FIFTEENTH ANNUAL TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL, PRESENTED BY AT&T,
ANNOUNCES FIRST ROUND OF SPEAKERS AT THE TRIBECA FESTIVAL HUB, VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCES, AND A NEW PANEL SERIES: TRIBECA TALKS: STORYTELLERS
Tina Fey, Tom Hanks, Sir Richard Branson, Google ATAP’s Regina Dugan, High Fidelity founder Philip Rosedale, and STRIVR’s Derek Belch among the first featured speakers announced
Felix & Paul Studios named Tribeca’s 2016 Featured Creator
The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, which will host its 15th edition April 13-24, 2016 in New York City, today announced a new platform, Tribeca Talks: Storytellers, a series of in-depth conversations with leading creators taking place at the Tribeca Festival Hub and other venues. Tina Fey and Tom Hanks are among the first of the featured actors, artists, musicians, and writers to be announced.
In addition, TFF announced that the Tribeca Festival Hub will return to Spring Studios, which will serve as the Festival’s creative center. A gathering place for artists, thinkers, and storytellers, the Hub will host ten days of immersive storytelling experiences, musical performances, panel discussions, and special guests. Among the events will be Imagination Day, powered by the Hatchery, which brings together some of the most influential, provocative, and creative minds for an all-day summit that takes place on April 19. The day focuses on: “What happens when our wildest dreams become reality and what will that reality be in our not-so-distant future?” The first round of participants includes entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, and business leader and product innovator Regina Dugan, of Google ATAP. Joining them are esteemed VR creatives and tech entrepreneurs: Second Life and High Fidelity founder Philip Rosedale, VR directors Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël of Felix & Paul Studios, and STRIVR founder and CEO Derek Belch.
Part of the Hub’s immersive programming for the 15th Festival will be the world festival premiere of Invasion!, the first VR, interactive, animated film from Baobab Studios, co-founded by Maureen Fan (former VP of Games for Zynga) and Eric Darnell (director Antz and the Madagascar series). The project follows menacing aliens with vastly superior technology who come to claim the Earth and destroy anyone in their way. Despite incredible odds, Earth's citizens rise and defeat the evil aliens. Surprisingly, these Earthly citizens are not humans but a pair of the cutest, meekest, and cuddliest creatures on our planet -- two fluffy white bunnies.
Felix & Paul Studios will be the Tribeca Festival Hub “Featured Creator” for 2016. At the forefront of cinematic virtual reality, Félix and Paul combine artistic and technological innovation using Felix & Paul Studios' proprietary VR technology platform to create original live-action virtual reality content. The VR filmmakers will appear as part of Imagination Day on April 19 and a selection of their work, including Inside Impact: East Africa with President Bill Clinton, Cirque du Soleil's Inside the Box of Kurios, and Nomads: Maasai will be featured throughout the space.
The Hub will also showcase Storyscapes, a juried section that showcases groundbreaking exhibits in technology and interactive storytelling, which returns to TFF for the fourth year. The fifth annual TFI Interactive will again assemble the brightest thinkers from the worlds of media, gaming, and technology for an all-day forum. The day will also include the “interactive playground,” which allows the audience to play and explore a range of works from VR to games, to the future of AR. Additional programming and details will be announced in 2016.
“When we started the Festival 15 years ago, we did so with the belief that film and culture had the power to unite a community,” said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder, of TFF. “That has continued to drive our mission, but as Tribeca has grown, so has our definition of storytelling. We are looking forward to hosting some of the most exciting creative minds in the world at our Hub this year and helping bring their experiences and views to life for our audiences.”
For the past five years, Tribeca has been a destination for experimentation with programs and conversations that explore the intersection of storytelling, entertainment, and technology. Last year Tribeca’s inaugural Featured Creator was VR entrepreneur and immersive artist Chris Milk. The 2015 Festival also premiered Penrose’s Limited Release Developer's Cut of the VR film "The Rose And I," and the Festival hosted DEF CON’s renowned hacking conference, Oculus™ Story Studio’s virtual reality experience, and a range of groundbreaking discussions as part of Imagination Day, including talks with Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots, who oversees Google[x] moonshot factory. Past Storyscapes projects include “Door Into the Dark,” created by Anagram; “Karen,” created by Blast Theory; “Star Wars Uncut,” created by Casey Pugh;” “This Exquisite Forest,” created by Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk; and “Robots in Residence,” created by Brent Hoff and Alexander Reben. Past TFI Interactive participants include Ryan Germick, Team Lead, Google Doodles; Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker and founder of the Webby Awards; Director and Body Architect Lucy McRae; and author Baratunde Thurston.
“We are in a new age of storytelling experiences and experimentation with tech. Technology that was once available only for a select few creators has now moved into the mainstream. For the last five years, Tribeca has been an accelerator and platform that gives experiential storytelling visibility,” said Genna Terranova, Festival Director. “Our responsibility now, along with the talented Felix & Paul Studios and Baobab Studios, is to fuel this new community's collective imagination, create a place where ideas can be exchanged to make the stories even better and push these new mediums forward.”
Festival Hub Passes are available now to the general public and provide an all-access experience to TFF’s creative center, including talks, special screenings, interactive installations, live music, open bars, and an invitation to a Tribeca Film Festival Filmmaker party. Passes are on sale now with special early discount pricing for $399.00 (regular price: $550.00) through December 31st and are available at tribecafilm.com.
Below is a list of programming taking place at the Tribeca Festival Hub in addition to multiple lounges for pass holders. Additional programs will be announced in the coming months with updates available at www.tribecafilm.com. All events and lounges at the Hub are accessible with a Festival Hub Pass unless otherwise noted.
TRIBECA TALKS: STORYTELLERS - Throughout TFF: dates to be announced
(Additional participants to be announced)
New this year, Tribeca Talks: Storytellers provides a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds, including actors, musicians, artists, and writers at the forefront of their professions, to discuss and explore their careers and crafts in conversation.
Tina Fey is an award-winning television and film actress. She was the executive producer, head writer, and star of 30 Rock. Ms. Fey also completed nine seasons as a writer and cast member on “Saturday Night Live.” Ms. Fey’s film projects include Mean Girls, Date Night, This is Where I Leave You, Sisters, and the upcoming Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. In April 2011 she released her first book, Bossypants. She is currently the co-creator and executive producer of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Tom Hanks is an award-winning actor, producer, and director. One of only two actors in history to win back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards®, he won his first Oscar® for Philadelphia and his second for Forrest Gump. Hanks has also been nominated for Academy Awards® for five other roles and has also won Golden Globes for Big and Cast Away. Hanks was most recently seen in Stephen Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.
IMAGINATION DAY, POWERED BY THE HATCHERY - April 19
On Tuesday, April 19, the Tribeca Film Festival will host some of the most influential, provocative, and creative minds for an all-day summit that asks: what happens when our wildest dreams become reality and what will that reality be in our not-so-distant future? We are at an inflection point in history. Experience the wonder and inspiration of new technologies, as tech’s thought leaders reveal what is just beyond the horizon through multisensory storytelling.
Derek Belch (Co-Founder, and CEO, of STRIVR Labs, Inc.) laid the foundation for STRIVR during the 2014 season with the Stanford Cardinal football team. Belch was an assistant coach for the team while completing a master’s degree with an emphasis in virtual reality. His thesis project was exploring virtual reality applied to sports training and he worked with the Cardinal during the season to build and test the technology that is now STRIVR. Belch was a former kicker for the Cardinal from 2003-2007 and is one of only two Stanford kickers in history to hit two 50-yard+ field goals in a single game. He kicked the winning extra point in Stanford’s historic upset of USC as 42-point underdogs. While playing at Stanford, Belch obtained a BA in Communication and an MA in Journalism. Before returning to Stanford to coach, Belch earned his MBA from USC's Marshall School of Business.
Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is the Founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group which has expanded into many diverse sectors from air and ground travel to telecommunications, health, space travel, and renewable energy through more than 200 companies worldwide. In 2004, Richard established Virgin Unite, his non-profit foundation. It mobilizes the talent and resources from across the Virgin Group and beyond, to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. Richard has been working closely with Virgin Unite to bring together the right partners to help create new global leadership models to address conflict, climate change, and disease. In 2009, Richard brought together a group of the world’s top entrepreneurs to initiate the Carbon War Room. The vision is to mobilize capital, innovation, expertise, and international collaboration to increase the effectiveness of climate change efforts already underway and to focus on filling any gaps.
Dr. Regina Dugan, Vice President of Engineering at Google, leads the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, a skunkworks operation focused on next-generation mobile. From May 2012 until February 2014, Regina was SVP and a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Google-owned Motorola Mobility. Before joining Google, Regina served as the Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the principal agency within the Department of Defense for research, development, and demonstration of high-risk, high-payoff capabilities; she was the first woman to lead the Agency. Regina has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech and has been widely recognized for her leadership in breakthrough innovation and technology development.
Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël
Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël are at the forefront of cinematic virtual reality. After 10 years of collaborative work as directors of immersive cinematic experiences, they co-founded Félix & Paul Studios to solely focus on storytelling through cinematic virtual reality. Through the symbiosis of artistic and technological innovation, they create emotive, visceral, and intimate experiences that provide audiences with an unprecedented sense of presence and emotional resonance. The Studio's virtual reality creations include Jurassic World: Apatosaurus, the original series Nomads, and the recently premiered Inside Impact: East Africa with President Bill Clinton and LeBron James Striving for Greatness.
Philip Rosedale created an innovative Internet video conferencing product ("FreeVue"), which was later acquired by RealNetworks, where in 1996 he went on to become Vice President and CTO. In 1999, Rosedale left RealNetworks, founded Linden Lab, and built a virtual civilization called Second Life, creating an open-ended, Internet-connected virtual world. Following Second Life, Rosedale worked on several projects related to distributed work and computing. Excited by innovations in these areas and the proliferation of new VR-enabling devices, he re-entered the world of VR in 2013, founding High Fidelity. Philip holds a B.S. in physics from the University of California, San Diego.
VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCES - Throughout TFF
(Additional projects to be announced)
Tribeca Festival Hub Featured Creator: Felix & Paul Studios- April 13-24
Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël will be the Tribeca Festival Hub “Featured Creator.” The VR filmmakers will exhibit a selection of their work, including Inside Impact: East Africa with President Bill Clinton, Cirque du Soleil's Inside the Box of Kurios, and Nomads: Maasai will be featured throughout the space.
Directed by Eric Darnell (Antz and Madagascar) and produced by Maureen Fan and Baobab Studios. (2016) – World Premiere. This interactive and animated film follows menacing aliens with vastly superior technology who come to claim the Earth and destroy anyone in their way. Despite incredible odds, Earth's citizens rise and defeat the evil aliens. Surprisingly, these Earthly citizens are not humans but a pair of the cutest, meekest, and cuddliest creatures on our planet -- two fluffy white bunnies.
STORYSCAPES – April 14 – April 17
A juried section at the Festival showcasing groundbreaking exhibits in technology and interactive storytelling. 2016 projects to be announced.
TFI INTERACTIVE – April 16
The fifth annual TFI Interactive will once again assemble the brightest thinkers from the worlds of media, gaming, and technology for an all-day forum and “interactive playground” that explores a selection of the speakers’ projects.
About the Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival, now in its 15th year, brings together visionaries across industries and diverse audiences to celebrate the power of storytelling. A platform for independent filmmaking, creative expression, and immersive entertainment, Tribeca supports emerging and established voices, discovers award-winning filmmakers, curates innovative and interactive experiences, and introduces new technology and ideas through panels, premieres, exhibitions, and live performances.
Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, Tribeca has evolved from an annual event to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan to a gathering place for filmmakers, artists, innovators, and the global creative community. Through programs that embrace storytelling in all of its expansive forms – from film and music to video games and online work, TFF reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities.
About the 2016 Sponsors
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation – aiming to make this the most interactive film and storytelling festival in the country, where visitors experience the Festival in ways they never imagined. As one of the largest communications and entertainment companies, AT&T helps millions connect with entertainment, mobile, high-speed Internet, and voice services – virtually everywhere.
The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its Signature Sponsors: Accenture, AKA, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bloomberg, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), ESPN, IWC Schaffhausen, The Lincoln Motor Company, NBC 4 New York, NCM Media Networks, Spring Studios, Thompson Hotels, and United Airlines.