The Tribeca Film Festival is consistently one of the most innovative and dynamic events in the worlds of movie, TV — even virtual reality. What keeps it relevant is its willingness to experiment with different formats, media and perspectives. There are master classes, anniversary screenings, documentaries, shorts — and really shorts.
Here’s a look at what not to miss at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, running April 19-30. Tickets for all the events discussed below can be found here.
Tribeca Snapchat Shorts
Nothing showcases Tribeca’s willingness to break the film industry’s rules like its recent addition of films made on the mobile app Snapchat. All submissions were limited to 2 minutes, yet manage to tell a coherent and engaging story using an entirely new set of parameters. While the contestants predictably skew younger, the panel of judges includes established stars like Eva Longoria, Andy Cohen, and Tracee Ellis Ross. If this is the future of filmmaking, you’ll want to be able to say you saw it coming. Tickets for the April 25 event are free and first-come-first-serve at Cinépolis Chelsea Theater 7.
The Reunion Screenings
In case you were worried Tribeca was just going to be precocious teenagers making movies on their smartphones, the festival has a solid lineup of retrospectives in store. First, there’s a family-friendly screening to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Aladdin, including a sing-a-long starring the voice of Aladdin himself. (Saturday, April 29 at BMCC Tribeca PAC)
In a case of jarring juxtaposition, this year is also the 25th anniversary of Reservoir Dogs, which will be celebrated with a screening of a 35mm print of the film, followed by a talk with director Quentin Tarantino and members of the cast. (Friday, April 28 at the Beacon Theatre)
And if that’s not enough, the festival will close with back-to-back screenings of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II at Radio City Music Hall, followed by a dream-come-true panel with the films’ director and most famous cast members. (Saturday, April 29)
The TV Shows
Television is not the traditional purview of an elite film festival, but then, we are living through a golden age of television. This year’s festival was the first to open submissions to independently produced pilots, offering a glimpse at the freshest and best voices in episodic filmmaking (multiple times and locations). There’s also the world premiere of episodes for big-name shows: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s third season will premiere at the festival (4/28, 6pm BMCC Tribeca PAC), as will the highly-anticipated Netflix adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale (4/21, 8pm BMCC Tribeca PAC).