Tribeca Film Festival & NYWIFT Co-Present: ‘The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show’

Join Tribeca Film Festival & NYWIFT on June 19th as we proudly co-host a screening of The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show

Please note: this screening is currently sold out. Additional tickets may be added later so keep checking back.

Click here to go to the ticket page.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Doors open at 10:00am. Film starts at 11:00am

In 1968, Johnny Carson was king of late-night television. As host of the top-rated “Tonight Show,” he gave America mild humor and middle-of-the-road entertainment. But when Carson planned a week’s vacation, his choice of replacement host was no less than revolutionary. Black entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte was given five nights on air. Belafonte did not squander the opportunity; he booked guests calculated to change the hearts and minds of a country embroiled in racial crisis. Among them, Aretha Franklin, Sidney Poitier, Dionne Warwick, Zero Mostel, Diahann Carroll, Paul Newman, and national leaders Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

The Sit-In is an exhilarating documentary about a rare moment when truth and justice entered the living rooms (and bedrooms) of middle-class America. Although three of the five TV segments are now lost, director NYWIFT Member Yoruba Richen pieces together the programs through archival photographs and footage, as well as contemporary interviews with historians, politicians and activists, including Whoopi Goldberg and Norman Lear. Indeed, the film captures a chaotic time in American history, drawing inescapable parallels with the Black Lives Matter movement.


Yoruba Richen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has directed films in the US and abroad. Her work has been featured on PBS, New York Times Op Doc, Frontline Digital, New York Magazine’s website The Cut, The Atlantic, and Field of Vision. Her last film, The Green Book: The Guide to Freedom, was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel to record audiences and was awarded the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking. Yoruba’s previous documentary, The New Black, won multiple festival awards and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award. It was broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens. Her previous film, PROMISED LAND, won the Fledgling Fund award for social issue documentary and was broadcast on POV. She also won a Clio award for her short film about the Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day. Yoruba has won a Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was a Sundance Producers Fellow. She is a Fulbright fellow, a Guggenheim fellow and a 2016 recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. Yoruba is the Director of the Documentary Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.

And be sure to check out Tribeca’s slate of virtual screenings through Tribeca at Home!

Learn more


Thanks to our partner: 

June 19 @ 11:00am
11:00 am — 12:45 pm (1h 45′)


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#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.