The inauguration of the Tribeca Film Festival injected a healthy dose of Hollywood tinsel into a still-recovering downtown New York. And while it was too early to tell what boost the festival would bring, certainly there was no shortage of Town Cars below Canal Street for opening night on May 8.
Four screenings of “About a Boy” were held during the evening to accommodate the star power. The Tribeca Performing Arts Center played host to the primary screening attended by cast members Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Grant and Toni Collette; Working Title toppers Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan; and Tribeca toppers Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro.
Sibling helmers Chris and Paul Weitz graciously thanked the crowd for joining them, with Chris quipping, “Let’s face it, we’d all rather be watching ‘Star Wars,’ but thank you for coming.”
Getting to the reception at Regent Wall Street — most recently the site of the Minelli-Gest nuptials — was easily done thanks to the fleet of double-decker sightseeing buses enlisted for the evening. The short trip to the party was peppered with tourist-friendly info. (“On your left, ladies and gentleman, the World Financial Center buildings.”)
About “Boy” opening the fest, Paul Weitz said, “I actually didn’t really know how big a deal it was — I’m probably really naïve.” And proving that the Weitz brothers are indeed sensitive, he said: “I feel really good that it was a humanistic comedy. I’d feel embarrassed if we were opening an action film.”
Also doing their part for downtown: Universal chiefs Stacy Snider, Ron Meyers, Barry Diller and wife Diane von Furstenberg, and guests Bob Balaban, Gary Shandling, John Waters, Tara Subkoff, Billy Crystal, Spalding Gray, Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, Natasha Lyonne, Billy Joel, Barry Levinson, Anna Wintour, Michael Stipe, Sheryl Crow, and Tony Hawk.