New York’s famous Tribeca Film Festival, which pivoted to an online format during its 2020 edition, is coming back in 2021 for in-person audiences. Now in its twentieth year, the festival will look considerably different this time, continuing its growth outside of the Tribeca neighborhood of Lower Manhattan into all five boroughs of New York City. The previously-announced dates of June 9th-June 20th, 2021 have now been confirmed, which will put this year’s slate roughly two months after the festival has typically taken place.
The Tribeca Film Festival first launched in 2002 as a way to bring entertainment and commerce back to a place that had been devastated by the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Its most famous co-founder, Robert De Niro, shared his sentiments that, “The Tribeca Film Festival was born out of our mission to bring people together in the aftermath of 9/11. We’re still doing it. And as New York emerges from the shadow of COVID-19, it seems just right to bring people together again in-person for our 20th anniversary festival.” Jane Rosenthal, co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and the Tribeca Festival, expressed that “Tribeca is a community of the most resilient and talented storytellers on the planet. In 20 years, our community of creators and partners have become a family. This summer we are excited to reunite as Tribeca becomes a centerpiece of live entertainment in neighborhoods across New York City.”
As of now, festival programming is set to be outdoors and compliant with COVID-19 protocols set by the New York State Department of Health. Venues under consideration include Brookfield Place New York, the Pier 57 Rooftop, The Battery, Hudson Yards, Empire Outlets in Staten Island, and The MetroTech Commons in Brooklyn. Community screenings in each borough are planned on 40-foot LED screens. The festival will use is closing night to observe and celebrate Juneteenth.
This shift to an in-person festival represents a return to normalcy after most film festivals, including Tribeca in 2020, moved to a digital platform. In 2021 so far, the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW (our coverage here) have been mostly online. Billing this event as the “first major US festival to be held in person,” the official press release from Tribeca Film closes with a hopeful invitation: “Let’s come together to celebrate art under the New York City skyline!”