2017 Tribeca Film Festival

The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival is in full swing

Virtual Reality has become more established within the past couple of years, and it’s made its way into a variety of films, whether it be 360º cameras or animation. For this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, Adi Robertson has put together a list of VR/360ºcategories that should exist and films that she thinks should win.

Best Documentary Work

Winner – The Protectors: ‘Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes’

National Geographic’s The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes, is a documentary short shot in Virtual Reality that chronicles a day in the life of a ranger in Garamba National Park, managed by African Parks, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These rangers are often the last line of defense in a race against extinction as poachers continue to slaughter elephants for their ivory tusks. The rangers face constant danger and even death at the service of these sentient, noble creatures and are truly the unsung heroes. For more information and tickets to Tribeca: Immersive please visit tribecafilm.com/immersive

Two-time Oscar® winner, Kathryn Bigelow, is the director/producer behind The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Her next projects include The Protectors, a virtual reality short, and Untitled Detroit Project. Imraan Ismail is a writer, director, and visual artist. His films have been featured internationally at Tribeca, Sundance, and Cannes.

Best Narrative Design

Winner(s)  ‘Auto’ and ‘Alteration’

In the near future, self-driving taxi services employ “safety drivers,” a transitional measure of comfort for passengers. On his first day, Musay, an Ethiopian immigrant with 40 years of driving experience, picks up a couple habituated to the service. Not content, nor comfortable, with merely sitting, Musay insists on driving which instigates a series of events with substantial consequences.

Steven Schardt is an independent producer whose credits include Humpday, Your Sister’s Sister, and Men Go to Battle (Tribeca 2015). He wrote and directed the short Cavalier, and co-directed the film Treatment (Tribeca 2012) with Sean Nelson.

Alexandro volunteers for an experiment carried out to study dreams in this poetic trip into the future. He can’t imagine that he will be subjected to the intrusion of Elsa, a form of Artificial Intelligence who aims to digitize his subconscious in order to feed off of it. She’s a vampire…bit by megabit.

Jérome Blanquet’s explorations of the image and spontaneous writing lead him to the representation of what escapes our consciousness. Inspired by technology, he continually interrogates the limits of his tools and his knowledge. It diverts from the established forms, in search of interstices, to the kinds of open areas where one can find meaning.

Best Live-Action Filmmaking

Winner  ‘The Other Dakar’

A little girl receives a message and discovers the hidden face of Dakar. An homage to Senegalese mythology and a stunning visual debut from Dakar-based artist and designer, Selly Raby Kane, this magical 360° film transports viewers to a place where past and future meet and where artists are the beating heart of the city.

Since 2012 Selly Raby Kane has built her reputation through Fashion Performances. From street fashion shows to unusual venues, Kane swims counter current, building bridges between different forms of art and fashion. As a new icon of Dakar’s Alternative scene, Selly Raby Kane lends her style to numerous icons such as Beyoncé, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), DaaraJ, and Les Nubians.

Best Animation

Winner  ‘Arden’s Wake’

The sea levels have risen, and a young woman and her father live in a lighthouse perched atop the ocean’s surface. When he goes missing, she must descend deep into the post-apocalyptic waters previously forbidden to her, embarking on a thrilling journey of family history and self-discovery. From the creators of the magnificent Allumette (Tribeca 2016), Arden’s Wake continues the elegant evolution of storytelling from Penrose Studios.

Eugene Chung is a director and the founder of Penrose, a start-up focused on augmented and virtual reality. Previously, Chung was Head of Film & Media at Oculus VR, where he co-created Story Studio. Jimmy Maidens is a veteran CG filmmaker, having worked at Dreamworks for over 12 years on films such as the Shrek and Madagascar series.

Best Interactive Design

Winner – ‘Talking with Ghosts’

Talking With Ghosts is the next wave of emerging art in the field of Illustrative VR. Following the success of Dear Angelica, Oculus Story Studio is enhancing its painting app, Quill, with comic-like storytelling functionality, enabling anyone to tell their own illustrative stories in VR. The resulting works are called Quill Stories and Talking With Ghosts is a compilation of the very first of their kind, entirely painted and told in VR by four remarkable artists. Made in collaboration with Oculus Story Studios.

Ric Carrasquillo is a cartoonist/illustrator/animator whose work has been recognized by Graphis, The Good Design Awards and the Cartoon Art Museum. Sophia Foster-Dimino is a cartoonist/illustrator whose work has appeared in The New Yorker. Roman Muradov is an award-winning illustrator and author. Maria Yi is a character designer/illustrator who has previously worked at WAG/Warner Animation Group.

Best Innovation

Winner  ‘Talking with Ghosts’

Adi chose this as a winner again because it’s simply nothing she’s ever seen before.

Best Installation

Winner – ‘Blackout’

Blackout is an ongoing participatory, volumetric VR project gathering the reflections of real people living in today’s tense political climate through the lens of the New York subway. By creating a rotating, ‘crowd-sourced’ cast, Blackout addresses the impossible task of representing the extraordinary breadth of human experience in New York City. Each viewing of Blackout is different, surrounding you with a unique group of straphangers taking you to the places their minds go between destinations.

Scatter is an immersive media studio pioneering a virtual reality genre called volumetric filmmaking. Blackout was created by the founding team at Scatter: Alexander Porter (Director), Yasmin Elayat (Co-Director), James George (Technical Director) and Mei-Ling Wong (Producer). Scatter also created DepthKit, an accessible tool enabling filmmakers to create their own volumetric experiences.

Take a look at the full review on The Verge where Adi includes honorable mentions for each category as well.

For more information and tickets to Tribeca: Immersive please visit tribecafilm.com/immersive

Chantal Wong

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