Now entering its 11th year, the Tribeca Film Festival is still kind of a baby when compared with the long-established Sundance, Toronto, Venice and Cannes film festivals. But as Tribeca, founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, ages gracefully, its identity has become more pronounced.
"We're a discovery festival," says director of programming for the festival, Genna Terranova. "We show a diversity of movies but we're not a festival of festivals. We don't play only movies that have played at other film festivals. We are looking for discovering new talent and showing peoples' movies for the first time and also world premiering movies that also may be coming to theaters later in the spring or the summer."
This year's festival opens with the Judd Apatow-produced romantic comedy "The Five-Year Engagement" and finishes with the comic book action film "The Avengers." Terranova explains that aside from providing an opportunity for indie films to be seen, their focus is also squarely on those mass-market, world-premiering films in order to get the word out about the festival.
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"'The Avengers' is quite fitting, because it builds a lot of awareness for the film festival," she says. "Some people don't know what it's like to go to a film festival, and if you have a film that they've heard of that's playing at a film festival, I think that draws attention to it. They might go and discover something interesting or new that they might not have seen before."
Making the cut
Q: You watch more than 1,000 films every year for the festival. How do you know if a film is a strong candidate for showing?
"Oftentimes when you're watching something that's really getting you, you stop thinking because you're so enthralled in the story, so it's not highly intellectual. Then you come away from the movie and you say, 'Well, that movie gave me a good feeling,' but that's not sufficient enough when you're programming. You actually have to go and talk to people and explain why you liked it and why it moves you. We [on the programming team] talk exhaustively about movies with each other. Oftentimes you can watch something and not be sure about it and then have your colleague watch it and then you bounce off their reaction."
Tribeca Film Festival
For more information, go to www.tribecafilm.com