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Tribeca: A New York Festival Kicks Off With a Dedication to Boston

Tom Berninger, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Matt Berninger
Stephen Lovekin/Staff/ Getty Images Entertainment

The 12th iteration of the Downtown Manhattan festival kicked off with a documentary about, and a performance by, the indie band The National.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, as a way to bring life back to a devastated lower Manhattan still smoldering from the fall of the Twin Towers. As the curtain was raised on the 12th edition of the now-greatly expanded festival, the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon weighed heavily on the proceedings.

In opening remarks at the opening night screening of Mistaken for Strangers, a documentary about the local indie band The National made by the lead singer's brother, New York favorite Richard Belzer dedicated the festival to the city of Boston.

VIDEO: 'Mistaken for Strangers' Trailer Follows The National on Tour

"Being the New Yorkers that we are, the spirit that we showed after 9/11, and it [was] very, very moving to be able to see people coming out fearlessly," he said, reflecting back on the first Tribeca festival in late 2001. "And now we have the Boston tragedy, and those people showed incredible humanity and bravery. And so tonight, we're going to dedicate this festival to the people of Boston. Tonight we're all Bostonians because we all breathe the same air, we're all part of the same family."

The film -- an unconventional rock doc that focused on the relationship between lead singer Matt Berninger and his younger brother Tom, who served as a roadie on a world tour for the band until he was fired -- earned plenty of laughs for its earnest and honest approach. Behind the scenes footage shot from the quirky perspective of the charismatic man-child of a younger brother, and a meta story contained within about making the actual film, led to a warm reception that was followed later in the night with an intimate performance by the band.