by Katherine Fox
The Tribeca Film Festival on the Road stopped at the Rialto Theatre from Oct. 21-23, allowing American Express cardholders the opportunity to view independent movies that originated from the annual Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
One of the most widely anticipated movies at the festival was Janie Jones, starring Academy Award Nominee Abigail Breslin. Breslin attended the Friday night showing of the movie, and according to senior Danielle Lipschutz, spoke with the audience afterwards and even took pictures with fans outside of the theater.
Breslin said, “I think that it is good to bring the festival to an area that doesn’t have a festival of its own.”
Breslin, whose mother grew up in Summit, said, “For me, having the show [in Westfield] is very special because in New York all of my friends could see the movie, but tonight all of my mom’s family is here to support me, which is very special.”
With the festival becoming more popular each year, American Express, the festival’s founding sponsor, decided to take the festival on the road. According to americanexpress.com, the cities chosen for the first year of the Tribeca Film Festival on the Road were Houston, San Francisco, Chicago and Westfield. According to American Express PR Representative Emily Favret, tickets to these shows could only be purchased by American Express cardholders with prices ranging from $8-12.
These tickets gave customers access to the movie of their choice as well as a red carpet premiere and to an after-party at Acquaviva on Friday.
Said Westfield Resident Jennifer Schildge, “It was fun to have a little excitement tossed into what would otherwise be an ordinary night at the movies.”
The event also featured appearances by the filmmakers. A few of the actors walked the red carpet along with the directors and producers before the movie and held question and answer sessions with the audience afterwards.
Although Westfield was the smallest city on the tour, residents and stars alike were excited for the opportunity to have the event in Westfield.
Senior Maddie Rosenberg said: “I think that having this festival in Westfield made people feel as if they were sitting at the actual festival in New York. It made people want to spend the night in town and it even attracted a lot of people from other towns nearby.”
Schildge said, “It was great to be able to walk to a special night at the movies in my hometown.”
The Tribeca Film Festival began in 2001 by Robert DeNiro, Jan Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff. According to tribecafilmfestival.com, the festival was started as a way to help increase the economy and culture of lower Manhattan, following the attacks on the World Trade center with the goal of providing filmmakers with the largest possible audience.