Tribeca Festival’s Tribeca X is returning to celebrate the intersection of advertising and entertainment. The annual event recognizes the achievements of companies and creators who share a mission to connect with consumers through the power of storytelling. Tribeca X will convene industry leaders on June 15 to examine the landscape of branded entertainment.
This year’s panel conversations and intimate fireside chats kick off with a keynote from Haider Rafique, global CMO of cryptocurrency exchange OKX. Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard returns to the Tribeca X stage to discuss accelerating diverse and inclusive storytelling to drive growth. Roku Brand Studio’s director, head of content Brian Toombs, Mast-Jägermeister U.S. creative director and head of culture Cliff Rigano will explore the value of storytelling. Thirty Five Ventures co-founder Rich Kleiman, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, and former MLB pitcher CC Sabathia will discuss building businesses outside of traditional endorsement deals. Additional speakers include Converse chief marketing officer Sejal Shah Miller and SVP of Disney Advertising Local at The Walt Disney Company Jennifer Donohue. 
“Tribeca X was designed to bring together entertainment and brand executives to celebrate storytelling. We’re proud to create a platform for powerful voices to share important lessons in creating innovative content that resonates with audiences,” said Tribeca CEO and co-founder Jane Rosenthal. “This year, Tribeca X will spotlight global leaders who are transforming the world of advertising and reaching audiences in both traditional and nontraditional ways through Web3 and the metaverse.”
Tribeca Festival also named the finalists and jury for the 2022 Tribeca X Awards, which celebrate the best story-driven filmmakers and brand collaborations of the year in four categories: Feature Film, Short Film, Series, and Immersive. The finalists represent brands including Apple, Mast-Jägermeister US, Square, Bulgari, Grindr, Nike, Zendesk, Sephora, PepsiCo Beverages North America, Meta, Verizon, and Z by HP. Their work will be screened online during the Festival from June 8-19.
Winning projects will be selected by a jury that includes Adobe CMO and executive VP corporate strategy & development Ann Lewnes; Mediabrands global chief content officer Brendan Gaul; Mastercard chief marketing & communications officer and president, healthcare Raja Rajamannar; Pfizer Inc executive VP, chief corporate affairs officer Sally Susman; and Indeed VP, global brand marketing and creative Jennifer Warren.
Tribeca X Award Finalists
Feature Film:
Title: The Beauty of Blackness
Brand: Sephora
Agency: Epic Digital, VOX Creative, Digitas, Ventureland
Director(s): Kianna Moore, Tiffany Johnson
Synopsis: In 1973, Eunice Johnson, the founder of Ebony and Jet, noticed a problem: Black women had to mix their own foundation in order to find a color that matched their skin. To tackle the problem, Johnson launched Fashion Fair, the first national cosmetics company that focused entirely on Black women. The brand triggered a renaissance in style among Black women and the global cosmetics industry took notice. Now, Fashion Fair is staging its comeback as a Black-owned business in a new era defined by massive cultural shifts and increased competition. The Beauty of Blackness follows current Fashion Fair CEO Desiree Rogers and President Cheryl Mayberry McKissack as they face the massive undertaking that goes into reviving an iconic beauty brand amidst a new cultural context and gives a front-row look to how the industry has changed, and how much progress we still have to make.
 
Title: The Show
Brand: PepsiCo Beverages North America
Agency: The Pepsi Content Studio
Production Company: Boardwalk Pictures
Director: Nadia Hallgren
Synopsis: THE SHOW is a 90-minute verité documentary that takes audiences on the creative journey behind The Weeknd’s Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show, for the first time ever – proving that it takes a village of talent at the top of their game to bring the most watched 12 minutes on television to life, especially amidst a global pandemic. To extend the equity beyond the performance and keep it in the cultural conversation, award-winning director Nadia Hallgren showcased not only the story of bringing a cultural moment to life, but also the story of personal meaning for all those who made it happen. Premiering on Showtime six months after filming wrapped, Pepsi was able to meet its objective of extending the equity of the Super Bowl Halftime Show beyond the performance and keep it at the forefront of the cultural conversation.
Short Film:
Title: The Comeback
Brand: Apple
Agency: TBWAMedia Arts Lab Shanghai
Director: Zhang Meng
Synopsis: The story follows a disheartened young stunt double-slash-wannabe director, his father, and a rag-tag crew of villagers as they set out to shoot an out-of-this-world movie in hopes of reviving their fading village and making it “internet famous”. This 23-minute heartwarming story is set to encourage everyone to never stop believing in their dreams, even if that dream is as far aways as Mars. Will they succeed in the end? A multi-genre movie mixes up Hollywood sci-fi, traditional Kung Fu action and nostalgic feel-good comedy, entirely shot on iPhone.
 
Title: If You Have
Brand: UNICEF
Agency: Breakwater Studios
Director: Ben Proudfoot
Synopsis: If You Have, is an inspiring documentary from Academy Award®-winning director Ben Proudfoot (The Queen of Basketball), Breakwater Studios, and Executive Producers UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom and UNICEF Ambassadors Sofia Carson and Lucy Liu, celebrating 75 years of UNICEF’s lifesaving work around the world as told through the eyes of those who were there, past and present. From World War II to COVID-19, during some of the world’s most trying moments, UNICEF has shown that the goodness of humanity can always match the size of the challenge. If You Have is a transcontinental tour de force chronicling the powerful impact that everyday people can and should make in uniting to protect the health, development and rights of the world’s most vulnerable citizens, including children from around the globe.
 
Title: The Lesbian Bar Project
Brand: Jägermeister
Agency: Civic Entertainment Group
Director(s): Erica Rose, Elina Street
Synopsis: In the 1980s there were roughly 200 lesbian bars in the U.S., today that number is fewer than 25. The Lesbian Bar Project, supported by Jägermeister’s global #SAVETHENIGHT initiative, spotlights the lesbian bar owners, community activists, archivists, and patrons in three cities (New York, NY; Mobile, AL; and Washington, DC) and their struggles during the pandemic, their hopes for the future, and the impact on their communities. Executive produced by Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”) and The Katz Company, and co-directed by Erica Rose and Elina Street, the documentary short seeks to promote and restore these vital queer establishments helping them not only survive but thrive in a post-pandemic landscape. The Lesbian Bar Project’s corresponding crowdfunding campaign raised over $150K in 2021 to support the participating bars.
 
Title: Our Chinatown
Brand: Square
Agency: Even/Odd
Director: Red Gaskell
Synopsis: Legacy business owners in New York City’s Chinatown reflect on 2020 and the importance of family as a through line of the past, present, and future of their neighborhood.
 
Title: Serpentine
Brand: Bulgari
Production Company: Evasion Pictures
Director: Eva Doležalová
Synopsis: A covert snake cult finally breaks the genetic code to bring about a new snake-human interspecies.
 
Series:
Title: Bridesman
Brand: Grindr
Production Company: rubbertape
Director(s): Julian Buchan, John Onieal
Producer(s): Katie White, Jeremy Truong
Synopsis: Bridesman is a comedic limited series that follows Terry, gay and awful, as he is forced to fulfill bridesmaid duties for his best friend despite his disdain for the construct of marriage and an electric sexual connection with the groom. The bold, irreverent and fast-paced series satirizes modern wedding culture and monogamy, while exploring the true meaning of lifelong partnership. Executive produced by Grindr, Bridesman was created by John Onieal, directed by Julian Buchan, written by Onieal and Frank Spiro, and produced by Katie White and Jeremy Truong.
 
Title: Moving Mountains
Brand: Nike
Agency: Revery
Director(s): Mackenzie Sheppard, Shern Sharma
Synopsis: Moving Mountains follows the stories of everyday athletes on extraordinary journeys to overcome obstacles in pursuit of their sport.
 
Title: Stories About Helpful People
Brand: Zendesk
Creative Studio: Even/Odd
Director(s): Sindha Agha, Erin Brethauer, Tim Hussin
Synopsis: As a customer support company, everything Zendesk does — from how they build their customer experience software to the way they work with customers, is all about being helpful. It’s the spirit they believe in. “Stories About Helpful People” is a series of mini-documentaries and photo stories. It’s a series intended to inspire the Zendesk community to rally around the spirit of helpfulness. In GOLDEN AGE KARATE, a high school student helps a group of senior citizens get through a vulnerable time, by teaching them karate. In ERIC AND THE BEES, a U.S. military veteran discovers that beekeeping helps him cope with PTSD — and teaches other vets the healing powers of the hive.
Immersive:
Title: Emerging Radiance
Brand: Meta
Creator(s): Tani Ikeda, Michelle Kumata
Synopsis: Emerging Radiance, directed by Tani Ikeda and illustrated by Michelle Kumata, celebrates the untold stories of Japanese American strawberry farmers who lived in Bellevue from 1920 to 1942. With a hand-painted mural and Spark AR Instagram filters, visitors have the opportunity to meet Toshio Ito, Rae Matsuoka Takekawa, and Mitsuko Hashiguchi, three survivors of the World War II incarceration camps, as they share in their own words their connections to the land before World War II, during incarceration, and post-World War II. Produced by Meta Open Arts.
 
Title: Iago: The Green Eyed Monster
Brand: Verizon
Creator(s): Josh Nelson Youssef, Mary Chieffo, Camila Marturano, Julian Dorado
Synopsis: This musical prequel to a futuristic take on Shakespeare’s Othello explores the psychology and origin story of the notorious villain Iago reimagined as a woman. Reviewing holographic memories, Iago muses on her schemes in a rock opera villain song that incorporates Shakespeare’s original words into the lyrics. As her song crescendos, Iago is consumed by her jealousy and literally becomes “the green eyed monster,” destroying everyone and everything in her path to vengeance.
 
Title: Unlocked
Brand: Z by HP
Agency: Giant Spoon
Director: Jonathan Pearson
Synopsis: Unlocked is an interactive adventure film that invites real data scientists to help solve an ancient mystery. The film introduces us to Dr. Eva Ramirez, who is searching for a mysterious flower rumored to cure the rare neurological disease that plagues her family. However she’s not the only one looking for this elusive plant — a local cartel is dead set on securing it for themselves. When Eva gets caught in the cartel’s crosshairs, she turns to her friends, data scientists Michaela and Damone, for help. As the action unfolds, the friends use their investigative instincts, custom datasets, and Z by HP high performance workstations to help protect Eva track down the plant’s location, before it falls into the wrong hands.
 
Conversations
The lineup of Tribeca X Conversations features:
“Designing a Diverse Future presented by Nike Inc.”
Speakers: Jarvis Sam, VP, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Nike; Brandice Daniel, Founder and CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row; Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, Founder of Pensole Lewis College 
 
“How Mast-Jägermeister US is Re-Defining Brand Storytelling”
Join Roku Brand Studio’s Brian Toombs and Mast-Jägermeister US’s Cliff Rigano discuss going beyond the :30 second TV ad to win the entire streaming journey. Toombs and Rigano will discuss how they identify authentic stories to create true streaming entertainment and will deep-dive into the role of content in marketing.
Speakers: Brian Toombs, Director, Head of Content, Roku Brand Studio, Roku, Inc.; Cliff Rigano, Creative Director and Head of Culture, Content and Experiential Marketing, Mast-Jägermeister US
 
“Dear Santa: From X to ABC”
With branded features on the rise in Hollywood, the fundamentals of storytelling are changing. What do brands and marketers need to consider when developing a successful story for today’s entertainment market? As branded content evolves to become mainstream entertainment, it’s clear that identifying a great story is not enough. In this session, the team behind the 2021 Tribeca X Best Feature winning film, Dear Santa, share their thoughts on where the industry is headed and weigh in on what other criteria brand film marketers should consider.
Speakers: Brendan Gaul, Global Chief Content Officer, Mediabrands; Dana Nachman, Director / Writer / Producer; Chris Karpenko, Executive Director, Brand Marketing, USPS; Jennifer Donohue, Senior Vice President of Disney Advertising Local at The Walt Disney Company
 
“How Converse Creates Next with Its All-Stars”
Converse is the original brand of youth culture, adopted around the world for decades. Today, the brand is powered by youth creativity. Chief Marketing Officer Sejal Shah Miller will be joined in a fireside chat by members of Converse All Stars, the brand’s global grassroots community of emerging creators for a conversation on creating access and opportunity, offering mentorship and striving for self-expression and representation.
Speakers: Sejal Shah Miller, Chief Marketing Officer, Converse
 
“A Whole New Ballgame: How Sports is Driving the Creator Economy”
Today’s professional athletes are the ultimate influencers. From the way they build and monetize their brands to the evolution of direct-to-fan access, the power of an athlete’s name and likeness can propel their career long after they retire from the game. This session will join Co-Founder of Thirty Five Ventures Rich Kleiman in conversation with New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley, and former MLB pitcher and current special assistant to the Commissioner CC Sabathia, for a discussion around building businesses outside of traditional endorsement deals (hello NFTs!) and the specific experience of playing in New York, the center of the sports world.
Speakers: Rich Kleiman, Co-Founder Thirty Five Ventures; Saquon Barkley, Running Back, New York Giants, CC Sabathia, former MLB pitcher
 
“Advancing the Culture and Currency through Inclusive Storytelling”
Widen The Screen is an expansive content creation, talent development, and partnership platform supported by P&G that celebrates and invests in the visions and voices of Black creators whose work shares the full richness of the Black experience. This thought-provoking session will include P&G’s Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard and a select group of Widen The Screen partners and creators, in a conversation about the power of Black creativity to influence the culture, Widen the View of the Black experience, and transform the media ecosystem through inclusive growth. This session will also cover the platform’s future impact on Black creators and how this can extend to creators from all underrepresented communities with an intention to Widen the Screen for all audiences.
Speakers: Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, P&G; Widen the Screen participants
Moderator: Rose Pierre-Louis, Chief Operating Officer, McSilver Institute

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