audrey Rosenberg, Rebecca Teitel
Executive producers: Chike Ozah, Coodie Simmons, Eileen Tavarez, Jess Jacobs, Ian Orefice, Loren Hammonds, Alexa Conway, Mike Beck

A first-person account of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, as told by people who were between the ages of three and 19 when the levees broke.

Lakota Nation vs. United States
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Directors: Jesse Short Bull, Laura Tomaselli
Producer: Benjamin Hedin
Executive producers: Sarah Eagle Heart, Mark Ruffalo

Acclaimed poet Layli Long Soldier narrates this testament to the strength of the Oyate and their land.

My Name Is Andrea
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Pratibha Parmar
Producer: Shaheen Haq
Executive producer: Regina K. Scully

A portrait of feminist writer Andrea Dworkin.

Naked Gardens
(U.S./France) — World Premiere
Directors: Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan
Producers: Tabs Breese, Julia Nottingham, Roberto Minervini, Denise Ping Lee
Executive producers: Matthew Perniciaro, Jimmy Goodmon, Shelly Leslie, John W. Copeland

A look inside an isolated nudist community in Florida.

Sophia
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Directors: Jon Kasbe, Crystal Moselle
Producers: Jon Kasbe, Crystal Moselle, Bits Sola, Sally Campbell, Tim Nash
Executive producers: Vinnie Malhotra, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin.

A film on the work of inventor David Hanson to perfect lifelike A.I.

A Story of Bones
(UK) — World Premiere
Directors: Joseph Curran, Dominic Aubrey de Vere
Producer: Yvonne Ibazebo
Executive producers: Lisa Marie Russo, Mike Brett, Steve Jamison

The story of Annina van Neel’s work to reclaim and honor the neglected history of St. Helena after the remains of thousands of freed slaves are uncovered.

Subject
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Directors: Jennifer Tiexiera, Camilla Hall
Producers: Jennifer Tiexiera, Camilla Hall, Joe Caterini
Executive producers: Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad, Logan Snyder, Alex Lieberman, Gary Lieberman

A film that examines the ethics and responsibilities of documentary filmmaking by examining well-known docs of the past decade and the effect commercial success had on their subjects.

The Wild One
(France) — World Premiere
Director/producer: Tessa Louie-Salomé
Executive producer: Lynda Weinman

Jack Garfein, a Holocaust survivor and theater and film director, recalls a life where historical tragedy and personal art formed an uncompromising vision.

SPOTLIGHT DOCUMENTARY

After Selma: The Lowndes County Freedom Party
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Sam Pollard
Producers: Jessica Devaney, Anya Rous, Dema Paxton Fofang
Executive producers: Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Fred Grinstein, Linzee Troubh

Stories from citizens and activists on the frontlines of the fight for the right to vote in Georgia in the 1960s.

All Man: The International Male Story
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Directors: Bryan Darling, Jesse Reed
Producers: Bryan Darling, Jesse Reed, Taylor Vracin-Harrell
Executive producer: Peter Jones

A look inside International Male, a ubiquitous mail-order catalog of the 1980s and ’90s.

American Pain (U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Darren Foster
Producers: Darren Foster, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn, Diane Becker
Executive producers: Amy Entelis, Courtney Sexton.

The story of twin brothers who opened a chain of pain-pill clinics in Florida.

Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T. Rex
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Ethan Silverman
Producer: Bill Curbishley

A musical doc on the life and work of glam rock star Marc Bolan.

The Big Payback
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Directors: Whitney Dow, Erika Alexander
Producers: Ben Arnon, Xan Parker
Executive producers: Katy Barksdale, Joy-Ann Reid, Jason Reid, Marco Williams

The story of a historic campaign in Evanston, Illinois to compensate the descendants of enslaved Africans with reparations.

Body Parts
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
Producer: Helen Hood Scheer

An investigation into the making of Hollywood sex scenes.

Civil
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Nadia Hallgren
Producers: Nadia Hallgren, Kenya Barris, Roger Ross Williams, Lauren Cioffi

A profile of Ben Crump, who’s been dubbed “Black America’s attorney general.”

Endangered
(Brazil/Mexico/U.S.) —World Premiere
Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Produced by Alex Takats
Executive producers: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Ronan Farrow

A look into the erosion of democracy and freedom of the press in the U.S. and abroad.

Fashion Reimagined
(UK/U.S.) —World Premiere
Director: Beck Hutner
Producers: Beck Hutner, Lindsay Lowe, Andrea van Beuren
Executive producers: Cindy Meehl, Lisa Marie Russo, Vesna Cudic, Stewart Le Marechal, Vik Bansal

The doc follows fashion designer Amy Powney’s work to create a fully sustainable collection.

It Ain’t Over
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Sean Mullin
Producers: Peter Sobiloff, Mike Sobiloff, Natalie Metzger, Matt Miller
Executive producer: Lindsay Berra

The documentary covers the life of New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra.

Leave No Trace
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky
Producers: Nigel Jacquiss, Sara Bernstein, Justin Wilkes, Emily Singer Chapman
Executive producers: Irene Taylor Brodsky, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer

A documentary on the Boy Scouts of America after it reached a $2.7 billion settlement agreement over sex abuse claims.

Lynch/Oz
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Alexandre Philippe
Producer: Kerry Deignan Roy
Executive producers: Oli Harbottle, Anna Godas.

A documentary on the throughline between filmmaker David Lynch’s work and the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

Nothing Compares
(Ireland/UK) — New York Premiere
Director: Kathryn Ferguson
Producers: Eleanor Emptage, Michael Mallie
Executive producers: Charlotte Cook, Lesley McKimm, Lucy Pullin, John Reynolds, Lisa Marie Russo.

The life and career of singer Sinead O’Connor.

Of Medicine and Miracles
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Ross Kauffman
Producers: Robin Honan, Nicole Galovski
Executive producers: Geralyn Dreyfous, Sean Parker, Pam Williams, Lessing Stern, Randall Gebhardt, Christopher Gebhardt, Eric Esrailian, Regina Scully, Jamie Wolf, Rusty Robertson

A documentary on the work to find a cure for cancer, through the story of one girl, her family and a doctor.

On the Line: The Richard Williams Story
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Stuart McClave
Producers: Chavoita LeSane, Brit Marling, Brenda Robinson, Duncan Montgomery, Gary Ousdahl , Jack Selby

The story of Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard, told through exclusive interviews and home movies.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Directors: Johanna Hamilton, Yoruba Richen
Producer: Christalyn Hampton
Executive producers: Johanna Hamilton, Yoruba Richen, Soledad O’Brien, Jo Honig

A comprehensive look at the activism and life of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks.

Rudy! A Documusical
(U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Jed Rothstein
Producers: Ross Dinerstein, Sarit Work
Executive producers: Jed Rothstein, Alex Lieberman, Gary Lieberman, Michael Cho, Mimi Rode, Tim Lee, Chris Johnson, Rebecca Evans, Ross Girard, Travis Collins, Randall Lane, Andrew Kirtzman

A film on former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Turn Every Page – The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
(U.S.) —World Premiere
Director: Lizzie Gottlieb
Producers: Joanne Nerenberg, Jen Small
Executive producers: Banks Tarver, Maria Zuckerman, Christine Conner, Ryan Heller, Michael Bloom, Ken Druckerman, Kevin Vargas, Nion McEvoy, Leslie Berriman, Avy Eschenasy, Michael Young

A film covering the intersecting stories of Pulitzer-winning author Robert Caro and literary giant Robert Gottlieb.

The YouTube Effect
(U.S./Brazil/Germany/India/Taiwan R.O.C./Chile) — World Premiere
Director: Alex Winter
Producers: Alex Winter, Gale Anne Hurd, Glen Zipper
Executive producers: Michael Cho, Mimi Rode, Tim Lee, Michael Y. Chow, Kevin Lin, Sue Turley, Ian Orefice, Rebecca Teitel, Mike Beck

Winter’s newest documentary explores the ascension of, and issues surrounding, the video-sharing website YouTube.

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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