In 2017, for the first time, the Tribeca Film Festival will expand to feature a full slate of interactive and virtual reality (VR) projects. The festival’s VR selections will be displayed at an exhibition called Virtual Arcade, and the assembled lineup will be a strong one that includes innovative creators like Chris Milk as well as forward-thinking studios like Felix and Paul, Eko, and Wevr.
In total, 23 projects will be featured in the Virtual Arcade. Traditional film fans will recognize names like Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) among the list of VR filmmakers who will have their work showcased at Tribeca.
Many of the other Virtual Arcade selections highlight major innovators in the VR space. Milk, who built a VR app called Within, is involved in two projects at Tribeca, including Life of Us, which he co-created. Felix & Paul, which helped Barack Obama star in his first VR video, has once again teamed up with the 44th President for a White House tour video called The People’s House. Wevr is involved in the Dutch project Apex, while Eko, which recently rebranded from Interlude, has recruited Hollywood stars like Emily Mortimer for a short film called Broken Night.
The decision to launch Virtual Arcade was spearheaded by Genna Terranova, a former Tribeca exec who has since moved on to head up VR efforts over at Amazon. In her absence, the New York-based film festival has continued to champion innovation in digital video. “As VR has continued to evolve technologically, so has the storytelling,” said Loren Hammonds, Programmer of Film and Experiential at Tribeca Film Festival, in a press release. “Our mission is to shine a light on those creators pushing the boundaries of the medium to move beyond the demo phase and deliver on the promise of fully realized stories and truly transformative experiences.”
A full list of Virtual Arcade projects as well as short descriptions for each of them can be found in a press release that has been shared by Variety and others. The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival will run from April 19-30, 2017.