The Tribeca Festival announced “De Niro Con,” a three-day fan event this fall in celebration of Robert De Niro’s 80th birthday. Martin Scorsese gave a loving tribute to his close friend and collaborator, whom Mayor Eric Adams presented with the key to the city at a reception tonight.
The event at festival headquarters on Greenwich Street ahead of opening night was packed despite acrid smoke across the city from Canadian wildfires.
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“Thank you for braving the Canadian winds,” said Jane Rosenthal, who founded the festival with De Niro, told the crowd that included Mark Ruffalo, Pam Grier and Matt Damon, a producer with Ben Affleck and Sarah Anthony of opening-night documentary Kiss the Future.
De Niro Con will take place from September 29-October 1 at Spring Studios in New York City with screenings, panels and talks by the actor’s longtime friends and associates.
Adams warned New Yorkers today to stay inside if they could to avoid the breathing air fouled by smoke from multiple forest fires on the Canadian border. It was a first for the city, where many on the streets were sporting masks.
The mayor anticipated a multi-day bad-air event, but the air seemed better Wednesday night than it was in the morning.
Scorsese, De Niro’s longtime friend and collaborator on 10 films, thanked the “good fortune that we somehow met at the age of 16 over 50-some-odd years ago. … But the point is that the good fortune is something that can’t be summed up in one sentence or, or in some platitude of any kind. I mean, if you can see the movies that says that says it because it’s based on trust and love. And that’s how those films were made, including the last the latest one,” he said, referring to Killers of the Flower Moon, which opens October 6 domestically.
He praised the festival, forged out of 9/11, and said De Niro has remained “devoted over the years to his craft, and the arts” in NYC, which is “the most vibrant, alive location.
“And Bob, it’s amazing. You did all this without having the keys until now.”
Said Mayor Adams: “You deserve this key to the City of New York because you have opened our hearts for years and for generations. We all grew up on you. I don’t care what ethnicity, what community — South Jamaica, South Bronx, Lower East Side. Doesn’t matter where you are. Everyone knew this New York taxi driver was able to drive this to new abilities that we are now. Thank you, brother, for this.”
De Niro said he was “honored to accept that recognition on behalf of my 8½ million neighbors.”
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