Jennifer Lopez documentary Halftime opens Tribeca Film Festival with cheers, tears, and Super Bowl-themed performance

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Jennifer Lopez documentary Halftime opens Tribeca Film Festival with cheers, tears, and Super Bowl-themed performance
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Celebrities and fervent Jennifer Lopez fans alike packed Washington Heights' United Palace in New York City Wednesday night for the world premiere of her new documentary, Halftime.

The doc, which EW notes in a review is "designed to humanize a tabloid-headline life and remind us once again that where she comes from (the Block, the boogie-down Bronx) is as integral to her success as beauty or talent or sheer tenacity," kicked off the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in raucous style. Following opening remarks by Tribeca co-founders Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal — who both expressed their gratitude for being able to hold in-person events like this again in New York — the film's director, Amanda Micheli, took the stage and talked briefly about the journey to bring the documentary to screen.

Despite starting almost an hour later than scheduled, there was no denying the electricity in the room, as the audience treated the movie more like a Broadway show than a film screening — complete with whooping cheers and applause at various points throughout, most notably during early career breakout moments such as Selena and also when Lopez spoke about the immigration issues that came to a head under the Trump administration. (And also when her ex-boyfriend Ben Affleck made a ten second appearance to add some commentary halfway through.)

Jennifer Lopez Halftime Premiere
Jennifer Lopez Halftime Premiere

Noam Galai/Getty Images Jennifer Lopez surrounded by young dancers on stage during the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival and screening of her documentary 'Halftime.'

But it was after the film (and the standing ovation) that the real magic happened, as the screen rolled up to reveal a live orchestra and the young dancers who participated in Lopez's Super Bowl 2020 performance — including the pop star's daughter, Emme, who once again took center stage to sing. The group treated a revved up audience to a rousing medley of "Let's Get Loud," "Born in the USA," and Latin dance interludes that concluded with red, white, and blue confetti raining down on the stage. And no, it wasn't a coincidence that the performance was reminiscent of Lopez's halftime show with Shakira that everyone had just watched play out in the documentary: on the screen behind the orchestra, the Super Bowl stage set up was projected as a background.

Though she didn't perform herself, a tearful Lopez took to the stage, gathering flowers and hugging the young performers while praising the group: "You guys were amazing!" She then thanked everyone in the audience for being there while also admitting she was hoping to sneak out thanks to the overwhelming emotions of watching the film.

"I do this not for an award. I do this to connect with people and make them feel things because I want to feel something," Lopez says in the documentary.

If this opening night was any indication, Lopez has certainly succeeded.

Halftime premieres on Netflix on June 14.

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