The Tribeca Festival celebrates New York with a new short

Watch the film featuring Fran Leibowitz and Whoopi Goldberg, shot on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

by Jack Sunnucks
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23 June 2021, 12:03pm

In a “nature is healing” moment, the 20th Tribeca Festival has just ended, with a joyful screening at Radio City Music closing the 12 day festival. The screening in question was of a new film by Sundance 2020 favourite Lance Oppenheim -- the festival itself shot on an iPhone 12 Pro Max, the only phone that could achieve the cinematic quality that Tribeca represents. Fran Leibowitz, Patti Smith, Lin Manuel Miranda, Whoopi Goldberg and others narrate the piece, which sees New York City coming back to life, along with the big-name events of the festival. In addition, footage was shot by collaborators including photographer Sabrina Santiago and 2019 Tribeca Founders Prize winner Phillip Youmans.

"Shooting on iPhone allowed us to capture authentic slice-of-life moments that we may have otherwise missed if we were shooting on a larger camera,” says Lance. “I loved being able to put the phone in worlds and vantage points that would be otherwise impossible to capture (in between cars on screening subways, inches from the ground of a speeding Revel scooter), and eliminating the distance between subjects and the lens of our production (something that often can happen when working with larger gear)."

“What makes this city so great?” Lance asks Fran, whose most recent Scorsese documentary further cemented her status as a voice of the city. “Well have you been to other cities? You never have to explain what you mean by New York,” the cantankerous NY icon replies, before the film launches into a fast-paced visual litany of what makes New York so great. Watch it below.