Tribeca Film Festival 2020 Sets Opening Tone With Jimmy Carter Music Doc

Happy Presidents Day! The upcoming President Jimmy Carter documentary from award-winning director Mary Wharton, Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President is scheduled as the Opening Night film of the Tribeca Film Festival this year. Presented by AT&T, the 19th Tribeca Film Festival opens on April 15th and runs through April 26th.

Jimmy Carter had a connection to music and with Mary Wharton’s Rock-umentary style doc, we have a story about the important role rock and roll played in driving Jimmy Carter’s life from a Georgia peanut farmer to the leader of the United States of America. The Director of the documentary, Mary Wharton is a leading music documentary filmmaker, who has won a Grammy Award for Best Music Film for her documentary feature Sam Cooke: Legend and has dedicated her craft in filmmaking to other notable music artists and celebrities who became American icons such as the documentary on Joan Baez, Joan Baez: How Sweet The Sound and the Farrah Fawcett Forever

Jimmy Carter was known for connecting with people, utilizing his love and appreciation for music as a tool to transcend racial and generational divides. His policy and presidency was likely influenced by the music of Bob Dylan, and others. Even from these photos we see a President that looks to be casually hanging out with close friends who happen to be music legend Willie Nelson. 

Jimmy Carter and Willie Nelson White House Staff Photographer, Courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library

In the upcoming documentary from Wharton, we are promised intimate interviews with Carter and rare archival footage of performances from Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Dylan and others.

“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. 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,” offered President Jimmy Carter in support of the film’s opening. 

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

Willie Nelson and Surprise Music Legends to Perform

Following the world premiere of Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President will be an evening of live performances from Willie Nelson, alongside Musical Director Paul Shaffer, and others inspired and influenced by the presidency of Jimmy Carter.


Ava Brennan hails from beautiful Lake Tahoe, California and graduated from Cal-State Chico in 2016. She writes about film, fashion, design and trends in beauty and women's health. Ava also has a great love for all things music related and strives to bring new music to listeners world wide through dynamic, exciting content.

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