"Shrek", the Web, transform Tribeca Film Festival
By Christine Kearney
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Known as a champion of independent filmmakers, the Tribeca Film Festival shifts into a new gear and embraces the future of film when it opens next week with a 3D "Shrek" movie and online streaming for Web audiences.
The festival begins April 21 with animated "Shrek Forever After," Tribeca's first-ever 3D film, and after that comes 11 days of movies and stars such as Renee Zellweger and Colin Farrell parading up red carpets in downtown Manhattan.
Tribeca was co-founded by actor Robert De Niro in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center as a way to bring people back to the Big Apple, and in those years it has ripened into a high-profile launch pad for independent films and world documentaries.
For the 2010 edition, organizers have continued to expand beyond the "indie" film arena with bigger budget movies, and this year they are opening a virtual theater door to several films so North American audiences can watch movies online.
De Niro, 66, is optimistic about the changes.
"I might find myself having to be in a 3D movie, I don't know when," De Niro told Reuters, before he mischievously punched the air in a move suited for 3D and straight out of his classic 1980 film "Raging Bull," which earned him an Oscar.
"If it's a good story and it works and it's appropriate for that way of expression, of showing it, then it's OK."
This year's Tribeca Film Festival will screen 85 feature-length films, including 55 narrative features and 30 documentaries, as well as 47 short films. Twelve narratives and 12 documentaries will compete for $100,000 in cash prizes. Continued...