Pics will be acquired, released traditionally, online

Tribeca Enterprises has joined the growing trend of film fests becoming involved in distribution by launching distributor Tribeca Film, which will acquire and release films year-round through a network of distribution partners.

The fest sponsor is also looking to bow festival titles on the Internet under the Tribeca Film Festival Virtual banner.

Tribeca founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff announced that the distribution platform will launch with 10 feature titles bowing on VOD through major cable, satellite and telco providers with a potential reach of 40 million households.

Initial titles include Participant Media’s enviro-docu “Climate of Change”; Ian Dury biopic “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll,” starring Andy Serkis; and the U.S. premiere of “Road, Movie,” about a young man’s life-changing trek across India.

Seven of the 10 titles will open day-and-date at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Distrib plans to expand pics theatrically following a minimum 60-day VOD window.

Tribeca CEO Geoff Gilmore described the program as a way to “reach out to new audiences without spending a large amount of marketing dollars.”

“The problem with the theatrical universe is that it’s so expensive to get your movie out there,” Gilmore said. “I think it’s a moment in film where initiatives like this are not only something we’re enthusiastic about but also required to help reinvent what’s going on in the independent arena.”

Tribeca Film Festival Virtual will allow online access to a selection of fest features for a $45 fee. The virtual fest opens with the world premiere of Edward Burns’ “Nice Guy Johnny” on April 23.

Festival runs April 21-May 2, while films will be available online April 23-30.

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