Tribeca Film Fest 2008: High Attendance

May 6, 2008–The Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by American Express, today announced a total attendance of just under 400,000 at the 2008 Festival. Festival organizers estimated a ticketed attendance of over 155,000 to 700 screenings and 14 panel discussions throughout the 11-day festival. Approximately 85% of the Festivals available tickets were sold or distributed to pass holders. The Festival, which featured two hubs in Lower Manhattan and the Union Square area and ran from April 23 through May 4, screened 121 features and 79 short films from 41 countries.

Festival organizers and NYPD Community Affairs Officer Rick Lee estimated that a crowd of 225,000 attended the popular Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day on Saturday, May 3. The free community event took place along eight blocks of Greenwich Street and neighboring side streets in Tribeca.

The Tribeca Drive-In, co-sponsored by Snapple and Yahoo! and hosted by Brookfield Properties, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development at the World Financial Center Plaza, drew combined crowds of 10,000 to three evenings of free, outdoor screenings of Thriller Night: Thriller & The Making of Thriller, Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins and We Are Marshall, which was the winner of the Tribeca/ESPN Fans Favorite Football Flick competition. All three evenings featured pre-show live interactive entertainment, including the worlds largest zombie disco during Thriller Night.

One of our key goals for this years Festival was to further enhance the audience experience. To that end, we actually lowered ticket prices by 20% and centralized our screenings and activities with our new “dual hubs” in Tribeca and the Union Square area. Our film programmers also curated a smaller, tighter line-up of films and our popular free, community events were extremely successful, with numbers dipping only slightly at our Family Festival due to weather-related factors. It was wonderful to see so many New Yorkers and visitors continue to embrace the Festival and our mission to support lower Manhattans economic revitalization, said Craig Hatkoff, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Each year, we seek to give both established and first time filmmakers from around the world and around the corner an opportunity to share their artistic visions and stories with our Festival audiences, said Festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal. From the story of how thousands of women helped bring peace to Liberia and elect Africas first female head of state in Pray the Devil Back to Hell to the stirring documentary about former Sudanese child soldier and hip-hop artist, Emmanuel Jal, who uses his music to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis occurring in his homeland in War Child, audiences were able to experience a range of emotions and experiences at this years Festival.

2008 Tribeca Film Festival Factoids:

199 directors attended the Festival.
Of those 199 directors, 130 directed feature films in the Festival and hailed from 23 different countries.

90% of all feature film directors and 85% of all short filmmakers attended the Festival.

With a journey of more than 31 hours, Palden Gyatso (subject of the documentary Fire Under Snow) had the longest trip to the Festival. His journey began with a 13 hour bus ride from Damsala, India to New Delhi, followed by a 1 to 2 hour plane ride from New Delhi to Mumbai and finally, a 17 hour flight from Mumbai to New York.

980 industry delegates attended the Festival. Of the 980, 832 delegates were from the U.S. and 148 delegates hailed from 25 other countries.

The Festival featured 2,750 volunteers.

Of the 2,750 volunteers, 723 were returning Festival volunteers.

The oldest volunteer was 77 years old and the youngest was 18 years old.

Approximately 76% of the volunteers were residents of New York State, 10% hailed from New Jersey or Connecticut and 10% from other U.S. states. In addition, 4% of the volunteers came in from around the world, representing 18 countries, including Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Korea, Denmark, Dominica (West Indies), Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, Turkey, Japan and Bermuda.

18 musical acts performed at the Tribeca/ASCAP Music Lounge, co-sponsored by American Express.

It was announced during the Festival that one of those artists, Anya Marina, was signed to Alexandra Patsavas’ new record label Chop Shop Records.

4 musical acts performed at Breaking the Band, a concert sponsored by Target. During the concert, Bad Veins, an unsigned duo from Ohio, received the first ever Target Music Maker award and a cash prize of $10,000.

112 parties were thrown in association with the Festival.

400 New York Police Department barricades were used throughout the Festival.

Dates for the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival will be announced soon. Additional information can be found at

About Tribeca Film Festival:

Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan through an annual celebration of film, music and culture. The Festivals mission focuses on assisting filmmakers to reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promoting New York City as a major filmmaking center.

Since its founding, the Festival has attracted more than two million attendees from the U.S. and abroad and has generated more than $425 million in economic activity for New York City.