Tribeca Film Festival organisers announced on Friday (April 3) that select programming from the recently postponed 19th annual festival will be presented online later this month, including two strands open to the public.
Tribeca Immersive, NOW Creators Market, Industry Extranet resource hub, Tribeca X programme, and juried and art awards will all proceed in a virtual capacity.
Accredited press and industry will be able to access all five programmes, while the public will be able to view Immersive and Tribeca X content.
“This is not the [rescheduled] postponed festival,” said festival director Cara Cusumano, referring to the 19th annual edition of the festival that had been scheduled to run from April 15-26 and was postponed on March 12 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
”This is what we could move forward with most immediately. We’re meeting and talking and collaborating about [a physical festival] all the time, but until we know more about the stay-at-home order and when theatres will open, that’ll be when we can really share more about the rest of the plan.”
Cusumano continued: “We’re living through these extraordinary, unprecedented circumstances… we’re responding to the filmmakers in the industry in a more urgent way. What can we offer them most immediately because we know this is a time that the filmmakers in the industry really need support. Certainly we as a festival have that experience; that’s kind of the origin story of the entire festival – how a festival can respond to a time of crisis and the power of storytelling in that moment.”
The festival director said filmmakers of more than 90% of the films that would have screened in the physical festival have opted in for the juried awards. Tribeca will clarify at a later date which films opted out of being considered for awards.
Tribeca Enterprises chief content officer Paula Weinstein told Screen last month’s postponement was ”a wrenching decision to make, as you can imagine.” She continued, ”Everybody had worked so hard to get us to that point, and then we couldn’t do it. The most important thing to us immediately was this festival exists to show the work of independent filmmakers, so how do we service them? What can you do to expose the work of these creators to the world?
”We recognised very early on the economic jeopardy… All we’ve been thinking about is how do we get the buyers to see this work, how do we show this remarkable group of filmmakers and creators and storytellers of all forms?”
Referring to efforts to stage a physical festival, Weinstein added, ”There’s nothing we won’t explore. We are going to come out of this and hopefully sooner rather than later. People are going to want to go out and be entertained and we’re going to want to give the filmmakers and our incredible New York audience a chance to see these films in the theatre so for us, that is absolutely central in our thoughts.”
She said all the festival’s sponsors have remained on board. “Everyone’s been great. Look, we’re all in this together and we have had amazing partners for many years. The fact is we all seem to be of a mind that we’re going to come out of it. The whole world is in this trouble right now and we have to believe stories will out, and human beings will come out of this stronger.”
The five online programmes announced on Friday are:
Cinema360 immersive content will be available to the public and debuts in partnership with Oculus, featuring 15 VR films curated into four 30-40 minute programmes. The public will be able to access the entire slate of Cinema360 via Oculus TV, for Oculus Go, and Oculus Quest. 2019 Tribeca Storyscapes Award winner The Key will also be available as an app for Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift-S, and Oculus Quest.
Selections hail from all over the world and are categorised as: Dreams To Remember, Seventeen Plus, Kinfolk, and Pure Imagination. Click here for the full list.
Tribeca NOW Creators Market
The fifth annual showcase of new online work sponsored by HBO takes place from April 21-22 and features 20-minute video pitch meetings between industry and online, episodic and immersive storytellers (2020 NOW Showcase creators, 2020 TribecaTV Pilot Season creators, and an additional curated group of online, indie episodic and VR writers/performers/influencers). Participating companies in the virtual pitch meetings include Bron Studios, CNN Original Series, Gunpowder & Sky, and Topic Studios. Click here for full details of participants.
Industry Extranet Resource Hub
The hub will host participating films available for accredited industry and press to view. Resources include information on rights availabilities, delegate directory, and sales contacts. The Extranet will host an online screening library of select Tribeca 2020 projects. Work from the feature and short films programmes, Tribeca NOW, and Pilot Season can opt to make their pieces available from April 15-May 15. Content can be streamed securely on personal computers or tablets, and all viewed titles will be reported to press and sales contacts. Extranet is currently accepting new accreditations.
Juried awards for feature and shorts categories will be presented by juries and announced on tribecafilm.com within the window of the original festival dates. Winners in select competition categories will be eligible for Tribeca Film Festival’s Art Awards supported by Chanel.
Feature film competition categories are: 2020 US and international narrative feature competition awards for feature, actor, actress, screenplay, and cinematography; 2020 documentary feature competition awards for feature, editing, and cinematography; 2020 best new narrative director; 2020 Albert Maysles Award for best new documentary director; and 2020 Nora Ephron Award. Short film awards will be presented for 2020 narrative/animation, documentary, and student competitions.
Among the jurors are Danny Boyle, Aparna Nancherla, Regina Hall, Yance Ford, Lucas Hedges, Pamela Adlon, Marti Noxon, Asia Kate Dillon, and Sheila Nevins.
The Tribeca X competition partners with PwC to celebrate the best-branded content told through storytelling. This year the award will celebrate narrative and documentary work in three categories: feature film, short film, and episodic series. Finalists for the 2020 Tribeca X Awards include works created by and featuring Margaret Qualley, Lena Waithe, Denzel Whitaker and Olivia Wilde. Click here to see the finalists.