Tribeca Festival: the past, present and future of New York’s celebration of film and music

The Tribeca Festival will be held from June 8 to 19 in New York. The annual arts festival, which has been running for 20 years, celebrates film, television, podcasts, musical performances and video games. Highlights this year include 88 movie premieres and musical performances from Lil Baby and Of Monsters and Men.

The Tribeca Festival will offer both live and virtual events during this year’s edition.

A Brief History of the Tribeca Festival

The festival began with a series of dinner parties hosted by Robert De Niro in Lower Manhattan in an effort to revitalize the area after 9/11. The most popular had nearly 800 people and included former President Bill Clinton. After the dinner parties’ initial popularity, De Niro and his co-founders Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff decided to start a full-fledged film festival.

In 2009, director Damien Chazelle will create his musical romantic drama Guy and Madeline on a park bench. The film is the heartfelt story of a jazz trumpeter who goes through an unusual breakup. Chazelle went on to make films about music throughout his career, such as The Earth and Whiplash.

Tribeca would continue to expand its programming offering in 2016 when it decided to include television shows in the festival. The same year would also include a 40th anniversary commemorative screening of the classic De Niro film. Taxi driver.

The 2022 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival will present 111 films from 40 countries.

This 2022 feature film program leaves us proud and humbled by the boundless ingenuity and passion of our tireless community of filmmakers. Whether it’s a breath of fresh comic air or an incisive exposition of today’s most pressing issues, this year’s official selections remind us once again of the vitality and urgency of independent cinema in a world that needs it more than ever.

Cara Cusumano, Festival Director and Vice President of Programming

In addition to several musical films, Tribeca will also feature several live performances throughout the week-long festival. This Thursday at the Indeed Theater the Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men will celebrate the 10th anniversary of their first album, My head is an animal with a special live. On Saturday, June 11, Lil Baby will perform after the start of his documentary Untrapped: The Lil Baby Story.

Music has always been an integral part of Tribeca, from the live performances to the countless music documentaries we’ve celebrated at the Festival. This unique series of events aims to showcase the true power of music and underscores Tribeca’s ongoing commitment to year-round programming.

Jane Rosenthal, Founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises

To celebrate the relationship between music and film at the Tribeca Festival, here are some recommendations from this year’s edition and past editions. The list below includes feature films that specifically deal with music in New York State

Mister Soul!

The titular Mr. Soul is Ellis Haizlip, the producer and host of “Soul!” the first black variety show in America. Which makes “Mr. Soul!” a documentary not about musicians and performers but rather about someone, like Haizlip, who created places for them to share their music. Haizlip was a pioneer for making a television show that focused exclusively on black identity and art. And he was a tastemaker for introducing viewers to acts such as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and The Pips, and Al Green. Interspersed throughout the film are readings of passages from Haizlip’s diary. There, he regularly uses phrases such as “raising voices” and “creating a safe space” when talking about black artists. Terms that might be familiar to a contemporary audience until we remember he wrote them in 1968 when they were truly groundbreaking. Not just because they sought to overturn a status quo (although that was certainly the case) but because he had come up with them himself. At the end of the documentary, when discussing the show’s possible cancellation, poet Sonia Sanchez comments, “I wasn’t just sad because of Soul’s disappearance! but because I knew they would not replace him”.

Other music

Another documentary that does not talk about musical artists but rather about the people around them, in this case music listeners. “Other Music” is the story of a legendary alternative record store in New York run by co-owners Josh Madell and Chris Vanderloo, which was forced to close in May 2016. If anyone has ever asked you “What is the passion?” you could show them this documentary. His target is not the owners of Other Music – a falling out with a distant third partner is hinted at but never addressed – or his clients – although the most famous are interviewed for the film. The heart of this film is the question what does it mean to fill your life with art? The record store, its shelves overflowing with esotericism and its staff with their characteristic brevity testify to the fulfillment of a life spent in the arts. In all likelihood, if you are on this website, you would be a fan of “Other Music”. Hell, you might even have shopped there.

Woodstock: three days that marked a generation

The documentary with the most famous subject on our list. It is also the only documentary to take place outside of New York. “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation” is made up entirely of archival footage, so expect to see lots of long hair, hippie outfits and blurry nudity. The film doesn’t spend too much time with the famous musical artists and their legendary performances, but instead focuses on the organizers and attendees of the festival. The voices of the talking heads are still played over grainy archival footage from 1969. We never see any of their faces. Maybe that’s the point, because it doesn’t matter who went to Woodstock, but why they went: three days of peace and music.

Blue Note Records: Beyond Notes

The documentary opens with a montage of famous Blue Note Records releases. If you’re like me, you probably didn’t recognize the album covers, but you did recognize the names: Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock. “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes” does not deal with chronology, details of Blue Note’s time in the music world, or the history of jazz music. This is an interesting addition to this list because it is the importance of this label. He shows us what happens when well-meaning aficionados, like label founders Alfred Lion and Franck Wolff, work with talented artists. In an interview near the end of the documentary, Hancock explains jazz music in one minute by recounting a recording session with Miles Davis. If nothing else watch the documentary just for this anecdote.

2022 Tribeca Festival Recommendations

half time

Tribeca is a downtown film festival and JLo is an uptown girl. Few artists have made their New York roots as important to their identity as JLo. The Netflix documentary “Halftime,” directed by Amanda Micheli, follows Jennifer Lopez over the past few years. She prepares for major shows there, including her 2020 Super Bowl halftime show and the presidential inauguration in 2021. “Halftime” is billed as a documentary in which Lopez prepares for the second half of her career and life. . She assesses her own contributions to American pop culture and more specifically to Latinx culture. “The Tribeca Festival looks forward to bringing together audiences from around the world to honor the importance of purpose-driven creative expression,” said Robert De Niro, the festival’s founder. Probably part documentary, part commercial “Halttime” promises to be at least an entertaining 98 minutes with a charismatic and beloved star and at most a meditation on activism and middle age. Anyway, Jenny du Block is here.


Gracie Marie Bradley stars as the titular beauty in the film “Beauty,” which will make its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

The only Tribeca Festival narrative feature included in this list, “Beauty” is the story of Beauty (Gracie Marie Bradley), a talented singer on the verge of success in the industry in the 1980s. innocently her first contract, she is faced with the realities of pop stardom, being asked to hide his relationship with his girlfriend, compromising her identity as a black woman and intentionally distorting her own art in an effort to gain approval public. It’s apparent from the description alone that this film is as much about real-life legendary singers, such as Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, and countless others, as it is about fictional beauty. Written by Lena Waithe, “Beauty” deals with timeless themes of ambition, identity and love, told through the lens of the music industry.


New York Ballet’s Lift Project provides scholarships for homeless children to learn ballet. This documentary follows international ballet star Steven Melendez as he teaches ballet to young dancers. The problem? Melendez himself was homeless for seven years before joining the LIFT program. The doc follows Melendez and his students over a period of ten years. The film ends with a stage performance by LIFT students that addresses the pain of homelessness.

Musical performances in Tribeca

Thursday June 9

8 p.m.: Machine Gun Kelly at the Beacon Theater
After the premiere of the semi-autobiographical Bull the rap-rocker will make a special appearance.

8 p.m.: Of Monsters and Men at the Indeed Theater
Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men will perform after a screening of UTIa feature documentary about the group.

friday june 10

6:00 p.m.: Pharrell in conversation at BMCC Tribeca PAC
Pharrell Williams will sit down for a live interview to discuss his career.

8 p.m.: The feat of the DOC’s 54th anniversary party. DJ Quik, Das and Kurupt at the Beacon Theater Rapper The DOC will celebrate his birthday with the premiere of a documentary about his life followed by a live performance.

Saturday June 11

3 p.m.: A conversation with Taylor Swift at the Beacon Theater
The Grammy-winning artist will present his film Red, Too good: the short film and discuss his creative process with filmmaker Mike Mills.

8 p.m.: Lil Baby at the Beacon Theater
Atlanta rapper Lil Baby will present Untrapped: The Story of Lil Baby, a documentary about his life and career. After the screening, there will be a special performance by Lil Baby.

8 p.m.: Inner City and Blake Baxter at the Indeed Theater
The electronic music group Inner City will perform after the screening of God said give them drum machinesa documentary on the origin of techno music.

8 p.m.: Performance by Onyx Collective and Duendita at Baby’s All Right
Onyx Collective is a jazz ensemble founded in New York that will perform with another artist who is Duendita, a singer-songwriter from Queens.

00:00: DJ sets by Huerco S and Ade Kassim at Baby’s All Right.
The two DJs will perform at a festival afterparty.

Tribeca Festival Tickets

Screenings will take place throughout New York City from June 8-19. The complete festival program is available online. Tickets for both in-person and virtual events are available on the festival website.

About Shirley A. Tamayo

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