Volume 18 • Issue 49 | April 21 - 27, 2006

Special section

Behind the Screens at the Tribeca Film Festival

Keith Weckstein
Director of Operations, Festival Box Office & Tribeca Cinemas

Job description: Year-round I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of Tribeca Cinemas, our multi-functional screening and event space. There I get to book and plan special events. For the annual festival, I am responsible in building the box office team. We issue all the tickets for festival events, and get to be the liaison to the public. We man the phones for all questions and orders, sell tickets, passes, and packages online, and operate the walk-up box offices here in Tribeca and this year at the AMC/Loews theaters.

Background: I attended film school here in New York City. An event planner I had worked for recommended me for the first festival. Now five years later, that event planner and I still get to work on producing this great event.

Festival Favorite: I most look forward to the first day(s) that a guest interacts with the Festival. Whether it’s the first phone call that comes in when we turn on the Box Office phone, the first person on line the morning that tickets go on sale, or the thousands of people that come to attend the Drive-in or Street Fair — all these people come to experience something that me and my fellow workmates spent so much time and energy to create. It’s quite a feeling to step back and see that all your time and effort was enjoyed by at least one indivdual.

Tribeca favorite: I visit Socrates Diner often. It’s like my “Cheers,” where everybody knows your name.

Aaron Dobbs
Screenings Manager

Job description: I manage the scheduling of all screenings and I’m in charge of all front-of-house and venue management issues. I work with the box office to determine the best systems for audience flow, line set-ups, information dissemination and theater loading. I also [make] sure that each screening starts on time and that the people in the booth know if there are any audio or visual problems, as well as [keep] the flow of intro/screening/Q&A running smoothly.

Background: I went to UCLA as a theater major. I moved to New York in 1996 to work for Colin Callendar at HBO. I got involved with the Tribeca Film Festival in year one. I sent my resume too late for any of the very few staff jobs, so I got called to be a volunteer. I worked in the screenings department and basically, long story short, I haven’t left.

Festival favorite: The fantastic Harold Lloyd silent comedy, “Speedy,” is showing as part of the Family Festival, and for anybody who loves New York, it’s a great experience. Much of it was shot on location in New York in the 1920s, and Lloyd partakes in a chase driving a horse-drawn trolley that goes through the Washington Square arch and around the fountain on a road that used to actually carry traffic through the park.

Tribeca Favorite: After working for years in Midtown, I always remember the first day I came to work in Tribeca and got off the 1 train at the Franklin Street stop. Exiting the subway at N. Moore St., everything just felt nicer, away from the crazy congestion of Midtown. So…that’s probably my favorite spot.


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