Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road captures the last 20 years of Beach Boys genius Wilson. Directed by Brent Wilson (no relation), the film features Wilson and Rolling Stone editor-in-chief Jason Fine driving around Los Angeles, as well as clips of him on the road and recording in the studio. Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Jim James, Nick Jonas, Taylor Hawkins, Jakob Dylan and others appear in the film.
“Over the years Jason and I have had a lot of fun times — just relaxing and listening to music, talking at the deli and cruising down to Malibu for sushi, so we got into that groove to make this movie,” Wilson told Rolling Stone in 2018. “I hope it shows people the love I feel and the hope I have to share love through my music.”
The career of Rolling Stones’ rhythm guitarist Ronnie Wood will be told in Somebody Up There Likes Me — from when he was at the helm of the British R&B explosion playing in Faces and the Jeff Beck Group, to the present with the Stones. Directed by Mike Figgis, the film will feature Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Rod Stewart, Charlie Watts and others.
The festival will open on April 15th, kicking off with Jimmy Carter Rock and Roll President at New York’s Beacon Theatre. The documentary captures the former president and his lifelong love of music. Willie Nelson will perform after the premiere.
Other films featured this year include The Go-Go’s, a documentary on the New Wave band directed by Alison Ellwood; Don’t Try to Understand: A Year in the Life of Earl “DMX” Simmons and Ice Cold, a movie about rappers and their love of jewelry, featuring Migos, Lil Yachty, J Balvin, Slick Rick and more.
Truth to Power — a film about System of a Down’s Serj Tankianwill and Armenia’s political revolution — will have its world premiere at the festival. Rick Rubin, Tom Morello, Shavo Odadjian and others are included in the film.
Other world premieres include Ricky Powell: The Individualist, a film about the photographer’s career and tour with the Beastie Boys, told by Natasha Lyonne, Debi Mazar, Mike D, Laurence Fishburne, Chuck D, LL Cool J and more; and Freedia Got a Gun, which shows Big Freedia shining a spotlight on gun reform.
The Go-Go’s, DMX and Tankian will perform after their films, while Big Freedia will appear in conversation.
“This year’s festival embraces the unique power of film to bring people together — whether that’s literally the communal experience of watching a film in a packed theater or the more intangible way a great film can make you empathize with a stranger’s struggle,” Festival Director Cara Cusumano said in a statement. “In an election year where we will go to the polls to make big decisions about our future together, these films are an opportunity for connection and understanding.”
Passes for the festival are on sale now, while packages go on sale March 8th. Single passes will become available on March 17th.