You’ve probably heard of Scarlett Johansson, Francis Ford Coppola and Tom Hanks, all featured guests at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. But how about Hideo Kojima, Sam Lake and Ken Levine? Those celebrities from the video game world — whose respective credits include “Metal Gear,” “Max Payne” and “BioShock” — will be attending as well, as part of the initial Tribeca Games Festival. It’s another sign that the 16-year-old film festival is no longer just about film.
“We’re really about all stories on all screens,” says Tammie Rosen, the festival’s senior vice president of communications and programming. “And I think it breaks the traditional festival boundaries.”
In fact, the film component of this year’s edition has been whittled down by roughly 20 percent as the festival continues its push into other media. Screenings of television shows, which were introduced last year, proved popular enough to earn a second round this year with episodes from the could-be hit “Genius,” starring Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein; season 3 of the Golden Globe-nominated “Casual”; and a dozen other series. Virtual reality, a hot technology edging toward mainstream popularity, will be offered in fiction, nonfiction and gaming-style formats. As for video games, festivalgoers can become part of the first-ever crowd-play of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, produced by Telltale Games.
That’s all in addition, of course, to the movies. This year’s lineup includes a half-dozen music documentaries (some accompanied by live performances), several portraits of notable personalities — from visual artist Julian Schnabel to political mercenary Roger Stone — and a closing-night screening of the first two “Godfather” films with many cast members in attendance.
Here are several highlights from the upcoming festival. Note that all show times listed are after noon unless otherwise noted, and most films have multiple screenings throughout the festival.
CLIVE DAVIS: THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES The festival’s opening-night film focuses on the legendary record producer who helped shape rock, country, pop and hip-hop over a 50-year career. The screening will be followed by a concert from Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Barry Manilow and others. (Wednesday at 7 at Radio City Music Hall.)
TRIBECA TALKS: JON FAVREAU The actor-director-producer, whose credits include “Swingers,” “Iron Man” and “The Jungle Book,” will speak with Scarlett Johansson. (April 21 at 5 at SVA Theater.)
THE HANDMAID’S TALE The first episode of Hulu’s new series stars Elisabeth Moss as Offred, one of the few fertile women in a totalitarian society whose birthrate is dangerously low. Based on Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel. Moss and many of her castmates will speak after the screening. (April 21 at 6 at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.)
THE PUBLIC IMAGE IS ROTTEN A documentary on the scorched-earth punk rocker John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten. The man himself will hold court after the screening. (April 21 at 8:45 at Spring Studios Tribeca Festival Hub.)
A GRAY STATE Erik Nelson’s documentary focuses on David Crowley, a libertarian filmmaker who killed himself and his family in 2010, yet remains the focus of conspiracy theories that the government assassinated him for his beliefs. Executive produced by Werner Herzog. (April 22 at 5 at Cinepolis Chelsea.)
THE LOVERS Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a husband and wife who are having affairs. When they finally decide to split, they continue to cheat — but now with each other. Written and directed by Azazel Jacobs. (April 22 at 8 at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.)
COPWATCH A documentary on police brutality, told from the standpoint not of the victims, but of the people who film the acts. Directed by British journalist Camilla Hall. (April 23 at 2 at Cinepolis Chelsea.)
THE CLAPPER A professional television audience member (Ed Helms) finds his life turned upside down when the cameras unexpectedly turn on him. With Amanda Seyfried and Tracy Morgan. Written and directed by Dito Montiel from his 2007 novel. (April 23 at 7:30 at SVA Theater).
TOM OF FINLAND A biopic about artist Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland, whose fetishistic homoerotica made him a gay icon during the 1970s. Starring Pekka Strang and Lauri Tilkanen. (April 23 at 8:45 at Cinepolis Chelsea.)
THE CIRCLE A young woman (Emma Watson) begins working for a brilliant tech guru (Tom Hanks) whose latest experiment pushes the boundaries of privacy and ethics. Also starring Bill Paxton, who died in February. Based on Dave Eggers’ novel. (April 26 at 8:45 at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.)
CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP: THE BAD BOY STORY A history of the highflying Bad Boy record label founded by rapper-businessman Sean Combs. The screening will be followed by performances from Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans and Combs. (April 27 at 8 at the Beacon Theater.)
DARE TO BE DIFFERENT A salute to Long Island’s WLIR/92.7 FM, which helped lead the charge for the New Wave 1980s. The screening will be followed by a concert featuring A Flock of Seagulls, Dave Wakeling and The Alarm. (April 27 at 8:30 at Spring Studios Tribeca Festival Hub.)
WARNING: THIS DRUG MAY KILL YOU This HBO documentary about four families scarred by opioid abuse arrives with eerie timing for Long Island, where opioid overdose deaths reached an all-time high last year. (April 27 at 8:45 at SVA Theater.)
TRIBECA TALKS: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN The iconic American musician will sit for an interview with an iconic American actor, Tom Hanks. (April 28 at 5 at the Beacon Theater.)
CHUCK Liev Schreiber plays Chuck Wepner, the New Jersey-raised heavyweight known as “The Bayonne Bleeder” for his ability to keep punching through injuries. He’s also the man who inspired Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky.” With Elisabeth Moss and Naomi Watts. (April 28 at 8:30 at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.)
THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER: PART II This closing-night double feature of two American masterpieces will be a marathon event, with a post-screening conversation featuring director Francis Ford Coppola and cast members Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire. Moderated by Taylor Hackford. (April 29 at 1 at Radio City Music Hall.)
WHAT Tribeca Film Festival
WHEN | WHERE Runs Thursday, April 20, through Sunday, April 30, at multiple venues in Manhattan
INFO Single tickets are $12-$40, passes are $55-$6,000; 212-941-2400, tribecafilm.com