Damon Albarn
photo by Linda Brownlee Damon Albarn

The Tribeca Film Festival will launch "Tribeca Interactive & Interlude: A Music Film Challenge in collaboration with The Lincoln Motor Company," a new contest for digital storytellers to create interactive music films, the festival announced today.

The contest is part of TFF's broader efforts to new initiatives that bridge filmmaking and technology. "Technology is just technology, but when you put interesting technology with imaginations and storytellers, then it unlocks whole other worlds. We watched our business change, having new platforms to watch stories on -- whether you're going to a theater and having that experience or watching it on your computer or your device of choice. It's exciting to not have to limit yourself in terms of the ways you can tell a story -- even in terms of the length. It's exciting to be able to play around in shortform and longform and to be able to tell good stories in new ways," Jane Rosenthal, co-founder, Tribeca Film Festival told Indiewire.

In collaboration with The Lincoln Motor Company via Genero.tv’s global creative community, Tribeca and its partners invite storytellers and content creators to work with Interlude’s interactive video platform to create an interactive music film for major music artists Damon Albarn, Aloe Blacc and Ellie Goulding, with the winning project for each screening at TFF. 

The Challenge will begin on January 28 when digital storytellers can create interactive music films for the music tracks "Heavy Seas of Love" by Damon Albarn from his forthcoming solo album, "Ticking Bomb" by Aloe Blacc and "Dead in the Water" by Ellie Goulding. A jury will select finalists for each of the three music tracks, with the artists helping the jury to select the winner for each of their respective songs. The winning entry will be aligned with Damon Albarn's "Everyday Robots" album official campaign, Aloe Blacc's "Lift Your Spirit" and Ellie Goulding’s "Halcyon Days," respectively. The winning filmmakers will receive $10,000 each and a trip to attend the Tribeca Film Festival.

Andrew Lane, co-founder of Genero, said, "Working beyond linear videos and into a new format of interactivity, this is a fresh opportunity for our community, and we are confident their unparalleled creativity will result in engaging and memorable work for Damon Albarn, Aloe Blacc and Ellie Goulding."

To participate, filmmakers will use Treehouse, Interlude's self-service authoring suite, to create an interactive music film set to one of the three songs. Participants will use Treehouse' interface to design their interactive music films. In the past few years, Interlude has collaborated with a number of music artists to create interactive videos, including, most recently Bob Dylan for the first official music video for "Like a Rolling Stone."

"It is very rewarding to see a film festival as respected and beloved as Tribeca embrace interactive video," said Yoni Bloch, co-founder and CEO of Interlude. "Technology is empowering creativity and shaping storytelling in the digital age, and we can’t wait to see how filmmakers and others leverage Treehouse to fuel their creativity and inspiration."

TFF will showcase the finalists' films during the Tribeca Online Festival and display them throughout festival venues and lounges via interactive kiosks, in addition to the Challenge website.

Rosenthal emphasized that while technology will play a part in the storytelling process: "You can have all the technology you want in the world, but if you don't have the creative storyteller to take that to a new level and to tell a good story, then technology doesn't mean a thing. It's not just technology for technology's sake. It's technology with storytellers and creators coming together and coming up with something unexpected."

She is hopeful that the contest will spur filmmakers and digital storytellers to find new ways to use technology in order to engage the audience. "A film festival is always about discovery and about looking for and finding new voices, so certainly having this challenge for new filmmakers to experiment and have the opportunity to work with the music of our three diverse musicians is definitely an opportunity," said Rosenthal.

To participate, visit genero.tv/Tribeca. Submissions close on March 27. Questions regarding submissions may be directed to info@genero.tv.