Tribeca Fest Eyeing International Move? - NBC New York

Tribeca Fest Eyeing International Move?

Robert De Niro's baby just inked its first international deal -- is the recession driving it out of town?

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    Tribeca Fest Eyeing International Move?
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    Robert De Niro may have been palling around with Charlize Theron at Dubai's big bash last week, but he has his eyes on another part of the Middle East.

    So while the rest of the Western world digs through its couch cushions for spare change and despairs over subtle news headlines like "U.S. on Track to Lose Superpower Status," you've decided that because you live in New York City -- shining beacon of exception to all rules -- you're one of the lucky ones to have secured a seat in the great economic lifeboat.

    Not so fast: You know things are bad when Robert De Niro jumps ship.

    He's not calling it that, of course. But when De Niro's post-9/11 baby the Tribeca Film Festival signs its very first international deal to create a twin event in Doha, it does give one pause.

    Oh, you don't know where Doha is? It's the capital of Qatar, silly. De Niro may have rubbed elbows in Dubai with Charlize Theron and Kylie Minogue and sheiks galore at last week's obscenely over-the-top party to open the 92-star Atlantis Resort, but he's no ninny: With energy experts all pointing to 2012 as the year Dubai will deplete its oil supply and be done for, Qatar -- the world's leading supplier of natural gas -- is a clever choice.

    The original fest will still take place in Gotham every year, but as of its debut in November 2009, look for Tribeca Film Festival Doha to become a major player on the world film scene. So now, just like in the old days, the festival will take place in a city up to its eyeballs in superfluous cash.

    You know -- just in case.