By Michael O'Connell Posted April 29, 2009, 5:01 PM EDT
With Target and its filmmaker lounge no longer in the picture at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, freshman sponsor DirecTV picked up the slack by building a press center and media lounge in a former futon store just south of Union Square on University Place.
Over the course of the festival's 12-day run, DirecTV has teamed up with a handful of other sponsors—Snapple, Heineken, Zone Perfect, and L'Oreal—for a media headquarters called the DirecTV Tribeca Press Center. The hub, produced by DirecTV director of national media events Brad Setting and New York-based Kuki Design, hosts interviews, photo-ops, roundtable discussions, and probably a few naps through the festival's close on Sunday.
“We want to position ourselves in the world of entertainment, more than as just a satellite provider,” said Setting. “After joining as sponsors, Tribeca came to us and laid out a series of participation elements we could chose from, but it felt natural for us to produce the press center. It's an opportunity to showcase our product without over-branding.”
It's also the quickest way to leave an impression with the right people. The press center isn't just a destination for media. Actors in showcased films, such as Natalie Portman, Hilary Duff, and Evan Rachel Wood, have all stopped by for official Tribeca photos. The center is this year's home for both the L'Oreal Paris makeup room and the Getty portrait studio.
And this being a creation of DirecTV, actual televisions are in no short supply. Monitors throughout the space announce screening details, give shout-outs to sponsors, and broadcast DirecTV's film-focused line of commercials.