James Murdoch acquires majority stake in Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival

Robert De Niro, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

James Murdoch has taken a controlling stake in the Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by actor Robert De Niro.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition is the latest move by Murdoch, who earlier this year launched the investment firm Lupa Systems, following Disney’s $71-billion majority acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

Murdoch, an heir of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, reportedly plans to invest $1 billion from his Disney windfall into media, entertainment and technology companies.


In recent months, Lupa has invested $20 million into Utah-based virtual reality outfit Void LLC and taken a $5-million stake in comic book publisher Artists, Writers & Artisans.

According to a statement from New York-based Tribeca Enterprises, Lupa will partner with De Niro and festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal to expand the annual film fest’s properties, which includes Tribeca Studios, a branded entertainment content firm, according to Bloomberg.

Attention Capital is a minority investor. Attention’s CEO and co-founder Joe Marchese was previously president of advertising revenue for Fox Networks.

De Niro and producer Rosenthal founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2001. The festival attracts 5 million attendees.

“When Tribeca was founded after 9/11, they brought together a tremendous creative community to embark on mission-driven business with civic impact and support for storytellers at its core. It is a real privilege to partner with this talented team to enhance and grow that mission,” Murdoch said in a statement.

James Murdoch, who was previously Fox’s chief executive, had earlier telegraphed his plans to branch off from the family business to pursue his own ventures. His older brother, Lachlan, is executive chairman of Fox Corp., which was formed after the Disney sale.