2017 Tribeca Film Festival: Tribeca TV lineup revealed

March 23, 2017

by Carla Hay

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The 16th Annual Tribeca Film Festival (which takes place in New York City from April 19 to 30, 2017) has announced the lineup for its second annual television festival, Tribeca TV.  The first Tribeca Film Festival (which was co-founded by   Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff) launched in 2002, in order to revitalize business in downtown Manhattan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

According to a Tribeca Film Festival press release, 2017 marks the first time that Tribeca TV will highlight the work of independent productions.  “Black Magic for White Boys,” “Lost & Found” and “Manic” will have their original new pilots premiere together during a special event followed by a conversation with the shows’ creators.

Meanwhile, Emmy-winning documentarian Ken Burns will be honored with the festival’s new Citizen Filmmaker Award. Following the presentation, audience members will get a sneak preview created especially for Tribeca of “The Vietnam War,” a 10-part, 18-hour documentary series about the Vietnam War directed by Burns and Lynn Novick, which will premiere on PBS in the fall of 2017.

The following is the Tribeca TV lineup, excerpted from a press release:

Tribeca TV

Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome in “Another Period” (Photo courtesy of Comedy Central)

“Another Period” (Comedy Central) – Season 3 World Premiere

DATE: April 26, 2017

Executive Producers: Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, Jeremy Konner, Debbie Liebling, Stuart Cornfeld, Mike Rosenstein, Ben Stiller

“Another Period” tells the incredible story of the Bellacourt sisters, Lillian and Beatrice (played by Leggero and Lindhome). Defined by their family’s wealth, they care only about becoming super famous — which is a lot harder in 1902. The show follows the insanely decadent and outrageous life of the Bellacourt coterie. Before others claimed their fame, they were the one American family who epitomized all that was spoiled, shameless and stupid. The Bellacourts have more servants than relatives and days filled with money, sex, drugs…and more money.

After the episode: A conversation with creators, writers, and stars Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome, and cast members Paget Brewster and Brett Gelman.

Tara Lynne Barr, Tommy Dewey and Michaela Watkins in “Casual” (Photo by Greg Lewis/Hulu)

“Casual” (Hulu) – Season 3 World Premiere

DATE: April 29, 2017

Executive Producers: Zander Lehmann, Liz Tigelaar, Helen Estabrook, Jason Reitman

Season 3 returns with everyone’s favorite co-dependent siblings Valerie and Alex. They continue to live deep in each other’s emotional lives as they raise Valerie’s daughter Laura. Following dramatic life changes at the end of the last season, Valerie and Alex are adjusting to a new normal while continuing to struggle to maintain boundaries with each other.

After the episode: A conversation with creator and executive producer Zander Lehmann, executive producers Liz Tigelaar, Helen Estabrook, and cast members Michaela Watkins, Tommy Dewey, and Tara Lynne Barr. Moderated by editor for New York magazine and Vulture, Stacey Wilson Hunt.

Matt LeBlanc and John Pankow in “Episodes” (Photo by Sophie Mutevelian/Showtime)

“Episodes” (Showtime) – Final Season Premiere

DATE: April 30, 2017

Executive Producer: Jimmy Mulville

“Episodes,” the award-winning, razor-sharp comedy about the insanity of making a television show, returns for its fifth and final season. Lauded English television writers Sean and Beverly Lincoln were lured to Hollywood to adapt their much-loved British boarding-school comedy “Lyman’s Boys.” Their American network has mangled the show into “Pucks!,” a sitcom about a high school hockey coach starring Matt LeBlanc (played brilliantly by himself). After a dismal run, the sitcom was finally put out of its misery. Now Sean and Beverly struggle to create a successful new project in this country without completely losing their integrity, while Matt desperately attempts to revitalize his disappearing acting career.

After the episode: A conversation with creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, and cast member Matt LeBlanc. Moderated by editor for New York magazine and Vulture, Stacey Wilson Hunt.

A still from “The Eyeslicer” (Photo by Calvin Lee Reeder)

“The Eyeslicer” – New Series Premiere

DATE: April 28, 2017

Executive Producers: Dan Schoenbrun, Vanessa McDonnell

“The Eyeslicer” is a new variety TV show that brings the next generation of alternative American filmmakers together under one strange roof. The hour-long show will slice, dice, and then mince your eyeballs into delicious ceviche. Each episode is a handcrafted mixtape, blending boundary-pushing short form work into a weird, wild, uninterrupted whole. “The Eyeslicer” premieres at Tribeca with the episode “Facial Reconstruction,” featuring work from acclaimed indie filmmakers Lauren Wolkstein, Erin Vassilopoulos, Shaka King, Danny Madden, and Leah Shore.

After the episode: A conversation with co-creators Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell and filmmakers Lauren Wolkstein, Erin Vassilopoulos, Shaka King, Danny Madden, and Leah Shore.

Geoffrey Rush in “Genius” (Photo by /Dusan Martincek/National Geographic)

“Genius” (National Geographic) – New Series World Premiere

DATE: April 20, 2017

Executive Producers: Ken Biller, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Gigi Pritzker, Sam Sokolow

“Genius” charts how Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush), an imaginative, rebellious patent clerk who struggled to land an academic post in his early years, went on to become the greatest scientific mind of the 20th century. The show explores his rise as he juggles his volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. Based on Walter Isaacson’s acclaimed biography.

After the episode: A conversation with director and executive producer Ron Howard, executive producers Brian Grazer and Gigi Pritzker, showrunner Ken Biller, and cast members Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Flynn, Emily Watson and Samantha Colley.

Elisabeth Moss in “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Photo courtesy of Take Five/Hulu)

“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu, MGM) – New Series World Premiere

DATE: April 21, 2017

Executive Producer: Bruce Miller

Based on Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is the story of Gilead, a modern-day totalitarian society facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property. As one of the few fertile women, Offred is forced into sexual servitude in a desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In a society where one wrong word could end her life, Offred has one goal: survive and find the daughter taken from her.

After the episode: A conversation with executive producers Bruce Miller, Warren Littlefield, and cast members Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd, O.T. Fagbenle and Max Minghella. Moderated by The New York Times magazine writer Jenna Wortham.

Heath Ledger (Photo by Sarah Rhodes/Newspix/REX/Shutterstock (4361840a)

“I Am Heath Ledger” (Spike TV) – World Premiere

DATES: April 23, 24, 26 and 27, 2017

Producer/Co-Director: Derik Murray. Co-Director: Adrian Buitenhuis.

Told through excerpts of his greatest performances, interviews with friends and family (including Ben Mendelsohn, Naomi Watts, Ang Lee, and Ben Harper), and the lens of his own camera, “I Am Heath Ledger” is an intimate celebration of the actor, artist, and icon. An artist of exceptional depth and courage, Ledger was equally talented behind the camera. This stirring documentary paints a rich portrait of one of the great artists of his generation.

Jessica Biel in “The Sinner” (Photo by Brownie Harris)

“The Sinner” (USA/Universal Cable Productions) – New Series World Premiere

DATE: April 25, 2017

Executive Producers: Derek Simonds, Jessica Biel, Michelle Purple, Charlie Gogolak

A young mother is overcome by an inexplicable fit of rage and commits a startling act of violence. The event launches an inverted and utterly surprising crime thriller whose driving force is not the “who” or the “what,”—but the “why.” Soon the investigator finds himself obsessed with uncovering the woman’s buried motive. From Universal Cable Productions, The Sinner is a riveting psychological thriller, with a pilot stylishly directed by acclaimed filmmaker Antonio Campos.

After the episode: A conversation with executive producer and director of the pilot Antonio Campos, executive producer Derek Simonds, executive producer and cast member Jessica Biel, and cast members Christopher Abbott and Bill Pullman.

Dwayne Johnson, executive producer of “Soundtracks: Sounds That Defined History” (Photo courtesy of CNN)

“Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History” (CNN)

DATE: April 25 and 26, 2017

Executive Producers: Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre

“Soundtracks” explores seminal moments in history through the music that defines them. Featuring original interviews with legendary musicians as well as celebrated journalists, historians, and writers, the series reveals how music has been a driving force behind social change. In a Tribeca screening at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York, the show will explore how songs like Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” took on new and heightened meaning, as music took center stage for a country fighting to heal. Co-hosted by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

After the episode (April 25): A conversation with CNN “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo and Jason King, professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Moderated by Clifford Chanin, Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for Museum Programs at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

After the episode (April 26): A conversation with executive producers Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupree

(Photo courtesy of Seeso)

“There’s… Johnny!” (Seeso) – New Series World Premiere

DATE: April 27, 2017

Executive Producers: Paul Reiser, David Steven Simon, David Gordon Green, Jeff Sotzing, Brian Volk-Weiss, Craig Knizek, Cisco Henson, Michael Pelmont, Matt Ochacher, Evan Shapiro, Kelsey Balance.

It’s 1972, and everyone goes to bed together… with Johnny Carson, TV’s biggest star. 19 year old Nebraskan Andy Klavin stumbles his way into a gig as a gofer at Carson’s “The Tonight Show” and into a world that will change his life. “There’s… Johnny!” takes a fictional comedic trip back in time, to go behind the man in front of the curtain, and look at the lives and loves of the people who make all of America laugh.

After the episode: A conversation with creator Paul Reiser, executive producers David Steven Simon and David Gordon Green, and cast members Tony Danza, Ian Nelson and Jane Levy.

Ellie Kemper in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Photo courtesy of Hulu)

“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix) – Season 3 World Premiere

DATE: April 28, 2017

Executive Producers: Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, Jeff Richmond, David Miner.

After living in a cult for 15 years, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Season 3 opens with Kimmy in an unfamiliar position with the Reverend back in her life. Meanwhile, Titus returns from his cruise and auditions for an exciting new role, and Lillian has to break up with her boyfriend Robert Durst.

After the episode: A conversation with co-creators and executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, and cast members Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, and Carol Kane. Moderated by “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist.

A still from “The Vietnam War” (Photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration)

“The Vietnam War” (PBS) – Special Sneak Peek

DATE: April 28, 2017

Producers: Sarah Botstein, Ken Burns, Lynn Novick.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 10-part, 18-hour documentary series tells the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never been told before. Featuring testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including Americans who fought in the war, those who opposed it, and Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. “The Vietnam War” is an immersive, 360 degree narrative of a seminal period of history.

After the episode: A conversation with filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Pilot Season
For the first time in 2017, Tribeca opened submissions to independently produced TV pilots. This showcase program represents the strongest new voices bringing their talents to the episodic space.

DATES: April 23, 24, 28 and 29, 2017

A still from “Black Magic for White Boys” (Photo by Susan Stava)
  • “Black Magic for White Boys” – World Premiere

Executive Producers: Jamie Block, Ronald Guttman.

An aging magician is about to lose his small New York theater, but has a devilish plan to save it. A middle-aged man finds his sovereignty in jeopardy when he impregnates a woman he barely knows. A real estate mogul is frustrated that he can’t raise the rent on this tenants. These characters converge in Tribeca alum Onur Tukel’s bizarre comic tale about testing boundaries, gentrification, and how old New York is fading away. With: Onur Tukel, Ronald Guttman, Jamie Block.

Melonie Diaz, Jennifer Lafleur and William Janowitz in “Lost & Found”
  • “Lost & Found” – World Premiere

Executive Producers: Haroula Rose, Melonie Diaz

Stella and Ian are separating. But for this modern L.A. couple, that’s nothing to be sad or ashamed about. They decide to host an “un-wedding” party to celebrate. As friends and family descend on their home for the occasion, secrets are revealed and loyalties tested in this comedy-drama about family, friendship, and marriage. With: Melonie Diaz, Will Janowitz, Jennifer LeFleur, Terence Nance, Avi Rothman, Laura Lee Botsacos, Abby Wathen, Nick Thurston, Haroula Rose, Ethan Gold.

A still from “Manic” (Photo by Sandra Valde-Hansen)
  • “Manic” – World Premiere

Executive Producers: Kimberley Browning, Kate Marks.

Aurora Carter, an Ivy League-bound, AP Exam enthusiast finds that her over-achieving obsessiveness lands her in a boarding school for kids with mental illnesses. Now she has a singular goal: prove she doesn’t belong with the rest of the freaks. Determined to fight the system, Aurora makes alliances with the other girls one by one and inspires them to take control of their lives. With: Shanice Williams, Dot-Marie Jones, Russell Andrews, Nicki Micheaux, VyVy Nguyen.

After the screening: Join us for a conversation with the creators.

Passes and tickets for the 2017 Festival
Advance selection ticket packages are now on sale. All advance selection packages can be purchased online at www.tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets or by telephone at (646) 502-5296 or toll free at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

Also available for purchase now is The Hudson Pass, an all access pass to screenings and talks taking place at BMCC, Regal, Cinepolis Chelsea, and SVA as well as full access to all events at the Festival Hub at Spring Studios, which includes VR and immersive projects, special screenings with music performances, and access to the lounges.

Single tickets cost $21.00 for evening and weekend screenings, $12.00 for weekday matinee screenings, $40.00 for Tribeca Talks panels and special screenings, $30.00 for Tribeca TV, and $40.00 for Tribeca Immersive. Single ticket sales begin Tuesday, March 28 and can be purchased online, by telephone, or at the ticket outlet located at Cinepolis Chelsea (260 W. 23rd Street). The 2017 Festival will offer ticket discounts on general screenings and Tribeca Talks panels for students, seniors and select downtown Manhattan residents. Discounted tickets are available at Ticket Outlet locations only.

Packages and passes are now available for purchase on the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival App on iTunes and Google Play.