The Tribeca Film Festival is set to take over downtown Manhattan over the next couple of weeks and there are plenty of FREE events to keep us true Cheap$kates happy as well. Here's a smattering of what the fest has to offer.

 

Drive-in outdoor screenings

 

Enjoy three FREE movies under the stars, with related programming nightly. Check out "Mary Poppins" Thursday and come early for trivia contests and more. Catch "Splash" on Friday, plus a performance from Tails of Glory. And round out the weekend on Saturday with "Next Goal Wins," along with Samoan drummers and virtual soccer drills. (Thurs.-Sat., doors at 6 p.m., films around 8:15 p.m., FREE, seating first-come, first-served, Tribeca Drive-In, Brookfield Place, 220 Vesey St., tribecafilm.com/festival)

 

Panel discussions

 

Dolby Institute: The Art of Sound Design & Music

Panelists, including the likes of Academy Award-winning sound mixer Skip Lievsay ("Gravity") and music supervisor Susan Jacobs ("Silver Linings Playbook"), will discuss what it takes to create the sound of a film and will divulge the secrets of using sound to tell a story. (Friday, 2:30 p.m., FREE, SVA Theatre 2, 333 W. 23 St., svatheatre.com/events/2014-tribeca-film-festival, tribecafilm.com)

The Cutting Room: An Insight to the Edit Suite

Get the inside scoop on what happens on the cutting room floor from longtime Martin Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker. (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., FREE, SVA Theatre 2, 333 W. 23 St., svatheatre.com/events/2014-tribeca-film-festival, tribecafilm.com)

Shooting the Film: An Exploration of Cinematography

Learn how cinematographers capture images to tell a story and hear them dish on how they shot some of their most famous scenes. Panelists include "All is Lost" cinematographer Frank G. DeMarco, "Ballet 422" cinematographer Nick Bentgen and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" cinematographer Ellen Kuras. (Monday, April 21, 2:30 p.m., FREE, SVA Theatre 2, 333 W. 23 St., svatheatre.com/events/2014-tribeca-film-festival, tribecafilm.com)

The Growth of Short Content

It's all about the shorts at this panel, featuring director/producer Morgan Spurlock and ESPN's Dan Silver, who will discuss the challenges of creating attention-grabbing and informative content. (Saturday, April 26, 1 p.m., FREE, SVA Theatre 2, 333 W. 23 St., svatheatre.com/events/2014-tribeca-film-festival, tribecafilm.com)

'Tribeca Talks: Pen to Paper' hosted by Barnes & Noble

This series of FREE "Tribeca Talks," hosted by Barnes & Noble, includes panel discussions around moving from pen and paper to the big screen. All take place this weekend at the Barnes & Noble Union Square.

The Repercussions of Truth

Hear directors John Dower ("Slaying the Badger"), Tyler Measom ("An Honest Liar"), Justin Weinstein ("An Honest Liar"), and Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman ("Art and Craft") discuss the editing process and the subsequent decisions to omit certain information or facts from true stories that are repurposed for the big screen. The panel will be moderated by Gordon Cox of "Variety" magazine. (Friday, 1 p.m., FREE, Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., 212-253-0810, bn.com, tribecafilm.com)

Adaptation & Creation

How true should filmmakers stay to an original text when creating an adaptation of an existing work? Get the opinions of directors/writers Stephen Belber ("Match"), Amy Berg ("West of Memphis), Megan Griffiths ("Lucky Them"), Aaron Katez ("Land Ho!") and director Adam Rapp ("Loitering with Intent") at this panel moderated by Mark Adams of Screen International. (Saturday, 1 p.m., FREE, Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., 212-253-0810, bn.com, tribecafilm.com)

Calling the Shots

At this panel, director/writer Ira Sachs ("Love is Strange"), director Orlando von Einseidel ("Virunga") and director Marshall Curry ("Point and Shoot") will discuss the power of films to affect social change. (Sunday, 1 p.m., FREE, Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 E. 17th St., 212-253-0810, bn.com, tribecafilm.com)

 

Family Festival Street Fair & Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day

 

It's a family affair at the Family Festival Street Fair next Saturday (April 26) where your whole brood can have the Tribeca experience with dancers, stilt walkers, Broadway performances, arts and crafts, clowns, jugglers, music and games. Don't miss your chance to get a taste for the classic elements of filmmaking at the Tribeca Studios Backlot, among other activities. Be sure to also check out the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day, which will offer up games, demos and prize giveaways for those avid sports fans among us. (April 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., FREE, N. Moore St. from Greenwich to West sts., tribecafilm.com/festival)