KAEPERNICK & AMERICA - Premieres at the 2022 Tribeca Festival - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

KAEPERNICK & AMERICA - Premieres at the 2022 Tribeca Festival

 The Award-Winning Documentary Feature


Premieres at the 2022 Tribeca Festival

Thursday, June 9 at 6:00 PM Eastern

Tribeca At Home: Kaepernick & America Virtual Screening Accessible Nationwide for the First Time

Kaepernick & America explores the intersection between Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protests and the reactions they spurred in the United States, revealing unique insights into America’s ongoing racial turmoil.

A film by Tommy Walker & Ross Hockrow

Produced by Bill Stephney, Gary Cohen, Matt McDonald

Executive Producers Don Lemon and John Battsek

Watch the Trailer Now Here


It was the summer of 2016, an election year with unrest rumbling through America. There were countless triggers – the murder videos of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling, the counterpunch of Alt-Right and Fake News, Black Lives Matter, Russian meddling – a discordant national cauldron ready to boil over. It was the birth of Trumpism, but no one knew it yet.  
Then, Colin Kaepernick took a knee and America lost its mind. Kaep’s knee touched down on the divide between America’s Black and white tectonic plates, creating an earthquake in the eternal race debate. The aftershocks of his singular gesture have already rippled through our country for years.  
Kaepernick himself answered any and all thoughtful questions for a time then stopped talking. And the resulting quiet has allowed for a thoughtful examination of the man and his story. It reveals layer upon layer of surprises and contradictions.  Raised in a white family, he became a Black quarterback, while in fact, he is an adopted, biracial man.  Inherently shy, he became the center of attention. The man everyone was talking about was mostly silent. He took a stand by taking a knee. 
Kaepernick & America examines the man and his protest, exploring the remarkable conflict stirred by such a simple gesture.


The film includes conversations with Don Lemon, DeRay Mckesson, Pam Oliver, Steve Wyche, Nate Boyer, Hue Jackson, and April Dinwoodie.


"As a Black man, the Kaepernick saga captivated me from the start. It raised so many of the core issues that Black people deal with every day in America. And yet, the experience of Blacks in America is not monolithic.  While Kaepernick knelt in a football uniform in San Diego, another Black man wearing a military uniform stood nearby and proudly sang the national anthem.  We are all different as are our American journeys."

"There are more than a thousand Black men in the NFL, but the one who protested had a singular journey that led him to make the choice. His racial history is complicated. His mother is white, his father is Black and his adoptive parents are both white. How did this particular set of social and societal influences lead a young superstar to put everything at risk?"
"The film we have made seeks to discover the parallels between the life and activism of Colin Kapaernick and the tumultuous and divisive factors that have colored America’s racial divide. It is only partly about Kaepernick, as it actually reveals more about America, the land that reacted so profoundly to such a simple gesture. Kaepernick’s protest held up a mirror to a large portion of the public and millions didn’t like what they saw. The young man stood his ground in the face of the brutal backlash, continuing his protest for twenty consecutive weeks. Somehow, with his right knee on the field and his arms passively crossed in front of him, he managed to point a finger at injustice without saying a word."

– Tommy Walker, Director (May 2022)


Tommy Walker is an esteemed producer and director of documentary film and television who has devoted his life to stories about race and identity. His most recent film was Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, an artful and intimate meditation on the legendary Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. That film earned Walker an Emmy nomination. He co-directed and produced the feature-length theatrical documentary, God Grew Tired of Us, which won Best Documentary and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. He produced 13 films for The List series, including three episodes of The Black List for HBO. Other titles include Mandela in America, Tutu and Franklin - A Journey towards Peace, and With All Deliberate Speed.
Ross Hockrow is a rising star in the documentary world, bringing his myriad filmmaking skills to a range of projects.  Kaepernick & America is his latest effort, on which he is credited as director and editor.  He has contributed in those roles as well as DP on a range of documentary films including Born Strong (Netflix), Finding Giannis (TNT), The Fieldhouse (2021 Discovery+), Valley of Sin (2020 Fox), Woman of Troy (2020 HBO), We Town (2018 SI/Amazon), Foreman (2017 Epix/NBC Universal), An Act of Love (2016 Apple) and Pot Barons of Colorado (2014 MSNBC).  Previously, he wrote, directed and edited a long list of scripted films.

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