Deniro Con: A Tribute to an Icon at the Tribeca Film Festival

From June 14th to June 16th, the Tribeca Film Festival hosted an extraordinary event, Deniro Con, celebrating the illustrious career and 80th birthday of New York icon and Tribeca co-founder, Robert De Niro.

This special tribute brought together a remarkable lineup of De Niro’s collaborators, including Chazz Palminteri, Quentin Tarantino, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Christopher Walken, Martin Scorsese, and Nas, among others.

A Star-Studded Celebration

Deniro Con was an extraordinary gathering that honored De Niro’s extensive career and contributions to cinema. The event featured a multitude of panels, discussions, and screenings, highlighting the legendary actor’s collaborations and iconic roles. The presence of industry giants and close associates underscored De Niro’s significant impact on film and his enduring legacy.

Opening Day: “Jackie Brown” Screening and Tarantino Conversation

The festivities kicked off on June 14th with a screening of “Jackie Brown” at the SVA Theater. Presented in its original 35mm format, the screening was followed by an engaging 45-minute conversation between Quentin Tarantino and Robert De Niro. The discussion delved into De Niro’s portrayal of Louis, a character marked by his minimal dialogue but profound physicality and nuanced expressions.

Tarantino admitted to a slight regret for not giving De Niro more lines, recognizing the actor’s exceptional talent with dialogue. However, he praised De Niro’s ability to convey depth through subtle gestures and expressions, capturing the complexity of a man dulled by prison but not devoid of intelligence. They also reflected on broader filmmaking aspects, such as the importance of authentic period settings and the dynamic relationships between actors and directors. Tarantino lauded De Niro’s versatility, acknowledging how he captivates audiences across diverse roles.

Day Two: “Mean Streets” and a Dialogue with Scorsese and Nas

On June 15th, the Beacon Theatre hosted a screening of “Mean Streets,” followed by a riveting conversation featuring Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, and moderated by rapper Nas. The dialogue, introduced by Tribeca co-founder Jane Rosenthal, provided a retrospective on the prolific 50-year collaboration between Scorsese and De Niro, which began with “Mean Streets” and spanned ten films, including their latest, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Scorsese discussed the enduring relevance of “Mean Streets,” highlighting its authentic depiction of New York City’s essence, loyalty, and immigrant experiences. He shared anecdotes about the film’s production challenges, including navigating local organized crime and funding obstacles. De Niro and Scorsese emphasized the authenticity and lasting impact of their work, comparing their cinematic influence to that of top-tier musicians in their fields.


De Niro Is an Icon: An Exhibit & Immersive Film

A central feature of Deniro Con was the exhibit “DE NIRO IS AN ICON: AN EXHIBIT & IMMERSIVE FILM,” held at Spring Studios in Tribeca. This career-spanning exhibit celebrated De Niro’s 80 years with over 300 items primarily sourced from his personal archive. The collection included rare images and videos, annotated scripts, costumes, research materials, and storyboards, offering fans a comprehensive look at his monumental career.

A standout element of the exhibit was the short film “De Niro, New York,” produced by Little Cinema and showcased within the Hexadome. This cutting-edge structure, crafted by Berlin’s Institute for Sound and Music, provided an immersive viewing experience, further highlighting De Niro’s deep connection to New York City.


Screenings Around the City

In addition to the central exhibits at Spring Studios, Deniro Con screenings took place across various theaters in New York City, including the iconic Beacon Theatre. These screenings allowed fans to revisit De Niro’s seminal works in classic cinematic settings, enhancing the celebratory atmosphere of the event.


Deniro Con was a fitting tribute to Robert De Niro’s monumental contributions to film and his indelible mark on the industry. Through insightful conversations, rare exhibits, and nostalgic screenings, the event encapsulated the essence of De Niro’s career, celebrating the man who has become a true icon of cinema and a beloved figure in New York City. As De Niro continues to inspire future generations, Deniro Con stands as a testament to his enduring legacy and unparalleled talent.

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