Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Digital-Content Marketplace Event

New York festival also adds special screenings of projects from YouTube Red, Fullscreen, StyleHaul, Disney's Maker Studios

Ingrid Nilsen
Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Tribeca Film Festival is zeroing in on digital creative talent and studios with the launch next month of the inaugural Tribeca Digital Creators Market.

The daylong event, scheduled for April 21 in New York City, is designed to connect digital influencers and talent with industry buyers, producers and agents, as well as showcase premium digital entertainment content.

Creators currently slated to attend the event include YouTube star Ingrid Nilsen (pictured above), the Gregory Brothers, Matt Bellassai, Joe Penna (MysteryGuitarMan), Mikey Murphy and BlackBoxTV creator Tony Valenzuela.

The Tribeca Digital Creators program also will feature screenings, starting April 20, of new projects from YouTube Red, Fine Brothers Entertainment, StyleHaul, Fullscreen, Indigenous Media, New Form Digital and Disney’s Maker Studios. Tribeca developed the concept for the market with CAA.

Tribeca is touting the confab as the first event aimed at bringing together digital creators and traditional media partners, compared with fan-focused events like VidCon.

“Our goal is to create an event that serves both the industry and creators by bringing visibility to their work and assisting their development,” Tribeca Film Festival director Genna Terranova said in a statement. “With this new platform, we hope to encourage quality storytelling in digital media and beyond, and give the public a first look at what their favorite creators are working on.”

The fest also announced 11 projects in the third annual Tribeca New Online Work (NOW) online showcase. The storytellers and a selection of their work will be featured in a public screening on Thursday, April 14, and each will have an official spot at the Tribeca Digital Creators Market.

The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, now in its 15th year, will run April 13-24 in New York City.

Here’s a rundown of the scheduled participants:

Tribeca Digital Creators Market

  • Gregory Bayne and Christian Lybrook: Bayne is a documentary filmmaker best known for films “Jens Pulver: Driven” and “Bloodsworth: An Innocent Man”; Lybrook is a writer-filmmaker whose short films have screened at festivals worldwide. The duo co-created series “Zero Point,” which was part of the IFP Screen Forward Lab and Tribeca NOW 2015.
  • Matt Bellassai: Former BuzzFeed staffer who produced and starred in the “Whine About It” video series who has struck out on his own.
  • Matthew Clarke and David Milchard: Canadian creators behind YouTube channel “Convos With My 2-Year-Old” have also collaborated on digital series, film, TV, music and live comedy.
  • Jon Cozart: Graduate of U. of Texas-Austin’s film school is proprietor of the Paint comedic music video channel on YouTube, with more than 3 million subscribers.
  • Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin: L.A.-based duo produce YouTube comedy channel Just Between Us.
  • Jordan Fish: Creator whose work combines “emotional storytelling with the cinematic and surreal.”
  • The Gregory Brothers: Siblings Andrew, Michael and Evan and Sarah Gregory (Evan’s wife) are best known for their YouTube series “Auto-Tune the News” and “Songify This!” on their schmoyoho channel.
  • Mikey Murphy: Rose to fame with his challenge and sketch comedy videos on YouTube. Murphy starred in AwesomenessTV’s “Royal Crush” series and will appear in Lionsgate’s “Dirty Thirty” starring alongside Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart.
  • Ingrid Nilsen: Since launching her YouTube channel in 2009, the lifestyle vlogger has amassed over 7 million followers across all her social channels. She was a judge on Lifetime’s “Project Runway: Threads” was was recently named one of the UN’s Change Ambassadors in an initiative with YouTube to raise awareness about and aim to end discrimination against girls and women.
  • Joe Penna: Brazilian director known for his science-fiction short films and inventive music videos has nearly 3 million subscribers for his YouTube channel, MysteryGuitarMan.
  • Tim Pool: American journalist joined Fusion as director of media innovation in 2014, after covering international news for Vice.com.
  • Meghan Tonjes: Singer-songwriter, YouTube personality and spokeswoman for the Body Positivity has appeared as a guest and performed on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” She can next be seen hosting SmartTV’s series “SEXish” and New Form Digital pilot “Intricate Vengeance.”
  • Tony Valenzuela: Writer-director and creator of sci-fi/horror channel BlackBoxTV, whose “Twilight Zone”-esque anthology series “BlackBoxTV Presents” is the longest-running scripted drama online. He has collaborated with Jon Turtletaub, CBS, Fox Studios, the Sundance Institute, Guillermo del Toro, Legendary Pictures and New Form Digital.

Tribeca Digital Creators – Special Screening Selections

  • “Electra Woman & Dyna Girl” (Fullscreen): Reboot of Sid and Marty Krofft’s cult classic 70s TV series features YouTube stars Grace Helbig as Electra Woman and Hannah Hart as Dyna Girl.
  • “Party Girl” (New Form Digital/Maker Studios): Scripted comedy created by Lisa Schwartz together with writing partner Lacey Marisa Friedman that tells the story of an overachieving superstar (played by Schwartz) who is forced to take a humiliating low-wage job and learns that it’s not easy to make an honest living.
  • “Relationship Status” series (StyleHaul): Ensemble dramedy split between New York and L.A. follows an interweaving cast of 20- and 30-somethings navigating dating in the digital age, as told through the lens of social storytelling.
  • “Sing It!” (Fine Brothers Entertainment and Mandeville Films for YouTube Red): Original scripted comedy series launching on YouTube Red this spring pays homage to the singing competition genre, going behind the scenes at a live TV show.
  • “Vlogumentary”: feature film follows some of the top vloggers in the business, examining how they work, what they have to say and why their fans prefer videos of real life over traditional entertainment. Directed by Matthew Testa, produced by Shay Carl Butler, Morgan Spurlock, Corey Vidal, Jeremy Chilnick and Julie “Bob” Lombardi.
  • “Song Voyage” series (Maker Studios): comedy following the Gregory Brothers as they travel the world to band together with offbeat musicians in remote locales.
  • Discussion on Indigenous Media’s Film Incubator Project, with Josh Hutcherson and Jake Avnet, powered by the Black List: The backers of the project, aimed at discovering and mentoring emerging filmmakers, have committed $100,000 to produce five short films featuring core characters in their late teens to late 20s, one of which Hutcherson will direct.

Tribeca NOW Showcase Creators

  • Brian Jordan Alvarez, “The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo”: L.A.-based actor, filmmaker and YouTuber has a recurring role on “Jane the Virgin” and has appeared on “Hot in Cleveland,” “Life in Pieces” and sketch show “Gay Skit Happens.”
  • Maria Angelico, “Movement”: Actress with over 15 years experience on the Australian big and small screens has embarked on her first writing endeavor.
  • Andrew DeYoung: California filmmaker’s work has been featured on Adult Swim, MTV and Netflix and has received three Vimeo Staff Picks.
  • Jack Dishel, “:DRYVRS”: Creator and star of comedy web series “:DRYVRS,” which chronicles his adventures as a car-service passenger. The first episode (which amassed more than 20 million views within two weeks) stars Macaulay Culkin as an overly emotional driver dealing with abandonment issues.
  • Akilah Hughes: Brooklyn-based writer and stand-up comedian whose work has appeared on Refinery29, Huffington Post, MTV and her YouTube channel, SmoothieFreak. This fall, Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is publishing a collection of her personal essays.
  • Hannah Jacobs: British animator-illustrator and graduate of the Royal College of Art in London has produced work ranging from animated shorts and music videos to infographics and editorial illustration.
  • Tom O’Brien and Jessie Barr, “OM City”: O’Brien is an actor-writer-director whose first feature, “Fairhaven,” premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2012. His second feature, “Manhattan Romance” starring Katherine Waterston, is now streaming on Netflix worldwide. Barr, an actor-writer-producer, stars in “OM City.”
  • Jacob T. Swinney: Baltimore-based filmmaker who is best known for his video essays and supercuts.
  • Amelia Umuhire: Rwandan-German filmmaker is the creator of award-winning web series “Polyglot,” currently living in Berlin and working as an editor on film and music-video projects. “Polyglot” won best German web series at the Berlin Webfest and best international web series at the Geneva Film Festival Tous Ecrans.
  • Radhika Vaz and Nadia Parvez Manzoor: Creators of “Shugs & Fats,” a comedy web series about two hijabis on a quest to reconcile their long held cultural beliefs with a new life in “liberated” Brooklyn.
  • Zenga Bros.: The two filmmakers produce participatory documentaries as a method to bring creativity to the streets, to surprise and encourage people in their everyday lives.