The Apollo, helmed by Oscar and Emmy-winning director Roger Ross Williams, chronicles the unique history and legacy of New York City’s landmark Apollo Theater. What began 85 years ago as a refuge for marginalized artists has emerged as a hallowed hall of black excellence and empowerment. The film weaves together archival clips of music, comedy and dance performances from such legendary talents as Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Richard Pryor, and Lauryn Hill; behind-the-scenes verité footage of the team that makes the theater run; and interviews with such artists as Jamie Foxx, Angela Bassett, Pharrell Williams, Common, Patti LaBelle, and Smokey Robinson.
The film also follows the 2018 multi-media adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ bestseller Between the World and Me as it comes together on the theater’s grand stage, allowing Williams to explore the struggle of black lives in America, the role art plays in that struggle, and the essential part the Apollo continues to play in the cultural conversation.
BIO: Roger Ross Williams is an award-winning director, producer, writer, and the first African American director to win an Academy Award, for hs short film Music By Prudence. Rogers’ work pushes the boundaries of culture and film. His documentaries include Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning Life, Animated, as well as ,God Loves Uganda, American Jail, and VR experience ‘Traveling While Black’. Currently, he is working on his first narrative feature for Amazon studios.
Executive Producer(s): Nigel Sinclair, Dan Cogan, Nicholas Ferrall, Julie Goldman, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Jonelle Procope, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Jenny Raskin, Ken Pelletier, Embrey Family Foundation, Lagralane Group, David Blackman, Cynthia Sexton, Charles King, Kim Roth, Poppy Hanks, Carlene C. Laughlin, Dave Knott, Lynda Weinman, Jayson Jackson
Producer(s): Lisa Cortes, Jeanne Elfant Festa, Cassidy Hartmann
Woodstock Film Festival
is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The
Hudson Valley Film Commission
promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.