April 15, 2015

The 14th annual festival, which began in 2002 as a cathartic way for the New York film community to rebound from the 9/11 attacks, begins tonight with the world premiere of Live From New York!, a documentary about the cultural impact of four decades of Saturday Night Live. It’s the perfect pairing of two New York City institutions and sets the tone for 12 days and nights of world premieres, stimulating cinematic conversations—Jon Stewart interviews the Goodfellas gang on closing night! Christopher Nolan and Bennett Miller talk shop!—and cultural and artistic attractions. 

Tribeca is just a teenager, but in its short history, it’s already developed a reputation as a showcase for world-class documentaries. Live From New York! continues that trend and is just one of the festival’s must-sees. Here are 12 premieres that are worth your attention. 

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In My Father's House

Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg, who made the Joan Rivers documentary, capture the unlikely father and son reunion between Grammy-winning rapper and music producer Che Smith, a.k.a. Rhymefest, and the homeless alcoholic who abandoned him and his family more than 20 years ago. Smith had moved back to Chicago and purchased his childhood home with the intention of raising his children in the same neighborhood when he discovered that his father, a man he suspected was dead, was living on the streets just blocks away. (World premiere)