Robert Downey Jr. at the Tribeca premiere of 'The Avengers' (Photo: Evan Agostini/AP Images)
Smash! The Eleventh Annual Tribeca Film Festival ended in the plus column with a star-studded international premiere of the highly-anticipated Marvel comic mosh pit "The Avengers." Heading the red carpet in New York, where most of the mayhem is set, were stars Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth, among others.
Beyond the glitz of that stellar premiere, the New York based Festival, which began on April 18th with "The Five-Year Engagement," has emerged as a well-run panorama of films from around the world with many genuine premieres. It mixes high-profile studio films trailing A-list stars with lesser-known fiction and nonfiction debuts in a competitive event.
The winners of the 2012 Heineken audience awards this year were independent films boosted with star power. Denis Leary executive produced the documentary "Burn," about a group of firefighters battling blazes in Detroit. Alan Cumming, star of stage and "The Good Wife," plays a gay man in "Any Day Now," attempts to adopt a neglected child in 1970's Los Angeles.
There were many other gems along the way, including the Michelle Williams-Seth Rogen dramedy "Take This Waltz," Emily Blunt's indie "Your Sister's Sister," the John Hawkes drama "The Playroom," the buzzworthy Sundance documentary, "Searching for Sugarman," and the twisty Jo Nesbo thriller "Jackpot."
The Tribeca Film Festival has emerged as a successful festival that knits together Manhattan downtown hipsters, Hollywood glitz that grabs the spotlight, and then shares the glow with lesser-known projects and gritty independent films to create a well-run panorama of cinema from around the world. As the number of films has decreased, the festival has gained impact and focus, with presentations to please everyone from film aficionados to families to star-watchers.
More 2012 Tribeca Film Festival award winners:
- "War Witch" - best narrative feature, best actress
- "Una Noche" - best actor, best new narrative director, best cinematography
- "All In" - best narrative screenplay
- "The World Before Her" - best documentary feature
- "Wavumba" - best new documentary director
Watch a featurette from the making of 'Marvel's The Avengers':
[Related: See more from the Tribeca Film Festival]