This HBO doc celebrating queerness in Nigeria is heading to the Tribeca Film Festival

The Legend of the Underground

The Tribeca Film Festival has returned for 2021. Cancelled last year due to coronavirus pandemic, the festival this year has announced its feature film lineup to celebrate its 20th anniversary, with live in-person events at outdoor venues across New York.

The features program will include 66 films from 81 filmmakers from across 23 different countries. The line-up includes 56 world premieres, 1 international premiere, 4 North American premieres, 1 U.S. premiere, and 4 New York premieres. This year’s program includes 15 directors returning to Tribeca with their latest projects, and over 60% of the feature films are directed by female, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. This year’s festival received a record high of 11,222 total submissions across all categories.

Showing at the festival in the category of Viewpoints, a vertical committed to launching fresh voices and embracing risky, utterly original storytelling, is the HBO documentary The Legend of the Underground. Directed and produced by Nneka Onuoha and Giselle Bailey, The Legend of the Underground is a timely documentary uncovering rampant homophobia in Nigeria while exploring the lives of several gay men who must choose to live imperiled lives there or flee to the USA.

The documentary also spotlights James Brown Obialor, Micheal Ighadaro, Edafe Okporo, Ayodeji Otuyelu, and Olaide Kayode Timileyin. Gender nonconformity, and even expressing one’s self in a way that departs from established norms, is something that can get one abused, bullied, ostracised and murdered. And this is what The Legendary of the Underground courageously tries to unpack.

The Tribeca Film Festival this year runs from June 9-20.

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