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By Film Threat Staff | April 18, 2006

The Tribeca Film Institute announced a slate of programs to take place during the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival including the Tribeca Film Fellows program, a special gala screening of films by New York City youth filmmakers entitled Our City, My Story, and the program Once Upon A Time in Marrakech featuring student films created during the Marrakech/Tribeca Filmmaker Exchange last November and a new short film by legendary director Abbas Kiarostami.

For the second year, the Institute will host the Tribeca Film Fellows Programs where young filmmakers witness the excitement of a major film festival while exchanging ideas, exploring the possibilities of cinema, and developing their own visions and voices through film. 21 young producers, ages 15-19, from all five boroughs of New York City, were selected to experience panel discussions, workshops, screenings, and special events and receive mentoring by notable festival film directors.

Other aspects of the Film Fellows program include an “Industry Fair” where Fellows get the rare opportunity to network with film and industry players. Students will be treated to screenings of festival selections Akeelah and the Bee, Word.Life, and Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig, among others. The program will run on April 25-30 and May 4-7.

Outstanding short films made over the last year by New York City youth filmmakers and directors will be given a gala premiere by the Tribeca Film Institute at the 2nd Annual Youth Media Gala Screening, Our City, My Story, on April 29th in a program hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. Nine short films will be screened at the event, three of which were created by members of this year’s Film Fellows group. The gala will provide a unique forum for the Film Fellows to network with many members of the local youth media community who will be present. Performances by young artists and poets will also be part of Our City, My Story on Saturday, April 29th at 5:15 PM at AMC Loews 34th Street.

During the Festival, the Tribeca Film Institute will also host a reunion for the participants of the Marrakech/Tribeca Filmmaker Exchange, where eight students currently attending Hunter College in New York City and eight Morocco-based filmmakers of varying backgrounds were treated to an intensive filmmaking workshop led by two of the world’s most honored directors, Abbas Kiarostami and Martin Scorsese in November 2005. The Once Upon A Time in Marrakech Program will feature a screening of many student films made last November, a screening of a behind-the-scenes documentary of the Marrakech program by Kiarostami’s award-winning cinematographer, Seifollah Samadian, called Once Upon A Time in Marrakech, and a new short film by Kiarostami, Roads of Kiarostami. Additional screenings, panel discussions, special events will round out the program, while the students will again be given the opportunity to work in pairs and explore New York City with their video cameras. The Once Upon A Time In Marrakech Program will take place on Saturday, April 29 at 1:45 PM at AMC Loews 34th Street Theatre 10 and on Wednesday May 3 at 3:00 PM at PACE on 1 Pace Plaza.

“One of our principal missions is to help nurture and provide the community of young filmmakers with the vital experience and expertise necessary for them to thrive,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-chair of the Tribeca Film Institute. “These programs are significant in helping those just starting out, whether locally in New York or internationally in Morocco, to work together to creatively tell their stories of different cultures and backgrounds.”

“We are thrilled to be working with such talented and creative groups of young directors in both programs,” said Sydney Meeks, Interim President and CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute. “The participants were chosen following a rigorous and highly selective application process, and we hope to provide them all with new opportunities and resources for successful filmmaking careers.”

The Institute also announced Tribeca Family Festival on Wheels, the continuation of its partnership with the Lollipop Theater Network (LOLLIPOP), a charity dedicated to bringing the magic of movies to children confined to hospitals due to chronic or life-threatening illnesses nationwide.

The two organizations will present the Second Annual “Tribeca Family Festival on Wheels.” This unique collaboration, sponsored by Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at NY-Presbyterian, will screen selections from the 2006 Tribeca Family Film Festival for pediatric patients. Films slated to be screened include Lassie (this update of the classic children’s film features Peter O’Toole, Peter Dinklage, and Samantha Morton), Laura’s Star, an animated feature from Germany, and Peace Tree, a story of religious tolerance told through the eyes of two young girls. Film directors and cast members will attend the screenings at the hospital and participate in Q&A sessions with the audience.

For more info, visit the Tribeca Film Festival website.

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