After a round of layoffs due to COVID-19, the Tribeca Film Institute moves forward with a plan to shutter all operations this fall.
After having trouble raising funds during the coronavirus pandemic, the educational and funding nonprofit that operates alongside the Tribeca Film Festival has been forced to wind down operations and will close in September.
The remainder of its staff has been placed in other jobs at Tribeca Enterprises and fewer than 10 people have been paid off because of the action.
An email sent by TFI leaders explained the action: “We wanted to reach out and notify you that the Board of Tribeca Film Institute recently made the difficult decision to pause all of TFI’s programs and activities, and re-evaluate how best to support storytellers and our community as New York recovers … [from the] Covid-19 pandemic...A large percent of TFI’s funding is generated from a devoted and generous network of individual donors, many of whom are shifting priorities during the global pandemic. TFI also relies greatly on being able to fundraise at movie theaters, at in-person events and most notably during the Tribeca Film Festival, the nature of which has changed for 2020.”
So, is this the end of TFI? Maybe not.
Board co-chairs Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Scott Rechler shared the news via a memo, saying, "By no means is this the end of TFI. We are more committed than ever to supporting storytellers and our community as we try to recover from the devastating humanitarian and economic crisis left in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the memo reads. “This pause in TFI’s activities will enable us to better position our focus and resources to support the greatest needs and where we can have the greatest impact, just like we did after 9/11."
This is obviously a bummer.
The Tribeca Film Festival is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary next April, and in that time, it has helped inspire and teach so many people that have had their hopes set on Hollywood. Hopefully, they will be able to get together a new initiative and will be able to return after the pandemic.
We will have to wait and see.