"We've heard the complaints and it's all about the customer now," Tribeca Film Festival co-exec director Nancy Schafer tells the New York Post's Lou Lumenick today, unveiling a drop in ticket prices and a shift to fewer uptown venues. "We take the complaints very seriously." Just after Lumenick's story this morning, the festival officially announced that it will have two lower Manhattan and Union Square "hubs," abandoning showings at the Battery Park venues near World Trade Center, where the fest was anchored in its early years.
Schafer and co-exec director Paola Freccero are repairing the image of the event in the wake of bad press last year following the 50% ticket price jump. While it may still seem odd to have a Tribeca fest not entirely anchored in Lower Manhattan, the event has apparently found it hard to secure downtown venues in the neighborhood, apparently priced out of the Battery Park multiplex. Fewer screens and a tighter fest roster this year -- programmers are aiming for 120 to 125 features, rather than nearly 160 -- are the sort of changes that some critics have been calling for as the event heads into year seven.