15 VR short films scheduled to debut at Tribeca Immersive will be available later this month on standalone Oculus headsets.
Last month New York’s annual Tribeca Film Festival announced it would be postponing its film and interactive storytelling programs indefinitely after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a temporary ban on gatherings larger than 500 individuals in an effort to halt the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
“We founded the Tribeca Film Festival as a way to heal our community after the devastation of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. We were determined to overcome our fear and anxiety by joining together. It is in our DNA to march forward while caring about our community,” said festival co-founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, Jane Rosenthal, in an official statement.
“We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of the public while also supporting our friends, filmmakers and storytellers who look to Tribeca as a platform to showcase their work to audiences. We will be back to you shortly with our plans.”
This week festival organizers announced that select programming will be made available online April 17th to the 25th, the original dates in which the main festival was scheduled to take place. This includes 15 VR short films that will be making their debut as part of Tribeca Immersive’s Cinema360 lineup. Last year this program hosted several incredible projects, including Dreams of the Jaguar’s Daughter and Mercy.
The following 15 VR films will be available free on Oculus Quest and Oculus Go headsets via Oculus TV beginning April 17th:
Cinema360 Program 1: Dreams to Remember – These dreamlike experiences are journeys of adventure, from an immigrant worker’s poetic and alienating vision of his new home country, to the seemingly impossible first mission to an unexplored moon.
1st Step (International Premiere)—Germany:
Project Creators: Joerg Courtial, Maria Courtial
1st Step is equal parts documentary and fairy tale, telling the magical story of a dream come true: the Apollo missions. Follow the missions from launch all the way through to return, and find yourself gazing at lunar panoramas re-created from NASA’s archival photos.
Dear Lizzy (World Premiere)—USA:
Project Creator: Within & Fivehundred
Key Collaborator: Deborah’s Child
Lizzy takes a walk as she reads a letter from a long lost friend. The road is long and there are many strange and beautiful things to see along the way. Yet Lizzy keeps walking. What is she searching for?
Forgotten Kiss (World Premiere)—Finland:
Project Creator: Oleg Nikolaenko
Key Collaborator: Daniil Bakalin
Based on the story Forgotten Kiss by Russian writer Alexander Kuprin, this film tells the beautiful legend of a royal prince, who was kissed by the magic Fairy of the Spring Night. As the prince grew up he kept looking for something incomprehensible, something completely forgotten: the forgotten kiss of the fairy.
Rain Fruits (World Premiere)—South Korea:
Project Creators: Youngyoon Song, Sngmoo Lee
Key Collaborators: Sergio Bromberg, Hyejin Jeon, Jinhyung Kim, Hwaeun Kim
Tharu comes to Korea from Myanmar in hopes of becoming a trained engineer. After a series of experiences as an alien worker in this capitalist country, he realizes that one’s dream cannot be found anywhere in the world but where his heart is: his homeland.
Cinema360 Program 2: Seventeen Plus – Future classics in search of cults, this collection of mind-bending narrative experiences is designed for more mature audiences.
A Safe Guide to Dying (World Premiere)—USA:
Project Creator: Dimitris Tsilifonis
Key Collaborator: Froso Tsipopoulou
Linus is on a journey to find painless ways to die inside a video game simulation that emulates sensory experiences. While experimenting with different suicide methods, he realizes he cannot log out. Trapped in a digital abyss, a force is set in motion to reconnect Linus with his offline self.
Black Bag (North American Premiere)—China:
Project Creator: Shao Qing
Ex-military security guard, Mr. S works for a bank and leads the life of a normal working-class man. He fantasizes about a major heist, a dream that becomes reality. This VR film uses abstract metaphor combined with a unique hand-painted art style to create an intense thriller.
The Pantheon of Queer Mythology (World Premiere)—Spain:
Project Creator: Enrique Agudo
Key Collaborator: Tim Deluxe
The Pantheon of Queer Mythology is a window into the world of a collective of Deities that present a way to question, empathize, celebrate, repent, resist, consume, abstract, identify, regenerate, and love in complex times. Step in, dare to learn, be inspired to grow, and enjoy the queerness.
Saturnism (World Premiere)—France:
Project Creator: Mihai Grecu
Step inside one of the darkest paintings in the history of art: Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son. You will find yourself alone with mad Saturn himself in the cold and gloomy landscape. Saturnism is a visceral and primitive 360 experience.
Cinema360 Program 3: Kinfolk – Three stories of homes and families.
Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir In VR (World Premiere)—USA, Ethiopia:
Project Creator: Ainslee A. Robson
Key Collaborator: Liam Young
Ferenj is a visual dialogue between memory, reality, and the digital in an immersive memoir about Ethiopian-American mixed-race identity.
Inhabited House, The (North American Premiere)—Argentina:
Project Creator: Diego Kompel
Creator Diego Kompel resurrects fond memories of his grandparents house in this inventive non-fiction work. Compositing 360 footage of the house with actual home movies that help bring the past to life, this experience is an exercise in formalism that draws on the power of remembrance, reverence, and family.
Home (International Premiere)—Taiwan ROC:
Project Creator: HSU Chih-Yen
Key Collaborators: Kaohsiung Film Archive, Hsu Chih Yen Director Studios, Funique VR Studio
In this beautifully poignant experience, a family gathers at their old house on a summer afternoon. They surround grandma, though she’s no longer able to move, react, or hear clearly. As people come and go, the day stretches on—leading to the inevitable end of the gathering.
Cinema360 Program 4: Pure Imagination – Stories of innovation and illusion, with a healthy dose of inspiration.
Lutaw (World Premiere)—USA, Philippines:
Project Creator: Samantha Quick
Key Collaborator: Michaela Holland
Like so many others in her remote area of the Philippines, Geramy must swim between the small islands in order to travel to the nearest school. But she’s determined to find a better way to commute. This 3D animated experience is made in partnership with Oculus VR for Good and Yellow Boat of Hope.
Attack on Daddy (North American Premiere)—South Korea:
Project Creator: Sung Sihup
It’s Sunday afternoon and an exhausted daddy lies on the couch. Annoyed with his daughter’s pestering pleas to play, he falls asleep and wakes up to find her missing. Sensing something awry, daddy quickly realizes that the answer to the mystery lies in her seemingly abandoned dollhouse.
Tale of the Tibetan Nomad (World Premiere)—USA:
Project Creator: Carol Liu
Key Collaborator: Stan Lai
A newlywed nomad and his wife bask in the flush of new love. He falls asleep then awakens to discover his wife has disappeared. Embarking on a quest to find her, he’s led into a life he never dreamed of—one that soon slips beyond his control.
Upstander (World Premiere)—USA:
Project Creator: Van Phan
Key Collaborator: Oculus VR for Good
Upstander is a 360 animated experience about bullying and how we, as bystanders, can make a difference. Immersing the audience in a world adjacent to our own, you are challenged to think and take action. How can we be part of the solution and not be part of the problem?
“We are also announcing the official selections for this year’s Virtual Arcade, including the Storyscapes nominees,” said Senior Programmer, Film & Immersive Loren Hammonds. “The entire list of officially selected projects can be found on HERE on our website, starting today. We gratefully acknowledge all selected creators of Tribeca Immersive 2020 and would like to thank them for their patience and understanding through this difficult time of uncertainty.”
In addition to Tribeca Immersive, festival organizers have announced the arrival of several other online programs, including the N.O.W. Creators Market, Jury and Art Awards, Industry Extranet Resource Hub, and brand storytelling Tribeca X Awards featuring content from Adidas, Adorama, Dior, Dove, Hewlett Packard, Kelly Services, Lime, Procter & Gamble, Red Bull, Square, Synchrony Bank, and Volvo Car UK, all of which will be available to view at tribecafilm.com.
As previously stated, the aforementioned VR films will be available free on Oculus Quest and Go headsets via Oculus TV from April 17th to the 25th. The new dates for the main festival have yet to be confirmed.
(Image Credit: Bobby Carlton)