Tribeca Film Festival Goes Nuclear

Tribeca Film Festival 2016 highlights threats posed by nuclear weapons

This year’s Tribeca Film Festival showcased a number of features focused on the threats posed by nuclear weapons. The famed festival closed with a groundbreaking multimedia installation called the bomb, funded in part by Ploughshares Fund. Festival organizers are calling it the ‘most ambitious world premiere’ of Tribeca 2016.

the bomb is one of several projects that Ploughshares Fund is supporting that aim to tap innovation and popular culture to bring attention to the dangers that nuclear weapons continue to pose to humanity in the 21st century.

According to the bomb creators, filmmaker Smriti Keshari and author Eric Schlosser, “the bomb exists at the intersection of art, politics, and technology.” It immerses audiences in the strange, compelling and unsettling reality of nuclear weapons. It includes a 55-minute film projected 360 degrees on massive floor to ceiling screens that surround the audience, as progressive rock band The Acid performs live music in the center of the space.

Ploughshares Fund President Joe Cirincione sat down with both Keshari and Schlosser for a panel discussion on April 23 called “Tribeca Talks” and took a deeper dive into the bomb and nuclear weapons threats. They were joined by Michael Douglas, actor, producer, longtime nuclear nonproliferation advocate and Ploughshares Fund advisor, along with other guests.

Now, after its world premiere at Tribeca, the bomb will travel to Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris and Berlin. Command and Control, the documentary based on Eric Schlosser’s bestselling book on nuclear threats, also had its worldwide premiere at Tribeca.

In addition, the Ploughshares Fund-supported N Square initiative, designed to foster cross-sector collaboration, ignite the public imagination and spark new ideas about how to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons, sponsored a number engaging activities. They included Games For Change’s summit on games and media at the Tribeca Film Hub, where they hosted a conversation about working on nuclear weapons threats across multiple platforms, from film to games to virtual reality. Our joint enterprise with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Skoll Global Threats Fund is housed at Ploughshares Fund.

Two important parts of any strategy to change cultural norms, attitudes and beliefs are a clear identification of audience and an alignment of messages and cultural products that will motivate and resonate with that audience. This generation’s Dr. Strangelove might be an immersive art experience or it might be a video game. For people cognizant of the dangers of nuclear weapons, such a cultural shift must begin now.