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The Reeler Blog

Tribeca Comes Home

By S.T. VanAirsdale

As noted here previously and reiterated this morning in Lou Lumenick's Tribeca Film Festival double shot, the event is paring down a bit from the massive programs of years past. Perhaps more importantly for filmgoers, ticket prices are also dropping as much as 55 percent from last year, with matinees and late showings going for as little as $8. Evenings and weekends will run you $15, and theme-related ticket packages (competition, foreign and documentary films, for starters) run $75 for a half-dozen ducats.

It's a smart gesture of outreach, to be sure, but how can even a downsized TFF afford it? We don't have the program to clue us into how small is "smaller," but word tossed over the transom at Reeler HQ reveals that geographic sprawl is out for '08 as well:

The Festival will centralize its screening, event and hospitality venues with lower Manhattan and the Union Square area serving as the Festival “hubs.” Lower Manhattan, the heart of the Festival, will host the Festival’s free public events, including the Tribeca Drive-In at the World Financial Center and the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair on Greenwich Street, as well as an array of screenings, panel discussions and gala premieres at BMCC TribecaPAC, Pace University and Tribeca Cinemas. Union Square will be home to three Festival multiplex theaters – AMC Village VII (11th Street and 3rd Avenue), AMC 19th St. (19th Street and Broadway) and City Cinemas Village East (12th Street and 2nd Avenue) as well as the Filmmaker Industry Press Lounge. These theaters will host premieres and screenings.

In other words, the AMC multiplexes on 34th Street and in Kips Bay are gone. I also hear that the fest has no plans at present for events in last year's outer borough hosts like Queens and the Bronx. The Tribeca Film Festival is a genuinely downtown event -- a navigable and relatively small one -- again for the first time in years. Assuming a more selective program indeed follows (and it kind of has to under the circumstances), this can only be a good thing. We'll know next month; stay tuned here for more.

Posted at February 4, 2008 9:17 AM

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