Tribeca Film Festival Launches New Award for Video Games

Newly created Tribeca Games will honor video games that show “artistic excellence in storytelling”

Last Updated: September 24, 2020 @ 8:03 AM

The annual Tribeca Film Festival will add a video game award to its lineup for the first time in 20 years, the organizers announced Thursday.

Tribeca Games, the new awards category, will begin accepting submissions in 2021 and honor “selections that demonstrate artistic excellence in storytelling” in a video game format. Games selected this year will be eligible to win the newly established Tribeca Games award and also will be included in the festival’s NOW Creators Market, a private industry gathering that brings storytellers together with distributors, agencies and brands to pitch new projects.

Tribeca’s advisory board to oversee the award is led by a bevy of heavyweights in the gaming and multimedia entertainment industry, including gaming auteur and Konami Productions co-founder Hideo Kojima, who created the popular video game “Death Stranding.” Other panelists include filmmaker Nia DaCosta, director Jon Favreau, Electronic Arts co-founder Bing Gordon, Sam Lake, Kiki Wolfkill, and Game Awards creator and producer Geoff Keighley.

Games were first partially included in the festival’s awards roughly a decade ago, the organization said, when Rockstar Games’ detective thriller “L.A. Noir” was the first video game to be an official selection in the festival. Since then, numerous triple-A games including Sony’s “God of War,” Riot Games’ “League of Legends,” and “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” from Square Enix, have all been showcased.

“Tribeca Games is expanding in response to the enthusiasm we have seen from the games community and our audiences. Games have proven to be one of the most sophisticated storytelling vehicles today — not only with narrative but also with incredible artistic mastery, the creation of highly immersive worlds and providing meaningful connections to communities all over the world,” Tribeca Games vice president Casey Baltes said in a statement Thursday. “We’re excited to celebrate games and game creators alongside film, immersive, music, art, and more at next year’s Festival.”

The early deadline to submit a game for consideration — either internationally or U.S.-produced — is Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. ET. The late deadline for submissions, which comes at an increased fee, is Jan. 31, 2021.