New York, NY – Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal kicked off the ninth annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) today at a press conference at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in lower Manhattan. De Niro and Rosenthal were joined by Alex Gibney, who directed three films featured in this year’s Festival; Tribeca Enterprises Chief Creative Officer Geoff Gilmore; TFF Executive Director Nancy Schafer; and John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer for American Express, the founding sponsor of the Festival.
The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival will run from April 21 – May 2 and will include 85 features and 47 short films representing 38 different countries. The film slate, chosen from a record 5,050 submissions, features 44 world premieres, 7 international premieres, 15 North American premieres, 6 U.S. premieres, 12 New York premieres and 1 restored work. In addition to the film line-up, there will also be a range of panel discussions involving filmmakers and industry experts, gala premieres of highly anticipated new studio releases – including DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After,” which will open the Festival – and an array of free, community events, including the popular Tribeca Drive-In, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day and the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair.
“This year, Tribeca has stayed true to its mission and has expanded to find new ways for filmmakers to reach new audiences,” said Rosenthal. “Whether you’re an accomplished or emerging filmmaker, a movie junkie or someone who enjoys a good film now and then, there’s something for you at Tribeca.”
“It’s great how much the Festival continues to grow,” said De Niro. “One of the strengths of Tribeca is the feeling of community. I look forward to hearing what our audiences think about the terrific slate of films in this year’s Festival.”
Rosenthal and De Niro also touched on Tribeca’s significant expansion and the creation of Tribeca Film and Tribeca Film Festival Virtual – two new initiatives that will help bring Tribeca to people outside of New York City for the first time.
Starting April 21, some 40 million U.S. households will be able to enjoy seven 2010 TFF selections at the same time they screen at the Festival via a new Tribeca-branded Video (or Movies) on Demand channel and/or pay-per-view feature. New distribution entity Tribeca Film is commercially releasing these seven diverse films, along with five acclaimed titles from elsewhere on the festival circuit, across platforms including theatrical, digital, pay-TV and home video. Limited theatrical runs have also been confirmed in New York and Los Angeles in May and June. Founding partner American Express will promote and support all Tribeca Film titles, and VOD partners include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, Cablevision and Cox.
“Tribeca Film is an important new means of shifting the way films – and film festivals – are experienced,” said Gilmore. “We are advancing the dialogue around how films find audiences and vice versa. And, thanks to our founding partner, American Express, we are helping filmmakers expand the audience for their films and helping consumers find quality independent films they would not otherwise see.”
While Tribeca Film advances the notion of a film festival evolving into a distribution hub, Tribeca Film Festival Virtual also recognizes shifts in the marketplace by extending the festival experience online. Film enthusiasts across the U.S. will be able to purchase a premium pass for $45, which enables them to stream eight full-length 2010 TFF feature films, beginning April 23 with Edward Burns’ “Nice Guy Johnny.” Far beyond access to films, though, TFF Virtual will also allow pass holders to view and interact in real time with panel discussions and filmmaker interviews, from April 23-30. The TFF Virtual website, www.tribecafilm.com/virtual, will also have abundant free content, including selected short films, discussion boards and live red-carpet action viewable by visitors from around the world. Today’s opening press conference was the first TFF event to be streamed live online.
“While theatrical screenings will always be the centerpiece of Tribeca, we are excited to expand the horizons of our unique festival experience,” said Schaefer. “The Tribeca Film Festival Virtual is an interactive, community experience that brings the same excitement and electricity of our Festival here to people outside of the city. I look forward to the wider scope of this year’s strong lineup of films, events and conversations.”
American Express, which is also founding partner of Tribeca Film Festival Virtual, has been an essential part of Tribeca’s growth since its inception, and is a key driver of the two new initiatives that expand Tribeca beyond New York City beginning in 2010. Its support, which takes many forms due to the company’s uniquely powerful brand presence, has benefited filmmakers seeking to expand the audience for their work and also consumers looking for a wider range of quality independent films.
“American Express is proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Tribeca,” said John D. Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer of American Express. “We have the opportunity to build new audiences, give people the chance to discover new films and filmmakers, and to expand Tribeca and independent film beyond New York City. And all of this starts with the opening of the Festival.”
“None of what we do would be possible without the support of our Founding Sponsor, American Express, which has been an innovative and steadfast partner from the beginning,” added Rosenthal. “They have been an integral part of building a community and international platform here. That unique atmosphere helps explain why people come back year after year. In fact, nearly one-third of our 96 directors are returning to Tribeca this year.”
Among those filmmakers returning to this year’s Festival is Alex Gibney, whose film, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Gibney directed three films in this year’s Festival, including “My Trip to Al-Qaeda,” “The Untitled Eliot Spitzer Film” and one of the segments of “Freakonomics,” which will serve as TFF’s closing gala premiere. Gibney was on hand today to talk about his previous experience and expectations for this year’s Festival.
“Ever since the wonderful experience I had at Tribeca with my film, ‘Taxi to the Dark Side,’ I have had a strong personal connection to the Festival,” said Gibney. “But more than any one film, this Festival celebrates cultural values and community. That is a powerful statement considering the context in which the festival was created. I am proud to be part of Tribeca again in 2010.”
The 2010 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival will kick off Wednesday, April 21, with the world premiere of DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek Forever After” in 3D. Screenings of all other Festival films and a host of other Festival events will begin April 22 at various locations in downtown Manhattan.
Tickets for 2010 Festival
Tickets for the Festival are $16.00 for evening and weekend screenings and $8.00 for daytime weekday and late night screenings.
Single ticket and discounted ticket package sales are on sale and can be purchased online, by telephone, or at one of the Ticket Outlets, located at the Tribeca Cinemas Ticket Window at 54 Varick Street and the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas Window at 260 W. 23rd Street. The 2010 Festival will continue ticket discounts for evening and weekend screenings for students, seniors and select downtown Manhattan residents. Discounted tickets are available at Ticket Outlet locations only. Discounted packages can only be purchased online and by phone. Additional information and further details on the Festival can be found at www.tribecafilm.com.
About the Tribeca Film Festival:
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture.
The Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.
The Tribeca Festival has screened over 1100 films from over 80 countries since its first festival in 2002. Since its founding, it has attracted an international audience of more than 2.3 million attendees and has generated an estimated $600 million in economic activity for New York City