EXCLUSIVE: Sources close to the Tribeca Film Festival inform us that the 19th edition has been postponed. The fest was to take place from April 15-26. The news follows just as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued a statewide ban of gatherings of more than 500 people.
That ruling forced 31 Broadway productions currently on the boards to shut down through April 12, and eight shows set to begin previews over the next month will be postponed. Cuomo’s rule would have impacted the opening night of Tribeca, which was to take place at the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side of Broadway and seats over 2,800. The opening night pic scheduled was director Mary Wharton’s Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President – a rockumentary-style presidential portrait that shows how popular music helped propel the folksy peanut farmer from rural Georgia to the White House.
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Health comes first for the festival and their attendees and this was a decision that they didn’t make lightly.
In statement given to Deadline, Tribeca co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises Jane Rosenthal said:
“We founded the Tribeca Film Festival as a way to heal our community after the devastation of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. We were determined to overcome our fear and anxiety by joining together. It is in our DNA to march forward while caring about our community.”
“We have made the difficult decision to postpone the 19th Tribeca Film Festival (April 15-26) based on the announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that events of 500 people or more are banned due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of the public while also supporting our friends, filmmakers and storytellers who look to Tribeca as a platform to showcase their work to audiences. We will be back to you shortly with our plans.”
Tribeca’s features program will include 115 films from 124 filmmakers from across 33 different countries. The line-up includes 95 world premieres, 2 international premieres, 4 North American premieres, 4 U.S. premieres, and 9 New York premieres and one sneak preview.
As of this morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that NYC had 95 cases of the coronavirus and could have as many as 1K next week as he declared a state emergency in NYC. As of Thursday, New York State had confirmed 328 coronavirus cases, with 112 of those added overnight. Of those total state cases, 148 were in Westchester County.
Cuomo issued that the New York city suburb of New Rochelle was a one-mile containment zone. Beginning today, National Guard troops are arriving to help clean public spaces and deliver food to those quarantined. Four miles outside the containment area, Westchester County Police reportedly shut down Glen Island Park on the Long Island Sound, to set up a testing site for those possibly infected with COVID-19.
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