The International film festival circuit will kick off at the end of April now that the Oscars have finally ended. The 12 day, 18th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival have announced their lineup to showcase the achievements of 2018.
The Tribeca International Film Festival (TIFF) was launched in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff. They reportedly began the event after the 9-11 attacks that destroyed the morale of the neighborhood of Tribeca, New York. But other sources suggest that the planning for this festival was underway before tragedy struck.
This year’s edition of the film festival has achieved a unique benchmark. They have achieved gender parity across its three competition sections. The program’s lineup generally consists of three pillars. Independent films and documentaries, narrative based short-films and family-friendly programs.
The festival also holds panel discussions with various film and television personalities as well as celebrities from the entertainment industry. It also gives out awards to the best features in its lineup. The aim of the awards is to commemorate established and emerging artists. Past artists of the Artists Award Program have included Chuck Close, Alex Katz, and Julian Schnabel.
The festival draws a crowd of nearly three million and does an estimated business of $600 million each year.
This year’s lineup includes 52 narrative features and 51 documentaries that will be showcased over its 12 day run. According to Indiewire, some of this year’s featured artists will be Lara Jean Gallagher, Mark Webber, Cindy Meehl, Lesley Chilcott, Cenk Erturk, and Anne Fontaine.
What’s hot at the 2019 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival
In its inaugural year, the festival brought in 150,000 people and this number doubled in 2003.The first year of the festival happened with only 120 days of planning and 1,300 volunteers. In the consequent years, some of Hollywood’s biggest features like Spiderman 2 and The Avengers premiered at the festival.
This year’s event will host 15 spotlight narratives, 16 spotlight documentaries, as well as five Midnight features and 17 Viewpoints selections.
This year’s festival will also host Nanfu Wang’s Sundance winner “One Child Nation,” Mary Harron’s Charles Manson film “Charlie Says.”
And Joe Berlinger’s Ted Bundy courtroom drama “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” Guy Nattiv’s “Skin.”
Dolly Wells’ “Good Posture,” and Christoph Waltz’s directorial debut “Georgetown will also be presented at the festival.
The most notable aspect of this year’s festival was also pointed out by Indiewire. “Across the entire feature film lineup, 40 percent of the feature films have one or more women directors.
“29 percent of the feature films are directed by people of color and 13 percent of the feature films are by individuals who identify as LGBTQIA.
“This year’s program includes 42 first-time filmmakers and a total of 103 films from 124 filmmakers.”
The executive VP of Tribeca Enterprises in an official statement said: “Our goal each year is to strike a balance between discovering new talent and showcasing new projects by notable filmmakers and storytellers.
“At Tribeca, we believe in amplifying fresh voices as well as celebrating the continued success of artists in the industry.”
“The art of filmmaking is displayed across the program in both narrative and documentary films,” the statement continued
Robert De Niro’s contribution to the film festival
After the successful run of the festival’s second year, De Niro purchased a theater to showcase some of the festival’s films. He bought the theater at 54 Varick Street and renamed it the Tribeca Cinema. The theater has acted as a venue for the festival ever since.
It its inaugural year, 2002, De Niro convinced his friend and avant-garde director Martin Scorsese, to curate a best of New York film series that was showcased at the festival.
But De Niro’s contribution is not just limited to providing star power. He also made sure that some of the outstanding features at his festival are showed at the Rome Film Festival as well. In 2006, the festival expanded both locally and internationally. They had to expand their 1000+ feature film slate to feature in theaters in Manhattan and other parts of New York.
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff have appeared in Barron’s list of top 25 philanthropists in America. They were included in the list for single-handedly reinvigorating Tribeca’s local economy.
De Niro also convinced former South African President Nelson Mandela to kick off the first edition of the festival. Film “can reach to all strata and sectors of society, and across national and linguistic boundaries,” bringing the world together at a time that “could have led to greater divisions and hostilities,” Mandela said in his opening address.
Besides this, De Niro also runs a number of restaurants in Tribeca the most notable of which are Tribeca Grill and Nobu. He is also a stakeholder in the Nobu chain of restaurants.