Tribeca Film Festival Adds Pair Of Programmers Ahead of 20th Edition

José F. Rodriguez and Karen McMullen have joined the Tribeca Film Festival programming team led by fest director and VP of programming Cara Cusumano as the New York event plans its 20th edition.

Rodriguez spent a decade at the festival’s not-for-profit sibling, the Tribeca Film Institute. As director of documentary programs, he oversaw funding and the organization’s filmmaker/industry market, TFI Network. McMullen previously held positions as head of programming at TIDE Festival, the lead curator for the New Voices in Black Cinema Film Festival, and as a features programmer for DOC NYC Film Festival.

Due to Covid-19, Tribeca has pushed back its usual April start and will run June 9-20. No details have been finalized in terms of logistics for screenings and festival events given the uncertainties of the pandemic. Movie theaters and other New York venues have been shuttered since March. But coronavirus vaccines are expected to roll out in the coming weeks and months, potentially enabling the return of activities like travel, moviegoing and public gatherings.

Some major festivals decided to cancel their 2020 editions altogether due to the pandemic, while others opted for virtual and drive-in screenings. Toronto and Venice were able to hold stripped-down versions earlier this year, with Venice coming the closest to a normal festival experience.

To mark its 20th year, Tribeca said in the programming announcement that it plans to be “bigger than ever” and “once again bringing people together through storytelling and cinematic experiences.” In addition to film, the festival will also showcase TV, virtual reality, digital content, podcasts, music and gaming.

“We are delighted to welcome Jose and Karen to our programming team,” Cusumano said. “Their astute taste, thoughtful curatorial vision, and passion for film will be indispensable assets as we embark on this unprecedented edition.”

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