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Tribeca Film Festival 2018: 7 Reasons to Be Excited

Gilda Radner NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Raise your hand if you like your film festivals with a side of intimate A-list conversations, high-profile reunions and rock-star drop-ins. Then the Tribeca Film Festival is here for you.

And don’t forget about the movies. The 17th edition of the downtown New York festival — which runs Wednesday, April 18 through Sunday, April 29 — features 96 in all. (Bonus: 46 percent are directed by women.) A tiny sampling of the premieres: In Little Woods, Tessa Thompson and Lily James are estranged sisters driven to their extremes after their mother dies; Ewan McGregor, Lea Seydoux, Christina Aguilera and Rashida Jones cope in a cutting edge, technology-fueled world in Zoe; and Ansel Elgort stars as the titular character in the sci-fi drama Jonathan. As for documentaries, this year’s slate includes a behind-the-scenes look at Ed Sheeran’s music process (Songwriter), a beloved cult-classic TV series (Freaks & Geeks: The Documentary) and a notoriously decadent nightclub (Studio 54). Plus, Jamie Foxx, Claire Danes, Alec Baldwin, Spike Lee, writer/director Nancy Meyers and more sit down to discuss their art in the Tribeca Talk series.

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Here are our top seven can’t-miss picks.

1. Love, Gilda

When: Wednesday, April 18, 7 p.m.

Where: Beacon Theater

Tickets: $46-$156,

The Tribeca Film Festival kicks off with a documentary about Gilda Radner, an original cast member of Saturday Night Live — Google “Roseanne Roseannadanna” — who died of cancer in 1989. The autobiographical look of the Grammy and Emmy-winning trailblazer weaves together audiotapes, rare home movies, diary entries and interviews with her friends (Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman) and comics who have carried on her legacy (Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong).

2. Scarface — 35th anniversary

When: Thursday, April 19, 7 p.m.

Where: Beacon Theater

Tickets: $106-$356,

Say hello to a little reunion! Here’s your chance to watch Al Pacino as drug kingpin Tony Montana in the riveting, ultra-quotable gangster epic, Scarface. To mark its 35th anniversary, Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer and director Brian De Palma will reunite for a screening and then talk about the film and its lasting impact in pop culture. (The latter of which goes far, far beyond a shout-out in “Uptown Funk.”)

Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro visit “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” at Rockefeller Center on March 18, 2011 in New York City. Jason Kempin/Getty Images

3. Tribeca Talks: Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro

When: Saturday, April 21, 6 p.m.

Where: Spring Street Studios (Tribeca Hub)

Tickets: Rush only, available 45 minutes prior to start time

He’s talkin’ to me! Cooper opens up to his mentor and Silver Linings Playbook dad De Niro about his career as an Academy Award-nominated actor, producer and A Star Is Born director. De Niro, the Tribeca Film Festival co-founder, isn’t exactly known for being a raconteur . . . but here’s hoping he finds time to discuss why Cooper’s character was such a jerk to Rachel McAdams in Wedding Crashers.

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4. Tribeca Talks: Sarah Jessica Parker

When: Friday, April 27, 6 p.m.

Where: Spring Street Studios (Tribeca Hub)

Tickets: Rush only, available 45 minutes prior to start time

As I read the Tribeca lineup, I couldn’t help but wonder: What will proud NYC resident Parker have to say about the Sex and the City era, Divorce, her Broadway career, her dancing in the 1985 teen classic Girls Just Want to Have Fun, her French New Wave-inspired Tribeca film, Blue Night, and former costar Cynthia Nixon’s run for New York Governor? We’ll find out during this Tribeca Talk.

Sarah Jessica Parker takes part in SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations: “Divorce” at The Robin Williams Center on March 2, 2018 in New York City. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

5. Special Screening: The American Meme

When: Friday, April 27

Where: BMCC Tribeca

Tickets: $25.94,

Paris Hilton. The Fat Jew. Hailey Baldwin. Brittany Furlan. These are just some of the people we call “celebrities” thanks to their immense popularity on social media. This documentary explores the price of Internet fame in 2018. With DJ Khaled, Emily Ratajkowski and more. After the premiere, hang out for a Q&A with Hilton, Furlan and Kirill Bichutsky.

6. Tribeca Talks: John Legend

When: Thursday, April 19, 6 p.m.

Where: SVA Theatre

Tickets: $40,

Hello, Superstar. Hot off his turn as Jesus Christ in the NBC Easter Sunday hit, the in-demand Tony, Oscar and ten-time Grammy winner will appear to discuss his own Legend-ary story and more. He’s not scheduled to sing during this career retrospective . . . but when you’re live, anything can happen.

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7. Schindler’s List: 25th Anniversary

When: Thursday, April 26, 6:30 p.m.

Where: Beacon Theater

Tickets: $46-$131,

Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning classic Schindler’s List is one of contemporary cinema’s most harrowing, vital and sensitive accounts of the Holocaust. The director will be on-hand to screen his masterpiece and stay for a Q&A — along with stars Liam Neeson (who played hero Oksar Schindler), Ben Kingsley and Embeth Davidtz.

The Tribeca Film Festival starts Wednesday, April 18. For more information, go to

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