Battle Scar Virtual Reality – Narrative Dir. Marin Allais and Nico Casavecchia, USA/France, 2018 Any mention of the New York music scene of the late 1970s conjures images of the Ramones and Talking Heads, crowded clubs like CBGB, and neighborhoods such as the Bowery and the East Village. When the fates of wide-eyed lyricist to-be Lupe (voiced by Rosario Dawson) and budding frontwoman Debbie collide, the two women form a friendship that leads them through the unique crucible of the Lower East Side’s punk subculture. A coming-of-age tale of two artists, this animated, episodic piece plays with point of view and perspective to filter New York’s past through today’s technology.
Rone Virtual Reality – Documentary Dir. Lester Francois, Australia, 2017, 15m In the early 2000s, muralist Rone became a driving force within Melbourne’s street art scene. His distinctive large-scale portraits of female faces comment on both gentrification and the masculinity that dominated his artistic circle. His pieces can be found inside decaying buildings and on crumbling walls from New York to Tokyo, as well as in the National Gallery of Australia. Lester Francois’s vivid 360-degree film plunges viewers into Rone’s process and philosophy.
Where Thoughts Go Dir. Lucas Rizzotto, USA, 2018 Virtual Reality – Experimental Documentary, 24m In our hyper-connected world, technologies that should bring people together often seem to push them further apart; meaningful interactions feel scant, and emotions can be liabilities. Where Thoughts Go seeks to change that. Viewers take part in an ever-evolving social experience that is intimate in scale but vast in scope. While guided through a series of questions, players are invited to explore the thoughts, dreams, and memories of previous visitors to this poignant digital landscape, and in so doing, reflect on their own lives.
Cycles Virtual Reality – Narrative Dir. Jeff Gipson, USA, 2018, 3m U.S. Premiere Churchill said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” There’s a profound difference between a house and a home: the first is a structure made up of four walls, a roof, and a floor; the second is much more than a place. This experimental VR short from Walt Disney Animation Studios centers on this distinction. Inspired by director Jeff Gipson’s childhood recollections of spending time with his grandparents, this is a bittersweet meditation on memory, emotion, family, and all that goes into making a home.
Awake: Episode I Virtual Reality – Narrative Dir. Martin Taylor, Australia, 2018, 20m The mysteries of time, obsession, and the self are examined in this cinematic virtual reality experience. Harry is a prisoner, not only of his own home but also of his obsession with a recurring dream of his lost love, Rose. Audiences step into the character’s dream world, shaping the story as it unfolds around him. Participants’ actions will reveal layers of story, artifacts of the past, and vital clues necessary to save Harry, as well as reveal the hidden potential of humanity. Thought-provoking and entertaining, Awake: Episode I combines an engaging narrative with cutting-edge technology, showing the power of this immersive form of storytelling.
Blue Bird Virtual Reality – Narrative Dir. Dir. Armando Brown, Miranda Conway, Seth Greenwood, Vinod Krishnan, Alexandra Perdomo, Parnaz Rad, Belen Saenz de Viteri, Nicole Tylor, Chuzhong Xie, USA, 2017, 3m World Premiere A bluebird struggles to escape the caverns of a withered heart and find its way through the history of a scarred life in this expressive animated piece.