The 2021 Tribeca Film Festival kicked off its 20th anniversary with a screening of In The Heights at The Battery on Thursday, June 9th hosted by City National Bank and Montefiore-Einstein.
In an ode to New York, musicals, and sweltering summer days in the city, In The Heights couldn’t have been a more perfect film for the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival. There were no shortages of New Yorkers or A-listers filling lawn chair seats and enjoying cold drinks, popcorn, and taking in some classic entertainment.
With most film festivals going virtual and theaters being shut down for nearly a year and a half, festival-goers and celebrities alike were beyond excited to return to public screenings. Among those eager to return to cinema were an actor and first-time Tribeca juror Bryan Cranston.
“A celebration of art is the way to go. The way to open things up. It opens your heart, it opens your mind. It makes you think, it makes you feel connected to humanity. We’re bursting and ready to open up and enjoy mutual experiences and we’ll have that tonight” Bryan said.
When asked what Bryan was looking for most in the films he is judging this year, “To be entertained!” he said.
When asked if movie going experiences should be shared actor and juror Delroy Lindo happily answered,
“No question. I mean it’s kind of foundational to the movie going experience, the communal aspect. Despite the prevalence of streaming, which is a terrific thing, people really miss going to a theater and experiencing a film in that way. So I’m glad that it’s coming back.”
Celebrity jurors Sharon Stone, John Turturro, Jacob Bixenman, Hari Nef, Mollye Asher, Justin Bartha, Elegance Bratton, and many others were also in attendance that evening.
Rooted in resilience, The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2021 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff to offset the cultural and economic impacts Lower Manhattan had endured following the attacks on the World Trade Center. In what could be called serendipitous, 20 years later New York is healing again, this time from a global pandemic, but no doubt coming out stronger on the other side.
Tribeca will celebrate its 20th year June 9 – 20, 2021. www.tribecafilm.com/festival