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Press Release - 2008 Tribeca Film Institute Program

CONTACT: Rubenstein Communications, Inc. — Public Relations

Jodi Sevin (212) 843-8393,

Jocelyn Aframe (212) 843-8285,
  Tribeca Enterprises

Tammie Rosen, (212) 941-2003,


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[New York, NY April 8, 2008] The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) today announced its programs and grants to be awarded during the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. Program highlights include the return of the Tribeca Film Fellows, the new TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, TFI Rwanda, as well as a special youth gala screening entitled Our City, My Story. In addition, Tribeca Teaches: Films in Motion, which takes place at the Bronx Preparatory Charter School and the Tribeca All Access program, both of which were previously announced, will take place during this year’s Festival. The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express, runs from April 23 – May 4, 2008.

TFI will continue to provide artists with much needed grants to create and produce work. Through the new TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, TFI and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation continue their collaboration and provide financial support and mentorship for filmmakers with narrative projects that dramatize compelling stories about science and technology. The first annual Youth Achievement Awards will grant two young filmmakers the funds and equipment to create films and further their film education. Additionally, during this year's Festival, the Institute will announce the recipients of its Media Arts Fellowships, founded and supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, which provides artists with approximately $800,000 in annual grants each year.

“The Tribeca Film Institute, having just combined our organization, has already widened its reach and ability to impact artists through new programs,” said Tribeca Film Institute Board Co-Chair Jane Rosenthal. “The grants that TFI will give out during the Festival allow both filmmakers and artists to be innovative and creative and the programs that take place allow all filmmakers to experience the festival, no matter the stage of their career.”


TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund

The TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund, a new fund created in collaboration with longtime TFI supporter, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, will provide $140,000 to U.S. based filmmakers who incorporate science and technology into their films. This program seeks to cultivate narrative films in any stage of their development that creatively explore how science and technology impact everyday life or depict the lives of scientists, engineers and mathematicians in fresh ways. In addition to financial support, films selected for the Fund will receive exposure to top film industry financiers and producers. At next year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the grantees work will be highlighted and key networking opportunities will also be provided.

“We are delighted to continue our fruitful partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute, which has already resulted in outstanding screenplays about Rosalind Franklin, Hedy Lamar, Richard Feynman, Edwin Hubble and Ramanujan, as well as several sparking comedies,” said Doron Weber, Sloan Program Director. “This new fund will allow us to focus on the production end of the pipeline and to ensure that the great untold stories and wonderful characters from science and technology reach the wider movie-going audience.”

The Fund will begin accepting submissions on June 2, 2008 and the final date to submit will be on August 1, 2008. The winners will be announced in the fall. As part of this new Fund, a second grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will be offered through the Tribeca Film Institute in 2009. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has supported the Tribeca Film Institute since its inception and the TFI Sloan Filmmaker Fund will replace the Tribeca Sloan Screenplay Development Program.

TFI Rwanda

During this year’s Festival, TFI will announce plans for a filmmaker exchange program with the Rwandan Cinema Center (RCC) through TFI Rwanda. The collaboration between TFI and RCC has been designed to support the developing film industry in Rwanda and provide a model for international collaborations to support a growing global film community. Through a sharing of ideas, the new initiative will offer Rwandan filmmakers an opportunity to develop their craft alongside U.S. counterparts, helping show that the story of Rwanda is not solely one of a great national tragedy, but one of resiliency, growth and rebuilding through film.

This groundbreaking pilot program continues the TFI tradition of bridging the gap between underrepresented communities and the mainstream film industry. TFI Rwanda will celebrate the inaugural program with a private tea and panel on May 1 at 2:30 pm.

TFI will send six U.S. filmmakers to Rwanda this fall to study with six students from RCC in a series of workshops. Subsequently, the six Rwandan filmmakers will travel to the U.S. during Tribeca Film Festival 2009 to participate in another series of workshops with the six U.S. filmmakers.

Tribeca Film Fellows and TFI Youth Programs

Through TFI’s Tribeca Film Fellows program, now in its fourth year, 20 young people will exchange ideas, explore the possibilities of cinema and develop their voices through film. During the Festival, budding filmmakers are granted a unique all-access look at the Festival and the film industry through mentorship and pre-professional development, as well as workshops, panels and special events, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Miramax offices and trips to Film Forum and the Museum of the Moving Image.

This year also marks the first-annual Tribeca Youth Achievement Awards. Two student Film Fellows who show extraordinary promise will be awarded funds and filmmaking equipment based on their original film pitches and performance as Film Fellows.

The Film Fellows program will culminate with a short group film, Cityscapes, depicting all five boroughs of New York City through the eyes of its young filmmakers. The work will serve as the introduction to Our City, My Story, TFI’s annual celebration of the excellence and diversity of New York City youth media during the Festival. The films will be screened as part of a special student outreach event at 12:30 pm on Thursday, May 1 at TPAC and at TFI’s annual youth media gala screening at 6 pm on Friday, May 2 at the Village East Cinema.

The Film Fellows and youth across New York City will also have the opportunity to watch new, classic and unique films through the Tribeca Youth Screening Series, produced in collaboration with Arts Engine. Throughout the Festival, TFI will present several free screenings for city youth and NYC public school students, including Our City, My Story, Gunnin for That #1 Spot, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Baghdad High and Kassim the Dream . Each screening is followed by a discussion, Q&A or a workshop.

The Institute also announced the continuation of the Tribeca Film Institute on Wheels, TFI’s partnership with Lollipop Theater Network (LOLLIPOP), a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the magic of movies to children confined to hospitals due to chronic or life-threatening illnesses nationwide. TFI and LOLLIPOP will present the Fourth Annual TFI Film Festival on Wheels. This unique collaboration, sponsored by Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, will screen selections from the 2008 Tribeca Family Film Festival for pediatric patients.

About the Tribeca Film Institute
The Tribeca Film Institute is dedicated to creative innovation in film and media arts. The Institute creates original programs that draw on the unifying power of film to promote creativity, understanding, tolerance and global awareness. Our commitment is to educate, entertain and inspire filmmakers and audiences alike, while strengthening the artistic and economic fabric of New York City and its Lower Manhattan community.

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