By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 08, 2002 01:40 PM

The Tribeca Film Festival, hoping to help rejuvenate the lower Manhattan neighborhood still suffering from the effects of the World Trade Center devastation, kicks off Wednesday with the premiere of the Hugh Grant comedy “About a Boy,” with the boy himself — Grant — in attendance, reports the Associated Press. The all-star festival, which is also expected to attract Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Spacey and others, will close on Sunday with “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones.” (That screening will actually take place four days before the latest “Star Wars” adventure opens to the public, and will serve as a fundraiser for underprivileged children and other young victims of the terrorist attacks.) The festival is a pet project of its founder, Robert De Niro, 58, and his business partner Jane Rosenthal. “We talked about doing it for years, but we never made a plan to do it. There was always, ‘That’s a good idea, let’s think about it tomorrow,'” Rosenthal told the AP. “It wasn’t until after Sept. 11, when our neighborhood was so devastated, that we felt we wanted to do something to help our community heal, and to give our community something to look forward to.” Also premiering at the fest are “Insomnia,” starring Al Pacino and Hilary Swank, and “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” starring Ashley Judd, – Sandra Bullock and Ellen Burstyn, while director Martin Scorsese is planning to show some of his favorite New York movies. These include Woody Allen’s 1979 “Manhattan” and Elia Kazan’s 1954 “On the Waterfront.” On Friday there’s to be a music and comedy concert featuring Sheryl Crow, the Counting Crows, Robin Williams and Jimmy Fallon.