Virtual Tribeca Film Festival in the Works

Virtual Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival was supposed to run April 15 – 26 this year – but obviously, things have changed. The coronavirus caused the fest to postpone those dates, with alternative dates left up in the air. Now, it looks like Tribeca has found a solution: a virtual festival. Details are extremely slim at the moment, but Jane Rosenthal, the CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, made the announcement via social media.

In the video above, Tribeca Enterprises CEO Jane Rosenthal says: “We’re going to be bringing you Tribeca Film Festival virtually very soon, so stay tuned for that announcement.” The wording there makes it clear that this isn’t the “official” announcement of the virtual fest yet – but now the news is out there. I’ve reached out to Tribeca for more info, and will update when I have it.

For now, though, we have to wonder exactly what this means. Is every film that was set to play the fest going to be available virtually? I have a hard time believing that, personally. But then again, things have changed drastically in the last few months, and we’re entering a strange new world for movies. Theaters across the globe have been shut down due to coronavirus, and there’s no real end in sight. Tribeca announced its postponement earlier this month, coming on the heels of the cancelation of SXSW. Since then, Cannes has also postponed their dates, and we’re all still unsure of what will be delayed or canceled next. Comic-Con? TIFF? The New York Film Festival? Fantastic Fest? Just how much longer will this go on?

All of this raises another question: will other festivals be following Tribeca’s lead here? Are we about to see a virtual Cannes? A virtual TIFF? Again, I have a hard time accepting that idea – not because I’m against it, but because it seems unlikely that filmmakers will agree to it. Part of the appeal of getting your movie into a festival is the thrill of being able to screen it to a packed audience, and then the buzz that follows with that. That’s just not the same as having your film available to screen online.

In the meantime, you can see a list of the Tribeca 2020 lineup here. Time will tell how many of these titles will be available via the virtual Tribeca Film Festival.

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