Murder Mysteries and Paranormal Romance: Tribeca Film Festival's Most Anticipated Films of 2014

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The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff as a result to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the TriBeCa neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. The festival now draws an estimated three million people — including often-elusive celebrities from the worlds of art, film, and music.
Photo Credit: Electric City Entertainment
March 22nd, 2014

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Although Tribeca Film Festival is a relative newcomer on the film festival circuit, it has quickly landed a prestigious place in the movie industry. The festival began in 2002 and now features millions of attendees and hundreds of film screenings. Tribeca offers fans and insiders a chance to view some of the year's best independent films, documentaries and short films. In 2014, Tribeca Film Festival begins on April 16 and draws to a close on April 27. The yearly festival boasts an impressive lineup, including plenty of highly anticipated films that cinema aficionados do not want to miss.

Actor Chris Messina takes a turn in the director's chair with "Alex of Venice." In Messina's directorial debut, an overworked, unappreciated environmental attorney has to draw on inner strength to deal with her husband's unexpected break from family life. Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as the eponymous role, with Messina starring as the attorney's husband.

Joss Whedon has written some of pop culture's biggest hits, including "Marvel's The Avengers." The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival will showcase a movie based on Whedon's screenplay. Brin Hill directs "In Your Eyes," a paranormal romance about soulmates who do not let geographic distance get in their way. Rebecca and Dylan realize they share a deep connection, despite never having met. "In Your Eyes" will have its world premiere at the Manhattan film festival, and is sure to showcase Whedon's renowned wit and creativity.

Amy Berg directs "Every Secret Thing." Based on Laura Lippman's novel and starring Elizabeth Banks and Dakota Fanning, the mystery film traces the disappearance of a young child. Years ago, another baby in the area went missing, with devastating results. Now, the police have to work quickly to prevent another tragedy. Fanning stars as one of the troubled young women who becomes a suspect after the death of the first victim.

Bloodsuckers continue to be a hot topic. "Summer of Blood" takes the vampire story from spooky, misty castles to the familiar streets of Brooklyn. Onur Tukel directs and stars in this tale of an underachiever who gains a fresh perspective after he transforms into a creature of the night. The comedy is likely to appeal to horror fans, bringing a fresh twist to the vampire story.

International films also find a platform at Tribeca Film Festival. "Black Coal, Thin Ice" is a compelling and award-winning thriller from Chinese director Yi'nan Diao. The smart noir mystery focuses on two cops, haunted by their past failure to apprehend a dangerous killer. Now, years later, they have another shot at redeeming themselves.

Some other big names at Tribeca include Jon Favreau and Courteney Cox. Favreau's "Chef" follows the exploits of a volatile chef trying to start a food truck business. Cox directs "Just Before I Go." In the dark comedy, a depressive guy heads back to his hometown to tie up some loose threads before he makes a drastic decision.

The World Narrative Feature Competition includes a roster of exciting films from around the world. Up-and-coming actor Rory Culkin stars in debut director Lou Howe's "Gabriel." A New York teen heads out on a risky quest to track down an old flame, hoping that she can provide the emotional support he craves.

At Tribeca, true stories get just as much buzz as fictional narratives. Some anticipated documentaries will premiere during the springtime festival. "Dior and I" is a must-see for those in the fashion world. Frédéric Tcheng's evocative film focuses on Raf Simons, a new Artistic Director who has the intimidating task of creating a debut couture collection for Dior. This inside peek at the rigors of the French fashion world is an entry in the World Documentary Feature Competition.

Tribeca's lineup of short films proves that good things come in small packages. Ondi Timoner's documentary about the creative, controversial singer, Amanda Palmer, premieres at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. "Amanda F***king Palmer on the Rocks" details the former Dresden Dolls singer's experiences in the music industry. Edoardo Ponti directs "The Human Voice," a narrative film that stars Ponti's mother, the famed actress Sophia Loren. The poignant romance takes place in Italy in the 1950s.

Since 2006, Tribeca and ESPN have partnered up to offer a spotlight for sports documentaries. In 2014, the festival will screen "When the Garden Was Eden," a documentary about the New York Knicks. Michael Rapaport directs the energetic tribute to one of New York's most iconic teams.

Every year, Tribeca Film Festival celebrates and illuminates some of the most inventive filmmaking going on in the world. This year, the anticipated films run the gamut from paranormal comedies to thoughtful, serious documentaries. Whether festival attendees are in the mood for a Joss Whedon flick or an international documentary, the 2014 event promises an unforgettable lineup.