The Tribeca Festival, a longtime mid-spring event whose 20th edition this year took place in June due to Covid-19 complications, will stick with the later timeframe in 2022.
Organizers announced the fest will run from June 8 to 19 next year. Through its first two decades, the festival had always been in April, occasionally stretching into May, and falling between SXSW and Cannes. After taking root as a film-focused event, the festival has become more multi-faceted, even dropping the word “film” from its official name as it has added other offerings.
Jane Rosenthal, CEO of festival parent Tribeca Enterprises, told Deadline the date change stemmed from positive takeaways from this year’s fest — but it may not be permanent. “We may well be back in April in 2023,” she said via email. “When the time comes to make that decision, we will base it on the current climate, health, safety and of course, what is best for our participants and audiences.”
The film programming team remains in place, but their efforts are now joined by those of interactive, podcast, video game and TV curators as the festival continues to redefine itself. “This exponential versatility of the festival programming is becoming a real strength and unique selling point for Tribeca both in the industry and among our audiences,” Rosenthal said.
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In 2020, Tribeca was an online affair, joining a coalition of fests that presented a YouTube gathering and a slate of screenings. By the spring of 2021, the Covid-19 situation had improved enough in New York that the festival was able to be the first major North American fest to host in-person events. Its opening and closing nights featured world premieres of In the Heights and a documentary about Dave Chappelle, both indoors, with the rest of the program unfolding outdoors.
The June timing brought some new opportunities. June is Pride Month and also home to Puerto Rico Day and Juneteenth, all of which were reflected in programming choices. The amount of daylight and warmth is also considerably greater in June than it is in April. Rosenthal said the timing boosted participation from all New York boroughs, expanding community reach. “It is really something different from the April moment,” she said.
Festival Director and VP of Programming Cara Cusumano noted that submissions set a record in 2021, and there are no expectations for that level of interest to subside. “I can’t wait to be inspired again by what our indefatigable storytelling community creates as we embark on a new year of industry-wide rebuilding and reinvention,” she said.
James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems bought a majority stake in the festival’s parent, Tribeca Enterprises, in 2019.
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