Amazon Studios Moves Into Virtual Reality With Tribeca Film Festival Hire (Exclusive)

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic
Genna Terranova

Genna Terranova, formerly Tribeca's festival director, will oversee VR projects for Amazon Studios.

Amazon Studios is making a push into virtual reality content and has tapped Genna Terranova, the former festival director for the Tribeca Film Festival, to oversee the effort, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.  

Terranova will report to Joe Lewis, who oversees comedy and drama original programming at Amazon Studios, an Amazon spokeswoman confirmed. 

Details about her new role are scarce, though sources indicate Amazon plans to license VR content as well as develop original immersive projects. And a job posting from August reads that the content arm of the Seattle-based e-commerce giant was looking for an executive "to help develop innovative mixed reality experiences for distribution on Amazon Video." 

At the time, the company said it was looking for a seasoned development executive with a background in television, film or game production, as well as some experience with VR. "The ideal candidate will be interested in telling stories uniquely, bringing people together and expanding the definition of entertainment," the LinkedIn posting, which is now closed to new applicants, reads. "They will have brilliant artistic taste, a hunger for calculated risks and they will live slightly in the future already." Sources indicate that Amazon is planning both original and licensed VR content.

Terranova joined the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008 after years working in acquisitions at The Weinstein Co. and Miramax. She was named festival director in 2014, and during her time in the role helped to push Tribeca to feature VR and immersive storytelling as well as TV programming. Terranova announced in November that she was leaving the festival to move with her family to Los Angeles. 

Amazon's appointment of a VR-specific development executive comes as the company is said to be preparing to launch a virtual reality platform of its own. The Verge reported in March that Amazon was looking to hire for a new VR team that would work on building a VR experience within Amazon Video. Amazon competitors Netflix and Hulu have already launched VR apps of their own.  

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