Karen Martin’s Tribeca roundupApril 28, 2015
By Karen Martin for blood, dirt & angels
We always regret having to leave the Tribeca Film Festival (April 15-26) after spending our usual allotment of three or four days seeing films (at press screenings and public screenings, most at the stylish and comfortable Regal Battery Park 12 cinema), attending panel discussions, freeloading coffee and snacks in the press room, exploring the ever-evolving Tribeca neighborhood, keeping an eye out for celebrities (the best I can report is that I rode in an elevator with Laverne Cox, who plays Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black) and drinking martinis while schmoozing at filmmaker receptions.
We’d stay longer, but hotels are expensive. And we really do need to get some sleep now and then, which is rare at the festival when there’s so much to do early, late and in between.
This year’s event, we’re told by the organizers, welcomed over 138,000 movie-goers over 12 days of screenings and panels with a total attendance of over 467,000 at screenings, panels, virtual reality experiences and free community events including the Tribeca Drive-In series, Family Festival Street Fair, Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day, and programming at TFF’s new downtown creative hub at Tribeca Film Festival Spring Studios.
A total of 101 features, 60 short films and five immersive storytelling projects from 38 countries were screened for more than 138,000 movie-goers and panel attendees. Thanks to AT&T, an entire day of film screening tickets were free through Film for All Friday, where over 10,000 tickets were claimed for the screenings on April 24.The Tribeca Drive-In movie series on the gorgeous waterfront plaza at Brookfield Place (the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are within site) featured a 30th-anniversary screening of Clue, a 60th-anniversary screening of Lady and the Tramp, and the world premiere of A Faster Horse, a documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang.
It’s estimated that a crowd of 300,000 showed up for the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day on April 25, which included interactive sports experiences with members of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty and performances by the Rockettes and cast members of Broadway shows including Wicked, Kinky Boots and On The Town.
Tribeca Film Festival Spring Studios hosted Storyscapes, a juried section showcasing groundbreaking exhibits in technology and interactive storytelling. The Beacon Theatre housed the world premiere of the documentary Live From New York!, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live followed by a performance by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges; a screening of Mary J. Blige: The London Sessions followed by a performance by Blige; a reunion of the five surviving members of Monty Python followed by a screening of Monty Python and The Holy Grail, and a remastered 25th-anniversary screening of Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas with a discussion with cast members Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Ray Liotta and Paul Sorvino led by Jon Stewart.
We’ve attended every TFF except one (because of a canceled flight due to weather, or so the airlines said) since it started in 2002. We’ve never been disappointed. And we’re already looking forward to 2016.