Untitled Dave Chappelle Documentary Named Closing Night Film For Tribeca Festival
A scene from the untitled documentary produced by Dave Chappelle and directors Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert that will be the closing night film at the 2021 Tribeca Festival (photo by Mathieu Bitton/©Pilot Boy Productions).
Oscar winners Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar directed the doc. which will screen at Radio City Music Hall
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An untitled Pilot Boy Production documentary--produced by Dave Chappelle and produced and directed by Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar (American Factory)--has been selected as the closing night film of the 2021 Tribeca Festival. The world premiere screening will take place at New York City’s iconic Radio City Music Hall on Saturday, June 19, as part of Tribeca’s 12-day celebration to re-open NYC and bring live entertainment back to the city. The documentary takes a glimpse into the challenges facing a rural village in Ohio during the early days of the pandemic, the emotions erupting across the nation following the Black Lives Matter movement, and the remarkable leadership of the town’s youth who started weekly marches and rallies.

“Premiering our film at Tribeca and closing out the festival at Radio City Music Hall is a big honor,” said Chappelle. “Our film is about courage and resilience, something New Yorkers can relate to.”

Fueled by the murder of George Floyd, shut-in by the closures of business and unable to perform around the country, the movie follows Chappelle as he provides the community he calls home with two things desperately needed in difficult times--economic and comic relief. What began as an experimental socially distanced live comedy show in a neighbor’s cornfield, grew into an unforgettable summer with his neighbors, friends and fellow comedians.  Ultimately, Chappelle’s cornfield concerts would serve as a model of courage not just for his community, but for the entire live entertainment industry. 

“This extraordinary documentary is the most fitting to close this historic night at Radio City Music Hall and our 20th Festival,” said Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Festival co-founder and CEO. “We’re huge fans of Dave’s ability to make us laugh and this poignant story provides us with another look at his unique talent to bring people together and the grand re-opening of a fully-vaccinated Radio City after 18 months.”

Directed by Ohio-based Reichert and Bognar, the film signifies an important chapter in their decades-long career.

“Dave is our neighbor. We see him in the grocery store, and on the street. When Dave came to us with the idea, we were immediately struck by the challenge to tell the story of our part of the world during the pandemic and the national reckoning on racial injustice,” said Reichert. “This was a historic moment and we really wanted to chronicle this place and this time, it just felt right.” 

“Dave and his friends entrusted our team of amazing young filmmakers from Ohio with intimate moments which enabled us to create a moving portrait of artists as they navigated a time of fear and isolation,” said Bognar. 

“When Julia and Steve first approached us about their latest film, we knew that this collaboration between two Academy Award winning filmmakers and one of the most incisive comic voices of all time would be incredible.  We were surprised to discover that it is also a balm for our times,” added Cara Cusumano, Festival director and VP of programming for the Tribeca Festival. “I can’t wait for audiences on Closing Night to finally come together for the full big-screen theatrical experience with this moving and quintessential film.”

In partnership with Radio City Music Hall, the venue will open its doors, for the first time in over a year, to celebrate the one-night special event.

“We are thrilled to get back to doing what we love and that our first show is with our great partners at Tribeca and the incomparable Dave Chappelle--who already made history at Radio City with his 2017 residency,” said James Dolan, executive chairman and CEO of MSG Entertainment. “Radio City is a special place, and we can’t wait to open our doors to fans of live entertainment who we know are eager to gather and help jumpstart the return of New York.”

All guests will need to be fully vaccinated for the Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary at Radio City Music Hall, and provide proof upon entry to the event of having received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or their single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine no later than June 5, 2021. Exceptions will be made for children under the age of 16, who may provide proof of a negative antigen COVID-19 test, negative PCR COVID-19 test or full vaccination and may only attend with a fully vaccinated adult.

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