Tribeca Film Festival creates new model with TFI Interactive

Tiffany Shlain      Opening weekend  events at major film festivals usually revolve around celebrity red carpet arrivals, packed premieres and press conferences. The 2013 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), which wrapped April 28, takes a creative shift by emphasizing the digital bridges hybrid artists are building between tech, branding, new media and marketing communities. Led by Ingrid Kopp, director of initiatives at the Tribeca Film Institute,  TFF celebrates these innovative artists and their transmedia projects at various panels, events and exhibitions throughout the festival including TFI Interactive, a daylong conference on April 20 at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building and supported by the TFI New Media Fund and the Ford Foundation.

With Kopp functioning as emcee, the TFI Interactive presentations focus on new digital tools, crowd funding, cloud filmmaking, as explained by Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain (pictured left) and a boisterous call by Zeega co-founders Jesse Shapins and James Burns to always push the digital boundaries of storytelling.

It’s also worth noting that while all the artists at TFI Interactive engage their communities of supporters and fans digitally 24/7, the place-based, real time, nose-to-nose experience of spending a day together with their like-minded peers proves to be invaluable. Some sparks occur talking to fellow attendees while waiting in line at the food trucks surrounding the IAC Building. Other moments of inspiration take place during breaks from the presentations, around the corner from the wraparound video screen. Kopp and her Tribeca Film Institute team believe in exceptional events, pop up centers of the universe, if you will, and the essential need for even the most dedicated hybrid artists to step away from the digital landscape for some traditional networking. Perhaps, what Kopp is advocating is something along the lines of a convergence between cloud-based interaction on digital landscapes and place-based, traditional meet ups. Maybe, TFI Interactive is about achieving the right balance of engagement. I know I’m glad I spent the time, energy and resources to attend.

Interested in learning more about TFF reinventing itself as a transmedia hub? Check out my coverage for the Brooklyn-based arts outlet Hyperallergic.

 

 

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