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Robert De Niro praises new filmmakers as Tribeca Film Festival kicks off their Juneteenth lineup

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‘Blind Ambiton’; Photo by Scott Munro and Martin McGrath

The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival is honoring “the voices of the African Diaspora” with its inaugural Juneteeth lineup that puts an emphasis “on African-American artists, performers, filmmakers, and interdisciplinary creators.”

The slate includes 66 films and 54 world premieres from Black talent, as well as an impressive list of new filmmakers, which Tribeca Festival co-creator Robert De Niro calls “amazing.”

“It’s always great [to] see new filmmakers,” De Niro tells ABC Audio. “And you see things they do, it’s kind of amazing. You say, well, how does that happen?…It’s like seeing your kids — when your kids come up with these amazing statements or things that you just never thought they’re capable of, but they do. So that’s life. That’s how it all works.”

Some of the Juneteenth highlights include Ju’Niyah Palmer honoring the life of her late sister, Breonna Taylor; a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones; rapper A$AP Rocky discussing his arrest while in Stockholm, Sweden in Stockholm Syndrome; Sanaa Lathan and Gina Prince-Bythewoood participating in the director’s series; and a 30th-anniversary screening of The Five Heartbeats, featuring some of its cast and director Robert Townsend.

Other notable mentions include the premiere of the MigosIce Cold, a docuseries on hip-hop jewelry; Sol Guy‘s emotional piece on his family in The Death of My Two Fathers; Ty Hodges‘ film about a struggling artist in Venus Is a Boy; Delmar Washington‘s sci-fi drama No Running; Mobolaji Olambiwonnu‘s Ferguson Rises,  highlighting the protests following Michael Brown Jr.‘s killing by a white police officer; and Blind Ambition, about four Zimbabwean refugees who become South Africa’s top sommeliers.

The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival’s Juneteenth lineup continues through Juneteenth, on June 19th.

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