New York’s Tribeca Film Festival will include more than a dozen world premiere VR and AR experiences this year.
As part of the festival, a Virtual Arcade will be there featuring 20 immersive projects from five countries. This Virtual Arcade takes place at the Tribeca Festival Hub from April 20-28. There will also be a 360-degree program with four different pieces running April 21-28, but the Virtual Arcade includes work from some big names in the VR industry, including Owlchemy Labs, Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Penrose Studios, Within and more. The festival itself starts April 18 and you can find ticket information at tribecafilm.com/immersive.
Here’s an overview of the VR experiences in the Virtual Arcade:
Kelly, an ex-military brat-turned-hacker activist, teams up with international hackers in an attempt to bring about peace. But, as events escalate, it begins to appear that they may have done more harm than good. #WarGames puts viewers in the middle of the convergence of hacktivism, modern-day espionage, and military intrigue. From Sam Barlow, Eko with key collaborators MGM, m ss ng p eces.
1000 Cut Journey
In this immersive virtual-reality experience, the viewer becomes Michael Sterling, a black man, encountering racism as a young child, adolescent, and young adult. 1,000 Cut Journey highlights the social realities of racism, for understanding racism is the essential first step in promoting effective, collective social action and achieving racial justice. From Courtney Cogburn, Elise Ogle, Jeremy Bailenson, Tobin Asher, Teff Nichols with key collaborators Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Cogburn Research Group.
Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall
Tide’s Fall continues the journey of Meena, a young woman living in a post-apocalyptic world and searching for her father in the depths of the ocean after his unexpected disappearance. Featuring the voice of Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander, this expansion of Penrose Studios’ award winning Arden’s Wake embraces the art of long-form storytelling in virtual reality. From Eugene YK Chung, Jimmy Maidens with key collaborators Devon Penney, Annmarie Koenig, Bruna Berford, Christina Tasooji, Adrian Ochoa, Jessica Douglas, Terry Kaleas, Kinga Vasicsek. Narrated by Alicia Vikander.
After Lupe, a Puerto Rican runaway, meets Debbie in the cell of a juvenile detention center, she is introduced to the punk scene of the Lower East Side and the secret world of Alphabet City. BattleScar is a coming of age drama set in 1978 New York that explores identity and empowerment through stunning animation and immersive environments. From Nico Casavecchia, Martin Allais with key collaborators Arnaud Colinart, Andrew Geller, Raphael Penasa, René Pinnell. Narrated by Rosario Dawson.
When the kids at Camp Coyote are forced on a brutal midnight march by their sadistic counselors, one boy reaches his breaking point. He turns the tables on the bullies, revealing a surprising secret about himself in the process. Master of horror Alexandre Aja invites viewers on a thrilling ride that will leave them gasping. From Alexandre Aja with key collaborators Casey Cooper Johnson, Martin Andersen. Cast: Archie Lewis, Chloe Hawthorne, Kai Czuplak, Lara Karbritz, Lola Martin.
The Chalk Room
The Chalk Room is a virtual reality work by celebrated artist Laurie Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang in which the reader—the viewer—flies through an enormous structure made of words, drawings, and stories. Inside the experience, the reader is free to roam and fly, while words sail through the air like emails, fall into dust, and form and reform. From Laurie Anderson, Hsin-Chien Huang.
Coral Compass: Fighting Climate Change in Palau
Palau, like many other small countries, is powerless to curb global carbon dioxide emissions. Nevertheless, the tiny island nation is adapting to climate change: In its clear, warm waters exist resilient coral reefs safeguarded by a strong-willed people fighting to keep them alive. From Tobin Asher, Elise Ogle, Jeremy Bailenson with key collaborators Rob Dunbar, Bob Richmond.
The Day the World Changed
This virtual-reality experience situates participants in the ruins of Hiroshima after the bomb, allowing them to witness testimony from survivors and survey the nuclear arms race through immersive, interactive data visualization. The Day the World Changed, from acclaimed creators Gabo Arora & Sachka Unseld, brings the harrowing impressions of the victims of atomic bombings and nuclear tests to viewers through innovative use of 3-D scanning and photogrammetry. From Gabo Arora, Saschka Unseld with key collaborators Nathan Brown, Tom Lofthouse, Jennifer Tiexiera, Nate Robinson, Igal Nassima.
Dinner Party tells the incredible story of Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple who made the first report of a UFO abduction in America in 1961. Having sought hypnosis to recover memories of their inexplicable experience, the Hills decide to listen to the recording of their session during a dinner party—and what they hear could change their lives forever. From Angel Manuel Soto, Charlotte Stoudt, Laura Wexler with key collaborators: Rachel Skidmore, Bryn Mooser, Erik Donley. Cast: Malcolm Barrett, Sarah Sokolovic.
Firebird: The Unfinished
The curator of a museum dedicated to the famous sculptor Auguste is making a last inspection the night before the grand opening when a storm breaks out. Suddenly, the statues populating the grounds are not quite as still as one might expect—but it’s not clear whether the storm outside is playing mind games, or whether, perhaps, the ghost of Auguste has appeared to ask for help finishing his masterpiece. From Balthazar Auxietre with key collaborator Hadrien Lanvin. Cast Tarek Aitmeddour, Raphaelle Boitel, Augustin Jacob, Pauline Journe, Myriam Kerkour, David Negroni.
This innovative, interactive thriller invites the participant to peer into the private lives of eight diverse New Yorkers from the vantage of a fire escape, where suspicion and deception unfold in real time. Set against the shadowy backdrop of gentrification in contemporary Brooklyn, Fire Escape depicts a contingent of disenfranchised tenants who soon become entangled in a string of dark mysteries and murder. From Vassiliki Khonsari, Navid Khonsari, Andres Perez-Duarte, Sam Butin with key collaborators Lulu LaMer, Maria Essig, iNK Stories. Cast: ASMR Darling, Ethan Rains, Edward Jackson, Michelle Lukes, Olivia Preciado, Tanya Henderson, Giselle Gilbert.
There are currently more people living in slavery than at any other time in human history. One such family has been enslaved in a rock quarry in southern India for 10 years—over a paltry debt of $70 USD. Indian government representatives, supported by the human rights group International Justice Mission, plot a daring raid to free the family. From Lindsay Branham with key collaborators International Justice Mission, Oculus VR for Good.
Into the Now
Director and legendary shark photographer Michael Muller’s lifelong fear of sharks eventually led him to discover the tranquility and peace of mind that is possible underwater, engaged with these curious and intimidating creatures. This stunning documentary, a revolutionary, stereoscopic virtual-reality experience, explores marine life and ocean conservation via Muller’s own internal journey. From Michael Muller with key collaborators Michael Smith, Morne Hardenberg.
In Northern Kenya, the futures of wildlife and people are intertwined. Stand in the midst of a thundering wildebeest migration, witness a lioness snatch her prey—and meet a community dedicated to saving Africa’s wildlife in My Africa. The mixed-reality, companion experience puts paticipants in the shoes of a Reteti Elephant Sanctuary keeper caring for the newest arrival, a baby elephant named Dudu. From Conservation International, Passion Planet, Vision3. Narrated by Lupita Nyong’o, with Naltwasha Leripe.
SPHERES: Pale Blue Dot
In this cosmic journey from the edges of the universe to our “pale blue dot,” the viewer uncovers echoes of the Big Bang; gazes back in time; traces the history of sound across the cosmos, uncovering the strangest song of all; and traverses the universe, ultimately finding a path home. From Eliza McNitt with key collaborators Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel, Jess Engel, Arnaud Colinart, Dylan Golden.
This cinematic platforming adventure follows the journey of Spectra and her companion on an important mission to an alien planet. After they are stranded, they uncover a hostile, overwhelming force that threatens to destroy everything. Inspired by countless science fiction adventure classics—games, books, and movies alike—Star Child is, at its heart, both a mystery and a journey of self-discovery. Star Child is directed by Mia Goodwin, Stephen Dupree and Paul Bettner.
Untitled OK Go & WITHIN Project
Innovative creators Chris Milk and OK Go’s Damian Kulash invite pairs of participants into a wondrous environment where they can experience the joy of creating music through collaboration. In this virtual world, replete with magical music-making contraptions, friendly animals, robots, and audience members work together to create an original song. From Chris Milk, Damian Kulash with key collaborators WITHIN, OK Go, Oculus.
The follow-up to the wildly popular virtual-reality game Job Simulator, Vacation Simulator returns participants to the world of Owlchemy Labs, where they can visit Vacation Island and experience “recreation,” optimal “relaxation,” and classic human pastimes like “sunburn.” Vacation Island offers all this and more, helping visitors rediscover the lost art of “time off.” From Owlchemy Labs.
This creative nonfiction experience uses multi-narrative and volumetric capture to journey through the mind of Lisa as she remembers her lost love, Erik. Fragments of memories of their life together appear inside a void and, over time, become entangled with a haunting vision, culminating in the shocking moment of Erik’s death. From Aaron Bradbury with key collaborators Paul Mowbray, Antoine Cayrol, Jill Klekas Basmajian. Cast: Lisa Elin.
Where Thoughts Go : Prologue
An intimate social virtual-reality experience, Where Thoughts Go is set in a world where all human thoughts exist as sleeping creatures, each holding a voice message left by a previous visitor. As they awake, they reveal the dreams, experiences and fears of other people—and give the participant the opportunity to leave their own for others to find. From Lucas Rizzotto with key collaborators Tarik Merzouk, Steven Hodgson.