The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

By  April 21, 2009


Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal kicked off the eighth annual Tribeca Film Festival today at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in lower Manhattan.  De Niro and Rosenthal, founders of the TFF, were joined by Uma Thurman, who will serve as a juror for the World Narrative competition. Other festival jurors include Spike Lee, who directed two films featured in this year’s Festival, and Rich Lehrfeld, VP, Global Sponsorship and Experiential Marketing for American Express, the founding sponsor of the Festival.

The 2009 Tribeca Film Festival will run from April 22 – May 3 and will include 85 features and 46 short films representing 36 different countries. In addition to the film line-up, there will also be an array of panel discussions, valuable networking opportunities for filmmakers and the industry, gala premieres of highly anticipated new studio releases – including Sony Pictures Classics’ Whatever Works and Fox Searchlight Pictures’ My Life in Ruins – and a number of free, community events, including the Tribeca Drive-In, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day and the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair.

“At its core, our Festival has always been about great films; but it has also been about community and renewal.  These themes were resonant right after we founded the Festival after 9/11, as well as in the years that followed and especially now – at a time of such uncertainty for so many people struggling with the global economic crisis.  In good times and bad, people love to go to the movies, and we are thrilled to be here once again to present 12 days of films and events that will appeal to the industry and the general public alike. Whether you’re an accomplished filmmaker or just need a way to escape everyday life for a few hours, there’s something for you at Tribeca,” said Rosenthal.

“It’s great to see how much the Festival has grown since we began in 2002 and how it has impacted the neighborhood,” said De Niro.  “We invite everyone to come to Tribeca to enjoy all that our Festival has to offer – from great films to industry gatherings to free community events.”

Thurman, an avid supporter of the festival took to the stage and announced this year’s judges. “For me, and for people everywhere who love film, Tribeca has become a major event to which we all look forward with anticipation.  And as a New Yorker, it’s been wonderful to see the impact the festival has had on the City.  This year is especially exciting because I get to be a part of it as a juror.  I look forward to watching some incredible films,” said Thurman.

*Getty Images

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