First-time director and native New Yorker Rod Blackhurst will see his film, "Here Alone," premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday. We asked him about his hometown, the festival and his favorite place to eat in NYC.

What does the Tribeca Film Festival mean to you?

Class. Prestige. Fresh.  

Has New York City inspired your work in any way?

New York is a town where your work speaks for itself. Two years ago I moved back east after spending several years on the west coast. The film industry in Los Angeles was far more interested in egos, cheap talk and inflated ideas about oneself, whereas in New York, people value action and results. As a filmmaker it’s so wonderful to be surrounded by people who are hustling as quietly and as a hard as you are -- focused on the work.  

What’s your favorite restaurant in NYC?

Maman -- Wonderful little French cafe/bakery right in the heart of TriBeCa at 211 W. Broadway. Great atmosphere and tasty treats.  

Yellow cab, Uber or subway?

Like all independent filmmakers, I’m perpetually financially challenged, and therefore take the subway. Favorite subway line? Any that run above ground over the East River so I can watch the city go by.  

Why should Tribeca audiences see your film/project?

Chances are you’ve heard of the other fiction features at the festival, or at least their well-known cast members. We’re the underdogs. Aren’t you curious about the David amongst the Goliaths?