film festival tourism


The TriBeCa Film Festival


Why Go: To be in New York. 


History: Inaugurated in 2002 by actor Robert De Niro and others to revitalize the area of New York City hit in the 9/11 bombings, the TriBeCa Festival took a few years to find its footing. However, from all accounts this New York-based celebration of cinema had settled into a viable form by 2007 with a scaled-down program and a more judicious selection of films.

Festival Website: 

Timing: Eleven days at the end of April and beginning of May. 

Programming: Peter Scarlet began his seven-year run as the festival’s artistic director by emphasizing quantity over quality, but he eventually settled in to a more discriminating programming philosophy that highlights provocative new foreign and American indie fare leavened with a few revivals and a generous assortment of Hollywood glamour premières. Capitalizing on its access to top film talent who live in the city, the fest also sponsors “TriBeCa Talks,” a top-notch series of on-stage interviews and panel discussions; among the many past participants have been Tim Robbins, Glenn Close, John Sayles, Mira Nair, and Martin Scorsese.  In 2009 the festival hired Sundance’s Geoff Gilmore as its new creative director, perhaps responding to a persistent sense that the underwhelming festival line-up had still failed to live up to its hype. 

Geoff Gilmore

Geoff Gilmore

Special Guests: Many American filmmakers lend their star-power to this festival, and a good number of  foreign auteurs attend as well. 


Audience: Industry, press and a large, sophisticated cadre of locals. 

Venues: In 2009 the bulk of the fest screenings were programmed into the Village 7  megaplex, centering festival activity in the East Greenwich Village rather than TriBeCa. The theaters are mostly smallish and, though not by any means new, comfortable. 

Outdoor screening

Outdoor screening

Screening Schedule: Screenings and events begin in the early afternoon and continue until late at night with up to fifteen programs playing concurrently. 

Tickets: Individual tickets have come down in price and can now be had for $15 or less. Many films sell out, so it’s a good idea to buy early. You can purchase tickets and passes on-line. 

Surroundings: As a recently developed, upscale Manhattan neighborhood, TriBeCa features an ample menu of activities, with a multitude of trendy restaurants and intriguing shops. Because the festival venues change from year to year, however, you will need to improvise hotel and food options after you check out the situation on the ground for the year you want to attend. 

Getting around: If you choose a hotel in the Village, you’ll be able to walk to many films and events. But this is New York: cabs abound, and the subway is quick and efficient. 



2006 Program Book

2006 Program Book


Best Film I Saw: Love For Share. Three provocative portraits of polygamous males in Indonesia emphasize the effect of this practice on wives and children. During the post-screening Q & A filmmaker Nia Di Nata revealed that she herself is the child of such a union. 


2009 Program Book
2009 Program Book
Unexpected Pleasure: The witty text and graphics featured in the fest’s preview reel.



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