Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) (Event)
The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) is a prominent film festival held in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, showcasing a diverse selection of independent films. Since its inaugural year in 2002, it has become a recognized outlet for independent filmmakers in all genres to release their work to a broad audience.
In 2006 and 2007, the Festival received over 8,600 film submissions and held 1,500 screenings The Festival’s program line-up includes a variety of independent films including documentaries, narrative features and shorts, as well as a program of family-friendly films. The Festival also features panel discussions with personalities in the entertainment world and a music lounge produced with ASCAP to showcase artists. One of the more distinctive components of the Festival is its Artists Awards program in which emerging and renowned artists celebrate filmmakers by providing original works of art that are given to the filmmakers’ competition winners. Past artists of the Artists Award Program have included Chuck Close, Alex Katz, and Julian Schnabel.
The festival now draws an estimated three million people—including often-elusive celebrities from the worlds of art, film, and music—and generates $600 million annually .
Location New York City, New York, U.S.
Founded 2002; 17 years ago
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, reportedly in response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan; although there are reports that its founding was underway prior to the events of 9/11. The inaugural festival launched after 120 days of planning with the help of more than 1,300 volunteers. It was attended by more than 150,000 people] and featured several up-and-coming filmmakers. The festival included juried narrative, documentary and short film competitions; a Restored Classics series; a Best of New York series curated by Martin Scorsese; 13 major panel discussions; an all-day Family Festival; and the premieres of studio films Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones About A Boy, the American remake of Insomnia, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen as well as the American premiere of Spider-Man 3and The Avengers.
The 2003 festival brought more than 300,000 people; The festival showcased an expanded group of independent features, documentaries and short films from around the world, coupled with studio premieres, panel discussions, music and comedy concerts, a family festival, sports activities, and outdoor movie screenings along the Hudson River. The family festival featured children’s movie screenings, storytelling, family panels, workshops, and interactive games culminating in a daylong street fair that drew a crowd estimated at 250,000 people.
At the end of 2003, De Niro purchased the theater at 54 Varick Street which had housed the recently closed Screening Room, an art house that had shown independent films nightly,] renaming it the Tribeca Cinema. It became one of the venues of the festival.
In an effort to serve its mission of bringing independent film to the widest possible audience, in 2006, the Festival expanded its reach in New York City and internationally. In New York City, Tribeca hosted screenings throughout Manhattan as the Festival’s 1,000-plus screening schedule outgrew the capacity downtown. Internationally, the Festival brought films to the Rome Film Fest. As part of the celebrations in Rome, Tribeca was awarded the first ever “Steps and Stars” award, presented on the Spanish Steps. A total of 169 feature films and 99 shorts were selected from 4,100 film submissions, including 1,950 feature submissions—three times the total submissions from the first festival in 2002. The festival featured 90 world premieres, nine international premieres, 31 North American premieres, 6 U.S. premieres, and 28 New York City premieres.
In 2009, Rosenthal, Hatkoff and De Niro were named number 14 on Barron’s list of the world’s top 25 philanthropists for their role in regenerating TriBeCa’s economy after September 11
As of 2010, the festival is run as a business by Tribeca Enterprises. Andrew Essex has been the CEO of Tribeca Enterprises since January, 2016.
In 2011, L.A. Noire became the first video game to be recognized by the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2013, Beyond: Two Souls, featuring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, became only the second game to be premiered at the festival.