As we emerge from the pandemic and return safely to theaters, and movies, and yes, crowds of people, we can enjoy what we’ve missed: sharing laughter, tears, or excitement with strangers, as well as the joy of discovery that only happens at a film festival. As buyers return to live screening rooms and the summer beckons with Tribeca, Cannes, and many more to follow, we’re all discovering the new normal; we’re not returning to the old one. Change brings new behaviors, new distribution models — and with that, the risk of losing things we care about.
Festivals will continue to play a vital role in the film ecosystem, but what has been gained and what has been lost?
Let’s cut to the chase: The 2021 Tribeca Festival is not, as a tweet by Governor Andrew Cuomo
put it, “the first in-person film festival to take place in North America since before Covid.