From downtown-rebound project to destination fest — at this point, everyone knows the backstory behind the Tribeca Film Festival. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro’s plan to help revitalize the neighborhood in the wake of 9/11 eventually turned into the sort of annual gathering that attracted not just curious locals, uptown moviegoers with a subway pass and Famous Friends of Bob, but also a host of international filmmakers, veteran writer-directors, up-and-coming young talent, name-brand stars looking to do something besides superhero movies, V.R. folks, multimedia programmers and all sort of likeminded creatives.
And while its recent addition of a TV/episodic sidebar has sweetened the deal (this year, we highly recommend you check out George Pelecanos and Gbenga Akinnagbe’s anthology D.C. Noir in that section), it’s still all about the movies. To wit, we’re highlighting 25 films from the fest’s various sections — from dystopic sci-fi parables to modest indie character studies, German road movies to a Charlie Manson biopic starring the guy from The Crown. (And lots and lots of music docs — tragic gone-too-soon rock star stories seem to be quite the rage these days.) Some we’ve seen and love, some we’re chomping at the bit to check out. All of ’em you can see if you happen to be heading downtown.