Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Union Film Premieres at Tribeca - Elton to Give Free Concert

The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival takes its opening night outdoors on April 20, 2011, with the world premiere of Cameron Crowe's The Union, a documentary on the collaboration between Elton and Leon Russell. This opening night will close with a performance by Elton for New York City.

The Tribeca Film Festival today announced that the world premiere of Cameron Crowe's documentary The Union will open the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express. A performance by the film's subject - Elton - will follow the free, outdoor screening to kick off the Festival's 10th edition and thank the New York City community for its ongoing support. The Union will premiere on Wednesday, April 20 at the North Cove at the World Financial Plaza. The 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 20 through May 1, 2011.

The Union is an unprecedented and personal look at the creative life of Elton and the remarkable collaborative album with Leon Russell, produced by T Bone Burnett. Begun in November 2009, the filming captures the entire writing and recording process of the heralded album Elton recorded with his early-career idol, Leon Russell. Elton's composing process has never been filmed before, and The Union is an extremely candid portrait of his extraordinary journey of the heart - one that sent him to reclaim and reinvigorate the life and musical career of Leon Russell, to whom Elton hadn't spoken in over 38 years. The Union is a captivating and exhilarating real-life experience of musical creation and generosity, directed by Cameron Crowe.

Music producer T Bone Burnett, Elton's lifelong lyricist Bernie Taupin, icons Neil Young and Brian Wilson, legendary R&B organist Booker T. Jones, steel guitarist Robert Randolph and a 10-piece gospel choir are featured on the album, while appearances by Stevie Nicks and Don Was colour the documentary about a love of making music.

"It's a special opportunity to open our 10th Festival in this distinct and unique way-not only are we inviting the community to join us for the world premiere of Cameron Crowe's film The Union, but to have Elton, whose music transcends generations, perform after is an extraordinary gift to our Festival and more specifically the downtown community," said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. "Cameron Crowe gives audiences unprecedented access into Elton John and Leon Russell's artistic process in an emotional and realistic way."

"I'm absolutely thrilled that the documentary about The Union will premiere opening night at the Tribeca Film Festival," said Elton.

"As a longtime fan of both artists, it was a pleasure to spend a year filming their collaboration," said Cameron Crowe. "We can't wait to show it to one of the greatest audiences in the world, the Tribeca Film Festival."

The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival will announce its feature film slate on March 7 and 14, 2011. Tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival will be $16.00 for evening and weekend screenings, and $8.00 for daytime weekday and late night screenings. Advance selection ticket packages and passes go on sale for American Express Cardmembers on Monday, March 7, and on Monday, March 14 for the general public. All advance packages and passes can be purchased online at, or by telephone, toll free, at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers to reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling. The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,100 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 3 million attendees and has generated an estimated $600 million in economic activity for New York City.

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