Tribeca Film Festival announced their lineup and we’re looking forward to the 29 VR films and experiences. Last year’s festival saw the debut of a number of immersive experiences, including Penrose Studio’s Allumette, one of our favorites.
To show how far virtual reality has come: a year ago at this time people were wondering with Allumette if there was audience for a VR experience that lasted more than 20 minutes. By the end of the Festival, no one was complaining about its length.
Variety summarizes what we can expect this year’s Festival,
The newly announced additions to the festival’s overall slate encompass the six entries in Storyscapes, the competitive section of programming dedicated to the intersection of film, tech and storytelling, along with the 23 titles lined up for the festival’s Virtual Arcade. Storyscapes titles range from personal projects such as “Draw Me Close,” Jordan Tannahill’s memoir about his relationship with his mother; to Hyphen-Labs’ scifi-themed entry “NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism”; to an immersive recording of a Holocaust survivor’s testimony in Gabo Arora and Ari Palitz’s “The Last Goodbye.”
Hollywood Reporter has the full line up for the Tribeca Film Festival, both VR and traditional format. Speaking of the entire program, Cara Cusumano, Tribeca’s new director of programming, said
Each in their own way, these 98 films fill me with optimism and inspiration at the unique power of our medium, and the eyes of a talented filmmaker to inspire, challenge, and maybe even change the world.
Must See VR at Tribeca Film Festival
There are many groundbreaking projects here, and here are four that we are eagerly awaiting. This is just an initial list and we will have reviews of many of the VR films and experiences once we get access (descriptions here are from the Tribeca Film Festival site):
Arden’s Wake (World Premiere) – USA
Project Creator: Eugene Chung
Key Collaborators: Jimmy Maidens
The sea levels have risen, and a young woman and her father live in a lighthouse perched atop the ocean’s surface. When he goes missing, she descends deep into the post-apocalyptic waters previously forbidden to her, embarking on a thrilling journey of family history and self-discovery. From the creators of the magnificent Allumette (Tribeca 2016), Arden’s Wake continues the elegant evolution of storytelling from Penrose Studios.
Hallelujah (World Premiere) – USA
Project Creator: Zach Richter, Bobby Halvorson, Eames Kolar
Key Collaborators: Chrissy Szczupak, Orin Green, Jess Engel, ECCO VR, International Orange Chorale of SF, Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin
Hallelujah is a revolutionary virtual reality music performance that reimagines Leonard Cohen’s most well-known song. It is the world’s first VR music experience to provide an uncompromised sense of presence with six degrees of freedom using Lytro Immerge technology. A Within Original.
Blackout (World Premiere)
Project Creators: Scatter: Alexander Porter, Yasmin Elayat, James George, Mei-Ling Wong
Key Collaborators: Hannah Jayanti, Antfood
Blackout is an ongoing participatory, volumetric VR project gathering the reflections of real people living in today’s tense political climate through the lens of the New York subway. By creating a rotating, ‘crowd-sourced’ cast, Blackout addresses the impossible task of representing the extraordinary breadth of human experience in New York City. Each viewing of Blackout is different, surrounding you with a unique group of straphangers taking you to the places their minds go between destinations.
The Island of the Colorblind
The Island of the Colorblind (International Premiere)
Project Creator: Sanne de Wilde
Key Collaborators: IDFA DocLab, de Brakke Grond
What does color mean to those who can’t see it? In the late eighteenth century a catastrophic typhoon swept over Pingelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean. One of the few survivors carried a rare gene that causes achromatopsia, a condition that includes the inability to distinguish colors. Over generations, the islanders ended up perceiving their world in black and white. The Island of the Colorblind invites the audience to explore this shift in perception through de Wilde’s photography and an interactive installation.
Emory Craig is a writer, speaker, and VR consultant with extensive experience in art, new media, and higher education. He speaks at global conferences on innovation, education, and ethical technology in the future. He has published widely and worked with the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Living at the intersection of learning, games, and immersive storytelling, he is fascinated by AI-based avatars, digital twins, and the ethical implications of blurring the boundaries between the real and the virtual.