Fri. Dec 3rd, 2021


In the years to come Sundance Film Festival Park City, Utah, will mark a significant comeback later Private festivals were canceled last year. But Sundance is not letting go of the digital platforms used to stream film Bring cinephiles into a VR social hub Last January. As part of its New Frontier exhibition, Sundance plans to expand the spaceship, its virtual venue where participants can chat together and explore VR and mixed reality art installations.

In an effort to connect Sundance’s individual participants with its global online audience, the festival will also launch a “biodigital bridge” in Park City. Shari Frillot, senior programmer at Sundance and chief curator at New Frontier, described it as a human-scale screen where physical and digital participants would be able to communicate with each other. Developed together with Submerged studio active theory, Bridge will offer basic chat support, but it’s mostly a way for Sundance-passengers to see how other participants enjoy the event.

Sundance New Frontier Curator Shari Frillot.

Sundance Film Festival

Frillot says New Frontier is pushing the idea of ​​a biodigital experience Several years now, Mostly through an exploration of how technology can intersect our lives. Think about how an app like Uber or even Google Maps has reshaped the way we navigate physical spaces. But now that the epidemic has forced us to rely more on technology than ever before – Sundance would not have been possible without it last year, after all – the term seems virtually famous. It’s more than just a rumor: Frillot says he’s interested in exploring technology that best serves humanity or Team Human. Media theorist Douglas Rashkoff put it.

Last year, I found out Sundance’s online platform last year The festival should be an interesting way to explore and interact with fans. The key to the experience is the spaceship mentioned above, which allows participants to think together on a computer and a VR headset. On a laptop or desktop, this is similar to a stripe down version of Second Life. You walk around as a simple avatar, and if you choose, you can also flip to your webcam, which fills your avatar’s head with a live video feed. Since the Sundance platform is built on WebXR, a way to deliver virtual reality on the web, you can slip into any headset and access the same place in VR by visiting the Sundance website.

Sundance Film Festival 2022 New Frontier

Sundance Film Festival

To compare SXSW’s VR platform, Which was nice to look at but mostly felt like a virtual wasteland, it’s clear that Sundance got exactly something last year. Last year’s Sundance made a special impression as I watched many of my Cinephile friends on VR, after being separated for most of 2020. So for next year, Frillot says, the festival is moving forward. The spaceship will be upgraded to a new cinema house, where participants on computers and VR headsets will be able to watch live streamed events from Park City, as well as room-scale discussions.

On the ground, there will also be a new space called Sundance’s The Craft, which will allow individual participants to view New Frontier exhibitions, artist discussions and panels. There will also be VR headsets to use, though the festival encourages people to bring their own gear if they get it. Sundance has not yet finalized its list of new frontier exhibitions, but Frillot tells me that many artists are optimizing for Oculus Quest 2, so fest-travelers can experience their work without having to connect to a PC. But there will probably still be some parts that claim a serious VR rig. Sundance’s famous Egyptian theater will also host some New Frontier performances, both on the ground and practically in spaceships.



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