Tribeca Film Festival Devotes a Week to New Media and Innovation

Games for Change Festival will be part of the Tribeca fest for the first time; Aaron Sorkin kicks off the panel series

Aaron Sorkin
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

The Tribeca Film Festival will take its latest step toward embracing new media with the new Tribeca Innovation Week, set to run during the latter half of the 2014 festival and aimed at bringing screenwriters, filmmakers and financiers together with hackers, gamers, coders and other tech types interested in storytelling across platforms.

Newly programmed week will encompassed pre-existing programs — including the second annual Storyscapes showcase of transmedia titles and the fifth annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards — as well as new additions including the Games for Changes Festival (in its first edition as part of the Tribeca fest). Also on tap is a panel series that kicks off with a public talk with Aaron Sorkin (pictured, above).

Tribeca’s new programming marks the latest expansion for a festival that has long aimed to get out in front of the increasing overlap between filmmakers, cross-platform storytellers, gaming and social activists. Over the last couple of years Tribeca has incorporated screenings of vidgames including “L.A. Noire” and “Beyond: Two Souls” into festival programming, and last year launched the Tribeca Film Institute’s digital-age storytelling conference TFI Interactive, returning this year under the umbrella of Innovation Week.

Film festivals in general have begun to look to beyond the traditional borders of film for cross-platform works that draw on the visual storytelling vocabulary of movies. In Gotham, the New York Film Festival also has incorporated new media through its Convergence programming, which last year included panels and a concert from the creators of “Grand Theft Auto V.

The 2014 Innovation Week lineup includes Tribeca’s annual Distruptive Innovation Awards, which recognize game-changers in all fields and this year will honor Warby Parker, Sesame Workshop and the founders of Shutterstock, IdeaPaint, Pencils of Promise and TEDMED, among others. Also part of the week are Storyscapes, hackathon Tribeca Hacks <Mobile> and the Future of Film Live series of panels that launches with Sorkin.

New to the Tribeca fest this year is Games for Change, the org whose 10-year-old Games for Change Festival is the biggest gaming event in Gotham. The fest — which this year runs April 22-24 and 26 and focuses on gaming and social impact — will this year be part of the Tribeca fest for the first time, with the Games for Change Public Arcade set to be part of Tribeca’s annual downtown street fair.

The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival is skedded for April 16-27, with Innovation Week running April 21-26.