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Topic Studios At Tribeca

TOPIC STUDIOS | 2021 TRIBECA SLATE

Topic Studios is pleased to announce three films at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival: the world premiere of Bernstein’s Wall, a portrait of one of the greatest classical music figures of the 20th century, directed by Douglas Tirola; the world premiere of Italian Studies, the newest film from Adam Leon starring Academy Award® nominee Vanessa Kirby; and the New York premiere of Dear Mr. Brody, the true story of an extraordinary financial giveaway and its consequences from director Keith Maitland.

Please see the full slate with more information and screening times below.

BERNSTEIN’S WALL

SPOTLIGHT DOCUMENTARY | WORLD PREMIERE | 100 MINUTES

Directed by Douglas Tirola

Bernstein’s Wall traces Leonard Bernstein’s lifelong struggle to create social change and bring people together through his work. Like a symphony with multiple movements, the film presents the sweeping grandeur of Bernstein’s life while sharing his most private thoughts about America, politics, race, family, media, sex, and religion.

The son of a Russian Jewish immigrant who arrived in New York and rose to become Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and eventually a household name, Leonard Bernstein was also a vulnerable and conflicted artist who struggled to balance his ambitions, religion, sexuality, and the family he deeply loved. For decades he towered over the worlds of classical music, Broadway, television, and culture, while using his clout to advocate for progressive political change, as well as lending his name to numerous causes and fringe groups at considerable personal risk.

Guided by Bernstein’s own voice, Bernstein’s Wall features newly discovered archival footage, audio verite moments with his family, intimate photos, personal letters, and highlights of his spectacular career—including West Side Story, the New York Philharmonic, and the opening of the Kennedy Center—to create an intimate and moving look at one of the 20th century’s most prominent icons. Directed and co-written by Douglas Tirola (Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead, Hey Bartender). Topic Studios presents a 4th Row Films Production.

Monday, June 14, 8pm

The Battery

Available Starting: Tuesday, June 15, 6pm

Tribeca At Home (streaming)

***

ITALIAN STUDIES

SPOTLIGHT NARRATIVE | WORLD PREMIERE | 81 MINUTES

Directed by Adam Leon

Starring: Vanessa Kirby, Simon Brickner, Annika Wahlsten, Annabel Hoffman, Maya Hawke

New York City-based auteur Adam Leon (Gimme The Loot, Tramps) skillfully drops the audience into this wonder of a film that finds a mysterious woman (Academy Award® nominee Vanessa Kirby) wandering the streets of Manhattan in confusion, seemingly unsure of who she is or where she’s meant to be. Finding herself inexplicably drawn to a charismatic teenager, she embarks on an adventure with him through the cityscape and into the unknown.

A lucid dream of a film, Italian Studies simmers with a mesmerizing renegade energy. Writer-director Leon plays with form and narrative, crafting a delicate mystery that resists simple answers. Kirby’s brilliant performance keeps the film anchored and alive, as she moves through the city with an assured sense of person, if not self. The ethereal atmosphere is intensified by cinematographer Brett Jutkiewicz’s warm palette and surveilling camerawork. The film is an unintentional time-capsule, delivering a fever dream of a pre-pandemic New York City that we all yearn for now. Never has a casual meetup in Gray’s Papaya looked so enticing. Italian Studies is a bravura feat of unconventional storytelling, an exploration of character in the absence of identity. A Topic Studios, Animal Kingdom, Tango Entertainment Presentation.

Saturday, June 12, 8pm

The Battery

Available Starting: Sunday, June 13, 6pm

Tribeca At Home (streaming)

***

DEAR MR. BRODY

2020 OFFICIAL SELECTION: FEATURES | NEW YORK PREMIERE | 96 MINUTES

Directed by Keith Maitland

In January 1970, Michael Brody, Jr., a 21-year-old hippie-millionaire and heir to a margarine fortune, sent the world into a fit when he publicly announced that he would be giving $25 million away to anyone who needed it. This extraordinary gesture sparked a frenzy, with mobs of people camping out on his lawn, phoning him, and writing letters requesting his help. 50 years later, 12 boxes of these letters are discovered in a storage unit—all unopened. What happened with these letters written by strangers whose hopes, dreams, and desperation were laid bare on the page? Whatever became of Brody, the eccentric would-be philanthropist who claimed he wanted to cure the problems of the world through peace and love? His 15 minutes of fame was dotted with drugs, mental illness, and outrageous claims, leaving many wondering, “is he for real?” And within the boxes of unopened letters written to him half a century ago are thousands of deeply personal stories from people whose voices are just now being heard for the first time. From award-winning director Keith Maitland (Tower, A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story). A presentation of Impact Partners and Topic Studios.

Friday, June 11, 5pm

Clinton Hall at Empire Outlets