Tribeca Film Festival gets rolling

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

The Beacon Theatre has been the site of plenty of events, ranging from the Tony Awards to the Tribeca Film Festival’s opening night!

The Tribeca Film Festival kicked off in New York on April 16, bringing together international filmmakers to show off their latest cinema creations with glitz, glam, and mega celebrities.

Held annually in the Lower Manhattan area of New York called Tribeca, the event was founded by Hollywood superstars Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2002 after the 9/11 attacks on New York wounded the nation’s spirits. Originally, it was meant to help the damaged Lower Manhattan area recover from its devastating loss of culture and entertainment. Now, the film festival’s mission has broadened, and according to the founders it’s meant to “enable the international film community and the general public to experience the power of film by redefining the film festival experience.”

Wednesday night, the 13th annual Tribeca Film Festival began with co-founder Jane Rosenthal talking about changes to the usual routine. Rather than solely focusing on movies, this year the event features an “Innovation Week” that will mimic the tech energy and amped up vibe of the 10-day musical conference, South by Southwest. Also, for the second year, it will feature a category called Storyscapes that showcases the projects of artists and digital media innovators. Storyscapes will incorporate virtual reality, live performance, 3D graphics, and gesture-based gaming techniques that encourage user participation.

While Rosenthal may have mentioned a few changes to the schedule, let’s not forget the real reason why people are flocking to New York. Movies! The opening film this year was a musical documentary called Time Is Illmatic, which tells the story of rapper Nas. The film was followed by a concert performance featuring songs from his album Illmatic, and a short guest appearance by Alicia Keys. The movie extravaganza doesn’t end at Nas, though. There’s a scheduled 80 plus movies appearing throughout the next week, ranging from documentaries on famous fashion icons like Christian Dior to the creators of LEGO bricks.

If you happen to be in Tribeca, then you won’t want to miss out on all the possible events! For the first time in its history, the Tribeca Film Festival will have a free day of moviegoing for all its fans. So, if you’ve ever wanted the opportunity to sit alongside some of entertainment’s best directors and actors, now’s your chance! Check back next week for the results, and highlights from the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

Images courtesy of Tribeca Film Institute Facebook.