Tribeca Storyscapes presented by AT&T

Storyscapes projects at the 2016 Festival, open April 14-17, feature both installations and VR. The program includes projects that grapple with issues of racism, violence and harm inflicted on our planet, combining the excitement of these new immersive mediums tempered with the urgency of a world on fire. It is in turns thrilling, upsetting, shocking and wonderful, much like the world we live in.

“This year’s Storyscapes offerings are a reflection of today’s world. We live in a very charged period—from the political landscape to unprecedented violence—and the Storyscapes installations are compelling and engaging experiences that balance some of the sobering issues facing society, as well as inspiring and wonderful ones,” said Ingrid Kopp, Storyscapes curator.

One project will be selected by a jury to receive the Storyscapes Award, which recognizes groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology. The 2016 Storyscapes selections include:

VR Projects

The Ark (World Premiere)

Project Creators: Jongsma + O'Neill (Eline Jongsma and Kel O'Neill)
Key Collaborator: Springbok Entertainment

The northern white rhinoceros is the most endangered animal on the planet. Only three remain, and they are protected at all times by armed bodyguards. The Ark is a virtual reality documentary that puts viewers face-to-face with the last northern white rhinos, and tells the story of the global coalition scientists who are fighting to rescue the species from extinction.

DEEP VR (North American Premiere)

Project Creators: Owen Harris and Niki Smit
Key Collaborators: Cinekid, Paradoxical Recordings, Bryan Duggan

DEEP VR is a meditative and psychoactive VR experience, controlled by the player’s breathing. Discover a beautiful underwater seascape where the world challenges, surprises, and comforts. Explore the ways in which VR can change our relationship with both body and mind.

Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness

Project Creators: Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton, and James Spinney

After losing his sight in 1983, John Hull began recording an audio-diary documenting his discovery of “a world beyond sight.” John’s original recordings form the basis of this interactive experience, which uses real time 3D, virtual reality, and binaural sound to explore the interior world of blindness.

Read an interview with Notes on Blindness producer Arnaud Colinart about using VR to generate empathy, at TribecaFilm.com.

SENS

Project Creators: Charles Ayats, Armand Lemarchand, Marc-Antoine Mathieu
Key Collaborators: Calculmentor, Franck Weber

SENS is the first project to adapt a graphic novel into a virtual reality. It is also a beautifully universal experience that works without words. The game invites you to a trip through a graphic maze: all around you are arrows in ever changing shapes, showing you the way. Where will you lead you?

Read an interview with SENS co-creator Charles Ayats about creating VR's first-ever graphic novel come to life, at TribecaFilm.com.

The Turning Forest (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Oscar Raby
Key Collaborators: BBC R&D and S3A, and Shelley Silas

In a land that never was and a time that could never be, a child stared into the eyes of a fantastical creature. Around them, a magical forest; in front of them, a magical journey. The Turning Forest is a sound based real-time CGI VR experience for people young and old--inviting audiences into a magical space of imagination, where rustling leaves are also the footsteps of something familiar, yet strange. In this place, things are not quite what they seem.

INSTALLATIONS

The Argus Project

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

The Argus Project is a trans-media project that directly intersects the public debate over police accountability. At the center stands a suit of tactical counter-surveillance armor embedded with body cameras that offers a simple question: “If the police wear body armor to protect themselves while in public, what must “The Public” wear to protect themselves from the police?" Video projections surround the suit featuring former officers, activists, and family members directly impacted by police violence, creating a space for a real conversation on police violence – one that our country desperately needs.

6X9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement

Project Creators: The Guardian's Francesca Panetta and Lindsay Poulton
Key Collaborator: The Mill

Right now, 80,000-100,000 people are in solitary confinement in the US. They spend 22-24 hours a day in their cells, with little to no human contact for days or even decades. The sensory deprivation they endure causes severe psychological damage. These people are invisible to us—and eventually to themselves. (This is a virtual reality project featured as an installation for the first time.)

Read an interview with 6x9 co-producer Francesca Panetta about exploring virtual reality's potential in journalism, at TribecaFilm.com.

Network Effect

Project Creators: Jonathan Harris and Gregor Hochmuth

Network Effect explores the psychological effect of Internet use on humanity. Like the Internet itself, the project is effectively endless, containing video clips, spoken sentences, news, tweets, charts, graphs, lists, and millions of individual data points. The result is a voyeuristic and unnerving experience about our overstimulated digital lives.

Intersection of I (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Whitney Dow
Key Collaborators: John Kudos, Ada Tolla, Giuseppe Lignano, Michelle Byrd

Intersection of I is an immersive video installation, part of Whitney Dow’s ongoing Whiteness Project. It combines video, data visualization, and interactivity to explore how millennials who identify as white, or partially white, process their racial identity.

Seances (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, the NFB
Key Collaborators: Galen Johnson, Aubyn Freybe-Smith, Nickel Media

Seances, co-created with the National Film Board of Canada, presents a wholly new way of experiencing film narrative. By dynamically generating a series of film sequences in unique configurations, potentially hundreds of thousands of new stories will be conjured by code. Each will exist only in the moment – no pausing, scrubbing or sharing – offering the audience one chance to see this film.