RYOT Takes Over Tribeca Film Festival With More Than Film

Article By: Bryn Mooser, Co-Founder RYOT

RYOT Takes Over Tribeca Film Festival With More Than Film

2015 marks our fourth year at Tribeca, and it’s a big one for us. We have a short documentary on Ebola, a virtual reality piece on solitary confinement, and even more premieres, sneak previews, and events extending from the RYOT family tree.

RYOT is a breaking news site that links every story to an action, empowering you to become the news.

We’ve built a strong connection between RYOT and Tribeca over the years. It’s somewhere we’ve grown to call home. We’ve premiered every single one of our short docs here to date. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, why Tribeca? What is it about this festival, this community, and RYOT that keep us tethered year after year?

In a way it feels like looking back at two old friends. You know you like the same music, food, and movies. You share lots of great memories. But what was it that first made you click? Made you hit it off and see the world through the same kind of kaleidoscope – one where stories matter, communities have power, and combined those two can do great things.

For RYOT and Tribeca, it all comes back to resilience. Post-9/11, Tribeca Film Festival was born out of a need for hope – for connection, creativity, celebration, and joy. It breathed life into a community grappling with grief and united people through stories and art. It became a beacon of hope. It became a story of resilience. And for us, that’s a story we know and live, tell and share.

If our four short films have anything in common, it’s that they all tell stories of hope and resilience. Stories of characters rising above harrowing circumstances to do great things. Sun City Picture House tells the story of a Haitian community rallying together to build the country’s only movie theater in the wake of the devastating earthquake. Baseball in the Time of Cholera follows a young Haitian boy who plays in Haiti’s first little league baseball team despite the Cholera epidemic raging in the earthquake’s aftermath. The Rider and the Storm profiles a New York ironworker and surfer who loses everything in Super Storm Sandy, until met with the kindness of strangers. And this year, Body Team 12 introduces the world to the brave men and women tasked with collecting the dead at the height of the Ebola outbreak.

Body Team 12 member Garmai Sumo, after conducting an Ebola swab test on a victim in Monrovia, Liberia.

We’re broaching new territories this year – expanding not just our presence but also our storytelling style. Together with How to Make Money Selling Drugs Director Matthew Cooke, RYOT has created a virtual reality experience entitled "Confinement" on solitary confinement that will be exhibited as part of TFI Interactive. The experience is the first of many activations around prison reform to coincide with RYOT and Matthew’s upcoming documentary, Survivor’s Guide to Prison, from Executive Producers Susan Sarandon and Adrian Grenier.

And as always, for all of our work, every story has an action. Body Team 12 has a campaign running through the RYOT Foundation to raise $54,000 to send 171 Ebola affected orphans to school. "Confinement" has partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union to support their petition to stop youth solitary confinement. And to think that’s just the beginning.

But it’s a beginning that wouldn’t be possible without Tribeca, without an ally, an enthusiast, a champion of RYOT’s approach to stories and action.


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