Tribeca Pushes Back 2021 Dates, Will Also Play 2020 Selections at 20th Anniversary Event

Christel Deskins

The Tribeca Film Festival has announced the dates of its 20th anniversary event, moving the annual NYC festival into a summer slot. While the festival has typically occurred in April, it will now take place June 9 – 20, 2021. Per today’s announcement, the move is “reflecting shifting calendars and […]

The Tribeca Film Festival has announced the dates of its 20th anniversary event, moving the annual NYC festival into a summer slot. While the festival has typically occurred in April, it will now take place June 9 – 20, 2021. Per today’s announcement, the move is “reflecting shifting calendars and efforts to ensure the festival moves forward in the safest environment.”

With just a month left before the festival was set to celebrate its 19th edition this past April, Tribeca was forced to postpone its mid-April dates when Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a ban on all gatherings of more than 500 people. In the following days, the festival made available “a mix of programming online that celebrates and promotes creators,” including a selection of projects from the Tribeca Immersive Cinema360 VR programming, N.O.W. Creators Market, the Industry Extranet Resource Hub, and the brand storytelling Tribeca X Awards. The festival also went ahead with its annual awards.

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While there had been some hope that the festival would be able to put on a more traditional in-person event later in 2020, that proved untenable. Instead, Tribeca has spent the summer launching outdoor events, like a Walmart-sponsored drive-in series, and supporting other film festivals with the We Are One initiative.

Next year’s event will, however, make space for 2020 Tribeca-selected films whose premieres were not able to take place in 2020. The festival shares that all of the 2020 filmmakers “have been invited to showcase their films and celebrate their postponed premieres as part of the 20th anniversary edition.” The festival will also host a brand new section, dedicated to online premieres as part of the official slate.

When IndieWire spoke to festival director Cara Cusumano back in April, she pointed Tribeca’s unique roots — it was first founded by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal in 2002 in response to the September 11 attacks as an antidote for a grieving community — as part and parcel of its ability to pivot in changing times.

“We are the festival that emerged out of a community in crisis and is about the value of storytelling and film to bring it all together,” she said at the time. “Now we’re in this very different crisis moment and we can’t do the festival the way that we did back then, but we can we can do it in a different way.

Submissions open on September 8 for all categories (including feature and short films, episodic storytelling, immersive, branded entertainment, and the newly added section dedicated to online premieres), on both the Tribeca website and its Film Freeway portal. Submission rules, regulations, and information on eligibility for the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival are available right here.

To accommodate creators affected by the pandemic, the submission period is extended by three weeks, the late deadline is pushed to January, and the eligibility rules are adjusted to include films that have previously screened at online festivals.

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