The Apollo to open Tribeca

Robert De Niro calls it "a symbol of the creative spirit of New York"

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Roger Ross Williams' The Apollo will open the Tribeca Film Festival
Roger Ross Williams' The Apollo will open the Tribeca Film Festival

The world première of The Apollo, directed by Roger Ross Williams, which includes interviews with Patti LaBelle, Pharrell Williams, Smokey Robinson and Jamie Foxx has been selected to open this year's Tribeca Film Festival. Produced by Lisa Cortés, Nigel Sinclair’s White Horse Pictures, and Williams, the HBO documentary will screen at the Apollo Theater on Wednesday, April 24. The film follows the road to the staging of a new production of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World And Me.

The Apollo director Roger Ross Williams won an Oscar for Music by Prudence and was nominated for Life, Animated
The Apollo director Roger Ross Williams won an Oscar for Music by Prudence and was nominated for Life, Animated Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

“We’re excited to finally be going uptown to play the Apollo,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder and CEO of the Tribeca Film Festival. “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.”

“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,“ commented director Roger Ross Williams. “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.”

“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,” said Tribeca Co-Founder Robert De Niro.

The 18th Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 24 through May 5.

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