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A Casual Movie Watcher's Guide to the Tribeca Film Festival

By Serena Solomon | April 16, 2014 7:02am
 The Tribeca film festivals starts this Wednesday.
The Tribeca film festivals starts this Wednesday.
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TRIBECA — The Tribeca Film Festival starts Wednesday and there's plenty for even the casual movie watcher.

For the first time, the festival is holding dozens of free screenings at theaters in the city, along with viewings outdoor and online. The festival also has a host of panel discussions on some of the most talked about films on the schedule.

Film for All Friday

For the first time, the festival is offering 35 free films at regular festival venues throughout the city all day on April 25. Kick back on sponsor AT&T’s dime with screenings such as festival opener "Time is Illmatic," a documentary that follows hip hop artist Nas and his 1994 benchmark album "Illmatic," and another documentary "This Time Next Year" spotlighting a New Jersey town in recovery a year after Hurricane Sandy.

Reserve tickets online from April 17, or in person at each venue 45 minutes before each screening.

Mike Tyson as a Panel Guest on Tribeca Talks

If you have ever wanted to be in the same room as boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, your opportunity has arrived. As part of the Tribeca Talks event series, in which actors, filmmakers and documentary subjects chat about their films, the two boxers will have a conversation with others after a screening of the documentary “Champs," in which they each have a leading role. Tickets are $33.50 and can be purchased online. 3 p.m. on April 19 at SVA Theater on West 23rd Street

Other guests in the Tribeca Talks series include Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey and Aaron Sorkin, the writer and producer of TV series "The West Wing" and "The Newsroom."

Tribeca's Online Festival

Go to the festival while sitting on your couch. There's a selection of four feature length films and four short films to choose from including "Ice Poison," a feature about the lure of income from dealing in crystal meth. Each film will be available online following its individual festival premiere.

Films that Focus on New York City

The Tribeca Film Festival has numerous short and feature films as well as documentaries that focus on its host city. Learn the history of Nathan's Famous hotdogs in the film "Famous Nathan's" from documentarian Lloyd Handwerker, whose grandfather Nathan Handwerker founded the chain. In the short film “70 Hester Street,” Casimir Nozkowski takes an abstract look at his memories of growing up in a former Lower East Side synagogue, raincoat factory and whiskey distillery.

Rush Tickets

With online ticket sales for many headlining films already at capacity — such as a documentary on the FBI entitled  "1971" and "Time is Illmatic" — rush tickets are your second chance at catching a screening. Rush tickets will be available 45 minutes before screening and are sold on a first come, first served basis. There is a limit of one ticket per person. Tickets are the same price as those online.

Tribeca Drive-In Outdoor Screenings

These are drive-ins without the need for a car. The free showings happen under the stars at Brookfield Place along the Hudson River at around 8:15 p.m.

Three films will be shown:

► April 17 — "Mary Poppins" — the classic Disney film of life with a magical nanny.

► April 18 — "Splash" — the 1984 film in which actor Tom Hanks’ character falls in love with a mermaid.

► April 19 — "Next Goal Wins" — This screening is the world premiere of a documentary that follows the dreams of American Samoa's low ranking national football team.