That's A Wrap: Tribeca Film Festival Offers Power-Packed Close

  • Lauren deLisa Coleman
  • Lifestyle

Talk about a blast to the end of the 20th annual Tribeca Film Fest!?  Okay, here we go...

First, Radio City Music Hall hosted its debut event post-COVID for Tribeca’s Closing Night film, a documentary produced by Dave Chapelle’s Pilot Boy Productions. Filmmakers Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert walked the red carpet, along with Tribeca Festival co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Enterprises CCO Paula Weinstein, Tribeca Festival director Cara CusumanoKathryn and James Murdoch, along with festival jurors Sharon StoneIyabo BoydJudith GodrecheSabrina Schmidt GordonDelroy LindoOmar Metwally, and Hari Nef.  The star-studded event was also attended by Jesse WilliamsBob SagetDale MossZoe KravitzAnthony Anderson and more. 

Tribeca presented the inaugural Harry Belafonte Voices For Social Justice Award, named for the famed performer, actor, activist, and civil rights leader. The Belafonte Award recognizes individuals who have used storytelling and the arts to enact change in their communities. The first-ever recipient is political leader Stacey Abrams; honored for her outstanding leadership, service, and commitment to fighting against injustices through her work as a political leader, voting rights activist, and novelist. The Award was presented to her by Rev. Al Sharpton following a conversation with Abrams moderated by Robin Roberts at The Battery.

Award-Winning Director/Producer/Writer Gina Prince-Bythewood sat down for a conversation with actress and Love & Basketball star, Sanaa Lathan on the roof at Spring Studios as part of the Tribeca Talks Director Series. The conversation centered on the need to tell all stories and equal representation in film/TV. Gina and Sanaa also delved into Gina's vision for Love & Basketball. Gina said she came up with the story because she was inspired by the film When Harry Met Sally and wanted to create a similar story with a Black cast, and pulled a lot of her vision for the love story from her own personal life.

Gina also discussed the ups and downs of being a director and how important it is to tell your own story and stay authentic to the story you want to tell without letting outside opinions influence your vision as a director/storyteller. 

Ahead of the release of 7 Years, an Audible Original Words + Music production from rapper and The Roots frontman Tariq Trotter, the performer and Head of Audible Studios Zola Mashariki come together for an exclusive conversation on the roof at Spring Studios. The two discussed Trotter’s innovative audio production, the evolution of his singular creative voice, the unique joy of Black storytelling, and the integration of song and story to create something truly exceptional for listeners.


For the premiere of the documentary, The One and Only Dick Gregory at The Battery, director/writer/producer Andre Gaines, Executive Producer Lena Waithe, and Special Guests were joined on stage to discuss the impact that Dick Gregory's work had on subsequent generations of artists and activists. The Q&A was moderated by The Grio's Entertainment Director Cortney Wills.

 Kinfolk is an augmented reality app that highlights Black and Brown figures. The viewer can use Kinfolk as a roaming “virtual museum” to bring digital monuments to life through a phone/tablet, hear voice-overs from iconic black figures, see generative art emanating from every sculpture and listen to an original afro-futurist jazz composition while walking across various historical sites in NYC. The immersive was created by Idris Brewster, Glenn Cantave, Micah Milner and was part of a special presentation at the Harry Belafonte Award Presentation.

Films from the Juneteenth Shorts: Shining Stars included Magnolia BloomSilence19 Seventy FreeCherry LemonadeWaves, and EnoughThe filmteam from Waves owned the red carpet, having a blast, posing, and hyping each other up, and brought all of the energy to Pier 76 on a hot summer day! 

The Five Heartbeats premiere took place at Pier 76 where director and actor Robert Townsend appeared on the carpet along with actors Michael Wright and Leon. Other guests at the screening included Hawthorne JamesTico WellsHarry Lennix, and Harold Nicholas. After the screening, Townsend took to the stage with Karen McMullen for the Q&A.

The Sit-in: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show, aired on the big screen Saturday morning during the 2021 Tribeca Festival at Brooklyn Commons at MetroTech on June 19, 2021, in New York City. The film’s director, Yoruba Richen celebrated with the film team on the red carpet before the screening began. In attendance were producers Valerie Thomas and Joan Walsh, associate producer Ayesha Nadarajah, editor Èlia Gasull Balada, composer Wendell HanesJasmine Hanes, and Nora Walsh-DeVries.  

Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, tells the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was murdered in 1989 by a group of young white men in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. On Saturday, the Film Team including Muta'Ali (director), Jonathan Chinn (executive producer), Jevon Frank, and Victorious DeCosta (producers), attended the red carpet at Brooklyn Metrotech where the HBO Documentary Film premiered at the Tribeca Festival.

Director Mark Levin shared a warm embrace with his son and cinematographer Dan Levin on the red carpet for the I Promise premiere at Brooklyn Metrotech. They were joined by executive producer Jackson Devereux and The LeBron James Family Foundation to debut the feature documentary that tells the inspirational story of LeBron James' journey to close the achievement gap in his hometown of Akron, OH.

Adrian Brody gave a heartfelt intro for the world premiere of the feature film Clean acknowledging the Juneteenth holiday and the tumultuous year that has passed while also celebrating the tremendous work of the film’s cast and crew including director Paul Solet, producer Daniel SollingerRZA , Glenn FleshlerChandler Air-DuPontMichelle WilsonJohn BlancoJade Yorker, and Johnny “Boogotti” Hopkins. Clean is a hyper-violent meditation on the power of the past and the struggle for salvation when an unsuspecting garbage collector becomes the target for a local crime boss. 

A bunch more in screenings, events, and more took place as well. We've just given you the highlights for the inside scoop. Watch for these films at a screen near you soon!

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