Spring has come to New York City, but even with the nicer weather that comes with it, any serious moviegoer will be spending much of their free time inside to watch the line-up of movies playing at the 13th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, which runs this year from Wednesday, April 16 through Sunday, April 27.
For the second year in a row, Tribeca is kicking off the festivities with a music-based doc, this time showcasing rapper Nas, whose debut album “Illmatic” dropped twenty years ago. Nas and other artists reflect on the impact of that debut album in multimedia artist One9’s Time is Illmatic, which will premiere at New York’s legendary Beacon Theater followed by Nas performing the album in its entirety.
The last day of the festival is on Sunday the 27th, but the night before there will be a special Closing Night Gala of John (Once) Carney’s Begin Again (The Weinstein Company), starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The movie got a lot of love at the Toronto International Film Festival under its original title Can a Song Save Your Life? and the New York-based movie set in the world of songwriting should fare well in the city where it was filmed.
It’s an interesting year for Tribeca, because it feels like both Sundance and South by Southwest were semi-duds with no big breakout films like last year’s Fruitvale Station or Short Term 12, which means Tribeca has a good chance at introducing a number of films and filmmakers that could get more attention than usual. The movies playing in competition are certainly a good place to start although few of them have familiar names or faces in their credits.
A couple of the movies in the Spotlight section have played at other festivals and Tribeca is giving us a chance to catch them before their theatrical releases later this year, including Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange (Sony Pictures – Aug. 22), David Mackenzie’s Starred Up (Tribeca Film Aug. 29) starring Jack O’Connell–an actor we think is going to get a lot of attention this year–Charlie McDowell’s The One I Love (RADiUS – TWC) starring Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss and Lucky Them (IFC Films – May 30) with Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church.
Tribeca often brings back a number of returning filmmakers and this year’s roster includes Alex Gibney, who will bring a work-in-progress of his untitled James Brown documentaryhe did the same thing a few years back with his Elliot Spitzer movie Client 9as well as Marshall Curry, whose earlier doc Racing Dreams won Best Documentary Feature at Tribeca in 2009. Curry’s new doc Point and Shoot is about an unlikely documenter of the Libyan revolution.
For the most part, the 30 movies we’re highlighting in our photo gallery below are either World Premieres or movies that have gained our interest from other festivals that we just haven’t had a chance to see yet.
The 13th Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 16 to 27 at a number of New York City venues from Tribeca to Chelsea. You can go to the Official Site for the schedule and ticket availability.