For the first time in its history, the Tribeca Film Festival is opening its marketplace to digital creators, and offering special screenings of their online projects.
The day-long event, which takes place on April 21 at the New York festival, will pair buyers, producers and agents in the industry. It will also showcase some premieres, previews and stand-alone projects from digital frontrunners such as Indigenous Media, Fullscreen, StyleHaul, YouTube Red, New Form Digital and Maker Studios.
Festival director Genna Terranova said in a statement that the rising quality of digital content — and the sizable audience that it attracts — is what has pushed the festival to add the marketplace.
“There are exceptional stories being made for digital platforms and passionate, engaged fan bases for these stories. We hope to encourage quality storytelling in digital media and beyond, and give the public a first look at what their favorite creators are working on,” said Terranova.
Programs and premieres that will be featured in the screening include Vlogumentary, directed by Matthew Testa and produced by Morgan Spurlock, Corey Videl, Jeremy Chilnick, and Julie “Bob” Lombardi; Maker Studios and New Form Digital’s comedy series Party Girl; and Fine Brothers Entertainment and Mandeville Films’ Sing It!, which will premiere exclusively on YouTube Red later this spring.
As part of the event, actor Josh Hutcherson and business partner Jake Avnet will discuss their new filmmaker mentorship initiative, Indigenous Media’s Film Incubator powered by The Black List. They will also screen clips from one of the chosen films from the program.
The concept of the market was developed in partnership with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Tribeca already has a showcase for digital storytellers called Tribeca NOW (New Online Work). The program will feature the work of 11 creators on April 14. The festival earlier this year introduced an initiative to promote Snapchat, offering an all-expense paid trip to the festival for the creator of the best Snapchat story chosen by celebrity judges such as DJ Khaled and Steve Buscemi.
The festival last week added more titles to its documentary line-up, including new work from Merchants of Doubt director Robert Kenner, a doc about DJ Steve Aoki from the makers of Jiro Dreams of Sushi and a sneak peek of a doc on TV “Science Guy” Bill Nye. A Kickstarter-funded film on Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy will also bow.
The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 13 to 24 in New York City.