What do Shrek, Robert De Niro and Beastie Boys band member Mike D have in common? They’re all descending upon Lower Manhattan this week to celebrate the ninth birthday of the Tribeca Film Festival, running April 21 to May 2.
The 2010 fest, which kicks off tonight at the Ziegfeld Theater with the star-studded red-carpet premiere of Shrek Forever After, has come a long way since its inaugural run in 2002. Back then, with Tribeca still trying to shake off the sorrow and dust of the unimaginable tragedy of Sept. 11, acting legend and Tribeca resident Bobby De Niro, his producing partner Jane Rosenthal and her husband Craig Hatkoff banded together to found the annual celebration of film, music and culture with one ambitious goal in mind: rejuvenate the neighborhood economically, culturally, spiritually.
Their gambit seems to have succeeded. What began as a modest forum for the work of indie filmmakers and documentarians has blossomed into one of the premier film fests in America, attracting tiny independent movies and gargantuan blockbusters alike. But, more importantly, the festival coaxes visitors to Tribeca, once again a vibrant community bursting with beautiful parks, exceptional restaurants and a bounty of things to do.