Virtual Cinema

Mar 15, 2017

11:00am – 6:00pm CT

What is it like in solitary confinement? In “After Solitary” you’ll go inside the Maine State Prison to hear the harrowing story of one man’s time in solitary and what happened when he got out. Kenny Moore was just 18 years old when he first went to prison. He has spent much of the last 20 years behind bars--years at a stretch in solitary confinement. In this immersive, walk-around VR documentary, Kenny recounts what life was like for him – how he coped, “fished” contraband to other inmates and fought guards during cell extractions. In 2011, Maine State Prison started reforming its solitary confinement policies and practices. In this VR experience, we explore the lasting impact on Kenny.

Two very similar children. Two very different opportunities at life. Areli and Anderson have been close friends since they were young. Growing up together in the remote village of Tactic in Central Guatemala, the children attend the same school, work in the same fields, and, of course, play together. While their lives seem very similar, there’s one major difference: Anderson has access to electricity; Areli does not. Anderson’s grandmother and a village leader, Ilse Lopez reflects on the changes she’s seen in Anderson’s life since receiving solar energy. "Amor de Abuela" is an Oculus VR for Good project in conjunction with Global Brightlight Foundation.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. "BattleScar" is a linear film. The story is structured around a year in the journal of Lupe, a Nuyorican punk kid in 1978 Lower East Side in Manhattan. The audience navigates the story turning the pages of the book. Every page comes to life with pop-up dioramas completed with CG animation. Memories will come to life as we relive Lupe’s journal thru her own eyes, while we follow her relationship with Debbie, who is like her, a runaway kid living in the punk scene of the Bowery. We are living through challenging times. More than ever we need stories where women are the driving force.

"Behind the Fence" looks inside the 5x5 square mile camp that imprisons the Rohingya muslim minority in Myanmar, and investigates the extremist Buddhists who propagate virulent anti-Muslim sentiment across the country. "Behind the Fence" profiles Abul, a husband who does everything he can to try to help his sick wife, Barbulu, a twelve-year-old boy whose future is diminished due to the constraints of living in this open air prison, and U Wirathu, the Buddhist leader of the 969 movement who stokes public support for restrictive laws that have rendered the Rohingya stateless in their own land. This camp is home to the most persecuted people on earth.

Buzz Aldrin is an American astronaut best known for piloting the Lunar Module on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, and the second person to set foot on the moon. While it was a historic achievement, Dr. Aldrin wants to be remembered for more than just "kicking up moon dust." He wants his legacy to include laying the groundwork for a permanent human settlement on Mars, and he has a plan. This world’s first holographic ‘archival VR’ project, created by 8i, will give viewers a unique opportunity to ‘meet’ the astronaut through his hologram today, and will give future generations a chance to experience his legacy, long after mankind has made the journey to Mars.

"Chocolate," set to the song of the same name by Giraffage, is a wondrous VR music experience created by Tyler Hurd and presented by Viacom NEXT. In this psychedelic cat-centric world, your hands transform into cannons that spray cute, colorful chrome kittens onto a circle of people performing a ritualistic dance just for you, their robot god. You shoot giant shock waves into the vast, liquid-like landscape while a herd of giant cat heads migrate in the distance, and a massive tribal chief cat celebrates by spraying champagne. Everything is shiny and glimmering, smooth and sexy, cute and strange, overwhelming and astonishing. Coming soon for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. DEAR PIGEON MAN we explore the pigeon post office. But people hardly seem to send letters by pigeon anymore, they did however send a lot of parcels. Unfortunately pigeons are ill-equipped to be delivering those, which is why the pigeon boy dresses up as a postal pigeon to help out the pigeons. His father, consumed by keeping the pigeon post office afloat, finally pays attention to his son. Unfortunately this is just because he thinks his son is really a giant postal pigeon.

With "DeathTolls Experience," up-and-coming Iranian virtual reality artist Ali Eslami is seeking to resensitize the general public to the reality behind the abstract statistics on the hundreds of thousands of deaths in the Middle East. When news media bombard us with facts and figures every day, they gradually lose their emotional urgency. Eventually, our brains automatically filter out this dry “data reality,” even though it is crying out for our attention. The war in Syria is a good example. Eslami takes this psychological effect as the starting point for an investigation of how virtual reality can not only restore empathy, but also provide a context to news reports.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. DECAY THEORY is an Episodic Sci-Fi Experience, that follows SuRei, a young girl, who lives alone on a spaceship except for FeiMa, an ancient grandmother-figure and enormous bio-mechanical horror. SuRei and FeiMa explore the galaxy, seeking out remnants of a long lost human civilization. But while SuRei hopes to find life and adventure among the stars, she will find the greatest mysteries - and dangers - lie in her own past. The series will explore themes of love, loss, fate, family and how difficult decisions make us the people that we are.

Brace yourself for an ethereal and fantastical visual journey that takes you up in the air with daring dives, and under water for stunning aquatic sequences. Featuring Cirque du Soleil’s world famous “O” at Bellagio, DREAMS OF “O” captures a surreal and amphibious tableau of whimsical characters unlike any other. For this collaboration between Samsung GearVR, Félix & Paul Studios, and Cirque du Soleil, a high-speed under- water VR camera was built from scratch by the studio to capture the complex and intricate water choreographies featured in this experience; the first camera of its kind within the virtual reality medium.

The atoms in our bodies were forged inside the furnaces of stars, therefore it is true, we literally are stardust. "Fistful of Stars" creates an immersive encounter with the cosmos that deepens our understanding of the Universe. Through Virtual Reality, viewers are transported thousands of lights years away as they discover that humans and the stars are connected. "Fistful of Stars" is accompanied by The Hubble Cantata, a composition featuring a 30 piece ensemble, a 100 person choir, and two stars from the Metropolitan Opera. On this journey to the stars, audiences find themselves lost, together floating through the cosmos.

"In Harmony” takes a look at two teenagers whose lives have been enriched and transformed through inspirational music programs. In LA most public schools have cut instrumental music training but for kids from neighborhoods with fewer resources and more challenges, music training can be the key to staying out of trouble and going on to college. "In Harmony" is an Oculus VR for Good project in conjunction with Harmony Project.

Experience a shared VR journey that tells the complete story of the evolution of life on earth. From protozoa to tadpole, dinosaurs, apes, humans and beyond, you, along with up to 3 other participants will simultaneously encounter firsthand the lives of the those who came before and after us. Visitors will become creatures via their voices and bodies, and interact with one another in the experience. Created by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, with music by Pharrell Williams. Presented by Within, in Association with Annapurna Pictures, and Made with Unity.

Become part of the first manned science mission to Mars, before it even happens! Visit the awe-inspiring, mysterious red planet and feel the excitement of being an astronaut, 34 million miles from home in a beautiful, realistic and accurately mapped virtual reality. Experience what it will be like to set foot on Mars and take in 40 square km / 15 square miles of expansive vistas, accurately mapped and modeled using Orbiter Hi Rise satellite data. Explore and study the planet’s geology, including its dangerous lava tubes, frozen lakes and impressive mountain peaks as you leave the safety of the astronaut Habitat. Uncover the terrain’s history while facing realistic weather conditions.

"Miyubi" is a​​ 40-minute virtual reality ​scripted ​comedy about a Japanese toy robot - inhabited by you, the viewer - gifted to a young boy on his birthday in 1982 suburban America. Over the course of a year, as the boy's family fractures apart, you experience love and your inevitable obsolescence in an intimate, hilarious and endearing interactive story. A virtual reality experience by Felix & Paul Studios, in collaboration with Funny or Die, starring Jeff Goldblum, P.J Byrne, Emily Bergl, Owen Vaccaro, Richard Riehl, Ted Sutherland and Tatum Kensington Bailey.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. MOVEMENTS is an interactive experience for virtual reality that gives you the thrill of conducting a live orchestra. Responding to simple gestures, the experience generates abstract music and visuals that match the energy, rhythm, and emotions expressed with your body. As you move, the music moves with you, the colors shift, and the shapes that dance around you take on a new form. The result is a beautiful ballet of sight and sound that can be performed by anyone and is unique each time you experience it.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. Unbound by the constraints of physical reality, MOTI reinvents the museum experience by transforming our relationship to art and architecture. Visitors explore installations that move beyond viewable “art-objects” and become reactive, interactive, microscopic, megalithic forces deeper within and farther beyond our normal perceptions. For the launch of MOTI, we will commission original work from ten well-known artists. The exhibition will premiere at a major cultural institution, and will feature digital creators as well as traditional artists who reimagine their work for virtual reality.

To help us make sense of our world, we build an immersive experience where you will travel through different environments we might live in someday. We created four scenarios – Garden of Eden, Hypernatural Resort, Modernist Dream, Techno Favela – that each present an alternative view of future worlds. Will machines take over, just like they did with the Internet or global finance? Or will we go back to living like our ancestors, in close harmony with nature and gathering food to survive? And what if we lived in a fully simulated reality, could we survive in such a world?

"Notes To My Father" is a story of love, grief, and reconciliation, between father and daughter. Flooded by memories of life in an Indian brothel, Ramadevi pens a letter to her father, who unintentionally played a role in his daughter’s trauma. Despite being close now; they have never spoken about what happened to her. Through Ramadevi’s touching letter, she reaches out to her father so that they can talk about the unspoken between them. Of their pasts, their pain and her hope that her own young daughter is saved from having a similar fate. "Notes to My Father" is an Oculus VR for Good project in conjunction with My Choices Foundation.

"Out of the Blue" is the inspiring story of the legacy inherited by the children of Cabo Pulmo. Once described by Jacques Cousteau as the Aquarium of the World, years of overfishing killed the reef and pushed its inhabitants to the brink of extinction. To get their reef back, the Castros—a family of fishermen family in Cabo Pulmo—chose to sacrifice their source of income and food by making a revolutionary yet dramatic decision: ban fishing in their own waters to encourage marine life to come back and take shelter.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. PLAYTHINGS VR: KARAOKE CRUISE is an interactive rhythm game in virtual reality. Karaoke Cruise puts virtual drumsticks in your hands and sets you loose on a musical playground set on a magical yacht from another world. There's no complicated buttons or tutorials--everyone knows how to use drumsticks. But drums are for real life: In Playthings, instruments are made from junk food. Playthings isn’t like other rhythm games -- it’s really you that’s playing the music. Smash gummy bears or hot dogs note by note to play along with the beat!

There are few effective treatments for rehabilitation of severe motor impairment after stroke. USC researchers created REINVENT (Rehabilitation Environment using the Integration of Neuromuscular-based Virtual Enhancements for Neural Training), which harnesses recent advances in neuroscience, wearable sensors, and VR technology by integrating low-cost EEG and electromyography EMG sensors with feedback in a headmounted VR display to provide neurofeedback when an individual’s neuromuscular signals indicate movement attempt, even in the absence of actual movement. VR Playhouse has worked with Dr. Liew and NPNL to create animations that aim to increase patient engagement in their own treatment.

Defying the stigma that surrounds mental health and survivors of trauma, Brittany, a 17 year-old from New York City, shares her story of healing and self-discovery. In taking control of her own narrative, she is advocating for all women and defining her own identity. "Rise Above" is an Oculus VR for Good project in conjunction with Womankind (formerly New York Asian Women's Center)

Nearly seven in 10 Americans experience some form of discrimination, yet 85% of Americans consider themselves to be unprejudiced. The reason might be that we’re actually discriminating unintentionally based on what we see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. This is called implicit bias. Step inside an optometrist’s office as he encourages us to examine our eyes and minds for implicit bias. This VR film places you mere feet away from six different individuals and lets you look into their eyes, challenge your assumptions, see beyond labels, and rethink bias. "See Beyond Labels is an Oculus VR for Good project in conjunction with Love Has No Labels/Ad Council

With art created in Google's Tilt Brush by super awesome Titmouse dudes, president and owner Chris Prynoski and VP and creative director, Antonio Canobbio, we will take you on a ride through a retro-futuristic landscape, with demons, space cars, crazy head things, and disembodied tongue-mouths. Featuring Night Club's single, "Show It 2 Me."

“Fantasy hats give you the possibility to dream.” - Philip Treacy Treacy is a designer renowned for creating hats that appear to defy the possible. Fashion becomes fantasy and fantasy is given form. ‘Spatium’ is the debut piece of a VR trilogy inspired by Treacy’s creations. When seen from the front, the hat appears flat yet the more you explore, the more you find an ornate and elaborate form. When struck with light it appears to glow. These attributes are given scale to create a fantasy building of light and shadow where surfaces change as you navigate them. In VR the hat becomes architecture where the limitations of the physical no longer apply, conjuring discovery and wonder.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. "Square the Circle" is an interactive experience which explores the possibilities of interacting with Touch controllers in room scale. The experience is about excitement and joy, finding a quiet moment in an imaginative reality to escape a hyper demanding world, returning to childlike play. The experience consists of 10 linked scenes, based on the principle of the Matryoshka dolls. Each scene takes place in a box-shaped room and the goal is to find and reveal the box that contains the next scene, which has, in turn, another scene inside it, and so on...

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. Featuring original music from major artists like Little Dragon, Roomful of Teeth, and Amon Tobin, SYNESTHESIA is an interactive experience comprised of six movements each inspired by a different stage of life. From birth to death, SYNESTHESIA takes the view on an abstract journey that pushes the boundaries of virtual reality.

We follow a girl's strange journey as she grows endlessly, eventually dissolving into the music of the universe. In a 360-degree animated environment, the story is narrated in a single unbroken shot, taking the viewer on a thrilling experience unlike any other.

A door to an abandoned temple. A whispering column of wind. Are objects really singing as they move through the air, or is it just your weary, fatigued mind manifesting a melody from idle pieces of luxury littered around your bedroom? From Viacom NEXT and musician Hot Sugar comes a Virtual Reality experience where you move between worlds to layer melodies in a hungry tornado; seeking in part, to unlock a song that has been eluding you your whole life.

“This house belongs to you, and to every American. For eight years, just a short chapter in the long story of our democracy, my family also had the privilege of calling the White House home.” —President Obama. Join the President and the First Lady for a short preview of our 20-minute, unprecedented 360° exploration of the White House. "The People’s House" takes you into some of the most historic rooms of the People’s House, from the Situation Room to the Oval Office. "Michelle and I always joke, 'We're just renters here,'" Obama says during the experience. "The owners are the American people and all those invested in creating this amazing place with so much history."

A parent drops you off at the Spectrum Laboratory Studio for the first time. You walk through the parking lot, a little overwhelmed and anxious but encouraged to try this new experience. As you enter the studio, one student introduces you to the Spectrum Laboratory and a few students who begin singing and playing music together. The tour turns into a cornucopia of sound and color as everybody sings together about overcoming the challenges of autism through art. As the song comes to a resolution, you find yourself in the middle of a beautiful, diverse, loving family who is ready to embrace you as one of their own.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. VESTIGE opens within an empty void, fragments appear of their life together, refracting and glistening. We hear the voice of an old man describing these moments and how they always lead to the same memory of her. The fragments slowly coalesce to reveal a haunting snapshot of their last moment together. As the music reaches a crescendo the full horror of the scene is revealed, yet distorted and lacking details. Eventually the viewer is alone to explore the scene and the multiple layers of narrative hidden within it before the memory disintegrates back into the void.

A Within Original Experience, "Vibrant Matter" invites you to step inside a new world pulsing with an original score by Toro Y Moi. In this interactive journey, you’ll have the ability to go back in time, experiencing forgotten memories using a Google Daydream controller to unearth the past. Created by Ben Vance and Kate Parsons.

NOTE: This project is an early prototype and is part of the Kaleidoscope Development Showcase. WABA wobbles when you touch him, and he’ll also wobble your heartstrings. Help WABA grow up and learn to take care of itself, and one day, it might need to return to its true home in the wild. WABA was developed for controller-based VR with the goal of creating a special form of interactivity and presence that can only exist within virtual reality.

"We Who Remain" is an immersive VR film that takes us into the heart of a forgotten conflict in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. The region is cut off from the world with no humanitarian access, and almost no media coverage. The lives of four characters are woven together to give a deep portrait of the students, mothers, journalists and rebels struggling to make their lives better in a war that shows no sign of ending. It will be the first character-driven VR film shot in an active conflict zone. The film is a co-production of Emblematic group and Nuba Reports in collaboration with the NYT VR, Arte, and AJ+.

When Fatchima was a child, she had no space to dream. Her life in rural Niger was a difficult mix of poverty, drought, and isolation. At age 14, her parents forced her to marry. Two decades ago, she began participating in a women’s financial empowerment program in her village. They call themselves Mata Masu Dubara (Women on the Move). Over time, she’s been able to save money and unlock a better future for her granddaughter, Nana, who now attends school and has dreams that Fatchima never had as a girl. "Women on the Move" is an Oculus VR for Good project in conjunction with CARE.

Ann, 16, a Thai-American teen coping with body dysmorphia and an overbearing mother, struggles to own her place in the world. In search of freedom, she embraces cosplay and ultimately finds a hero. Herself. But only after countless years of pressure from her own mother to lose weight... The Wonder Buffalo VR experience begins in a colorful bedroom captured in photogrammetry. Ann's eclectic and bright bedroom mirrors her internal clash between Thai and American cultures. By exploring Ann's eccentricity and unlocking her six strength objects you transform Ann's room into a cosmic comic book kaleidoscope and ultimately unleash Ann as her own superhero character, Wonder Buffalo.

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Screening Section:
420 mins