Tribeca Kicks Off Film Distribution Unit

Also launches online extension to its New York movie festival

Last Updated: March 3, 2010 @ 1:41 PM

Tribeca Enterprises has become the latest film festival producer to get into the distribution business, launching a new unit that will release movies through VOD, theatrical and home entertainment channels.

In addition to establishing distribution unit Tribeca Films, the company is also kicking off online viewing platform Tribeca Film Festival Virtual, which will run alongside the real brick-and-mortar film festival (that kicks off April 23 in New York).

Both initiatives will receive sponsorship support from American Express.

Launching day and date with the Tribeca Film Festival — which runs April 21-May 21 —  Tribeca Films will acquire and release films on a year-round schedule, starting with VOD windows through leading cable, satellite and telecom providers, including Comcast, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS.

After 60-day VOD windows, select titles will be expanded out into theatrical and DVD release.

Tribeca Film’s current acquisition slate includes 10 titles, seven of which will be available at launch.

Titles include the world premiere of ESPN extreme-sports documentary “The Birth of Big Air,” produced by Spike Jonze and Johnny Knoxville; Participant Media environmental documentary “Climate of Change”; the Ian Dury biopic “sex & drugs & rock & roll”; and the U.S. premiere of “Road, Movie” which comes from the producers of “In the Bedroom” and “Lost in Translation.”

Meanwhile, the virtual festival will make Tribeca’s screenings and panel discussions available outside New York to a worldwide online audience for a $45 fee.

“We have always sought to help filmmakers find audiences for their works, and now we can really take that mission to the next level,” said Tribeca Enterprises co-founder Robert De Niro. “I’m proud to see how much Tribeca has grown from its beginnings less than a decade ago.”