The Museum of Television & Radio has unveiled plans to launch an annual Television Documentary Festival, the first edition of which will roll out May 3-21 in New York.
Slated events for the non-competitive fest include the preems of two docus, A&E’s “Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock & Roll” and PBS’ “Abraham & Mary Lincoln: A House Divided.”
“Sam” explores Phillips’ early musical steering of B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley; “Abraham” examines how the Civil War affected Lincoln’s marriage to Mary Todd, a daughter of a slave owner.
“Phillips” filmmakers Peter Jones and Morgan Neville and “Abraham” producer-director-writer David Grubin will headline their respective May 19 and 12 screenings.
Also on deck are showings of past high-profile HBO productions “American Hollow” directed by Rory Kennedy, and “Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth” from Robert B. Weide.
Comedy of Bruce
“Hollow,” playing May 11, chronicles the struggles of a poverty-stricken Appalachian family. “Lenny,” set for May 8, mixed home movies, audio recordings and TV clips to explore Bruce’s controversial comic style. Kennedy and Weide have likewise signed on to attend.
Other notable happenings include a tribute to 10-time Emmy-winning documaker Jon Alpert (“Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive”), featuring a retrospective screening series and an Alpert-led panel discussion.
Docus also to unspool include “Ella Fitzgerald — Something to Live for,” written and directed by Charlotte Zwerin; “P.O.V.: The Green Monster,” David Finn; “On the Ropes,” Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen; and “The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison,” Jonathan Stack and Liz Garbus.
For a complete fest schedule or to purchase tickets, call (212) 621-6600.