April 20–May 1
The Tribeca Film Festival—launched after 9/11 to promote the cultural and economic revival of Lower Manhattan—provides a platform for innovative filmmakers to showcase their latest work. The 2011 program features films of all stripes: crowd-pleasing blockbusters-to-be, provocative documentaries, foreign films, shorts and free outdoor screenings. This year’s fare includes highlights like The Union, Cameron Crowe’s documentary about Elton John’s collaboration with Leon Russell; festival closer Newlyweds, directed by and starring Ed Burns, about an abrupt ending to one couple’s honeymoon period; and Everything Must Go, an adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story “Why Don’t You Dance?” that stars Will Ferrell as a guy who’s lost it all—job, wife and, naturally, his sense of identity. In addition to the main festival, Tribeca Drive-In Outdoor Screenings offer everyone the chance to see movies under the stars—like Fame (the original) and The Muppets Take Manhattan—for free. And the event features a cornucopia of panel discussions and lectures, with the likes of Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn and Ron Howard. For more information and to download a schedule, visit tribecafilm.com.