Tag Archives: Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute and The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation Collaborate to Support Diverse Independent Filmmakers

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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Foundation Backs Institute’s Annual Screenwriters Intensive, Year-Round Diversity Work

 

Park City, UT — Sundance Institute and The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation will collaborate to support diverse independent artists, they announced today at a reception at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. As part of a two-year commitment, the Foundation will support the Institute’s Screenwriters Intensive and year-round work with diverse independent filmmakers and artists.

The Screenwriters Intensive, part of the Institute’s Feature Film Program, provides the opportunity for 10 emerging screenwriters from underrepresented communities to hone their craft in a two-day workshop focused deeply on the creative process. It works in partnership with the Institute’s Diversity Initiative, which emphasizes diversity as a longstanding and core value of all Institute programs. The Initiative encompasses efforts to reach new communities of storytellers and artists across regions, genres, ethnicities, genders and orientations.

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Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute (Photo via zimbio.com

“Sundance is proud to work with storytellers from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, both at the Festival and in our artist development programs,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. “We are so grateful for the generous support of The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation. Together, we will build momentum and awareness about the need to create a film and media landscape that reflects the full richness and diversity of our culture.”

 

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Jada Pinkett Smith

“We are honored and energized to collaborate with Sundance Institute to cultivate stories and storytellers reflective of the world at large, and we view today as the beginning of a productive, purposeful and powerful alignment with an enduring institution,” said Jada Pinkett Smith.

For over two decades, The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation has generously supported individuals and organizations dedicated to advancement in the areas of education, health, sustainability and arts. The Foundation’s new initiative, Careers in Entertainment (CIE), introduces youth to careers in the media and entertainment industry through mentorship and internship opportunities. CIE enables students to learn from the industry’s most creative and successful leaders across television, film and music.

The Institute’s support for diverse artists extends throughout its more than 35-year history. Artists supported by the Institute include Ava DuVernay, Robert Rodriguez, Ryan Coogler, Lee Daniels, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and Dee Rees. Current programs include Fellowships for Latino and Asian-American artists. The Institute’s formalized Diversity Initiative was created with founding support from the Time Warner Foundation.

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation
Dedicated to the betterment of the world around us, The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation assists individuals, charities, and organizations in the areas of education, health and sustainability.  Learn more about The Will & Jada Smith Foundation and the Careers in Entertainment initiative on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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(Source: Sundance Press Office)

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New Frontier Showcases Storytelling’s Future at 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Park City, UT — Now in its second decade of breaking new ground at the forefront of art and technology, Sundance Institute has curated an in-depth vision of storytelling’s future for the 2017 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, January 19-29 in Park City. The full slate — including storyworlds in Augmented Reality headsets, projection-mapped acrobatics, a VR beauty salon producing neuroscience data via the internet of things and a host of socialized, interactive and immersively haptic VR story experiences — stands as a testament to New Frontier’s expertise in identifying, developing and amplifying the most relevant and high-impact modes of tech-enabled narrative.

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Live performances, a feature film and augmented reality experiences will complement a total of 20 VR experiences and 11 installations, showcased between three venues in Park City. The historic Claim Jumper will host seven immersive installations focused on cross-disciplinary story construction and and two video works; the VR Palace will feature 15 VR experiences alongside additional installations; and the VR Bar will offer a lineup of mobile VR. Three projects are part of the Festival’s The New Climate program, which highlights the environment and climate change. More New Frontier projects will be announced in the coming weeks.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “Every year, more artists are drawn to the vanguard of art and technology: independent, creative storytellers have more tools to break the mold than ever before. For the last decade-plus, New Frontier’s vision has evolved and grown with this expanding palette, to curate and showcase the most exciting new work made with the latest advances.”

Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and Chief Curator, New Frontier, said, “In an era that has recalibrated economies, redefined social realms and rewired the connection between the individual and the world, we must also reimagine what it is to be human. Through Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and various crafted immersive experiences, New Frontier this year challenges the very nature of perception and what we consider to be ‘reality.’”

Through New Frontier’s history, Sundance Institute has been at the forefront of new media storytelling, recognized as a pioneer of story-based, tech-enabled experiences; New Frontier alumni include Doug Aitken, James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chris Milk, Nonny de la Peña, Pipilotti Rist and Jennifer Steinkamp. The Institute’s support extends well beyond its curated slate of Festival projects, and includes the annual New Frontier Story Lab, which offers mentorship and development opportunities for new media storytellers, New Frontier Day Labs in cities nationwide and the New Frontier Residency Program, which combines the might of partners such as MIT Media Lab’s Social Computing Group and Jaunt Studios to drive groundbreaking data-visualization and VR storytelling tools, training and resources to independent artists.

2016 marked New Frontier’s 10th Anniversary, with celebrations at MoMA in New York City, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

In addition to the New Frontier program announced today, films in U.S. and World Competitions and NEXT have been announced and are listed at sundance.org/festival.

FILMS AND PERFORMANCE

18 Black Girls / Boys Ages 1-18 Who Have Arrived at the Singularity and Are Thus Spiritual Machines: $X in an Edition of $97 Quadrillion / U.S.A. (Director and writer: Terence Nance) — In this pair of performances, the artist Googles the phrase “one-year-old black boy” and “one-year-old black girl,” ascending in age to 18, allowing Google’s “popular searches” algorithm to populate what words will follow.

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? / U.S.A. (Director: Travis Wilkerson) — This documentary murder mystery about the artist’s own family is a Southern Gothic torn apart and reassembled. Journeying straight into the black heart of a family and country, this multimedia performance explores a forgotten killing by the artist’s great-grandfather—a white Southern racist—of a black man in lower Alabama.

World Without End (No Reported Incidents) / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Jem Cohen) — Close observations around Southend-on-Sea, a small English town along the Thames estuary, reveal not only everyday streets, everyday birds, unflagging tides, mud and sky, but also prize-winning Indian curries, an encyclopedic universe of hats and a nearly lost world of proto-punk music.

INSTALLATIONS

A selection of single-channel works by the collective A Normal Working Day / Switzerland — A Normal Working Day is an artist collective consisting of the installation artist Zimoun and the choreographers and dancers Delgado Fuchs (Marco Delgado, Nadine Fuchs). Formed from the bodies of the two performers, these splendidly hypnotic projections are visual rabbit holes that shimmer with a presence that is larger than the sum of their parts.

Full Turn / Switzerland (Lead Artist: Benjamin Muzzin) — This installation explores the notion of the third dimension with the desire to get out of the usual frame of a flat screen. The rotation of two tablets creates a three-dimensional, animated sequence that can be seen at 360 degrees, unlike any other type of display.

Heartcorps: Riders of the Storyboard / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: dandypunk, Key Collaborators: Darin Basile, Jo Cattell) — Follow the story of Particle, a two-dimensional light being, as you walk through the pages of a giant, immersive comic book. Hand-drawn illustrations come to life around you using projection-mapping technology, while high-level Cirque du Soleil performers interact with animated characters in this “digital light poem.” Cast: Ekenah Claudin, Elon Höglund, Youssef El Toufali, Jenni Gamas.

Heroes / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Melissa Painter, Key Collaborators: Tim Dillon, Thomas Wester, Jason Schugardt, Laura Gorenstein Miller) — The setting: An extravagant movie palace where silent films were shown. One dance—fiercely athletic and romantic—invites you inside. Through both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality headsets, the story comes off the screen, challenging you to move, navigate heroic shifts in perspective and scale and reach out to touch the experience. Cast: Helios Dance Theater, Stephanie Maxim, Chris Stanley, Melissa Sandvig.

Journey to the Center of the Natural Machine / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Daniella Segal, Daniel Lazo, Eran May-Raz, Charles Niu) — From stone axe to super-computer, our brain’s evolution has been guided by our tools, evolving it into the most complicated object in the known universe. Explore a holographic brain with a friend on the Meta 2 Augmented Reality Headset, and rebuild your relationship to the Natural Machine.

NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, Nitzan Bartov) — A three-part exploration of black women and the roles they play in technology, society and culture—including speculative products, immersive experiences and neurocognitive impact research. Using fashion, cosmetics and the economy of beauty as entry points, the project illuminates issues of privacy, transparency, identity and perception.

Pleasant Places / United Kingdom (Lead Artist: Quayola) — A return to, and a modern elaboration upon, Vincent Van Gogh’s Provence landscapes, this series of digital paintings interrogates and reframes concepts of representation and perception through image manipulation and augmented reality. Using bucolic and contemplative images, juxtaposed with raw data visualization, this project suggests alternate modes of visual synthesis.

Synesthesia Suit: Rez Infinite and Crystal Vibes / Japan (Lead Artists: Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Ayahiko Sato, Kouta Minamizawa) — A full-body 26-sensor suit combines audiovisual and vibrotactile textures to push technology-mediated sensory frontiers. Experience a multisensory climax with pounding beats and stringed instruments in acclaimed PlayStation 4/PS VR game Rez Infinite, or feel vibrations of candy-colored psychedelic sound rippling through the Crystal Vibes universe.

VIRTUAL REALITY

ASTEROIDS! / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Eric Darnell) — From the director of Madagascar comes Baobab’s VR animation. Journey the cosmos aboard the spaceship of Mac and Cheez, an alien duo so mission-focused they forget what’s important in life. It’s up to you to show them what really matters. Cast: Eric Darnell.

Chasing Coral: The VR Experience / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Jeff Orlowski) — Zackary Rago, a passionate scuba diver and researcher, documented the unprecedented 2016 coral bleaching event at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef with this exclusive underwater VR experience. THE NEW CLIMATE

Chocolate / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Tyler Hurd) — This VR experience for the song “Chocolate” by Giraffage sets you in a cat-centric world of sparkling, colorful chrome with a tribe of people doing a ritualistic dance just for you, their robot god, to provide them with their precious resource, cute lil’ chrome kitties.

Dear Angelica / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Saschka Unseld, Key Collaborators: Angela Petrella, Wesley Allsbrook, Maxwell Planck, Ryan Thomas) — This project is a journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember lost ones and, even though they are gone, what remains of the ones we loved. Cast: Geena Davis, Mae Whitman.

Hue / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Nicole McDonald, Key Collaborators: KC Austin) — This is an immersive and visually driven interactive film about a man who has lost the ability to see color. Participants reawaken the protagonist’s sense of wonder and imagination through empathetic action as color and connection return to his world view. Cast: David Strathairn, Benedikt Negro.

If Not Love / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Rosemarie Troche, Key Collaborator: Bruce Allan) — A conflicted Christian man carries out a mass shooting. In his past: a same-sex hookup and self-loathing. What if events had unfolded differently? What if his partner had convinced him to face himself? Could that simple act change the course of history? Cast: Zachary Booth, Mitchell Winter.

Life of Us / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin, Pharrell Williams, Key Collaborators: Megan Ellison, McKenzie Stubbert, Jona Dinges) — This shared VR journey tells the complete story of the evolution of life on Earth.

Melting Ice / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Danfung Dennis) — We take viewers on a transcendent exploration into the devastating consequences of climate change on Greenland’s ice sheet. Stand under collapsing glaciers, next to raging rivers of ice melt and witness rising sea levels—all visceral warnings of our planet’s future. THE NEW CLIMATE

Mindshow / U.S.A.(Lead Artists: Gil Baron, Jonnie Ross, Adam Levin, Key Collaborators: Jonnie Ross, Gil Baron) — Make VR cartoons with your body and voice. Teleport into different characters and act out all the parts. Create with your friends by passing scenes back and forth, then share your shows in VR and on social media. Cast: Dana Gould.

Miyubi / Canada (Lead Artists: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Key Collaborator: Owen Burke) — Experience love and obsolescence as a Japanese toy robot, gifted to a child in the home of a fractured family in 1982 suburban America. Cast: Jeff Goldblum, P.J. Byrne, Emily Bergl, Owen Vaccaro, Richard Riehle, Ted Sutherland, Tatum Kensington Bailey.

Orbital Vanitas / Australia (Lead Artist: Shaun Gladwell, Key Collaborator: Leo Faber, ) — This virtual reality experience presents a surreal sci-fi mystery and meditation on death. Initially placed in Earth’s orbit, participants soon notice an enigmatic form floating toward them. What takes place next makes perfect use of the VR format.

Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Nonny de la Peña) — In August 2014, Daniel Ashley Pierce’s family verbally and physically accosted him before kicking him out of the house because they disapproved of his sexuality. Built directly around audio Daniel recorded from that encounter, this project includes thoughts of hope and triumph from Daniel and three other LGBTQ youth. Cast: Daniel Ashley Pierce, Kyle Wills, Julene Renee, Cyntia Domenzain, Angel VanStark, Phoebe VanCleefe.

The Sky is a Gap / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Rachel Rossin) — The viewer is allowed to precisely move time with space by the use of a positionally tracked headset. Existing in the physical and virtual realms, the installation depicts a pyroclastic explosion inspired by Zabriskie Point, where the scene’s progress is physically mapped to the participant’s forward and backward movement.

Through You / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Saschka Unseld, Lily Baldwin) — Dance is used to inhabit a common mortal story of love born, lived, lost, burned and seemingly gone forever—only to be found again. Cast: Joanna Kotze, Amari Cheatom, Marni Thomas Wood.

Tree / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Milica Zec, Winslow Porter, Key Collaborators: Aleksandar Protic, Jacob Kudsk Steensen) — This virtual experience transforms you into a rainforest tree. With your arms as the branches and body as the trunk, you experience the tree’s growth from a seedling to its fullest form and witness its fate firsthand. THE NEW CLIMATE

Zero Days VR / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Scatter, Yasmin Elayat, Elie Zananiri, Key Collaborators: Mei-Ling Wong, Alexander Porter, James George) — The story of a clandestine mission hatched by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage an underground Iranian nuclear facility told from the perspective of Stuxnet, a sophisticated cyber weapon, and a key NSA informant. Audiences experience the high stakes of cyber warfare placed inside the invisible world of computer viruses. Cast: Joanne Tucker, Eric Chien, Liam O’Murchu, Ralph Langner, Olli Heinonen, David Sanger.

The Sundance Institute New Frontier program is supported by Cindy Harrell Horn and Alan Horn, Lyn and Norman Lear, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Time Warner Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Oculus Story Studio, Nokia OZO, Comcast Ventures, The Fledgling Fund, and David E. Quinney III.

The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Boyhood, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Twenty Feet from Stardom, Life Itself, The Cove, The End of the Tour, Blackfish, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Super Size Me, Dope, Little Miss Sunshine, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Napoleon Dynamite. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2017 Festival sponsors to date include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire®, and Canada Goose; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, AT&T, DIRECTV, and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – American Airlines, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, Google VR, The Hollywood Reporter, IMDb, Jaunt, Kickstarter, Omnicom, Stella Artois® and the University of Utah Health. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Sponsor seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival

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Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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*Featured photo courtesy of Sundance.org

(Source:http://www.sundance.org)

Through You – How A New VR Project Dances with Intimacy

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Lily Baldwin

I didn’t do film school. I was a dancer and started making raw stop-motion shorts when touring with David Byrne. After 150 shows, I came to realize that dance enabled people to understand the music. Unsure what the “strange moves” meant, dance gave them permission to feel something they couldn’t necessarily fit into words. Then is when I first felt the compulsion to turn the electricity of a live performance into an object that could transcend borders, language, and endure time. I turned my hard knock dancer-work-ethic into teaching myself how to edit with stills I’d shot (after a year I realized using a mouse made all the difference). ’Twas pure play – I wasn’t even sure what the “it” of it was supposed to be.

I’ve built this manifesto of sorts that guides my work: Everyone speaks body, it’s a universal alphabet. I define this “visceral cinema” with articulate bodies in space in relationship to a lens. Dance isn’t always a virtuosic “pow”; it’s about bodies that are aware of their edges and use their range. Bodies can’t lie. They are the subtext of us – it’s a subterranean language usually too shy to come out. Bodies speak nuance and contradiction that get lost when spoken. The clincher is fitting a body inside a lens – a practice that is significantly more crafted than grabbing footage of a crazy-cool body. I think it’s a balance of these: Proximity to lens, distinct performance focus, a breathing handheld camera, knowing when/not to crop a body and lock frame, editing as a rhythm tool (cutting on action, thank you Maya Deren), and sound/music as sub-protagonist and dialogue. The final convergence shouldn’t be possible in real life. “Gesamtkunstwerk,“ meaning “total work of art,“ is my favorite word, and a wink to The Ballet Russe.

Co-Directing: Where Differences Unite

A couple years ago my friend Saschka Unseld (Oculus Story Studio) asked me to make something with dance. I was trying to turn the “flattie” into a kinetic playground, so the prospect of having 360 degrees to mess around with was enticing. I could use my years of performing in unconventional spaces and get rid of the proscenium box that now seemed stuck on a wall. We’ve both always edited our own work and agree that nothing is ever completed. He’s a renowned director, cinematographer, and tech maven (the latter not being my forte). We embraced our differences, jumped off our respective cliffs, and trusted that our mutual rigor would spit us out somewhere. We applied and were accepted into the Sundance Institute Jaunt VR Residency.

Lily directing Joanna Kotze and Amari Cheatom with Saschka and DP Dagmar Weaver-Madsen. Photo by Cameron Berton.

This collaboration has been striking. It has enabled me to indulge in imagination without needing to know how to practically realize the fantasy. I play with the parameters of performance and narrative expectation. Saschka is a poet with technology and uses it to capture a distinct human tenderness. He moves like a dancer, engaging his tools like I’ve trained my skeleton. We began collaborating by dancing together – him, as his camera, with me. It’s a unique banter, our unique perfectionisms moving through space. We cantilever off our perspectives, pick up where the other drops off, and take different paths to arrive at the same place. It’s an intuitive collision.

Carob is Not Chocolate and VR is Not Film

What’s disarming (and therefore exciting) about VR, is that we’re asking the viewer to silently enter and intimately witness a world they don’t have much control over (yet). This medium’s power is not about titillating the viewer with a rush of endorphins — we all know adapting film to VR is a mistake. The potency of VR is combining the intensity of immersion with all the tech limitations, and then using these as tools to articulate something that couldn’t exist in any other medium — and should absolutely not be possible in real life.

What is Story in VR?

We both wrestle with linearity. Real life happens in simultaneous layers, which is how we experience time and therefore story. Creating in 360 degrees space was a relief, and has left us thinking of story in terms of “slices of life”. Saschka strongly felt we should remove all filmmaking protocol from our process. He slowed down our script into a series of “peak moments of being” that were strung in a bold tableau. I think of it as walking through a museum and stepping inside a series of paintings (each one a complete world) on the wall. VR demands that users feel culpable, feel responsible, feel powerful, feel alone, and feel close. What is a story that uses this alphabet? These tenets dictate our story experience. Time plays differently because there’s so much to see! Because you’re intimate with the environment, little things become epic. Directing in VR is its own muscle, one we’re exploring and training.

Limitations Are Portals For Discovery

My uncle is hard of hearing and he has the most amazing sense of smell. There’s something about having less of one thing, that mandates solving in unexpected ways. I’m a sucker for detail and frustrated by the “fuzzy” picture in VR. After a test shoot, we decided we couldn’t lose the subtle intimacy of our breathing dancers, Joanna Kotze, Amari Cheatom, and Marni Wood, as they moved from the ‘70s through 2046. So we decided dance had to express emotion graphically. Specified fingers in space made all the difference. Colored light would imbue the emotional details lost in their faces. Inside the crafted costume and production design, reflective fabrics with bold patterns would define the character of a body, bold architectural shapes in the room and strong color shifts would best show time passing.

Amari Cheatom and Marni Wood in Through You. Photo by Cameron Berton.

Rigorous Mistakes Are Innovations

Authentic creativity and innovation come from not having rules and not knowing what things are called. Too much identification keeps us confined to knowing what things should be. When I fall onstage and fuck up, it presents a new choice. (First thing is to keep a straight face and never look like you didn’t mean it.) This impromptu problem-solving and rigorous commitment to follow-through is my background, and we’re finding it’s perfect for VR. On set my freshness to the space had me proposing wild “What if?” and “Can we…?!” questions. Saschka adamantly protected our creative discovery saying that anything that “wasn’t supposed to work,” we’d ignore. “There are no rules, anyone who says differently is jumping the gun,” he said. As our previous experiments had proved, we could move the camera and not make the viewer nauseous. It was more complex than tracking a “fixed focal point” — we found the key is creating a physical connection between the camera/viewer and the subject. I danced with Saschka, and there happened to be a camera between us. Fast cuts? Jump cuts? Frantic changes in pace? It’s all possible, it’s just a force that needs to be properly wielded. The conversation is too often between technology and art. We’re talking about technology and body. We want to use technology to move into uncharted areas that make us reckon with our mortality. Our motto: If we fail, if this ends up a disaster, let’s at least fail upwards.

We’ve thrown caution to the wind, and there’s nothing shy about Through You. We dive head on into a never-ending love story that will play cyclically, hitting the peak moments of intimacy, betrayal, loss, aging, the passing of time — only to be engulfed in flames and then reborn again under water. It’s a racy, bold, and undeniably human experience that pushes the power of immersion and dares us to have a body that loves, feels pleasure, and feels loss. We worked intensely with our DP and longtime collaborator Dagmar Weaver-Madsen – a fierce maker in her own right – and she held us to task, grounded our ideas in practicality, and proposed bold DIY ideas to solve curveballs. She pushed us hard and kept the production glued together with the expertise of Brooke Chapman, our camera supervisor who wielded Jaunt’s incredible camera. It was a dream team. None of Through You would exist without our team’s incredibly hard work.

It’s a hot moment, this VR thing. As a dancer first, it’s a space where I thrive and where I don’t have to be an expert – I just get to be rigorously curious. I feel like I’m a detective and we’re all on a wicked-good scavenger hunt.

Final Thoughts

With such polarizing fear shaping our climate, we’ve called our choices into question. It’s a privilege to do what we do. (“Artist” makes us cringe – we think of ourselves as “lookers,” “finders” and “makers.”) What can we do about what’s happening in our world now? We’ve landed here – how can 360 immersive degrees wake up a body? When we literally feel ourselves and all that VR can do (way more than we think), we remember our impact: we are responsible, we make a difference.

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(Source: http://www.sundance.org)

Sundance Institute Announces Shorts For 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Park City, UT — Sixty-eight short films, announced today, will complement the lineup of longer fare at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The short film slate aligns thematically with other Festival categories, including Midnight and The New Climate, the Festival’s new programming strand highlighting climate change and the environment. The Festival hosts screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort January 19-29.

 

The Institute’s support for short films extends internationally and year-round. Select Festival short films are presented as a traveling program at over 50 theaters in the U.S. and Canada each year, and short films and filmmakers take part in regional Master Classes geared towards supporting emerging shorts-makers in several cities. Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and in partnership with The Guardian and The New York Times’ Op-Docs, provides grants to makers of documentary shorts around the world, including new filmmakers in Cuba featured in a Special Event program at this year’s Festival.

Mike Plante, Senior Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Each year we see more short films from around the country and from more regions around the world, which is exciting as we want to discover new voices to support. This year’s crop captures the full spectrum of what short films can be: emotional, hilarious, horrifying and touching — sometimes all at once.”

Among the shorts the Festival has shown in recent years are World of Tomorrow, Thunder Road, Whiplash, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, Gregory Go Boom and Edmond.

The Short Film program is presented by YouTube.

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

American Paradise / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joe Talbot) — A desperate man in Trump’s America tries to shift his luck with the perfect crime in this story inspired by true events.

Cecile on the Phone / U.S.A. (Director: Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Screenwriters: Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Ellen Greenberg) — Overwhelmed by doubt and confusion after her ex-boyfriend’s return to New York, Cecile embarks on a series of telephone conversations that serve only to distract her from the one conversation she really needs to have.

Come Swim / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kristen Stewart) — This is a diptych of one man’s day, half impressionist and half realist portraits.

GOOD CRAZY / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Rosa Salazar) — A complex chick deals with a vanilla beau, a shitty brunch and a dead coyote all in a Los Angeles day. There’s batshit crazy and then there’s good crazy—she fits somewhere in between.

Hardware / U.S.A. (Director: Stephen Jacobson, Screenwriters: Ellen Stringer, Stephen Jacobson) — An amateur electronic-drum enthusiast travels to a housewares trade show looking to strike up the perfect business partnership. When things don’t go as planned, he finds himself at the mercy of the electronic drumbeat playing in his head.

Hold On / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christine Turner) — Family bonds are tested when a young man is left to care for his grandmother one morning.

Hot Seat / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Anna Kerrigan) — Teenaged Andrea uses a male stripper to gain the respect and admiration of cool girl Daphne in this exploration of coming-of-age sexuality and teen girls’ complex relationships, based on a true story.

I Know You from Somewhere / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Fitzgerald) — A young woman incurs the wrath of the internet after she inadvertently becomes a viral sensation.

Kaiju Bunraku / U.S.A. (Directors: Lucas Leyva, Jillian Mayer, Screenwriter: Lucas Leyva) — Here’s a day in the life of a husband and wife living in a world of giant monsters.

Laps / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Charlotte Wells) — On a routine morning, a woman on a crowded New York City subway is sexually assaulted in plain sight.

LostFound / U.S.A. (Director: Shakti Bhagchandani, Screenwriters: Shakti Bhagchandani, Emre Gulcan) — This story portrays a day in the life of a woman in the Nation of Islam.

Lucia, Before and After / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Anu Valia) — After traveling 200 miles, a young woman waits out Texas’s state-mandated 24-hour waiting period before her abortion can proceed.

New Neighbors / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: E.G. Bailey) — How far will a mother go to protect her children?

Night Shift / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marshall Tyler) — Get a glimpse into a day in the life of a bathroom attendant in a Los Angeles nightclub.

Rubber Heart / U.S.A. (Director: Lizzy Sanford, Screenwriters: Lizzy Sanford, Anna Cordell) — After a painful dry spell, a woman attempts to have a one-night stand.

Shinaab / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.) — A young Anishinaabe man struggles with his place in the inner city of Minneapolis.

Toru / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Jonathan Minard, Scott Rashap) — An infant’s life is transformed by a new technology.

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

5 Films About Technology / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Peter Huang) — Take a satirical look at the dumber side of technology.

And so we put goldfish in the pool. / Japan (Director and screenwriter: Makoto Nagahisa) — One summer day, 400 goldfish were found in the swimming pool of a secondary school. This is a story about the four 15-year-old girls who put them there.

And The Whole Sky Fit In The Dead Cow’s Eye / Chile, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Francisca Alegría) — Emeteria is visited by the ghost of her patrón, Teodoro. She believes he has come to take her to the afterlife—but he has more devastating news.

Dadyaa — The Woodpeckers of Rotha / Nepal, France (Directors and screenwriters: Pooja Gurung, Bibhusan Basnet) — Atimaley and Devi’s village is haunted by memories. When a dear friend leaves the village without saying goodbye, the old couple faces a dilemma: keep living with the memories or leave the village for good?

Dawn of the Deaf / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Rob Savage) — When a strange sound wipes out the hearing population, a small group of deaf people must band together to survive.

Dear Mr. Shakespeare / United Kingdom (Director: Shola Amoo, Screenwriter: Phoebe Boswell) — An exploration of Shakespeare’s intentions when writing Othello explores the play’s racial themes in historical and contemporary settings, and draws wider parallels between immigration and blackness in the UK today.

The Geneva Convention / France (Director and screenwriter: Benoit Martin) — As Hakim is waiting for the bus after class, he is caught in a vendetta between teenagers. He’s not exactly keen to be involved, but can he avoid it?

HEAT / Poland (Directors and screenwriters: Agata Trzebuchowska, Mateusz Pacewicz) — A young boy does an unusual favor for a friend, assuming his identity to visit his senile grandmother. The woman takes him for a walk, and tells him about the biggest mystery of her life.

Kao Shi (A Test) / China (Director and screenwriter: Zuxiang Zhao) — In a small-town high school, days before the college entrance exam, teacher Chen Jun finds out that the father of his most promising student has died in a mining accident. Telling him—or not—bears heavy consequences.

MappaMundi / Luxembourg, Austria (Director and screenwriter: Bady Minck) — Through the eyes of cosmic cartographers, the viewer takes a voyage through 950 million years of Earth history and 15,000 years of cartography. This accelerated journey visualizes the change in our world—a change unnoticeable in a single lifetime.

Mare Nostrum / France, Syrian Arab Republic (Directors: Rana Kazkaz, Anas Khalaf, Screenwriter: Rana Kazkaz) — On a Mediterranean shore, a Syrian father makes a decision that puts his daughter’s life at risk.

Pedro / Portugal (Directors and screenwriters: André Santos, Marco Leão) — Pedro gets home at dawn. Before the young boy falls asleep, his lonely mother drags him to the beach.

Slapper / Australia (Director: Luci Schroder, Screenwriters: Luci Schroder, Sam West) — A broke and rebellious teen navigates a suburban wasteland, hustling money for the morning-after pill—before it’s too late.

What Tears Us Apart / France (Director and screenwriter: Wei Hu) — A Chinese couple visits the daughter they gave up for adoption 30 years ago. While meeting the French adoptive parents, language barriers become apparent and the birth mother’s hidden emotions rise to the surface.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS

Alone / U.S.A. (Director: Garrett Bradley) — This investigation into the layers of mass incarceration and its shaping of the modern black American family is seen through the eyes of a single mother in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bayard & Me / U.S.A. (Director: Matt Wolf) — Walter Naegle’s boyfriend, Bayard Rustin, was a famous civil rights activist 30 years Walter’s senior. In the 1980s, Bayard decided to adopt Walter for legal protection. This love story is about a time when gay marriage was inconceivable.

Close Ties / Poland (Director: Zofia Kowalewska) — Barbara and Zdzislaw will soon celebrate their 45th anniversary—despite their constant bickering, and the fact that Zdzislaw spent eight of those years living with another woman. This is a portrait of a relationship that, somewhat inexplicably, perseveres.

Deer Squad: The Movie / U.S.A. (Directors: Pipus Larsen, Kenneth Gug, Scott J. Ross) — Kelvin Peña, a charismatic 17-year-old from rural Pennsylvania, shares his story of going viral after befriending a group of wild deer in his backyard.

The Diver / Mexico (Director: Esteban Arrangoiz) — Julio César Cu Cámara is the chief diver in the Mexico City sewer system. His job is to repair pumps and dislodge garbage that flows into the gutters to maintain the circulation of sewage waters. THE NEW CLIMATE

Fish Story / United Kingdom (Director: Charlie Lyne) — Behind a fishy tale lies this search for the truth.

Hairat / Ethiopia (Director: Jessica Beshir) — One man’s nightly ritual brings solace to the lovelorn of Harar.

Legal Smuggling with Christine Choy / U.S.A. (Director: Lewie Kloster) — Academy Award–nominated documentary filmmaker Christine Choy undergoes an adventure of wild proportions when she accidentally smuggles cigarettes.

My Father’s Tools / Canada (Director: Heather Condo) — Stephen continues producing traditional baskets to honor his father and thus finds peace in his studio as he connects with the man who taught him the craft.

Project X / U.S.A. (Directors: Laura Poitras, Henrik Moltke) — A top secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to the site of a hidden partnership. Based on NSA documents, this film reveals the inner workings of a windowless skyscraper in Manhattan.

The Rabbit Hunt / U.S.A. (Director: Patrick Bresnan) — On the weekends during the harvest season, 17-year-old Chris and his family hunt rabbits in the sugarcane fields of the Florida Everglades.

Ten Meter Tower / Sweden (Directors: Maximilien Van Aertryck, Axel Danielson) — People who have never been up a 10-meter diving tower must choose whether to jump or climb down in this entertaining study of people in a vulnerable position.

Tough / United Kingdom (Director: Jennifer Zheng) — New light is shed on childhood cultural misunderstandings when a Chinese mother and her British-born daughter speak as adults for the first time. Some things can only be understood with maturity.

Visions of an Island / U.S.A. (Director: Sky Hopinka) — Indigenous and foreign presences coexist on an Alaskan island in the center of the Bering Sea. THE NEW CLIMATE

Waiting for Hassana / Nigeria (Director: Ifunanya Maduka) — In 2014, 276 teenage girls came together for exams in Chibok, Nigeria—by dawn, nearly all had disappeared, and their school was burned to the ground. Jessica, an escapee, shares her haunting account of a friendship violently interrupted by Boko Haram.

White Riot: London / United Kingdom (Director: Rubika Shah) — In 1977, immigration divides Britain. What happens when a punk fanzine challenges the status quo?

MIDNIGHT SHORT FILMS

Do No Harm / New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Roseanne Liang) — 3:00 a.m., 1980s Hongjing: In an aging private hospital, a single-minded surgeon is forced to break her physician’s oath when violent gangsters storm in to stop a crucial operation.

Fucking Bunnies / Finland (Director: Teemu Niukkanen, Screenwriters: Antti Toivonen, Teemu Niukkanen) — Raimo’s comfortable, middle-class bubble is burst when a Satan-worshipping sex cult moves in next door.

Hot Winter: A film by Dick Pierre / U.S.A. (Director: Jack Henry Robbins, Screenwriters: Jack Henry Robbins, Nunzio Randazzo) — One of the first films in American cinema to address climate change, Hot Winter: A film by Dick Pierre, was also a hardcore porno. All sex scenes have been removed as to not distract from the conscious message. THE NEW CLIMATE

A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky (Un ciel bleu presque parfait) / France (Director and screenwriter: Quarxx) — You might think that Simon lives a monotonous life, but you would be wrong—contrary to appearances, he doesn’t live alone among the ruins of an old farm. Between kidnapper and guardian angel, he never takes his eyes off his roommate.

Pussy / Poland (Director and screenwriter: Renata Gasiorowska) — Alone at home one evening, a young girl decides to have a solo pleasure session—but not everything goes according to plan.

The Robbery / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Cummings, Screenwriters: Jim Cummings, Dustin Hahn) — Crystal robs a liquor store—it goes pretty OK.

Summer’s Puke Is Winter’s Delight / Japan (Director and screenwriter: Sawako Kabuki) — Painful events become memories over time. Still, we vomit and eat again. Life is eco.

ANIMATED SHORT FILMS

The Bald Future / France (Director and screenwriter: Paul Cabon) — Being a bald man sucks. Knowing you’ll become one is worse.

Black Holes / U.S.A., France (Directors and screenwriters: David Nicolas, Laurent Nicolas) — Dave is about to lead the first mission to Mars when he’s teamed up with a sentient melon, who claims to be the reincarnation of a fashion designer, upstaging his big moment and driving him to the brink of madness.

Broken – The Women’s Prison at Hoheneck / Germany (Directors: Volker Schlecht, Alexander Lahl, Screenwriters: Alexander Lahl, Max Mönch) — This animated documentary about Hoheneck, the main women’s prison in former East Germany, is based on original interviews with former inmates. It’s a film about political imprisonment, forced labor and enormous profits on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

Drawn & Recorded: Teen Spirit / U.S.A. (Director: Drew Christie, Screenwriters: Drew Christie, Bill Flanagan) — This is the story behind one of the most iconic songs ever written, animated in the style of a pop-up book.

How’s your prostate? / France (Directors: Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset, Screenwriters: Jeanne Paturle, Cécile Rousset, Cécile Mille) — One friend tells the other about the very strange time when, beside a swimming pool, she learned about her father’s prostate, his erectile function and his nighttime fantasies.

It’s a Date / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Zachary Zezima) — This film explores miscommunication, perceptions and vulnerability in the modern world. Everyone is an alien at first.

Jonas and the Sea / Netherlands (Director: Marlies Van der Wel, Screenwriters: Ruben Picavet, Marlies Van der Wel) — Jonas has dreamed of living in the sea all his life, but it’s impossible. Or is it?

The Laughing Spider / Japan (Director: Keiichi Tanaami) — The early childhood memory of aerial attacks leaves a lasting impression, with strong stimulus and disquiet.

LOVE / France, Hungary (Director and screenwriter: Réka Bucsi)— Abstract haiku-like situations reveal the changing atmosphere on one planet caused by a meteoric impact in a distant solar system. Inhabitants on this pulsing planet become one with each other, in various ways, in this three-chapter exploration of affection.

Nighthawk / Slovenia, Croatia (Director: Špela Čadež, Screenwriters: Gregor Zorc, Špela Čadež) — Attempting to remove an unresponsive badger from a dark road, a police patrol soon realizes that the animal is not dead but rather dead drunk. Things take an even stranger turn when the creature wakes up.

Nutag — Homeland / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Alisi Telengut) — This hand-painted visual poem explores the ideas of diaspora, homeland and the mass deportations of the Kalmyk people during World War II.

Summer Camp Island / U.S.A., South Korea (Director and screenwriter: Julia Pott) — Oscar and his best friend, Hedgehog, just got dropped off at summer camp. Once the parents leave the island, the strangeness lurking beneath the surface is revealed—aliens exist, horses become unicorns and there are monsters under the bed.

Trumpet Man / Hong Kong (Director and screenwriter: Emily Wong) — A turntable springs out a woman named Avocado; her instinct creates a man called Soul. Passion swings both, and an uncertain madness strikes Soul heavily. Seeds of passion breed conflict among five men, eventually leading Soul to a deeper understanding of life.

Victor & Isolina / U.S.A. (Director: William Caballero) — Creatively visualized through 3D printing, two elderly Latinos embark on a resonating he said/she said account of the events that led them to live separately after more than 50 quirky and stressful years together.

One film announced today was funded through a Kickstarter campaign: Black Holes.

The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Boyhood, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Twenty Feet from Stardom, Life Itself, The Cove, The End of the Tour, Blackfish, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Super Size Me, Dope, Little Miss Sunshine, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Napoleon Dynamite. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2017 Festival sponsors to date include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire®, and Canada Goose; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, AT&T, DIRECTV, and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – American Airlines, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, Google VR, The Hollywood Reporter, IMDb, Jaunt, Kickstarter, Omnicom, Stella Artois® and the University of Utah Health. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Sponsor seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival

sundance_logoSundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home.

New Frontier Showcases Storytelling’s Future at 2017 Sundance Film Festival

Park City, UT — Now in its second decade of breaking new ground at the forefront of art and technology, Sundance Institute has curated an in-depth vision of storytelling’s future for the 2017 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, January 19-29 in Park City. The full slate — including storyworlds in Augmented Reality headsets, projection-mapped acrobatics, a VR beauty salon producing neuroscience data via the internet of things and a host of socialized, interactive and immersively haptic VR story experiences — stands as a testament to New Frontier’s expertise in identifying, developing and amplifying the most relevant and high-impact modes of tech-enabled narrative.

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Live performances, a feature film and augmented reality experiences will complement a total of 20 VR experiences and 11 installations, showcased between three venues in Park City. The historic Claim Jumper will host seven immersive installations focused on cross-disciplinary story construction and and two video works; the VR Palace will feature 15 VR experiences alongside additional installations; and the VR Bar will offer a lineup of mobile VR. Three projects are part of the Festival’s The New Climate program, which highlights the environment and climate change. More New Frontier projects will be announced in the coming weeks.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “Every year, more artists are drawn to the vanguard of art and technology: independent, creative storytellers have more tools to break the mold than ever before. For the last decade-plus, New Frontier’s vision has evolved and grown with this expanding palette, to curate and showcase the most exciting new work made with the latest advances.”

Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and Chief Curator, New Frontier, said, “In an era that has recalibrated economies, redefined social realms and rewired the connection between the individual and the world, we must also reimagine what it is to be human. Through Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and various crafted immersive experiences, New Frontier this year challenges the very nature of perception and what we consider to be ‘reality.’”

Through New Frontier’s history, Sundance Institute has been at the forefront of new media storytelling, recognized as a pioneer of story-based, tech-enabled experiences; New Frontier alumni include Doug Aitken, James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Chris Milk, Nonny de la Peña, Pipilotti Rist and Jennifer Steinkamp. The Institute’s support extends well beyond its curated slate of Festival projects, and includes the annual New Frontier Story Lab, which offers mentorship and development opportunities for new media storytellers, New Frontier Day Labs in cities nationwide and the New Frontier Residency Program, which combines the might of partners such as MIT Media Lab’s Social Computing Group and Jaunt Studios to drive groundbreaking data-visualization and VR storytelling tools, training and resources to independent artists.

2016 marked New Frontier’s 10th Anniversary, with celebrations at MoMA in New York City, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

In addition to the New Frontier program announced today, films in U.S. and World Competitions and NEXT have been announced and are listed at sundance.org/festival.

FILMS AND PERFORMANCE

18 Black Girls / Boys Ages 1-18 Who Have Arrived at the Singularity and Are Thus Spiritual Machines: $X in an Edition of $97 Quadrillion / U.S.A. (Director and writer: Terence Nance) — In this pair of performances, the artist Googles the phrase “one-year-old black boy” and “one-year-old black girl,” ascending in age to 18, allowing Google’s “popular searches” algorithm to populate what words will follow.

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? / U.S.A. (Director: Travis Wilkerson) — This documentary murder mystery about the artist’s own family is a Southern Gothic torn apart and reassembled. Journeying straight into the black heart of a family and country, this multimedia performance explores a forgotten killing by the artist’s great-grandfather—a white Southern racist—of a black man in lower Alabama.

World Without End (No Reported Incidents) / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Jem Cohen) — Close observations around Southend-on-Sea, a small English town along the Thames estuary, reveal not only everyday streets, everyday birds, unflagging tides, mud and sky, but also prize-winning Indian curries, an encyclopedic universe of hats and a nearly lost world of proto-punk music.

INSTALLATIONS

A selection of single-channel works by the collective A Normal Working Day / Switzerland — A Normal Working Day is an artist collective consisting of the installation artist Zimoun and the choreographers and dancers Delgado Fuchs (Marco Delgado, Nadine Fuchs). Formed from the bodies of the two performers, these splendidly hypnotic projections are visual rabbit holes that shimmer with a presence that is larger than the sum of their parts.

Full Turn / Switzerland (Lead Artist: Benjamin Muzzin) — This installation explores the notion of the third dimension with the desire to get out of the usual frame of a flat screen. The rotation of two tablets creates a three-dimensional, animated sequence that can be seen at 360 degrees, unlike any other type of display.

Heartcorps: Riders of the Storyboard / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: dandypunk, Key Collaborators: Darin Basile, Jo Cattell) — Follow the story of Particle, a two-dimensional light being, as you walk through the pages of a giant, immersive comic book. Hand-drawn illustrations come to life around you using projection-mapping technology, while high-level Cirque du Soleil performers interact with animated characters in this “digital light poem.” Cast: Ekenah Claudin, Elon Höglund, Youssef El Toufali, Jenni Gamas.

Heroes / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Melissa Painter, Key Collaborators: Tim Dillon, Thomas Wester, Jason Schugardt, Laura Gorenstein Miller) — The setting: An extravagant movie palace where silent films were shown. One dance—fiercely athletic and romantic—invites you inside. Through both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality headsets, the story comes off the screen, challenging you to move, navigate heroic shifts in perspective and scale and reach out to touch the experience. Cast: Helios Dance Theater, Stephanie Maxim, Chris Stanley, Melissa Sandvig.

Journey to the Center of the Natural Machine / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Daniella Segal, Daniel Lazo, Eran May-Raz, Charles Niu) — From stone axe to super-computer, our brain’s evolution has been guided by our tools, evolving it into the most complicated object in the known universe. Explore a holographic brain with a friend on the Meta 2 Augmented Reality Headset, and rebuild your relationship to the Natural Machine.

NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aguilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal, Nitzan Bartov) — A three-part exploration of black women and the roles they play in technology, society and culture—including speculative products, immersive experiences and neurocognitive impact research. Using fashion, cosmetics and the economy of beauty as entry points, the project illuminates issues of privacy, transparency, identity and perception.

Pleasant Places / United Kingdom (Lead Artist: Quayola) — A return to, and a modern elaboration upon, Vincent Van Gogh’s Provence landscapes, this series of digital paintings interrogates and reframes concepts of representation and perception through image manipulation and augmented reality. Using bucolic and contemplative images, juxtaposed with raw data visualization, this project suggests alternate modes of visual synthesis.

Synesthesia Suit: Rez Infinite and Crystal Vibes / Japan (Lead Artists: Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Ayahiko Sato, Kouta Minamizawa) — A full-body 26-sensor suit combines audiovisual and vibrotactile textures to push technology-mediated sensory frontiers. Experience a multisensory climax with pounding beats and stringed instruments in acclaimed PlayStation 4/PS VR game Rez Infinite, or feel vibrations of candy-colored psychedelic sound rippling through the Crystal Vibes universe.

VIRTUAL REALITY

ASTEROIDS! / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Eric Darnell) — From the director of Madagascar comes Baobab’s VR animation. Journey the cosmos aboard the spaceship of Mac and Cheez, an alien duo so mission-focused they forget what’s important in life. It’s up to you to show them what really matters. Cast: Eric Darnell.

Chasing Coral: The VR Experience / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Jeff Orlowski) — Zackary Rago, a passionate scuba diver and researcher, documented the unprecedented 2016 coral bleaching event at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef with this exclusive underwater VR experience. THE NEW CLIMATE

Chocolate / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Tyler Hurd) — This VR experience for the song “Chocolate” by Giraffage sets you in a cat-centric world of sparkling, colorful chrome with a tribe of people doing a ritualistic dance just for you, their robot god, to provide them with their precious resource, cute lil’ chrome kitties.

Dear Angelica / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Saschka Unseld, Key Collaborators: Angela Petrella, Wesley Allsbrook, Maxwell Planck, Ryan Thomas) — This project is a journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember lost ones and, even though they are gone, what remains of the ones we loved. Cast: Geena Davis, Mae Whitman.

Hue / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Nicole McDonald, Key Collaborators: KC Austin) — This is an immersive and visually driven interactive film about a man who has lost the ability to see color. Participants reawaken the protagonist’s sense of wonder and imagination through empathetic action as color and connection return to his world view. Cast: David Strathairn, Benedikt Negro.

If Not Love / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Rosemarie Troche, Key Collaborator: Bruce Allan) — A conflicted Christian man carries out a mass shooting. In his past: a same-sex hookup and self-loathing. What if events had unfolded differently? What if his partner had convinced him to face himself? Could that simple act change the course of history? Cast: Zachary Booth, Mitchell Winter.

Life of Us / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin, Pharrell Williams, Key Collaborators: Megan Ellison, McKenzie Stubbert, Jona Dinges) — This shared VR journey tells the complete story of the evolution of life on Earth.

Melting Ice / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Danfung Dennis) — We take viewers on a transcendent exploration into the devastating consequences of climate change on Greenland’s ice sheet. Stand under collapsing glaciers, next to raging rivers of ice melt and witness rising sea levels—all visceral warnings of our planet’s future. THE NEW CLIMATE

Mindshow / U.S.A.(Lead Artists: Gil Baron, Jonnie Ross, Adam Levin, Key Collaborators: Jonnie Ross, Gil Baron) — Make VR cartoons with your body and voice. Teleport into different characters and act out all the parts. Create with your friends by passing scenes back and forth, then share your shows in VR and on social media. Cast: Dana Gould.

Miyubi / Canada (Lead Artists: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Key Collaborator: Owen Burke) — Experience love and obsolescence as a Japanese toy robot, gifted to a child in the home of a fractured family in 1982 suburban America. Cast: Jeff Goldblum, P.J. Byrne, Emily Bergl, Owen Vaccaro, Richard Riehle, Ted Sutherland, Tatum Kensington Bailey.

Orbital Vanitas / Australia (Lead Artist: Shaun Gladwell, Key Collaborator: Leo Faber, ) — This virtual reality experience presents a surreal sci-fi mystery and meditation on death. Initially placed in Earth’s orbit, participants soon notice an enigmatic form floating toward them. What takes place next makes perfect use of the VR format.

Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Nonny de la Peña) — In August 2014, Daniel Ashley Pierce’s family verbally and physically accosted him before kicking him out of the house because they disapproved of his sexuality. Built directly around audio Daniel recorded from that encounter, this project includes thoughts of hope and triumph from Daniel and three other LGBTQ youth. Cast: Daniel Ashley Pierce, Kyle Wills, Julene Renee, Cyntia Domenzain, Angel VanStark, Phoebe VanCleefe.

The Sky is a Gap / U.S.A. (Lead Artist: Rachel Rossin) — The viewer is allowed to precisely move time with space by the use of a positionally tracked headset. Existing in the physical and virtual realms, the installation depicts a pyroclastic explosion inspired by Zabriskie Point, where the scene’s progress is physically mapped to the participant’s forward and backward movement.

Through You / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Saschka Unseld, Lily Baldwin) — Dance is used to inhabit a common mortal story of love born, lived, lost, burned and seemingly gone forever—only to be found again. Cast: Joanna Kotze, Amari Cheatom, Marni Thomas Wood.

Tree / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Milica Zec, Winslow Porter, Key Collaborators: Aleksandar Protic, Jacob Kudsk Steensen) — This virtual experience transforms you into a rainforest tree. With your arms as the branches and body as the trunk, you experience the tree’s growth from a seedling to its fullest form and witness its fate firsthand. THE NEW CLIMATE

Zero Days VR / U.S.A. (Lead Artists: Scatter, Yasmin Elayat, Elie Zananiri, Key Collaborators: Mei-Ling Wong, Alexander Porter, James George) — The story of a clandestine mission hatched by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage an underground Iranian nuclear facility told from the perspective of Stuxnet, a sophisticated cyber weapon, and a key NSA informant. Audiences experience the high stakes of cyber warfare placed inside the invisible world of computer viruses. Cast: Joanne Tucker, Eric Chien, Liam O’Murchu, Ralph Langner, Olli Heinonen, David Sanger.

The Sundance Institute New Frontier program is supported by Cindy Harrell Horn and Alan Horn, Lyn and Norman Lear, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Time Warner Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Oculus Story Studio, Nokia OZO, Comcast Ventures, The Fledgling Fund, and David E. Quinney III.

The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Boyhood, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Twenty Feet from Stardom, Life Itself, The Cove, The End of the Tour, Blackfish, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Super Size Me, Dope, Little Miss Sunshine, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Napoleon Dynamite. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2017 Festival sponsors to date include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, Chase Sapphire®, and Canada Goose; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, AT&T, DIRECTV, and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – American Airlines, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, Google VR, The Hollywood Reporter, IMDb, Jaunt, Kickstarter, Omnicom, Stella Artois® and the University of Utah Health. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Sponsor seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival

sundance_logo

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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(Source: http://www.sundance.org)

 

Chattanooga-produced film ‘Hunter Gatherer’ lands national distribution deal

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Sean Phipps

A film produced in Chattanooga will receive a national theatrical release following a distribution deal.

hunter-gatherer-posterHunter Gatherer starring Andre Royo (The Wire, Empire) debuted at the 2016 South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival to rave reviews. The film was written and directed by Josh Locy—a Bryan College grad—and Chattanooga’s Mama Bear Studios served as the executive producer, along with Unbundled Underground in association with Rough House Pictures.

National distributors The Orchard acquired digital rights for the film. Rough House Pictures will release the film in New York City and Los Angeles beginning Nov. 18, with a theatrical rollout to follow.

Hunter Gatherer follows Royo in his portrayal of Ashley Douglas, a man recently released from prison who finds out that everyone and everything has moved on without him. He attempts to win back his girlfriend, enlisting the aid of a fellow loner (George Sample III) as a business partner.

Royo garnered the Jury Award at SXSW for Best Actor.

Read a previous Nooga.com story on Hunter Gatherer here.

Isaiah Smallman, a producer of the film and co-founder of Chattanooga’s Mama Bear Studios, said a screening of the film in Chattanooga will take place near the beginning of 2017. In the meantime, he said the deal with The Orchard will open the door to new possibilities for the company.

“Since winning the award at SXSW, we’ve been playing lots of different festivals around the country, but we still didn’t know exactly what the next step was for distribution,” he said. “We had several small offers, but none of them were really all that enticing because you often end up sacrificing a huge percentage of the upside without much upfront money or hustle from the distributor to justify it.”

Smallman said he and the other producers—April Lamb, Sara Murphy, Michael Covino and Locy—thought about self-distributing the film, but that would take an enormous amount of time and relationship building to pull off.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled about landing distribution with an awesome company like The Orchard,” Smallman said. “They have all the right relationships with places like Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, cable VOD and all the other buyers that we will be targeting. And they know a lot about getting great small films like ours to the audiences who will love them.”

The film will be released on digital platforms in January. Hunter Gatherer is the first film produced by Mama Bear Studios from start to finish. Smallman said he hopes to continue championing Chattanooga as a film town.

“Cine-Rama and the Chattanooga Film Festival are doing an amazing job of creating a place for independent films to be screened, but we’re hoping in the next few years to make Chattanooga a destination for super-successful writers, directors and producers as well,” he said. “We’re constantly repping Chattanooga to people … and encouraging them to make their home base here, even if they might still have to produce their films elsewhere from time to time.”

Mama Bear Studios currently has 15 projects in various stages of completion, according to Smallman. Projects include two small indie drama films, a comedy TV pilot, two thriller features, two romantic comedies and more.

The studio previously released Low and Behold, a partnership with the Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices program. The film follows the story of a young insurance claims adjuster in post-Katrina New Orleans who risks his job to help a local man find his dog.

Mama Bear Studios was founded by Smallman and his business partner, Drew Belz.

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(Source: http://www.nooga.com)