After 12 days filled with world premiere film and television screenings, cutting-edge virtual reality experiences, the inaugural Tribeca Games Festival, momentous talks, and once-in-a-lifetime concerts and reunions, the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, today announced an estimated attendance of more than 153,000 people to 531 screenings and talks, the virtual arcade, and games with an additional 3,800,000 people participating in 15 talks and post-film conversations from afar via Facebook Live. [Note: This is record-setting from recent years and surpasses last year’s attendance, even though in 2016 there were 556 screenings and one of the main theaters being used in 2017 had its seats reconfigured to enhance the audience’s movie-going experience, which resulted in 25% less total seating capacity.]
From April 19 – April 30, the Festival presented 97 features, 57 short films, 31 immersive storytelling projects, 15 television shows, and 16 N.O.W. (New Online Work) projects from 42 countries over the course of the 12 days.
“With film always at our core, the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival continued to break boundaries – this year with television, virtual reality, online work, and gaming – to stay ahead of the convergence of storytelling mediums,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and Executive Chair of Tribeca Enterprises. “Bringing great stories and great storytellers to our growing audience, no matter what screen or platform, is why we continue to do what we do each year.”
Below are highlights and clip handout of conversations, concerts, interviews, and select moments from the Festival:
As the Festival wraps up, 11 of the films available for acquisition have announced distribution deals.
- Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story (World premiere) bought by Apple Music – All rights
- Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives (World premiere) bought by Apple Music – All rights
- ELIÁN (World premiere) bought by Gravitas Ventures – U.S. theatrical, digital and video rights
- The Endless (World premiere) bought by Well Go USA Entertainment – North American rights
- Flower (World premiere) bought by The Orchard – North American rights
- From the Ashes (World premiere) bought by National Geographic Global Networks – Worldwide rights
- November (International premiere) bought by Oscilloscope Laboratories – North American rights
- The Reagan Show (World premiere) bought by Gravitas Ventures/CNN Films – North American theatrical and streaming rights and CNN Films has acquired North American broadcast rights
- Super Dark Times (North American premiere) bought by The Orchard – Worldwide rights
- Take Me (World premiere) bought by The Orchard – Worldwide theatrical, digital rental and sales, cable/satellite VOD, airline, DVD and soundtrack rights. [Netflix will release the film on its worldwide streaming platform later this year.]
- Tom of Finland (North American premiere) bought by Kino Lorber – North American rights
With 97 feature films presented this year, the festival offered narrative and documentary selections covering an immense array of stories and perspectives.
While debuting 77 new feature films the Festival also paid respect to the past with the 25th anniversary of Aladdin, the 25th anniversary of Reservoir Dogs, followed by a conversation with director Quentin Tarantino and the full cast, the 15th anniversary of Bowling for Columbine with director Michael Moore, and The Godfather 45th anniversary.
Reservoir Dogs video highlights:
- [Video: Reservoir Dogs Casting]
- [Video: Harvey Keitel on rehearsals]
- [Video: Cast dinner at Harvey’s and the Happiest Moment]
Bowling for Columbine video highlights:
- [Video: Moore – Ignorance leads to fear]
- [Why don’t women shoot other human beings? Gender & shootings]
- [Student loans: “You are going to be at age 22, put into a debtors’ prison”]
Here is video from post screening Q&A’s from a few films:
- Buster’s Mal Heart: http://bit.ly/BustersMalHeartQandA
- Dabka: http://bit.ly/DabkaQandA
- Love After Love: http://bit.ly/LoveAfterLoveQandA
- Mike and the Mad Dog: http://bit.ly/MikeandTheMadDogQandA
Among this year’s films, the spotlight shone on the award winners:
- Audience Awards – The Divine Order (Die göttliche Ordnung), directed and written by Petra Volpe, was chosen to receive the Narrative award and Hondros, directed by Greg Campbell, was chosen for the Documentary award
- Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature – Keep the Change, written and directed by Rachel Israel
- Best International Narrative Feature – Son of Sofia (O Gios tis Sofias) written and directed by Elina Psykou
- Best Documentary Feature – Bobbi Jene, directed by Elvira Lind
- Best New Narrative Director – Rachel Israel, director of Keep the Change
- Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award – Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra for A Suitable Girl
- The Nora Ephron Prize: Petra Volpe, writer/director of The Divine Order
Tribeca continued to take the movie experience beyond the screen by turning special performances into cultural moments.
- Opening Night at Radio City Music Hall was a stellar evening for the world premiere of Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives. Following the documentary, the sold out crowd was treated to a once in a lifetime concert with legendary musicians Jennifer Hudson, Barry Manilow, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny G, Dionne Warwick, and Aretha Franklin.
o Concert footage: http://bit.ly/OpeningFilmCliveDavisConcert
- Sean “Diddy” Combs aka Puff Daddy held court on the red carpet and on stage for the world premiere of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story at the Beacon Theatre. The hip hop doc was followed by a celebratory reunion concert with Bad Boy originals Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim and Mase.
○ Concert footage: http://bit.ly/CantStopWontStopconcert
- Musician and actor Common performed a lively and soulful concert, including the debut of a new song, following his Tribeca Talks: Storytellers conversation with director/screenwriter Nelson George, and the screening of a never-before-seen extended version of Letter to the Free (Directed by Bradford Young).
○ Concert and talk clips: http://bit.ly/CommonAtTribeca
- The inaugural Tribeca Games Festival kicked off with a performance by British electronic music producer and multi-instrumentalist Mura Masa who had the crowd on their feet.
○ Concert broll: http://bit.ly/MuraMasabroll
- Early 80s punk and new wave music was reinvigorated at the world premiere screening of Dare to be Different, which chronicles the Long Island, New York radio station WLIR that introduced the music to the U.S. The post-screening concert included members of A Flock of Seagulls, The Alarm, and Dave Wakeling of The English Beat.
- Legendary blues artist Taj Mahal teamed up with environmental artist Wyland and the Wyland Blues Planet Band to perform a concert at the Festival Hub following the premiere of Wyland’s short film Blues Planet: Triptych, which explores the Gulf oil spill disaster and its aftermath.
- As the television landscape continues to evolve in cinematic directions, Tribeca offered a special treat for TV fans, blowing up the small screen to theatrical proportions and bringing it to life with in-person talks from the dynamic storytellers on both sides of the camera. The second annual Tribeca TV Festival featured 15 shows with five series premieres including The Handmaid’s Tale [Video of talk with cast and creators] and Genius [Video of talk with cast and creators], four season premieres including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Episodes, [Video of talk with cast and creators] and Another Period [Video of talk with cast and creators] three independent pilots, one feature documentary, and one very special sneak peek. Audiences responded with packed theaters… because TV is better shared.
- The Sinner director Antonio Campos on premiering at Tribeca: “Film festivals all over the world are recognizing what television is doing, and I think it’s really appropriate that Tribeca is showing TV shows, and I’m really honored to show it here in my hometown.” While Paul Reiser of There’s… Johnny!’ said about the Tribeca Film Festival: “What’s cooler than being here in New York City?”
- Tribeca’s Jane Rosenthal presented legendary documentarian Ken Burns with the Citizens Filmmaker Award, and then the audience was treated to a special one-hour sneak peek of his upcoming 18-hour PBS documentary, The Vietnam War. [Video of Ken Burns receiving award]
- The inaugural Tribeca Games Festival premiered to sold-out enthusiastic crowds. The Festival kicked off with the New York premiere of Telltale Games’ first-ever crowd play of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale series, Episode 1 and a concert with British electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist Mura Masa, which brought down the house. Saturday featured a captivated crowd for keynotes with some of the top game creators, including legendary creator Hideo Kojima, who flew in from Japan, Ken Levine, and Sam Lake – each of whom has transformed the industry with their unique and visionary storytelling.
- Why a Games Festival? Tribeca Co-Founder Jane Rosenthal said to the crowd, “At the end of the day, good storytelling is good storytelling, no matter the medium.”
Tribeca’s Immersive program continued to push the boundaries of storytelling through technology and creativity with 31 virtual reality (VR) and innovative experiences and installations from top creators and emerging artists, including 22 world premieres. Top creators in attendance included Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin of Within, Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël of Felix & Paul Studios, Gabo Arora, Maureen Fan and Eric Darnell of Baobab Studios, Eugene Chung and Jimmy Maidens of Penrose Studios, Imraan Ismail, Saschka Unseld of Oculus Story Studios, Marshmallow Laser Feast, and more.
[Broll video of the Virtual Arcade: http://bit.ly/BrollofVirtualArcade]
Director Kathryn Bigelow and co-creator Imraan Ismail were joined on stage by surprise panelist Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Tribeca Talks: Virtual Reality, to discuss the world premiere of the virtual reality documentary short The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes, which follows the rangers fighting to save the African elephant from poachers. Also on the panel were Andrea Heydlauf with African Parks, and Rachel Webber from National Geographic.
Acclaimed director Alejandro González Iñárritu declared “VR is everything cinema is not” during his Tribeca Talk with Marina Abramović.
- [CLIP – FB, Twitter] Iñárritu – “VR is everything cinema is not.”
- [STILL – Twitter] Iñárritu with creator Chris Milk
Over 20 Tribeca Talks took place over the 12 day festival with remarkable pairings that only happen at Tribeca. Highlights from the program include:
The Storytellers Series, which celebrates those who have pioneered their own forms of storytelling across multiple mediums, included conversations with:
- Barbra Streisand with Robert Rodriguez
○ [CLIP] Streisand on sexism
○ [CLIP] Streisand – “People would say ‘how do you hold the notes so long?’ and I said ‘Because I want to.'”
○ [CLIP] Streisand – on fear. “Fear is like an engine to create.”
- Bruce Springsteen with Tom Hanks
- Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner with America Ferrera
○ [CLIP – Twitter] Konner & Dunham on an interview question that triggered a “rage-spiral blackout”
- Kobe Bryant & Glen Keane with Michael Strahan
- Common with Nelson George
○ [CLIP – Twitter] Common on director Ava DuVernay
○ [BROLL] – Concert and talk clips. Video credit: Tribeca Film Festival; Still image credit: Carolyn Amuaro for Street Dreams
The Directors Series brought together some of today’s most groundbreaking filmmakers to discuss their careers and highlights including:
- Director Alejandro González Iñárritu with Marina Abramović
○ [CLIP – Twitter] Iñárritu – “Filmmaking is an art that is not just born by one moment of inspiration.”
○ [CLIP – Twitter] Iñárritu on what he’s learned from working with actors
- Director Noah Baumbach with Dustin Hoffman
○ [CLIP – Twitter] Hoffman on the improvisational backstory for his iconic Midnight Cowboy line.
- Director Jon Favreau with Scarlett Johansson
- Director Paul Feig with Michael Che
Tribeca Talks: Master Class returned this year to give attendees of the free event series an inside look at the filmmaking process with conversations focusing on cinematography, production design, sound design, and digital distribution.
- Academy Award®-nominated cinematographer Ellen Kuras took the audience behind the camera, from choosing the right lenses to crafting a specific vision.
- Production designers Anne Ross & Scott Dougan spoke about creating the overall look and feel of different worlds and times.
- During the Dolby: Image and Sound Master Class, composer/sound designer Imogen Heap and co-directors Limbert Fabian and Brandon Oldenburg discussed the audio techniques used to tell the compelling story of their new animated short, Escape.
- The Future of Independent Film Distribution Master Class brought Amazon Video Direct’s Matthew Norman and Dan Truong and Kino Lorber’s Richard Lorber together for a conversation about how digital technologies have impacted the way filmgoers consume movies and the new challenges and opportunities for the business of releasing them.
Tribeca Talks: Podcasts – Live from The Tribeca Film Festival
- Acclaimed comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried and co-host Frank Santopadre were joined by Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson (Rain Man) for a live recording of their hilarious and informative podcast Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast!
- Slate’s Trumpcast explored the first 100 days of the Trump administration with host Jacob Weisberg and guests Slate Chief Political Correspondent Jamelle Bouie and author Virginia Heffernan.
- Franchesca Ramsey joined host Aisha Harris for Slate’s Represent podcast, which explores culture created by women, people of color, and those in the LGBTQ community.
N.O.W. (New Online Work)
Tribeca N.O.W. is a program that discovers, highlights, and celebrates New Online Work from independent storytellers creating and sharing their work in the online space.
N.O.W. Special Screenings, featuring high profile content from the industry’s leading online networks and talent.
- On Earth Day, Tribeca premiered Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock, a documentary that captures the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s peaceful resistance against the Dakota Access pipeline. An illuminating and moving panel followed with the filmmakers, Floris White Bull and moderator Doug Good Feather. The doc was then made available to stream for free immediately after the credits rolled on the film’s website
- Crypt TV’s Monster Madness, a series of several character shorts from the digital brand’s scaremakers debuted. Eli Roth joined the Crypt TV team and filmmakers for a conversation after the screening on the future of genre filmmaking and opportunities for up and coming horror creators.
○ [Full Facebook livestream] Eli Roth, Crypt TV Chief Content Officer, Kate Krantz, and Crypt TV filmmakers, moderator Crypt TV CEO & Co-Founder, Jack Davis.
- Out of This World: Female Filmmakers in Genre brought fresh voices into the genre sphere with the premiere of diverse works from three trailblazing female filmmakers
Tribeca N.O.W. Showcase brought the latest work from 10 independent online creators to the big screen as official Tribeca selections. The curated group of creators, which included Bonnie Wright (Harry Potter), were also invited to showcase a piece of their past work on www.tribecafilm.com during the Festival.
TRIBECA X AWARD
The second annual Tribeca X Award went to Chris Fonseca: Keep It Moving, directed by Zachary Heinzerling for Smirnoff Ice by 72andSunny. The Tribeca X Award highlights excellence in creative, original and authentic storytelling that is sponsored or underwritten by a brand. Tribeca and The Atlantic – through its in-house content studio, Atlantic Re:think – announced the winner during the Festival at a special screening event. The short film was one of ten finalists selected from a field of 600 entries that represented the best in storytelling at the intersection of advertising and entertainment from the past year.
ICYMI: FACEBOOK LIVESTREAMS
45th anniversary of The Godfather with Francis Ford Coppola
15th anniversary of Bowling for Columbine with Michael Moore
Copwatch with director Camilla Hall and subjects
The Clapper with director Dito Montiel and cast including Ed Helms and Tracey Morgan
Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine with director Patrick O’Dell, subjects Bam Margera, Steve-O, and more
World premiere of House of Z with director Sandy Chronopoulos and Zac Posen interviewed by André Leon Talley
Take Me with director Pat Healy and cast
World premiere of Genius with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and more cast and creators
World premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale with cast and creators
World premiere of new season of Another Period
Season premiere of Episodes with creators and Matt LeBlanc
Tribeca Talks: Storytellers – Lena Dunham & Jenni Konner with America Ferrera
Tribeca Talks: Storytellers – Kobe Bryant & Glen Keane with Michael Strahan
N.O.W. (NEW ONLINE WORK)
Conversation with Eli Roth following a Crypt TV program
Conversation after premiere of AWAKE, A Dream From Standing Rock Q&A with Digital Smoke Signals and Josh Fox