At Tribeca All Access with ITVS Vice President of Programming Claire Aguilar

Posted on April 24, 2009

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded as a response to the events of 9/11 to help Lower Manhattan recover after the tragedy and to celebrate the vitality and diversity of New York City through filmmaking. Tribeca All Access has been an integral part of the film festival and has supported relationships between filmmakers from underrepresented communities and film industry executives. Read about ITVS’s involvement with Tribeca All Access from ITVS vice president of programming Claire Aguilar.

ITVS has been involved with Tribeca All Access (TAA) since its beginning in 2004, and we continue to appreciate and rely on it as a resource for exciting projects from filmmakers of color. TAA elicits a vibrant atmosphere every year, not only because of the excellent quality projects in development, but also because of Tribeca’s commitment to diversity. So amid the glamour and excitement of Tribeca Film Festival––the festival's opening film was Woody Allen’s Whatever Works––there was the simultaneous excitement of 31TAA filmmakers excitedly pitching their films in development. 

This year I met with new documentary producers who were part of Tribeca All Access, but the group also included many ITVS-supported producers. The three days of meetings take the form of 30-minute one-on-ones with the producing team, and I was able to meet with all nine documentary project teams. TAA also supports narrative projects, but because of limited time I only met with docs this time. For six years, TAA has been fostering these producers not only with setting up these initial development meetings with them, but continuing to support the TAA “alumni” with year-round support, often culminating in screening the finished film at the festival. 

There are a myriad of connections between the TAA producers and ITVS. Not only does TAA provide the genesis of a future project and relationship, but it can branch off in many different ways. ITVS-funded producer Nicole Opper pitched her film OFF AND RUNNING: A Very American Coming of Age Story at TAA in 2008 and it is premiering at this year’s festival. Another ITVS-funded filmmaker, Marco Williams, received development support for his documentary The Immigration Project, and was selected at this year’s TAA to meet with industry. Hugo Perez, selected to pitch at TAA for his narrative project, Immaculate Conception. He has been working with ITVS on a screenplay of a short fiction online film called Seed, as well as a documentary completed last year, SUMMER SUN WINTER MOON. And producer Phil Bertelsen, also selected to pitch at TAA for his narrative project Ghost Days with producer Tanya Hamilton, has been awarded development funding for his documentary on Black Hollywood, Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams. Jason DaSilva, who was awarded ITVS funding early this year for his documentary WHEN I WALK presented his film about living with multiple sclerosis. Accompanied by his brother/co-producer Leigh DaSilva, Jason spoke about his project and the blogging and behind-the-scenes online films that will be part of the project. 

-Claire ITVS vice president of programming


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