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Tribeca: The Good, The Bad and The Rivalries

Tribeca: The Good, The Bad and The Rivalries

After five years, Tribeca isn’t exactly the new kid on the block, anymore. But it’s still easy to kick around for its mammoth ambitions; the festival is already facing criticism this year for everything from its rising ticket prices to its lavish focus on red-carpet star-sighting opps — and it hasn’t even begun yet.

For the Wall Street Journal Online, I’ve compiled a dozen picks that I believe are safe bets for WSJ readers (many already with distribution). Later this week, Variety will publish a “hot list” of films available for distribution that I’ve helped compile with their editors, along with an article that looks at Tribeca’s actual status as a marketplace. The festival has done an excellent job of spinning itself as a place where acquisitions occur, but the reality of the situation is less glitzy.

The fact that Tribeca sells itself as a place that sells movies is one of the key components of the rivalry that now exists between other spring festivals and the Gotham giant. In this indieWIRE article, I look at how Tribeca, SXSW and the Los Angeles film festivals are now in competition for 2nd place behind Sundance as the runner-up U.S film festival of choice for American indie premieres. It’s this rivalry that creates a forbidding situation for filmmakers, who now find themselves caught in the middle between competiing fests trying to raise their profiles; it’s also a situation that shuts out smaller regional showcases from showing the movies they wish to program.

How it’s all going to pan out, I’m not sure. But the landscape is definitely shifting, and with Tribeca aggressively pursuing premieres, the competition has never been more fierce.

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