A big green ogre is set to invade New York City next month, as Shrek's latest installment, Shrek Forever After has been announced as the opener of the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. The third sequel of the DreamWorks Animation series will debut at the downtown Manhattan festival on Wednesday, April 21, a full month before it opens nationwide. And yes, it will be presented in 3D.

The choice somewhat follows in the footsteps of Up being the first 3D film to open Cannes last year. Yet 3D is really becoming a staple of international film festivals lately. Venice premiered the 3D re-releases of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 3D and even inaugurated a special award solely for 3D films. Earlier this year, Sundance premiered the popular 3D nature film Cane Toads: The Conquest, though it wasn't the fest's first foray into 3D presentation.
Shrek Forever After is also part of the Tribeca tradition of opening with big Hollywood productions. Prior blockbusters to debut at the festival have included Spider-Man 3, Mission: Impossible III and Baby Mama. And it's something I don't mind in the least, as long as these big titles can draw attention to the other films screening at the festival. Let's not forget that Tribeca is the first place we saw such notable films as Let the Right One In, Roger Dodger, Taxi to the Dark Side, Transamerica and this year's Oscar nominee Which Way Home.

We can only hope that Tribeca has something big and citywide in the way of promoting the premiere, just like with past openers. Surely the Empire State Building will have to be lit up all green. And maybe other NYC landmarks can be made to look like they belong in the fairy tale land of Far, Far Away? Whatever they decide to do, one thing's certain: if you're a gigantic Shrek fan, the Big Apple will be the place to be in April.

Other films screening in and out of competition at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, which runs from April 21 through May 2, will be announced later this month, so stay tuned for further announcements.