Tribeca Festival seeks to revitalize New York after pandemic


The 20th edition of the Tribeca Festival not only seeks to rebuild after being affected by the pandemic in 2020, but also to revitalize the city that saw it born.

This year Tribeca, which starts on Wednesday with the adaptation of Jon M. Chu to the musical by the playwright and actor of Puerto Rican origin Lin-Manuel Miranda “In the Heights” (“In the neighborhood”), will be held in the five districts of Nueva York with a mix of virtual and in-person performances culminating in a full-capacity premiere at Radio City Music Hall. As a festival that emerged after the attacks of September 9, 2001, reviving New York is a familiar role.

The mission of our creation felt more emotional, more important than ever, ”said Jane Rosenthal, who started the festival with Robert De Niro, in a recent interview. “That original mission of the festival was to use the power of film and storytelling not only to entertain but to rebuild the city, emotionally, more than anything else.”

Tribeca, which takes place this year two months later than normal, will be one of the biggest film festivals of the year to be held almost entirely in person. But instead of the theaters that usually host the festival, this year’s main venues will offer open-air shows scattered throughout the city. The festival maintains a virtual component, but the emphasis will be on the energy generated in what is perhaps the largest cultural event held in New York in more than a year.

18 months ago we all had to isolate ourselves, ”Rosenthal said. “Now that we are getting out of this, I talk to so many people who are having a hard time getting out. It’s interesting the emotional toll this has had on so many of us, not to mention the families who lost loved ones and all the workers on the front line. “

Tribeca is part of a larger effort to restore New York’s cultural life between free performances of the “NY PopsUp” program, a massive summer concert scheduled for Central Park, the upcoming return of the Bruce Springsteen show to Broadway and a concert for the June 20, the Foo Fighters will reopen Madison Square Garden for performances after 15 months closed.

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Tribeca, which includes 56 world premieres and television, video game, podcast and virtual reality programming, began planning its 2021 edition, its 20th anniversary, in August. Permits needed to be submitted, selections made, organizers tried to guess what the health restrictions would be and how vaccination would evolve. The rules, Rosenthal said, kept changing. Ultimately they decided that it was possible to do a festival in person.

We said that the only way to ensure that our festival took place was to look for everything in parallel, outdoor performances, indoor performances and a virtual platform, ”said Cara Cusumano, festival director. “As the date got closer, we all understood why we needed to turn up the volume and what to turn it down. The open air shows ended up being the centerpiece ”.

Movies will have fewer features than normal. The seats will be separated from each other. But there will be premieres rain or shine. On Wednesday, Morgan Neville, director of the highly anticipated documentary “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” was relieved that the weather had improved by Friday when his film debuted.

Fewer seats means that the Tribeca Festival, which took the “cinema” out of its name this year for its multimedia program, expects to sell more virtual tickets, as well as total passes starting at $ 999. This includes the anniversary performances of Charlie’s “Fargo,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “The Five Heartbeats,” and Charlie’s “The Kid.” Chaplin. Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move” will premiere as the festival centerpiece and performed outdoors at Battery Park. Tribeca will also include programming for Juneteenth (June 19), the day that America’s emancipation is commemorated, and will present a Stacey Abrams Award for Georgia Politics.

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The festival is marked by two major events at the beginning and at the end. “In the Heights,” one of the most anticipated films of the summer, opens Wednesday at the United Palace in Washington Heights, as well as other venues. The film was already released in Los Angles and debuts in theaters on Friday, but its arrival in the neighborhood it portrays is a special occasion.

It will be amazing to see him on 175th street, ”Miranda said. “The next day there will be community functions. I also plan to be in those functions, because I want to absorb every part of it. The whole work is a love letter for this neighborhood and all I want is for them to feel proud ”.

The Tribeca Festival will conclude on June 20 with the screening of an untitled documentary on Dave Chappelle by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, creators of the Oscar-winning documentary “American Factory.” It will be the first time that Radio City Music Hall has opened its doors since the pandemic began. The historic Art Deco building in Manhattan will be able to receive a maximum capacity of vaccinated public, without requiring a mask.

It is possible that in the 12 days of the festival New York will feel a little more comfortable meeting again, that the city will be a little brighter and a little lighter.

We hope they come on this adventure with us, ”said Cusumano. “We can’t control the weather, we hope everyone has that spirit of excitement that we got into this with: it’s just exciting that it’s happening and that there are movies again.”


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