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Drive-In Events to Feature Fame, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and When the Drum is Beating, Plus Live Musical Performances and Inaugural Tribeca's Got Talent Song and Dance Competition


NYFEST Soccer Tournaments will Include Celebrity and Industry Professional Participants From Film, Sports, Music and Entertainment with Matches Benefiting Inner City Youth Charities


New York, NY [March 24, 2011] –The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by Founding Sponsor American Express, today announced the return of its signature free community events: the Tribeca Drive-In (April 21-23), Family Festival Street Fair (April 30), Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day (April 30), and free panel series, “Tribeca Talks: Pen to Paper” and “Tribeca Talks: Industry” (April 23-30).


The Festival also announced the three film titles which will be screened at the Tribeca Drive-In, TFF’s highly anticipated outdoor screening series that entertains families and movie lovers of all ages. The 2011 Tribeca Drive-In will feature special screenings of the 1980 feel-good classic Fame; the beloved family comedy The Muppets Take Manhattan, and excerpts of the TFF premiere of the Haitian documentary When the Drum is Beating, which will include a performance from Haitian-Caribbean-Jazz fusion band Septentrional.


For the first time this year, Festival-goers, athletes and the general public will have the opportunity to partake in the new NYFest (April 23), the city’s first Film and Entertainment Soccer Tournament  in conjunction with TFF and in partnership with Umbro. The tournament will feature a five-on-five industry match, where professionals from film, music, sports and entertainment will compete; a celebrity match, kicked off with a coin toss by soccer legend Pele; and a New York youth showcase for players of all skill levels.  All proceeds from the day will be contributed to select charity organizations benefiting youth in the inner city.


Lastly, two series of free public panels will round-out TFF’s free offerings, giving film enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in conversations about making and distributing films with film industry leaders, public figures, business leaders and renowned innovators. The “Tribeca Talks: Pen to Paper hosted by Barnes & Noble” panels focus on the art of screenwriting, while the “Tribeca Talks: Industry” panels are intended for audiences to explore the business side of filmmaking.  This year’s TFF will take place from April 20-May 1, 2011.


“The Tribeca Film Festival was started nearly 10 years ago to revive culture and business in lower Manhattan, and showcase what Tribeca has to offer. During each Festival, we have featured a variety of free community events as our way of giving back to the city, and this year is no exception” said Nancy Schafer, Tribeca Film Festival Executive Director.  “We have created some truly wonderful programs and events for the entire family to enjoy, and brought back favorites such as the Family Festival and Drive-In events.”


Each year, the Festival’s free events bring thousands of people downtown to enjoy top-notch talent and entertainment, while highlighting the restaurants, merchants, schools and community organizations of lower Manhattan. The free events are as follows:




Thursday-Saturday, April 21-April 23, 2011  
World Financial Center Plaza
Co-Sponsored by JetBlue Airways and Time Warner Cable, hosted by Brookfield


The following films will be featured at the Tribeca Drive-In, TFF’s outdoor screening series for film enthusiasts of all ages. The free evening of cinema under the stars is open to the public, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6 p.m.  The programs will also begin at 6 p.m., with screenings starting at dusk, approximately 8:15 p.m.


Fame - Thursday, April 21
The first-ever Tribeca’s Got Talent competition will precede TFF’s screening of the 1980 classic Fame, chronicling the lives of teenagers attending a New York high school for the performing arts. Aspiring singers and dancers are invited to show off their best moves at Tribeca’s open-call song and dance competition where everyone is a winner.


A permanent fixture in popular culture and an inspiration to any kid who ever sought stardom, Fame burst into the world in 1980 with its energetic celebration of growing up, honing talent, confronting realities, finding love and living life. Following crisscrossing stories of the musicians, actors, dancers and dreamers who strive to get in and graduate from New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts, this Academy Award®-winning musical truly sings the body electric. Directed by Alan Parker. (USA)


An Evening with When the Drum is Beating - Friday, April 22
Haiti’s oldest and best-known Haitian-Caribbean-Jazz fusion band, Septentrional, featured in the documentary, will celebrate the evening and regale movie-goers with a live performance. Excerpts of the documentary will be screened which explores Haiti’s complex past and present set to the scintillating sounds of the band.


The 20-member band Septentrional has been making music for 62 years as Haiti’s most celebrated big band. This inspirational documentary charts the history of Haiti from its triumphant independence from French colonialism to 2010’s devastating earthquake—all set to the vibrant music of Septentrional and punctuated with its members’ personal memories. Featuring a wealth of live rehearsal and performance footage, When the Drum is Beating is a poignant and high-energy story of resilience. In English, Creole with English subtitles. Directed by Whitney Dow.


The Muppets Take Manhattan - Saturday, April 23 
As part of the celebration for the beloved film that features Kermit and friends on Broadway, pre- show activities for families of all ages will include face-painting, Muppet-themed trivia, sing-alongs and surprise guests.


Join Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the Muppets on a delightful romp down the Great White Way! When the Muppets launch their musical Manhattan Melodies, they soon learn there is more to Broadway than the smell of grease paint and the roar of the crowd. Cleverly directed by Frank Oz—and featuring Dabney Coleman, Joan Rivers, Elliott Gould, Liza Minnelli, and Gregory Hines—The Muppets Take Manhattan is brimming with cuteness and fun for all ages! Directed by Frank Oz. (USA)


Saturday, April 23
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Pier 40, 353 West Street (between Houston and West Side Highway)
At the Tribeca Film Festival in partnership with Umbro with support from the Doha Film Institute and The New York Cosmos


NYFEST will bring celebrities and industry professionals from the worlds of film, music, sports and entertainment together with New York youth for a day filled with athleticism, learning and fun. NYFEST at TFF will take over Pier 40 in Tribeca to stage a five-on-five industry soccer tournament (9 a.m.- 4 p.m.); a celebrity soccer match kicked off with a coin toss by soccer legend Pele and Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises Geoff Gilmore (4 p.m.-6 p.m.); and a youth soccer showcase (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), which will include introductions to soccer for NYC youth, skills stations and skills competitions, freestyle juggling and youth exhibition matches with celebrity coaches.


Over 300 participants from companies including CAA, Sony Pictures Classics, Focus Features, FilmNation, “The Daily Show”, “The Colbert Report”, “Law and Order”, Technicolor, Paradigm, Gersh, R/GA, AKQA and Deluxe will compete in the industry competition. The event is organized and run by Jeffrey Saunders, New York based filmmaker and former professional soccer player and Dylan Leiner, Executive VP of Acquisitions & Production for Sony Pictures Classics and former college soccer player. All proceeds from NYFEST at TFF will go to support a selected group of charitable organizations focused on the betterment of youth in the inner city, including City Soccer in the Community and The Claudio Reyna Foundation.  Open to the public, the event will have catered food and drinks on-site and will include all day action for those of every age to enjoy. Visit



Saturday, April 30th
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Greenwich Street (between Chambers Street and Hubert Street)


The Tribeca Family Festival, presented by Founding Sponsor American Express, will feature the annual Street Fair on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Greenwich Street from Chambers Street to Hubert Street, and at venues throughout the Tribeca neighborhood. The fair, a Festival favorite which drew more than 250,000 people last year, is free and open to the public, and promises to be a day of family fun and lively entertainment.


Throughout the Street Fair will be talented performers, dancers, stilt walkers, Broadway performances, arts and crafts, face painters, and much more. Students from local schools will also be at the fair with creative fundraising activities and vibrant student artwork. The Street Fair will host restaurants, merchants and organizations from the Tribeca neighborhood. More details and a map of events will be available in the coming weeks at


Street Fair highlights include:


  • Cast members from Million Dollar Quartet, Wicked, John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean, Broadway’s “Next Hit Musical,” Broadway Kids Care and other Broadway and Off-Broadway shows are scheduled to take center stage at the outdoor Festival Mainstage.
  • The New York Philharmonic’s Credit Suisse Very Young Composers’ will present original works created by young musicians and brought to life by a chamber ensemble from the esteemed orchestra.
  • Families will enjoy the popular Kite Garden, where kids can make their own kites and learn to fly them, while youngsters can create gigantic bubbles in the Bubble Garden.
  • Additional featured talent includes Max Darwin, Magician Extraordinaire; Ronnie Asbell’s Puppetronics, a hands-on traveling exhibition of life-sized marionettes; Rock-A-Baby music workshops; and more.
  • An encore screening of this year’s “Downtown Youth Behind the Camera” program featuring short films made by student filmmakers from downtown Manhattan will be presented at BMCC’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center Theater, along with a special feature screening.
  • Popular family-friendly bands will offer free concerts to close the day, including The Fuzzy Lemons and Hot Peas N’ Butter.
  • The Tribeca Fun Squad will lead Hula Hoop Contests, Dance-Offs and other Wacky Street Games. 


    Sponsored by Time Warner Cable

    Saturday, April 30
    10 a.m.-6 p.m.
    N. Moore Street (between Greenwich Street and West Street)

    A perennial favorite of the Family Festival Street Fair, Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day will take place on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on N. Moore Street (between Greenwich Street and West Street).  Now in its fifth year, Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day gives sports fans the opportunity to engage in a variety of free, sports-related interactive activities that will include games, demonstrations and prize giveaways.  In addition, some of New York’s most popular athletes, mascots and sports personalities will make guest appearances throughout the day.   


    Highlights of Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day include:


  • Fans will enjoy activities with their favorite teams, including the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, and WNBA’s New York Liberty. 
  • Cast members from the Broadway play Lombardi will greet fans and run a football passing clinic.
  • New York Women’s Baseball will run coaching clinics.
  • The NHL will offer giveaways throughout the day.  


    Details about Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day will continue to be updated throughout the weeks leading up to the Festival.  For the most up to date information, visit


    TFF’s previously-announced free panels are as follows:



    April 23-April 25, 2011  
    All Tribeca Talks: Pen to Paper panels will take place at Barnes & Nobel Union Square at 1 p.m.


    Based on True Events 
    Saturday, April 23 at 1 p.m.

    Writers who turn true events into films must grapple with how much truth to include or embellish to meet their cinematic ambition. If your source material is based on true events, who is the writer responsible to? From what to dramatize to what to omit, writers and filmmakers face the inevitable question: Where is the line between a great narrative film and the truth of the events. Join Steven Silver, director and screenwriter of The Bang Bang Club; Greg Marinovich, photographer and co-author of The Bang-Bang Club: Snapshots from a Hidden War; Adam Kassen and Mark Kassen, directors of Puncture; and Chris Lopata, screenwriter of Puncture; about how far over the line writers are allowed to go.

    In Conversation with Peter Bart

    Sunday, April 24 at 1 p.m.

    In the past few years, film conversation has consumed itself with how digital innovation is reshaping our industry. As discussions constantly look to the future of filmmaking, we turn the discussion back. Join author, television host and Variety editorial director Peter Bart and Tribeca Enterprises chief creative officer Geoffrey Gilmore for a chat about filmmaking in the New Hollywood era of the late-1960s and early-1970s. From the larger-than-life personalities and conflicts that resulted in some of the most acclaimed films of a generation, to the funny anecdotes that captured the world, we take a look back at a time that changed how stories were told. Bart will also sign copies of his new memoir Infamous Players: A Tale of Movies,The Mob, (And Sex).


    Writing the Documentary
    Monday, April 25 at 1 p.m.

    Whether you’re following the story of a little league team struggling to win a championship or diving into the story of how the television was invented, the term “writing the documentary” might not occur to you as you watch the drama unfold before your eyes. What most people don’t realize is that documentaries also begin with the blank page and an idea. Join David Gelb, director of Jiro Dreams of Sushi,
    Maria Ramström, director of Love Always, Carolyn, and others for a discussion about how that idea is turned into a narrative. 


    Amplify the Message: Social Media 
    Friday, April 22 at 2:30 p.m.
    SVA Theater 2

    Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, GetGlue, Foursquare. Social media has changed the way we interact with the world around us. These days, filmmakers don’t just need a press kit and a Web site; they need a social media presence. How should producers and directors engage with this new interactive audience and how much of an impact does this audience have on a movie’s success or failure on multiple platforms? Join us for a candid discussion on the importance of this growing medium. Moderated by Marc Schiller, CEO and Founder of Electric Artists. Panelists include Rider Strong, director/screenwriter The Dungeon Master, Howard Tullman, President & CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, and others. Panel will be streamed live on the Tribeca Online Film Festival website:

    Meet the Documentary Broadcasters
    Saturday, April 23 at 2:30 p.m.
    SVA Theater 2

    Documentaries are more popular than ever. Today they are being watched on every platform and networks are filling up their slots with a wide array of topics to meet with the demands of a growing audience. Hear from Sheila Nevins, President, HBO Documentary Films; Anna Miralis, Editor, True Stories, Channel 4 Documentaries; Connor Schell, Executive Producer, ESPN Films, and others as they discuss the type of films they’re drawn to and thoughts on where this genre is headed.


    Are Documentary Films Changing the World
    Sunday, April 24 at 2:30 p.m.
    SVA Theater 2  

    Documentary films unveil important truths, challenge assumptions, and often compel audiences to take action. Many of today’s filmmakers are faced with an additional challenge—how do they ensure their film will have a significant impact on the public and on the policies their story highlights? The collaboration of filmmakers with NGOs and community groups has created a new distribution model, and the measure of success now reaches beyond sales to changes in public perception and policy. Join filmmaker and activist Abigail Disney, director  of Give Up Tomorrow, Michael Collins, and Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners Dan Cogan for an insightful discussion on the new paths of distribution for nonfiction films and the ways filmmakers and their subjects are making their voices heard.

    Digital By Design

    Tuesday, April 26 at 2:30 p.m.

    SVA Theater 2

    The emergence of online digital platforms and applications provoke filmmakers to confront technology head-on. Join SAP and industry executives for a down-to-earth discussion about how the digital age aids today’s filmmaker in three key areas: funding models, intellectual property management, and distribution channels. Richard Whittington, senior VP of media and entertainment at SAP, joins and writer/director Edward Burns and others to discuss these critical components of filmmaking and how they affect the filmmaker’s new marketplace. Sponsored by SAP.

    Shooting Film on a Budget
    Thursday, April 28 at 2:30 p.m.
    SVA Theater 2

    One of the most important aspects of realizing your independent feature is determining the right look. How will you capture your images and bring the script to the screen in a meaningful, visual way? Filmmakers and cinematographers must consider many variables: mood of the story, production restrictions, post workflow, and more. Too often these important decisions are determined by the bottom line. However, many filmmakers are able to get the most out of their budgets while still shooting film. Join Michael Cuesta, writer/director of Roadie, producer Karen Chien, and others to learn how to create beautiful and cost-effective cinematic narratives on film. Sponsored by Kodak.


    Shooting Anamorphic
    Friday, April 29 at 2:30 p.m.
    SVA Theater 2


    Creative decisions and techniques made by cinematographers vary widely. Camera positions and lighting design all combine to give a film the right atmosphere. One important choice to make is the type and style of the lens. Referred to as many things (CinemaScope, 2.35:1) the Anamorphic lens has become a major creative tool in the cinematographer’s kit. Why shoot Anamorphic? What are the advantages of this look, and why should some filmmakers choose it? Join us as top cinematographers and filmmakers discuss the creative benefits and choices to shoot Anamorphic. Sponsored by Panavision.


    Wednesday, April 27 at 2:30 p.m.
    SVA Theater 2

    This new program will explore the issues and trends that affect the economics of the film business and the broader entertainment industry. This year’s panel will convene leading CEOs, producers, financiers, media, and other industry leaders who will focus on how to finance films in the 21st century.
    Sponsored by Bloomberg.

    About Tribeca Film Festival:
    The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.


    Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling.


    The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,100 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 3 million attendees and has generated an estimated $600 million in economic activity for New York City.


    About the 2011 Festival Sponsors:
    As Founding Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking, bringing business and energy to New York City and offering Cardmembers and festivalgoers the opportunity to enjoy the best of storytelling through film.


    The Festival is pleased to announce the return of its Signature Sponsors: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Apple, Bloomberg, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Brookfield, Caesars Atlantic City, Heineken USA, LG Electronics USA, NBC 4 New York, NCM Media Networks, New York Nonstop, RR Donnelley, Stolichnaya Vodka, The New York Times, Time Warner Cable, and Vanity Fair. The Tribeca Film Festival is also honored to welcome the following new Signature Sponsors: Accenture, Bing, the Doha Film Institute, JetBlue Airways, and Magnum Ice Cream.





    Rubenstein Communications, Inc.
    Andrea Sioris (212) 843-9368 or

    Brady Littlefield, (212) 843-9220, 


    Tribeca Enterprises
    Tammie Rosen: 212-941-2003 or