Its world premiere will, of course, be in Washington Heights.
In-person film festivals are slowly returning to normalcy, with the 20th Tribeca Film Festival just announcing that In the Heights will be its opening film set with multiple outdoor screenings. The yearly NYC-based film festival is one of the first film festivals testing out audiences’ interest in returning to in-person events, with the premiere held at the United Palace in Washington Heights and outdoor screenings planned across all five boroughs.
In the Heights is an adaptation of Lin-Manual Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical of the same name, lovingly based off his own personal experiences living in Washington Heights. Directed by Crazy Rich Asians’ Jon M. Chu, In the Heights follows the life and dreams of bodega owner Usnavi and his friends, as they sing and dance their way through new love, death and the goal for a better life. Hamilton star Anthony Ramos plays the lead Usnavi, alongside Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Melissa Barrera and Olga Merediz. Miranda will make a cameo in the small but key role of Mr. Piragüero, the Piragua guy.
In response to the news, Miranda shared, “It is such an honor to open the 20th anniversary Tribeca Film Festival with In the Heights. We’re so excited to welcome them uptown! This will be an unforgettable night at the United Palace. We can’t wait to share this musical love letter to our community, with our community, in our community.”
Choosing such an important and vibrant love story to New York and its people as its opening film is a wonderful move from the Tribeca Film Festival, particularly for its 20th anniversary. Its plan to screen the film simultaneously across all five boroughs is a first for the festival as well, and a smart innovation as we continue to recover from the pandemic. The festival runs from June 9 to June 20, and is the first major North American film festival that will be held in person since the lockdown began last March. Check out its first wave of in-person events here.
Director Chu said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Tribeca for a city-wide takeover of In the Heights. New York, and specifically Washington Heights, is the lead character in our film—its vibrancy and energy are unmatched. How incredible that after a year of isolation, New Yorkers from across all boroughs will have an opportunity to see it first, together, and join us in the celebration of life coming back.”
In the Heights will premiere on June 9 at the Tribeca Film Festival. There are no current details on which outdoor venues it will be available. The film will then stream on HBO Max starting on June 11 for 31 days as part of WarnerMedia’s dual release strategy.
“There’s a lot of pressure from the fans, from the studio I’m sure, a lot of cooks in that kitchen.”
About The Author