Tom Hanks, Johnny Knoxville, Salsa Dance Included in Free Tribeca Events

Film festival announces lineup of free screenings, community events and panel discussions


The Tom Hanks movie “Big,” a Spike Jonze/Johnny Knoxville documentary about BMX bike riding, and a salsa-themed event will be among the free presentations at the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), which kicks off on April 21 in lower Manhattan.

Along with the screenings, and a free showing of the TFF entry “Snowmen,” the festival will also host free events that include a street-fair performance of songs from the Broadway show “Wicked,” a guitar “Play-In” led by Mike D of the Beastie Boys, sports clinics affiliated with the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day on May 1, and a variety of panel discussions on screenwriting, film distribution, documentaries and budgeting, among other topics.

From the TFF press release, the free events are as follows:


Thursday – Saturday, April 22 – April 24, 2010
World Financial Center Plaza
Open to the public; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Programs will also begin at 6:00 p.m., with screenings starting at dusk, approximately 8:15 p.m.

“El Espiritu de la Salsa (The Spirit of Salsa)” – Thursday, April 22
Lonely hearts from all over New York City — from an ER doc and an equities trader to a construction contractor and a cop — meet in Spanish Harlem once a week at Santo Rico Dance School, where they learn the rich art of salsa. Under the great salsa dance teacher Tomas Guerrero’s tutelage, they have only six weeks to rehearse for a public performance. Directed by Francisco Bello and Tim Sternberg. Produced by Jon Alpert, Francisco Bello, Matthew O’Neill and Tim Sternberg. Featuring music by Tito Puente, Eddie Santiago, Héctor Lavoe, Norah Jones, and more. World Premiere, Documentary (USA) Suggested for ages 8 and up. An HBO Documentary Films presentation.

With live salsa bands, salsa lessons and dance contests.

Elizabeth Perkins and Tom Hanks“Big” (right) – Friday, April 23
At a carnival on Coney Island, young Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks) wishes he was big-only to awake the next morning and discover he is. With the help of his friend Billy (Jared Rushton), Josh lands a job at a toy company in Manhattan. There, his inner wisdom enables him to successfully predict what children want to buy, making the awestruck, naïve Josh irresistible to a beautiful ladder-climbing colleague (Elizabeth Perkins). But the more he experiences being an adult, the more Josh longs for the simple joys of childhood. Directed by Penny Marshall. Written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg. (USA) PG. .A Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Presentation.

Tribeca’s official family night, in honor of 20th Cenuty Fox’s 75th anniversary. Includes classic carnival-style attractions on the waterfront: face painters, fortune tellers, games, trivia contests, music and more.

“The Birth of Big Air” – Saturday, April 24
In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Mat Hoffman entered into the BMX circuit as an amateur. By 16, he had soared to the top of the sport. Throughout his prodigious career, Hoffman has ignored conventional limitations; instead focusing his efforts on the purity of the sport and the pursuit of “what’s next.” Academy Award® nominee Spike Jonze and extreme sport fanatic Johnny Knoxville, along with director Jeff Tremaine, showcase the inner workings and exploits of the man who gave birth to “Big Air.” World Premiere, Documentary (USA) An ESPN Films “30 for 30”Presentation. Suggested for ages 8 and up.

BMX street tricks and freestyle demonstrations will take place on the upper and lower plazas. Includes a spectacular stunt extravaganza featuring BMX pioneer Mat Hoffman, a.k.a. “The Condor.”


Saturday, May 1
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Greenwich Street from Chambers St. to Harrison St.
BMCC Tribeca PAC (199 Chambers St. bet. Greenwich St. and West St.)
Washington Market Park (Chambers St. at Greenwich St.)

Street Fair highlights include:

Families will have the chance to walk an official Tribeca Film Festival Red Carpet at BMCC Tribeca PAC. Families can pose for photos on the carpet with wax figures of their favorite stars from Madame Tussauds New York. Cast members from the Broadway show “Wicked,” Broadway Kids Care, AudraRox and Bubble Do Beatles will take center stage 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 expand its offerings at the Street Fair to 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 located at 74 Warren Street (at Chambers Street).

For the first time, 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. on Saturday, May 1 at BMCC Tribeca PAC, Theatre 1. The film is directed by Robert Kirbyson, and stars Bobby Coleman, Josh Flitter, Ray Liotta, Christopher Lloyd, and Beverley Mitchell. Suggested for ages 8 and up.

Improv experts Broadway’s Next Hit Musical and the theater group Making Books Sing will also perform at the Street Fair.

Families will enjoy the popular Kite Garden, where kids can make their own kites, and the Bubble Garden where youngsters can 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.

Little ones can get their hands dirty, sculpt clay and explore their creative side in the Arts and Crafts Pavilion.

Imagination Playground will bring giant foam blocks and other fun elements for children to play, dream, build and explore endless possibilities.

Victorian Gardens Amusement Park from Wollman Rink in Central Park will bring the magic downtown with several performances. Shows encourage audience participation and will bring smiles and giggles to all faces.

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 and the magic of 3D will be brought to life.

Polaroid will be onsite to take fun candids and AT&T will offer a special activity for the kids.

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 also be shown. The screenings from these emerging filmmakers are non-ticketed and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Saturday, May 1
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Duane Street between Greenwich Street and Hudson Street

Sports fans will have the opportunity to participate in various interactive sports-related games,demonstrations and giveaways as part of the Family Festival Street Fair. Fans of all ages will enjoy the exciting BMX Jams Tour*, along with special appearances by their favorite athletes, dance teams, mascots and sports personalities.

Mr. Met will be on hand to greet baseball lovers. Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls street team will showcase their crazy freestyle soccer tricks and skills, and 1050 ESPN Radio will also be onsite.

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 the little ones to hop, jump, skip and soar, while PowerPlay NYC will offer various sports clinics to help kids learn the fundamentals.

Fans will also enjoy activities from their favorite teams, including the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, and WNBA’s New York Liberty.


Free panel discussions hosted by Barnes & Noble will feature conversations on the artistic process of screenwriting.

Illustrating History
Saturday, April 24
12 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, Union Square

It’s one thing to write a film based on a book or play, but when your subject is a real person, the attention to detail from script to screen is supreme. Movie magic can bring history to life, but some filmmakers change the way we look at the traditional biopic along the way. Panelists include “sex & drugs & rock & roll” writer Paul Viragh and director Mat Whitecross, “My Queen Karo” writer/director Dorothée van den Berghe, and “The Chameleon” director/co-writer Jean-Paul Salomé. Moderated by Marie Claire film critic Caryn James.

New York Stories
Sunday, April 25
12 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, Union Square

Shaped by the sights, sounds, and characters abuzz in its boroughs, New York is the antithesis of a cookie-cutter city. How do filmmakers approach this ever-changing landscape to render our hometown and its ultra-contrasting neighborhoods? Panelists include “Arias With a Twist” director Bobby Sheehan and performer Joey Arias, “Monogamy” writer/director Dana Adam Shapiro, “The Woodmans” director C. Scott Willis, and actor/writer Hill Harper. Moderated by NY1’s Budd Mishkin.

Authors at the Helm
Monday, April 26
12 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, Union Square

Whether it’s a novelist, screenwriter, playwright, or songwriter, crossing the line from page to screen is no easy feat. Hear the difficulties and triumphs of the process from some of the best jacks-of-all-trades in the biz. Panelists include “Nice Guy Johnny” writer/director Edward Burns, “Snap” writer/director and playwright Carmel Winters, and Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Grammy-winning recording artist and writer/director of “The Sentimental Engine Slayer.” Moderated by The New Yorker’s Susan Orlean.


Free panel discussions will explore the business and technology sides of filmmaking.

Is The Sky Falling? A Closer Look at the Future of Film Distribution
Friday, April 23
2 p.m.
SVA Theater 2

Depending on whom you ask, the landscape of film distribution is changing either for the better or worse. So which is it? Is the sky really falling on the film industry? Join filmmakers, sales agents, and distributors in a discussion about enabling independent film and filmmakers to reach audiences and make money in this digital landscape. Panelists include Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia Pictures, Ted Hope, producer/partner of This Is That Productions, Efe Cakarel, founder and CEO of The Auteurs, Arvind Ethan David, CEO of Slingshot Studios and producer of The Infidel, Paul Cohen, president of Red Hills Releasing, and Marc Simon, partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP.. Moderated by Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises.

Checking Up On Docs: A Conversation with Sheila Nevins
Sunday, April 25
1 p.m.
SVA Theater 2

As the landscape of nonfiction film continues to evolve in today’s complex market, the documentary form has taken on a more central role in filmmaking around the world. For more than 20 years, Sheila Nevins and HBO Documentary Films have been at the forefront of exposing innovative new documentary films to a wider audience. Join us for a conversation with Sheila Nevins to hear her perspective with Tribeca’s own Geoff Gilmore, as they candidly discuss why documentaries are more important today than ever before.

Digital Cinema: Learning and Loving the New Distribution Paradigm
Monday, April 26
12 p.m.
SVA Theater 1

Sponsored by Cinedigm Entertainment Group
As cinemas replace 35mm projectors with digital equipment, it literally upends the old-fashioned indie release model. From virtual red carpet premieres and talent Q&As, to releasing indie film series and concerts/events, Cinedigm’s digital theatrical distribution allows producers and talent to connect with fans in ways that have never been utilized before. Make sure you fully realize the enormous impact of the global digital cinema conversion on both revenue downstreams and release opportunities. Learn from Cinedigm’s experienced team and outside producers how you can benefit from digital theatrical distribution. Panelists include Michele Martell, COO of Cinedigm Entertainment Group; Jonathan Dern, award-winning producer, LIVE 3D Programming, Concerts, Animation; producer Mark Ehrenkranz of the NY Film Critics Series; and J. Todd Harris, producer of “Bottle Shock,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “Crooked Arrows.”

Docs Doing It Right
Monday, April 26
2 p.m.
SVA Theater 2
Sponsored by Panavision

Documentary filmmaking is no walk in the park. The demanding conditions, inexhaustible research, mobile subjects, and sometimes impossible access is enough to make any documentarian’s head spin. Even the most weathered of the bunch will run into obstacles, but with a few tricks and the correct preparation and equipment, nothing is unattainable. Join Alexandra Codina (“Monica & David”), Thorkell Hardarson (“Feathered Cocaine”), Paul Crowder and Jon Small (“Last Play at Shea”), and reps from Panavision as they discuss the joys and the dramas of capturing true stories. Moderated by The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai.

Dollar and Sense: Making the Most of Your Production Budget
Wednesday, April 28
3 p.m.
SVA Theater 1
Sponsored by SAP

Filmmakers know what’s important in making their film: the best script, the best actors, and getting the biggest bang for every dollar spent on production. Whether it’s $100,000 or $100 million, managing resources and getting the utmost creative impact out of the budget is key. Attend this panel with SAP, the world’s leading software company to the major film studios, as they show you a solution that can help guide independent filmmakers and producers through the bumpy roads of filmmaking from pre-production through post-production. Join Craig Cohen, producer of “Beware the Gonzo,” Jen Gatien, producer of “Meskada,” Jordan Horowitz, producer of “Meet Monica Velour,” and SAP representatives as they discuss what to do after your film is financed and how the right software can be your A+ support system through thick and thin.

Talking With Pictures
Thursday, April 29
2 p.m.
SVA Theater 2
Sponsored by Kodak

There are a million and one ways to tell a story, and twice as many stories to tell. Whether it’s a comedy, romance, noir, horror, or sci-fi, the look of a film has a major role in determining and defining the tone. But does the visual style define genre or does genre dictate visual style? The collaboration of directors and cinematographers results in the ability to capture and convey narrative through the use of shadow, darkness, and light. The gasp of fear or a feeling of nostalgia can be achieved by a gel on a lens or the framing of the scene. Join writer/director Lee Isaac Chung (“Lucky Life”), director Jacob Tierney (“The Trotsky”), producer Jon Kilik (“Babel” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”) and other TFF filmmakers and cinematographers in a discussion that proves there is always more than meets the eye.

Advance selection ticket packages are now on sale for American Express Cardmembers and for the general public. All advance packages can be purchased online at, or by telephone, toll free, at (866) 941-FEST (3378).