Tribeca Film Festival to Open With Jimmy Carter Doc

Courtesy of Not Just Peanuts, LLC
'Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President'

The 19th edition, set for April, will also expand across the Hudson River to Hoboken, New Jersey.

The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival will open with the world premiere of the documentary Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President, it was announced Monday.

The film, directed by Mary Wharton, illustrates the role of popular music and Carter's passion for it in helping propel the Georgia peanut farmer to the White House. The doc was written by Bill Flanagan and produced by Chris Farrell.

The world premiere event will take place April 15 at New York's Beacon Theatre and be followed by live performances from Willie Nelson, who is featured in the doc via archival footage, and musical director Paul Shaffer.

Rock & Roll President combines interviews with Carter and archival footage of performances from Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Buffett and Paul Simon. In the film, Wharton traces how Carter's approachability and the unifying power of music became key to his political appeal and allowed him to connect with voters.

Wharton's credits include documentaries on Sam Cooke, Joan Baez, Phish and Farrah Fawcett. She won the 2004 Grammy for best music film for Sam Cooke: Legend.

“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," Carter said in a statement. "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."

Added Tribeca co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal, “We witness the power of art inspiring change and the positive impact of citizens raising their voices against injustice everyday. 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."

The fest this year is also partnering with Democracy Works and Civic Alliance, a coalition of businesses working to build a future where everyone can vote, volunteer and take action to shape the country. Festival audiences will be given access to online voting tools to help people get involved in their local elections.

And, with this year's edition, Tribeca is expanding across the Hudson River to Hoboken, New Jersey, using cinematic storytelling and experiences to connect to the community.

The 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival is set to run April 15-26.