Highly-anticipated superhero movie the Avengers will close the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival in New York as part of a special tribute to the city's real-life heroes.

The organisers of Robert De Niro's annual Big Apple event are inviting local police officers, firefighters, medical personnel and members of themilitary to meet the film's director Joss Whedon and actors from the all-star cast, including Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Hemsworth.

Showing at Tribeca is both an honour and a double homecoming for me, who grew up in Manhattan, and for the movie, which wrapped production there

A statement released by Whedon reads "Showing at Tribeca is both an honour and a double homecoming for me, who grew up in Manhattan, and for the movie, which wrapped production there".

He also joked about screening the epic Marvel adventure at the Tribeca Film Festival, which is known for showing independent projects.

He adds, "I'm thoroughly psyched to be closing the festival with our intimate little think-piece".

The big screen adaptation of The Avengers comic also stars Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson.

The Avengers will receive its world premiere in Hollywood on 11 April (12), before closing the 10-day Tribeca Film Festival on 28 April (12).