[This originally appeared on www.moviewallas.com]
One shows up at the Tribeca Fim Festival not knowing quite what to expect. And then like any other festival, one gets their bearings in the next couple of days.
One finds out, for example, that none of the three venues where festival films are screened are actually in Tribeca (two are in Chelsea and a third in East Village). One expects the general sensibility of the festival to be like that of the city it is in, hectic and impatient, and no-nonsense and talky. But I am a bit surprised, if pleasantly, to find that the festival is actually rather laid-back and matter of fact. Without exception, the screenings occur like clockwork with nary a hitch. Nobody hyperventilates at the sight of celebrities, and the voices of filmmakers do not crack with nervous gratitude when introducing their product before the start of a screening. Maybe its just that New York crowds are so inured to celebrity run-ins that nothing would be more gauche than to get excited upon seeing Sophia Loren or Mark Ruffalo.
The Tribeca Film Festival was founded by Robert DeNiro and producer Jane Rosenthal in 2002 at a time when Tribeca was an oft ignored neighborhood of the city. Things have come a ways in the thirteen years since during which more than 1500 films have been screened. Created initially as a salve to the 9/11 events and to foster recognition for the Tribeca area, the festival has now evolved into a full-fledged player in the big festivals film circuit.
I will be posting reviews of films I saw at the 2104 Tribeca Film Festival in the coming days.