FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN MORE THAN 20 VIRTUAL REALITY WORLDS AND INSTALLATIONS AT THE 15TH ANNUAL TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL®

Experiential storytelling programming at the Tribeca Festival Hub to also include interactive exhibitions, gaming, and conversations on the future of technology and hacker culture

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NEW YORK, NY– February 10, 2016 –Virtual reality (VR) and interactive storytelling take center stage at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T. Twenty-three VR exhibits and interactive installations from leading creators and emerging artists will be presented, with 16 of them making their world debut, at the Tribeca Festival Hub, located at 50 Varick Street. These elements are part of a celebrated legacy of innovative storytelling showcased at TFF since 2002. The 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival takes place April 13-24.

The Virtual Arcade invites audiences to explore the world of VR, taking them to vastly different worlds crafted by some of the leading creators working in the medium. The Virtual Arcade, open April 18-20, demonstrates the breadth of work created by VR storytellers, including projects that are rooted in documentary, narrative, gaming, music and journalism. The lineup also incorporates established programs including Storyscapes, the fourth annual juried showcase with 10 VR and interactive installations available April 14-17, and TFI Interactive, the fifth annual forum convening the brightest thinkers from media, gaming and technology on April 16.

Additional programs at the Tribeca Festival Hub include HACKED by DEF CON and MR. ROBOT, which brings DEF CON, the world's biggest and longest-running underground hacking conference in the US, to the Festival for the second year on April 15-17 with hands-on activities and panel discussions about surveillance, technology and society. The Games for Change Games and Media Summit will take place on April 18 and feature gaming innovators and industry voices leading the charge in shaping the way we feel, play, work and interact with games.

“Tribeca has always celebrated the most exciting new forms of storytelling, from video games to virtual reality," said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder Tribeca Film Festival and Executive Chair of Tribeca Enterprises. “This year’s program, which you can touch and feel at our amazing Festival Hub at Spring Studios, features the most dynamic work to date at the intersection of story and technology. We're committed to giving the independent artists we support the best stage to share their mind-blowing work with audiences.”

"Our experiential program is what happens when artists create wildly different adventures that go outside traditional methods. Here stories are not passively watched they are actually 'experienced' - you are a participant,” said Genna Terranova, Festival Director. “Today virtual reality offers a new landscape for creating worlds and stories. At its best it can be a powerful vehicle for magically transportive explorations that test the limits of our imaginations and psyches."

Festival Hub Passes are available now to the general public and provide a hands-on opportunity to experience the best in entertainment and what happens when it collides with the latest technology. Festivalgoers converge on the hub to be inspired, to incite a sense of wonder and to catch a glimpse into the future of this rapidly changing and exciting world. Passes are currently on sale for $399.00 at tribecafilm.com. Single tickets for each program will go on sale March 29, 2016.

STORYSCAPES
Storyscapes projects at the 2016 Festival, open April 14-17, feature both installations and VR. The program includes projects that grapple with issues of racism, violence and harm inflicted on our planet, combining the excitement of these new immersive mediums tempered with the urgency of a world on fire. It is in turns thrilling, upsetting, shocking and wonderful, much like the world we live in.

“This year’s Storyscapes offerings are a reflection of today’s world. We live in a very charged period—from the political landscape to unprecedented violence—and the Storyscapes installations are compelling and engaging experiences that balance some of the sobering issues facing society, as well as inspiring and wonderful ones,” said Ingrid Kopp, Storyscapes curator.

One project will be selected by a jury to receive the Storyscapes Award, which recognizes groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology. The 2016 Storyscapes selections include:

VR

  • The Ark (World Premiere)

Project Creators: Jongsma + O’Neill (Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill)
Key Collaborator: Springbok Entertainment
The northern white rhinoceros is the most endangered animal on the planet. Only three remain, and they are protected at all times by armed bodyguards. The Ark is a virtual reality documentary that puts viewers face-to-face with the last northern white rhinos, and tells the story of the global coalition scientists who are fighting to rescue the species from extinction.

  • DEEP VR (North American Premiere)

Project Creators: Owen Harris and Niki Smit
Key Collaborators: Cinekid, Paradoxical Recordings, Bryan Duggan
DEEP VR is a meditative and psychoactive VR experience, controlled by the player’s breathing. Discover a beautiful underwater seascape where the world challenges, surprises, and comforts. Explore the ways in which VR can change our relationship with both body and mind.

  • Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness

Project Creators: Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton, and James Spinney
After losing his sight in 1983, John Hull began recording an audio-diary documenting his discovery of “a world beyond sight.” John’s original recordings form the basis of this interactive experience, which uses real time 3D, virtual reality, and binaural sound to explore the interior world of blindness.

  • SENS (World Premiere)

Project Creators: Charles Ayats, Armand Lemarchand, Marc-Antoine Mathieu
Key Collaborators: Calculmentor, Franck Weber
SENS is the first project to adapt a graphic novel into a virtual reality. It is also a beautifully universal experience that works without words. The game invites you to a trip through a graphic maze: all around you are arrows in ever changing shapes, showing you the way. Where will you lead you?

  • The Turning Forest (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Oscar Raby
Key Collaborators: BBC R&D and S3A, and Shelley Silas


In a land that never was and a time that could never be, a child stared into the eyes of a fantastical creature. Around them, a magical forest; in front of them, a magical journey. The Turning Forest is a sound based real-time CGI VR experience for people young and old--inviting audiences into a magical space of imagination, where rustling leaves are also the footsteps of something familiar, yet strange. In this place, things are not quite what they seem.

INSTALLATIONS

  • The Argus Project

Project Creators: Gan Golan, Raquel de Anda, Julien Terrell, Ligaiya Romero
The Argus Project is a trans-media project that directly intersects the public debate over police accountability. At the center stands a suit of tactical counter-surveillance armor embedded with body cameras that offers a simple question: “If the police wear body armor to protect themselves while in public, what must “The Public” wear to protect themselves from the police?" Video projections surround the suit featuring former officers, activists, and family members directly impacted by police violence, creating a space for a real conversation on police violence – one that our country desperately needs.

  • 6X9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement

Project Creators: The Guardian’s Francesca Panetta and Lindsay Poulton
Key Collaborator: The Mill
Right now, 80,000-100,000 people are in solitary confinement in the US. They spend 22-24 hours a day in their cells, with little to no human contact for days or even decades. The sensory deprivation they endure causes severe psychological damage. These people are invisible to us—and eventually to themselves. (This is a virtual reality project featured as an installation for the first time.)

  • Network Effect

Project Creators: Jonathan Harris and Gregor Hochmuth
Network Effect explores the psychological effect of Internet use on humanity. Like the Internet itself, the project is effectively endless, containing video clips, spoken sentences, news, tweets, charts, graphs, lists, and millions of individual data points. The result is a voyeuristic and unnerving experience about our overstimulated digital lives.

  • Intersection of I (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Whitney Dow
Key Collaborators: John Kudos, Ada Tolla, Giuseppe Lignano, Michelle Byrd
Intersection of I is an immersive video installation, part of Whitney Dow’s ongoing Whiteness Project. It combines video, data visualization, and interactivity to explore how millennials who identify as white, or partially white, process their racial identity.

  • Séances (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, the NFB
Key Collaborators: Galen Johnson, Aubyn Freybe-Smith, Nickel Media
Séances, co-created with the National Film Board of Canada, presents a wholly new way of experiencing film narrative. By dynamically generating a series of film sequences in unique configurations, potentially hundreds of thousands of new stories will be conjured by code. Each will exist only in the moment – no pausing, scrubbing or sharing – offering the audience one chance to see this film.

VIRTUAL ARCADE
Virtual Arcade debuts at the 2016 Festival, helping to expand the immersive entertainment slate with thirteen additional VR experiences from some of the leading creators and emerging voices in this new medium. The selections, available April 18-20, include:

  • ALLUMETTE (World Premiere)

Project Creators: Eugene Chung, Jimmy Maidens, Penrose Studios
An orphan girl, living in a fantastical city in clouds, endures tragedy. Lighting enchanted matches, she relives her past and grasps at future hope. The story is a meditation on the sacrifices people make for the greater good. Crafted by Penrose Studios, ALLUMETTE is set in a fully-immersive, virtual reality world.

  • THE ARTIST OF SKID ROW (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Molly Swenson, Tyson Sadler, Hayley Pappas/RYOT
Key Collaborators: Bryn Mooser, LAMP
Ramiro Puentes is an outstanding artist – photographs, paintings, sculpture, poetry. But more than that, he’s risen from crippling poverty and used art to reimagine the streets of Skid Row.

  • ASHES (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Jessica Kantor/supported by Vrideo
Playing with movement, space and time, ASHES shares the tragic story of two lovers, told specifically for 360-headset environment. Director/Producer Jessica Kantor draws upon her classical ballet training to bring us this unique piece inspired by choreographer Pina Bausch, known for telling stories through dance.

  • The Crystal Reef (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Cody Karutz and Lauren Knapp/Stanford University
Key Collaborator: Jeremy Bailenson
A rocky reef off the coast of Italy demonstrates the future of climate change. Meet Dr. Fio Micheli, the marine scientist who studies this reef, and dive underwater with her to learn about ocean acidification and how human-produced carbon dioxide will turn all the world’s oceans into what scientists are calling “the ocean moonscape.”

  • The Crystal Reef: Interactive (World Premiere)

Project Creator: The Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL)
Key Collaborator: Stanford University
Experience climate change firsthand in this fully immersive virtual reality experience. Use your hands to swim and examine marine life as you become a scientist and discover “ocean acidification.” Dive through a digital replica of the reefs of Ischia, Italy and learn about how these reefs are a “crystal ball” that show the future of all the world’s oceans.

  • DRAGONFLIGHT (World Premiere)

Project Creators: Michael Conelly, Will Telford, Keith Goldfarb, Lyndon Barrois/Blackthorn Media
A spectacular dragon embarks on a hero’s journey to do battle against a duplicitous sorcerer and protect the world from the second coming of his ancient and powerful progenitor. DRAGONFLIGHT is the debut project of VR studio Blackthorn Media, an Academy and Emmy Award-winning team of story-tellers, visual effects veterans, programmers and artists.

  • HARD WORLD FOR SMALL THINGS (NY Premiere)

Project Creator: Janicza Bravo/Wevr
Key Collaborators: Wevr, Seed&Spark, Han West
Award-winning film and theater director Janicza Bravo ventures into the world of VR with an exploration of the circumstances and lives affected by a single tragedy in Los Angeles. Drawing from a real-life experience, Bravo and studio collaborators Wevr craft a remarkably powerful narrative that culminates in a devastating conclusion.

  • HOLIDAYS: CHRISTMAS VR (World Premiere)

Project Creators: Distant Corners/John Hegerman, Scott Stewart, Amanda Mortimer, Gabriela Revilla Lugo, Wevr
When a man stoops to dangerous new lows to get his son the ultimate VR headset for Christmas, he finds out more about himself and his family than he ever wanted to know. From writer/director Scott Stewart (LEGION, PRIEST) and starring Emmy Award-winning actor Seth Green and Clare Grant, CHRISTMAS is part of Distant Corners’ HOLIDAYS anthology feature created by John Hegeman and produced in association with XYZ Films.

  • INVASION! (World Premiere)

Project Creators: Eric Darnell, Maureen Fan/Baobab Studios
Directed by Eric Darnell (Antz and Madagascar), this interactive and animated film follows menacing aliens with vastly superior technology who come to claim the Earth and destroy anyone in their way. Despite incredible odds, Earth's citizens rise up and defeat the evil aliens. Surprisingly, these Earthly citizens are not humans but a pair of the cutest, meekest and cuddliest creatures of our planet -- two fluffy white bunnies.

  • KANJU (World Premiere)

Project Creator: Stephanie Riggs / Azimyth Creation Studios
Key Collaborators: The Nantucket Project, Harbers Studios
Journey across Africa in search of Kanju, “creativity born of struggle.” Visit a floating school rising from the slums of Makoko. Witness President Obama's historic speech in Nairobi from the press pit. This uplifting, immersive documentary seamlessly layers traditional narrative techniques and 360o live action. Feel the power of storytelling merged with technology and rediscover Africa as the bright continent.

  • KILLER DEAL (World Premiere)

Project Creators: Irad Eyal, Aaron Rothman, Anthony C. Ferrante, iMan Productions, Better VR Studios
Key Collaborator: Ian Ziering
Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante (Sharknado 1, 2 & 3), Killer Deal follows a struggling machete salesman who runs into trouble when his discount hotel room comes with an unwelcome guest. A very unwelcome guest. The experience takes all the things we love about over-the-top horror and puts the viewer right in the middle of the “splash zone.”

  • My Mother’s Wing

Project Creators: Gabo Arora, Ari Palitz/Vrse.works
Key Collaborators: Chris Milk, Patrick Milling Smith, Samantha Storr
In Gaza, foundations are built, destroyed, and built again. This virtual reality experience follows the struggle and strength of a mother coping with the death of her two children in the 2014 war.

  • Old Friend (US Premiere)

Project Creator: Tyler Hurd/Wevr
Lose yourself in a vibrant psychedelic dance party brimming with joyful insanity. VR filmmaker Tyler Hurd and Wevr present a fun animated VR music video experience for Old Friend by Future Islands. Gaze upon the elegant dance routines and enjoy the blissful absurdity. Unhinge yourself, feel the ridiculousness and dance like everyone is watching.

DEF CON
HACKED by DEF CON and MR. ROBOT returns to the Festival this year on April 15-17, sponsored by USA Network’s Golden Globe® Award winning series MR. ROBOT. Started by The Dark Tangent, also known as computer and internet security expert Jeff Moss, DEF CON has grown into the world's biggest underground hacking conference.

Inspired by film and current events, festivalgoers will be invited to explore and participate in hack-type scenarios to further illustrate the importance of understanding technology, surveillance and digital security within our society. The event will feature six villages – hands-on, public-facing workshops and activities, including Social Engineering and BioHacking Villages, which are new to the Festival, and the return of Lock Picking, Tamper-Evident, Hardware Hacking and the Crypto & Privacy Villages. The collaborative program will also include panels that will tackle the authentic representation of hacker culture, tools and techniques within film and TV.

GAMES FOR CHANGE
Games for Change continues its partnership with Tribeca Film Festival for the third year, hosting the Games and Media Summit. The day-long event on April 18 will feature gaming innovators and industry voices leading the charge in shaping the way we feel, play, work and interact with games, technology and media. With a hands-on arcade as well as talks, panels and demos, the summit will spotlight new possibilities for impact through virtual reality, biofeedback, augmented reality, wearables, and more. Additionally, the Games and Media Summit will also feature its first-ever Charity Game-a-thon. In partnership with 3BlackDot, two of the top YouTube gaming celebrities, Tom Syndicate and Captain Sparklez, will play video games to raise money for GameChanger Charity, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to positively impact the lives of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses through video games.

Confirmed speakers include: Adam Gazzaley M.D., Ph.D. (Neuroscientist and Chief Science Advisor of Akili Interactive Labs), Yoni Bloch (co-founder and president, Interlude), Catherine Devine (Chief Digital Officer at American Museum of Natural History), Amy Robinson (creative director, EyeWire), Dirk Van Dall (Vice President of Multimedia Strategy, Major League Baseball Advanced Media), and Dan Gray (Executive Producer & Studio Head, Ustwo Games).

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Hashtag: #Tribeca2016

Press Site for Images: https://tribecafilm.com/press-center/festival/2016-tribeca-film-festival-imagery

About the Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival, now in its 15th year, brings together visionaries across industries and diverse audiences to celebrate the power of storytelling. A platform for independent filmmaking, creative expression and immersive entertainment, Tribeca supports emerging and established voices, discovers award-winning filmmakers, curates innovative and interactive experiences, and introduces new technology and ideas through panels, premieres, exhibitions, and live performance.

Founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 following the attacks on the World Trade Center, Tribeca has evolved from an annual event to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan to a gathering place for filmmakers, artists, innovators, and the global creative community. Through programs that embrace storytelling in all of its expansive forms – from film and music, to video games and online work, TFF reimagines the cinematic experience and explores how art can unite communities.

About the 2016 Sponsors
As Presenting Sponsor of the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T is committed to supporting the Festival and the art of filmmaking through access and innovation – aiming to make this the most interactive film and storytelling festival in the country, where visitors experience the Festival in ways they never imagined. As one of the largest communications and entertainment companies, AT&T helps millions connect with entertainment, mobile, high speed Internet and voice services – virtually everywhere.

The Tribeca Film Festival is pleased to announce its Signature Sponsors: Accenture, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bloomberg, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC),CHANEL, ESPN, Infor, IWC Schaffhausen, The Lincoln Motor Company, NBC 4 New York, NCM Media Networks, Spring Studios, Thompson Hotels, and United Airlines.

TFF Press credentials:
Credentialing for the 15th Festival is now open through March 3rd, 2016:
https://secure.sportssystems.com/events2/?eventKey=2d9e547a-f005-4ad4-bf9a-91f190842566

PRESS CONTACTS:
TFF/Rubenstein Communications:
Heather Resnicoff, Vice President, (212) 843-8497, hresnicoff@rubenstein.com
Nicole Tiedemann, Associate Vice President, (212) 843-8485, ntiedemann@rubenstein.com

TFF/Tribeca:
Tammie Rosen, SVP of Communications, (212) 941-2003, trosen@tribecaenterprises.com