“Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” to open 2020 Tribeca Film Festival

“Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President” to open 2020 Tribeca Film Festival

The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival is kicking off this year’s edition with presidential flair. Titled “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President,” the festival’s opening film focuses on the role that popular music played in securing Carter a place within the White House. Willie Nelson and Paul Shaffer are among musical guests set to perform live following the film’s premiere at the Beacon Theatre on April 15.

Helmed by veteran documentarian Mary Wharton, the film is billed as a “rockumentary-style presidential portrait.” Structured by interviews with Carter intercut with rare archival performances from Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon and more, the documentary explores how Carter’s love of folk, soul, gospel, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll informed his campaign.

Jimmy Carter and Bob Dylan at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, 1974. Photo: Barry Feinstein.
Jimmy Carter and Bob Dylan at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, 1974. Photo: Barry Feinstein.

“The film accurately captures my love for all music and the importance music has played in my personal and professional life,” President Jimmy Carter said in a statement. “I remain hopeful and believe that music can serve to bring us together as a nation.”

The documentary fits into a line-up of films that, according to the announcement, “celebrate the power of change through art, politics and community.” To further reinforce this aim, the festival, which runs April 15 to 26, partnered this year with Democracy Works and Civic Alliance to grant audiences access to an online tool that sends updates about how to get involved with local elections.

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

Tribeca is also expanding its geographical scope this year by taking the festival across the Hudson to Hoboken, New Jersey.

“It’s wonderful to embrace new audiences with our neighbor across the river,” Rosenthal said.

The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 15 to 26. All passes and ticket packages are now on sale. Single tickets will be available for purchase starting March 17. More information about purchasing can be found here.

Top Image: Jimmy Carter and Willie Nelson. White House Staff Photographer, courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library.