Nearly a year after we first heard about it, Tribeca and Lionsgate’s cinematic streaming service has arrived. The two companies have teamed up to debut Tribeca Shortlist, which offers a curated selection of films selected by actors, writers, and directors.
Here’s how Shortlist works: Tribeca (which has deep roots in the film industry thanks to its Tribeca Film Festival) sought the advice of industry experts, who built a selection of films to feature on the platform. At launch, Shortlist includes 150 films, and the plan is to replace 50 of them each month with a new crop. From there, a group of celebrity “shortlisters”–such as John Leguizamo, Matthew Modine, and Morgan Spurlock–will provide some recommendations within the selection.
“We’re taking a more human approach to movie discovery for viewers who want to escape the search spiral and find a great movie fast,” said Jeff Bronikowski, President of Tribeca Shortlist, in a press release. “We’ve found great movies that we’re offering to subscribers as part of a high quality, highly curated movie catalog with exclusive “Shortlist” content that provides context and personal insight, like getting a recommendation from a trusted friend.”
So which movies have Tribeca’s experts chosen? The initial slate of films includes acclaimed titles like City of God, Amelie, and Chasing Amy. They’re available at a competitive price; a subscription to Shortlist costs just $4.99 a month, though it will increase to $5.99 next year.
A potential disadvantage for Shortlist is that it has a Netflix-sized problem. All three of the movies I mentioned in the previous paragraph are also available to stream on Netflix. This issue is compounded by the fact that the film buffs who make up Shortlist’s target audience are likely to have Netflix accounts already.
Even so, there are plenty of ways in which Shortlist can carve out its own niche. The “context and personal insight” Bronikowski mentioned could be big, and by offering a smaller selection of well-received movies, Tribeca and Lionsgate have created a leaner streaming service. Sure, Shortlist isn’t as expansive as Netflix, but it’s cheaper, and the average quality of individual movies is higher. Plus, it’s not like every Shortlist film can be streamed elsewhere; some of its titles, such as The Producers and Crash, are only available in DVD format on Netflix.
The bottom line is that the launch of more streaming options is always going to be a good thing for consumers. If Shortlist sounds like your cup of tea, you can sign up for it here.