Tribeca is living on a prayer

New Bon Jovi biopic to headline at the festival.

by Jennie Kermode

He made heavy metal popular in the pop world, he went on to star in several Hollywood movies, and now Jon Bon Jovi is the subject of the film set to headline at this year's Tribeca festival in New York.

The documentary, titled When We Were Beautiful, is directed by Phil Griffin, who says it may still be subject to changes depending on how the festival audience responds. Its development has been shrouded in secrecy but it's known to feature extensive footage from Bon Jovi's 2008 Lost Highway tour, previously the subject of a TV special. It aims to celebrate the band's remarkable 25 year career and attempts to unearth the secret of their success.

Griffin said:"Throughout the process of working with Bon Jovi, I was amazed at the candor and humility Jon and his band showed me.

"The result is not a neatly wrapped up bundle of staged interviews and musical interludes, but rather a series of open and sometimes difficult conversations, explored against a backdrop of music spanning 25 years.

"It is a film about the peace of Tico, the complexity of Richie, the drive of Jon and the brutal honesty of Dave. It is their willingness to share their stories that gives us what I hope is a very human story - that humanity is what I believe has seen this band stand the test of time."

Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal added: "Nothing says rock 'n' roll more than Bon Jovi. This compelling documentary gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of one of the great rock bands and unveils how they have stayed on top for the past 25 years.

"Jon has been a stalwart supporter and remarkable friend to our Festival, making it incredibly exciting to premier the Bon Jovi Story at Tribeca."

Jon Bon Jovi previously attended Tribeca in 2006, where he performed as part of an opening showcase designed to promote environmentalist concerns. The films he is known for include Moonlight And Valentino, Pay It Forward and U-571, in which he starred alongside Matthew McConaughey and Harvey Keitel.

Share this with others on...

Walking the line James Ashcroft on character ambiguities and Coming Home In The Dark

Bowled over Lyle Kash on creating new narratives and making Death And Bowling

A short dive into Ca' Foscari's competition We look at the short film festival's winners and some of our favourites

'We Lived with Volteo for five years' Monika Kotecka and Karolina Poryzała on their girl power documentary feature The Herd

A Lebanese story Eliane Raheb on showing the filmmaking process and making Miguel’s War

From saving goals to shooting film Icelandic goalie Hannes Þór Halldórsson on his movie debut Cop Secret

More news and features

We're bringing you news, reviews and interviews from Newfest in New York

We're looking forward to Sci-Fi London, Abertoir and the London Korean Film Festival.

We've recently covered the London Film Festival, Manchester's Grimmfest, the New York Film Festival, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the San Sebastian Film Festival, the Glasgow Youth Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and Deauville and Frightfest.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.