Let me start by clarifying that I am not posting this to antagonize my friends and colleagues in Tribeca, but instead I hope to encourage a healthy discussion about the changing nature of film journalism, particularly at film festivals.
This year, Tribeca Film Festival organizers have announced a new embargo policy for reviews of festival films. Accredited journalists, many of whom may see TFF films at pre-fest screenings next month, are asked to hold reviews of films until the movie officially screens at the festival.
FROM THE FESTIVAL WEBSITE:
"Embargo" regulation for world premieres
Reviews of films that celebrate their world premiere at the Festival may only be published after the official premiere. All journalists seeking accreditation to the Festival declare their acceptance of this "embargo."
The move seems to be aimed at harnessing online coverage that some feel can hurt a film before it has had its official premiere. This is certainly an issue that I see Hollywood battling with big films. But, what is the impact of such a policy on smaller, indie films? I really don't now what the answer is.
I'd love to hear from a few filmmakers, critics, publicists and other festival organizers. Here's hoping for a spirited, but respectful discussion.