The 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival will open at New York City’s iconic Beacon Theatre on April 15th with the world premiere of Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President. The political theme of the film will set the stage for a festival offering works that celebrate the power of change. Grammy-winning director Mary Wharton’s documentary catalogues the role of popular music in helping to propel a peanut farmer from Georgia all the way to the White House. The premiere will be followed by live performances from the likes of Willie Nelson, who is featured in the film.
This rockumentary-style presidential portrait shows how Jimmy Carter’s lifelong passion for music gave him an unexpected edge as a presidential candidate. Through folk, soul, gospel, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll, Carter tapped into a force that transcended racial and generational divides, and often party lines. Carter’s appreciation for all genres of music and friendships with the likes of Bob Dylan, the Allman Brothers, and Willie Nelson helped to define his campaign. The doc combines intimate interviews with Carter along with rare archival era-defining live performances from artists such as Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Buffett and Paul Simon. Wharton traces how Carter’s approachability and the unifying power of music became key to his political appeal and enabled him to connect with voters.
“The film accurately captures my love for all music and the importance music has played in my personal and professional life. I remain hopeful and believe that music can serve to bring us together as a nation. Rosalynn and I are pleased with the fine film Mary and Chris have made and thank all those involved for telling this story. We are thrilled that it will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival,” said President Jimmy Carter.
“We witness the power of art inspiring change and the positive impact of citizens raising their voices against injustice everyday,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder and CEO of the Tribeca Film Festival. “As filmmakers, we were inspired to create the Tribeca Film Festival after 9/11 because we believe in the power of art to restore community and inspire change. Mary and Chris’ film, likewise, is a testament to that power.”
This year Tribeca is partnering with Democracy Works and Civic Alliance, America’s premier nonpartisan coalition of businesses working together to build a future where everyone can vote, volunteer, and take action to shape the country. Festival audiences will be given access to online tools that make voting easy; sending them text updates and educating them about ways to get involved in their local elections. Tribeca also provides staff with paid time off to vote, working to strengthen employee engagement.
Tribeca 2020 has been postponed. Check http://www.tribecafilm.com for the latest updates and ticket refund information.