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New York, NY – May 3, 2011 – The 2011 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by Founding Sponsor American Express, today announced that more than 430,000 people attended screenings, panels, talks and free community events – including the opening night world premiere of Cameron Crowe’s The Union, the Tribeca Drive-In series, Street Fair and Family Festival, Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day, Tribeca Disruptive Innovation awards, and NYFest – during  the Festival’s 10th edition.


“We are lucky to have the best audiences in the world, and I was excited to see them respond so enthusiastically and embrace all aspects of our 10th Festival,” said Nancy Schafer, Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Festival. “We all are feeling energized after seeing the incredible connection between filmmakers and the community this year. I am proud of what the Festival has become in its first decade, but more than that I can’t wait to see what comes next.”


Beginning on April 20 and running through May 1, the Festival hosted over 400 screenings and panels with over 95% attendance. 93 features and 60 short films from 40 countries were enjoyed by more than 115,000 movie-goers and panel attendees during the course of the 12 day Festival, with theaters frequently at capacity.


This year, the Tribeca (Online) Film Festival, presented by American Express, also offered a robust array of free content. Visitors to watched a selection of features and shorts in the Streaming Room; interacted with experts from the worlds of film and technology through the Future of Film blog; connected with filmmakers through the Filmmaker Feed; and had questions answered by talent, industry notables and filmmakers in the enhanced Tribeca Q&A. The site also live-streamed events including red carpets, the Festival awards ceremony, and panels and talks including the Directors Series conversation between TFF Co-Founder Robert De Niro and Brian Williams.


“We are enormously grateful to the filmmakers and the audiences whose support of Tribeca made our 10th Festival so special,” said Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal. “Tribeca is more than just films and a series of events; it is about the spirit of community, storytelling and the subsequent conversations and initiatives it ignites.  That is the legacy of this festival.”


TFF kicked off its 10th edition with a free open-air screening of Cameron Crowe’s world premiere documentary The Union, followed by a performance from film subject Elton John as a thank you to the New York community at the North Cove at the World Financial Plaza. The event was the first of four free film screenings under the stars, and was followed by the Tribeca Drive-In series which featured Fame, When the Drum is Beating and The Muppets Take Manhattan, co-sponsored by JetBlue and Time Warner Cable and hosted by Brookfield. In total, 9,300enjoyed free, outdoor films and interactive entertainment from music to Muppets.


Festival organizers and NYPD Community Affairs Officer Rick Lee estimated that a crowd of 300,000 enjoyed the signature Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day on Saturday, April 30. The annual event, which featured live entertainment and family fun including performances from the casts of seven Broadway shows, visits from NY Knicks and Rangers, and even a photo-op with Bubby’s giant faux cow, took place in the Tribeca neighborhood.


This year the festival added four additional blocks to the footprint of the Street Fair. Visitors and families mingled shoulder to shoulder for almost the entire day at the fair, which stretched down Greenwich Street from Chambers to Hubert streets, and in Washington Market Park. The day included free community events, activities, performances, and celebrations by local merchants and community groups.


More than 1,800 attendees joined the conversation at the Festival’s 10 free panels and discussions, while events hosted by the Tribeca Film Institute drew a total of 4,200 attendees. 1,650 also participated in the inaugural NYFest, the city’s first Film and Entertainment Soccer Tournament in conjunction with TFF and in partnership with Umbro.


2011 Tribeca Film Festival Facts, Figures and anecdotes:


  • -In all, 156 of 170 directors attended TFF, from a range of distances. The shortest: Edward Burns, a longtime resident of the Tribeca neighborhood. The longest: Kivu Ruhorahoza, of Grey Matter, whose total round trip flight from Rwanda totaled nearly 40 hours.


  • -The Festival hosted three Rwandan short filmmakers, who presented films they made with support from the Tribeca Film Institute. The TFF screening was not only the first time they had seen their movies on a big screen -- it was the first time they had ever been in a movie theater.


  • -A total of 803 delegates attended TFF – 691 from the U.S. and 112 from countries including Bulgaria, Israel, Norway and South Korea.


  • -At the premiere of eventual Heineken Audience Award Winner Give Up Tomorrow, the filmmakers brought 12 guests up for the Q&A after the film, including family members of subject Paco Larrañaga and activists who traveled to TFF from the Philippines, London, and Spain. The film received an extended standing ovation all the way through the credits and as the guests took the stage.


  • -On the day that World Narrative Competition entry Jesus Henry Christ had its world premiere, star Toni Collette gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The audience made a short video to congratulate the star and new mom.


  • -Powerful documentaries including The Bully Project, Renee, Give Up Tomorrow and Sing Your Song received standing ovations at premieres and screenings, while documentary subjects from Carol Channing to Harry Belafonte to Ozzy Osbourne received outpourings of love from audiences – and in Ozzy’s case, an impersonator was even in the audience.


  • -The Trip stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon performed their dueling Michael Caine impressions at the audiences’ request during their premiere.


  • -20 Film Fellows graduated from the Tribeca Film Institute’s youth education program after 12 days of experiencing the Festival with filmmaker badges and access, and premiering their short films during TFF.


  • -In a TFF full of milestones, two crew members marked their 10th Festival as volunteers with Tribeca: Elaine Harrison and Sheila Lee who, for the 10th consecutive year, took time off from her job as a nurse to volunteer at TFF. 


  • -Kansas-based Ethan McCord, the subject of Tribeca short documentary winner Incident In New Baghdad, attended the festival with his girlfriend Tammy and an engagement ring. He proposed in Times Square and she accepted.


About the Tribeca Film Festival:
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival 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’s mission is to help 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. Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors. 

Since Tribeca’s founding through 2011, the Tribeca Festival has screened over 1100 films from over 80 countries and it has attracted an international audience of more than 2.3 million attendees and 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, Cadillac, Doha Film Institute, JetBlue Airways, and Magnum Ice Cream.





Dade Hayes
Senior Vice President, Rubenstein Communications
(212) 843-8022


Jodi Sevin Patkin
Associate Vice President, Rubenstein Communications
(212) 843-8393


Tammie Rosen
VP of Communications, Tribeca Enterprises
(212) 941-2003


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