Tribeca Film Festival Selects "Joe Papp in Five Acts" and "BAM150"

By Adam Hetrick
March 8, 2012

"Joe Papp in Five Acts," a new documentary film by Tracie Holder and Karen Thorsen about the late founder of the Public Theater, will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.



The Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 18-29, announced that 19 films will receive their world premieres as part of the event, among them, "Joe Papp in Five Acts," and two special documentaries about the band Queen and musician Tony Bennett.

Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Kevin Kline and James Earl Jones are among the artists featured in the Papp film that is co-produced with PBS/American Masters. According to the creators, "In Joe Papp’s eyes, art is for everyone, not just a privileged few. This is the story of this indomitable, street-wise champion of the arts who brought more theater to more people than any other producer in history... This documentary lets Papp’s great accomplishments and tumultuous personal history be revealed by the artists he helped create—and sometimes tried to destroy."

"The Zen of Bennett," conceived, created and produced by Danny Bennett, will also receive its world premiere. Unjoo Moon directs. "At 85, not only does Tony Bennett still have the smoothest pipes in the music business, he’s got the kind of philosophy that has made him one of the most beloved and respected performers of the last six decades. Made with as much class and refinement as Tony himself, this is an insider’s look at the icon as he records his latest duets collection with stars like Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, and — bittersweetly — Amy Winehouse."

Also screened will be Matt O'Casey's "Queen: Days Of Our Lives." "Relive the triumphant legacy of Queen in this comprehensive documentary of the band's career from the late 1960s to today. Packed full of rare archival footage of the band hashing out their signature overdub sound in the recording studio, mind-blowing live performances, and Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon's candid reflections on their career and the last days of Freddie Mercury, 'Queen: Days Of Our Lives' is any fan's dream."

The documentary category will also screen the world premiere of "BAM150," a new film by Michael Sládek about the Brooklyn Academy of Music. "Go behind the scenes like never before at BAM, the nation's oldest performing arts center. Featuring footage of recent BAM performances, interviews with groundbreaking artists like Laurie Anderson and Robert Wilson, and the fascinating history of the creative home to such greats as Pina Bausch, Peter Brook, and Merce Cunningham, Sládek's doc shows that BAM's 150 years were not always easy, but are a testament to the power and stamina of the institution that launched Brooklyn as a cultural mecca."

Also announced is the new film "Hysteria," starring Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer authored the film. "Set in 19th-century London at the peak of Victorian prudishness, this racy romantic comedy tells the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator. A progressive young doctor (Dancy) has his hands full relieving the city’s affluent society women of their melancholy, until an accidental discovery electrifies their lives forever—and sends sparks flying between him and a feminist rabble-rouser (Gyllenhaal)."

Other films include "Lola Versus," starring Hamish Linklater and Zoe Lister-Jones; "Struck By Lightning," written by and starring "Glee" actor Chris Colfer; and "Take This Waltz," written and directed by Sarah Polley.

For tickets and further information, visit TribecaFilmFest.