Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal on what's in store for Tribeca 2013

Tribeca Film Festival founders Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal discuss what's in store for 2013. CBS

Robert De Niro and film producer Jane Rosenthal -- co-founders of the Tribeca Film Festival -- officially kicked off their annual movie event on Wednesday.

Thousands of cinephiles have converged in downtown Manhattan to see more than 200 new and classic films presented at Tribeca this year, in addition to panels with high-profile directors and actors including Clint Eastwood.

De Niro and Rosenthal sat down with CBSNews.com to discuss this year's festival, which will end with one of De Niro's older films, 1983's "The King of Comedy," co-starring Jerry Lewis and directed by Martin Scorsese.

CBSNEWS.COM: I wanted to start at the end. One of the film's closing the festival this year is "The King of Comedy."

ROBERT DE NIRO: Yes.

CBSNEWS.COM: And it's a restored version.

DE NIRO: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. I haven't seen it...I'd say it's been at least 20 years for me. It will be like a new experience of a sort. It will bring back memories of things not only in the movie that I did, but just at that time 30 years ago. I'm looking forward to talking to Marty about it and reminiscing and whatever questions there are and so on.

JANE ROSENTHAL: When we announced the festival 12 years ago, Marty was always the one who said we should do discovered or restored films. And we've tried to do that every year. He has the film foundation that he works very hard on restoring films that would be lost if we don't restore them. Turns out "The King of Comedy" was one of those films...It was obviously just a naturally fit to do that with Bob and Marty.

CBSNEWS.COM: What about Jerry Lewis? Do you think we'll see him at the screening?

ROSENTHAL: As of now, no. But, who knows.

CBSNEWS.COM: There's also a lot of other things going on at the festival this year.

ROSENTHAL: It's the 50th anniversary of "The Birds" and the 25th anniversary of "Beetlejuice"...We have a number of director conversations this year. Clint Eastwood and Darren Aronofsky. You'll be able to stream that live as well as look at a number of films at the festival. So if you can't be in New York, you can stream them and be part of the festival. Jay Roach and Ben Stiller will be here. Mira Nair will be talking about her film "Reluctant Fundamentalist" with Bryce Dallas Howard...there's a lot of great character stories, everyone from Moms Mabley to Muhammed Ali and Richard Pryor.

CBSNEWS.COM: What is it like for the two of you while the festival is going on? What emotions are going on there?

DE NIRO: Well, part of it is stressful. The other part of it -- fun...informative. Seeing movies for me that I'm not able to see before...Basically I enjoy it.

ROSENTHAL: It's all those things. The thing I love though is seeing who shows up for the movies. We've got all kinds of audiences coming to the festival...You just never know, we're such an international city. And everybody is game for everything.

CBSNEWS.COM: One of the main objectives when you both first started this film festival was a revitalization of downtown New York after 9/11. Would you say mission accomplished?

DE NIRO: Yes. I mean I think everything...I don't know the statistics but --

ROSENTHAL: I think yes, without question...there've been more new residences that have moved into downtown. Seven new schools have opened. It's quite extraordinary. But downtown has gone through a lot. It'll be the six month anniversary of [Hurricane] Sandy. A lot of folks still aren't in their homes. A lot of small businesses still haven't opened. A lot of schoolchildren aren't going to their schools. So we hope that we can bring part of that community to Tribeca and make sure that they too have something to look forward to.

The 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival will be held until April 28.

  • Ken Lombardi On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

Comments