The Tribeca Film Festival begins on April 15, featuring star-studded events and providing a platform for beginning and veteran filmmakers. The Tribeca Film Festival is another general cultural festival embracing the future of storytelling. While it allows for innovative documentaries and narratives to be showcased, it also offers a retrospective look into the past, from this year’s outdoor screenings of “Clue” and “Lady and the Tramp” to its 25th anniversary showcase of “Goodfellas.”
Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff after the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the festival was created to restore community and economic stability to lower Manhattan. Annually bringing together film, music and culture, in total, the Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,600 films and has attracted an audience of more than 4.9 million attendees.
With 101 features and 60 shorts, the films feature themes ranging from diversity to coming of age to showcasing underrepresented voices. Women directed 25 percent of films at this year’s festival — an unusually large number in an industry dominated by men. Over the years, Tribeca has always pushed the conservative boundaries of prestige in filmmaking by awarding the Nora Ephron Prize for outstanding female directors annually.
The comedies at this year’s festival offer insightful perspectives in storytelling. Examples include the reteaming of “Palo Alto” duo Nat Wolff and Emma Roberts in “Ashby,” a comedy about a high school outsider who befriends an ex-CIA assassin, and “Man Up,” where Lake Bell tries a British accent and tricks Simon Pegg into thinking that she is his blind date.
Spring Studios, the new hangout on Varick Street, is a refreshing change of scenery and will host all the action at this year’s festival. It is set to hold the signature Tribeca Talks series with guests including Amy Schumer, Courtney Love, A$AP Rocky and Christopher Nolan, as well as showcase exhibits from emerging and established visual artists. In its “Bombay Sapphire Storyscapes” exhibit, attendees can feel their way through the strange yet visceral “Door into the Dark” exhibition, which will use locative technology to lead visitors through an immersive documentary blindfolded and alone. All exhibitions are free to the public and reservations can be made on the Tribeca website.
As to not make a dent in student budgets, Tribeca honors student IDs and offers a 10 percent discount on all tickets at two local box offices: Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas 9 and Regal Cinemas Battery Park Stadium 11. At the end of the two-week long event, Tribeca holds Free Movie Friday, and tickets can be reserved at an AT&T store.
While the glamour of the Tribeca Film Festival may make it seem exclusive, its events and screenings makes it accessible to anyone and everyone.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 15 print edition. Email Sidney Butler at [email protected]