(TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL) - The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival will open with 89 feature films from new and established directors, ranging from hard-hitting documentaries to romantic and teen comedies and gripping dramas.
More than 6,000 films from 30 countries were submitted to this year's festival, which was established more than a decade ago to revitalize the New York neighborhood devastated by the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.
Along with the 34 documentaries and 55 narrative feature films, the festival, that runs from April 17 to 28 will include five projects in a new section called Storyscapes about trends in digital media.
The festival will kick off with the world premiere of "Mistaken for Strangers," executive produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Marshall Curry. It depicts the experiences of director Tom Berninger on tour with his brother, Matt, the frontman of rock band "The National," which will perform following the premiere.
"Looking forward to 'Mistaken for Strangers'. It's a documentary that we're opening the film festival with, and it's about the indie rock band 'The National'. It's actually a very touching story about two brothers. So that will be a very fun and different opening for us," said festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal.
"Big Men," a documentary written and directed by Rachel Boynton and produced by Brad Pitt, will have its world debut and open the world documentary section. The film is an inside look into at the African oil industry and the American oil industry.
Starting on April 19, the festival will celebrate Nelson Mandela's words by taking over video screens in the center of Manhattan.
"Times Square will be covered at midnight for several days during the festival with Mandela's words. And I think his words are equally as relevant today as when he said them. And will resonate with every generation," said Rosenthal.
The former South African President attended the very first film festival. Veteran actor Robert De Niro said paying tribute to Mandela is necessary.
"We've had many, a few events with Mandela when he first came to the States. We had him at the Grill, Tribeca Grill. And some other events for him. And so it's appropriate to do this now when he's getting on. He'll be 95 soon," De Niro told Reuters, who co-founded the festival with Rosenthal.
For the fourth year in a row film fans will be able to take part in the festival from the comfort of their homes with the online film festival. In addition, movies will be available in Britain through the event's very first UK video-on-demand element.
"We are an international festival. And we are very excited to partner with Virgin Media and i-Tunes to bring six of the films that have actually played at the festival and bring that festival experience to a new audience," explained Rosenthal.
To help get New Yorkers in the mood for films, the festival is sending a popcorn truck around town.
"The popcorn truck is open to the masses. Popcorn is given out for free and then we are also able to sale tickets through the Tribeca box office actually from the truck," said Deborah Curtis, Vice President of entertainment marketing and sponsorships at American Express.
The festival will close with De Niro's 1983 film "King of Comedy."