Tribeca Film Festival 2017

Oscar Flores, Copy Editor

Highly regarded as one of the central hubs for showcasing upcoming independent films, the Tribeca Film Festival began April 19 and ended on April 30.  The event provided attendees with a wide spectrum of films along with panels featuring known performers and directors such as Alejandro Inarritu and Scarlett Johansson.  


Tribeca began its first few days with a strong and diverse lineup of films such as True Conviction, a documentary directed by Jamie Meltzer that follows three men who created a detective agency to protect the wrongfully convicted; LA 92, a documentary that recounts the Los Angeles riots of 1992; and No Man’s Land, directed by David Byers, which offers insight into the Oregon protests at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that happened January of last year.


Given the political climate at the moment, sophomore, Kayla Benitez, is glad to see these stories represented at the Tribeca Film Festival.  


“I feel as if it [Tribeca Film Festival] should shine a light on culture definitely seeing as recent events have occurred because of ignorance,” Benitez said, “and maybe by making these films it’ll get people to understand and be more sensitive.”


The slew of film screenings did not stop there.  Other small scale films such as Blame, Thumper, I Am Heath Ledger, The Boy Downstairs, Son of Sofia and For Ahkeem were screened and received critical praise while others such as The Circle (released April 28) and My Art failed to garner much interest and attention from the audience.  


In order to further emphasize cinematic storytelling through new mediums, the Tribeca Film Festival introduced two new side events: the Tribeca Games Festival and Tribeca Immersive.


Throughout the games festival time span, discussions with developers such as Hideo Kojima, Ken Levine, and Robin Hunicke were hosted which shined a light on the similarities between games and film as well as the unique storytelling opportunities available in interactive experiences.  


Although fairly different in its own right, Francisco Martinez, 10, is a fan of the opportunities the game industry can provide to aspiring storytellers.


“I think it is going to be a whole lot of new different ways creators are going to be able to tell stories,” Martinez said.  “I think it is going to be a really big window of opportunity for a lot of creative minds.”


Tribeca Immersive, on the other hand, offered a different experience for the ones who attended – various virtual reality sets were set up throughout the show floor which allowed its guests to immerse themselves and interact with experiences created specifically for virtual reality.   A limited total of 30 VR experiences were available for Tribeca Immersive.  


Despite the limited amount of VR experiences available, Matthew Galvan, 10, believes that more experiences will become available as the technology becomes more accessible to creators.


“Because of the expanding platforms, it won’t be long before new artists have more access,” Galvan stated.  
The Tribeca Film Festival brought forth work from a variety of artists to showcase what is in store for the future of storytelling.  The event featured many surprises ranging from the two new events (Games Festival and Tribeca Immersive) to a surprise reunion with the cast of The Godfather after a screening of the film.