Family Festival keeps it fresh

Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival Play ball — on April 27, at ESPN Sports Day.
Image courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival
Play ball — on April 27, at ESPN Sports Day.

Short films, sports, Smurfs, bubbles and more

BY KAITLYN MEADE  |  Every year, the Tribeca Film Festival’s free annual street fair attracts families from all over the city to its wide array of programs. This year, there are several exciting additions for young filmmakers and movie lovers. The fair takes place Saturday, April 27, 10am to 6pm, on Greenwich Street between Chambers and Hubert Streets, and at venues throughout Tribeca.

“This year we are introducing special subject areas, like the Tribeca Back Lot and the Food Feast,” said Downing, as well as bringing back popular elements from previous years.

The Tribeca Studios Backlot will bring elements of a real movie set to one Downtown street. Families will learn how to pitch an original movie, use a green screen, animate their stories and take workshops on stunts, makeup and editing. Demonstrations of high-tech filming and special effects will be given by Chicago’s Tribeca Flashpoint Academy and the Tribeca Film Institute will be holding movie hacking sessions where you can flip the script and take the lead role in a familiar movie.

Also new this year, the Tribeca Food Feast will be a delectable section of the fair featuring city chefs who will provide entertainment, culinary secrets and, of course, tastings from food vendors from select local restaurants and food trucks from around NYC. Hands-on activities will be cake-icing, meatball-baking and taste-testing.

Broadway will also be jazz-stepping its way Downtown this year with performances from the casts of “Annie,” “Wicked,” “Cinderella,” “Kinky Boots,” “Motown: The Musical” and “Hands On A Hardbody.”

An exclusive sneak preview of “The Smurfs 2” (along with a free screening of “The Smurfs”) will be taking place at 11am at Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center, at 199 Chambers Street (between Greenwich and West Streets). There may also be a special appearance by cast member Christina Ricci. Hosted by Time Out Kids, admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. The line will form thirty minutes prior to showtime.

A number of booths offer unique arts and crafts for kids of all ages. Kids can make a “VIP Pass” which will then be stamped at each area of the festival they visit, with prizes awarded for filling up a pass completely. Learn about recycling by creating creatures from recycled materials at the ScrapKins booth, along with chalk art and face painting.

Masters of the art of kiting will be at The Kite Place to teach kids how to make and fly their own kite designs. The Gazillion Bubble Garden, similarly, is a haven for bubbles (with wands of all shapes and sizes).

Puppet shows and workshops will be offered by Puppetworks, Inc. and Noel MacNeal, whose book “10 Minute Puppets” teaches parents and kids how to make to make entertaining puppet partners anywhere, in ten minutes or less, using everyday materials.

Other participants include CHESS NYC, the Young Storytellers Foundation, Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink in Central Park and the New York Philharmonic’s Credit Suisse Very Young Composers.

 OUT OF THE CINEMA, IN THE  BALL GAME  Also on April 27, from 10am to 6pm, the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day will return to Tribeca for its seventh year. The beloved Downtown event has brought in sports heroes from across the city and encouraged kids and parents alike to get up, get out and play ball. This year, it will take place on North Moore Street, between Greenwich and West Streets.

ESPN will give fans the chance to take home memorabilia and get their picture taken behind the ESPN New York desk. The NFL’s  PLAY 60 campaign, designed to encourage kids to lead an active lifestyle, will be running football agility drills and doing periodic giveaways. Life-size cutouts of well-known professional athletes will be walking (well, standing) on the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival red carpet for fans to pose with.

Highlights include contests, interactive games and giveaways by the New York Rangers and New York Mets. It’s also an invaluable opportunity for kids to try out new activities. There is something for everyone, from inflatable lacrosse or Ultimate Frisbee to skateboarding or Double Dutch jump roping. Activities will be provided by the Downtown Giants Youth Football and New York Women’s Baseball. Olympians and elite athletes will teach kids the basics of safe fencing at the Fencing Club. The Staten Island Yankees mascot Scooter the Holy Cow will be around and most likely invite you to try your luck on the Baby Bombers skeeball inflatable. The up-and-coming Tribeca Sailing NYC, soon to launch from Pier 25, will have sailing games, knot-tying and prizes.

There also will be demonstrations of cricket, newly reintroduced to TFF, and the award-winning Myachi Original Hand Sack.

SHORT FILMS ON LARGE SILVER SCREENS  The TFF program “Downtown Youth Behind The Camera” is putting filmmaking tools in the hands of elementary and middle school students for its tenth consecutive year. These young Downtown filmmakers produce their very own short films, which will be shown at a special screening at noon on Sunday, April 21 at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues). The Film Fellows with Tribeca Film Institute is also screening a series of short films created by Downtown student filmmakers (ages 16-18). The program, recommended for those ages 12 and up, plays Saturday, April 27 at 11am at the Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street, at Franklin Street).