Can you go to a film festival and not only see films? Technically, yes.
The Tribeca Film Festival isn’t all about sitting in theaters watching the industry’s latest projects (like Zac Efron’s "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile") — though it’s a pretty big part of it. The 18th annual festival, running April 24 through May 5, has dozens of highly anticipated feature film and documentary premieres, but it also boasts a number of celebrity panels, TV talks and events, like a drag performance and comedy show.
Tribeca talks featuring celebrities, like Rashida Jones and Queen Latifah, are $40, while daytime screenings are priced at $12 and evening/weekend events at $24. Tickets are still available at tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets.
Below, we highlight eight events outside of the festival norm.
Gender and racial equality with Queen Latifah
The actress will discuss her "creative journey from musician to actor to entrepreneur, and how she is using her influence to mentor and uplift diverse female filmmakers in order to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera," according to a release. (April 26 at 5:30 p.m.; The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Theater)
Rock out with "This Is Spinal Tap"
It’s been 35 years since the Bronx-born Rob Reiner set out to film a mockumentary of the legendary (at least in their minds) rock band Spinal Tap as the film’s Marty DiBergi. Tribeca will screen the film as released on March 2, 1984, but the real intrigue follows the final credits. "This Is Spinal Tap" stars and creators Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Reiner, will pay tribute to the parody band with a special musical performance. A conversation will follow. (April 27 at 8 p.m.; Beacon Theatre)
Asperger’s Are Us comedy show
Four friends on the autism spectrum find similarities through humor in this six-part HBO documentary series making its world premiere at the festival. If you’re not familiar with Asperger’s Are Us, consider seeing them in action live. The group will perform stand-up following the screening. (April 29 at 8 p.m.; SVA)
Questlove with Boots Riley
The Roots’ Questlove will take us back to his roots for his own Tribeca Storytellers chat. The drummer, DJ, producer, author and "Tonight Show" musical director will also discuss what it’s been like working with artists like D’Angelo. Eminem and Jay-Z. (April 30 at 8:30 p.m.; Tribeca Festival Hub at Spring Studios)
"Star Wars" Tribeca Family Day
The festival’s only free event lands on May 4, aka Star Wars Day. New Yorkers feeling the force can participate in this screening-turned-comic convention, where cosplaying is encouraged. A first-come, first-served viewing of 1977’s "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope" will follow the cosplayer meet up. (May 4 at 10 a.m.; The Stella Artois Theatre)
Sitting down with Rashida Jones
From "Angie Tribeca" and "Parks and Recreation" actress to "Celeste" and "Jesse Forever" writer, to "Quincy" director and "Claws" producer, Rashida Jones has much to discuss. Jones’ chat doesn’t follow a screening, but instead is a part of the festival’s Storytellers series. She’ll guide the conversation as she pleases. (May 1 at 6 p.m.; The Stella Artois Theatre)
A drag performance fit for "Wig"
Wigstock, the annual East Village drag festival born in the ’80s, gets an origin story in this Chris Moukarbel-directed HBO documentary. The screening documents how drag legend Lady Bunny unknowingly started the tradition in Tompkins Square Park, which was revived last year. It makes its world premiere at the festival, with a special drag performance to follow. Lady Bunny herself will take to the stage, along with queens Charlene Incarnate, Bobby Samplsize, Flotilla DeBarge and Willam. (May 4 at 8 p.m.; Tribeca Festival Hub)
Honoring the 50th anniversary of the riots at Stonewall, Tribeca has planned a full day of talks featuring notable LGBTQ public figures and screenings of queer films. The stacked event features sit-down chats with Neil Patrick Harris (the first openly gay man to host the Academy Awards) and "Billions" star Asia Kate Dillion (a nonbinary activist), among others. Separate from the celebrity talks, nine conversation panels are set to dive into topics such as LGBTQ media visibility and queer representation in Hollywood. (May 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tribeca Festival Hub at Spring Studios)