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15 Years of Innovation at Tribeca

2005: Crowdsourcing Before Kickstarter

These days, Amazon green lights original shows like Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, and The Man in the High Castle through crowd-sourced voting. But Amazon has actually been using that system for longer than people think. In 2005, Amazon and Tribeca collaborated on a digital contest where users submitted over 1,000 short films onto the site. People voted on their favorites along with celebrity jurors like Ice Cube, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stanley Tucci, and David Duchovny. The winner was Jon Lindgren’s Rachel’s Challenge, a seven-minute short about the Columbine High School shootings.

These days, Amazon green lights original shows like Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, and The Man in the High Castle through crowd-sourced voting. But Amazon has actually been using that system for longer than people think. In 2005, Amazon and Tribeca collaborated on a digital contest where users submitted over 1,000 short films onto the site. People voted on their favorites along with celebrity jurors like Ice Cube, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stanley Tucci, and David Duchovny. The winner was Jon Lindgren’s Rachel’s Challenge, a seven-minute short about the Columbine High School shootings.

2007: The First Film Shot on a Cell Phone

As great as 2015’s indie film breakout Tangerine is, it’s not the first movie shot on an cell phone. That honor goes to Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me It Would Become This Bad in Afghanistan?, a 70-minute film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. Dutch avant-garde filmmaker Cyrus Frisch shot the film for only $200 on a Sharp 903 cell phone, with its built-in 3.2-megapixel camera. Frisch used the intimate, lo-fi aesthetic to convey the shattered emotions of a war veteran who, fresh out of Afghanistan, battles through PTSD while trying to readjust to life in Amsterdam.

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As great as 2015’s indie film breakout Tangerine is, it’s not the first movie shot on an cell phone. That honor goes to Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me It Would Become This Bad in Afghanistan?, a 70-minute film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. Dutch avant-garde filmmaker Cyrus Frisch shot the film for only $200 on a Sharp 903 cell phone, with its built-in 3.2-megapixel camera. Frisch used the intimate, lo-fi aesthetic to convey the shattered emotions of a war veteran who, fresh out of Afghanistan, battles through PTSD while trying to readjust to life in Amsterdam.

Read More

2012: Virtual Reality Seen Here First

Since 2012, TFI Interactive has welcomed most curious people to experience next-level documentary projects, VR, cinematic video games, and other forms of cutting-edge storytelling. In 2015, attendees took part in The Skin Deep’s The {} And, an experimental, in-person doc for which creators Topaz Adizes and Nathan Phillips invited two people to grill each other with questions they’d otherwise never ask: “Who here would you sleep with?,” “What would it take for me to kill you?” TFI Interactive Day also featured That Dragon, Cancer, a life-affirming game where players see what it’s like to raise a cancer-stricken kid.

Explore TFI Interactive 2015

Since 2012, TFI Interactive has welcomed most curious people to experience next-level documentary projects, VR, cinematic video games, and other forms of cutting-edge storytelling. In 2015, attendees took part in The Skin Deep’s The {} And, an experimental, in-person doc for which creators Topaz Adizes and Nathan Phillips invited two people to grill each other with questions they’d otherwise never ask: “Who here would you sleep with?,” “What would it take for me to kill you?” TFI Interactive Day also featured That Dragon, Cancer, a life-affirming game where players see what it’s like to raise a cancer-stricken kid.

Explore TFI Interactive 2015

2014: Finding High Maintenance

Gone are the days of paying for film school in order to become filmmakers. All you need now is the ability to upload videos online. In recent years, numerous web series have introduced Hollywood to TV’s next generation, from Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital to Comedy Central’s Broad City. To empower the next crop of web-savvy storytellers, the Tribeca Film Festival unveiled Tribeca N.O.W. (New Online Work) in 2014. Two highlights are Money & Violence, which was recently picked up by Jay Z’s Tidal, and High Maintenance, which has since evolved into an HBO series set to premiere in 2016.

LEARN MORE

Gone are the days of paying for film school in order to become filmmakers. All you need now is the ability to upload videos online. In recent years, numerous web series have introduced Hollywood to TV’s next generation, from Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital to Comedy Central’s Broad City. To empower the next crop of web-savvy storytellers, the Tribeca Film Festival unveiled Tribeca N.O.W. (New Online Work) in 2014. Two highlights are Money & Violence, which was recently picked up by Jay Z’s Tidal, and High Maintenance, which has since evolved into an HBO series set to premiere in 2016.

LEARN MORE

2011: Video Game Gets World Premiere

Thanks to modern technology, today’s gamers are able to inhabit worlds that aren’t far removed from human-driven cinema. One example debuted at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival: L.A. Noire, a detective-based Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 game starring Mad Men’s Aaron Staton and modeled after crime noir films like L.A. Confidential and Chinatown. Two years later, Tribeca returned to movie-inspired gaming to premiere Beyond: Two Souls, a PS3 fantasy role-player led by Oscar nominee Ellen Page. And now there’s Tribeca Games, which teamed up with Riot Games for an all-day League of Legends blowout in 2015.

Read More

Thanks to modern technology, today’s gamers are able to inhabit worlds that aren’t far removed from human-driven cinema. One example debuted at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival: L.A. Noire, a detective-based Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 game starring Mad Men’s Aaron Staton and modeled after crime noir films like L.A. Confidential and Chinatown. Two years later, Tribeca returned to movie-inspired gaming to premiere Beyond: Two Souls, a PS3 fantasy role-player led by Oscar nominee Ellen Page. And now there’s Tribeca Games, which teamed up with Riot Games for an all-day League of Legends blowout in 2015.

Read More

2014: Music Film Challenge

The list of A-list movie directors who got their start with music videos is includes David Fincher, Spike Jonze, and Antoine Fuqua. With the recent influx of short-film-based videos from artists like Nicki Minaj and Miguel, that list keeps increasing. In 2014, TFF teamed up with the music video service Interlude to launch “Tribeca Interactive & Interlude: A Music Film Challenge,” created in collaboration with The Lincoln Motor Company via Genero.tv’s global creative community. Music-driven short films were submitted from 29 countries and judged by musicians like Aloe Blacc and Damon Albarn.

Read More

The list of A-list movie directors who got their start with music videos is includes David Fincher, Spike Jonze, and Antoine Fuqua. With the recent influx of short-film-based videos from artists like Nicki Minaj and Miguel, that list keeps increasing. In 2014, TFF teamed up with the music video service Interlude to launch “Tribeca Interactive & Interlude: A Music Film Challenge,” created in collaboration with The Lincoln Motor Company via Genero.tv’s global creative community. Music-driven short films were submitted from 29 countries and judged by musicians like Aloe Blacc and Damon Albarn.

Read More

2011: Funding Cutting-Edge Storytelling

Looking to simplify the difficult process of getting films made, Tribeca Film Institute awards funds to emerging and established directors, producers, and digital storytellers. With its TFI New Media Fund, TFI awards grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 to select storytellers whose non-fiction, socially conscious works push boundaries. Past New Media Fund grantees are VR pioneer Nonny de la Peña, Peabody Award-winning documentarian Elaine McMillion Sheldon, and wartime photographer Karim Ben Khelifa's VR project The Enemy, which empathizes with both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Learn More

Looking to simplify the difficult process of getting films made, Tribeca Film Institute awards funds to emerging and established directors, producers, and digital storytellers. With its TFI New Media Fund, TFI awards grants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 to select storytellers whose non-fiction, socially conscious works push boundaries. Past New Media Fund grantees are VR pioneer Nonny de la Peña, Peabody Award-winning documentarian Elaine McMillion Sheldon, and wartime photographer Karim Ben Khelifa's VR project The Enemy, which empathizes with both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Learn More

2013: Vine Film Contest

As technology keeps advancing, the tools available for budding filmmakers are as accessible as their mobile phones in their hands. To both celebrate and challenge that, Tribeca introduced a contest in which people created stories with a “beginning, middle, and end” via the phone app Vine. Billed as the #6SecFilm Contest, and kicked off in 2013, the competition invited cellular junkies to become DIY Spielbergs without ever touching an actual camera. The submissions were separated into four categories: “Auteur,” “Genre,” “Series,” and “Animate.”

See The Films

As technology keeps advancing, the tools available for budding filmmakers are as accessible as their mobile phones in their hands. To both celebrate and challenge that, Tribeca introduced a contest in which people created stories with a “beginning, middle, and end” via the phone app Vine. Billed as the #6SecFilm Contest, and kicked off in 2013, the competition invited cellular junkies to become DIY Spielbergs without ever touching an actual camera. The submissions were separated into four categories: “Auteur,” “Genre,” “Series,” and “Animate.”

See The Films

2014: Storyscapes

Binge-watching films is great, but limiting yourself to dark movie theaters for six to eight hours a day would be criminal. As an alternative, Tribeca’s Storyscapes is an ambitious congregation of experimental narratives and documentary storytelling. Found inside the Tribeca Festival Hub, Storyscapes lets people exit the movie theater and experience unconventional and often interactive filmmaking. They’re forced to navigate their ways through pure darkness (Door Into the Dark), or even sit down with representatives of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to witness their peace talks (The Enemy).

Experience Storyscapes Now

Binge-watching films is great, but limiting yourself to dark movie theaters for six to eight hours a day would be criminal. As an alternative, Tribeca’s Storyscapes is an ambitious congregation of experimental narratives and documentary storytelling. Found inside the Tribeca Festival Hub, Storyscapes lets people exit the movie theater and experience unconventional and often interactive filmmaking. They’re forced to navigate their ways through pure darkness (Door Into the Dark), or even sit down with representatives of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to witness their peace talks (The Enemy).

Experience Storyscapes Now

2010: Online Film Festival

For cinephiles who don’t live in New York City, April can be a drag. Unable to attend the Tribeca Film Festival, they’re forced to read tweets and reviews while suffering from intense FOMO. In 2010, though, Tribeca introduced a solution: Tribeca Film Festival Virtual (TFFV). Kicked off by the digital premiere of filmmaker Ed Burns’ Nice Guy Johnny, the TFFV—sponsored by American Express—provided movie lovers outside of NYC the chance to catch some of Tribeca 2010’s best full-length and short-form films online and eavesdrop in on filmmaker Q&A's via a special online screening room.

For cinephiles who don’t live in New York City, April can be a drag. Unable to attend the Tribeca Film Festival, they’re forced to read tweets and reviews while suffering from intense FOMO. In 2010, though, Tribeca introduced a solution: Tribeca Film Festival Virtual (TFFV). Kicked off by the digital premiere of filmmaker Ed Burns’ Nice Guy Johnny, the TFFV—sponsored by American Express—provided movie lovers outside of NYC the chance to catch some of Tribeca 2010’s best full-length and short-form films online and eavesdrop in on filmmaker Q&A's via a special online screening room.

2014: Games for Change

While it’s fun to simulate wartime combat in Call of Duty, or pretend you’re Steph Curry in NBA 2K16, video games aren’t only for escapism. The Games for Change Festival has been at the forefront of educating gamers both young and old about the player-based culture’s socially conscious side. In 2014, the 11th annual Games for Change Festival was held during the Tribeca Film Festival. The first year’s highlight was The Go Game Presents: Superheroes vs. Zombies, a high-concept survival adventure in which users learn practical survival skills while also gunning down the living dead.

Discover Games for Change 2015

While it’s fun to simulate wartime combat in Call of Duty, or pretend you’re Steph Curry in NBA 2K16, video games aren’t only for escapism. The Games for Change Festival has been at the forefront of educating gamers both young and old about the player-based culture’s socially conscious side. In 2014, the 11th annual Games for Change Festival was held during the Tribeca Film Festival. The first year’s highlight was The Go Game Presents: Superheroes vs. Zombies, a high-concept survival adventure in which users learn practical survival skills while also gunning down the living dead.

Discover Games for Change 2015

2015: Hacking 101

In a world where everyone’s gone digital, privacy and personal security are now under attack. The best way to defend yourself: attend DEF CON, where hackers from all around the globe meet to talk privacy-invading shop. In 2015, DEF CON founder Dark Tangent brought his internationally acclaimed hacking conference to the Tribeca Film Festival, marking DEF CON’s first New York City event. The one-day event included interactive sessions dedicated to lock picking and hardware hacking, as well as panels focused on how hacking culture is depicted in film.

See DEF CON 2015

In a world where everyone’s gone digital, privacy and personal security are now under attack. The best way to defend yourself: attend DEF CON, where hackers from all around the globe meet to talk privacy-invading shop. In 2015, DEF CON founder Dark Tangent brought his internationally acclaimed hacking conference to the Tribeca Film Festival, marking DEF CON’s first New York City event. The one-day event included interactive sessions dedicated to lock picking and hardware hacking, as well as panels focused on how hacking culture is depicted in film.

See DEF CON 2015

2015: Imagination Day

Tribeca has spent its 15-year run exposing movie connoisseurs to everything that storytelling has to offer beyond celluloid, and last year, Tribeca introduced its most wide-reaching initiative yet: Imagination Day. Powered by the Hatchery, the all-day summit puts moviemaking on pause and assembles the greatest tech minds—including the Stanford VR Lab’s Jeremy Bailenson and Michael Tolkin, CEO of IMAX Labs—for panels and exhibitions on topics like artificial intelligence, transportation, robotics, nanotechnology, and virtual reality.

Tribeca has spent its 15-year run exposing movie connoisseurs to everything that storytelling has to offer beyond celluloid, and last year, Tribeca introduced its most wide-reaching initiative yet: Imagination Day. Powered by the Hatchery, the all-day summit puts moviemaking on pause and assembles the greatest tech minds—including the Stanford VR Lab’s Jeremy Bailenson and Michael Tolkin, CEO of IMAX Labs—for panels and exhibitions on topics like artificial intelligence, transportation, robotics, nanotechnology, and virtual reality.

2010: Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards

Although it began as a straight-up film festival, Tribeca has evolved into a boundless celebration of creators from all backgrounds. That’s most apparent in the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, dedicated to the most progressive innovators in education to economics, health care, and religion. Launched by Tribeca co-founder Craig Hatkoff in 2010, in collaboration with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton M. Christensen, the TDIA has honored recipients like Bill Simmons, Shane Smith (VICE Media), Rus Yusopov (Vine), Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter), and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia).

Learn More

Although it began as a straight-up film festival, Tribeca has evolved into a boundless celebration of creators from all backgrounds. That’s most apparent in the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, dedicated to the most progressive innovators in education to economics, health care, and religion. Launched by Tribeca co-founder Craig Hatkoff in 2010, in collaboration with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton M. Christensen, the TDIA has honored recipients like Bill Simmons, Shane Smith (VICE Media), Rus Yusopov (Vine), Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler (Kickstarter), and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia).

Learn More

2016

This year, the Tribeca Festival Hub will host a groundbreaking showcase of Interactive exhibits that are at the forefront of storytelling and Virtual Reality. Buy passes now to experience the best in interactive storytelling, gaming, and conversations on the future of technology.
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