Tribeca Film Fest 2017: Opening Night, Closing, Galas

The 16th edition of the Tribeca Film Festl today announced the program’s Closing Night, Galas, Special Screenings, and the titles premiering under the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Fest banner.

The Tribeca Film Fest takes place from April 19 to April 30 and opens with the world premiere of the feature documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives at Radio City Music Hall, followed by a special concert with performances by Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Earth, Wind & Fire, and more.

Tribeca will celebrate the 45th anniversary of The Godfather’s theatrical release with an epic screening of the legendary crime saga’s first two parts. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II will play back-to-back at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday, April 29, followed by a once-in-a-lifetime panel discussion with Academy Award®-winning director Francis Ford Coppola and actors Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Robert De Niro.

This year’s Galas section features larger-than-life figures from the worlds of music and sports, including Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story documentary celebrating the first 20 years of Bad Boy Entertainment record label; the World Premiere of James Ponsoldt’s The Circle, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson; and the World Premiere of Mike and the Mad Dog, which kicks off The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, sponsored by Mohegan Sun.

“From Clive Davis, to Sean Combs, to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival is brimming with exciting and can’t miss special screenings and events,” said Tribeca’s Paula Weinstein. “With the lineup of film, music, and sports legends who are coming together to entertain and inform, this could be the most memorable year of Tribeca yet.”

Special Screenings are a Tribeca tradition, offering audiences the opportunity to continue the cinematic experience with a deeper dive into a topic, either through a conversation or performance after the premiere screening. This year, the special screenings include the world premieres of House of Z, a documentary that follows fashion superstar Zac Posen; The Public Image is Rotten, a documentary about Sex Pistols’ lead singer Johnny Rotten (AKA John Lydon); and Dare to be Different, the story of 1980’s rebel Long Island radio station WLIR, which will include live performances by Flock of Seagulls, The Alarm, and The English Beat.

“From cinema to music, sports to virtual reality, we pride ourselves on curating experiences that you won’t find anywhere else,” said Tribeca’s Director of Programming Cara Cusumano. “The very nature of a festival is for people to come together to be moved by stories. This year’s selection of special screenings provides that and more, paired with talks, performances, and commemorative reunions that take the experience off the screen and into the audience.”

Tribeca will also give a nod to the past with a series of anniversary retrospectives, including: the 25th anniversary of Aladdin with a special sing-along; the 15th anniversary of Bowling for Columbine followed by a critical conversation with Academy Award®-winning director Michael Moore; and the 25th anniversary of Quentin Tarantino’s influential and celebrated classic, Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino and members of the cast will participate in a conversation following the film.

The complete film selections for Closing Night, Galas, Special Screenings, and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival sections are as follows:


The 45th anniversary of The Godfather screening followed by The Godfather Part II and conversation


The Godfather & The Godfather: Part II, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. (USA). Arguably two of the best films ever made, and winners of nine Academy Awards between them, Coppola’s epic masterpieces paint a chilling, multigenerational portrait of the Corleone crime family’s rise and near fall from power in America. Tribeca celebrates the legacy of one of the most influential film sagas of all time with this anniversary screening and reunion event. Part I:  With Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Al Pacino, Talia Shire, John Cazale, Abe Vigoda. In English, Italian, Latin with subtitles.  Part II:  With Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, William Bowers, James Caan, John Cazale, Giuseppe Sillato, Lee Strasberg. In English, Italian, Latin, Sicilian, Spanish with subtitles.


After the Movie: A 45th anniversary conversation with Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, and Robert De Niro.





Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story, directed by Daniel Kaufman. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary.  A raw and exclusive look behind the scenes at the history and legacy of Bad Boy through a complex portrait of the label’s mastermind, Sean “Diddy” Combs aka Puff Daddy, as he tries to reunite his Bad Boy Family in the course of a frantic three-week rehearsal period. This Live Nation Productions documentary finds him reuniting with the biggest names from Bad Boy’s history for a wildly successful pair of concerts at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center. With Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e, Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans, Total.


The Circle, directed by James Ponsoldt, written by James Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech and social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity. With Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswalt, Glenne Headly, Bill Paxton. An STXfilms release.




Mike and the Mad Dog, directed by Daniel H. Forer. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Dive into the inner workings of one of the sports world’s most unlikely partnerships: Mike Francesa and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, the voices that launched a thousand sports radio imitators. The hosts, their colleagues, and a who’s-who of sports heavyweights tell the story of their surprise rise to stardom and 19 years as the iconic voices of New York sports. An ESPN Films release.





Blues Planet: Triptych, directed and written by Wyland. (USA) – World Premiere. Blues Planet: Triptych explores the Gulf Oil Spill disaster and its aftermath through environmental artist Wyland who, along with 30 of today’s pre-eminent artists, recorded a new genre of global blues on the catastrophe’s anniversary.


After the Movie: Taj Mahal and the Wyland Blues Planet Ban will perform.


Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, directed and written by Alexandra Dean. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Known for her unmatched beauty, Hedy Lamarr’s fans never knew she also possessed a beautiful mind. Immigrating to Hollywood in the 1940s, Lamarr acted by day and sketched inventions by night, even devising a “secret communication system” for the Allies to beat the Nazis. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story reveals how Lamarr gave her patent away to the Army, receiving no credit for her engineering innovations, even as she was immortalized as a legend of the silver screen. Executive produced by Susan Sarandon. With Mel Brooks, Diane Kruger, Peter Bogdanovich, Denise Loder DeLuca, Anthony Loder, Richard Rhodes.


After the Movie: Tribeca Film Institute and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will host an exclusive panel with director Alexandra Dean and  prominent women in both entertainment and STEM, focusing on how both groups have been historically underrepresented in their respective fields.


Chris Gethard: Career Suicide, directed by Kimberly Senior, written by Chris Gethard. (USA) – World Premiere, Narrative. In this deeply personal and profoundly funny one man show, comedian Chris Gethard dives deep into his own personal struggles with mental health issues. He will have you laughing at stories of Barb his therapist one minute, then revealing incredibly personal experiences the next, using comedy to lend insight in a way that only humor can. An HBO release.


After the Movie: A conversation with comedian/actor/writer Chris Gethard and fellow comedians.


Dare to be Different, directed by Ellen Goldfarb, written by Jay Reiss. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. Featuring interviews and rare footage of U2, Blondie, Duran Duran, Joan Jett, The Cure, Billy Idol, and Depeche Mode, Dare to Be Different is a nostalgic look at WLIR 92.7, the radio station that introduced these bands to a US audience. Director Ellen Goldfarb tells the story of the rise and fall of this institution, and the birth of the punk and new wave communities. With Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Billy Idol, and others.


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