The 2023 Tribeca Festival announced its lineup for this year’s event on Tuesday (April 18) and among the 109 feature films from 127 directors from 36 countries are a number of documentaries about some of the most beloved, scandalous and intriguing musicians of the modern era.
The Festival, which takes place from June 7-18, will spotlight 93 world premieres and a diverse roster featuring 43 first-time directors with 41% of all feature films directed by women and, in a first, more than half of competition films directed by women (68%), as well as 36% of feature films directed by BIPOC filmmakers.
Among the notable music-related movies are:
Uncharted — (world premiere) Director Beth Aala goes behind the scenes of Alicia Keys’ “She Is the Music” songwriting camp, with a performance from She Is the Music artists afterwards curated by Keys.
Scream of My Blood: A Gogol Bordello Story — (world premiere) After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, GB leader Eugene Hütz breaks down the influence of Ukrainian and Roma culture on his punk band’s music, followed by a performance by the band.
Milli Vanilli — (world premiere) Director Luke Korem’s deep dive into the origin and precipitous downfall of the “Girl You Know It’s True” duo featuring a rare interview with surviving member Fabrice Morvan. (This writer was interviewed for the film.)
Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive — (world premiere) A documentary chronicling the “I Will Survive” singer’s comeback with a new gospel album, touching on her struggles with ageism and financial ruin, followed by a live performance.
All Up in the Biz — (world premiere) Director Sacha Jenkins collages celebrity interviews, rare film, reenactments and animation to describe how late rap icon Biz Markie left his mark on the music world.
It’s Only Life After All — (New York premiere) A look at the beloved folk duo The Indigo Girls, with a songwriting masterclass to follow.
Songs About F—ing — (world premiere) Musician Marc Rebillet goes on one of the first live music tours after the COVID-19 lockdown, with musical Q&A with Rebillet afterwards.
Waitress, the Musical – Live on Broadway! — (world premiere) A movie treatment of the Broadway musical about a small-town pie baker with big dreams featuring lyricist Sara Bareilles, who will perform live after the screening.
Cypher — (world premiere) Director Chris Mourkabel “captures the weird and sinister side of fame” in a pseudo-documentary about rapper Tierra Whack.
Bad Like Brooklyn Dancehall — (world premiere) Doc about the city’s role in the evolution of dancehall, featuring Shaggy and Sean Paul, followed by performance from dancehall legends.
Maestra — (world premiere) Director Maggie Contreras follows women from different backgrounds as they compete in the first all-women competition for conducting.
In addition to those music features, the festival will host the “Escape From Tribeca” series featuring films such as Enter the Clones of Bruce, a doc looking at the Bruce Lee exploitation craze, director Sav Rodgers’ Chasing Chasing Amy about the filmmaker’s journey of self-discovery while making a doc on the development of Kevin Smith’s controversial LGBTQ+ film Chasing Amy and Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music, a concert film that dives into New York theater legends Mac’s “ostentatiously queer 24-hour musical performance.”
There will also be a world premiere of the life of late Marvel Comics genius Stan Lee, a profile of legendary MLB promoter and owner Bill Veeck (The Saint of Second Chances) touching on his famous 1979 “Disco Demolition” stunt at Chicago’s Comiskey Park, a profile of New York concert promoter Ron Delsener (Ron Delsener Presents) and the world premiere of Anthem, in which DJ Dahi and composer Kris Bowers set off on a road trip across the country to find out what it sounds like to have a national anthem that actually reflects America.
For a full list of this year’s films click here.