Tribeca Film Festival News

The 2010 Tribeca Film Festival Goes Virtual

Source: Tribeca Film Festival
March 2, 2010

Tribeca Enterprises announced today the launch of their new alternative marketing and distribution branch Tribeca Film, which plans to acquire and distribute independent films across multiple platforms including Video on Demand launching concurrently with the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival on April 21 with day-and-date screenings of seven of the 10 feature titles on their roster.

Two days later, on April 23, Tribeca Film will kick-off the first-ever Tribeca Film Festival Virtual (TFFV) with the premiere of the new film from filmmaker Edward Burns, Nice Guy Johnny, which will be available online at the same time as its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. TFFV will allow audiences who aren't able to get to New York for the annual film festival to view full-length features and short films from the Tribeca Film Festival, as well as interact with filmmakers, essentially allowing the entire world to experience the festival at the same time as those in attendance.

Some of the films that will premiere on Tribeca Film's VOD stations include the environmental doc Climate of Change, narrated by Tilda Swinton; the ESPN documentary Birth of Big Air about extreme sports star Mat Hoffman; Mat Whitecross' Ian Dury biopic sex & drugs & rock & roll starring Andy Serkis; and Dev Benegal's dramatic feature Road, Movie.

You can get full details on this unprecedented venture and the films involved in the full press release below:

Tribeca Enterprises today announced the launch of Tribeca Film, a comprehensive distribution and marketing platform for independent film, and Tribeca Film Festival Virtual (TFFV), a new online venture offering worldwide audiences an opportunity to experience the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) through www.tribecafilm.com/virtual. These two new initiatives stem from Tribeca’s desire to redefine traditional models of film distribution and release patterns and with TFF, create new opportunities for filmmakers. American Express is broadening its relationship with Tribeca and reinforcing its commitment to independent film and filmmakers by signing on as the Founding Partner of Tribeca Film and of TFFV – two endeavors that promise to give independent filmmakers a platform to reach even broader audiences and deliver compelling stories to audiences, and American Express Cardmembers, everywhere.

Tribeca Film is a national distribution platform that will acquire and release films year-round through a network of distribution partners. Tribeca will maximize marketing leverage by compressing traditional distribution windows, starting with a branded VOD offering that will launch day-and-date with TFF (April 21 – May 2) and then expanding to theatrical, home entertainment, airline, hotel, subscription and advertising-supported digital platforms. Tribeca Film’s first acquisitions include 10 feature titles, 7 of which will be screened day-and-date during TFF. These films are expected to reach more than 40 million households through partnerships with leading cable, satellite and telecom providers, including Comcast, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS. The titles will be available on a Tribeca-branded menu for a minimum of 60 days.

Theatrical screenings are the centerpiece of TFF and most traditional film festivals, however new technologies and a changing film industry landscape are creating new opportunities for independent film, enabling stronger relationships between filmmakers, festivals and audiences. Tribeca Enterprises’ other new venture – TFFV – will bring the Tribeca experience outside of New York for the first time via the Internet. Complementing TFF’s theatrical screenings in New York City, TFFV will enable a broad online audience to screen full-length 2010 TFF features and short films, engage with filmmakers and fellow audience members both online and at the Festival, as well as watch panel discussions, filmmaker interviews and live coverage of red-carpet premieres. The first-ever TFFV will open April 23, with the world premiere of Edward Burns’ Nice Guy Johnny, which will play simultaneously with the film’s premiere at TFF.

“This year marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Tribeca, as well as for audiences and the entire film community,” said Tribeca Enterprises co-founder Jane Rosenthal. “These initiatives put all the pieces together and provide new platforms for how film can be experienced, while supporting filmmakers and introducing audiences to films they might not otherwise see.”

“We have always sought to help filmmakers find audiences for their works, and now we can really take that mission to the next level,” said Tribeca Enterprises co-founder Robert De Niro. “I’m proud to see how much Tribeca has grown from its beginnings less than a decade ago.”

With strong support from Founding Partner American Express and its distribution partners, Tribeca Film will provide independent filmmakers with an integrated national marketing and distribution platform to reach audiences. This new endeavor further reinforces American Express’ commitment to the independent film industry, and promises to generate new and exciting experiences for Cardmembers who are not able to attend the Festival events in person in New York City.

“Tribeca Film and Tribeca Film Festival Virtual provide an exciting opportunity to connect our global customer base with independent filmmakers, simultaneously driving commerce and celebrating the art of storytelling,” said John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express. “Access to the Festival in New York is one of the most beloved Cardmember experiences that we offer, and this year, by expanding our relationship to include these new endeavors we continue our support of the industry while giving Cardmembers all around the world a chance to experience Festival-caliber films and incredible stories.”

The strategy of the Tribeca Film initiative is designed to address the distribution and marketing challenges facing filmmakers today. Of the many quality independent titles on the festival circuit, only a fraction secure distribution deals, which does not guarantee a film’s commercial success because of prohibitive marketing and promotional costs. With the support of American Express and its distribution partners, Tribeca Film was created based on the realization that a film’s presence at a festival can help propel its release across many platforms and seeks to provide a more effective approach to these inter-dependent platforms, shift release patterns and offer filmmakers a more sustainable business model.

Tribeca Film will release more than 10 titles on VOD under the Tribeca Film banner, over half of them day-and-date with the 2010 Festival, including: the North American premiere of Participant Media and the Alliance for Climate Protection’s Climate of Change, an environmental documentary narrated by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton; the world premiere of Birth of Big Air, an ESPN documentary produced by Spike Jonze and Johnny Knoxville about extreme sports athlete Mat Hoffman; the North American premiere of sex & drugs & rock & roll, the critically-acclaimed story of punk rock pioneer Ian Dury, played by Andy Serkis; and the U.S. premiere of Road, Movie, the tale of a young man’s life-changing drive across India, from the producers of In The Bedroom and Lost In Translation. Additional Tribeca Film titles include TiMER, a brain-teasing romantic comedy that was well received at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.

TFFV will run April 23 – 30 and a limited number of premium pass buyers will be able to watch a selection of full-length 2010 TFF features, which will screen day-and-date with each film’s Festival premiere. Pass-holders will also be able to view exclusive original content and 2010 TFF short films, as well as interact in real time with filmmakers, industry leaders and fellow film enthusiasts. Premium passes will be available to U.S. residents for $45 each, and will go on sale March 8 on the Tribeca website for American Express Cardmembers and March 15 for the general public. Beginning March 15, all visitors to www.tribecafilm.com/virtual will have access to a robust array of free content, including selected short films from previous editions of TFF, conversations with filmmakers and industry experts, a daily highlight reel of the day’s biggest moments, press conferences and live streams of the Festival red carpets.

One of the key features of both the premium and free sections of TFFV is the opportunity to join the conversation unfolding online. Those conversations will include real-time dialogue with fellow film enthusiasts around the world, Q&A’s with filmmakers and thought-provoking panels streamed online. These new forms of interacting with TFF will give audiences globally a chance to share in the Festival experience.

“The traditional makeup of film festivals is evolving and distribution models are increasingly challenged,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer at Tribeca. “At the same time, festivals have never had a more vital role in uniting audiences and serving as a marketing platform for films. We want Tribeca to become what New York City is: a spotlight for film culture in the world.”

Said Ricky Strauss, President, Participant Media, “Tribeca Film’s new multi-platform distribution plan allows for an entertaining and inspiring film like Climate of Change to reach the widest possible audience.”

“Comcast is very excited to bring the inimitable Tribeca Film Festival into our customers’ living rooms – including six films available On Demand before any films are even screened at the Festival. Tribeca Film is the type of innovative programming that complements On Demand technology and is an excellent addition to the Independent Film category On Demand,” said Diana Kerekes, Vice President of Video Content for Comcast.

“Tribeca Film has brought together major players with breadth and scale, building a disruptive business model for independent film that addresses the challenges that filmmakers face,” said Tribeca Enterprises co-founder Craig Hatkoff. "We are so proud that American Express has expanded its relationship with Tribeca; their commitment to independent film and audience experiences is remarkable."

The VOD offerings under Tribeca Film include the following titles. The full film lineup for Tribeca Film will be announced later this month.

Birth of Big Air
2010, USA - World Premiere, day-and-date with the Festival
Director: Jeff Tremaine
Producers: Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze
Cast List: Mat Hoffman, Bob Burnquist, Tony Hawk, Dave Mirra, Travis Pastrana, Danny Way

In 1985, at the tender age of 13, Mat Hoffman entered into the BMX circuit as an amateur. By 16, he had risen to the professional level. Throughout his storied career, Hoffman has ignored conventional limitations and pushed the boundaries of gravity. Academy Award® nominee Spike Jonze and extreme sport fanatic Johnny Knoxville, along with director Jeff Tremaine, showcase the inner workings and exploits of the man who gave birth to “Big Air.”

Climate of Change
2010, USA, UK - North American Premiere, day-and-date with the Festival
Director: Brian Hill
Cast: Tilda Swinton (narrator)

A group of 13-year-olds in India rally against the use of plastics. A renaissance man in Africa teaches villagers to harness solar power. Self-described “hillbillies” in Appalachia battle the big business behind strip mining. Tilda Swinton beautifully narrates this rich and inspiring documentary about a world of regular people taking action in the fight to save our environment.
This extraordinary environmental documentary is executive produced by Participant Media and the Alliance for Climate Protection.

Road, Movie
2009, USA, India – US Premiere, day-and-date with the Festival
Director: Dev Benegal
Screenwriter: Dev Benegal
Cast: Abhay Deol, Satish Kaushik, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Mohammed Faizal

Loath to take over the family hair-oil business, young Vishnu jumps at the chance to drive his uncle’s beat-up Chevy truck across India to its new owner. The young runaway, wandering old entertainer, and beautiful woman he picks up along the way make for a magical journey that will change Vishnu’s life. With the sumptuous landscape of India as his canvas, director Dev Benegal paints a delightfully original road movie.

sex & drugs & rock & roll
2009, UK - North American Premiere, day-and-date with the Festival
Director: Mat Whitecross
Screenwriter: Paul Viragh
Cast: Andy Serkis, Ray Winstone, Olivia Williams, Naomie Harris, Mackenzie Crook, Bill Milner

Awards: Nominated, Best Leading Actor, Best Music, 2010 BAFTA Awards; Nominated, Best Actor, British Independent Film Awards; Nominated, British Actor of the Year, Young British Performer of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards
sex & drugs & rock & roll is The Road to Guantanamo codirector Mat Whitecross’ ripsnorting portrait of mercurial British punk rock pioneer Ian Dury (BAFTA nominee Andy Serkis). From a troubled childhood and a battle with debilitating polio to the effects of fame on relationships and fatherhood, here are the highs and lows of a life lived sneeringly, unapologetically out loud.

TiMER
2009, USA
Director: Jac Schaeffer
Screenwriter: Jac Schaeffer
Cast: Emma Caulfield, Michelle Borth, John Patrick Amedori, Desmond Harrington, JoBeth Williams, Kali Rocha

Finding true love is easier than ever thanks to a bio-technological implant called the TiMER, which counts down to the exact time people meet their soul mates. Love-starved Oona (Emma Caulfield, TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is pushing 30, but her TiMER hasn't even started counting down yet. What's worse, she's falling for a guy (John Patrick Amedori, Gossip Girl) who is set to meet his true love in four months. Newcomer Jac Schaeffer crafts a smart romantic comedy that leaves behind the burning question... would you want to know?

The Tribeca Film Festival Virtual will open with the World Premiere of the feature film Nice Guy Johnny. The full Tribeca Film Festival Virtual lineup will be announced in the coming weeks.

Nice Guy Johnny
2010, USA, World Premiere
Director: Edward Burns
Screenwriter: Edward Burns
Cast: Matt Bush, Kerry Bishé, Anna Wood, Edward Burns

A master of the modern relationship dramedy, Edward Burns crafts a summery gem centered on baby-faced 24-year-old Johnny Rizzo, who’s about to trade his dream job in talk radio for some snoozeville gig that’ll pay enough to please his fiancée. Enter Uncle Terry (Burns), a rascally womanizer set on turning a day in the Hamptons into an eye-opening fling for his nephew. Nice guy Johnny’s not interested, of course, but then he meets Brooke….





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