Beginning on April 19th and running through the 30th, the Tribeca Film Festival has already made headlines. A last-second decision by producers determined they would pull Alex Gibney’s No Stone Unturned documentary from this year’s fest, citing the outstanding legal issues circulating the film’s release, which follows the unsolved murders of six men in a pub shooting in Ireland during the 1994 World Cup. A statement from Fine Point Films’ Trevor Birney read, “We are bitterly disappointed that as a result of ongoing legal issues relating to the subject matter of the film, ‘No Stone Unturned’ is not yet ready to be screened,” according to Variety. Though Gibney’s No Stone Unturned was set for an exciting debut, it’s not the only premier film critics and enthusiasts are excited for.
One of the most buzzed-about documentaries slated to air at the festival is the emotional I Am Heath Ledger, which utilizes interviews from friends, family, and co-stars to tell the intimate story of the man who lived his life in front of the cameras. The Reagan Show is also set to dazzle audiences. From filmmakers Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez, The Reagan Show revisits the presidential era with a never-before-seen dive into the treasure trove of in-house archival footage to analyze the way his policies endured — both then and now.
Unsurprisingly, this year’s festival is resplendent with musical-inspired documentaries. One of the most inspired, however, comes in the form of Whitney’s: Can I Be Me from Nick Broomfield. Following a play-it-straight plot, Broomfield allows the icon’s family, friends, and record-label associates unravel the story of the Houston’s rise to stardom without hinging its story on her death, focusing instead on how she lived. Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, also pays homage to Houston, but does so by seating her alongside all of the artists the legendary Clive Davis made famous. Though the list of careers Davis launched is long, nuanced, and packed with more accolades than one could count, Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives honors how he helped shape modern pop, hip hop, and rock. Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop. The Bad Boy Story, produced by Live Nation, chronicles the rise of Sean Comb’s Uptown Records to his reign at Bad Boy with interviews and intimate behind-the-scenes footage.
For the festivals closing-night double feature, a special “screening” of Godfather I and Godfather II will play back-to-back at Radio City Musical Hall on Saturday, April 29th. Immediately following, Robert De Niro, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Al Pacino will take the stage with Francis Ford Coppola for a post-screening conversation.
A guide to all of the 2017 features, documentaries, shorts, galas, talks, and spotlights can be found online.