Kicking off tomorrow’s Tribeca Film Festival will be a series of online videos meant to engage with a larger audience, reports Variety’s John Clarke Jr.

Following in the snowy footsteps of Sundance, the Tribeca Film Festival is going online with “three current festival full-length feature films, three short films, 49 movie trailers and three short films created exclusively for mobile users.”

It’s nothing compared to Sundance’s website from a few months back, which let viewers watch almost 80 of the shorts chosen for the competition in their entirety. But, then again, Sundance didn’t allow online viewers to watch three full-length movies going through the festival circuit like Tribeca will be doing in a few days time.

It could mean a lot for those three films. Festivals are used for critical media attention, but their less altruistic purpose is to showcase independent films to studios for distribution. Most films that travel in the circuit never get picked up. So what kind of influence will numerable online viewers mean for unsigned film projects that can be tallied and used as raw marketing data when their creators vie for a studio release? And which films will they be? Keep an eye on the Tribeca Film Festival site to find out.

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