Tribeca Film Institute Merges with Renew Media

March 3, 2008–Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), the not-for-profit organization affiliated with the Tribeca Film Festival founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, and Renew Media (formerly National Video Resources) founded by The Rockefeller Foundation, will formally combine their organizations and operate going forward under the name of the Tribeca Film Institute. These two institutions, which have provided significant resources, financial support, and guidance to creative individuals, will now build on their respective missions in a move to create a dynamic, scalable infrastructure which supports film, media arts and artists.

As a combined organization, the primary objective is to create one institution dedicated to innovation in film and media, the enrichment of audiences and the promotion of education, understanding and creativity through the media arts. TFI will join the Tribeca Film Festival's quest for a major physical presence and permanent home in lower Manhattan. This new home will include much-needed cultural exhibition space, screening venues, as well as artist and industry workspace. By coupling this physical location with substantial new programs in support of media artists, TFI will help New York maintain its status as the creative capital of the media arts and become an aggressive supporter for such issues and concerns such as housing for filmmakers and artists.

“We have been pursuing complementary avenues with respect to filmmakers and media artists for many years now,” said Jane Rosenthal. “By putting these two institutions together under one roof our impact is going to be greater than anything we could have achieved separately and we look forward to building an unprecedented arts organization.

This new organization enables us to carry out our mission and support artists and filmmakers throughout all stages of their careers,” said Robert De Niro.

The organizations have executed a Memorandum of Understanding that has been approved by their respective Boards. The transaction is expected to close by the beginning of April. The joining will leverage the assets and expertise of the two organizations. The existing boards will be combined into a single Board of Directors that will consist of eleven Board members of Renew Media who will join the twelve-member TFI Board. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro will serve as Co-Chairs and Alberta Arthurs, former Chair of the Board of Renew Media, will serve as the Vice Chair. Brian Newman, formerly Executive Director of Renew Media will now serve as Chief Executive Officer of Tribeca Film Institute.

The new TFI will strive to break the tradition of non-profit arts organizations, said Brian Newman. A lot of people are starting to realize that we need to explore new models to have greater impact on the needs of society. Through our combined strengths, well be more entrepreneurial, can make our ideas more scalable for greater impact in the field and contribute to the cultural sustenance of lower Manhattan.

The new Tribeca Film Institute will continue all existing programs but is expected to rapidly add new platforms to help filmmakers and artists find their audiences. TFIs areas of focus will now include artist funding and artist services, curated public programs, youth programs, and advocacy and policy work. The organization will continue its critical artist funding and services programs. Renew has given out in the past approximately $800,000 annually in the US and Mexico as part of its Media Arts Fellowships Program (founded by Rockefeller Foundation) and TFI has awards funds through Tribeca All Access, The Tribeca/Sloan Screenplay Development Program and the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund.

Our organizations have made a lasting and substantial contribution to the state of independent cinema and impacted not only the lives of artists but have used media and film to benefit the lives of youth and students through educational programs, said Alberta Arthurs. We are excited about the additional impact and possibilities that exist as one organization.

The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) has received significant financial support from the Festival and its co-founders. Its major programs have been funded by Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bloomberg and Time Warner. Renew Media, in addition to the Rockefeller Foundation, has received major support from the Ford Foundation, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities among others.

“Almost twenty years ago, the Rockefeller Foundation founded what is now Renew Media to support the development of emerging filmmakers,” said Judith Rodin, President of Rockefeller Foundation. “Today we salute the bold leadership and foresight of Renew Media and the Tribeca Film Institute for bringing together these two pioneering organizations that enrich the creative environment of our communities through their vigorous support of innovation and excellence in filmmaking. We hope their strategic vision will be a model for other forward-thinking entities that share common goals.

John McCann, a management consultant who helps nonprofit organizations and philanthropic foundations, led the two organizations through the combination. The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation funded the efforts with the Rockefeller Foundation.

Tribeca Film Institute


The Tribeca Film Institute is dedicated to creative innovation in film and media arts. The Institute creates original programs that draw on the unifying power of film to promote creativity, understanding, tolerance and global awareness. Our commitment is to educate, entertain and inspire filmmakers and audiences alike, while strengthening the artistic and economic fabric of New York City and its Lower Manhattan community. For more information visit


Current and continuing programs for Tribeca Film Institute include:

Alfred P. Sloan Screenplay Program: science based screenplay development and lectures.

Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund: offers finishing funds to feature length documentaries which promote social change and highlight critical issues currently absent from mainstream media.

Looking At: an educational program that curates, promotes and distributes collections of documentary films in New York City and nationwide.

Media Arts Fellowships: supports the creation of new works that bring innovation to the media arts. Artists who receive Fellowships are encouraged to redefine, invent, explore, create and recreate visions and stories that reflect our diverse culture.

Reframe: soon to launch initiative funded by $1,000,000 in grants from the MacArthur Foundation. The program makes vital media arts from independent filmmakers, artists, distributors and archives available to the consumer by digitizing the content and making it available to the public.

Summer Arts Institute: a youth-focused summer film intensive.

Tribeca All Access: networking meetings and mentorships for traditionally underrepresented media artists at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tribeca Film Fellows: youth selected to attend the festival, attend workshops, watch films and meet with mentor filmmakers.

Tribeca Teaches: provides youth with the resources to create a documentary about living in New York City and exposes youth to independent films.

Tribeca Youth Screening Series: a recently launched initiative that introduces students year round to relevant films and pairs them with an educational experience that offers a deeper understanding of the material.

Where Content Meets Intent: a panel series on distribution through new technologies.


The Boards of Tribeca Film Institute and Renew Media voted unanimously to approve the organizations joining. The Boards will combine. Jane Rosenthal and Robert De Niro will serve as Co-Chairs, Alberta Arthurs will serve as Vice Chair. Members:

Serena Altschul, Alberta Arthurs (Vice Chair), Peggy Charren, Robert De Niro (Co-Chair), Martin Edelman, Eli Evans, Craig Hatkoff, Lisa Hsia, Jennifer Maguire Isham, Brian Newman (CEO), Norman Pearlstine, Sam Pollard, Schott Rechler, Laurie Racine, John G. Roche, Jane Rosenthal (Co-Chair), N. Bird Runningwater, Martin Scorsese, Judy Tabb, Jonathan Tisch, Todd Wagner, Diana E. Williams, Jeffrey Wright.


Brian Newman, CEO; Eileen Newman, Deputy Director; Helen Lang, Director of Finance; Lucila Moctezuma, Media Arts Fellowships Director; Anita Serwacki, Reframe Project Manager; Daniel Su, Technical Strategist Reframe; Leah Giblin, Program Associate for Media Fellowships and Office Manager; Alison Greenberg, Assistant to the CEO; Beth Janson, Program Director, Lisa Lucas, Youth Programs Manager; Tamir Muhammad, Tribeca All Access Manager, Annie Leahy, VP of Original Programs, Alexandra Chaden, Coordinator of Original Programs, Hoyland Ricks, Production Coordinator, Brian Kuan Wood, Web & Publications Manager.

Academy Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bazzinis, Bloomberg, Charles Evans Hughes Memorial Foundation, Con Edison, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Gucci, Latin American Pay Television (LAPTV), LOreal Paris, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New York Economic Development Corporation, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Time Warner, and numerous individual donors.

About the Tribeca Film Institute

The Tribeca Film Institute creates innovative programs that draw on the unifying power of film to promote understanding, tolerance and global awareness. Our commitment is to educate, entertain and inspire filmmakers and audiences alike, while strengthening the artistic and economic fabric of New York City and its Lower Manhattan community. For more information visit

About Renew Media

Renew Media supports media artists and advocates on their behalf, connects audiences with independent films, and contributes to the media arts field, via innovative programs and direct cash support. Additional information can be found at