Tribeca Film Festival Reaches 15-Year Milestone

A yellow taxi cab passes the entrance to the Tribeca Film Festival. A crowd of people is under an illuminated red sign that reads “Tribeca Film Festival.”

The 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival kicked off last night and will run through April 24. The festival features 77 world premiere films and a special 40th anniversary screening of the iconic "Taxi Driver."

The festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro, both 9/11 Memorial board members, and Craig Hatkoff in response to the devastating Sept. 11 attacks to revitalize the lower Manhattan community and New York City.

"When 9/11 happened, obviously, we thought well this would be a way to revive the neighborhood," De Niro said. "It was successful."

"I can’t say enough about what the Tribeca Film Festival has meant for the rebirth of what was potentially most at risk following 9/11: our spirit," recalled 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels. "Jane, Bob and Craig are in the midst of leaving a tremendously strong legacy based on the power of coming together that we saw in the aftermath of that terrible day."

The founders didn’t plan on making it a yearly endeavor, but the festival continues to attract crowds and talent from all over. It has become known as one of the most creatively directed film festivals in the world. This year, the festival received 6,626 submissions. A total of 101 films were selected.  Learn more here.

Hear more about the festival’s journey in De Niro’s podcast from the "Our City. Our Story." series.

By Hannah Coffman, Digital Content Manager

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