May 19

“THE FIRST STEP”-A Film by Brandon Kramer Produced by Lance Kramer Featuring Van Jones! World Premiere – 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

We are thrilled to announce the World Premiere of THE FIRST STEP at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. The film, a unique collaboration between filmmakers Brandon and Lance Kramer and Van Jones and his partner Jana Carter, follows Jones as he controversially crosses party lines to win bipartisan support for criminal justice reform and a more humane response to the addiction crisis. 

In the middle of Trump’s Presidency, and at a time of extreme polarization, THE FIRST STEP goes deep behind the scenes as Jones overcomes the internal divisions within both parties and works with activists fighting for their communities to help get meaningful change done at a time when no one thought it was possible. 

Complete details are below, and we hope you will consider this film as you being to plan your coverage of the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.
Filmmakers Brandon Kramer and Lance Kramer are available for interviews now. Van Jones is available pending schedule availability.

Meridian Hill Pictures and Magic Labs Media
in association with 
Kartemquin Films and Big Mouth Productions


A Film by Brandon Kramer
Produced by Lance Kramer
Featuring Van Jones

World Premiere – 2021 Tribeca Film Festival 


Tribeca 2021 Screening Schedule:
Thursday, June 10 at 6:00 PM – Virtual Screening

About the film THE FIRST STEP
In this revealing observational portrait, Black progressive activist and political commentator Van Jones faces a polarised society head on in an effort to reform a broken criminal justice system. Jones, known for calling Donald Trump’s election “a whitelash” live on primetime TV, navigates increasingly tense and isolating political and racial divides in his attempt to become a “bridge builder” during the Trump administration. 

Condemned by the right for his progressive beliefs, and by the left for embracing conservatives, this fraught and cinematically captured personal journey questions his integrity from all sides, forcing him to consider not only his activism but his own identity. THE FIRST STEP takes us behind the scenes of these dramatic power struggles, from internal divisions within both parties, to the lives of activists fighting on the frontlines for their communities.  – Tribeca Film Festival

Featuring Louis L. Reed, Jessica Jackson, Virgie Walker, Pete White, and Tylo James. Also featuring Jared Kushner, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Shelley Capito, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Mike Lee, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Patrisse Cullors, Charlemagne Tha God, Karen Hunter, and Kim Kardashian.

About Director Brandon Kramer
Brandon is a documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Meridian Hill Pictures. Brandon directed CITY OF TREES (Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, national broadcast on PBS’ America Reframed, Netflix); and the Webby Award-winning documentary series THE MESSY TRUTH WITH VAN JONES. Brandon won Best Director at the 2016 Chesapeake Film Festival and Indie Capital Awards, received the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 American Conservation Film Festival and was a 2015 DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Individual Arts Fellow. Brandon has directed over 30 short documentaries commissioned by public agencies and nonprofits including AARP and US Institute of Peace. Before starting MHP, Brandon served as a teaching artist for the John F. Kennedy Center’s national media education program. Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree in film and cultural anthropology from Boston University.  

***Director Brandon Kramer is available for interviews***

Year 2021 | Country USA | Runtime 86 mins


We would like to thank DAVID MAGDAEL & ASSOCIATES for the press release.