Tribeca Film Institute's Interactive Day on April 23 to Feature Thought Leaders from Across Media, Technology and Education; Slate Features Keynote from Bartunde Thurson and Speakers from The New York Times, IDEO, Games for Change, Plus Interactive Case Study of HBO's Game of Thrones


Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Expands Future of Film Blog Into Live Lunch Series at 92Y Tribeca With Guests Including Paranormal Activity Producer Jason Blum, Tumblr Founder David Karp, College Humor Founder Ricky Van Veen, Kickstarter's Elisabeth Holm and Many More


New York, NY – (April 4, 2012) –Tribeca today announced two new forward-looking events to take place during the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) that will assemble a first-rate collection of thought leaders spanning the worlds of film, media, gaming, technology and society. The Tribeca Film Institute’s Interactive Day will explore the future of storytelling in the digital age, through an all-day conference on April 23, made possible by the Ford Foundation. Tribeca’s long-running Future of Film blog will expand its successful online offerings with a Lunchtime Series with daily talks and presentations related to platforms, technology, and trends that are changing the art and business of film.

On April 23, the TFI Interactive Day, programmed with XO Labs, will bring together leading thinkers from the fields of media, entertainment, education and technology to share their insights and inspire content creators to rethink paradigms. The day will explore the digital media ecosystem. Conversations will range from an interactive case study of the multi-platform rollout of HBO’s Game of Thrones to the signature insights of The Onion’s Digital Director Baratunde Thurston to a conversation about the funding of transmedia projects. The event will take place from 9:30 am – 4:30pm at the IAC Building and is open to all TFF badge holders and invited guests.

“In a world where the lines between audience and creator are increasingly blurred, every sector of the communications industry is undergoing somewhat of an identity crisis. As the only formalized funder of independent, non-fiction transmedia in the US, we are excited to welcome the brightest thinkers and doers from across the spectrum to help us differentiate the substance from the hype,” said Beth Janson, Executive Director of the Tribeca Film Institute.

The Future of Film Lunch Series, hosted by and taking place at 92YTribeca, features notable speakers such as Paranormal Activity producer Jason Blum, Tumblr founder David Karp and College Humor and Vimeo founder Ricky Van Veen. The series will take place on April 23-26 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., with two sessions daily, each 30 minutes followed by an audience Q&A; these events will be highlighted via daily video segments on and throughout TFF.

“Our Future of Film blog has been an important tool in nurturing a steady, year-round dialogue on the changes in our industry. As we continue to drive this conversation year round and grow the community of contributors our Future of Film speaker series is a great platform to hear from industry pros who are experiencing the changes first hand,” said Matt Spangler , Tribeca Enterprises, EVP Marketing and Content. “The live event and video content created by this terrific lineup of speakers will offer unique perspectives for our audience on where film is headed.”

TFI Interactive Day – Program and Schedule

10 a.m. – Keynote speaker: Baratunde Thurston, Comedian and Director of Digital for The Onion – Being human in a digital world
Comedian, author and The Onion Director of Digital Baratunde Thurston pushes the envelope on the latest web platforms. Whether personifying The Swine Flu on Twitter, treating a Foursquare mayor battle as legitimate politics or live-blogging his experience clearing an exit ramp on Lakeshore Drive during Chicago's epic blizzard of 2011, he’s found ways to do more than post photos and beg for followers. Far beyond delivering comedy and shock value, Baratunde has also delivered results. On his own behalf, for The Onion, his book How to Be Black (just out from HarperCollins) and other projects, he has proven an ability to engage communities. This will be an entertaining and insightful journey that explores the limits of your favorite digital platforms and gets at the very heart of what it is to be human. Baratunde performs standup comedy regularly in New York City, resides in Brooklyn, lives on Twitter and has over 30 years experience being black.

10:45 a.m. – Panel: The Future of News
From newspapers to broadcast TV, the news industry has had to change the way in which it tells stories. How are news organizations combining popular social tools such as Twitter and interactive storytelling techniques to deliver news in a way that provides value to readers and viewers? This panel brings together the leaders at the forefront of multimedia journalism to explore the changing nature of news.

Calvin Sims, Program Officer for New Media and Journalism, Ford Foundation
Calvin manages a portfolio of grants focused on the development of a free and responsible press worldwide. His work helps foster new and innovative models of reporting, disseminating and financing quality news, with a concentration on social justice issues, diversity of voices, standards and ethics, and press freedoms.
Andrew DeVigal, Multimedia Editor, New York Times
Andrew is an innovative leader in digital journalism. As the multimedia editor at The New York Times, he has pioneered efforts to redefine multimedia journalism and pushed the medium in telling and explaining stories by working collaboratively across the newsroom and recruiting top talent from a wide range of industries, from interactive programmers to radio broadcast journalists and leading award-winning editorial projects.

Gabriel Dance, Interactive Editor, The Guardian, U.S.
Gabriel is the interactive editor for The Guardian, U.S. and previously he was the art director for news at The Daily, and for five years before that he was a multimedia producer at The New York Times. 

11:15 a.m. – Spotlight: Your Information Diet
Attention is the new scarce resource in a digital era, putting a premium on new approaches to filtering and curating media. Clay Johnson will share thoughts from his acclaimed book The Information Diet on the changing media consumption habits of interactive users. Is it time to change your information diet?

Speaker: Clay Johnson, Author, The Information Diet
Johnson is best known as the co-founder of Blue State Digital, the firm that built and managed President Obama’s online campaign in 2008. After leaving Blue State, Johnson was the director of Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation, where he built an army of 2000 developers and designers to build open source tools to give people greater access to government data.

11:30 a.m. – Extended Spotlight: Bear 71: Interactive Storytelling
An interactive case study of the National Film of Board Canada’s Bear 71 from one of the creators of this online experience. The project blurs the line between the wilderness and the wired through an exciting and innovative approach to exploring the story of the grizzly known as Bear 71. 

Speaker: Loc Dao, Executive Producer and Creative Technologist, National Film Board of Canada
Dao heads up digital content and strategy for English programming at the National Film Board of Canada, overseeing its slate of digital projects and leading its digital team.

1 p.m. – Spotlight: IDEO: Designing the Perfect Experience
You have the story, you have the platforms, you have the budget and you have the team – but have you thought about the experience? UXD is an abbreviation you need to know and understand. How are organizations re-thinking user experience from the perspective of new platforms and technologies and the emergence of the multi-screen experience?

Speaker: Dario Buzzini, Design Director, IDEO NY
Dario Buzzini is a Design Director in IDEO’s New York office. His day-to-day job involves consulting and helping Fortune 500 clients to address complex challenges related to interaction design, from telecommunications and financial services to automotive and consumer electronics products. Over the past eight years, Dario has collaborated with multiple international companies, including Artemide, AT&T, Eli Lilly, Fiat, Ford, Motorola, Novartis, Philips, Prada, Tecno, and Telecom Italia.

1:15 p.m. – Spotlight: Local Projects: Designing for the World We Live In
Connecting with the world around us. How do you design for physical spaces and participant interaction?

Speaker: Jake Barton, Principal, Local Projects
Barton is Founder and Principal of Local Projects, an award-winning media design firm for museums and public spaces. He is recognized as a leader in the field of interaction design for physical spaces, and in the creation of collaborative storytelling projects where participants generate content.

1:30 p.m. Discussion: HBO’s Game of Thrones: An Interactive Case Study
In today’s marketplace, transmedia storytelling is becoming the key to engaging audiences across a proliferating number of digital platforms. When it came to introducing its new television series Game of Thrones, HBO turned to Campfire to create a visceral, multi-sensory fan engagement program that immersed people in the world of the new show, where they could smell, hear, see, touch and taste their way to the premiere. It is not just Hollywood production studios that have embraced transmedia – any digital creator needs to consider how to reach and scale an audience across several platforms simultaneously. Find out how applying old storytelling techniques across new media channels creates experiences that can be shared and amplified.

Speaker: Steve Coulson, Creative Director, Campfire
Steve Coulson is Partner and Creative Director at Campfire, where he leads the creation of marketing solutions that launch products and change perceptions through storytelling. Steve’s award-winning, hands-on immersive brand experiences bridge the physical and digital worlds to ignite the fan cultures and communities that drive the business of clients such as HBO, Discovery Channel, Harley-Davidson, Verizon FiOS, American Eagle Outfitters and Sony Entertainment.

2:15 p.m. – Panel: Take Your Digital Ideas to the Bank
So you have the idea, can find your audience, and know you want to make it happen – but don’t have a spare million in the bank? This panel takes a closer look at three leading funds that are pioneering the funding of interactive content, giving you an insight into what they are funding, why, and, most crucially, what they are looking for.

Ingrid Kopp, Tribeca New Media Fund Consultant
Ingrid Kopp is the New Media Consultant for the TFI New Media Fund at the Tribeca Film Institute. She writes about film, social media and technology for various publications and teaches Digital Bootcamp workshops for filmmakers, focusing on audience engagement and harnessing the web for storytelling. Ingrid is also Editor-in-Chief of Shooting People in the US – an international networking organization for independent filmmakers with over 38,000 members. Ingrid speaks regularly on interactive storytelling and digital media. She loves documentaries and she loves the web.

Alyce Myatt, Media Arts Director, NEA
Alyce Myatt is the Director of Media Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts. She previously served as the founding executive director of Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media after working as a consultant to independent media organizations and the philanthropic community. As a consultant her clients included the Center for Digital Democracy, the Council on Foundations, Free Speech TV, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Emerson College, TVE Brasil, the Heinz Endowments, and the Annie E. Casey and Skillman Foundations. Prior to her return to consulting, she was vice president of programming for PBS and was a program officer for media at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Over the years she has provided program development, production and planning services to a variety of clients in television, radio, and digital media. Her production credits include the Smithsonian Institution, Nickelodeon, and the ABC News magazine, "20/20."

Karim Ahmed, Senior Programming Manager, ITVS
Mr. Ahmad oversees several media funding initiatives at ITVS including the Open Call and the innovative web series FUTURESTATES, for which he reviews projects for funding and works with greenlit filmmakers to develop both non-fiction and fiction content from conception to completion. Mr. Ahmad previously served as Feature Development Director at San Francisco production company Momentum Cinema, where he wrote and produced the award-winning narrative feature film Harrison
Montgomery, starring Martin Landau. Mr. Ahmad has served as a panelist for numerous film funders and festivals, worked extensively as an independent story consultant, and received his BA from Pomona College

Orlando Bagwell, Director JustFilms, Ford Foundation
Orlando Bagwell is director of the foundation's JustFilms initiative, a new effort supporting emerging and established filmmakers whose work addresses the most urgent social issues of our time. The initiative focuses on expanding the community of independent filmmakers around the world—talented storytellers who often lack funding to realize their visions or reach broad audiences.

3 p.m. – Panel: Program or Be Programmed: Code and Education
Reading, writing and arithmetic… and code. The new influentials are the tech-savvy who understand programming and how to use it to make their voices heard within a crowded media landscape. This panel looks at interactive literacy in education and what impact that will have on you. Will you learn to work with or stand against the emerging digital natives? Will the next generation have the tools to program rather than be programmed?

Chris Lawrence, Project Director of The Hive NYC, Mozilla Foundation
Chris Lawrence is the Director of Hive Learning Network, New York City. Hive NYC is a consortium of non-profit organizations working together to create and connect learning opportunities for local middle and high school-aged youth in New York City. Chris directs Hive NYC for the Mozilla Foundation with funding from the Digital Media and Learning Initiative at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Chris previously participated in Hive NYC as a charter member in his former position of Director of Formal and Informal Teaching and Learning at the New York Hall of Science where he conceived and managed educational programs that utilize digital and web-based tools for both on-site and distance learning opportunities. Chris has a Master's in Museum Education from the Bank Street College of Education.

Marc Lesser, Education Director, Mouse
Marc Lesser, Education Director at MOUSE, is a specialist in the field of Educational Technology and digital media for learning with broad experience designing programming and learning environments for an array of local and national education programs. Marc directs the design and development of web-based and live learning for MOUSE’s national program network. His experience building creative learning environments is shaped by previous roles as an educator, trainer, and specialist in educational media and technology. Marc holds a Master’s degree from NYU’s Digital Media Design for Learning program and B.S. in Cinema from Ithaca College. In 2012, Marc was named a National School Boards Association “20-to-Watch” in the field of education technology.

Jess Klein, Hackasaurus Design and Learning Lead, Mozilla Foundation
Jess Klein is dedicated to connecting people and ideas through analog and digital technologies and experiences. A community-based designer, Jess is the Mozilla Learning Design Lead, working to embed hacker habits into webmaking educational resources. Prior to Mozilla, Jess was the Creative Director of the Hive NYC Learning Network, which focuses on promoting openness and creativitiy in formal and informal learning environments. Jess began her career in the curatorial department of Prints, Drawings and Photos at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Over the last decade, she has worked at a variety of institutions dedicated to learning including the Museum of Arts and Design, the Rubin Museum of Art, the Institute of Play, Startl, and Sesame Workshop. She founded OceanLab NYC, a project which asked parents, teachers and kids in the NYC community to investigate their urban coastal environment through casual interaction and play. Avid tweeter, Jess can be found @iamjessklein.

3.30PM Spotlight: Walking With Hipster Dinosaurs: Developing a Transmedia Production
Nothing ruins a good party like a Velociraptor attack. And when a group of urban hipsters gets caught up in a whirlwind of Mesozoic fury, it’ll take more than PBR and vinyl records to get them out of Brooklyn alive. Many projects are daunting enough with just a film to make, so how can expanding content across different media really be achieved? Walking through the interactive live-action and digital components of Jurassic Park Slope, Caitlin Burns will discuss the successes and pitfalls of developing an interactive production on a modest budget.

Speaker: Caitlin Burns, Transmedia Producer, Starlight Runner Entertainment
As a Transmedia Producer with Starlight Runner Entertainment a New York-based entertainment studio that specializes in transmedia development and production, Caitlin creates and influences fictional universes that are familiar to millions worldwide including: Pirates of the Caribbean, and Tron Legacy for Disney, James Cameron’s Avatar, Halo for Microsoft, The Happiness Factory for Coca-Cola, and Transformers for Hasbro. She has also worked on Transmedia Productions with Showtime, Sony, Nickelodeon, Scholastic, Nelvana, and Wieden+Kennedy. Caitlin is also a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and the TFI New Media Fund Advisory Board.

3:45 p.m. – Panel: Putting Play in Place: Games and Storytelling
We all want to engage with stories – but what mechanisms can we use to do that? How can we play with what is presented to us? And who is creating play that is fun, engaging, part of the story world and transcending the digital and physical worlds? This panel brings together social impact, gaming and the story into one melting pot of creativity and fun.

Moderator: Jamin Brophy-Warren, Co-Founder, Kill Screen
Brophy-Warren is the co-founder of videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen, which publishes a website, produces a magazine, and runs a store.

Margaret Robertson, Development Director, Hide & Seek
Margaret Robertson is development director for Hide & Seek, a game design studio which uses public spaces and digital platforms to make interesting games for interesting people.

Nick Fortugno, game designer and educator
Nick Fortugno is a game designer and entrepreneur of digital and real-world games based in New York City, and a founder of Playmatics, a NYC game development company.

Michelle Byrd, Co-President, Games for Change
Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social-impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. As Co-President, Byrd leads institutional relationship and partnership efforts, along with fundraising, business affairs, financial management, and communications strategy.


April 23
Jigar Mehta – Director, 18 Days in Egypt
Annie Correal - Head of Community at Cowbird

Correal and Mehta will present projects helping redefine how people are using digital technology to tell stories and discuss what it means for the future of filmmaking

April 24 
Elisabeth Holm – Director of Film Program, Kickstarter
David Karp – Founder of Tumblr

From the definitive crowd-funding community to one of the fastest growing co-creation and publishing platforms, Kickstarter and Tumblr have made supporting the film community vital to their business. Holm and Karp will present the latest from these two market leaders and how their future will contribute to the future of film.

April 25
A one-on-one with Ricky Van Veen, Founder of College Humor, Vimeo and Notional and Producer of new College Humor-branded film Coffeetown, and Jason Blum, President of Blumhouse Productions, producer of the blockbuster Paranormal Activity franchise and ABC series The River.

As successful entrepreneurs and film and television producers, Van Veen and Blum will share their thoughts on the future of film, exploring the topics of production, distribution, their experience with new storytelling techniques and beyond.

This will be followed by a presentation by a creative representative from Canon, who will discuss the future of filmmaking technology and the future of their film program. Following a brief talk, they will screen their latest film. Project Imagin8ion was the first photo contest to inspire a Hollywood film, resulting in the Ron Howard production when you find me, directed by Bryce Dallas Howard and shot using Canon cameras.

April 26
A one-on-one with Andrew Weissman, Co-Founder of Betaworks and Partner at Union Square Ventures, and Jason Hirschhorn, Curator @MediaReDEF, former President of MySpace and Sling Media, and Chief Digital Officer of MTV Networks.

As successful entrepreneurs and media/internet executives, Weissman and Hirschhorn will speak openly about the future of film, exploring the topics of business models, new platforms, distribution, funding trends and our constantly changing media landscape.

This will be followed by a one-on-one conversation with Ted Hope, famed independent producer of films such as The Ice Storm, 21 Grams and most recently Super and a special guest to discuss the current state of independent filmmaking, their moves into digital technology and the emerging markets of crowd-sourced theatrical screenings, data-driven distribution and new production techniques.


About the Tribeca Film Institute:
The Tribeca Film Institute is a 501(c)3 year round nonprofit arts organization founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of September 11, 2001. TFI empowers filmmakers through grants and professional development, and is a resource and advocate for individual artists in the field. The Institute’s educational programming leverages an extensive film community network to help underserved New York City students learn filmmaking and gain the media skills necessary to be productive citizens and creative individuals in the 21st century. Administering a dozen major programs annually, TFI is a critical contributor to the fabric of filmmaking and aids in protecting the livelihood of filmmakers and media artists.

 For more information and a list of all TFI programs visit

Tickets for 2012 Festival:
Tickets for the Festival will be $16.00 for evening and weekend screenings, and $8.00 for all late night and weekday matinee screenings.

Advance selection ticket packages and passes are now on sale for American Express Cardmembers, and go on sale Monday, March 12 for the general public. All advance selection packages and passes can be purchased online at, or by telephone at (646) 502-5296 or toll free at (866) 941-FEST (3378).

Single ticket and discounted ticket package sales begin Tuesday, April 10 for American Express Cardmembers, Sunday, April 15 for downtown residents, and Monday, April 16 for the general public. Single tickets can be purchased online, by telephone, or at one of the Ticket Outlets, with locations at Tribeca Cinemas at 54 Varick Street, Clearview Cinemas Chelsea at 260 W. 23rd Street, and AMC Loews Village VII at 66 3rd Avenue. The 2012 Festival will continue offering ticket discounts for evening and weekend screenings for students, seniors and select downtown Manhattan residents. Discounted tickets are available at Ticket Outlet locations only. Discounted ticket packages can only be purchased online and by phone. Additional information and further details on the Festival can be found at

About the Tribeca Film Festival:

The Tribeca Film Festival helps filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enabling the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. It is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors.

Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of the lower Manhattan district through an annual celebration of film, music and culture, the Festival brings the industry and community together around storytelling.

The Tribeca Film Festival has screened more than 1,300 films from more than 80 countries since its first edition in 2002. Since inception, it has attracted an international audience of more than 3.7 million attendees and has generated an estimated $725 million in economic activity for New York City.

About the 2012 Festival Sponsors:

As Founding Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, American Express is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking, bringing business and energy to New York City and offering Cardmembers and festivalgoers the opportunity to enjoy the best of storytelling through film.

The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce the return of its Signature Sponsors: Accenture, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Apple, Bloomberg, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Brookfield, Cadillac, Caesars Atlantic City, ESPN, Heineken USA, JetBlue, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Magnum® Ice Cream, NBC 4 New York, NCM Media Networks, New York Nonstop, Stolichnaya Vodka, The New York Times, Time Warner Cable, as well as its Cultural Partner the Doha Film Institute. The Festival is also honored to welcome the following new Signature Sponsors: BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Focus Forward - a partnership between GE and CINELAN, and OppenheimerFunds.


TFF/Rubenstein Communications:            
Dade Hayes, (212) 843-8022,
Anna Dinces, (212) 843-9253 or 

TFF/Tribeca Enterprises:             
Tammie Rosen, VP of Communications, (212) 941-2003,


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