Festivals can create new markets. Sundance ignited the independent film boom in the 1990s after a few of its selections did well at the box office and major studios started picking them up for distribution. Today, while indie filmmakers are struggling to find financing, television is ascendant, with filmmakers from Andrew Haigh
, Jill Soloway
, Jane Campion
, Lena Dunham
and David Fincher
moving to serialized storytelling for its stability, rising cachet and the ability to tell longer stories. Festivals are adapting to the change. This year, Sundance opened its famous incubation lab to television stories (by invitation only) and the Independent Filmmakers Project started accepting web series proposals for its emerging storytellers program. The Tribeca Film Festival has showcased digital storytelling for years, too. But this year it's stepping up its game with the Tribeca N.O.W. program, a showcase of a dozen filmmakers, producers, writers and artists releasing compelling work online.