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De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival

Deniro

Festival founder Robert De Niro poses with "About A Boy" co-stars Nicholas Hoult and Hugh Grant.
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Donna Freydkin
In Style

(In Style) -- The event: A-listers invaded downtown Manhattan for the Tribeca Film Festival and the U.S. premiere of "About a Boy," a comedy starring Brit charmer Hugh Grant.

The screening kicked off the first Tribeca Film Festival, organized by Robert De Niro and aimed at revitalizing lower Manhattan.

De Niro said the festival is "the next logical step in the evolution of New York as the independent film capital of the world. Our commitment to New York and the downtown area has never been stronger."

The festival wraps up on Sunday, May 12 with two benefit screenings of the second Star Wars prequel, Attack of the Clones.

THE GUEST LIST

Grant, De Niro, Hilary Swank, Toni Collette, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Spacey, Kyle MacLachlan

THE SETTING

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The Tribeca Performing Arts Center in downtown Manhattan, an area of the city hit hard by the September 11 terrorist attacks. And the night before the film's premiere, stars gathered to celebrate the festival at a party at the N.Y.C. courthouse, also downtown.

CHARITABLE INTEREST

The $500- and $1,000-a-seat tickets to Sunday's screening of Star Wars will benefit The Children's Aid Society, and free tickets were distributed to families affected by the terrorist attacks.

OVERHEARD

Festival organizer De Niro, a Tribeca resident, encouraged people to shop and eat in the neighborhood: "Things are coming back, but we'd like to help it come back a lot faster." Grant, in awe of the strength of New Yorkers, said: "I have in my time been accused as an actor of being a bit lightweight, and I can assure you I have never felt more lightweight than I do standing in this company." As art supports industry, Hollywood's glitterati are standing up for New York.


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