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Tribeca Film Festival bolsters programming team ahead of 20th anniversary

The Tribeca Film Festival has strengthened its programming team ahead of the New York event’s milestone 20th anniversary with the addition of José F. Rodriguez and Karen McMullen. The pair will ...
December 9, 2020

The Tribeca Film Festival has strengthened its programming team ahead of the New York event’s milestone 20th anniversary with the addition of José F. Rodriguez and Karen McMullen.

The pair will join as festival programmers and will work closely alongside festival director and VP of programming Cara Cusumano for the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival.

The forthcoming TFF has been pushed back from its typical April start date due to the enduring coronavirus pandemic and is instead slated to take place June 9 to 20. Last year, Tribeca was forced to postpone its 19th annual festival following a March ban by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on events or gatherings of 500 people or more. The 2020 festival eventually went forward as a virtual event.

As a result, the Tribeca Film Institute has stressed its organizing festival team will make this year’s event “bigger than ever” to celebrate its milestone 20th anniversary by “bringing people together through storytelling and cinematic experiences.”

Submissions for the 20th edition of the festival will remain open until Jan. 13, 2021. More information on submissions is available here.

Rodriguez joins the programming team with a storied history in the documentary space and was formerly director of documentary programs at the Tribeca Film Institute. During his 10-year tenure at TFI, Rodriguez oversaw the growth, funding and overall strategic vision for the Institute’s doc programs, as well as it’s filmmaker and industry market TFI Network.

Prior to TFI, Rodriguez was a senior consultant for the Points North Institute, overseeing the Camden International Film Festival’s film market. His previous filmmaking credits include the documentary shorts Adolescencia (2017) and Mama, mama (2018).  

McMullen, meanwhile, has previously held numerous senior positions throughout the festival circuit, including head of programming at TIDE Festival, lead curator for the New Voices in Black Cinema Film Festival, and as a features programmer at DOC NYC.

The Brooklyn-based film programmer and editor was previously an industry consultant at the Tribeca Film Institute, and has previously sat on the selection committees for the Cinema Eye Honors, the Logan Nonfiction Program and Black Public Media 360+ Incubator program. McMullen has also served as a juror at the Pan African and the Bentonville Film Festivals. 

“As we look forward to our 20th anniversary festival in June, we are delighted to welcome José and Karen to our programming team,” said Tribeca’s Cusumano in a statement. Their astute taste, thoughtful curatorial vision, and passion for film will be indispensable assets as we embark on this unprecedented edition” 

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