Our Time at the Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival is an annual celebration of the international film community which allows the general public to experience the power of film. The program is inclusive of independent films, documentaries, narrative features, and shorts as well as panel discussions featuring well-known industry figures. Alex and I recently completed our time at the 15th Annual Tribeca Film Festival, and we have a few takeaways to share.

Tribeca Talks: Kickstarter as Audience Engagement

During this session, three filmmakers shared their experience with using Kickstarter to fund their film projects. The panelists included filmmakers Kahane Cooperman, Kel O’Neil, and Sophia Takal. They suggested to use Kickstarter as a way to build a two-way street of commitment. Reach out to the people who might have a stake in your project and develop a tiered system for soliciting donations. Explain how the additional donations will bring your project to the next level. In addition, create a bank of resources for all stakeholders to contribute to and utilize. Build something that becomes mutually beneficial.


Festival Hub Opening Night 

Director Matt Pizano contrasts the moments of darkness and light in artist Bradley Theodore’s career in the short documentary, Becoming: Bradley Theodore. Theodore did not have a background in painting but showed relentless dedication to this craft. As a result, his unique spin of skulls and icons has gained popularity and an enthusiastic following across New York City. Below is his rendition of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld.

imagesTFI Interactive

Here, we have a very cool demo of what Bare Conductive’s conductive paint technology can do. When connected to a piece of hardware, the paint can be programmed to perform actions such as proximity sensing and playing music. The banana (yes, it is a real banana) in the picture is the closest thing to a banana phone. Instead of being able to make and receive phone calls, it is a musical instrument. It makes different sounds based on where and how you touch it. The middle exhibit is a proximity sensor. The closer you move an object to the paint, the more lights on the circuit board that turn on. And no, you don’t even have to touch the paint! My personal favorite is the piano, which acts like a real piano, because it redefines the meaning of compact.


Virtual Reality in the works! I caught Alex immersed in a simulation that gave individuals a walk-through of the emotional burden and social stigma of abortion. It was an honest portrayal of the reality many women face. I believe it is important to also engage men in women’s issues, so kudos to Alex.


Have you ever tried to imagine creating self-portraits that treat the body as a 3D canvas? It is the feel of art with the translation of technology. Participants are scanned with a 3D camera, which generates the textures for the model. Participants can then color in the textures on paper, and the changes they make to the 3D model are reflected on the screen in real-time. Skin Deep is the thought-baby of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program students Alon Chitayat and Rosalie Yu.


Shorts: Whoopi’s Shorts

This was an animation series curated by Whoopi Goldberg. The shorts in this series were inspired by a number of topics, including emotional expression, self-esteem and workplace protocol.

“The Orchestra” was built around the idea that everyone has a personal soundtrack as they walk through the street. The main character, a reflection of the screenwriter, explores alienation, and finds his voice in expressing romantic feelings.

“Violet” is an animation that centers on a topic everyone can relate to at some point in their lives. It is about self-esteem and the value we may put on other people’s opinions.

“Lucens” is a funny animation that explains workplace hazards in a lighthearted yet effective manner with the use of robot-like characters. Set in the environment of a factory, the characters jest with each other and participate in amusing antics.


This is just a sneak-peak into our days at the Tribeca Film Festival. It was an exciting intersection between storytelling, technology, fundraising, and the vigor of the human spirit. There was so much to experience from the profound life lessons in the Learning Curve Shorts to the new dimensions of storytelling in the experiential hubs and certainly with the premieres of movies that celebrated filmmakers from all over the world. We would love to hear your experience with film festivals or your opinion on any of the works mentioned above. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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