The Tribeca Film Institute is pausing its operations and winding down programming and staff amid fundraising challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to Realscreen.
Variety first reported the news Tuesday (May 26) that the non-profit — the professional development and funding arm of the Tribeca Film Festival — had laid off fewer than 10 staff, and remaining workers would be placed in other jobs at parent company Tribeca Enterprises.
TFI board co-chairs Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Scott Rechler reportedly sent a memo to staff Monday (May 25) setting a final closure date of Sept. 1. According to the Variety report, the memo refers to the situation as a “pause” and emphasizes “by no means is this the end of TFI,” but will rather serve as an opportunity for the board to determine where its resources can have the greatest impact.
Tribeca Film Institute did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Various filmmakers were quick to take to social media to relay their thoughts on the news, with Marshall Curry tweeting, “Their absence will leave a huge hole in the independent filmmaking community.”
The news comes just days before Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube are set to kick off the 10-day digital event We Are One: A Global Film Festival.
Tribeca’s 19th annual edition was postponed in March following a ban imposed on March 12 by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on events or gatherings of 500 people or more. Organizers announced plans in April to shift select programming to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(With files from Barry Walsh)