The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Craig Hatkoff, and Robert De Niro, apparently in response to 9/11 and the resulting loss of business and vitality in their neighbourhood of lower Manhattan (Tribeca stands for the Triangle Below Canal St).
After just 120 days of planning (thank you 1300 volunteers!), the festival was launched in 2002 and featured premieres such as Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, About a Boy, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. New York City was anxious to remind people what a boon to the film business it was, and Hollywood was more than happy to pay their respects. 150, 000 people turned up to that first year but today it’s more like 3 million, and it generates something like $600 million dollars for the city, so, hello! Even press-shy celebrities turn up to these events, and lots are eager to lend a hand. Martin Scorsese has curated a Best of New York series in the past, and this year Whoopi Goldberg is helming the animation lineup.
But Tribeca doesn’t just show great movies, it has also premiered video games, virtual reality exhibits, lots of amazing talks, and a spotlight on TV. Tribeca had a huge outdoor screening for the finale of Friends in 2004, and it’s also premiered Inside Amy Schumer and Mr. Robot. This year Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda will be on hand to introduce the premiere of the second season of Grace and Frankie (which is awesome, by the way – look for it on Netflix), Oprah will be showcasing her new OWN show Greenleaf, Tom Hiddleston’s in town to show off his new AMC series, The Night Manager, Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and Anna Paquin are all pushing the History miniseries Roots, and TNT is launching a new drama based off the movie Animal Kingdom, starring Ellen Barkin. Tribeca will also be screening the finale of the show Six Feet Under, with Alan Ball there to provide commentary (this is THE MOST GUTTING television I’ve ever seen) and Julianna Margulies will be toasting The Good Wife’s finale. When the television’s that good, you know the movies are going to be incredible. And we’ll get to those.
But first: Tribeca Talks. They’re absolutely KILLING ME with how wonderful their storytellers series is. First night: Patti Smith being interviewed by Ethan Hawke. Next: JJ Abrams interviewed by Chris Rock. There are talks with Idina Menzel, Catherine Hardwicke, Tina Fey, Samantha Bee, Francis Ford Coppola, Jodie Foster & Julie Taymor, Alfonso Cuaron, Bahz Luhrmann, and more. It drives me crazy how good these are.
And then there are the movies: the zillions of super awesome movies. Premieres up the wazoo, but also some throwbacks worth seeing again and again (this year they’re recognizing the 40th (!) anniversary of Taxi Driver, and Scorsese, De Niro, and Foster will all be in attendance). Tribeca Film Festival runs April 14-24th, and Sean and I will only be there for the second half of it, which means we’re seeing only a tiny sliver of all the goodness available. I’m a sad panda about missing Abrams & Rock, but we arrive in time to see John Oliver take on Tom Hanks, and I think I can live with that!
Stay tuned because we’re seeing some blindingly good stuff and are bound to rub elbows and\or knees with tonnes of celebrities, and you can read all about it right here – or, if you’re impatient, get up to the minute updates and some questionably appropriate pictures on our Twitter feed @AssholeMovies .