Tribeca Film Festival Unveils Virtual Reality Lineup

Jane Rosenthal - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Jane Rosenthal - H 2015

The festival, set to run April 12-24, will present 23 VR exhibits and installations.

The Tribeca Film Festival is doubling down on its commitment to virtual reality and interactive storytelling, showcasing both at the 2016 edition of the fest, which is set to run April 12-24.

The event is planning 23 VR exhibits and installations, 16 of which will be world premieres, at its Tribeca Festival Hub, located at 50 Varick St. in New York.

A Virtual Arcade, which will be open April 18-20, will play host to projects such as the world premiere of Holidays:  Christmas VR, from writer-director Scott Stewart, featuring actors Seth Green and Clare Grant in a story about a man who stoops to dangerous lows to get his son a VR headset for Christmas.

The fest also will once again include Storyscapes, its fourth annual juried showcase with 10 VR and interactive installations, which will be available April 14-17, along with TFI Interactive, its fifth annual forum, convening April 16 and including participants from media, gaming and technology.

The Festival Hub also is planning a program called “Hacked by Def Con and Mr. Robot," which runs April 15-17 and will bring the underground hacking conference Def Con to the event for the second year in a row. And on April 18, the fest will present “The Games for Change Games and Media Summit,” featuring gaming innovators and other industry figures to discuss how we feel, play, work and interact with games.

 “Tribeca has always celebrated the most exciting new forms of storytelling, from video games to virtual reality," Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and executive chair of Tribeca Enterprises, said in announcing the lineup. “This year’s program, which you can touch and feel at our amazing Festival Hub at Spring Studios, features the most dynamic work to date at the intersection of story and technology. We're committed to giving the independent artists we support the best stage to share their mind-blowing work with audiences.”

Added festival director Genna Terranova: "Our experiential program is what happens when artists create wildly different adventures that go outside traditional methods. Here stories are not passively watched, they are actually 'experienced' — you are a participant. Today, virtual reality offers a new landscape for creating worlds and stories. At its best it can be a powerful vehicle for magically transportive explorations that test the limits of our imaginations and psyches."

The lineup follows:



The Ark (World Premiere)
Project Creators: Jongsma + O’Neill (Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill)
Key Collaborator: Springbok Entertainment

Deep VR (North American Premiere)
Project Creators: Owen Harris and Niki Smit
Key Collaborators: Cinekid, Paradoxical Recordings, Bryan Duggan

Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness
Project Creators: Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton, and James Spinney

Sens (World Premiere)
Project Creators: Charles Ayats, Armand Lemarchand, Marc-Antoine Mathieu
Key Collaborators: Calculmentor, Franck Weber

The Turning Forest (World Premiere)
Project Creator: Oscar Raby
Key Collaborators: Chris Pike, Zillah Watson, Katy Morrison


6X9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement
Project Creators: The Guardian’s Francesca Panetta and Lindsay Poulton
Key Collaborator: The Mill

The Argus Project
Project Creators: Gan Golan, Raquel de Anda, Julien Terrell, Ligaiya Romero

Intersection of I (World Premiere)
Project Creator: Whitney Dow
Key Collaborators: John Kudos, Ada Tolla, Giuseppe Lignano, Michelle Byrd

Network Effect
Project Creators: Jonathan Harris and Gregor Hochmuth

Séances (World Premiere)
Project Creator: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, the NFB
Key Collaborators: Galen Johnson, Aubyn Freybe-Smith, Nickel Media


Allumette (World Premiere)
Project Creators: Eugene Chung, Jimmy Maidens, Penrose Studios

The Artists of Skid Row (World Premiere)
Project Creator: Molly Swenson, Tyson Sadler, Hayley Pappas/RYOT
Key Collaborators: Bryn Mooser, LAMP

Ashes (World Premiere)
Project Creator: Jessica Kantor/supported by Vrideo

The Crystal Reef (World Premiere)
Project Creator: Cody Karutz and Lauren Knapp/Stanford University
Key Collaborator: Jeremy Bailenson

The Crystal Reef: Interactive (World Premiere)
Project Creator: The Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL)
Key Collaborator: Stanford University

Dragonflight (World Premiere)
Project Creators: Michael Conelly, Will Telford, Keith Goldfarb, Lyndon Barrois/Blackthorn Media

Hard World for Small Things (NY Premiere)
Project Creator: Janicza Bravo/Wevr
Key Collaborators: Wevr, Seed&Spark, Han West

Holidays: Christmas VR (World Premiere)
Project Creators: Distant Corners/John Hegerman, Scott Stewart, Amanda Mortimer, Gabriela Revilla Lugo, Wevr

Invasion! (World Premiere)
Project Creators: Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan/Baobab Studios

Kanju (World Premiere)
Project Creator: Stephanie Riggs / Azimyth Creation Studios
Key Collaborators: The Nantucket Project, Harbers Studios

Killer Deal (World Premiere)
Project Creators: Irad Eyal, Aaron Rothman, Anthony C. Ferrante, iMan Productions, Better VR Studios
Key Collaborator: Ian Ziering

My Mother’s Wing
Project Creators: Gabo Arora, Ari Palitz/
Key Collaborators: Chris Milk, Patrick Milling Smith, Samantha Storr

Old Friend  (World Premiere)
Project Creator: Tyler Hurd/Wevr