New Clapton Documentary To Be Screened At Tribeca Film Festival

Where’s Eric! has learned that a new documentary, "Eric Clapton and Friends" will debut at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival this May. Directed by Jana Bokova, the 80 minute film documents rehearsals for Clapton’s 2001 World Tour.

Official Press Release:

Film offers rare glimpse at guitarist’s rehearsels leading up to the 2001 Reptile tour.

The documentary "Eric Clapton and Friends" will debut at the New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, which will take place May 3-11 in the downtown New York neighborhood. Director Jana Bokova shot the footage for the eighty-minute film at Bray Studios in London over a three-day span as Clapton and his band rehearsed for their 2001 world tour. 

In making the film, the Czechoslovakian-born Bokova was most struck by Clapton’s industrious work ethic. "He rehearses as if it was a concert," she says. "It was absolutely mind-blowing. The musicians are really top top."

Clapton approached Bokova to do the project after he saw a documentary she made about flamenco music. "He said literally, ‘I trust you completely,’" she says. "I had total artistic control, and he’s a very private person."

Interspersed with takes of "Layla," "Reptile," "Five Long Years" and other songs are interviews with Clapton and his band — Andy Fairweather-Low, drummer Steve Gadd, percussionist Paulinho Da Costa, keyboardist David Sancious, bassist Nathan East and backing vocalists, from the Impressions, Sam Gooden, Fred Cash and Willie Kitchens, Jr.

"I play for the band, and we play for each other," Clapton says in the film. "With the audience, I don’t try to read their minds. I think if we please ourselves and we’re happy, then that is contagious. Whereas if we try to patronize the audience, that would be insulting, and they would sense that."

The Tribeca Film Festival, which was co-founded by Robert De Niro, attracted more than 150,000 people last year, according to organizers. The event will again boast a live rock and comedy concert, with acts to be announced.

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