Established in 2002 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, the Tribeca Film Festival has reached an audience of over four million international festival-goers in its relatively young life. With the annual fest taking over lower Manhattan every Spring, here are five fun facts about the festival, its history and its continued economic (and artistic) impact.
It was founded in the wake of Sept. 11.
Tribeca Film Festival was established during one of New York City’s darkest hours. De Niro, Rosenthal, and Hatkoff created the festival after Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorist attacks left lower Manhattan in a cloud of smoke and threatened to obliterate the city’s economy and (more importantly) its spirit. With the goal of establishing New York as a center for film and celebrating the city’s vibrant culture, the festival has since brought an estimated $750 million worth of economic activity to Manhattan and revitalized the hearts, minds, and businesses of countless city residents.
Tribeca Film Institute empowers filmmakers of all ages.
Also founded after Sept. 11 by De Niro, Rosenthal, and Hatkoff, this TFF affiliated non-profit enriches young lives through a variety of educational programs and connects emerging (and established) filmmakers with grants and other professional development opportunities. High-schoolers take note: “Tribeca Film Fellows” selects six NYC filmmakers ages 17-21 each year to go behind the scenes at the festival, receiving mentorship from award-winning directors and developing their own projects in the process.
You don’t have to be in NYC to see the festival.
Film lovers outside of New York can enjoy the unique curatorial perspective of TFF through a variety of streaming programs. This year’s NOW (New Online Work) showcase focuses on new-media creators, and can be viewed online (for free!), alongside descriptions of featured filmmakers and their bodies of work. In addition to showcasing films created for the online space, Tribeca also offers audiences all over the world the opportunity to watch curated shorts from TFF alumni without leaving their home computers.
It’s not all about the films.
OK, it sort of is all about the films, but there are still many amazing opportunities to watch filmmaker interviews, live performances, and panel discussions throughout the festival. “Tribeca Talks: At Home” offer tons of relevant conversations about filmmaking in general—like a virtual chat between the cast members of Hulu’s Normal People—as well as sneak previews and targeted talks leading up to festival screenings.
The festival celebrates virtual reality.
Tribeca is embracing an international movement towards transmedia storytelling through a number of interactive and virtual reality-based festival presentations, as well as a recently established award for transmedia. “Tribeca Virtual Arcade @ Cannes,” a project sponsored by AT&T. An exhibition of 12 VR/MR experiences, and showcasing two Talks with leading creators, kicking off with a virtual dance party featuring DJ Neil Armstrong & MiroShot streaming for free from June 23rd-July 3rd, and TFI Interactive.
Although the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival was scheduled for April 15 through April 26. Due to COVID-19, TFF has been postponed. For tickets, online programming and more visit tribecafilm.com.
Ready to get to work? Check out our New York City audition listings!