The jury, including Danny Boyle, Lucas Hedges and Marti Noxon, will select winners from the feature and short categories during the original festival window and reveal them via the Tribeca website.
The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival revealed Friday that select content from the 19th annual festival will debut online during the original programming window of April 15-26.
Included in the lineup will be content from N.O.W. Creators Market, Jury and Art Awards, Industry Extranet Resource Hub and the newly launched Tribeca X Awards. The immersive Cinema360, a program of VR films, will also debut in partnership with Oculus.
"Tribeca is dedicated to supporting filmmakers, creators, and artists that breathe life into the Festival, the New York community, and the industry," said a festival spokesperson in a statement. "We are excited to bring new work from incredible storytellers to an audience eager to connect with their stories. Since its inception, Tribeca has pushed the boundaries of storytelling and innovative ways ways to connect with audiences. This online program is the latest iteration of that commitment."
The jury, including Danny Boyle, Lucas Hedges and Marti Noxon, will select winners from the feature and short categories during this time and reveal them online via the Tribeca website.
The 19th annual edition of the New York event, founded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, had been set to run from during these April dates before it was postponed on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Tribeca announced its delay shortly after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of more than 500 people in New York City venues. Since then, various additional shutdowns have occurred, with Cuomo and other local officials ultimately directing New Yorkers across the state to avoid leaving home except for essential tasks and services.
This restriction, first imposed on March 22, was, a week later, extended to April 15.
In addition, numerous independent movie theaters and chains have shut down across the U.S. as officials urge people to avoid large gatherings and encourage individuals to practice social distancing. Similarly, several films slated for theatrical release this spring have either delayed those plans or shifted to a VOD distribution strategy.
Prior to the delay, Tribeca had announced its opening night premiere — the documentary Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President — and feature and short-film slates. Highlights included the world premieres of the Sean Penn doc Citizen Penn, about the actor's relief work in Haiti, and the Drew Barrymore starrer The Stand-In, as well as a sneak peek at Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
Other high-profile pics that were set to play the New York festival include HBO's Hugh Jackman starrer Bad Education, making its U.S. premiere; Judd Apatow's Pete Davidson starrer The King of Staten Island; Ron Howard's California wildfire doc Rebuilding Paradise; and Josephine Decker's Shirley Jackson film, Shirley, starring Elisabeth Moss as the "Lottery" author, each making their New York premieres.
The fest had also originally planned a 20th anniversary screening of American Psycho, tied to its April 14, 2000, release date.
Since March 17, Tribeca has released short films that screened in competition during previous editions of the festival, one day on its website.
The Tribeca Film Festival is just one of several high-profile events that have been postponed or canceled since early March as concerns grew about the spread of the novel coronavirus. SXSW and the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, among other events, were canceled, while Cannes, Coachella, the 2020 Olympics and the start of the MLB season are among the events that have been postponed.
SXSW ultimately put its film competition online with the winners in various categories announced on March 24.
Everything is delayed, canceled, or on hold at the moment due to the coronavirus COVID-19, which means that film festivals are having to make some tough choices. Cannes is postponed. SXSW was canceled, but they recently announced they would try to put together an online film festival with Amazon Prime Video. TIFF has yet to make a decision one way or another, but festival runners Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey mentioned last week that they were considering a potential digital festival. Digital film festivals are a distinct possibility in several locations, but there’s one fest that has flat-out refused to go digital: the Venice Film Festival.
With the coronavirus continuing to upend film festivals across the globe, some are wondering if virtual, online film festivals might be the solution for the time being. And while some fests – SXSW, TIFF – are open to this idea, the Venice Film Festival isn’t having it. Speaking with Variety, a Venice spokesperson said: “The Venice Film Festival cannot be replaced by an online event,” adding that “there is obviously the possibility that we use technology for some initiatives, [but] it’s too early for this to be decided.”
The Venice Film Festival is supposed to run in September, and as of now, everyone involved with the fest is still operating under the assumption that the festival is still on. Organizers have put out a call for “projects for its Final Cut in Venice co-production workshop dedicated to supporting works from the Middle East and Africa, currently scheduled to be held during the fest.”
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera was quoted as saying he and his team “are working just the same as in past years” and that they “cannot provide specifics about the future.” The only thing they can confirm is that no matter what happens, the festival will not go digital. While some are more than happy to accept the idea of a digital festival – no travel fees! – not everyone is okay with the idea. For one thing, if a film without distribution were to debut digitally and then immediately be pirated, it would hurt its chances at eventual purchase. Plus, many filmmakers and producers long for that festival buzz that can only be achieved by screening titles for a live audience.
But we remain in uncharted territory for the moment, and it’s unclear just when the coronavirus situation will end. As of now, Italy remains in strict lockdown, and if that continues into the fall, there’s very little chance the Venice Film Festival will go off as planned.