The 9th annual Tribeca Film Festival is set to once again showcase the work of filmmakers from around the globe while highlighting the NYC film scene. Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff back in 2001, the yearly event continues to shine a spotlight on lower Manhattan with a celebration of film, music, and culture.

TFF's 85 feature length and 47 Short Film selections will include 34 titles that are part of the World Narrative and Documentary Competition (some competing for cash prizes), as well as out-of-competition feature film selections in the Showcase and Special Events sections. The 2010 festival will run from April 21 to May 2 and encompasses feature films from 38 different countries -- narrowed down from 5,055 submissions which TFF indicates is a record number. Joining the festival this year for the first time is everyone's favorite invention, video-on-demand. Get cozy at home with 12 feature length films, 7 of which will be screened day-and-date with the festival. There's also TFF Virtual which boasts panel discussions, Q&A's and other extras via the Internet.

The Showcase category of the festival will act as a snapshot of global cinema and feature seven films based on a variety of personal stories. Also unique to the festival are three special events , including a screening of a restored print of David Lean's Russian Revolution epic, Doctor Zhivago, on its 45th anniversary and two work-in-progress screenings -- one a revealing documentary on former Governor Eliot Spitzer, and the other a first-person account of a Marine veteran's return to Iraq. I've never actually attended an unfinished film screening before -- have you and did you revisit the film again once complete?

There's a great variety of films to choose from, but two titles I'm very excited about are Tarik Saleh's dystopian, animated noir Metropia (featuring the voices of Vincent Gallo, Juliette Lewis, Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgård, and Alexander Skarsgård) and Joann Sfar's Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque), which uses live-action, puppets and animation to tell the story of legendary French musician Serge Gainsbourg.

Dig in on all the TFF goodies at their official website, where you can also purchase ticket packages and subscribe to the newsletter. Stalk the fest on Facebook or Twitter (they're using #tribeca if you want to follow along). If you have further questions there's always that antiquated but sometimes necessary telephone method [(866) 941-FEST (3378)]. Of course, stay tuned to Cinematical as we'll be making TFF our BFF (at least from April 21 - May 2).