The 13th Tribeca Film Festival begins Wednesday, April 16 with a lineup featuring over 50 world premieres and even more must-see films.

This year’s Tribeca line-up begins Wednesday, April 16 with a screening of Time Is Illmatic, a documentary celebrating the 20th anniversary of Nas’ 1994 album Illmatic. After the screening, Nas himself will perform songs from his legendary album.

Features Premiering At Tribeca

TV comedies collide in About Alex, which stars Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza and New Girl’s Max Greenfield – not to mention Jane Levy (Subergatory), Max Minghella (The Mindy Project, The Social Network), Jason Ritter (Parenthood), Nate Parker and Maggie Grace (Taken, Lost). Written and directed by Jesse Zwick, this The Big Chill homage takes place during a weekend away, as old friends in their mi-twenties come together to help one in the group who is suicidal.

Another TV-star driven film premiering at Tribeca is Life Partners, starring Community’s Gillian Jacobs and teen drama royalty newlyweds, Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Adam Brody (The O.C.). Life Partners, directed by Susanna Fogel, is about the incredibly close friendship of Sasha (Meester) and Paige (Jacobs) and what happens when a man, Tim (Brody), is introduced to the equation as Paige’s serious boyfriend, threatening Sasha’s place as Paige’s best friend. Life Partners is an example of the growing movement in film to focus on the bonds of female friendship, a genre too often dominated by stereotypes. The fun subject matter, along with the cast, is sure to bring in audiences.

Dakota Fanning is sure to be declared one of Tribeca’s MVPs, as she stars in two of the festival’s most highly anticipated films: Every Secret Thing and Night Moves. Every Secret Thing, based on the novel by Laura Lippman, is a dramatic thriller starring Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks. Written for the screen by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said, Friends with Money), the film marks the first feature film for noted documentary director Amy Berg. Night Moves is also a dramatic thriller, but of a very different nature. Fanning stars as Dena Brauer, a young woman environmentalist who plots to blow up a dam. Jesse Eisenberg and Peter Sarsgaard play fellow environmentalists in the film directed by festival favorite Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff, Wendy and Lucy).

In Your Eyes is also sure to capture audiences’ attention when it premieres at Tribeca. The drama is a unique take on a romance between Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) and Dylan (Michael Stahl-David). The film boasts a “metaphysical romance,” but it’s not a girly romance. After all, the film comes from the universally loved Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and current master of the Marvel Universe, who wrote the script. Brin Hill directs In Your Eyes, described by Kazan as “Joss Whedon does Nicholas Sparks.”

Highly anticipated directorial debuts from actors Chris Messina (The Mindy Project, Ruby Sparks) and Courtney Cox (Friends, Cougar Town) are also set to make their world premiere at Tribeca. Messina’s Alex of Venice, a drama starring Messina, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Don Johnson and Derek Luke, and Cox’s dramedy Just Before I Go with Sean William Scott, will be featured in the Spotlight category. Other interesting films premiering at Tribeca include Miss Meadows, which stars Katie Holmes as a schoolteacher/vigilante, Match starring Patrick Stewart and Boulevard, starring Robin Williams.

The festival will come to a close on April 26 with a screening of Begin Again, a musical film starring Mark Ruffalo, Kiera Knightley, Adam Levine and Hailee Steinfeld. The film, from Once director John Carney, was well received when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Tribeca Documentaries

The festival also features an impressive lineup of documentaries, including the much talked about Mala Mala, a documentary about Puerto Rico’s transgender community. Mala Mala is certainly one of the most talked about documentaries being show at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, along with Keep on Keepin’ On, a documentary about jazz legend Clark Terry and his friendship with 23-year-old Justin Kauflin, a blind piano player.

All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State is another highly anticipated documentary about the first woman elected governor of Texas, Ann Richards, a woman who eventually lost her seat to George W. Bush. On a lighter note, Tribeca will screen A Brony Tale, which explores the male fandom for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Tribeca is also host to a number of sports documentaries as part of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. One particularly buzzed about film is Champs, a documentary detailing the lives of some of America’s most successful and infamous boxers. But, the Tribecca/ESPN Sports Film Festival will not only include documentaries. Intramurals, a comedy spoof of sports movies, is also premiering during the Festival. The film stars Jake Lacy (The Office) and features a Saturday Night Live cast members Kate McKinnon, Beck Bennett and Jay Pharoah.

For those of you unable to attend the festival, The Bachelor Weekend, Beneath the Harvest Sky and Bright Days Ahead – three films premiering at the 2014 Festival – are available to buy or rent on iTunes, with Palo Alto coming soon.

You can check out the full schedule here.

– Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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