TV

Get your festival fix with the first Tribeca TV Festival this September

You’ve heard of the Tribeca Film Festival, now get ready for the Tribeca TV Festival, which will make its debut in New York in late September with some major headliners.

The Tribeca Film Festival is where offbeat dramas and different genres of film go to strut their stuff. Yeah, that’s right, there’s more to the movie world than franchises and blockbusters. At Tribeca, which was founded back in 2002, independent films try to secure some prestigious awards that essentially put them on the road to the Oscars. If you can secure enough buzz at a festival, the hope is that the buzz reaches mainstream audiences, too. Though, this isn’t always the case.

While you’ll find that the Tribeca Film Festival is like a hub for documentaries, don’t expect its adjacent TV film festival to keep in trend with that. For the first time, September will see the launch of the Tribeca TV Festival in New York, which will feature plenty of TV shows you’ve actually heard of. For example, the Will & Grace revival will host a panel and screening, and Ava DuVernay will be there for Queen Sugar.

The Hollywood Reporter does note something interesting, though:

As an institution, Tribeca is no stranger to TV. In 2016, the fest hosted premieres of Greenleaf, The Night Of and History mini Roots. This past year saw very early premiere screenings for Casual,Episodes and The Sinner — as well as the world premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale. And, all the way back in 2004, the film fest screened the series finale of Friends al fresco on the West Side Highway.

So if you’re thinking this comes as just another one of those ways that TV’s becoming more and more competitive, you’re right. As far as production value, talent and narrative goes, yes, TV is stealing moviegoers left and right. Because why would you pay money for something like The Dark Tower when you can stay in and get your fantasy fix with Game of Thrones or something?

Robert De Niro, one of the festival’s founders, explained it like this:

“Ten years ago we wouldn’t have needed a TV festival. Now, with the change in the TV landscape, both the quality and quantity of shows, it makes sense. As the Tribeca Film Festival has done, the Tribeca TV Festival will act as a curator in bringing people together for this emerging experience.”

Basically, everybody’s clambering for the next big thing and the next piece of original content that they can claim as their own. Between traditional television and streaming, the Tribeca TV Festival has a good idea here. They’re also not the first established event to add TV this year: MTV shifted their annual movie awards to include the small screen back in May. Although, Netflix isn’t exactly friends with the festival community as it is.  I think these are all warnings that the movie industry, and theaters specifically, should take into consideration.

Like PaleyFest or ATX, the best part about TV festivals is seeing your favorite casts together. So hopefully, the Tribeca TV Festival puts together stuff like that when they begin on Sept. 22-24.