First Time Fest and Tribeca Film Salute Robert De Niro February 24
By: Ellis Nassour
First Time Fest, a film festival which debuted last year to celebrate first-time feature films and showcase first films of established filmmakers, and Tribeca Film Institute will present First Exposure, a benefit screening of Oscar winner Robert De Niro’s directorial debut, A Bronx Tale, Monday, February 24th, at the Village East Cinema (Second Avenue at 12th Street). Entertainment figures will be onhand to celebrate the film’s/De Niro’s directoral debut for this 20th Anniversary screening. Proceeds benefit First Time Fest and outreach programs of the Institute.
The evening starts at 6 P.M with a cocktail reception with De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, and Tony Bennett set to attend, followed by the screening, and an exclusive conversation with De Niro and co-star Palminteri, who wrote the screenplay adapted from his short-lived 1989 Off Broadway solo play [revived for Broadway in 2007]. The complex story, involving murder, gang violence, racial strife, and interracial marriage, tells of a 60s Italian father (De Niro) battling a crime boss (Palminteri) for the life of his son.
Featured players include Lillo Brancato, Jr. [Matt Bevilagua on The Sopranos; The Adventures of Pluto Nash; and in lurid 2005 headlines, arrested for burglary, and imprisoned], Francis Capra [no relation to legendary director Frank Capra], Kathrine Narducci, Taral Hicks, Joe D’Onofrio, and a cameo by Joe Pesi.
FTF’s goal, during their five-day event [this year, April 3-7], is exposing debuting filmmakers is theatrical distribution and international sales representation. Panels, workshops, and screenings take place at NeueHouse, 110 East 25th Street [between Park and Lexington Avenues]. For more information, visit www.firsttimefest.com.
Not-for-profit Tribeca Film Institute, founded by De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of 9/11, "champions storytellers to be catalysts for change in their communities and around the world" through hands-on training, grants, and educational and development programs. There’re more than 25,000 students annually. For more information, visit www.tribecafilminstitute.org.
Tickets for the First Time Fest and Tribeca Film Institute’s special First Exposure benefit are: $250 ticket which screening and Q&A; $500 for reception and premium seating. Purchase at www.tribecafilminstitute.org/support or by calling (212) 274-8080 X. 17.