The Dominance of Documentaries at the Tribeca Film Festival

April 11, 2016 - By: Sarah Hovis

 Nestled between the rural spirit of Sundance and the refined flavor of Cannes, is the urban Tribeca Film Festival. While all three festivals provide amazing platforms for films that rarely receive big box office paydays, over the last
14 years Tribeca has become a strong voice for the nonfiction film market. With the premieres of future Oscar nominee films such as
Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side and
Lee Hirsch’s box-office success Bully, the Festival has also emerged as a destination for documentary films. On the Festival’s official website,
Paula Weinstein, Executive Vice President of Tribeca Enterprises said that, “The Festival has grown into a platform for discovery of new and distinct voices for both audiences and industry. Over 80 percent of the world premieres eligible for acquisition at last year's Festival were sold. We are energized by this year's filmmakers and films and look forward to introducing them to our Festival-going community, and premiering new work from several returning artists.” It is also worth noting that these documentaries don’t shy away from tackling some of society’s most hot-button issues, such as:
Betting on Zero (a look at Wall Street's financial thievery) and
Do Not Resist (the alarming militarization of America's police departments). As an extra incentive this year 12 documentary features making their North American, international, or world premieres will compete for cash prizes totaling $155,000, as well as artwork from the
Artists Awards program. IFC Films' SVP Acquisitions Arianna Bocco said the kind of national publicity documentaries can receive at Tribeca is valuable for the filmmakers. And it seems with audiences wanting to see more of the high-quality storytelling documentaries offer, that they will always have a voice at the Tribeca Film Festival. This year’s Festival runs from April 13 – 24. Tell us in the comments the name of your favorite documentary.