Tribeca Festival Merges Games And Immersive Efforts, Promotes Casey Baltes To Lead Combined Offering

The Tribeca Festival is combining its games and immersive verticals and promoting Casey Baltes to oversee the merged entity.

The upping of Baltes follows the departure of longtime Tribeca Immersive curator and VP Loren Hammonds. 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. (The Tribeca Festival 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 17-year veteran of the festival, having previously served as its managing director and VP of Tribeca Games. In 2014, she led the creation of Tribeca Storyscapes, the predecessor to Tribeca Immersive. In her new role, Baltes will report directly to Rosenthal.

“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. Earlier this year, Tribeca debuted a full lineup of games selections in competition and the inaugural Tribeca Games Award, a first on the global festival circuit.

Tribeca Immersive launched in 2014 with Storyscapes. During the 2021 festival, it made VR experiences available at home, at free outdoor venues and via Storyscapes, a juried award category.

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