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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Tribeca goes online for annual film festival amid pandemic

The official Tribeca Film Festival logo. Tribeca is adapting its annual film festival to a digital platform. PUBLIC DOMAIN

On Friday, Tribeca editors announced that their annual film festival would adapt to a new digital landscape. 

In an attempt to continue the festival— one born during the difficult time directly after 9/11, Tribeca plans to bring select programming straight to consumers. This includes an innovative virtual reality film program that will be presented in conjunction with Facebook’s Oculus. 

Tribeca also revealed that the competitive sections of the festival would continue as planned. Regina Hall, Lucas Hedges and comedian Aparna Nancherla were announced as judges, part of a group of 37. Hedges is one of the judges for the 2020 U.S. Narrative Feature Competition while Hall and Nancherla are judges for the 2020 Nora Ephron Prize.

How will the judging actually take place? Tribeca plans for the judges to be, “busy deliberating in the weeks to come, streaming the full slate of 2020 selections from home and comparing notes in time to announce the winners during the original Festival dates.”

To recognize films with a keen ability to bridge the gap between “advertising and entertainment,” the jurors will present the coveted Tribeca X Award. The finalists include “Girls Room” produced by Lena Waithe and “Wake Up,” directed by Olivia Wilde. Streamable links to all of the Tribeca X Award finalist films are now available online. 

Most festivals present an opportunity for exposure that newer artists can benefit from. Tribeca is no different. In order to keep this spirit, alive Tribeca will allow creators to present their work to press and industry festival viewers directly. Tribeca won’t stop there. In collaboration with New Online Work Creators Market, creators will be put into contact with producers and distributors during an array of 20-minute pitch meetings. 

Social distancing measures are becoming staples in American life. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order banning large gatherings in the state. This measure leaves events like Tribeca, Governors Ball and even Metropolitan Opera performances searching for new ways to connect with their audiences. 

Tribeca’s techniques of engagement come as no surprise. Online, the pencil-thin distance between creators and consumers is becoming increasingly smaller. Every day musicians and actors alike are giving their fans access like never before. Hour-long live streams where celebrities talk and captivate audiences have become the new norm. Tribeca Film Festival can now throw their hat in the ring in the battle for attention. 

Tribeca plans to update its website with more information on award winners and exclusive content within the coming weeks.

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