NEW YORK, May 4 (UPI) -- An estimated 348,000 people attended screenings, panels and free community events at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival in New York, organizers said Monday.
"Audiences responded overwhelmingly to the festival this year, and that is reflected in our numbers," Nancy Schafer, the festival's executive director, said in a statement. "Theaters were packed, even during weekday matinees, and we are ecstatic at the response to the films and conversations, as well as the great turnout at the Family Festival Street Fair."
The festival, which opened April 22 and closed Sunday, screened 85 features and 47 short films from 36 countries.
Festival organizers and New York Police Department Community Affairs Officer Rick Lee estimated that a crowd of 235,000 attended the popular Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day Saturday. The free community event took place along eight blocks of Manhattan's Greenwich Street and neighboring side streets in Tribeca.
About 12,000 people attended outdoor screenings of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "P-Star Rising," as well.
"One of our key goals for this year's festival was to further enhance the audience experience and create additional free events for the community," festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal said. "Our film programmers curated a fantastic line-up of films and our free community events were extremely successful."