[In keeping with tradition the Tribeca Festival begins with a breakfast organized for journalists, programmers and founders]
On the morning of April 18th I showed up at the festival’s 92Y building for the launch event. There were about a hundred other reporters and photographers being ushered into a conference room where muffins, danish, various juices and bloody marys (perhaps to help sober up some of the people who attended the previous evenings Vanity Fair party) awaited. The usual “Hey, what outlet are you from?” and “Is this your first time here?” being traded back and forth until the speeches began. The reporter sitting next to me wrote for an Italian magazine, which I thought to be a testimony to how far-reaching the Tribeca festival had become. She knew several of the others from her coverage of Sundance.
Around 10 Jane Rosenthal and Robert DeNiro took to the stage. After welcoming us, DeNiro, in his usual self-deprecating style, took a jab at his penchant for being a man of few words by suggesting rather that he would turn things over to Jane Rosenthal. She informed us of the festival’s progress, showed clips of various films and then introduced the festival’s organizers and programmers. During their Q&A I asked about the criteria on the basis of which they selected films and if a “what’s hot” in Hollywood mentality influenced their decisions. After the talks I personally asked the short-film programmer about how her selection was different from the features program.
All in all, a very informative and helpful breakfast. I chewed the celery stick left in my bloody mary and hustled to my first film.