8 finalists announced for the inaugural Tribeca X Award

Celebrating branded storytelling at intersection of advertising, entertainment.

AB Wire

Tribeca Film Festival

NEW YORK: The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) has announced eight finalists for the inaugural Tribeca X Award, celebrating branded storytelling at the intersection of advertising and entertainment.

The eight finalists were chosen from over 100 submissions.  The finalists represent the best artist-brand collaboration of the past year and highlight excellence, authenticity, originality and creativity in storytelling that is sponsored or underwritten by a brand, according to a press release.

“Brands have a great tradition as inspired storytellers. As new technologies such as ad-blocking and over-the-top television make it harder than ever for command-and-control-style advertising to succeed, genuine entertainment and authenticity have become increasingly important qualities for cutting through. The Tribeca X was conceived to celebrate brands that aspire to tell engaging stories that add value to people’s lives, rather than advertising that creates pollution,” said Andrew Essex, CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, in a statement.

The projects selected come from filmmakers including Michael Rappaport, Brandon Oldenburg, Ariel Schulman and Rob Meyer, many of which are TFF alumni, who partnered with dynamic brands including Derek Lam, American Giant, Samsung, Olympus, The Balvenie, Robert Graham, KENZO and Radio Flyer Wagons, to create exceptional stories that speak to audiences.

The final projects include a mini documentary about an iconic LA boxing gym, a look inside the mind of a paranoid young man as he wanders the streets of Manhattan, an online series with Anthony Bourdain, and a short film inspired by the life and heritage of Antonio Pasin, inventor of the Radio Flyer wagon.

“We saw a mix of narrative and documentary and series of varying lengths in the submissions. This model of story production, if done authentically with the artist empowered, has tremendous potential. The finalists reflect the quality and the spirit of independent storytelling we were looking to find.” said Genna Terranova, Festival Director, in a statement.

Eligible projects included scripted and documentary work for film, TV, digital, social, and VR/AR, in both feature and short length.  The winner will be chosen by the five Tribeca X Award jurors: Laurie Anderson, Scott Carlson, Judy McGrath, Liev Schreiber and Hank Willis Thomas. The winner will be announced at the TFF Awards Night ceremony on Thursday, April 21 at 42 W NY.

The eight finalists for the Tribeca X Award are:

  • 10 Crosby. Brand: Derek Lam. Directed by Benjamin Dickinson, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Albert Moya and Andrew Zuchero.
  • One street, 10 stories – An adventure, A Party, A Secret, A Romance, A Surprise. ·American Giant X Wild Card Boxing. Brand: American Giant. Directed by Michael Rappaport.

American Giant x Wildcard Boxing is a five-minute branded content mini-doc told in a lyrical yet gritty style that complements the look and feel of the gym about the far-reaching influence of Freddie Roach and his iconic Wildcard Boxing Gym in Hollywood, CA., Through interviews with Roach and numerous boxers who train there, viewers get to a sense of both Wildcard’s rich legacy and the community that Roach has sought to create since the gym’s inception.

  • Hearing Colors. Brand: Samsung. Directed by Greg Brunkalla.

The life of Neil Harbisson is like something out of a sci-fi novel. Neil was born with achromatopsia, a rare condition that leaves 1 in 30,000 people completely colorblind. But Neil isn’t colorblind, far from it. After convincing his doctors to implant an antenna into the back of his head, Neil now possesses a new sense—the ability to hear colors. In this short film by Greg Brunkalla, Hearing Colors, Neil takes you through a day in his life and into an entirely new world.

  • The Irrational Fear of Nothing. Brand: Olympus. Directed by Paul Trillo.

Follow behind the back of a paranoid, neurotic man named Terry as he wanders through the streets of Manhattan. Past memories and his irrational inner thoughts soon plague his every move. By channeling a form of mental time travel, he attempts to overcome these past anxieties. Executive produced by Vimeo.

  • Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain. Brand: The Balvenie. Directed by Rob Meyer.

Legendary author, TV host and raconteur, Anthony Bourdain brings us Raw Craft—a new original online film series that took viewers on a journey of discovery, unearthing captivating and emotional human stories of true craftsmanship in America. Similar to the rare craft of whisky making, the series introduces audiences to people who still choose to do things the old way—or as Bourdain lovingly describes it, “the slow, stupid way.”

  • Second Sound Barrier. Brand: Robert Graham. Directed by David Wain

Three fastest men in the world with nothing in common are summoned to a mission; save the    beautiful recluse—Lady Billionaire—from a mysterious illness. How? By driving faster than anyone has driven before. Why?  To break the second sound barrier.

  • Snowbird. Brand: KENZO. Directed by Sean Baker

From acclaimed writer/director Sean Baker (Tangerine), Snowbird stars Abbey Lee in her latest role since appearing in the blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road. Abbey Lee plays, Theo, a young woman living in the remote California desert community, Slab City, a place in which residents live off the grid. The film follows Theo over the course of a day, as she goes door to door, sharing a cake she baked with her colorful neighbors.

  • Taking Flight. Brand: Radio Flyer Wagons. Directed by Brandon Oldenburg.

Taking Flight is a short film inspired by the life and heritage of Antonio Pasin, inventor of the Radio Flyer wagon. In this fictional tribute to Pasin’s legacy, what begins as a small boy’s over-scheduled, over supervised, boring day with Grandpa turns into a larger-than-life journey, narrowly escaping wild monkeys and battling aliens to save the universe. Through the power of imagination and epic adventure, a boy learns to be a kid, a father learns to be a dad, and a grandfather reminds us all what childhood is about.

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