23 APRIL 2008

Some of the Big Apple's best known residents were out in force on Tuesday for the opening of this year's Tribeca Film Festival.

The event was co-founded in 2002 by Robert De Niro to help revitalise the area in the wake of the September 11 attacks. And the Taxi Driver star was among those turning out for a glitzy inaugural bash, along with his wife Grace, who was elegant in a colourful kaftan.

British resident David Bowie and his Somali-born model wife Iman, beautiful in a vibrant pink floral dress, were also on hand to help get the festival - which this year runs from April 23 to May 4 - off to a high-powered start.

Other heavyweights from the entertainment industry showing their support included Oscar-winning actress Anjelica Huston, veteran screen star Lauren Bacall, and Alien actress Sigourney Weaver.

Established after just 120 days of planning, the Tribeca festival is now one of the world's most prominent film gatherings, featuring independent films, documentaries, shorts and family flicks.

This year's line-up includes Lou Reed's Berlin, footage of the musician's 2006 concert, War Inc, with John Cusack as a hit man operating in a war zone that doubles as a corporate marketplace, and Chevolution, which documents Che Guevara's journey from Cuban revolutionary to ubiquitous modern icon.

Photo: ©
The festival's co-founder, Robert De Niro, was accompanied to the launch celebrations by his wife, former flight attendant Grace Hightower Photo: © Getty Images Click on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Defying her 52 years, model Iman looked striking in a fuchsia number as she accompanied husband David Bowie to the bash Photo: © Getty Images
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