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The Tribeca Film Festival kicks off this week in New York, and this marks the fourth year IWC Schaffhausen has supported the organization with an annual limited-edition timepiece, this time it’s the Portugieser Annual Calendar Edition Tribeca Film Festival. Whitewall spoke with the Swiss watchmaker’s North American President Edouard d’Arbaumont about the brand’s ongoing partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI).
WHITEWALL: The Tribeca Film Festival has named “innovation, artistic excellence and social responsibility” as its core values. IWC’s Portugieser model employs innovative technology and elegant design—do you think this special edition incorporates social responsibility into its function, as well?
EDOUARD D’ARBAUMONT: At IWC, social responsibility is core to our DNA. Whether it is supporting partnerships with the Charles Darwin Foundation or our support globally with the film festival. Here in the United States, we are thrilled to be supporting the Tribeca Film Festival for the fourth year in a row. Our new IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar Edition Tribeca Film Festival honors our partnership. In addition, IWC has gone a step further and this year and will donate $100,000 to the Tribeca Film Institute to support young filmmakers all year long.
WW: Have you seen past Tribeca Film Festival models on anyone particularly exciting?
EDA: This year’s Tribeca Film Festival event will be attended by IWC Friend of the Brand Dev Patel, who is premiering a new film at TFF The Man who Knew Infinity (2015). We are so excited to have Dev join us for this exciting evening donning the new IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar Edition Tribeca Film Festival.
WW: In 2015, IWC designed a one-of-a-kind chronograph that as auctioned off through Antiquorum and Christie’s. Do you have anything similar in store for 2016?
EDA: In the past where the proceeds of the auction went to TFI, this year IWC showed our commitment by donating the entirety of the funds to TFI. Part of the $100,000 is a $50,000 grant which is awarded to one filmmaker during the IWC “For the Love of Cinema” gala dinner. After three years of amazing young talent wining this award, including directors Jay Dockendorf and Deb Shoval, we can’t wait to see who will be this year’s winner.
WW: That award funds for production and media attention to films that “challenge the status quo.”
EDA: Our goal is to choose filmmakers that are pushing the medium and giving audiences an interesting experience and we feel each year surpasses the last in terms of this. At IWC we feel film is a successful medium to reach the masses on a bevy of different topics. Our past award winners, including Naz & Malik (2015) and AWOL (2015), were both incredible and featured exceptional love stories albeit ones that might not have been told without the support of TFI that was able to bring the films to our attention.
WW: CEO Georges Kern has named “storytelling” a cornerstone of IWC’s relationship with the Film Festival. Can you tell us about any films or other narratives that have inspired your own work?
EDA: I grew up in France and appreciated film through the iconic cinematic works from our great filmmakers, like Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut. Then early on in my career, I lived in California and was greatly inspired with the world of Hollywood and American Cinema. Now working with IWC, given our strong ties to filmmaking throughout the world, I am able to support and stay active in the film industry. I personally love JFK from Oliver Stone, Le Grand Bleu from Luc Besson, and The Artist from Michel Hazanavicius.