Tribeca Fest 2021: Opens With World Premiere of ‘In the Heights’

IN THE HEIGHTS Still 2- ANTHONY RAMOS as Usnavi and MELISSA BARRERA as Vanessa - Warner Bros. Pictures release - Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Tribeca Festival is set to open its 2021 edition by turning the lights up on Washington Heights.

The in-person NY event will kick off June 9 with the world premiere of Warner Bros.’ In the Heights at the United Palace theater in Washington Heights, the neighborhood where the story is based.

Additionally, Tribeca, which is set to be the first in-person North American film festival since the COVID-19 pandemic, will host simultaneous screenings of the opening-night film across all five boroughs in open-air venues.

The Jon M. Chu-directed film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning Broadway musical is set to hit theaters and, for 31 days, HBO Max, like the rest of Warner Bros.’ 2021 slate, on June 11.

The film, with a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes and original songs and lyrics by Miranda, follows a New York City bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who dreams (and sings) of a better life. It was originally supposed to hit theaters in June of 2020 before being delayed a year due to the pandemic.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Tribeca for a city-wide takeover of In the Heights,” Chu said in a statement. “New York, and specifically Washington Heights, is the lead character in our film — its vibrancy and energy are unmatched. How incredible that after a year of isolation, New Yorkers from across all boroughs will have an opportunity to see it first, together, and join us in the celebration of life coming back.”

Miranda added, “It is such an honor to open the 20th anniversary Tribeca Film Festival with In the Heights. We’re so excited to welcome them uptown! This will be an unforgettable night at the United Palace. We can’t wait to share this musical love letter to our community, with our community, in our community.”

Tribeca Festival co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises Jane Rosenthal added, “In the Heights is the quintessential New York story of hard-work, resilience and triumph. We are proud to feature this film as opening night where it can debut in its hometown in celebration of its New York roots and the Latinx community.”

The film stars Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Dascha Polanco and Jimmy Smits.

The 2021 Tribeca Festival is set to run June 9-20 in New York.