Tribeca Film Festival Partners with New York Mag on Exclusive Print Insert
"We wanted to do something surprising and delightful. Print is at its best when it's sensual," says Tribeca CEO Andrew Essex.
As part of an effort to go digital in its sixteenth year, the Tribeca Film Festival is embracing the power of print.
The March 6–19 issue of New York magazine, gracing newsstands all over the city today with a smiling, bearded David Letterman, includes a five-panel, accordion-folded insert promoting everything festivalgoers need to know heading into the 2017 edition — the program, the venues, the hashtags, a map, and, of course, the official Tribeca smartphone app — all presented in a delightfully quirky subway-themed layout by artist Joseph Veazey.
"I think it's all about the high-low, the yin-yang," Tribeca CEO Andrew Essex tells Folio:. "We are making the shift to mobile, and that’s obviously necessary and it provides tremendous utility, but we also wanted to do something that was surprising and delightful. Print is at its best when it’s sensual. So the idea was to do something so spectacular, so completely charming and wonderful."
In short, the perforated insert delivers for many of the same reasons as the Adam Moss-led bi-weekly in which it appears. Nestled between a page within the magazine's "Best of New York" section and a full-page ad by Tribeca presenting sponsor AT&T, it both literally and figuratively jumps out of the book, combining striking design with a surprising amount of information in a way that subverts the reader's expectations for the experience of browsing a print magazine.
"We want to make something that adds value to people's lives," Essex continues. "It's not disposable. You get your reach and scale and utility with mobile, and you get something special and tangible with print."
Essex says the choice to go with New York for the guide, which readers are meant to detach and bring with them to Tribeca, was a logical one, describing both the magazine and the festival as "iconic New York institutions." The two brands have a lot of overlap with their respective audiences, he says, and its not the first time that Tribeca and New York Media have worked together; both the magazine and its entertainment-centric digital offshoot, Vulture, were media partners last year, and notable Tribeca alumna Pam Wasserstein was named CEO of New York Media last April.
"Adam runs one of the most beloved and brilliant, deeply subversive publications on the planet," adds Essex. "It's a privilege to be associated with them."
The special insert is just one aspect of the pre-festival promotional run — the 2017 lineup was revealed last week to considerable fanfare — and part of the insert's purpose is to highlight the fact that Tribeca is not just a film festival. Amid the straphangers in Veazey's bizarre scene, which include an alien, some sort of Tolkein-esque elf woman, a man dressed as a hot dog, and a creature resembling Bigfoot, are panels detailing the festival's film and TV programming, talks with Barbra Streisand and Alejandro Iñarritu, immersive experiences like virtual reality, and more.
Asked what he can tease about any further aspects of the experience to be revealed between now and the 2017 festival, which opens Wednesday, April 19, Essex remains tightlipped.
"We have a very big announcement about closing night that will blow your mind."