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Pulled from vast archives documenting 20 years of behind-the-scenes moments in the life of the anonymous French artist JR -- intercut with verité footage of his current-day collaborations in such diverse places as a California supermax prison and a free film school in the projects outside of Paris -- Paper & Glue turns JR’s large-scale public art projects into something very personal and intimate. Neither a biopic, nor an art film, this documentary is a journey that lets audiences discover for themselves the beauty that emerges when those who are too often forgotten are finally given their own spotlight.

Through the course of the documentary, we come to understand both the inspiration behind his work, and the unexpected magic that happens when you democratize the power of expression. Made by an award-winning team (a project by the TED prize recipient and Academy-award nominated JR, produced by Justin Wilkes, Sara Bernstein, Dallas Brennan Rexer, and Marc Azoulay, edited by Keiko Deguchi, with music by Adam Peters), the documentary encourages us to recognize the power of art to challenge stereotypes, foster an appreciation for the gift of storytelling, and inspire everyone to find the best in the people around them. In a time when the world is reeling from catastrophic crises and is so painfully divided – this film gives hope that it is possible to reconnect using nothing more than “good vibes” and paper and glue.

The Filmmakers

JR Director

JR exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors, from the suburbs of Paris to the slums of Brazil to the streets of New York, pasting huge portraits of anonymous people, from Kibera to Istanbul, from Los Angeles to Shanghai. In 2011 he received the TED Prize, after which he created Inside Out, an international participatory art project that allows people worldwide to get their picture taken and paste it to support an idea and share their experience – as of June 2020, over 420,000 people from more than 140 countries have participated, through mail or gigantic photobooths. His recent projects include a large-scale pasting in a maximum security prison in California, a TIME Magazine cover about Guns in America, a video mural including 1,200 people presented at SFMOMA, a collaboration with New York City Ballet, an Academy Award Nominated feature documentary co-directed with Nouvelle Vague legend Agnès Varda, a huge installation on the Pantheon in Paris, the pasting of a container ship, the pyramid of the Louvre, a monumental mural “à la Diego Rivera” in the suburbs of Paris, giant scaffolding installations at the 2016 Rio Olympics, an exhibition on the abandoned hospital of Ellis Island, a social restaurant for homeless and refugees in Paris or a gigantic installation at the US-Mexico border fence. As he remains anonymous and doesn’t explain his huge full-frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter. That is what JR's work is about, raising questions... JR has been based in NYC for the past eight years and was on TIME Magazine 100 Most Influential People list in 2018.

Sara Bernstein Producer

Sara Bernstein is an award-winning producer and Executive Vice President of Imagine Documentaries. Recent projects include Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (Magnolia Pictures), DADS (Apple TV+), Rebuilding Paradise (National Geographic Documentary Films), D. Wade: Life Unexpected (ESPN Films), On Pointe (Disney+), and the upcoming series We Are The Brooklyn Saints (Netflix) and Crime Scene (Netflix.) Prior to joining Imagine, Bernstein was SVP, HBO Documentary Films overseeing award- winning nonfiction programming for the network including Emmy® winner The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, Academy Award® and Emmy® winner Citizenfour, Emmy® winner Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Academy Award® winner Music By Prudence, Emmy® nominated Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Emmy® nominated The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, and Mommy Dead and Dearest. Over the years, Bernstein has garnered 10 Emmy® wins and 29 Emmy® nominations, 11 Peabody Awards and the films she has supervised have won 2 Academy Awards® and 13 Academy Award® nominations.

Dallas Brennan Rexer Producer

Dallas Brennan Rexer has been producing award-winning documentaries for over 20 years. She wrote and co-produced with Liz Garbus and Story Syndicate The Innocence Files: The Witness--Making Memory for Netflix. Prior to that, she worked with Liz Garbus and Jenny Carchman at Radical Media as the story producer for Showtime's Emmy-nominated series The Fourth Estate, following The New York Times' coverage of Donald Trump's first year in office. She also story-produced Showtime’s follow-up Emmy-nominated short The Family Business: Trump and Taxes, about The New York Times investigation into the Trump family’s fraudulent tax schemes.

Dallas has written and story-produced documentary series for National Geographic (Jeff Cooperman/Generation X) and the Paramount Channel (Joe Berlinger/Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio) and produced numerous feature-length documentaries on a variety of topics, including: Christy Turlington Burns’ No Woman, No Cry (Tribeca Film Festival, OWN) about maternal health; Academy-award winner Carol Dysinger’s Camp Victory, Afghanistan (SXSW, public television) about American National Guard soldiers mentoring young Afghan National Army recruits; Kirsten Johnson and Katy Chevigny’s Emmy-nominated Deadline (Sundance Film Festival, acquired as an NBC primetime special) about Illinois governor George Ryan’s historic decision to commute the state’s death sentences; Andrew Walton’s Arctic Son (Full Frame Film Festival, POV) about a traditional Gwich’in hunter and his estranged rebel teenage son who are reunited in a remote Arctic village; Katy Chevigny’s Election Day (SXSW Film Festival, POV) a day-in-the-life portrait of America’s 2004 election day; and Phil Bertelsen’s Outside Looking In: Transracial Adoption in America (ITVS).

She has Executive Produced several documentary series and shorts and regularly consults on numerous documentary projects. Dallas is a 1997/98 Fulbright Scholar who conducted research on television and national identity in Trinidad, West Indies. Her reviews have appeared in American Anthropologist and the International Institute for the Visual Arts. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College’s Philosophy Department and is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures.

Justin Wilkes Producer

Justin Wilkes is an Academy Award and BAFTA-nominated and multiple Emmy and Peabody-winning producer and current President of Imagine Documentaries. Since the launch of Imagine Docs in 2018, Wilkes has produced Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band (Magnolia Pictures), DADS (Apple TV+), directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, Rebuilding Paradise (National Geographic Documentary Films), directed by Ron Howard, D. Wade Life Unexpected (ESPN Films) about basketball superstar, Dwyane Wade, and the Emmy-winning Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10 (Apple TV+). Additionally Justin has recently produced the On Pointe Series for Disney +, about the critically acclaimed School of American Ballet; and We Are: The Brooklyn Saints and Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, both coming soon to Netflix. Wilkes is a veteran in the premium non-scripted television and film world having produced a slate of award-winning projects including Liz Garbus’ Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning film, What Happened, Miss Simone? (Netflix), Joe Berlinger’s Oscar-nominated, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the Emmy-nominated New York Times documentary series The Fourth Estate (Showtime), Emmy-nominated, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (Netflix), the critically-acclaimed National Geographic series MARS and Hamilton (Disney+).

Festivals & Awards

Tribeca Film Festival 2021


For French visual artist JR, the world is his canvas. Taking on the moniker of a photograffeur (French for a photographer/graffiti artist), JR’s large-scale mural portraiture has adorned streets from Paris to Rio, and was memorably captured in his 2017 Academy Award®-nominated collaboration with French New Wave icon Agnes Varda, Faces Places.

With his follow up Paper and Glue, JR turns the camera on his own work, as he undertakes massive installation efforts on the US-Mexico border, inside the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, on the courtyard of a supermax prison, and more. In each location, JR captures images of residents of these unique communities and memorializes them in striking, massive, black-and-white photo installations, in the process turning some of the most provocative spaces of the world into eye-catching immersive art that challenges perspectives and unites communities. —Cara Cusumano

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