Cinema is continuing to evolve year after year where the freedom of expression and imagination is transforming. With the recent advancement of virtual reality, cinematographers, directors, and studios have been able to achieve something new in cinema using this new immersive medium. And Sundance has been at the helm of this new evolution for cinema through their program called the New Frontier.
This year, New Frontier programming will be encompassing two venues: New Frontier at The Ray and New Frontier Central, each of which will play host to a wide variety of media installations, a VR Cinema and panel discussions. This year’s Sundance Film Festival is scheduled to run from January 24th – February 3rd in Park City, Utah.
Below are the list of VR Cinemas that will be featured at the New Frontier during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival:
4 Feet: Blind Date / Argentina (Lead Artists: Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Damian Turkieh, Ezequiel Lenardon, Key Collaborators: Guillermo Mena, Florencia Cossutta, Gonzalo Sierra, Martin Lopez Funes, Marcos Rostagno, Santiago Beltramo) — Juana, an 18-year-old girl in a wheelchair, is anxious to explore her sexuality. She’s going on a blind date with guy she found on social media. She didn’t tell him about her disability. Overcoming fears and an inaccessible city, they meet. Together they discover what their bodies feel. Cast: Delfina Diaz Gavier, Cristobal Lopez Baena, Elisa Gagliano, Candelaria Tapia, Irene Gonet.
Ashe ’68 / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Brad Lichtenstein, Beth Hubbard, Jeff Fitzsimmons, Rex Miller, Key Collaborators: John Legend, Mike Jackson, Masha Vasilkovsky, Ruah Edelstein, Madeline Power, Vernon Reid) — Fifty years before Colin Kaepernick there was Arthur Ashe. This VR experience immerses you in the tennis champion’s defining moment in 1968 as he becomes the first black man to win the US Open and uses his newfound celebrity to lift his voice against injustice. Cast: Chris Eubanks, Michael Cleary, Peter Begley, Andrew Panter, Alex LaCroix.
Ghost Fleet VR / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Lucas Gath, Shannon Service) —An immersive look at the true story of modern slavery in the Thai fishing industry, told through the experience of one man’s harrowing ordeal to escape a prison of water after 10 years at sea. Cast: Tun Lin, Vithaya Pansringarm.
Kaiju Confidential / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Thomas O’Donnell, Ethan Shaftel, Piotr Karwas, Raul Dominguez, Key Collaborators: Eric Rosenthal, Corey Campodonico, Alex Bulkley, Matt Jenkins, Monica Mitchell, Ryan Franks) — Grigon’s not the toughest beast on the block, but he’s certainly the most neurotic. When he discovers the legendary Mega-Hydra rampaging on his turf, it becomes a stand-off of passive-aggressive proportions. Cast: Blake Anderson, Paul F. Tompkins .
Last Whispers: An Immersive Oratorio / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Lena Herzog, Jonathan Yomayuza, Meghan McWilliams, Laura Dubuk, Key Collaborators: Nonny de la Peña, Mark Mangini, Amanda Tasse, Cedric Gamelin, Marilyn Simons, Mandana Seyfeddinipur) — At an unprecedented speed faster than the extinction of most endangered species, we are losing our linguistic diversity—and the very means by which we know ourselves. This immersive oratorio is an invocation of the languages that have gone extinct and an incantation of those that are endangered.
Live Stream from Yuki <3 / Taiwan (Lead Artist: Tsung-Han Tsai, Key Collaborators: Meng-Yin Yang, Inch Lin, Pu-Yuan Cheng) — Yuki live streams her love life as usual to a group of supportive netizens, though an uninvited guest crashes the party and strips her of her disguise. Can you see what is real and what is fallacious? Cast: Jia-Yin Tsai.
Marshall from Detroit / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Caleb Slain, Felix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphael, Key Collaborators: Stephane Rituit, Ryan Horrigan, Paul Rosenberg, Eric Hahn) — Growing up, Marshall Mathers dreamed of rapping his way out of Detroit. Years and fortunes later, he still hasn’t left. Join him on a night ride through his hometown, where the mirrored struggles of Eminem and the Motor City speak to the heart of what we call home.
RocketMan 360 / Romania (Lead Artists: Millo Simulov, Gabriela Hirit, Key Collaborators: Filip Columbeanu, Andreea Serpe, Gabi Ranete) —A few minutes before taking off to Mars on a dangerous, noble mission to colonize the planet, an astronaut receives a 360 video from his girlfriend. Cast: Monica Odagiu, Anghel Damian.
The Tide: Episodes 1 & 2 / South Korea (Lead Artists: Taekyung Yoo, Sanghyoun Lee, Key Collaborator: Seok Cho) — Something strange is coming. Can we survive? One day, previously-unknown giant fish begin to appear among humans, who are escalating into conflict amid the worst drought ever. A disaster thriller about a new survival battle: human vs fish. Cast: Robert Joe, Lorne Oliver, Tracey Starck, John Michaels, Kristen Cho.
VR and AR Exhibitions at the New Frontier during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival:
Belle of the Ball / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Ro Haber, Silas Howard, Pussykrew, Twiggy Pucci Garcon, Key Collaborators: Renaldo Maurice, Kya Azeen Mizrahi, Rouge, Saschka Unseld, Jennifer Tiexiera, Jenna Velez) — A VR journey into a futuristic reimagined utopia of queer + trans family and dance made in collaboration with members of New York’s ballroom scene. Cast: Renaldo Maurice Tisci, Kya Azeen Mizrahi, Rouge, Jack Mizrahi, Sinia Reed, Jonovia Chase.
THE DIAL / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Peter Flaherty, Jesse Garrison, Trey Gilmore, Key Collaborators: Jake Sally, Sal Mannino, Ela Topcuoglu, Julia Bembenek, Brian Chasalow) — A woman smashes through the stone wall outside her family home. This visual tale unravels the formerly wealthy family’s emotional underbelly and what happened that fateful night, as seen from shifting perspectives. An interactive narrative combining Augmented Reality and Projection Mapping where you control time by moving your body. Cast: Michael Gladis, Beth Grant, Jackie Hansen, Charlie McWade.
Embody / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Melissa Painter, Thomas Wester, Siân Slawson, Key Collaborators: Joey Verbeke, Jordan Goldfarb, Ben Purdy, Peter Rubin, Eric Adrian Marshall) — Piloted by movement and whole body engagement and dialogue, this shared game of trading and transforming avatars aims to leave players with a deep feeling of physical embodiment, and surprise at their bodies’ forgotten potential.
Emergence / United Kingdom (Lead Artist: Matt Pyke, Key Collaborators: Chris Mullany, Simon Pyke, Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin) — Enter an open-world environment, expressing the primal desire to maintain your individual identity whilst being part of a crowd. Showing 5,000+ intelligent human behaviors, this powerful VR experience is made possible by advanced graphics technology.
Grisaille / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Teek Mach, Key Collaborator: Joel Douek, Andrew Sales) — In 2016, a young artist traded her paintbrushes for a headset and began inhabiting virtual reality more than the real world. In this VR installation, join her in a recursive exploration of the infinite self. When your body leaves the experience, your presence lives inside her ever-expanding virtual painting.
REACH / U.S.A.(Lead Artists: Nonny de la Peña, Chaitanya Shah, Hannah Eaves, Cedric Gamelin, Key Collaborators: James Pallot, Sandra Persing, Charles Park, Roshail Tarar) — A next-generation VR photobooth allowing attendees to step inside the story. Users can be captured in dimensionalized video, placed into one of several “walk around” environments and automatically create a volumetric VR experience that can be viewed on any device and shared online.
Runnin’ / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Reggie Watts, Kiira Benzing, Key Collaborators: John Tejada, Amy O’Neal, Ani Taj, Adam Rogers) — This interactive dance experience takes the player on a journey of musical expression. Play along with the music in an intimate neighborhood record store and be transported to a retro-future dance party. Show off your moves on the dance floor alongside a troupe of dancers. Cast: Reggie Watts, John Tejada, Amy O’Neal, Ani Taj, Kate Berlant, Ben Schwartz.
The Seven Ages of Man / United Kingdom (Lead Artists: Royal Shakespeare Company, Magic Leap, Key Collaborators: Jessica Curry, Gregory Doran [Royal Shakespeare Company],Andy Lanning, John Monos [Magic Leap]) — The Royal Shakespeare Company explores theatre’s future with Magic Leap technology in this sublime production of the “Seven Ages of Man” speech from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. This mixed reality experience featuring cutting-edge volumetric capture and an original musical score, turns the line “all the world’s a stage” literal. Cast: Robert Gilbert.
Traveling While Black / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Roger Ross Williams, Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Ayesha Nadarajah, Key Collaborators: Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, Stéphane Rituit, Ryan Horrigan) — Confronting the way we understand and talk about race in America, this virtual reality documentary immerses the viewer in the long history of restriction of movement for black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities. Cast: Sandra Butler-Truesdale, Virginia Ali, Courtland Cox, Samaria Rice.