Tribeca Film Institute® Announces Lineup for 3rd Annual “TFI Interactive”

New “Interactive Playground” to Explore Intersection of Culture, Technology and Storytelling

(NEW YORK, NY) March 26, 2014 —Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced the dynamic new program for the third annual TFI Interactive event supported by the Ford Foundation. The day-long meeting of the minds takes place during Tribeca Innovation Week at the Tribeca Film Festival® (TFF) and is devoted to exploring the future of storytelling in an ever-evolving digital world.  On Saturday, April 26th TFI Interactive (TFIi) will assemble the brightest thinkers and innovators from the worlds of media, journalism, gaming and technology for an all-day forum and an “Interactive Playground,” a new addition which will connect participants with a selection of the speakers’ projects.

Thought leaders from around the country will share their insights, inviting content creators to rethink storytelling paradigms during a full day of interactive panels and presentations. Participants will come together to explore the impact the changing digital media ecosystem has on their industries and will examine tools and trends that are re-shaping business, film and the art of storytelling. The event will take place from 9:30 am – 6:00 pm at the IAC Building in New York City and is open to TFI-invited guests, all TFF badge holders, pass holders of the new Tribeca Innovation Week, and TFI members.

TFIi will kick off with a keynote from Kenyatta Cheese, co-founder of Everybody at Once and co-creator of Know Your Meme. Kenyatta studies the ways that ideas spread through culture and will talk about how audiences have changed.  The event will close with a keynote on the limits of technology by Brooklyn-based Internet artist and designer, Jonathan Harris, named a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum.

Conversations during the day will range from a talk with New York Times R&D Lab Creative Director Alexis Lloyd on how emerging technology and user behaviors may affect news information and media, to a presentation on cutting-edge, digital technologies that can sense and respond to a wide range of physical expressions by Tom Igoe, Associate Arts Professor, ITP/Tisch School of the Arts/NYU and co-founder of Arduino.  

“TFI Interactive has the unique ability to showcase and highlight a wide range of diverse projects including storytelling and innovative digital experiments,” said Ingrid Kopp, Director of Digital Initiatives for Tribeca Film Institute. “The field is always evolving and we are so proud to have the ability to bring these different leaders together for an opportunity to share their own personal work while igniting new ideas for the future.”

TFIi’s new Interactive Playground will give participants an opportunity to interact directly with speakers’ featured projects including:



    9.50 a.m. – Opening remarks
    Beth Janson, Executive Director, Tribeca Film Institute

    10.00 a.m. – Opening keynote: The Audience has an Audience
    Kenyatta Cheese, Professional Internet Enthusiast
    Kenyatta Cheese kicks off this year’s TFIi with a keynote about audiences. People tweet, share, and re-blog their opinions, hopes, fears and the things they love about a story as it is happening. The audience now has an audience, a group of people gathered around a shared passion who become their own community. This activity is changing the ways that stories are being told. Kenyatta will show us what this means for both creators and audiences.

    10.50 a.m. – Objects as Oracle
    Alexis Lloyd, Creative Director, The New York Times R&D Lab
    As objects become increasingly connected, they become potential conduits for new forms of storytelling and interaction. Alexis Lloyd researches emerging technology and user behaviors, exploring how these trends may affect news information and media. 

    11.00 a.m. – Physical Computing and Human Interaction
    Tom Igoe, Associate Arts Professor, ITP/Tisch School of the Arts/NYU; co-founder, Arduino
    Physical computing is about understanding the basics of human interaction to inform how we design the ever expanding digital world we are creating. Tom Igoe explores ways to allow digital technologies to sense and respond to a wider range of human physical expression.

    11.20 a.m. – Storyscapes in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin Panel
    Moderated by Michelle Byrd, Independent Media Consultant. Panelists: Loc Dao (Circa 1948), Nathan Penlington (Choose Your Own Documentary), Jonathan Minard, James George (Clouds), Matthew Carey (On a Human Scale) and Nonny de la Peña (Use of Force)
    This year’s Storyscapes selection at the Tribeca Film Festival highlights the possibilities of interactive storytelling in the most immersive way possible. Join us for a panel with the creative minds behind the projects.

    11:50 a.m. – Chideo (Charity + Video = Chideo)
    Todd Wagner, Founder and CEO, Chideo
    Charities are working harder than ever to leverage the power of entertainment and technology to drive support for their missions. Entrepreneur and philanthropist Todd Wagner shares his vision for the future of fundraising and explains his new digital platform, Chideo -- where fans can discover and inspire exclusive content from their favorite personalities, all while making the world a better place.

    12.00 p.m. – A Sympler Way to Remix Video
    Ben Jenkins, Co-founder, Sympler
    Sympler, the brainchild of Ben Jenkins and Alex Kane, is a remixing app for video. If you can tap out a beat you can tap out a video. Join us for this live and interactive remix session.

    12.15 p.m. – Look Who’s Watching: What Can Storytellers Learn from the Privacy Debate?
    Ben Moskowitz, New Program Director, Mozilla; Co-director Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference
    Should social issue storytellers embrace techniques pioneered by the advertising industry: quantitative measurement, behavioral profiling, and personalization? Ben Moskowitz argues that adopting some the practices of these “watchers” could actually empower advocates and create a more intimate bond between the storyteller and the audience.

    12.30 p.m. - Documentary, Expanding
    Wendy Levy, Director, New Arts AXIS
    How might a radical approach to storytelling and public art connect audiences to issues they care about?  In this session, Wendy Levy will introduce two new projects where documentary filmmakers and photographers are collaborating to lead a charge for public and digital art interventions that are accountable to social movements, and generate new archives of data and cultural resilience.

    12.45 p.m. – TFI New Media Fund Grantees – Session 1

    • American Promise – Michele Stephenson and Joe Brewster

    American Promise follows two African American boys and their families for 12 years as they navigate the terrain of race, privilege and opportunity at a rigorous New York City private school. To further the work of the film, the team are creating a web series and a goal-setting mobile app called “Promise Tracker.”

    • Chasing the Sun – Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons

    Suppose we found a lost continent — impossible, but just imagine. An opportunity to do things differently, to do anything but business as usual. What would we do?

    • Action Switchboard – Andy Bichlbaum and Michael Badger

    This human-moderated digital platform helps a global audience initiate and join direct actions that serve specific activist goals; it also provides training and other resources for carrying out media actions. Effectively, the Action Switchboard invites the film's audience to join in the story of The Yes Men Are Revolting and extend it in new and powerful ways.
    1– 2 p.m. – LUNCH

    2.00 p.m. – TFI New Media Fund Grantees – Session 2

    • This is My Backyard – Anjali Nayar

    This is My Backyard is a multi-platform project, accompanying the film Logs of War, that crowd sources and disseminates information about land and resources in West Africa.

    • Who is Dayani Cristal? – Lina Srivastava

    Deep in the scorching Sonoran desert beneath a cicada tree border patrol discovers a decomposing body. Lifting a t-shirt, they expose a tattoo that reads "Dayani Cristal." An anonymous body in the Arizona desert sparks the beginning of a search across a continent  to seek out the people left behind and the meaning of a mysterious tattoo. Who Is Dayani Cristal? is a film and cross-platform exploration of stories underlying poverty, immigration, and the human rights of migrants who make journey across the US-Mexico border.

    2.15 p.m. – Lyka: the adventure
    Lance Weiler, Story Architect; Founding Member, Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University
    Meet a new generation of creators who are building stories. Join Lance Weiler and his young collaborators for this adventurous session and find out more about Lyka’s Adventure

    2.30 p.m. – Beta!: Making Game Design Fun and Accessible
    Errol King, Founder & Creative Director, Beta!
    Beta! is a game that teaches analytical thinking, game design, and computer programming. Design your own games and free your inner programmer!

    2.45 p.m. - How We Play Stories
    Nick Fortugno, Co-founder/CCO, Playmatics
    Interactive systems make completely different demands on an audience than non-interactive forms, and interactive story is no different.  How can play itself be narrative? What changes when you try to tell a story with a game rather than a film? What techniques from film do we use in games, and what new ideas does interactivity bring to the table?

    3.00 p.m. - Don’t Build Audiences, Build Community
    Andrew DeVigal, Digital Media Innovator & Strategist
    Andrew DeVigal explores the use of an innovative digital engagement tool that allows your audience to become participants through facilitated dialogue and collective inquiry. How do you harness the power and creative potential of an active and connected community from the inception to the delivery of your idea?

    3.15 p.m. - Avatar Secrets
    Ramona Pringle, Multiplatform Producer/Professor
    A sneak preview of a new iPad app and experience that takes you through the transmedia world of Ramona Pringle. Follow her journey from the real world to the virtual one and back again.

    3.25 p.m. – Tribeca Hacks <Mobile> Presentation
    Find out what happened at the story hackathon taking place over the two days preceding TFI Interactive and meet the winning project creators. The hackathon is sponsored by AT&T and is part of Tribeca Innovation Week.

    3.35 p.m. - Real is a Platform
    Michel Reilhac, Story Architect, MÉLANGE
    Real life is a great platform for interactive narrative experiences. Stories are no longer just about screens as people crave real-life authentic experiences. How can we use reality as platform in our interactive storytelling approach?

    3.55 p.m. – Introducing the DocuBase
    William Uricchio, Professor of Comparative Media Studies and Principle Investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab and the MIT Game Lab
    Few things can compete with the emergence of a new media practice for sheer innovation and unpredictability. William Uricchio will present the most recent version of the DocuBase, showing the unruly brilliance of this moment and envisioning the futures of the documentary.

    4.05 p.m. Storytelling as Interface
    Jason Brush, Executive Creative Director, POSSIBLE
    How does interaction design shape narrative experience? As we move from a lean back culture to a lean forward one, what role does the interface play?

    4.25 p.m. – Closing Keynote: Digital Dissatisfaction: The Limits of Technology
    Jonathan Harris, Artist
    Jonathan Harris closes this years TFI Interactive by looking at the disconnect between what we envision technology will do for us, and what it actually ends up doing to our lives.
    5.00 p.m. – Cocktail Hour

TFI Members may attend TFIi for free. Find more information and a sign-up form here:

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About Tribeca Film Institute (
Tribeca Film Institute champions storytellers to be catalysts for change in their communities and around the world.  Through grants and professional development programs, TFI supports a diverse, exceptional group of filmmakers and media artists, providing them resources needed to fully realize their stories and connect with audiences.  The Institute’s educational programming leverages an extensive film community network to help underserved New York City students learn filmmaking and gain the media skills necessary to be productive citizens and creative individuals in the 21st century.  Featuring hands-on training and exposure to socially relevant films, the Institute administers programs to more than 25,000 students annually.  TFI was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in the wake of September 11, 2001 and is a 501(c)(3) year-round nonprofit arts organization.

About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information, visit