Chosen projects will also be eligible for a new honor; the Tribeca Games Award, recognizing games that demonstrate artistic excellence in storytelling.
Alongside these changes, Tribeca Games is introducing a new advisory board of game and film veterans has been formed to steer forward the presence of games at the festival, including The Game Awards creator and video game journalist Geoff Keighley, video game developer Hideo Kojima (Death Stranding), Candyman writer and producer Nia DaCosta, creative director of Remedy Entertainment Sam Lake, director Jon Favreau, Electronic Arts co-founder Bing Gordon, and Kiki Wolfkill, head of Halo transmedia and entertainment.
Speaking to what prompted these expansion in the gaming space, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal tells The Hollywood Reporter, “Tribeca has always served to bring artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms. It’s incredible to see how game creators develop these immersive worlds with their own, unique stories, characters, lore and languages, and their work should be celebrated.”
She goes on to say, “As a filmmaker and storyteller, I’ve always had an interest in how creators can push the boundaries of storytelling on all of these different platforms. I’ve personally had a curiosity in non-linear storytelling for years, and I think that games offer a new realm of narrative expression and immersion that is part cinema, part gaming.”
Games were first recognized at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011, when Rockstar Games’ LA Noire was the first video game to be an official selection at the fest. Numerous games have been highlighted since then, including action-adventure God of War from Santa Monica Studio, online battle arena game League of Legends from Riot Games, and the story-driven What Remains of Edith Finch from independent developer Giant sparrow.
“We’ve seen how films influence so many game creators, but we’ve also seen how many filmmakers are heavily influenced by game culture,” Rosenthal tells THR.
Casey Baltes, vp of Tribeca Games, added in a statement that games have proven to be “one of the most sophisticated storytelling vehicles today — not only with narrative but also with incredible artistic mastery, the creation of highly immersive worlds and providing meaningful connections to communities all over the world.”
Looking to the longterm goal of Tribeca Games, Rosenthal says that the festival intends to become “a home for these masterful storytellers for years to come.”
Submissions are currently open to submit U.S. and internationally-produced games.