The 2019 edition of The Tribeca Film Festival will open with a documentary on The Apollo Theater! The Roger Ross Williams directed film, which will air later in the year on HBO, will screen at the historic Harlem venue on April 24th.
The documentary will chronicle the landmark’s history, with a behind-the-scenes look at those who make the theater run. Interviews will include Patti LaBelle, Pharrell Williams, Smokey Robinson, and Jamie Foxx.
“We’re excited to finally be going uptown to play the Apollo,” Tribeca co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal said Wednesday in a statement. “The Apollo gives audiences an inside look at the major role this institution has played for the past 85 years. It’s seen the emergence of everything from jazz to R&B to soul and gospel — all quintessential American music genres, and this is the time to remind people of our nation’s rich history.”
Added Tribeca co-founder Robert De Niro, “The Apollo Theater is a symbol of the creative spirit of New York and beyond, and I’m very happy that we’re kicking off our 18th festival celebrating it with this documentary from Roger Ross Williams.”
“The Apollo is about so much more than just music, it’s about how we used music and art to lift ourselves out of oppression. The story of the Apollo is the story of the evolution of black American identity and how it grew to become the defining cultural movement of our time. I was fortunate to make my first film with HBO and I am thrilled to be coming back home with The Apollo. Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, at the Apollo Theater in Harlem is a dream come true.” said Roger Ross Williams in a statement.
The film was produced by Lisa Cortes, Nigel Sinclair’s White Horse Pictures and Roger Ross Williams. White Horse worked with the filmmakers for five-years on this project. The Tribeca Film Festival will run from April 24 to May 5, 2019.
Here’s more on The Apollo Theater, celebrating its 85th anniversary this year.
The Apollo Theater is located at 253 West 125th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. and Frederick Douglass Blvd. in Harlem.