Robert De Niro touts New York City filmmaking as second Tribeca Film Festival begins
Wednesday, May 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
NEW YORK (AP) _ Why have so many great films been shot in New York?
Because New York is the greatest city in the world, Robert De Niro said upon the start of the second annual Tribeca Film Festival.
``It's just got everything, you know? What else can I say? It's just got everything and it's got the energy,'' De Niro said at a news conference Tuesday.
To celebrate the city's cinematic history, festival organizers announced the ``Set in New York'' program, in which plaques will be placed at spots where well-known films were shot.
``It's the first official designation of famous New York City film sites, and a way to make the Tribeca Film Festival something that will last all year long,'' said John Hayes, executive vice president of American Express, the festival's founding sponsor. ``Since New York City is the backdrop for so many great films throughout the history of film, it's only fitting to have a permanent program to recognize the importance of New York City film locations.''
The first location will be Katz's Deli, were Meg Ryan famously faked an orgasm as perky Sally Albright during ``When Harry Met Sally ...''
The 1989 comedy, which was voted the most romantic New York film in an online festival poll, will screen Thursday night in a makeshift 1950s drive-in setting along the Hudson River.
Among the other films shot in New York that are screening at the festival are Spike Lee's ``Do the Right Thing'' and ``She's Gotta Have It,'' the new features ``Ash Tuesday'' and ``Duke's House'' and the documentaries ``Ashtanga, NY'' and ``Cinemania.''
De Niro and his partner in the Tribeca Films production company, Jane Rosenthal, organized the festival last year to help lower Manhattan rebound economically from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The event is bigger and longer this year, with about 200 features, shorts and documentaries screening over nine days.
Even though De Niro was talking about the neighborhood where he lives and works, the 59-year-old actor was typically reticent when asked what he hopes the festival achieves: ``Uh, well. It'll only, uh ... you know what I hope it does. We all know,'' he said with a trademark shrug and grin, drawing laughs from the crowd. ``What are we all here for?''