Review: ‘Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band,’ starring Robbie Robertson, Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Ronnie Hawkins, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison

February 21, 2020

by Carla Hay

The Band in “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.” Pictured from left to right: Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson. (Photo by Elliott Landy)

“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band”

Directed by Daniel Roher

Culture Representation: Inspired by the 2016 “Testimony” memoir of musician Robbie Robertson (who is of Canadian and Native American heritage), this documentary tells his perspective of his life, with a particular focus on The Band, a group of rock musicians that went from being Bob Dylan’s backup band to international stars of their own right.

Culture Clash: Although most of The Band consisted of Canadians, they helped pioneer the blues-and-folk-inspired rock genre known as Americana, but The Band imploded over ego problems and drug addictions.

Culture Audience: This movie will appeal mostly to fans of Robbie Robertson and The Band, as well as people who enjoy documentaries about classic rock artists.

The Band in “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.” Pictured from left to right: Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm. (Photo by David Gahr)

In case it wasn’t clear from the title of the movie, the documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” is a biography that’s heavily slanted toward Robbie Robertson, one of the co-founders of The Band. The movie is told from his perspective, so it’s really his life story, although his time with The Band is at the heart of the movie. This traditionally made documentary (the first feature film from Canadian director Daniel Roher) takes viewers through a comprehensive and very Robertson-biased history of the group, whose original lineup broke up in 1976.

Born in 1943, Robertson knew from an early age that he wanted to be a musician. The movie begins with Robertson talking about his humble origins growing up in his native Toronto as an only child of factory workers who were in an interracial relationship: His father James Patrick Robertson was white, and his mother Rosemarie Dolly Robertson was a Native American who had ties to the Mohawk community and the Six Nations Reserve. When he was in his early teens, Robertson found out that his birth name was Jaime Royal Klegerman, because his biological father was really a Jewish gambler named Alexander David Klegerman.

After Robertson found out who his biological father was, he got to know the Klegerman side of his family, and was fascinated by his biological father’s outlaw lifestyle. This fascination also coincided with his growing interest in rock’n’roll, which was a new genre when he was a teenager, and it was considered the music of rebels. Although Robertson would learn to play several instruments, the guitar was his instrument of choice.

At the age of 13, he joined his first band (a cover band called Little Caesar and the Consuls), which lasted for about a year. Through sheer determination and persistence, Robertson talked his way into professional gigs, and for most of his mid-teens he played in local bands and worked at carnivals. He usually lied about his age back then, and because he was so talented and looked older than his real age, he was able to convince people to hire him as a musician.

When he was just 16, he began working with rockabilly artist Ronnie Hawkins as a guitarist in The Hawks, which was Hawkins’ backup band. Hawkins is interviewed in the documentary, and he shares fond memories of Robertson, whom he remembers as being bright and ambitious. Through his experience with The Hawks, Robertson met the other musicians who would eventually become members of The Band: drummer Levon Helm, bassist Rick Danko, keyboardist/saxophonist Garth Hudson and multi-instrumentalist Richard Manuel. All of them were Canadian, except for Helm, who was American. (Helm died in 2012, Danko died in 1999, and Manuel died in 1986.)

In addition to Hawkins, Robertson credits Helm and guitarist Roy Buchanan (who was briefly a member of The Hawks) as being extremely influential to him as a young musician. Helm in particular became like an older brother to Robertson, so when their relationship turned sour years later, Robertson said it was heartbreaking for him.

In 1964, The Hawks left Hawkins and began performing as Levon and The Hawks, with Helm as lead singer/drummer, Robertson as lead guitarist, Danko as bassist, Manuel as multi-instrumentalist and Hudson as keyboardist/saxophonist. Their music was bluesier and more soulful than the rockabilly that Hawkins performed. That blues/soul influence would later become part of The Band’s signature sound. It’s rock music that mixes elements of blues, soul, folk and country—a subgenre that people now call Americana.

The group known as Levon and The Hawks then began working as Bob Dylan’s backup band in 1965, and they toured the world with him for about a year. (Dylan is not interviewed in this documentary, but there’s archival footage of Dylan working with the band.) It was through Dylan and his manager Albert Grossman that The Hawks relocated to upstate New York, where Dylan was based at the time. The band members settled in the cities of Woodstock and West Saugerties.

This relocation was a pivotal moment in Robertson’s history because it led to the famous “Basement Tape Sessions” of 1967, when Dylan and members of the band wrote and recorded songs together in a pink house in West Saugerties. By this time, The Hawks had renamed themselves The Band, and did recording sessions on their own without Dylan as the lead singer. The sessions would turn into The Band’s landmark 1968 debut album, “Music from Big Pink,” which included the single “The Weight,” which is arguably The Band’s best-known song.

The instant success of “Music From Big Pink” created demand for The Band as a standalone act, so the group amicably parted ways with Dylan, although The Band would occasionally work with Dylan again as a guest collaborator. The Band continued to have a steady stream of success, including the hit songs “Up on Cripple Creek,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “Don’t Do It” and “On a Night Like This.” (The Band was also one of the performers at the Woodstock Festival, although the performance didn’t make it into the “Woodstock” movie.)

The Band was unusual because the group’s original lineup had three lead singers—Helm, Robertson and Danko—and that jockeying for frontman power caused internal conflicts over who would sing lead on which songs. However, The Band was an example of being a group whose sum was greater than its parts. The documentary includes a treasure trove of great behind-the-scenes photos, audio recordings and video footage of The Band rehearsing and recording. Even if people are already familiar with The Band before seeing this documentary, this footage is a reminder how special and electrifying The Band’s chemistry was.

And that once-in-a-lifetime chemistry is one of the reasons why The Band was so well-respected among musical peers. The documentary interviews famous fans Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal and the usually media-shy Van Morrison, who talk about how much they admired the musicianship and songwriting talent in The Band. Bruce Springsteen, who’s also interviewed, gushes about how influential The Band was to him as a musician.

But just like many other famous bands that broke up, The Band’s demise came down to egos and drugs. The way Robertson tells it, he was the driving force in the band for many years, as the chief songwriter and as the member most likely to hold things together, even though the drug addictions of Helm, Manuel and Danko were tearing the band apart. Robertson says that Helm went from being someone who swore he would never do heroin to being perhaps the most hardcore heroin addict of the three.

And what about keyboardist/saxophonist Hudson? He’s described in the documentary as sweet and shy and the least likely one in the band to cause trouble. Unfortunately, viewers won’t hear his perspective in this documentary. According to the production notes, “Once Were Brothers” director Roher spent a weekend interviewing Hudson on-camera, but that footage didn’t make the final cut.

Roher comments in the production notes about filming Hudson for the documentary: “He played music for me, and we had an amazing time together, but for reasons that are difficult to discuss, it soon became apparent we couldn’t use the footage. Still, I appreciated the opportunity to meet with him and shoot that interview. In the end, though, I understood that we had to find another way to add his voice to the documentary.”

Meanwhile, in a 2019 interview with The Guardian, Robertson had this to say about why Hudson isn’t in the documentary: “Garth is a recluse and he doesn’t talk. He has a health issue. I don’t think it would be respectful to Garth to show that he is not feeling that well, and to not be able to show him in a shining light.”

Robertson says in the film that because he was the first member of The Band to get married and start a family during the height of The Band’s fame, he had a different lifestyle and perspective than the other members of The Band (namely, Helm, Danko and Manuel), who were living the lives of wild and single rock stars. And because Robertson was the most business-minded member of the group, it caused a wedge between him and the other members of the band.

In the years after The Band’s breakup, Helm would bitterly complain in interviews about business and legal disagreements that he had with Robertson, who gave his blessing for Helm, Danko and Manuel to continue as The Band without him after the original lineup broke up. In the “Once Were Brothers” documentary, Robertson says one of his biggest regrets is that he never fully reconciled with Helm before his death in 2012. Helm wrote his own memoir (1993’s “This Wheel’s on Fire”) and was the subject of the 2010 documentary “Ain’t in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm,” so his perspective is worth looking into for people who want his side of the story.

The documentary makes it clear that Robertson was no clean-living angel during his time in The Band and after the breakup. He openly admits that he also abused drugs and alcohol over the years. However, Robertson was never addicted, according to his ex-wife Dominique Robertson, who’s currently an addiction counselor and who was married to Robbie Robertson from 1967 to 1997. In the documentary, Dominique Robertson also recalls harrowing incidents, when the The Band lived near each other in upstate New York, of Helm and Danko wrecking their cars because they were driving while intoxicated.

Robertson glosses over a lot of his drug use in the documentary with vague and brief comments about his experiences with drugs, whereas there are vivid descriptions of how drugs (especially heroin) were behind the downward spirals of Helm, Manuel and Danko. The way Robertson tells it, he grew increasingly frustrated with their tardiness and what he describes as their eventual sloppy musicianship, while he remained the responsible workaholic who was holding the band together, even though he was abusing drugs and alcohol too. You get the impression that Robertson is embellishing his role as the noble protagonist of this story, and that all the blame shouldn’t be placed on Helm, Manuel and Danko for ruining The Band. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

By making Robertson the hero of this story, because he says he tried to save The Band, the documentary by default makes Helm, Manuel and Danko look like the selfish “screw-ups” and unintentional quasi-villains. It feels a bit like an insulting pile-on about people who aren’t alive to defend themselves or tell their sides of the story in this movie. It’s too bad that this documentary doesn’t have Hudson’s perspective as the only other surviving member of The Band’s original lineup.

At any rate, Robertson has made it clear in this documentary and in several interviews he’s done over the years that The Band’s original lineup probably would’ve kept going if not for the drug addictions, and he was the one who chose to pull the plug on the original lineup and walk away.

Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese, who’s been Robertson’s close friend for decades, is also interviewed. He shares some great behind-the-scenes stories about directing “The Last Waltz,” the 1978 concert documentary that chronicled The Band’s final performance with the original lineup on November 25, 1976. The concert, which took place in San Francisco, also had guest stars such as Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Morrison.

Of course, there are clips from “The Last Waltz,” which are among the highlights of “Once Were Brothers.” It just goes to show how “The Last Waltz” is such a great concert film when scenes from the movie are some of the best parts of another documentary about Robertson and The Band. In fact, “The Last Waltz” performance of “The Night They Drove All Dixie Down” is used during the closing credits of “Once Were Brothers.”

Overall, director Roher made excellent choices in the archival footage and how the music was edited in the film. Although Robertson’s solo career (including his work as a film composer) is mentioned, the filmmakers made the wise decision to put the movie’s focus primarily on The Band.

Roher (who says he begged and pleaded to direct this documentary because he loves Robbie Robertson and The Band so much) approaches the subject matter like the superfan that he admits he is. The people who are in this movie seem to be only those who were approved by Robertson. A little more investigative journalism would have given this documentary a more well-rounded variety of perspectives.

Ultimately though, the music and talent of Robertson and The Band are the real attractions for this movie. And in that respect, this documentary is a crowd-pleaser.

Magnolia Pictures released “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” in select U.S. cinemas on February 21, 2020.

2019 Hollywood Film Awards: recap and photos

November 3, 2019

Al Pacino (left), winner of the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award, and “The Godfather” director Francis Ford Coppola at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions:

The 23rd Annual “Hollywood Film Awards” brought together Hollywood’s elite to honor the year’s most talked about and highly anticipated actors, actresses and films, and those who helped bring them to life. The awards ceremony, celebrating its 23rd anniversary as the official launch of the awards season, was hosted by actor and comedian Rob Riggle, and took place at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. In its 23-year history, over 340 of the world’s biggest stars and filmmakers have been highlighted at the “Hollywood Film Awards” and more than 140 of the honorees have gone on to garner Oscar nominations and/or wins.

Rob Riggle  at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for HFA)

Host Rob Riggle infused the ceremony with heart and humor, proving to be a steadfast guide through the evening’s many memorable moments. There was no shortage of standing ovations for both presenters and honorees alike, who included some of the most iconic members of the Hollywood community. Al Pacino took time to acknowledge many of his fellow honorees and friends in the room as he accepted the “Hollywood Supporting Actor Award.”

Martin Scorsese at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for HFA)

After a presentation from her mentor Martin Scorsese, “Hollywood Producer Award” recipient Emma Tillinger Koskoff delivered an emotional speech, offering a tear-filled thank you to the legendary director and producer. “Hollywood Filmmaker Award” honoree Bong Joon Ho, spoke in his native tongue to deliver a universal message that “we use only one language of cinema.”

Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for HFA)

In a touching moment between “Hollywood Career Achievement Award” presenter Nicole Kidman and this year’s honoree Charlize Theron, Kidman remarked that “we don’t get to choose our heroes, but through this journey, I got to work with one of mine!”

Antonio Banderas and Dakota Johnson at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Dakota Johnson took the stage to present Antonio Banderas with the “Hollywood Actor Award,” and reflected upon her realization that Banderas has become one of the most influential people in her life. He accepted by dedicating the award to Dakota, and his daughter Stella, who was in the room to share the night with him.

Cynthia Erivo at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for HFA)

Viola Davis presented Cynthia Erivo with the “Hollywood Breakout Actress Award,” calling her “fearlessness personified” as she takes on the role of Harriet Tubman. Ray Romano brought the laughs as he showered praise upon “Hollywood Breakout Actor” honoree Taron Egerton, pointing out how unfair it is that Egerton is not only endlessly talented, but funny as well.

Robert Downey Jr. and Shia LaBeouf at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019 . (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for HFA)

Christian Bale and Matt Damon turned up to honor their “Ford v Ferrari” director James Mangold, while Robert Downey Jr. was on hand to laud “Honey Boy” actor and screenwriter Shia LeBeouf with the “Hollywood Breakthrough Screenwriter Award.”  Former co-stars Jennifer Garner and Olivia Wilde celebrated Wilde’s “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award,” each sharing humorous tales of their adventures together on set.

Olivia Wilde at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for HFA)

Kevin Feige and Victoria Alonso joined together to accept the “Hollywood Blockbuster Award,” thanking their amazing writers, directors, and awe-inspiring cast, including presenter Mark Ruffalo. Alicia Keys began her tribute to “Hollywood Song Award” honoree Pharrell Williams by recognizing all of the love in the room, before Williams delivered a powerful speech focusing on the unparalleled contributions made by “The Black Godfather” subject, Clarence Avant. He said that he has opened doors when others would glue them shut and has consistently demanded equality throughout his career.

Finn Wittrock, Renée Zellweger and Jessie Buckley at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

“Judy” co-stars Finn Wittrock and Jessie Buckley were on hand to recognize their leading lady Renée Zellweger with the “Hollywood Actress Award.” She said that the experience of playing Judy Garland was “one of those rare opportunities that essentially make no sense at all, but becomes your greatest accomplishment!”

Laura Dern and Willem Dafoe at the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on November 3, 2019. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for HFA)

After an earnest tribute from Jon Hamm, “Hollywood Screenwriter Award” honoree Anthony McCarten joked about finding success when he strayed from his teacher’s advice to write what he knows. He advised others to write what they want to know, that curiosity is what drove him to this project. Willem Dafoe presented his friend and colleague Laura Dern with the “Hollywood Supporting Actress Award,” praising the inspiring way in which she connects to audiences through her compassion.

This year’s award show honored the following:

“Hollywood Career Achievement Award”
Charlize Theron, presented by Nicole Kidman

“Hollywood Actor Award”
Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory, presented by Dakota Johnson

“Hollywood Actress Award”
Renée Zellweger for Judy, presented by Finn Wittrock & Jessie Buckley

“Hollywood Supporting Actor Award”
Al Pacino for The Irishman, presented by Francis Ford Coppola

“Hollywood Supporting Actress Award”
Laura Dern for Marriage Story, presented by Willem Dafoe

“Hollywood Producer Award”
Emma Tillinger Koskoff for The Irishman, presented by Martin Scorsese

“Hollywood Director Award”
James Mangold for Ford v Ferrari, presented by Christian Bale & Matt Damon

“Hollywood Filmmaker Award”
Bong Joon Ho for Parasite, presented by Sienna Miller

“Hollywood Screenwriter Award”
Anthony McCarten for The Two Popes, presented by Jon Hamm

“Hollywood Blockbuster Award”
Avengers: Endgame, presented by Mark Ruffalo

“Hollywood Song Award”
Pharrell Williams for Letter To My Godfather, presented by Alicia Keys

“Hollywood Breakout Actor Award”
Taron Egerton for Rocketman, presented by Ray Romano

“Hollywood Breakout Actress Award”
Cynthia Erivo for Harriet, presented by Viola Davis

“Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award”
Olivia Wilde for Booksmart, presented by Jennifer Garner

“Hollywood Breakthrough Screenwriter Award”
Shia LaBeouf for Honey Boy, presented by Robert Downey Jr.

“Hollywood Animation Award”
Toy Story 4

“Hollywood Cinematography Award”
Mihai Malaimare Jr. for Jojo Rabbit

“Hollywood Film Composer Award”
Randy Newman for Marriage Story

“Hollywood Editor Award”
Michael McCusker & Andrew Buckland for Ford v Ferrari

“Hollywood Visual Effects Award”
Pablo Helman for The Irishman

“Hollywood Sound Award”
Donald Sylvester, Paul Massey, David Giammarco, & Steven A. Morrow for Ford v Ferrari

“Hollywood Costume Design Award”
Anna Mary Scott Robbins for Downton Abbey

“Hollywood Make-Up & Hair Styling Award”
Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou, Tapio Salmi, & Barrie Gower for Rocketman

“Hollywood Production Design Award”
Ra Vincent for Jojo Rabbit

Honoree Portraits are available on the show’s Twitter and Instagram pages. For all information and highlights, please visit the website for the Hollywood Film Awards.

For the latest news, follow the “Hollywood Film Awards” on social and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #HollywoodAwards.

Twitter: @HollywoodAwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/HollywoodAwards
Instagram: @hollywoodawards

About Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified and integrated media company with divisions and strategic investments in television, film, live entertainment, digital media and publishing. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About the Hollywood Film Awards
The Hollywood Film Awards, founded in 1997, were created to celebrate Hollywood and launch the awards season. The recipients of the awards are selected by an Advisory Team for their body of work and/or a film(s) that is to be released during the calendar year. For additional information, visit www.hollywoodawards.com.

2019 New York Film Festival: special events, shorts, talks announced

August 23, 2019

Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker” (Photo by Nikos Tavernise)

Film at Lincoln Center announces the complete lineup for the Special Events, Shorts, and Talks sections for the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13).

Special Events will feature Francis Ford Coppola’s The Cotton Club Encore, an extended version of his portrait of the eponymous Harlem nightclub where legendary black musicians like Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, and Duke Ellington performed for an exclusively white clientele. Coppola recovered lost negatives to restore sound, image, and the film’s intended length, and will appear in person for a Q&A.

Joker, the highly anticipated origin story of Batman’s arch enemy, starring a brilliant Joaquin Phoenix as the nefarious villain, will screen in a special sneak preview. Phoenix will join audiences for an extended Q&A along with director Todd Phillips and the creative team behind this stunning new vision of Gotham.

Roee Messinger’s American Trial: The Eric Garner Story envisions the fictional but unscripted trial of recently fired officer Daniel Pantaleo for one of the nation’s most disturbing recent tragedies: Eric Garner’s 2014 murder by police chokehold in Staten Island, which galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement. The film features the testimony of real-life witnesses and friends of Garner, and the participation of two legal teams. American Trial will make its World Premiere at NYFF with a free screening and extended panel, featuring the director and a number of the film’s participants.

Special Events also includes a Screenwriting Master Class with Olivier Assayas, a fixture of the New York Film Festival, who will discuss the process of adapting real events into creative fictions, such as his newest film, Wasp Network, playing in this year’s Main Slate.

This year’s four Shorts programs feature a mix of narrative and documentary films from established and emerging artists, with 9 world premieres, including all titles in the annual New York Stories program and Theo Anthony’s Subject to Review (Program 2). Highlights include new work from NYFF alumni Yorgos Lanthimos, Gabriel Abrantes, Gaston Solnicki, Qiu Yang, Martin Rejtman, Pia Borg, Joe Stankus, Adinah Dancyger, Jay Giampietro, Ricky D’Ambrose, and Joanna Arnow.

NYFF Talks return with On Cinema, wherein festival director Kent Jones sits down with world-renowned filmmakers for an in-depth discussion about films that have influenced and inspired them, illustrated with film clips. This year Film at Lincoln Center presents two such talks: with Martin Scorsese, director of Opening selection The Irishman, and Pedro Almodóvar, a festival veteran and director of Main Slate selection Pain and Glory. Directors Dialogues are special Q&As with filmmakers from NYFF57, discussing the ideas and the craft behind their buzzed-about newest works. This year’s participants are Bong Joon-ho, the Palme d’Or–winning director of Parasite, and Mati Diop, who makes her NYFF debut with Atlantics.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming. Shorts are programmed by Tyler Wilson and Madeline Whittle.

HBO is the presenting sponsor of NYFF Talks, which bring wide-ranging conversations with directors featured in NYFF57 to the public and include Directors Dialogues and On Cinema. HBO also sponsors NYFF Live, which will be announced in September.

As part of their commitment to celebrating filmmaking talent, Warby Parker is proud to return this year as the presenting partner of the Screenwriting Master Class.

The NYFF Shorts section is presented by Netflix.

As previously announced, the NYFF57 Opening selection is Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is the Centerpiece, and Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn will close the festival. The complete lineup for the Main Slate, Projections, Convergence, and Spotlight on Documentary can be found here.

Tickets for Special Events and the On Cinema Talks are $30 for General Public and $25 for Members & Students. Some exceptions may apply for select programs, including Joker and the Screenwriting Master Class. Tickets for Shorts and the Directors Dialogues are $17 for General Public and $12 for Members & Students. Visit here for more information.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale through today, August 23rd and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Opening and Closing Night.

SPECIAL EVENTS DESCRIPTIONS

American Trial: The Eric Garner Story
Dir. Roee Messinger, USA, 100m
World Premiere

The idea is powerfully simple: engage the services of two actual legal teams to create a rigorous, legally based fictional—yet unscripted—trial that never happened for one of the nation’s most disturbing recent tragedies. The accused is Officer Daniel Pantaleo (only recently fired by New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill), charged in the July 17, 2014 death of Eric Garner with reckless manslaughter and strangulation in the first degree. The judge is played by a seasoned defense lawyer, while the officer is played by the only actor in the cast (Anthony Altieri). Eyewitnesses, bystanders, friends, and his widow, Esaw Snipes, all come to testify; meanwhile, credible expert witnesses who would have likely been called to testify in a real trial provide their testimonies for both the prosecution and the defense to create fair judicial proceedings. Roee Messinger’s film goes deep into the case, placing the audience in the position of the jury. American Trial is a one-of-a-kind film, and this special screening will be free to the public.

The Cotton Club Encore
Dir. Francis Ford Coppola, U.S., 1984, 139m

It’s now clear that Francis Ford Coppola’s eighties constituted his most fruitfully experimental period of filmmaking, when he used the clout from such behemoth masterpieces of the previous decade as the Godfather films and Apocalypse Now to try his hand at films of various genres and budget levels. At the time, The Cotton Club, Coppola’s stylish throwback to those 1930s Hollywood standbys the gangster film and the musical, was considered a costly disappointment, altered seemingly irrevocably due to behind-the-scenes conflicts with producers and financiers. Yet this sophisticated, witty, wildly ambitious movie, starring Gregory Hines and Richard Gere, about the titular Harlem nightclub, where legendary black musicians like Cab Calloway, Lena Horne, and Duke Ellington performed for an exclusively white clientele, was always something special, a rousing American entertainment that was both an evocation of the work of such directors as Raoul Walsh and William Wellman and a loving recreation of the period itself. The brilliance of Coppola’s vision is more apparent than ever in this “reawakened” version, The Cotton Club Encore, for which the director recovered lost negatives to bring the film back to its original length and luster, with restored sound and image.

Joker
Dir. Todd Phillips, USA, 122m

The Joker began life on April 25, 1940 as the anarchic enemy of DC Comics’ Batman, and his appearance was possibly inspired by Conrad Veidt’s permanently, demonically smiling face from the 1928 silent film The Man Who Laughs. The Joker has gone through many transformations and iterations, but his origin story has never been as vividly or shockingly imagined and realized as it is here, in one of the most anticipated films of the year. Join us for a special screening and discussion with the creative team behind this stunning, truly disturbing vision, led by director Todd Phillips and his brilliant star, Joaquin Phoenix. A Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative release.

Screenwriting Master Class with Olivier Assayas

Presented by Warby Parker
The amazing and eclectic career of French filmmaker Olivier Assayas has encompassed autobiography (Cold Water, Summer Hours, Something in the Air), contemporary meta-fiction (Irma Vep, demonlover, Clouds of Sils Maria), literary adaptation (Les destinées sentimentales), and in the case of the epic Carlos and his latest film in this year’s festival, the exhilarating Wasp Network, about a ring of Cuban refugees functioning as spies for the Castro government while living in Miami in the early nineties, intimate narratives based on true stories. In this special discussion, Assayas will talk about the process of turning real events into creative fictions. Starring Penélope Cruz and Édgar Ramirez, Wasp Network is based on Fernando Morais’s meticulously researched 2015 book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War.

SHORT FILM DESCRIPTIONS

Program 1: International (TRT: 89m)
A mixture of narrative and documentary, this program showcases bold, new films by emerging and established filmmakers working in international cinema today.
Programmed by Tyler Wilson.

Party Day / Dia de Festa
Sofia Bost, Portugal, 2019, 17m
Portuguese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
A cash-strapped single mother is pulled into an unresolved family conflict as she struggles to host her daughter’s seventh birthday party. Sofia Bost’s 16mm-shot drama, filled with illuminating performances, renders a complicated depiction of motherhood and the inconsolable grievances inherited by each generation.

Blessed Land / Một Khu Đất Tốt
Phạm Ngọc Lân, Vietnam, 2019, 19m
Vietnamese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Searching for her deceased husband’s grave, a mother wanders with her son through a cemetery that has been partially remade into a golf course. Phạm Ngọc Lân’s intricately staged single-location film merges two disparate time periods, creating unnerving harmony between sociopolitical conspiracy and the natural erosion of memory, spiritual calm and modern decadence.

Circumplector
Gastón Solnicki, Argentina/France, 2019, 3m
U.S. Premiere
Gastón Solnicki’s miniature of Notre-Dame—filmed days before the fire—impressionistically links various media the cathedral evokes, including still-life painting and Baroque music, to present-day footage of work and performance.

San Vittore
Yuri Ancarani, Italy, 2019, 11m
Observing security guards as they search and escort children through Milan’s oldest prison, San Vittore depicts the lingering effects of the institution on its visitors. Visual artist Yuri Ancarani’s short documentary remains firmly immersed in a child’s-eye point of view, evoking the young subjects’ increasing understanding of the institution’s purpose with quiet, disturbing tension.

She Runs / Nan Fang Shao Nv
Qiu Yang, China/France, 2019, 19m
Chinese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Set in Changzhou, a city in China’s southern Jiangsu province, She Runs follows a young student after she tries to quit her school’s aerobic dance team. Eschewing close-ups for long shots—around building corners, or from entirely different rooms—Qiu Yang’s Cannes-winning short follows its protagonist’s mounting desperation, implicating the underlying foundation of Changzhou as much as people inhabiting it.

Shakti
Martin Rejtman, Argentina/Chile, 2019, 20m
Spanish with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Not long after his grandmother dies, a twenty-something man in Buenos Aires breaks up with his girlfriend and begins obsessing over her unexpected reaction—but then he meets someone else. The stylistic exactness, narrative shrewdness, and droll pacing emblematic of Martin Rejtman’s cinematic sensibility are perfectly at home in this short comedy of peculiar minutiae and casual digressions.

Program 2: Documentary (TRT: 68m)
This documentary program connects the imperfections of the human experience to the influence of technology and mass media by pairing Pia Borg’s chilling account of the Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic of the 1980s with Theo Anthony’s wry, imaginative essay film about the instant replay system of professional tennis.
Programmed by Tyler Wilson.

Demonic
Pia Borg, Australia, 2019, 30m
North American Premiere
The real and the imagined fold together in Pia Borg’s horror-documentary about the Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic of the 1980s, a mass hysteria during which people around the world “recovered” memories of debauchery and human sacrifices related to satanic cults. Using a cunning combination of archival media coverage, audio footage, and historical recreation by way of computer animation and 16mm, Demonic reframes our current moment of misinformation and distrust, revealing the forces at play between psychiatry, media, and false memory.

Subject to Review
Theo Anthony, USA, 2019, 38m
World Premiere
The latest from Theo Anthony (Rat Film) charts the rise and development of the instant replay system Hawk-Eye in professional tennis, cleverly relating innovative technology and the imperfections of the human experience to the history of cinema, sports entertainment, and humanity’s desire to objectively interpret the world. Featuring music by composer Dan Deacon, Subject to Review is another odd, imaginative, and accessible documentary essay from the Baltimore-based filmmaker.

Program 3: Narrative (TRT: 96m)
From absurdist thrillers and political fantasies to lo-fi sci-fi and body horror, these seven shorts from emerging and established international filmmakers make up this wildly eclectic narrative program.
Programmed by Tyler Wilson.

Automatic
Emma Doxiadi, Greece, 2019, 10m
Greek with English subtitles
North American Premiere
Two young women convince each other they are under threat after accidentally photographing what they believe to be a concealed automatic rifle. Shot in drawn-out, static takes, Emma Doxiadi’s comical mystery comments on Greece’s ongoing refugee crisis in real time, pointing squarely at foolish knee-jerk reactions.

Mthunzi
Tebogo Malebogo, South Africa, 2019, 9m
North American Premiere
While walking home from the store, a young man is prompted to help a seizing woman, and unknowingly demonstrates the danger of doing the right thing. Cape Town–based filmmaker Tebogo Malebogo’s briskly tense script and direction elevate Mthunzi from a simple morality tale into a nervous thriller about implicit biases in unfamiliar circumstances.

Control Plan
Juliana Antunes, Brazil, 2018, 15m
Portuguese with English subtitles
U.S. Premiere
Set shortly after former President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, Control Plan follows a young Brazilian woman who uses her cell phone’s teleportation service to flee the country. Politically serious but always funny, this lo-fi sci-fi from Juliana Antunes (Baronesa) is as much a commentary on the fraught paradigm shifts of 2016 as it is a pointed takedown of limited data plans.

Nimic
Yorgos Lanthimos, Germany/UK/USA, 2019, 12m
North American Premiere
Matt Dillon stars as a professional cellist whose seemingly innocent question to a stranger results in weirdly repetitive consequences to his daily routine. Working with cinematographer Diego García (Cemetery of Splendor), Lanthimos lends his distressing, absurdist vision to the instruments, patterns, and lonesome gestures of modern city life.

Please Speak Continuously and Describe Your Experiences as They Come to You
Brandon Cronenberg, Canada, 2019, 9m
Brandon Cronenberg uses only in-camera effects to tell the hilarious, house-of-mirrors horror story of a patient at an experimental psychiatric facility (Deragh Campbell) who receives a brain implant that allows her to revisit dreams.

Austral Fever / Fiebre austral
Thomas Woodroffe, Chile, 2019, 21m
U.S. Premiere
After an injury places a teenager on bed rest, he and his adult caretaker develop an unusual attraction to his wound. Filmed mostly in dimly lit spaces with southern Chile’s mountain range as its backdrop, Austral Fever is a slow-burning, quietly perverse fantasy about cabin fever, addictive pleasures, and the mysteries of the human body.

The Marvelous Misadventures of the Stone Lady / Les Extraordinaires mésaventures de la jeune fille de Pierre
Gabriel Abrantes, France/Portugal, 2019, 20m
North American Premiere
A female sculpture escapes from the Louvre to experience the aggressive streets of contemporary Paris in this fairy-tale pastiche from Gabriel Abrantes. Slyly raising questions of liberation through crisply rendered CGI characters in direct contact with the harsher outside world, Abrantes critiques the power structures of venerable institutions without ever forgoing his ability to entertain.

Program 4: New York Stories (TRT: 98m)
This program, now in its fifth year, showcases work from some of the most exciting filmmakers living and working in New York today, including established names and ones to watch.
Programmed by Madeline Whittle and Tyler Wilson.

Good News
Joe Stankus, USA, 2019, 10m
World Premiere
Novelist Evan is excited to share the news that he’s been accepted to a prestigious summer writers’ colony with his husband and their friends over an intimate dinner party. But the big reveal doesn’t go as planned in this finely calibrated domestic-drama-in-miniature.

Caterina
Dan Sallitt, USA, 2019, 17m
World Premiere
Dan Sallitt intimately crafts a small-scale portrait of an inquisitive and compassionate young woman in this subtly episodic slice of life, following the eponymous protagonist through her ongoing, everyday search for connection among friends, lovers, and fellow travelers.

Moving
Adinah Dancyger, USA 2019, 8m
World Premiere
The act of transporting an old mattress into a new walk-up apartment becomes absurdist, cinematic one-woman choreography in this wordless vignette from Adinah Dancyger, full of humor and pathos, and painfully familiar to city-dwellers.

Foreign Powers
Bingham Bryant, USA, 2019, 17m
World Premiere
A nameless young woman recounts a peculiar dream, set in a mysterious fictional city and populated by her real-world friends and acquaintances, in Bingham Bryant’s vivid, precisely conceived exploration into the uncanny logic and banal strangeness of our subconscious wanderings.

the thing that kills me the most
Jay Giampietro, USA, 2019, 5m
World Premiere
Faces, voices, light: language itself is rendered abstract in this impressionistic fugue about fraught interpersonal dynamics at a weekly social engagement, narrated in retrospect by an exasperated fellow guest.

The Sky Is Clear and Blue Today
Ricky D’Ambrose, USA, 2019, 16m
World Premiere
Ricky D’Ambrose brings his trademark marriage of formalist rigor and sly narrative wit to this faux-documentary account of an American director developing an experimental film for German television about the events of September 11, 2001.

Fit Model
Myna Joseph, USA, 2019, 20m
World Premiere
In Myna Joseph’s deft depiction of a woman fiercely determined to get by on her own terms, Lu Simon (Lucy Owen) is a thirty-something struggling actor navigating day jobs and errands across the city, while juggling negotiations with an unhelpful hospital billing department.

Laying Out
Joanna Arnow, USA, 2019, 5m
World Premiere
This tersely lyrical meditation on sex and gender roles from Joanna Arnow features two fed-up mermaids lounging on a beach, drinks in hand, as they vent and commiserate over underacknowledged frustrations and unspoken desires.

TALKS DESCRIPTIONS

On Cinema: Martin Scorsese

In these annual special events, New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones sits down with world-renowned filmmakers for in-depth talks about films from other directors that have influenced them, their discussion illustrated with film clips. In the first of two On Cinema events that the festival is pleased to present this year, Jones will talk with Martin Scorsese, whose epic crime drama The Irishman is this year’s highly anticipated opening event. Scorsese, known as much for his work as a film historian as for his unparalleled, decades-spanning cinematic career, will guide the audience through a selection of films that inspired this remarkable new work.

On Cinema: Pedro Almodóvar

Among the world’s most beloved auteurs, Pedro Almodóvar has shown films at the New York Film Festival eleven times over the past four decades. This year’s selection is perhaps his most personal film yet: Pain and Glory, starring a Cannes Film Festival–awarded Antonio Banderas in the role of a director—essentially a surrogate Almodóvar figure—who has reached a creative block. As with all of his films, there is a deep wellspring of emotion in Pain and Glory, as well as a rich tapestry of allusions and references to a cinematic past, which this conversation will help elucidate.

Directors Dialogues
The Directors Dialogues are the New York Film Festival’s annual series of intimate conversations, in which a selection of filmmakers from this year’s festival sit down for special Q&As to discuss the ideas and the craft behind their buzzed about newest works. Participating directors include:

Bong Joon-ho

The South Korean filmmaker, whose unpredictable and diverse filmography has taken us from the gonzo monster movie The Host to the intense, bloody melodrama of Mother to the graphic novel action of Snowpiercer, has created perhaps his masterpiece with this year’s Palme d’Or–winner Parasite. Bong will discuss his spring-trap-loaded comedy-drama-thriller with a social conscience—so make sure you see it first to not spoil its many surprises.

Mati Diop

The French-Senegalese director made perhaps the year’s most talked-about debut feature with Atlantics, which earned her the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. Both ghost and love story, the film feels unlike any other, hypnotic and supernatural yet grounded in the realities of life as it’s experienced by those living in contemporary, working-class Dakar. Diop will be on hand to discuss how she negotiated these registers and how she constructed her singular film.

2019 New York Film Festival: ‘The Irishman’ is the opening-night film

July 29, 2019

Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in "The Irishman"
Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro in “The Irishman” (Photo by Niko Tavernise/Netflix)

The following is a press release from the Film at Lincoln Center:

Film at Lincoln Center announces Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” as Opening Night of the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13), making its World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on Friday, September 27, 2019. “The Irishman” will be released in select theaters and on Netflix later this year.

“The Irishman” is a richly textured epic of American crime, a dense, complex story told with astonishing fluidity. Based on Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book “I Heard You Paint Houses,” it is a film about friendship and loyalty between men who commit unspeakable acts and turn on a dime against each other, and the possibility of redemption in a world where it seems as distant as the moon. The roster of talent behind and in front of the camera is astonishing, and at the core of “The Irishman” are four great artists collectively hitting a new peak: Joe Pesci as Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino, Al Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, and Robert De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran, each working in the closest harmony imaginable with the film’s incomparable creator, Martin Scorsese.

“’The Irishman’ is so many things: rich, funny, troubling, entertaining and, like all great movies, absolutely singular,” said New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones. “It’s the work of masters, made with a command of the art of cinema that I’ve seen very rarely in my lifetime, and it plays out at a level of subtlety and human intimacy that truly stunned me. All I can say is that the minute it was over my immediate reaction was that I wanted to watch it all over again.”

“It’s an incredible honor that ‘The Irishman’ has been selected as the Opening Night of the New York Film Festival. I greatly admire the bold and visionary selections that the festival presents to audiences year after year,” said Martin Scorsese. “The festival is critical to bringing awareness to cinema from around the world. I am grateful to have the opportunity to premiere my new picture in New York alongside my wonderful cast and crew.”

Campari is the exclusive spirits partner for the 57th New York Film Festival and the presenting partner of Opening Night, extending its long-standing commitment to the world of film and art.

Presented by Film at Lincoln Center, the 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FLC Director of Programming, and Florence Almozini, FLC Associate Director of Programming.

Tickets for the 57th New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public on September 8. Festival and VIP passes are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events, including Opening Night. Support for Opening Night of the New York Film Festival benefits Film at Lincoln Center in its non-profit mission to support the art and craft of cinema.

New York Film Festival Opening Night Films

2018 The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland/UK/US)
2017 Last Flag Flying (Richard Linklater, US)
2016    13TH (Ava DuVernay, US)
2015    The Walk (Robert Zemeckis, US)
2014    Gone Girl (David Fincher, US)
2013    Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, US)
2012    Life of Pi (Ang Lee, US)
2011    Carnage (Roman Polanski, France/Poland)
2010    The Social Network (David Fincher, US)
2009    Wild Grass (Alain Resnais, France)
2008    The Class (Laurent Cantet, France)
2007    The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, US)
2006    The Queen (Stephen Frears, UK)
2005    Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney, US)
2004    Look at Me (Agnès Jaoui, France)
2003    Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, US)
2002    About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, US)
2001    Va savoir (Jacques Rivette, France)
2000    Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, Denmark)
1999    All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1998    Celebrity (Woody Allen, US)
1997    The Ice Storm (Ang Lee, US)
1996    Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, UK)
1995    Shanghai Triad (Zhang Yimou, China)
1994    Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US)
1993    Short Cuts (Robert Altman, US)
1992    Olivier Olivier (Agnieszka Holland, France)
1991    The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, Poland/France)
1990    Miller’s Crossing (Joel Coen, US)
1989    Too Beautiful for You (Bertrand Blier, France)
1988    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)
1987    Dark Eyes (Nikita Mikhalkov, Soviet Union)
1986    Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, US)
1985    Ran (Akira Kurosawa, Japan)
1984    Country (Richard Pearce, US)
1983    The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, US)
1982    Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, West Germany)
1981    Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, UK)
1980    Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, US)
1979    Luna (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy/US)
1978    A Wedding (Robert Altman, US)
1977    One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda, France)
1976    Small Change (François Truffaut, France)
1975    Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, Italy)
1974    Don’t Cry with Your Mouth Full (Pascal Thomas, France)
1973    Day for Night (François Truffaut, France)
1972    Chloe in the Afternoon (Eric Rohmer, France)
1971    The Debut (Gleb Panfilov, Soviet Union)
1970    The Wild Child (François Truffaut, France)
1969    Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky, US)
1968    Capricious Summer (Jiri Menzel, Czechoslovakia)
1967    The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy/Algeria)
1966    Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman, Czechoslovakia)
1965    Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, France)
1964    Hamlet (Grigori Kozintsev, USSR)
1963    The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, Mexico)

 

FILM AT LINCOLN CENTER
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture.

Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; the presentation of podcasts, talks, and special events; the creation and implementation of Artist Initiatives; and our Film in Education curriculum and screenings. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned arts complex Lincoln Center, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience, and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.
Support for the New York Film Festival is generously provided by Official Partners HBO, Campari, and The New York Times, Benefactor Partners Netflix, illy caffè, and Dolby, Supporting Partner Warby Parker, and Contributing Partners Hudson New York-an SBE Hotel and IMDbPro. JCDecaux, Variety, Deadline Hollywood, WNET New York Public Media and Shutterstock serve as Media Sponsors. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Film at Lincoln Center.

Film at Lincoln Center receives generous, year-round support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org and follow @filmlinc on Twitter and Instagram.

2019 Tribeca Film Festival: Tribeca Talks add Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Guillermo del Toro, Queen Latifah to lineup

March 19, 2019

Tribeca Film Festival - white logo

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro
Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

The following is a press release from the Tribeca Film Festival:

The Tribeca Talks program will return to entertain and inspire audiences at the 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, taking place April 24 – May 5. This year’s lineup will include intimate and once in a lifetime conversations with a diverse list of groundbreaking and critically acclaimed filmmakers, artists, entertainers, and icons.

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series will feature some of the industry’s most renowned filmmakers who will share stories and highlights from their illustrious careers. Longtime filmmaking partners Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro will come together for a conversation at the Beacon Theatre. From Mean Streets to their upcoming The Irishman, the duo will reflect on their decades-long working relationship. This year’s series will also include a conversation with Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro, and Oscar-nominated filmmaker David O. Russell will be joined by his frequent collaborator Jennifer Lawrence.

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers spotlights pioneering creators working across multiple mediums. This accomplished group includes musician Questlove; comedian Sarah Silverman in conversation with Mike Birbiglia; actor and writer Rashida Jones; actors Michael J. Fox and Denis Leary will come together for a one-on-one conversation; and author and VR pioneer Jaron Lanier. There will also be a special Tribeca Talk featuring a conversation with Queen Latifah and Dee Rees about Queen’s extraordinary career followed by the premiere of the Queen Collective shorts.

Tribeca Games Presents a conversation with legendary video game creator Hideo Kojima and actor Norman Reedus to discuss working together on the upcoming video game, Death Stranding.

“Our Tribeca Talks have been so successful because they bring together cultural icons to discuss and debate a wide range of topics,” said Paula Weinstein, EVP of Tribeca Enterprises. “With each participant comes a different perspective and set of career experiences, which, when juxtaposed with those of the other participants and audience members, creates an exclusive experience. No two Tribeca Talks are the same.”

Tribeca Talks: Master Classes, a series of free events to engage with the film industry, will return with each class focusing on a different aspect of the filmmaking process, breaking down the intricacies and discussing them in-depth. This year’s series will offer an inside look at film producing with esteemed Oscar and Golden Globe winner Irwin Winkler. The series will also include a master class on The Art of Cinematic Sound presented by The Dolby Institute and a class discussing the rise of New Online Work (N.O.W.) and the process of translating from the web to the screen.

The Festival announced additional feature films as part of the Movies Plus section. The series gives audiences the opportunity to hear directly from the filmmakers and creators about their projects’ themes through lively panels, discussions, and performances following the screenings. The films include Luce, It Takes a Lunatic, Meeting Gorbachev, The Wrong Man, and Waldo on Weed, and more.

“As cinema continues to grow and change, we wanted to broaden the Tribeca Talks program to include a wider spectrum of filmmakers than ever before,” said Cara Cusumano, Festival Director of the Tribeca Film Festival. “This lineup of speakers includes those creatives at the cutting edge of innovative storytelling alongside some of the all time greats.”

TRIBECA TALKS: DIRECTORS SERIES

In Partnership with Squarespace
Today’s most groundbreaking filmmakers discuss their careers and highlights.

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series – Martin Scorsese with Robert De Niro
Martin Scorsese is an Academy Award®-winning director and one of the most influential and celebrated filmmakers working today. He has directed some of the mostly highly-regarded, critically acclaimed films, including Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and Silence. He will sit down with the Academy Award®-winning actor and frequent collaborator Robert De Niro, who he has directed in nine feature films, including his Academy Award®-winning performance as boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. Scorsese has directed documentaries including the Peabody Award-winning No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and the Emmy Award®-winning George Harrison: Living in the Material World. He was the executive producer on the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire, winning an Emmy Award® and DGA Award for directing the pilot episode. This legendary duo will come together at the Beacon Theatre to reflect upon their illustrious decades of collaboration from Mean Streets to their upcoming film, The Irishman.

  • Event time: Sunday, April 28 at 2:00 PM, Beacon Theatre

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series Guillermo del Toro
Among the most creative and visionary artists working today, Guillermo del Toro will discuss his prolific career turning horror, fairy tales, and the supernatural into world-class filmmaking. Del Toro earned widespread acclaim and multiple Academy Award® wins for 2006 fantasy drama, Pan’s Labyrinth. His 2018 film, The Shape of Water, won four Academy Awards® including Best Director and Best Picture. His other work includes beloved genre films such as Cronos, Mimic, The Devil’s Backbone, Hellboy, Pacific Rim, and Crimson Peak. In this conversation, the auteur will give audiences an exclusive look into his creative process. UPDATE: Alec Baldwin will interview del Toro for this panel.

  • Event time: Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 PM, BMCC

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series David O. Russell with Jennifer Lawrence
David O. Russell is an acclaimed Oscar®-nominated film writer, director, and producer known for his cinema of intense, tragi-comedic characters and worlds. Russell has earned immense acclaim and recognition throughout his career, most notably for his Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winning films The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle. Russell will be joined in conversation by Academy-Award® winning actor and frequent collaborator Jennifer Lawrence, who he has directed to three Golden Globe® wins and three of her four Oscar® nominations, including a Best Actress win for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. This iconic duo will come together for an extraordinary, one-on-one conversation covering their remarkable creative relationship.

  • Event time: Saturday, April 27 at 6:00 PM, BMCC

TRIBECA TALKS: STORYTELLERS

Sponsored by Montefiore
This series celebrates the illustrious careers of today’s most innovative creators, who have broken from traditional roles and pioneered their own forms of storytelling.

Questlove (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Questlove
Questlove is an iconic drummer, DJ, producer, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and, as a member of The Roots, the unmistakable heartbeat of Philadelphia’s most influential hip-hop group. He is the Musical Director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where his Roots crew serves as house band. Beyond that, this five-time Grammy Award®-winning musician’s indisputable reputation has landed him musical directing positions with everyone from D’Angelo and Eminem to Jay-Z. Join Questlove in conversation for a celebration of his boundless and eclectic career.

  • Event time: Tuesday, April 30 at 8:30 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Sarah Silverman with Mike Birbiglia
Sarah Silverman is a force in stand-up comedy, but this two-time Emmy Award® winner works across a variety of mediums and has cemented herself as one of the most versatile talents working today. Silverman’s many credits include the Emmy®-nominated Hulu talk series I Love You, America and the acclaimed films I Smile Back and Battle of the Sexes. She has lent her voice to the Emmy Award®-winning animated series Bob’s Burgers and the Wreck it Ralph films, and received widespread praise for her 2017 Netflix stand-up special A Speck of Dust. Silverman will be joined in conversation by fellow comedian, actor, and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia, best known for his indie breakout films Sleepwalk with Me and Don’t Think Twice – for which he was the writer, director and star – as well as his guest role as Oscar Langstraat on the hit series Billions, and his celebrated solo Broadway play The New One. Silverman and Birbiglia share a unique gift for transforming the deeply personal into the universal and will come together to discuss their creative processes as comedians, storytellers and performers.

  • Event time: Monday, April 29 at 8:00 PM, BMCC

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Michael J. Fox with Denis Leary
Michael J. Fox is an acclaimed television and film actor known for his iconic work on the sitcom Family Ties and the classic film trilogy Back to the Future. At 29, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, news the actor and icon shared publicly in 1998. In 2000, he established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to advance scientific progress toward a cure. In addition to his Parkinson’s advocacy, Fox is a NY Times bestselling author and his acting continues to earn him widespread recognition, including a Grammy®, four Golden Globes®, two SAG® awards and five Emmy Awards®, including a win for his guest appearance on Rescue Me, the critically acclaimed show created by and starring his longtime friend and fellow hockey lover, Denis Leary. Join these two spirited entertainers and friends for an illuminating and lighthearted conversation that will cover the breadth of Fox’s remarkable career.

  • Event time: Tuesday, April 30 at 6:00 PM, BMCC

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Jaron Lanier
Jaron Lanier, a celebrated writer, computer scientist, musician, is frequently cited for his pioneering work in Virtual Reality. He is known for charting a humanistic approach to technology appreciation and criticism, wrote books including Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, has consulted on films such as Minority Report and The Circle, and created music with Philip Glass and T Bone Burnett. Lanier takes a singular approach to the intersection between technology and the arts, evidenced by his significant creative output. In this enticing talk, he discusses his dynamic and prolific career while illustrating the powerful connection between science, music, and storytelling.

  • Event time: Saturday, April 27 at 2:00 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers Rashida Jones
Versatile actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and Harvard graduate Rashida Jones will be in conversation to discuss an illustrious and accomplished career that spans across a variety of mediums. She co-wrote and starred in the indie breakout film Celeste and Jesse Forever, and received widespread acclaim for her sophomore directorial effort Quincy—an intimate portrait of her father and music legend Quincy Jones. She is the executive producer of the TNT hit-series Claws and currently stars on the TBS series Angie Tribeca.

  • Event Time: Wednesday, May 1 at 6:00 PM, BMCC

TRIBECA TALKS: MASTER CLASSES

Supported by The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
Tribeca Talks: Master Classes feature in-depth conversations focusing on a specific sector of the filmmaking process.

Tribeca Talks: Master Class The Art of Cinematic Sound
Following the world premiere screening of Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, three of the industry’s most legendary and decorated sound designers will come together in conversation to discuss the art and craft of sound design. Oscar winner Walter Murch created indelible soundscapes on such films as The Conversation, The Godfather and The English Patient, winning three Academy Awards® including for his work on Apocalypse Now, where he coined the term “sound designer.” Ben Burtt transported audiences to a galaxy far, far away, winning Academy Awards® for his masterful sound work on such films as Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Gary Rydstrom created visionary sound designs on such iconic films as Jurassic Park, Toy Story, Titanic, and Saving Private Ryan, and has won a total of seven Academy Awards® and two Career Achievement Awards. Join these illustrious sound designers as they speak to their creative process and illuminate how their work has evolved the craft of sound on film. Moderated by the Director of the Dolby® Institute Glenn Kiser.

  • Event Time: Monday, April 29 at 5:00 PM, SVA-02

Tribeca Talks: Master Class Irwin Winkler on the Art and Craft of Producing
With a career spanning over 50 years, Academy Award®-winning producer and director Irwin Winkler is one of the most prolific and decorated producers working in the industry today. His incalculable contributions to cinema include his work on such films as Rocky, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, Creed, Silence, and the upcoming film, The Irishman. He has received numerous honors, including the Commandeur des Arts et Lettres and the 2017 Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award. For this master class discussion, Winkler will walk audiences through his process of getting a movie made, what it really means to be a great producer, and illuminate the innumerable ways in which producing is integral to the filmmaking process.

  • Event Time: Friday, May 3 at 3:30 PM, SVA-2

Tribeca Talks: Master Class The Journey of Digital Storytelling to TV: A Discussion with HBO Talent
Source material for Television series has changed over the past decade. As the media landscape continues to shift, the model of stories that are created solely from original concepts or adapted from literature has become more and more open to interpretation. Now, we see networks like HBO finding unique and diverse voices from the ever-expanding sphere of media. Web series and podcasts have become increasingly exciting areas from which to build a fleshed-out series. Join HBO talent who hail from the digital storytelling space as they discuss the process of transitioning their series to the small screen.

  • Event Time: Saturday, May 4 at 3:30 PM, SVA-1

TRIBECA TALKS: QUEEN LATIFAH WITH DEE REES
with the premiere of the Queen Collective shorts
Sponsored by P&G

Queen Latifah is a critically acclaimed and award winning musician, actor, label president, author and entrepreneur. The first hip-hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Latifah has had immeasurable success in music and acting; she has received Grammy®, Emmy®, and Golden Globe® awards for work, as well as an Academy Award® nomination for her portrayal of Mama Morton in Chicago. The trailblazing, Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter and director Dee Rees, who directed Latifah to a SAG award for her role in the HBO film Bessie, will join Latifah in conversation to discuss her extraordinary and multifaceted career. Together, these two remarkable storytellers will cover Latifah’s creative journey from musician to actor to entrepreneur, and how she is using her influence to mentor and uplift diverse female filmmakers in order to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera

  • Event time: Friday, April 26 at 5:30 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Following the talk will be the debut of The Queen Collective short documentaries. The Queen Collective is a program developed in partnership with Procter & Gamble and Queen Latifah with Flavor Unit Entertainment, aimed at accelerating gender and racial equality behind the camera. Created by diverse young women – these short films inspire positive social change and embody Procter and Gamble’s commitment to supporting gender and racial equity, on-screen and behind the scenes.

  • Ballet After Dark – Directed by B.Monét. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Ballet After Dark tells the story a young woman who found the strength to survive after an attack. She created an organization that is helping sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors find healing after trauma through dance therapy
  • If There Is Light – Directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson. (USA) – World Premiere, Short Documentary. Fourteen-year-old Janiyah Blackmon wrestles with her new life in New York City as her mom tries to move her family out of the shelter system and into a stable home. With Janiyah Blackmon, McKayla Blackmon, Jakena Blackmon.

TRIBECA GAMES PRESENTS: HIDEO KOJIMA WITH NORMAN REEDUS

World-renowned auteur game creator Hideo Kojima, widely considered the father of the stealth genre, has been hard at work on the highly anticipated PlayStation®4 title Death Stranding. Little is known about this mysterious new project, and speculation from fans and industry alike have created a deafening excitement. To discuss his boundary-pushing new game, Hideo Kojima will be joined by the star of Death Stranding, Norman Reedus, best known for his star-turning performances in The Boondock Saints and the acclaimed series The Walking Dead. Together, they will discuss pushing the boundaries of the video game medium and talk about how their relationship has established over working on the title together. This exclusive conversation will be moderated by game journalist Geoff Keighley, whose work and creation of The Game Awards has furthered the appreciation and understanding of the video game industry.

Death Stranding is a trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC. Created and developed by Kojima Productions. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.

  • Event time: Thursday, April 25 at 6:00 PM, BMCC

MOVIES PLUS

A Tribeca tradition, Movies Plus offers audiences the unique opportunity to continue the experience of a film through buzzworthy conversations or performances after each special screening.

Wynn Handman (pictured at right) in “It Takes a Lunatic” (Photo by Cliff Lipson)

It Takes a Lunatic, directed and produced by Billy Lyons. (USA, UK, Germany) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. A tribute to the life and legacy of influential acting teacher Wynn Handman, whose American Place Theater helped launched the off Broadway scene, as well as the careers of students from Richard Gere and Michael Douglas to Sam Shepard. With Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Susan Lucci, Eric Bogosian, John Leguizamo, Woodie King, Jr.

  • After the Premiere Screening: A conversation with acting teacher, artistic director and film subject Wynn Handman, actors Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas, and director Billy Lyons.
  • Event Time: Friday, May 3 at 8 PM, BMCC

Luce directed by Julius Onah, written by JC Lee, Julius Onah. Produced by John Baker, Julius Onah, Andrew Yang. (USA) – New York Premiere. After writing an inflammatory essay, a high school overachiever finds himself on a collision course with his adoptive parents and an overbearing teacher. A complex drama boasting an amazing ensemble cast, Luce sears the screen. With Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Tim Roth, Norbert Leo Butz, Andrea Bang and Marsha Stephanie Blake. A NEON and Topic release.

  • After the Premiere Screening: Join us in honoring the virtuosic ensemble cast of Luce with an empowering conversation led by Naomi Watts, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Andrea Bang, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and director Julius Onah, discussing their expansive careers and the indelible roles that led each cast member to Luce.
  • Event Time: Sunday, April 28 at 7:30 PM, BMCC

Meeting Gorbachev, directed and written by Werner Herzog, André Singer. Produced by Lucki Stipetic, Svetlana Palmer. (UK, USA) – New York Premiere, Feature Documentary. Profiling one of the most influential figures of 20th-century history, legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog candidly sits down with Mikhail Gorbachev for a revealing look at the life and legacy of the final leader of the Soviet Union. An Orchard release.

  • After the Premiere Screening: Director Werner Herzog will be in conversation with his frequent collaborator and Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University Herb Golder.
  • Event Time: Friday, April 26 at 6:00 PM, Village East Cinema

Waldo On Weed, directed and written by Tommy Avallone. Produced by Lee Leshen, Derrick Kunzer, Raymond Esposito, Josh Bender. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. When Brian and Danielle Dwyer’s son, Waldo, is diagnosed with cancer, they proceed with a controversial—and illegal—treatment plan consisting of one of the most divisive substances in our country: cannabis. With Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer, Brian Dwyer, Danielle Dwyer, Matt Rize, Mike Wert, Larry Anderson, Senator Daylin Leach, Senator Mike Folmer, Dr. Staci Gruber, Dr. Charles Pollack.

  • After the Premiere Screening: a conversation with medical marijuana expert Doctor Junella Chin, patient Lily Derwin, subject Danielle Dwyer, and Senator Daylin Leach. Moderated by actor, comedian and author Whoopi Goldberg.
  • Event Time: Friday, May 3 at 8:30 PM, SVA 2

The Wrong Man directed by Ross Golan, John Hwan. Produced by Jaren Shelton, Ross Golan and John Hwang. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. From multi-platinum songwriter Ross Golan, The Wrong Man is an animated concept film that uses Golan’s poetic lyrics and haunting melodies to tell a tragic story of love gone terribly wrong.

  • After the Screening: A conversation with director and acclaimed songwriter Ross Golan, CEO of Lava Records and board member of The Innocence Project Jason Flom and more
  • Event Time: Saturday, April 27 at 11:00 AM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Tribeca Talks: Prune Nourry and Serendipity
Artist Prune Nourry has spent her working life exploring issues around the human body. At the tender age of 31, Prune is diagnosed with breast cancer and she starts documenting her treatment and its effect on her own body, turning her medical odyssey into an epic artistic adventure — and feature documentary film Serendipity — discovering new meaning in her body of work and its curious relationship to her illness. Join us for a multisensory evening of film, food and conversation that explores the many themes of Prune’s work and opens up a dialogue about narrative medicine.

  • After the Screening: A conversation with Director and Artist Prune Nourry, Columbia University Professor and author Rita Charon, and more. Afterwards, join us for drinks and bites inspired by the work of Prune Nourry.
  • Event Time: Friday, May 3 at 8:00 PM, Tribeca Festival Hub

Passes and Tickets for the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival
The Hudson Pass, an all-access pass to screenings and talks taking place at BMCC, Regal Battery Park Stadium, Village East Cinema, and SVA theaters as well as full access to all events at the Festival Hub at Spring Studios, which includes VR and Immersive projects, Movies Plus screenings and access to festival lounges. The Hudson pass can be purchased online at tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets, or by telephone at (646) 502-5296 or toll-free at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

Single tickets cost $24.00 for evening and weekend screenings, $12.00 for weekday matinee screenings, $30.00 for Tribeca TV and Movies Plus, $40.00 for Tribeca Talks panels and $40.00 for Tribeca Immersive. Single ticket sales begin Tuesday, March 26 and can be purchased online through our film guide or through the call center.

Tickets for events at the Beacon Theatre are now available for purchase. You can find information here.

Packages and passes are now available for purchase on the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival App, on:

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About the Tribeca Film Festival:
The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, brings visionaries and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, gaming, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. The Festival champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Now in its 18th year, the Festival has evolved into a destination for creativity that reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities. The 18th annual edition will take place April 24 – May 5, 2019.www.tribecafilm.com/festival

Hashtag: #Tribeca2019
Twitter: @Tribeca
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Facebook: facebook.com/Tribeca

About 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Partners:
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation, while expanding opportunities to diverse creators around the globe. AT&T helps millions connect to their passions – no matter where they are. This year, AT&T and Tribeca will once again collaborate to give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers that deserve to be seen. “AT&T Presents Untold Stories” is an inclusive film program in collaboration with Tribeca – a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute.

The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its 2019 Partners: 23andMe, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bai Beverages, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), BVLGARI, CHANEL, Diageo, ESPN, IMDb, Kia, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card from Chase, Merck, Montefiore, National CineMedia (NCM), Nespresso, New York Magazine, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Prime Video Direct, P&G, PwC, Spring Studios New York, Squarespace, and Status Sparkling Wine.