Why Tribeca Is XR's Most Important Festival
New York’s Tribeca Film Festival announced its Immersive Arcade line-up this afternoon. The Arcade is the XR (meaning VR, AR and everything else) companion to the film festival founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. The Festival added interactive programming in 2012. Under the guidance of curators Loren Hammonds and Ingrid Kopp, the Immersive Arcade is one of the four big International XR Festivals along with Sundance, The Venice Film Festival and South-by-Southwest (SXSW). Many of the experiences offered in the Arcade, such as the highly anticipated debut of Fable Studios’, “Wolves In The Walls: It’s All Over” and “ AYHUASCA,” from producers Atlas V and director Jan Kounen, are world premieres. Many of the exhibitions are location specific, created just for Tribeca, and may never be seen again.
The Festival will present a one-of-a-kind collaboration with popular historian/podcaster Dan Carlin and MWM Immersive that transports attendees to a WWI battlefield with stunning realism in War Remains. Using free roam (untethered) VR, haptics, and sensations like heat and wind, users will experience World War I from above in a balloon, and below, in the trenches. A similar wartime sensory experience, HERO, won the Storyscapes prize last year. Jessica Brillhart (Principal Filmmaker for VR at Google.) is presenting a one-of-a-kind geolocated immersive audio experience that will move participants throughout the building to hear pieces by Yo-yo Ma. Conservation International is returning to the Festival, following their powerful debut last year with the dual 360 (My Africa) and free roam VR (Elephant Keeper) experiences. This year they’re presenting A Drop In the Ocean, which shrinks the user down to the size of a microbe on the back of a jellyfish (apparently you feel like you are indeed standing on a jellyfish) to experience pollution on a molecular, and persona, level.