The Tribeca Festival is combining its games and immersive verticals and promoting Casey Baltes to oversee the merged entity.
Baltes was created following the departure of Loren Hammonds, long-serving Tribeca Immersive curator. The two arenas, which have had a home at Tribeca over the past decade, are part of the festival’s effort to reach beyond traditional film. (It formally dropped the word “film” from its official name last year.) The unified section will be part of the next edition of Tribeca, which is slated for June 8 to 19, 2022.
“The lines between immersive cinematic and gaming experiences are rapidly blurring,” said Jane Rosenthal, CEO and co-founder of the festival and its parent, Tribeca Enterprises. “Combining these two engaging platforms allows us to be more impactful. Casey has been highly successful at Games and we’re lucky that she is now taking on a larger role.”
Baltes is a veteran of the festival with 17 years of experience as its managing director and vice president of Tribeca Games. In 2014, she was responsible for the creation of Tribeca Storyscapes. This was the predecessor to Tribeca Immersive. Baltes will now report to Rosenthal in her new role.
“I’m grateful to Jane Rosenthal and Tribeca for continually pushing the boundaries by believing that games and immersive can shape the future of storytelling and our connection to each other,” Baltes said. “I look forward to building upon the incredible work that Loren Hammonds has contributed over the past 14 years and will continue to explore how we can be a home for the entire interactive community.”
Tribeca Games launched in 2011 with Rockstar Games’ L.A. Noire becoming the first video game ever to be honored as an official selection at that year’s festival. Tribeca launched a full line of games selections in competition this year. They also introduced the Tribeca Games Award which was a first for the international festival circuit.
Tribeca Immersive was launched in 2014 by Storyscapes. It made VR experiences accessible at home, free of charge, and via Storyscapes during the 2021 festival. This was a juried category.