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Tribeca Launches New Platform and Virtual Film Festival

3 Mar, 2010 By: Billy Gil


What did I tell you about the indie world going digital? Today, the Tribeca Film Festival not only has announced the launch of Tribeca Film, a new distribution and marketing platform for independent film, it also has announced Tribeca Film Festival Virtual, an online way for people to experience Tribeca, at www.tribecafilm.com/virtual, supported by American Express. Let me see if I can say “Tribeca” five more times in one sentence.

Tribeca Film will acquire and release films all year, through various distribution partners, and aim to capitalize on marketing by compressing traditional distribution windows. Seems like a good idea to me, after speaking with a with a filmmaker, Joe Swanberg, who said that despite his sweet deal with IFC to release his film through cable video-on-demand (VOD) at the same time as it premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW), he lamented the fact that it would hit DVD much later than its premiere, thus missing that crucial period when a film is first buzzed about. Tribeca Film will start with the VOD, day-and-date with the film-festival premiere (April 21 – May 2), and then release the films it acquires theatrically, through home entertainment, on airlines, at hotels, in public bathrooms (j/k!), via subscription and through ad-supported digital platforms. 

Tribeca Film will start with 10 features, seven of them screening day-and-date with their festival premiere. That means more than 40 million households will have access to the films, through partnerships with cable, satellite and telecom providers such as Comcast, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS. They’ll be featured on a Tribeca-branded menu for at least 60 days.

And if that wasn’t enough, the virtual film festival venture will enable viewers online to view full-length 2010 Tribeca Film Festival features and shorts, engage with filmmakers and audience members online and at the festival, and see panel discussions, filmmaker interviews and red-carpet stuff. The virtual fest runs from April 23-30, accompanying the world premiere of Edward Burns’ Nice Guy Johnny. Premium passes for the virtual festival will be limited, available to U.S. residents for $45 each, and they go on sale March 8 on the Tribeca site for American Express Cardmembers and March 15 for everyone else.

Virtual film festival titles include: Birth of Big Air; Climate of Change; Road, Movie; sex & drugs & rock & roll; TiMER; and Nice Guy Johnny. The rest of the Tribeca Film titles will be announced later this month.

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