The hottest tickets at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival

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The biggest in-person film festival to be held in America since the pandemic opens Wednesday — right here in New York. 

That’s the Tribeca Film Festival, which unlike its nabe-centric name suggests, will take place all over the city this year. Screenings will be held mostly outdoors at alfresco theaters put up in Battery Park, Hudson Yards, the Empire Outlets on Staten Island and other spots throughout the five boroughs. Most of the movies will also be available to stream at home.

The fest kicks off Wednesday with the premiere of director Jon M. Chu and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “In The Heights.” In the 11 days that follow, there’s an exciting array of screenings and events that will surely liven up our entertainment-starved city.

Here are some of our top picks. Tickets and passes are available at TribecaFilm.com.

Italian Studies

Vanessa Kirby, fresh off her Oscar-nominated turn in "Pieces of a Woman" is back in "Italian Studies."
Vanessa Kirby, fresh off her Oscar-nominated turn in “Pieces of a Woman” is back in “Italian Studies.”
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

After wowing audiences — and scoring an Oscar nod — with last year’s “Pieces of a Woman” — Vanessa Kirby again showcases her phenomenal talent. This drama finds the British actress playing a writer who loses her memory in New York City.

In-person Saturday, June 12; streaming Sunday, June 13

The Lost Leonardo

The documentary "The Lost Leonardo" examines the mysterious "Salvator Mundi" painting Leonardo Da Vinci is said to have created.
The documentary “The Lost Leonardo” examines the mysterious “Salvator Mundi” painting Leonardo da Vinci is said to have created.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

In 2017, the painting “Salvator Mundi” sold at auction in New York for $450 million to Prince Bader bin Abdullah. The find was believed to be a forgotten work by Leonardo da Vinci, which, like a college frat bro, wound its way to New Orleans. This documentary asks the question: Is this piece of art really what experts claim it to be?

In-person Sunday, June 13; streaming Monday, June 14

Werewolves Within

Sam Richardson stars in the horror-comedy  "Werewolves Within."
Sam Richardson stars in the horror-comedy “Werewolves Within.”
Photo Credit: Sabrina Lantos

An adaptation of a video game of the same name, this good-time horror-comedy is in the vein of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Just as a new ranger (Sam Richardson) arrives in the snowy town of Beaverfield, furry monsters start attacking its quirky citizens. 

In-person Wednesday, June 16; streaming Thursday, June 17

No Man of God

Elijah Wood plays an FBI agent investigating serial killer Ted Bundy in "No Man of God."
Elijah Wood plays an FBI agent investigating serial killer Ted Bundy in “No Man of God.”
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

Our obsession with serial killers continues apace. Like 2019’s “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” which stars Zac Efron, the focus here is Ted Bundy. This time, Luke Kirby plays the notorious rapist and murderer. Elijah Wood, whose talent is too often overshadowed by that time he played a hobbit, takes on the role of an FBI investigator.  

In-person Friday, June 11; streaming Saturday, June 12

Storytellers – Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski

Tribeca is a tad light on events this year. Usually the festival features delightful cast reunions (the “Spinal Tap” guys were a recent favorite), but there still are a few notable talks with celebs such as Tina Fey and director M. Night Shyamalan. One that’s sure to be a riot is comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski chatting about their lives, careers and friendship.

In-person Saturday, June 12

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

The life and career of the late chef, writer and TV star Anthony Bourdain is explored in "Roadrunner."
The life and career of the late chef, writer and TV star Anthony Bourdain is explored in “Roadrunner.”
Discovery Access/ Focus Features

This documentary promises to be a tearjerker. It’s about the famed New York chef, author and TV personality who committed suicide in 2018. But, from the looks of the movie trailer, the film is aiming to celebrate Bourdain’s life rather than focus on his pain.

In-person Friday, June 11; streaming Saturday, June 12

No Sudden Move

Will director Steven Soderbergh redeem himself after his Oscars debacle? I think so. Here, he goes back to one of his most successful genres: heist, though there’s less glamour than “Ocean’s Eleven.” A group of Detroit criminals are hired to steal a document, but then learn that something more sinister is afoot. It has a tremendous cast, including Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin and the talented “A Quiet Place” youngster, Noah Jupe.

In-person Friday, June 18; on HBO Max Thursday, July 1

False Positive

"False Positive," starring Ilana Glazer, is said to hark back to "Rosemary's Baby."
“False Positive,” starring Ilana Glazer, is said to hark back to “Rosemary’s Baby.”
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

In what some are calling a modern spin on “Rosemary’s Baby,” this horror flick stars Ilana Glazer and Justin Theroux as a couple having fertility issues. They turn to a doctor (Pierce Brosnan) for help, but then begin to question his true motives.

In-person Thursday June 17; streaming Friday June 18; on Hulu Friday, June 25

India Sweets and Spices

"India Sweets and Spices" is a new romantic comedy that tackles class and culture.
“India Sweets and Spices” is a new romantic comedy that tackles class and culture.
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

It’s a romantic comedy with a charming premise: A young Indian woman (Sophia Ali) from a wealthy New Jersey family meets a man (Rish Shah) from a more modest background. She spontaneously invites him to a ritzy party at her house, and antics ensue.

In-person Saturday, June 12; streaming Sunday, June 13

Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary

Comedian Dave Chappelle made his comments while appearing on "The Joe Rogan Experience."
Comedian Dave Chappelle will close the Tribeca Film Festival with a new documentary he’s produced set in his home state of Ohio.
Getty Images

The closing night film of Tribeca will be a major event for a couple of reasons: It will screen at Radio City Music Hall with a 100-percent capacity, vaccinated, mask-less crowd — the first such trial for any cinema or theater in the city. The movie itself is produced by the reclusive Chappelle, and directed by his Ohio neighbors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar. It examines the rural town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, as citizens reckon with George Floyd’s murder.

In-person Saturday June 19



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