This week the big April film festivals are tripping all over each other churning out announcements of film premieres, starry panels, schedules, events and so much more. Directly competing for attention — and against each other — on opposite coasts are, of course, the ever-growing Tribeca Film Festival in New York and the San Francisco International Film Festival which seems to be going strong despite the untimely tragic passings of its last two leaders, Graham Leggat and his successor Bingham Ray. Both fests get underway on April 19th after Tribeca offers up their World Premiere opener, Universal’s comedy, The Five-Year Engagement on April 18. SFIFF will open the next evening with Benoit Jacquot’s Farewell My Queen. This week that fest announced five-time Oscar nominee Kenneth Branagh will receive their prestigious Founders Directing Award on April 27th, while Tribeca announced they will be closing their fest the next day with the World Premiere of sure-to-be summer blockbuster The Avengers from Disney and Marvel. Earlier this week Tribeca announced an intriguing panel with founder Robert DeNiro , Meryl Streep and Judd Apatow discussing Universal’s first 100 years. Tribeca is particularly agressive in trying to move up in the world film festival hierarchy. The whole team was out in L.A. last week for a party touting this year’s fest. Tribeca Fest Director Geoff Gilmore told me they really decided to go for some of the most intriguing titles this year and thinks the effort has paid off in an exciting lineup he thinks will gain strong attention.
It may be hard for Hollywood to compete with these two well-regarded fests but a pair of my favorites are also happening right in the heart of L.A. and right around (more…)