NYC’s favorite film festival

Seven years ago, in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro developed a film festival to help New York City celebrate the culture that it is famous for.

That was the beginning of The Tribeca Film Festival, which is now recognized as one of the most important film festivals in the world.

This year, Tribeca opens on Wednesday, April 22 and runs until Sunday, May 3. In the official press release kicking off the festival, co-founder Rosenthal stated “In good times and bad, people love to go to the movies, and we are thrilled to be here once again to present 12 days of films and events that will appeal to the industry and the general public alike. Whether you’re an accomplished filmmaker or just need a way to escape everyday life for a few hours, there’s something for you at Tribeca.”

During those 12 days, audiences will have the opportunity to see full-length features, documentaries and short films which cover dozens of themes including art, politics, gender and race.

The selections this year were chosen from 4,720 submissions. Of those chosen for the festival, Tribeca will be featuring 45 world premiers. Film submissions are being aired from 36 countries, so festival-goers will have plenty to choose from to get their money’s worth.

One of the notable foreign films premiering at Tribeca this year is Argentinian director Lucía Puenzo’s The Fish Child (El niño pez). Puenzo’s submission is her follow-up to XXY, a film which won her several awards. The Fish Child tells the story of a Lala, a pretty teenager living in an upper-class neighborhood in Buenos Aires, who falls in love with her familly’s maid, Guayi.

In order to raise enough money to run away together, the two begin hawking the goods that they have stolen. This leads to Guayi’s arrest. To save her lover, Lala is forced to take desperate action, which leads her to discover Guayi’s unsavory past.

For audience members who aren’t interested in reading subtitles and watching complicated dramas unravel, there are plenty of more commercial films avaliable for viewing. On Tribeca’s closing night, My Life in Ruins will premiere as part of a special presentation screening.

Directed by Donald Petrie, My Life in Ruins stars Greek actress Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). The lighthearted romantic comedy follows Georgia, a travel-guide whose love life has lost most of its spark.

Bored with her life and her current job, Georgia leads tourists around her native country while wating for something more exciting to happen to her. However, as she introduces people to the beauty of Greek life, she begins to regain an appreciation for the country. At the same time, a romance begins brewing for Georgia.

Tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival can be purchased online at Ticket packages allow viewers to gain admission to as many as 20 films, but the price for all those screenings isn’t cheap. Ticket packages range in price from $225 to $425.

Single tickets for individual movies can also be purchased online, for a much more recession-friendly price. For the opportunity to see some of the best films from around the world, the sticker price is a bargin.

If the cost of tickets is an issue, watch out for some of Tribeca’s free events, including the annual Tribeca Drive-in. This year Tribeca is screening Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and P-Star Rising.

Thursday kicks off the drive-in with a guest appearancce by the turtles themselves, as well as ninja-related activities which will begin at 6:30 p.m. The Tribeca Drive-In takes place April 23, 24 and 25 at the World Financial Center Plaza.

A film guide, as well as information about tickets, movie times and locations can be found on Tribeca’s official Web site. Tickets for the films and events can also be purchased at the theaters. Whether you’re a true movie buff or just looking for something fun to do as the semester comes to an end, Tribeca Film Festival represents some of the best that New York City has to offer.