The 2022 Tribeca Festival announced its line-up for Tribeca Immersive program showcasing cinematic and cutting-edge virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and participatory experiences by top artists who push the boundaries of creative and emotional storytelling.
For the first time ever, Tribeca features a thematically curated selection of experiences that address human beings’ relationship with nature and society through digital art and advanced technology. The stories blend together to generate an interconnected experience, offering festival attendees a breathtaking interactive journey.
The programming includes best-in-class experiences, including EVOLVER, a journey through the inner landscape of the human body from executive producers Edward R. Pressman and Terrence Malick, created by Marshmallow Laser Feast, with music by Jonny Greenwood; Please, Believe Me, an investigation of Lyme disease from Peabody Award Winner Nonny de la Peña; and Plastisapiens, an exploration of how the environment affects human evolution from Miri Chekhanovich, Édith Jorisch, and Dpt.
Three categories of immersive selections (Main Competition, New Voices, and Best of Season) are part of Tribeca this year, running from June 10-19. Main Competition projects are eligible for the juried Storyscapes Award, which honors artists who bridge the gap between technology and storytelling. In addition, Tribeca is introducing the New Voices Award for the immersive program, which is awarded to a first- or second-time XR creator that brings new perspectives and artistic languages to immersive storytelling.
For those able to join the Festival in person this year, the immersive exhibition at Spring Studios (50 Varick Street) features a selection of experiences and installations from all three categories. Outdoor immersive installations are also located at various destinations throughout New York City. For at-home audiences with access to VR headsets, immersive experiences can be accessed via a virtual exhibition at The Museum of Other Realities* – a digital extension of the in-person gallery experience, reflecting main themes from this year’s line-up.
*The Museum of Other Realities is available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality users. Oculus Quest users can access using Oculus Link or the Virtual Desktop application that connects a wireless headset with a VR-ready PC.
The 2022 Tribeca Festival Immersive Line-up includes:
These experiences include the best-in-class World, North American, and United States premieres from leading XR creators and studios, visual and performing artists in competition.
EVOLVER, (United Kingdom, France, United States) – World Premiere.
EVOLVER is a mesmerizing virtual reality experience that celebrates our journey through life and death through the inner landscape of the human body. This musical real-time multiplayer experience invites audiences to follow oxygen’s flow deep into our bloodstream and inner branching, exploring the invisible human connection with the outside world.
From Executive Producers Edward R. Pressman and Terrence Malick. Featuring Meredith Monk, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Howard Skempton, and music by Jonny Greenwood.
Project Creators: Marshmallow Laser Feast, Jonny Greenwood, Meredith Monk, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Howard Skempton
Producers: Nicole Shanahan (Bia-Echo), Edward R. Pressman & Sam Pressman (Pressman Film), Terrence Malick (TF Malick Productions), Antoine Cayrol (Atlas V), Mike Jones (Marshmallow Laser Feast)
Intravene, (United Kingdom, Canada) – World Premiere.
Intravene is an immersive audio experience that uses binaural 360-degree audio to plunge listeners into the heart of the overdose crisis in Vancouver, Canada. Episode 1, “Benzos,” drops listeners into a safe injection site in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where a user inadvertently injects a hit contaminated with benzos. Intravene is a groundbreaking partnership between immersive and documentary experts, and drug user activists: DARKFIELD, Crackdown, and Brenda Longfellow.
Project Creators: DARKFIELD (David Rosenberg, Glen Neath), Brenda Longfellow & Crackdown
Producers: DARKFIELD (Victoria Eyton), Crackdown
Kubo Walks The City, (France, South Korea) – North American Premiere.
Seoul, 1934. Korea is under Japanese occupation. Like “ethno-detectives,” viewers follow in the footsteps of Kubo, a Korean writer, in his urban flânerie. Through caricatures that mock the shortcomings of a Korean society emerging from the poverty and archaisms of the past, explore a city recklessly discovering the modernity and prosperity that come with occupation.
Directed by Hayoun Kwon and produced by Innerspace VR.
Project Creator: Hayoun Kwon
Producer: Innerspace VR
Missing Pictures Ep. 3-5, (France, United Kingdom, Republic of China, Luxembourg, South Korea) – World Premiere.
For every movie made, dozens of pictures remain missing forever. Missing Pictures gives directors a chance to tell a story that would otherwise never be told. Each episode invites one filmmaker to narrate some key points of the movie, why the movie is important for them, and why it was never made. Missing Pictures brings to life unmade films by Abel Ferrara, Tsai Ming-Liang, Catherine Hardwicke, Lee Hyung-Se, and Naomi Kawase.
Project Creators: Clément Deneux, Joseph Beauregard
Producers: Atlas V, Arte France, BBC, PTS Taiwan, Serendipity Films, Wild Fang Films, Giioii
Mushroom Cloud NYC / RISE, (United States) – World Premiere.
Mushroom Cloud NYC / RISE is a site-specific AR experience by artist Nancy Baker Cahill. Witness a mushroom cloud explode over the water and then slowly transform against the sky into a call to collective action against climate change. The NYC edition is custom geolocated for Tribeca with an accompanying original NFT video work entitled, RISE, marking the first NFT created from an XR festival experience.
Project Creator: Nancy Baker Cahill
Producer: Shaking Earth Digital
Please, Believe Me, (United States) – World Premiere.
Thirty years ago, Vicki Logan was diagnosed with the recently identified Lyme Disease. When she didn’t recover with antibiotics, one doctor stood by her side while others in the medical establishment turned against Lyme patients who complained of symptoms after receiving standard treatment. This VR piece investigates Vicki’s tragic case and explores why the scientific community stopped believing patients.
Project Creator: Nonny de la Peña
Producers: Kim Cleworth, Dan Brower, Charlie Park
ReachYou, (United States, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Colombia) – World Premiere.
ReachYou is an augmented reality transmission from the future built for the tenderness of the present. ReachYou comes from a future when Earth is no longer habitable. Each transmission delivers an important message, asking users to contribute their own stories and share their griefs and gratitudes, integrating you into a larger, ever-evolving Human Record.
Project Creators: Katrina Goldsaito, Jonah Goldsaito
Zanzibar: Trouble in Paradise, (United States, Tanzania) – World Premiere.
This immersive holographic experience tells the story of two women who gained financial independence in a male-dominated culture through seaweed farming – an ingredient found in everything from ice cream to medicine. When climate change decimated the seaweed, their resilience and strength enabled them to pivot to growing sponges. Then climate change killed the sponges. This film illustrates the impact it has on those who are less likely to have their voices heard.
Project Creators: Ashraki Mussa Machano, Steven-Charles Jaffe
Producer: Springbok Entertainment
NEW VOICES COMPETITION
These experiences feature 2021/2022 premieres from first- and second-time extended reality (XR) directors in competition.
Emerging Radiance: Honoring The Nikkei Farmers Of Bellevue, (United States) – New York Premiere.
Emerging Radiance, directed by Tani Ikeda and illustrated by Michelle Kumata, celebrates the untold stories of Japanese American strawberry farmers who lived in Bellevue from 1920 to 1942. With a hand-painted mural and Spark AR Instagram filters, visitors have the opportunity to meet Toshio Ito, Rae Matsuoka Takekawa, and Mitsuko Hashiguchi, three survivors of the World War II incarceration camps, as they share in their own words their connections to the land before World War II, during incarceration, and post-World War II.
Produced by Meta Open Arts.
Project Creators: Tani Ikeda, Michelle Kumata
Producer: Tamar Benzikry (Meta Open Arts)
Iago, A Green-Eyed Monster, (United States, Argentina) – World Premiere.
This musical prequel to a futuristic take on Shakespeare’s Othello explores the psychology and origin story of the notorious villain Iago reimagined as a woman. Reviewing holographic memories, Iago muses on her schemes in a rock opera villain song that incorporates Shakespeare’s original words into the lyrics. As her song crescendos, Iago is consumed by her jealousy and literally becomes “the green-eyed monster,” destroying everyone and everything in her path to vengeance.
Project Creators: Mary Chieffo, Josh Nelson Youssef, Camila Marturano, Julian Dorado, Kush Mody
Producers: Juvee Productions, 3Dar, Verizon
LGBTQ + VR Museum, (United Kingdom, Denmark) – North American Premiere.
LGBTQ + VR Museum is the world’s first virtual reality museum dedicated to celebrating the stories and artwork of LGBTQ people by preserving queer personal histories. The museum contains 3D scans of touching personal artifacts, from wedding shoes to a teddy bear, chosen by people in the LGBTQ community and accompanied by their stories told in their own words. The in-person version presented at Tribeca is a never-before-seen multiplayer biometric experience controlled by users’ emotions in real-time.
Project Creators: Antonia Forster, Thomas Terkildsen
Producer: Albert Millis
LIMBOTOPIA, (Taiwan, Republic of China) – World Premiere.
Illusion, Karma, Apocalypse, Autism. Limbotopia is a surrealist animated VR film from first-time Taiwanese director Hsieh Wen-Yee. Based on the architectural design of ;Limbotopia, the experience takes you on a dream-like journey through a mysterious city. When a real location in Taiwan disappears due to the environmental crisis, the physical city reemerges on the other side.
Project Creator: Wen-Yee Hsieh, Chun-Lien Cheng
Producer: Wen-Yee Hsieh
Mescaform Hill: The Missing Five, (Canada, US) – World Premiere.
When several policemen disappear in an African town, a Road Safety cadet attempts to prove himself by investigating against his superior’s orders but discovers far more than he expected. Mescaform Hill: The Missing Five is a VR animated graphic novel created for the Oculus platform by Edward Madojemu.
Project Creators: Edward Madojemu, Adam Madojemu
Producer: Ryan Genji Thomas (Meta)
Planet City VR, (China, United States) – International Premiere.
Planet City VR is set in a fictional city of 10 billion people — the entire population of earth. The world has succumbed to global-scale wilderness and surrendered its stolen lands. The city’s creation story, narrated by a young climate activist and one of the city’s first citizens, is an extraordinary tale of tomorrow and an urgent examination of the environmental questions facing us today.
Project Creator: Liam Young
Producers: Well Played Studios (Elliot Ordower), HTC Vive Arts
Plastisapiens, (Canada, Israel) – World Premiere.
Platisapiens is a surrealist work of eco-fiction, an invitation to explore human influences on the environment, and, inversely, an exploration of how the environment affects human evolution. This speculative, playful, and ironic piece imagines a future where plastic and organic life merge to create a new life form. Viewers will journey back into prehistory to discover that they share the same origins as plastic until they finally mutate into Plastisapiens, and discover the Plastosphere.
Project Creators: Miri Chekhanovich, Édith Jorisch, Dpt.
Producers: NFB (Marie-Pier Gauthier, Isabelle Repelin), Dpt. (Raphaëlle Sleurs), Lalibela Productions
The Black Movement Library – Movement Portraits, (United States) – World Premiere.
The Black Movement Library-Movement Portraits serve as a way to learn about the lives of performers contributing their movement data to the Black Movement Library, taking viewers on a journey through each portrait. What happens when we ritualize the archival process of data collection and invite the community as a witness? Using motion capture and Unreal Engine, performers send their movement data to be translated into visuals in real-time.
Project Creator: LaJuné McMillian
Producers: Brooklyn Public Library, National Endowment for the Arts, Sundance Institute, The Andy Warhol Foundation For Visual Arts, Jerome Foundation, Times Square Arts, Bitforms Gallery and Movement Lab Barnard
This Is Not A Ceremony, (Canada) – New York Premiere.
Witness an unforgettable cinematic VR experience, guided with care and kindness by tricksters, matriarchs, and buffalo, as they confront the darker sides of life in Canada while Indigenous. This is Not a Ceremony calls on all who’ve watched to bear witness, and share what they’ve seen and heard—and to never forget.
Project Creator: Ahnahktsipiitaa (Colin Van Loon)
Producer: NFB (Dana Dansereau)
BEST OF SEASON
These selections include the best immersive experiences presented in 2021.
Container (South Africa) – New York Premiere.
Positioned at the intersection of virtual reality and installation art, Container takes viewers on an ever-transforming journey, beginning at Clifton Beach, Cape Town, where lie the graves of the 221 enslaved men and women who drowned in shackles when a slave ship sank in 1794. Through a mix of documentary and constructed reality, viewers are taken on an unknown journey into the world of products and people.
Project Creator: Simon Wood, Meghna Singh
Producers: Ingrid Kopp, Steven Markovitz, Caitlin Robinson
End of Night, (Denmark) – North American Premiere.
1943. You are sitting in a boat with Josef. He is rowing from Nazi-occupied Denmark to safety in neutral Sweden. As the boat crosses the ocean, the sea gives way to the streets and the people that inhabit his mind. Your journey together becomes a living landscape of the painful recollections from the night of his escape. As dawn draws near, you will witness the trauma of his escape and the grueling choices that those on the run make in order to survive.
Project Creator: David Adler
Producers: MAKROPOL (Mikkel Skov, Mads Damsbo)
Exhibition A, (United States) – New York Premiere.
A love letter to women of color written in virtual reality, Exhibition A showcases talent from the POC, immigrant, non-binary, LGBTQ, and Black communities in Portland, Maine to benefit Coded by Young Women of Color (CYWOC). Play as glittering avatars amidst intimate performances, including Veeva Banga’s Afrobeats Dance, “Kiwi Drip” performed by Adrienne Mack-Davis and Felicia Cruz, spoken word from Portland’s Poet Laureate Maya Williams,
“Diamonds” by JanaeSound, and interactive 3D design by Nick Hall/Tripdragon.
Project Creator: Nick Hall, Janay Woodruff
Producers: Yarn Corporation (Sam Mateosian), Janay Woodruff
Glimpse, (Ireland, United Kingdom, France) – North American Premiere.
Glimpse is an animated interactive VR experience starring Taron Egerton and Lucy Boynton, directed by Academy Award® winning Writer and Director Benjamin Cleary and VR Creator Michael O’Connor. A highly emotive, visual feast, Glimpse is set in the imaginative mind of a heartbroken panda and illustrator, Herbie, who has recently broken up with his deer girlfriend, Rice. Through Herbie’s art, viewers delve back through the memories of their relationship.
Project Creators: Benjamin Cleary, Michael O’Connor
Producers: Michael O’Connor, Raphael Penasa, Lee Harris