After Postponing Due to COVID-19, Tribeca Film Festival Goes Digital

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  • After Postponing Due to COVID-19, Tribeca Film Festival Goes Digital

After last month’s decision to postpone the 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival, originally scheduled for April 15-26, organizers announced that select programming from the event will be available online.

The virtual festival will include the brand storytelling Tribeca X Awards, which launched Friday, as well as the Industry Extranet Resource Hub, Jury and Art Awards and the N.O.W. Creators Market. Award winners will be announced over the course of the festival’s original time frame. Select content from other award categories will also be released online throughout the week.

“Each year we are excited about Tribeca X because it celebrates brands telling human stories and the creators that are closing the gap between entertainment and brand storytelling,” said Tribeca Enterprises chief content officer Paula Weinstein.

The festival, as well as the way that audiences connect to stories, “is always evolving,” Weinstein said. “This new online celebration of brand entertainment is our latest commitment to adapting to the world around us and providing audiences with new experiences.”

After the festival expanded it last year, the fifth annual Tribeca X awards will honor narrative and documentary work in three categories: feature film, short film and episodic series.

Selected finalists’ work are available on the festival’s website, featuring brands and agencies including Adidas​, Dove​, Dior​, Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble​, Red Bull, Square​, Synchrony Bank​, ​Volvo​, Attn:​, Anonymous Content​, ​ColorCreative, Giant Spoon, Great Big Story​ and ​Grey Group​. Filmmakers and talent involved in the work include Morgan Cooper,​ Gabrielle Dennis, Margaret Qualley, Lena Waithe, Denzel Whitaker and Olivia Wilde.

In addition to traditional programming, Tribeca Immersive, the festival’s incubator for innovation in storytelling, is debuting a new immersive viewing experience that will be available to viewers at home in partnership with Oculus. The curated experience includes 15 virtual reality films curated into 30- to 40-minute programs.

Alongside the announcement that the event is going digital, organizers pointed out that the Tribeca Film Festival was created in the aftermath of a crisis in 2001, just after 9/11. Almost 20 years later, New York City—and the world—is in a crisis once again. Moving portions of the festival online so that attendees can enjoy the films together while apart is the organizers’ way of participating in that never-back-down “spirit of New York,” they said.

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