TFF = Tribeca Family Fun

tff-flag-vestryAs someone who writes about what’s going on in Tribeca, I had figured the Tribeca Film Festival would be an important story. But this year, despite the banners hanging from neighborhood streetposts, very little of the film part of the festival is actually in Tribeca. The vast majority of films are being screened at Village East Cinemas, Chelsea Clearview Cinemas, and the SVA Theater in Chelsea. Only a handful are at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center or Tribeca Cinemas.

The Tribeca Film Festival has done a lot for Tribeca, not just drawing people downtown when the neighborhood most needed it, but also defining Tribeca—we can thank De Niro and Co. for much of Tribeca’s value as a brand (taste and quality with a dash of cool), particularly outside the city. But now, due to the festival’s success, it has outgrown the area, and to a degree, New York City: This year marks the debut of the Tribeca Film Festival Virtual, where you can watch from anywhere.

Information Booth with Crowd in FrontNone of this is to say that there isn’t a local component to the Tribeca Film Festival; it’s just not what most people think of when they think of a film festival. For Tribecans, especially families, the best part of the Tribeca Film Festival will be the public events. Seriously, if you have kids, mark off May 1 on your calendar right now, because the Tribeca Family Festival organizers have put together an amazing line-up of activities. I’ve edited the press releases below, so you just get the highlights. (They better let people without kids walk that red carpet, because I’m already working up an outfit.)

• Each day, doors open and programs begin at 6 p.m., with screenings starting at dusk, approximately 8:15 p.m.
• Thursday, April 22: To celebrate the world premiere of El Espiritu de la Salsa (The Spirit of Salsa), a documentary, salsa bands, and dancers will strut their stuff under the stars. Moviegoers will enjoy lessons, contests and percussive revelry for all ages.
• Friday, April 23: To go with a screening of Big, the Tom Hanks movie, there will be classic carnival-style fun on the waterfront including face painters, fortune tellers, games, trivia contests, music and more before the screening.
• Saturday, April 24: BMX street tricks and freestyle demonstrations will take place on the upper and lower plazas to highlight the world premiere of the ESPN Films documentary, Birth of Big Air. Afterward there will be a spectacular stunt extravaganza featuring BMX pioneer Mat Hoffman, a.k.a. The Condor. (All BMX performances are weather permitting.)

• 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Greenwich from Chambers to Harrison and at venues throughout Tribeca.
• Free and open to the public.
• Families will have the chance to walk an official Tribeca Film Festival Red Carpet at BMCC Tribeca PAC. Cast members from the Broadway show Wicked, Broadway Kids Care, AudraRox, and Bubble Do Beatles will perform outdoors on the plaza. A student rock band and student Afro-Cuban drumline along with local youth ballet schools, dance troupes, gymnastics teams, school choirs and other creative groups will perform at BMCC Tribeca PAC.
• To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Church Street School for Music and Art will include a massive Guitar “Play-in” led by Church Street School dad Mike Diamond “Mike D” of the Beastie Boys as well as ribbon weaving, specialty music programs, and art workshops at 74 Warren.
• Families can attend a free (ticketed) screening of a Tribeca Family Festival feature film after the Street Fair. This special presentation of Snowmen, hosted by the Tribeca Cinemas Kids Club, will be screened at 7:00 p.m. at BMCC Tribeca PAC, Theatre 1. For ticket information visit in the coming weeks. (Snowmen follows the adventures of 10-year-old Billy and his friends as they hatch a scheme to set a Guinness World Record. Suggested for ages 8 and up.)
• Washington Market Park will feature face painting, sand sculpting,  jugglers, stilt-walkers, musicians, storytellers, and puppeteers.
• Improv experts Broadway’s Next Hit Musical and the theater group Making Books Sing will perform.
• Families can
pose for photos with wax figures from Madame Tussauds.
• At the popular
Kite Gardenand Bubble Gardenkids can make their own kites and create gigantic bubbles.
• Take Two Film Academy will help children develop their dramatic skills by giving everyone a chance to host their own talk show. [That’s what we need! More talk-show hosts! —Ed.]
tff2• Plus: Little ones can sculpt clay and explore their creative sides in the Arts and Crafts Pavilion. Imagination Playground will bring giant foam blocks and other fun elements. Victorian Gardens Amusement Park from Wollman Rink will bring the magic downtown with several performances. The Tribeca Fun Squad will lead Hula Hoop contests, dance-offs and other wacky street games. Bloomberg will create a 3D photo experience for adults and children alike. Polaroid will take fun candids. An encore screening of Downtown Youth Behind the Camera, a series of short films created by elementary and middle school students from downtown New York City, will be shown (non-ticketed and first-come, first-served).
• And Duane between Greenwich and Hudson will be the site of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day, also free and open to the public. There will be various interactive sports-related games, demonstrations, and giveaways, as well as the BMX Jams Tour (Weather permitting) and appearances by athletes, dance teams, and mascots. Mr. Met will be on hand to greet baseball lovers. Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls street team will showcase their freestyle soccer tricks and skills. The New York Women’s Baseball Association will conduct pitching and throwing clinics. ESPN’s Play Your Way will set up an interactive play spot for kids to hop, jump, skip, and soar, while PowerPlay NYC will offer various clinics to help kids learn sports fundamentals.


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