Here’s Everything You Need To Know About This Year’s Tribeca Festival

If it’s June, it must be time for the annual Tribeca Festival! Now in its 23rd year, this edition of the Festival will be as action-packed and star-studded as ever. Still presented by cryptocurrency exchange platform OKX, Tribeca Festival will not only offer storytelling across film, TV, music, audio storytelling, games, and immersive platforms June 5-16 in New York City.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 05: Gayle King attends the opening night premiere of “Diane Von Furstenberg: Woman In Charge” during the 2024 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Theater on June 05, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

However, this year will be even serve up eve greater wattage given that it will be Festival founder, Oscar-winning actor Robert DeNiro’s 80th birthday which will be fete the icon via “DeNiro Con” June 14-16 a number of special screenings, talks, exhibits, and special events.

One of the unique elements about Tribeca Festival is not only the wide selection of stories, formats, and global regions which are represented in a dizzying array of opportunities. There are narratives, documentaries, shorts, and special presentations. Buzz-worthy titles include “DESIRE: THE CARL CRAIG STORY” on the lift of legendary Black DJ Carl Craig; “FOLLOWING HARRY,” a documentary on Harry Belafonte’s social justice work; and “MEMES & NIGHTMARES,” which is a comical look at the intersection of memes and the NBA and is executive produced by LeBron James, among many, many others.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 05: (L-R) Tribeca CEO and Co-Founder Jane Rosenthal and Diane Von Furstenberg attend the opening night premiere of “Diane Von Furstenberg: Woman In Charge” during the 2024 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Theater on June 05, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Many Festival-goers love the fact that premieres of the next TV binge are often premiered via an episode or two for the fortunate handful that make it into key venues. Add “Hollywood Black,” which is inspired by book by historian Donald Bogle, to your list for certain. “In the Arena: Serena Williams” will be packed, especially given that that tennis great herself will be in conversation after the premiere episode.

Tribeca NOW offers a slate of ten works this year in the independent episodic category. The audio section of the festival offers conversations with audio creators, live tapings of podcasts, and more. This year filmmaker Lena Waithe will be on hand to tape “Vibe Check Live with Lena Waithe,” by the way. And for the gamers out here, the Festival provides the opportunity to play exclusive demos of all the game selections for free during several days of the event.

This year the Immersive portion of the Festival which typically showcases storytelling that leverage VR, 360, and more now moves to its own location and will be under the roof of Mercer Labs Museum of Art& Technology. And Tribeca X which focuses on the intersection of advertising, storytelling, and
innovation is back again and will feature a number of notables in this arena from ad agency CEOs to media powerati.

In a time where DEI is becoming quietly downplayed more and more within the advertising agency, one can only hope that the talks scheduled by Kimberly Paige, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, BET Media Group, and Byron Allen, CEO Allen Media Group, ignite interest. Indeed, newer players on the scene with edgier concepts would be a welcome addition next year as opposed to those who always have the mic. Perhaps such an expansion strategy will also be applied to the music section of the festival next year as well. Try as we might, we didn’t seem to find any Black music offerings in this section this year, however, though not performing, at least iconic rapper and seemingly friend of the festival, Nas will be moderating the “MEAN STREETS” Q&A session with DeNiro and legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese as part of the De Niro Con extravaganza.

Indeed, the live talks, or stage conversations, are typically a can’t-miss during the festival. This year, actress Kerry Washington will join Nicole Avant, wife of Netflix boss and daughter of the late Black music legend Clarence Avant, in a discussion about how communities of color use stories to continue legacies and create impact. There are also free talks on a number of topics representation in Hollywood to masterclasses in editing and so much more.

And as always there are a number of films from the Diaspora that should make your list of picks. Stand outs include such films as “ERA OCULTA (Hidden Era).” This film explores the intersection of art, activism, and adversity in Mozambique through the lens of reggae and Rastafaranism. “SAMIA” investigates the journey of a young Somalian woman who with dream of attending the Olympics. It is based on the true story of the athlete who was selected to represent her country in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “SEARCHING FOR AMANI” is a documentary that hinges on suspicious circumstances surrounding regional conflict, nature, and imperialism.

There is truly something for all levels of taste and wonderful work by the festival team. However much of it, as with similar festivals could be considered a bit pricey to very pricey. Fortunately there is the option to buy single tickets because full days or the entire festival is an investment.

Perhaps this will be offset by a corporation or two in the future by income-based-applications. In the meantime, quickly decide which picks to treat yourself to and kick off the summer in NYC.

For full information on Tribeca Festival, please visit: https://www.tribecafilm.com/festival

For full information on DeNiro Con, please visit: https://www.tribecafilm.com/denirocon

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