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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 March, 2005, 10:12 GMT
Kidman film to open NY festival
Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter
Kidman researched her role inside the United Nations building
Nicole Kidman's latest movie The Interpreter, in which she plays a United Nations employee, is to open New York's Tribeca Film Festival.

The festival, founded by actor Robert De Niro, has been expanded to a 13-day run this year to reflect its growing importance in the film calendar.

The festival will showcase more than 250 films, nearly half of which are independently-funded US films.

The Interpreter, also starring Sean Penn, kicks off the event on 19 April.

The festival will feature 60 world premieres including The Great New Wonderful, which interweaves five stories of post-9/11 New York, and a remake of the horror classic House of Wax.

The panel judging the film awards will include British actors Alfred Molina and Alan Cumming, and Desperate Housewives' Teri Hatcher, alongside director Griffin Dunne and producer Damon Dash.

Outdoor screenings

The festival was set up in 2002 to revitalise the downtown district of Manhattan following the 11 September attacks in 2001, and has quickly become one of the most fashionable events in the film calendar.

De Niro
Actor De Niro was one of the founders of the Tribeca Film Festival

"Each year, the support we receive from our neighbourhood and from the global film community grows," said De Niro.

As well as the glitzy premieres, there will also be regular family-friendly and outdoor screenings.

Director Sydney Pollack, who won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2003, will talk about his film The Interpreter as part of a discussion panel ahead of the festival screening.

The Interpreter sees Kidman play a UN interpreter whose life is endangered after she overhears a conversation about an assassination attempt.

Some scenes were filmed inside the UN headquarters in New York, the first time the organisation had given access to a movie-making crew.

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