NEW YORK (WABC) -- The 59th New York Film Festival officially got underway Friday evening, and the opening has a significance well beyond show business.
Taken together with the re-opening of Broadway, this is one more milestone on the road to getting New York City back to normal.
Denzel Washington was there for the premiere of his new movie, 'The Tragedy of Macbeth.'
Washington's appearance marks the return of star power to the festival, and a return for him to Shakespeare.
"I cut my teeth on Shakespeare just across the street at Fordham University, so it was my first love. It's how I learned to act and here we are," said Washington.
Denzel told Eyewitness News he directed a movie in the city earlier this year, but this is his big first night out with his wife, Pauletta in a year and a half.
"I feel strange - this is my wife's first time out," Washington added.
The festival is back after last year's event took place largely online and in a few drive-ins.
"This is a special night for us - to our city," said NYFF Director Eugene Hernandez.
The New York Film Festival has long-served as an opportunity to introduce films into the Oscar conversation, like the new version of Macbeth.
Among the movies this year - a new one from New Zealand's Jane Campion, and the latest from Spain's Pedro Almodovar.
The New York Film Festival runs for two weeks at Lincoln Center and at venues in the East Village, Harlem, and Brooklyn.
WABC-TV is an official sponsor of the event.
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