SXSW is excited to reveal a new collaboration with Oculus TV, SXSW 2020 Virtual Cinema on Oculus TV, set to launch globally on May 22.
This event will present seven 360 projects that were entered into the Virtual Cinema Competition for the 2020 SXSW Film Festival, prior to the event cancellation by the City of Austin. Each of these works showcases how virtual reality can take users to new places and experience stories alongside the storytellers – while maintaining social distance. Participating projects will be available for free on Oculus TV from May 22-31, 2020.
“We are so excited to offer global audiences an opportunity to experience these phenomenal 360 projects on Oculus TV,” said Blake Kammerdeiner, SXSW Virtual Cinema Programmer. “This sampling of what would have been a robust XR program is sure to delight audiences, and we are thankful to Oculus TV for helping us showcase these artists and projects.”
Explore the following titles coming to Oculus TV starting on May 22.
SXSW 2020 Virtual Cinema on Oculus TV
After the Fallout (Switzerland, U.S.)
Directors: Sam Wolson, Dominic Nahr
This unforgettable 360-degree experience pushes past traditional documentary tropes to evoke the reality and emotional gravity of life in Fukushima, ten years after the 2011 nuclear disaster. After the Fallout is an immersive mosaic that takes us through surreal environments in the exclusion zone, and explores the lives of families as they navigate a new world which they have had to adapt to.
The Curious Life of Bill Mont
Directors: Andrea Patiño Contreras, Katrina Sorrentino
While preparing for a winter formal at Northwood, a senior living center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bill Mont, an 89-year-old self-made entrepreneur, reminisces about his life, including his most recent venture – sending people’s ashes to the moon. As he ruminates on love and loss, as well as his entrepreneurial projects and acquisitions, in a 9 minute 360 virtual cinema film, we experience what it’s like to have fun while aging! (World Premiere)
Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR
Director/Screenwriter: Ainslee Alem Robson
How is identity conceived? What does it mean for your home to be constructed immaterially via fragments of culture and oral history distorted by the filter of time and migration? This afrosurreal portrait of home traverses crosswalks, continents and consciousness, moments of cultural alienation, and the director’s childhood memories from Empress Taytu Ethiopian Restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio to the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — her mother’s home country. Ferenj reclaims Ethiopian-American mixed-race identity, redefines boundaries between memory and digital imaginary, and challenges reductive narratives of Africa.
Look at Me (Taiwan)
Director/Screenwriter: HE Wei-Ting
Zhang, like everyone in the near future, is addicted to the virtual world. A failed rendezvous with his girlfriend makes Zhang wander the city at night, where he discovers a club where everyone gives up the virtual world for physical fighting, to engage in “real interactions”, and where everyone actually looks at each other during conversation. (North American Premiere)
Notre-Dame de Paris: A Unique Journey Back in Time (France)
Director: Mélanie de Riberolles
On April 15, 2019, the world witnessed as Notre-Dame Cathedral was nearly destroyed in a devastating fire. As the tragedy unfolded, people began sharing memories of the cathedral with photos and videos reliving those moments. Others were able to relive their memories virtually through Assassin’s Creed Unity, the video game. Ubisoft has been collaborating with historians for years, meticulously collecting data and testimonials to build Notre-Dame in-game. Based on this 3D model, Ubisoft created a VR tour of Notre-Dame so people can get back to the cathedral and discover point-of-views that were inaccessible to the public, or elements of architecture that were destroyed by the fire, including the famous spire! (North American Premiere)
A Song Within Us (Taiwan, France)
Director/Screenwriter: Fangas Nayaw
A Song Within Us is a sound-interactive experience, with Ambisonic audio. During the experience, audience members will mimic the tribal leader, who will teach them to sing together. Viewers can receive visual feedback for the efforts. There are two versions of the project, both with spatial audio. One version is an individual, immersive sound experience, but we also designed an ambisonic dome for a physical installation. In the ambisonic dome, viewers will experience the project without wearing earphones and five audience members can discover the piece together. (North American Premiere)
Photo courtesy of 2020 SXSW Virtual Cinema Project, Notre-Dame de Paris: A Unique Journey Back in Time
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