Tribeca Film Festival


If you've ever wondered about the origins of the TriBeCa Film Festival, read on.


TriBeCa is a vibrant Manhattan neighborhood, home to luminaries such as Robert De Niro, Mariah Carey and David Letterman. TriBeCa stands for 'Triangle Below Canal'. Formerly an industrial area with warehouses and factories, it became 'gentrified' in the recent past, and was heavily impacted, both financially and psychologically, by the events of 9/11.

Enter the Festival

Shortly after September 11, 2001, Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro announced the formation of the TriBeCa Film Festival, and a mere 120 days later, the first festival was held. The Festival was founded to celebrate New York City as a center of the film-making art, and to bring tourists back to downtown Manhattan, devastated by the destruction of the World Trade Center.

The first Festival was held in May 2002, and featured the world premiere of George Lucas's Star Wars film, Attack of the Clones, as well as The Divine Secrets of Ya-Ya Sisterhood and other feature films.

TFF'02 brought over 150,000 film fans to lower Manhattan. The Second Festival, in May '03, was attended by over 300,000 and brought over 50 million dollars into the local economy. The Festival has grown every year since then.

This Year

The Fifth Annual TriBeCa Film Festival will be held April 25th - May 7th, with events, films, panels, and parties spread throughout downtown Manhattan. Over 250 movies will be featured, many in their world premiere.

Submissions closed in December for this year's films, and the event schedule is being developed. Watch this space for more information as it becomes available, or visit the official TriBeCa Film Festival website.

Awards and Premieres

The TriBeCa Film Festival gives awards for the following categories: International Narrative Feature, International Documentary Feature, 'NY, NY' (for films both narrative and documentary filmed primarily in New York City), and shorts, both narrative and documentary films under forty minutes.

Films submitted for consideration for awards must be at least a US premiere, and for the NY, NY category, must be a world premiere.

Other festival showings not contending for awards include a showcase of films that have already premiered at other festivals, restored or rediscovered films, and a family film festival.

Last year's winners include Best Narrative Film Stolen Life (Sheng Si Jie) from director Li Shaohong, Best New Narrative Film-maker Alicia Scherson, for Play (Chile/Argentina), and Best Actress in a Narrative Feature - Felicity Huffman for Transamerica.

Other TriBeCa Film Festival Events

The Festival also features a three-night outdoor screening, the 'TriBeCa Drive-In'. Along the banks of the Hudson, the 'drive-in' requires no car, but features films shown on an enormous outdoor screen, vendors hawking your favorite movie eats, and room for thousands of movie-goers.

The Family Film Festival features the best in family entertainment, complete with a family friendly street faire, with vendors, games, shows, crafts and live performances.


Events of the TriBeCa Film Festival are scattered throughout lower Manhattan; a venue map will be available at the official site shortly.

Was this page useful?
Tribeca Film Festival