Tribeca Film Festival 2011: Guide to Tickets, Passes, and More

Are you ready for this year's Tribeca Film Festival? 2011 is the tenth anniversary of New York City's biggest and fastest-growing fete of local and international independent cinema, bringing in thousands of cineastes and celebrities from all over the world. This year's festival kicks off in with a Cameron Crowe documentary about Elton John and singer/songwriter Leon Russell and ends with a performance by John himself, but you don't have to be Sir Elton to get access to the Tribeca Film Festival's 88 feature-length and 61 short films – being a part of the fun is as easy as paying the price of a movie ticket.

General Admission

The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 20 to May 1, and as in previous years, there will be well over 1,000 screenings all over Manhattan (not just below Canal St.), meaning that some films will be relatively easy to get into, and cheap to see, even if you don't have a festival pass. Tickets for weekend and evening screenings (after 6:00 p.m.) run $16 apiece for general admission, while late night (after 11:00 p.m.) and matinee screenings (before 6:00 p.m.) are just $8 dollars each – a veritable bargain for New York prices. Students with a valid ID and lower Manhattan residents can also grab a $2 per ticket discount off those evening and weekend screenings.


Of course, there's a catch: Tickets ordered online or by phone carry a $3.50 to $5 fee, plus a $3 print-at-home "ticket delivery fee" or $3 will call fee (unless you pick your tickets up at an official Tribeca Cinemas Ticket Outlet location). Those fees add up to a percentage fast-approaching the full price of a ticket, but your only option to avoid the fleecing is to purchase tickets in advance at the venue where the screening is held, or wait in line for $8 rush tickets 45 minutes prior to a film's scheduled start time.

Passes and Packages

Fee gripes aside, the bigger question is whether you can get in to see your film of choice. Attendees with designs on a specific buzz film or director might want to consider one of Tribeca Film Festival 2011's ticket packages. These bundles come at a premium price, but guarantee you get to see what choose.

The Cadillac option is the Hudson Pass, which at $1200, gives the passholder access to all screenings, all Tribeca Talks (after-movie panel discussions from filmmakers, seminars by industry insiders, and more), and to the Filmmaker Lounge (a place to relax, schmooze, and snack in between flicks).

For those less-inclined to dive into the monetary commitment of the Hudson bundle, Tribeca Film Festival 2011 offers several more reasonably-priced packages: The Harrison Ticket Package (10 general screening passes for $250) and the Franklin Ticket Packages (20 general screening tickets for $450 total) good for all weekend, evening, late-night, and matinee shows. The real benefit of these packages is that you get access to early ticket selection online (which must be reserved by April 7), so that you can be sure to get in to see the movie you want to see.

The final, and somewhat amusing package is the Programmers' Picks package, wherein programmers will tailor a slate of six films (with two tickets admission each) based on the result of a short questionnaire – a perfect idea for couples who want to make the most of a vast and perhaps a little overwhelming slate of movies.

Purchase Tribeca Film Festival 2011 tickets, packages, and passes.

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