New documentaries on Whitney Houston, targeted Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi, notorious Republican operative Roger Stone and a deceased alt-right filmmaker will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 19th through 30th.
Whitney: Can I Be Me marks the latest effort from controversial and acclaimed documentarian Nick Broomfield, whose previous music films include Kurt and Courtney and Biggie and Tupac. The film will explore Houston’s remarkable rise and fall and features largely never-before-seen footage. While a spokesperson for Houston’s family told Rolling Stone they are not involved in Broomfield’s documentary, the family did give its blessing to another project from Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald.
Elsewhere, director Till Schauder will explore the career of Iranian MC Shahin Najafi in When God Sleeps. While Najafi’s lyrics have drawn sharp criticism from religious clerics in his home country, the new film also examines his music against the backdrop of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris and rising Islamophobia across Europe.
Among the political offerings at Tribeca are Get Me Roger Stone, which tracks the career of the incendiary Republican operative. Stone’s tactics left him outside the conservative mainstream, but nevertheless helped him push the election of Donald Trump. (Fun fact: Stone has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back.) Director Erik Nelson and executive producer Werner Herzog will also debut their new film, A Gray State, which pores over the career and politics of alt-right filmmaker David Crowley. Crowley and his family were killed in their suburban Minnesota home in 2014, swiftly sparking an array of conspiracy theories.
A new film from Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir, I Am Evidence, will examine the poor ways police have long handled and processed sexual assault cases, with a specific focus on the countless rape kits that sit untested in police facilities. David France, the Oscar-nominated director behind How to Survive a Plague, will also premiere his new doc, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, which investigates the death of the black transgender activist. Johnson was a key player in the 1969 Stonewall Riots and a leader in the gay civil rights movement, but died mysteriously in 1992.
Lastly, Gilbert Gottfried will get the documentary treatment in Neil Berkeley’s Gilbert. The film examines the loud-mouthed comedian’s long and multi-faceted career and his more recent attempts to settle down as a family man. The film features interviews Gottfried as well as Jay Leno, Bill Burr, Jeff Ross, Whoopi Goldberg and Howie Mandel.
The full lineup of documentaries and feature films set to screen at Tribeca is available on the film festival’s website. Additional feature films will be announced next week.