A classically trained violinist, a recipient of a full scholarship to Phillip Exeter Academy and a music business major at NYU— John Forté had all the makings of what he'd eventually become: a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter/producer. His talents would culminate in his greatest career triumph to date, a Grammy nomination for his work on The Fugees' 1996 multi-platinum album, The Score. However, the wunderkind's success would soon be overshadowed by a situation he avoided all throughout growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn: a drug conviction in 2001 that landed him in prison with 14-year bid.
After his sentence was commuted in 2008, Forté saw his new freedom as an opportunity to revive his career and rehabilitate his life. After a quiet two years and generally lukewarm reception from the U.S., Forté and his band decided to embark on a nine-week tour of Russia. The new documentary The Russian Winter, directed by Peter Ringbom, follows their journey—which Forté kept a diary of for Complex—across the cold, distant country, where they're surprisingly embraced by a foreign audience, collaborate with native musicians, and where Forté finds his long-desired second chance.
The Russian Winter is already finding success stateside with its already sold out premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, April 20th, at 8:30 p.m. EST. But for those interested in seeing it, tickets are being sold for additional screenings of at TribecaFilm's official website.
In celebration of the film's release, Forté will be performing on Sunday, April 22nd, at the Bowery Ballroom, where he will share the stage with his friends Natasha Bedingfield, Sunsay, and Alina Orlova. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., and the show will begin at 9:00 p.m., and it's open to the public. To purchase tickets, visit the Bowery Ballroom website.
Wrapping up the film's Tribeca run, Heineken will be hosting a Q&A with the documentary's producer Brian Satz and its star John Forte at NYC's Central Bar on April 25th at 9PM, directly following the film's 7PM screening. To RSVP for the event, visit the FlavorPill website.
[via The Russian Winter]