Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival logo.svg
LocationNew York City, New York, U.S.
Founded2002; 20 years ago (2002)
Most recentJune 9th-20th 2021

The Tribeca Film Festival is an annual film festival organized by Tribeca Productions. It takes place each spring in New York City, showcasing a diverse selection of film, episodic, talks, music, games, art, and immersive programming. Tribeca was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2002 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

Each year the festival hosts over 600 screenings with approximately 150,000 attendees, and awards independent artists in 23 juried competitive categories.[1]


Festival founders Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro
Festival founders Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro
The marquee of Tribeca Cinemas
The marquee of Tribeca Cinemas
After the premiere of a documentary film at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, subjects and creators onstage
After the premiere of a documentary film at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, subjects and creators onstage

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro, and Craig Hatkoff, in response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.[2] The inaugural festival launched after 120 days of planning with the help of more than 1,300 volunteers. It was attended by more than 150,000 people[3] and featured several up-and-coming filmmakers. The festival included juried narrative, documentary and short film competitions; a restored classics series; a best of New York series curated by Martin Scorsese; 13 major panel discussions; an all-day family festival; and the premieres of studio films Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,[4] About A Boy,[5] the American remake of Insomnia, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

The 2003 festival brought more than 300,000 people.[3] The festival showcased an expanded group of independent features, documentaries and short films from around the world, coupled with studio premieres, panel discussions, music and comedy concerts, a family festival, sports activities, and outdoor movie screenings along the Hudson River. The family festival featured children's movie screenings, storytelling, family panels, workshops, and interactive games culminating in a daylong street fair that drew a crowd estimated at 250,000 people.[6]

At the end of 2003, De Niro purchased the theater at 54 Varick Street which had housed the recently closed Screening Room, an art house that had shown independent films nightly,[7] renaming it the Tribeca Cinema. It became one of the venues of the festival.

In an effort to serve its mission of bringing independent film to the widest possible audience, in 2006, the festival expanded its reach in New York City and internationally. In New York City, Tribeca hosted screenings throughout Manhattan as the festival's 1,000-plus screening schedule outgrew the capacity downtown. Internationally, the Festival brought films to the Rome Film Festival. As part of the celebrations in Rome, Tribeca was awarded the first-ever "Steps and Stars" award, presented on the Spanish Steps. A total of 169 feature films and 99 shorts were selected from 4,100 film submissions, including 1,950 feature submissions—three times the total submissions from the first festival in 2002. The festival featured 90 world premieres, nine international premieres, 31 North American premieres, 6 U.S. premieres, and 28 New York City premieres.

In 2009, Rosenthal, Hatkoff and De Niro were named number 14 on Barron's list of the world's top 25 philanthropists for their role in regenerating TriBeCa's economy after September 11.[8]

In 2011, L.A. Noire became the first video game to be recognized by the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2013, Beyond: Two Souls, featuring Elliot Page and Willem Dafoe, became only the second game to be premiered at the festival.

The 19th Tribeca Film Festival, originally scheduled for April 15–26, 2020, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the weeks and months that followed, Tribeca launched several digital offerings to highlight filmmakers and creators who had hoped to premiere their latest works at the spring gathering. It provided a secure digital platform for 2020 Festival films seeking distribution to be viewed by press and industry and hosted a virtual gathering space for Tribeca N.O.W. Creators Market.[9]

In response to the global pandemic, Tribeca organized We Are One in partnership with YouTube, a free 10-day digital festival that provided entertainment and connection for audiences at home and raised international COVID-19 relief funds. The program was co-curated by 21 of the top international film festivals including Cannes, Sundance, TIFF and Venice and showcased over 100 hours of shorts, features, talks and music to an audience of 1.9 million people in 179 countries.[9]

In July 2020, Tribeca launched one of the first large scale pop-up drive-in series across the country to provide audiences with entertainment in a safe, socially-distanced environment. Screenings took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Orchard Beach in the Bronx neighborhood of New York and Nickerson Beach in Nassau County, New York. The series employed local production staff and partnered with small food businesses who had been impacted by the lockdown.[10]

On August 7, 2020, organizers announced that the 20th anniversary edition of the festival was to be held from June 9 to June 20, 2021, with a dedicated space to celebrate films whose premieres were not able to take place in the festival that was cancelled in 2020.[11] In a first for the festival, Tribeca also hosted community screenings — in both indoor and outdoor venues — in all five New York City boroughs.[12]

The Festival added a dedicated Video Games category beginning with the 2021 event. Games nominated are presented in online presentations during the Festival, similar to film screenings.[13]


U.S. Narrative Competition

Best U.S. Narrative Feature

Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film

Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film

Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film

World Narrative Competition

Best Narrative Feature

Best New Narrative Filmmaker

Best Actor in a Narrative Feature Film

Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film

Best Cinematography

Best Screenplay

Best Narrative Editing

Best Documentary Feature

Best New Documentary Filmmaker

Best Documentary Editing

Best Narrative Short

Best Documentary Short

Student Visionary Award

Nora Ephron Prize

Best Animated Short

Storyscapes Award

Audience Awards

Narrative Award

Documentary Award

Tribeca Games Award

The Tribeca Games Award honors an unreleased video game, recognizing "its potential for excellence in art and storytelling through design, artistic mastery and highly immersive worlds."

See also


  1. ^ "2019 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS & ICYMI MOMENTS". Tribeca. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "Documents reveal pre-9/11 plans for Tribeca Film Festival". 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "2011 Tribeca Film Festival Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved January 5, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "The Children's Aid Society and The Tribeca Film Festival to Co-Host The New York City Premiere of 'Star Wars: Episode II Attack of The Clones' on May 12th". Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  5. ^ Lemire, Christy (April 25, 2006). "Tribeca Film Festival returns to its inspiration". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press.
  6. ^ "Businesses say business was up for film festival". Downtown Express. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Rogers, Josh (December 17, 2003). "De Niro and partners buy Tribeca's Screening Room". The Villager. 73 (33). Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  8. ^ Suzanne McGee (November 30, 2009). "The 25 Best Givers". Barron's. Retrieved March 31, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Lang, Brent (May 6, 2020). "How the Tribeca Film Festival Found Ways to Innovate in Unorthodox Times". Variety. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  10. ^ Bloom, David. "Tribeca Film Festival Turns To Temporary Drive-Ins Amid Pandemic Shutdown". Forbes. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  11. ^ "The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival Announces Dates and Call for Submissions". Tribeca Film Festival. August 7, 2020. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  12. ^ "Dave Chappelle's New Documentary to Close Tribeca Film Festival". May 26, 2021.
  13. ^ Beresford, Tribly (May 6, 2021). "Tribeca Festival Unveils Games Lineup Including Annapurna Interactive's 'Twelve Minutes'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 6, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "The 2021 Tribeca Festival Announces Award Winners". Tribeca. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Moreau, Jordan (April 29, 2020). "'The Half of It,' Steve Zahn, Assol Abdullina Win Awards at 2020 Tribeca Film Festival". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  16. ^ a b McDonald, Soraya Nadia (May 7, 2019). "Phillip Youmans becomes first black director to win at Tribeca with his feature debut, 'Burning Cane'". The Undefeated. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Here are the Winners of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Juried Awards | Tribeca". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Here are the Winners of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Juried Awards". Tribeca Film Festival.
  19. ^ a b "Tribeca: 'Burning Cane,' 'Scheme Birds' Among Awards Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. May 2, 2019. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i "2014 Tribeca Film Festival Announces Award Winners". Tribeca Film Festival. April 24, 2014. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  21. ^ "Tribeca honours Australian film The Rocket with top prize". BBC News. April 26, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  22. ^ "Here are the Winners of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival's Juried Awards". Tribeca Film. May 2, 2019. Archived from the original on July 21, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  23. ^ "Here are the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Juried Award Winners | Tribeca". Tribeca. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  24. ^ Beresford, Trilby (June 18, 2021). "Tribeca: Norco Wins First-Ever Games Award at Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. PMRC.