Top Tribeca Film Festival Tips

Here's how to get front row seats and make the most of the Tribeca Film Festival

National Geographic's 'Into The Okavango' Screening At Tribeca Film Festival


Bryan Bedder / Stringer/ Getty Images

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2001 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Now it's known for showcasing diverse, independent films in the buzzy streets of lower Manhattan. It's a great chance to see some great films, listen to exciting discussions about movies and media, and spot your favorite celebrities. The 2019 dates are April 24 to May 5. These tips will help you make the most of your Tribeca Film Festival experience. 

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Get The Tribeca Film Festival App

It's free and available for both iPhone and Android, so you have no excuse not to get this helpful TFF app. For festival-goers who are trying to wing it, it makes it easy to find available screenings (it clearly shows what you can get tickets for and what is only available via RUSH tickets.) It also includes plenty of helpful information for navigating and enjoying the festival, including maps, nearby restaurants and more. Find it in your app store. 

02 of 09

Buy Your Tribeca Film Festival Tickets In Advance

At Tribeca Film Festival, the earlier you buy tickets the better. Planning ahead is essential if you want to see specific films or panels. Tickets for individual events (prices start as low as $12) go on sale March 26th on the Tribeca Film Festival website. If you want to buy a bundle (more than one ticket) you can buy them starting February 19th. 

03 of 09

Consider a Tribeca Film Festival Ticket Pass or Package

Tribeca Film Festival sells packages to more than one event. The Hudson Pass, for $1250, gets you into any weekend, evening, or matinee screening. It also includes access to one gala event, all festival events, and talks with directors and screenwriters. If that is out of your price range there are cheaper options. The Matinee package, for example, is $55 and includes six matinee film tickets. 

04 of 09

Get in Line Early If You're Picky (or With a Group)

A ticket gets you admittance into the film, but it doesn't specify your seat. Ticket holders are admitted on a first-come first-serve basis, so if you don't want to sit in the front row or you want to sit with your friends make sure you arrive early. 

Be in line at the venue at least 30 minutes before your screening begins in order to guarantee your admission. Include extra time if you need to pick up your tickets at the box office beforehand.

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05 of 09

Know Where To Get Your Will Call Tickets

Before the festival begins you can pick up your tickets at the Festival Box Office at 54 Varick Street, daily 2-6 p.m. (it opens at 11 a.m. on weekends.) 

Once the festival begins your tickets are available at the will call window of your first event (that can be your first screening or your first talk.) If you don't pick up your tickets at your first event they will be transferred to the venue of your second event. 

Note: You must wait 24-hours after buying your tickets to pick them up. They need that time to process them. 

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Getting Last Minute Tickets to the Tribeca Film Festival

30 minutes before a film or event begins any extra tickets are released to the public. Your best bet to snag one of these is to arrive early and make sure you stand in the door sales ticket line. Door tickets are cash only, so make sure you are prepared. 

Note: This is a difficult way to get tickets. Festival pass holders are given access to the screenings before door sales even begin. Weekday daytime screenings and screenings early in the festival tend to be easier to get tickets for the day of the event. 

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Make the Most of Your Time in Line

It can feel like you're spending all day in line at the Tribeca Film Festival, but there is the way to make the most of it. Talk to fellow festival-goers, and ask them if they've seen anything good or bad. Early in the festival this can be a great chance to discover other films you might not have considered that you don't want to miss. 

The Tribeca Film Festival is a great chance to stretch your film-going experience. If you normally check out blockbusters when you go to the movies, try something new, whether it's a documentary, a foreign film, or a short film. 

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Check out a Tribeca Film Festival Panel Discussion

Going to the Tribeca Film Festival is not just about seeing movies -- the Tribeca Film Festival hosts a variety of Panel Discussions that are lively and interesting (and popular, so get your tickets early!). Often the discussions include directors, screenwriters, even actors so you get a behind the scene glimpse into the films. 

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Be Prepared for Celebrity Sightings

One of the best parts about attending film festivals is that you've got a good chance of seeing actors and directors. They are also attending the festival either premiering their own movie or supporting their peers. One of the best places to celebrity spot during peak times (7-9 p.m. daily) is at the Regal where photographers shoot pictures of celebrities on the red carpet.

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