The 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival announced the inaugural Tribeca Digital Creators Market and Special Screenings program on Thursday. The festival runs from April 13-24 in New York City.
This first-ever marketplace for digital and online content will connect online creators with industry, including buyers, producers and agents, and set a new standard for the creation, sale and showcase of digital series and standalone content.
The daylong program on Thursday, April 21, will also feature a lineup of special screenings, open to the public, featuring new work from well-known and burgeoning online storytellers from digital studios such as YouTube Red, StyleHaul, Fullscreen, Indigenous Media, New Form Digital and Maker Studios.
“There are exceptional stories being made for digital platforms and passionate, engaged fan bases for these stories. Our goal is to create an event that serves both the industry and creators by bringing visibility to their work and assisting their development,” said festival director Genna Terranova. “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.”
Special Screenings will debut alongside the Tribeca Digital Creators Market with the debut of five premieres, along with conversations with the creators. The program kicks off on Wednesday, April 20 with the world premiere of “Vlogumentary,” directed by Matthew Testa and produced by Shay Carl Butler, Morgan Spurlock, Corey Videl, Jeremy Chilnick, and Julie “Bob” Lombardi.
The Special Screenings continue on April 21 with a sneak peek of new episodes from Legendary and Fullscreen’s update of Sid & Marty Kroft’s “Electra Woman & Dyna Girl” starring YouTube sensations Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart; Maker Studios and New Form Digital’s comedy series “Party Girl,” created and starring Lisa Schwartz (“Lisbug”); and StyleHaul’s ensemble dramedy series “Relationship Status” featuring Milo Ventimiglia, Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell and Brant Daugherty.
Josh Hutcherson and Jake Avnet will discuss their new filmmaker mentorship initiative, Indigenous Media’s Film Incubator, powered by The Black List, as well as screen clips from one of the chosen films. The day closes out with the premiere of “Sing It!” from Fine Brothers Entertainment and Mandeville Films, a scripted comedy series launching exclusively on YouTube Red this spring.
The Tribeca Digital Creators Market will curate a group of the industry’s most promising creators and pair them with multichannel networks, ad agencies, traditional media producers, agents and brands looking for content and talent. Market attendees include David Milchard and Matt Clarke (“Convos with My 2-Year Old”), John Cozart (“Paint”), Gaby Dunn (“Just Between Us”), Tim Pool (“Timcast”), The Gregory Brothers, Matt Bellasai (“Whine About It”), Allison Raskin (“Just Between Us”), Gregory Bayne and Christian Lybrook (“Zero Point”), Ingrid Nilsen, Joe Penna (“MysteryGuitarMan”), singer-songwriter Meghan Tonjes (“#bootyrevolution”), Jordan Fish, Mikey Murphy, and BlackBox TV creator Tony Valenzuela.
Through a day of meetings, talks and screenings, the event will facilitate casual networking, collaboration and the opportunity for creators to pitch new projects. The market, whose concept was developed with CAA, will run in parallel to the Special Screening selections.
For the third year in a row, Tribeca has announced the projects that make up Tribeca N.O.W. (New Online Work), an online showcase that recognizes and celebrates the next generation of storytellers who choose to create and share their work online. The program will feature the work of 11 creators chosen for their innovative storytelling and robust creative vision by the Tribeca programming team. The program furthers the festival’s mission to find the newest, most original forms of storytelling to share with the widest possible audience. Each storyteller and a selection of their work will be featured in a public screening on Thursday, April 14, as well as given an official spot as a creator at the Tribeca Digital Creators Market. Details on the Tribeca Digital Creators Special Screenings, Market participants and the Tribeca N.O.W creators follow.
TRIBECA DIGITAL CREATORS – SPECIAL SCREENING SELECTIONS
Electra Woman & Dyna Girl. Starring Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart
“Electra Woman & Dyna Girl” puts a fresh, new twist on Sid and Marty Krofft’s cult classic ’70s TV series. Starring YouTube sensations Grace Helbig as Electra Woman and Hannah Hart as Dyna Girl, the crime-fighting duo take their super personae and crime-fighting chops up a notch when they move from small-town Ohio to the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles. (Fullscreen)
A scripted comedy created by Lisa Schwartz 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 ain’t easy to make an honest living. (New Form Digital/Maker Studios)
Relationship Status series
Split between New York and L.A., “Relationship Status” is an ensemble dramedy following an interweaving cast of 20- and 30-somethings as they experience the highs and lows of dating in the digital age, all told through the lens of social storytelling. (StyleHaul)
Sing It!, Created by Fine Brothers Entertainment and Mandeville Films
“Sing It!,” an original scripted series on YouTube Red, pays homage to the singing competition genre with a unique twist, taking us behind the scenes in a scripted comedy format, where every week the stakes of live television are raised even higher. The first season of “Sing It!” brings us through the ups and downs when a long-running executive producer is fired and a newcomer threatens to offset the balance between the show’s quirky contestants, duplicitous executives, and rollicking crew. (YouTube Red)
Vlogumentary Feature Film directed by Matthew Testa and produced by Shay Carl Butler, Morgan Spurlock, Corey Videl, Jeremy Chilnick, and Julie “Bob” Lombardi.
YouTube may have begun as a website for videos of cats and funny babies, but it is now home to vloggers: video diarists who have conjured a massive audience and wild financial success by filming themselves, their thoughts and their daily lives. “Vlogumentary” pulls the curtain back on this new media revolution by following 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.
- Preceded by an episode of Song Voyage created by The Gregory Brothers
A subversive comedy following the Gregory Brothers, our musical heroes, as they travel the world to band together with offbeat musicians in remote locales. In each episode, the Gregory Brothers transform the various unforeseen challenges they encounter into wild success stories using their idiosyncratic brand of comedy and music. (Maker Studios)
Discussion on Indigenous Media’s- Film Incubator Project, with Josh Hutcherson and Jake Avnet, powered by The Black List
The Indigenous Media Film Incubator, in partnership with actor/producer Josh Hutcherson and Michelle Hutcherson’s Turkeyfoot Productions, and powered by The Black List, is aimed at discovering and mentoring emerging filmmakers. Through the incubator, Indigenous Media has committed $100,000 to produce five short films from generation-defining screenplays that feature core characters in their late teens to late twenties, one of which Hutcherson will direct. The incubator will help new storytellers navigate the process of taking their story from the page to the screen and create films that can thrive on digital/emerging platforms. There is also the potential to fund and produce feature-length films based on the shorts.
TRIBECA DIGITAL CREATORS MARKET PARTICIPANTS
Gregory Bayne & Christian Lybrook
Gregory Bayne is a filmmaker and documentarian best known for his films “Jens Pulver: Driven” and “Bloodsworth – An Innocent Man.” Christian Lybrook is a writer and filmmaker whose short films have screened at festivals worldwide. Jointly, they co-created the award winning series “Zero Point” which was part of the IFP Screen Forward Lab and Tribeca N.O.W 2015.
Matt Bellassai is a writer, comedian, and Internet personality, who writes frequently about pop culture, humor, and the struggles of daily life as a 20-something man-child. The writer, producer, and star of BuzzFeed’s “Whine About It”; he took home the 2016’s People’s Choice Award for Favorite Social Media Star. Bellassai resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Matthew Clarke & David Milchard
Matthew Clarke & David Milchard are the creators behind “Convos With My 2-Year-Old” and many other manifestations of absurdity. Born and bred in the wilds of Canada, the multi-hyphenates have spent most of their adult lives making stuff, whether it be in the form of digital series, film, TV, music, or live comedy.
A graduate of UT Film School, Jon Cozart’s education helped him skyrocket to viral stardom with his comedic YouTube videos. In only five years, Cozart has gained worldwide fame, amassing over 3 million subscribers and over 250 million lifetime video views.
Gaby Dunn is a writer, journalist, YouTuber, actress, and comedian in Los Angeles. She and her comedy partner Allison Raskin write, perform in, and produce the successful comedy YouTube channel Just Between Us. She was one of Paper Magazine’s 10 Comedians To Watch In 2015 and her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, Playboy, Refinery 29, Women’s Health Magazine, Vulture, Buzzfeed Video and Thought Catalog among others.
Jordan is always looking for the best ways to tell stories that are honest, personal, and bravely idiosyncratic. His work combines emotional storytelling with the cinematic and surreal. He recently wrote and directed an interactive pilot that lays the groundwork for a new kind of digital series.
The Gregory Brothers
Andrew, Michael, Evan, and Sarah Gregory are The Gregory Brothers, known for their YouTube series “Auto-Tune the News” and “Songify This!,” in which they make songs out of stuff that wasn’t intended to be a song. Their YouTube channel, schmoyoho (accent on the “yo”) has over 700 million lifetime views.
Mikey Murphy is a multi-hyphenate who originally made a name for himself with his ever popular Challenge and Sketch/Vlog Comedy style videos. He has gained over 650,000 subscribers on YouTube and built a dedicated following across all of his social platforms. In 2015, Mikey starred as Beckett on AwesomenessTV’s hit series “Royal Crush.” In addition, Mikey recently wrapped shooting Lionsgate’s “Dirty Thirty” starring alongside Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart which is set to come out in 2016.
Since launching her channel in 2009, YouTube sensation and lifestyle guru Ingrid Nilsen has amassed over 7 million followers across all her social channels and over 3.5 million subscribers on her YouTube channel alone. Her incredible fan engagement and dedication to making viewers feel loved has earned her a spot as one of the most subscribed-to lifestyle gurus on YouTube. She has been a Covergirl Glambassador since July 2014 and was a Judge on Lifetime’s “Project Runway: Threads.” She was recently named one of the UN’s Change Ambassadors wherein she will be tasked to raise awareness about and aim to end discrimination against girls and women.
With nearly 3 million subscribers on YouTube, Joe Penna (known online as MysteryGuitarMan) is a Brazilian director known for his science-fiction short films and inventive music videos.
Tim Pool is an American journalist covering international conflict and crisis. Pool’s coverage for VICE.com, as well as his groundbreaking livestream coverage of the 2011 protest movement, has been featured by international media outlets including The Guardian, Reuters, The New York Times, NBC, FastCompany, and Al Jazeera English. In 2014 he joined Fusion as the Director of Media Innovation.
Allison Raskin grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y. and then moved across the country to get a B.F.A. in screenwriting from USC (her parents are still recovering). She writes and stars in the popular YouTube comedy channel, Just Between Us. Her work is also featured on BuzzFeed, SourceFed and one infamous Payless commercial.
Musician, Singer, Vlogger, YouTube personality, and spokeswoman for Body Positivity, Meghan Tonjes is a true multi-hyphenate. Her YouTube videos have garnered over 25 million views, she’s had multiple videos go viral, and has appeared as a guest and performed on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Last year through her music and a unique posting on Instagram, she founded and launched the Booty Revolution. Her mission is to engage in and provoke thoughtful and honest conversations, as well as promote body positivity in all communities. Meghan posts 7-days a week on YouTube and her posts include original music, reactions, frequently asked questions, cover songs, vlogs, and more. She can next be seen hosting SmartTV’s series “SEXish,” and New Form Digital’s pilot “Intricate Vengeance.”
Tony Valenzuela is an award winning writer/director and creator of BlackBoxTV, the #1 most-subscribed & watched sci-fi/horror channel on the Internet. “BlackBoxTV Presents,” an anthology series (in the vein of “The Twilight Zone”) is the longest-running scripted drama online. He has collaborated with Jon Turtletaub, CBS, Coca Cola, Fox Studios, the Sundance Institute, Guillermo del Toro & Legendary Pictures as well as Brian Grazer and Ron Howard‘s New Form Digital.
TRIBECA N.O.W CREATORS (and Tribeca Digital Creators Market participants)
Brian Jordan Alvarez, The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo
Brian is an L.A.-based actor and filmmaker with a thriving YouTube channel. He recurs on Jane the Virgin. He screen-tested for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” this past fall. He’s appeared on “Hot in Cleveland” and “Life in Pieces,” and is on the sketch show “Gay Skit Happens.”
Maria Angelico, Movement
Maria Angelico is the creator and writer of Movement. Maria’s passion lies in telling stories of vulnerability through a truthful, dynamic and often humorous style. With over 15 years of acting experience on the Australian big and small screens it seems a natural progression for her to write. Movement marks her first writing endeavor.
Andrew DeYoung is a filmmaker from the middle of California. His work has been featured on Adult Swim, MTV, Netflix and has received three Vimeo Staff Picks.
Jack Dishel, :DRYVRS
Jack Dishel is the creator/star of the comedy web series :DRYVRS, which chronicles Dishel’s adventures as a car service passenger. The first episode (which amassed over six million views on its first day of release, and more than 20 million views within two weeks) stars Macaulay Culkin as a crazy, overly emotional driver dealing with abandonment issues.
Akilah Hughes is a writer, stand-up comedian and YouTuber residing in Brooklyn. Her work has been viewed millions of times on Refinery29, Huffington Post, MTV and on her YouTube channel, It’s Akilah, Obviously! She’s a correspondent for Fusion and a 2015 Sundance fellow. This fall, Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is publishing a collection of her personal essays.
Hannah is a British animator and illustrator and a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London. She has produced work for a variety of different projects ranging from animated shorts and music videos to infographics and editorial illustration.
Tom O’Brien and Jessie Barr, OM City
Tom is an actor/writer/director whose first feature, “Fairhaven,” premiered at TFF 2012. His second feature, “Manhattan Romance,” stars Katherine Waterston and is now streaming on Netflix worldwide. Jessie is an actor, writer and producer. She is the lead in “OM City.” Her other credits include: “59E59th,” “Joe’s Pub,” “EST,” “Lincoln Center” and “Law & Order: SVU.”
Jacob T. Swinney
Jacob T. Swinney is a Baltimore-based filmmaker best known for his acclaimed video essays and supercuts. Focusing mainly on filmmaking patterns and the techniques of specific directors, Swinney’s work has earned millions of views worldwide.
Amelia Umuhire, Polyglot
Amelia Umuhire is a Rwandan-German filmmaker and the creator of “Polyglot,” which won Best German Web Series at the Berlin Webfest and Best International Web Series at the Geneva Film Festival Tous Ecrans. She lives in Berlin and works as an editor on film and music video projects.
Radhika Vaz and Nadia Parvez Manzoor, Shugs & Fats
“Shugs & Fats” is 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. produce participatory documentary films as a method to bring creativity to the streets, to surprise and encourage one another in our everyday lives. “Our mission is the Eccentrification of the World.” “Ridiculous times demand ridiculous measures.” “We are still foolish enough to believe that creativity can redeem the world.”