2021 | English | USA
OPENING NIGHT FILM
With exclusive access to one of New York’s hardest-hit hospital systems, Oscar®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning director Matthew Heineman (CARTEL LAND) spotlights the everyday heroes at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic as they come together to fight one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered. Leaving a devastating trail of death and despair, this once-in-a-century pandemic changed the very fabric of daily life and exposed long-standing inequities in our society. The “first wave” of COVID-19 ravaged New York from March through June 2020. Employing his signature approach of character-driven cinema vérité, Heineman documents those harrowing first four months, embedding with a group of doctors, nurses and patients on the frontlines as they all navigated the crisis. With each distinct storyline serving as a microcosm through which we can view the emotional and societal impacts of the pandemic, THE FIRST WAVE is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.