The legendary film festival makes a triumphant return to NYC with in-person and at-home entertainment.
After a long and grueling wait, we’re finally returning to a state of semi-normalcy here in the United States. This includes the return of live in-person events, such as the infamous Tribeca Film Festival. After switching to a virtual format for its 2020 celebration, this year’s festival features both virtual screenings as well as in-person activations conducted at several locations throughout NYC.
Beginning today, attendees can check out a wide range of genre-defying XR projects from a diverse collection of groundbreaking creators from across the globe. But how exactly does one go about accessing these incredible VR & AR projects? Those looking to check out Tribeca Immersive’s Virtual Arcade will need a VR headset as well as a VR-ready PC in order to access PCVR content. A majority of these VR projects will be accessible through The Museum of Other Realities, a dedicated VR platform that’s served as home to numerous VR-related events in the past.
Tribeca recommends the following specifications for those attending virtually:
- OS: Windows 10
- Processor: Intel Core i5-4590/AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better
- Memory: 8+ GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or better
- Network: High-speed internet connection
- Storage: 60+ GB available space
If you’re lucky enough to be attending in-person, Tribeca 2021 is hosting a variety of one-of-a-kind installations throughout the five boroughs. Tribeca Immersive features nearly 30 projects in total available as part of its Storyscapes, Outdoor & Interactive, Virtual Arcade exhibits:
Storyscapes (located at Spring Studios):
- Critical Distance (in-person)
- Inside Goliath (in-person)
- Kusunda (in-person)
- Lovebirds of the Twin Towers (in-person)
- We Are At Home (in-person)
Virtual Arcade (located at Spring Studios as well as virtually via The Museum of Other Realities):
- Bystanding: The Feingold Syndrome (at-home & in-person)
- The Changing Same: Episode 1 (at-home & in-person)
- Jailbirds (at-home & in-person)
- A Life in Pieces: The Diary and Letters of Stanley Hayami (at-home & in-person)
- Madrid Noir (at-home & in-person)
- Marco & Polo Go Round (at-home & in-person)
- Mine (at-home & in-person)
- Missing Pictures Episode 2: Tsai Ming-liang (at-home & in-person)
- Paper Birds Pt. 1 & 2 (at-home & in-person)
- The Passengers: The Kid (at-home & in-person)
- POV: Points of View (at-home & in-person)
- Rebels (at-home & in-person)
Outdoor & Interactive (located throughout the five boroughs):
- Breonna’s Garden (in-person)
- Current (in-person)
- Discriminator (in-person)
- Jupiter Invincible (in-person)
- Kinfolk (in-person)
- Knot: A Trilogy (in-person)
- Polæ (in-person)
- Procession (in-person)
- Republique, the interactive movie (in-person)
- The Severance Theory: Welcome to Respite (in-person)
- Un(re)solved (in-person)
- WarpSound Music Experience (in-person)
Feeling overwhelmed by the number of projects available as part of this year’s celebration? That’s totally understandable; after all, this is a lot of content to explore. Luckily, we took the liberty of highlighting just a few standouts you may be interested in checking out.
Narrated by 86-year-old Kusunda shaman Lil Bahadur and his 15-year-old granddaughter Hima, Kusunda is an educational voice-driven VR experience centered around the Kusundra, an indigenous community located in Nepal. With only 150 people who identify as Kusunda left in Nepal, the language finds itself on the edge of extinction, and it’s up to the next generation to help keep the one-of-a-kind dialect and culture alive.
“When my parents died I had no one left to speak my mother tongue with,” said Lil Bahadur. “Slowly the language started fading away. I started speaking another Nepali language with people in the village. That’s how it happened.”
“I haven’t lived in the forests and I don’t want to!,” added Hima. “I’m studying hard to become a teacher. But I am proud of my heritage and culture. I’ll do whatever I can to preserve it and I’m confident of being successful.”
Kusunda can be accessed in-person at Spring Studios in NYC as well as virtually via The Museum of Other Realities.
The Passengers: The Kid
We had the pleasure of experiencing both Episodes 1 & 2 of director Ziad Touma’s thought-provoking VR series The Passengers earlier this year and were thoroughly impressed by the emotional storytelling and unique art style. Thanks to a unique combination of motion capture technology and gaze-based interactions, The Passengers is able to deliver an intimate narrative experience that changes drastically depending on where you focus your attention.
Whereas Episodes 1 & 2 put you in the shoes of a shy young male and introspective woman respectively, Episode 3 has you playing the role of a small child struggling to understand the complex emotions and strenuous relationships that come with adulthood. Much like the previous episodes, focusing your attention on specific characters unlocks different dialogue options, which means no two viewing are ever the same. I especially like how the art style changes dramatically depending on who’s perspective you take. Combine this with the use of live-action stereoscopic imagery, and you have one of the more emotionally engaging projects in recent memory.
The Passengers: The Kid can be experienced in-person at Spring Studios in NYC as well as virtually via The Museum of Other Realities.
The Changing Same: Episode 1
And last, but certainly not least, we have The Changing Same: Episode 1. Developed using Depthkit volumetric capture technology, this multi-part series shines a spotlight on United States history and its impact on current social and cultural issues. Traveling backward in time, users experience various examples of racial injustice represented in the form of “deconstructed sets” featuring real people captured in stunning visual clarity as detailed holographic images.
Episode 1, “The Dilemma,” introduces users to the main protagonist of their journey as well as the time-traveling mechanic in order to shine a spotlight on mass incarceration. The experience begins with a simple police altercation before transporting users to prison where they learn more about the many systematic issues currently plaguing the American legal system. Throughout the episode, users are teleported back and forth between a modern-day correctional facility and a slave warehouse during the Jim Crow era, highlighting the “cyclical nature of history” in the process.
The Changing Same: Episode 1 can be accessed in-person at Spring Studios in NYC as well as virtually via The Museum of Other Realities.
This year’s festivities take place June 9th to the 20th. For more information regarding Tribeca Immersive, visit tribecafilm.com/festival/immersive.
Feature Image Credit: Tribeca Film Festival