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New York Film Festival to Include Two New Programs: Transmedia Weekend and Midnight Movies Section

New York Film Festival to Include Two New Programs: Transmedia Weekend and Midnight Movies Section

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that the 50th anniversary of its New York Film Festival will include two new programs: NYFF Convergence, a premier showcase and conference for transmedia projects, and a Midnight Movies section for horror, thriller and suspense films.

Premiering in the Midnight Movies section are: Barry Levinson’s “The Bay” (produced by “Paranormal Activity” director Oren Peli); Peter Strickland’s recently acquired “Berberian Sound Studio,” about creating the soundtrack to a horror film; and writer-director-star Takeshi Kitano’s Japanese gangster film “Outrage Beyond.”

READ MORE: IFC Midnight Grabs U.S. Rights to Psychological Horror Flick ‘Berberian Sound Studio’

The Convergence component of this year’s NYFF was spearheaded by the FSLC’s Director of Digital Strategy, former Indiewire Editor-in-Chief Eugene Hernandez, who explained the purpose of the Convergence program and what will make it unique: “The way stories are being told is changing, or rather expanding, thanks to new tools and technologies that allow storytellers to engage and involve an audience in new ways. With NYFF Convergence we’re focusing expressly on those artists and filmmakers rather than the technology.”

The inaugural Convergence event will include a keynote from Tommy Pallota, the producer behind the films “Waking Life” and “A Scanner Darkly.” Other events include a premiere of the film component of transmedia project “McCarren Park,” named after the famed Williamsburg park, in which hipsters will fight off dinosaurs, and a screening of “Renga,” a feature-length film in which the audience controls the “Space Invaders-like action.” 

Convergence will also feature a TED-style TEDxUpperWestSide conference for players in the transmedia realm.

The full press release, inlcluing the complete lineup for NYFF Convergence and descriptions of the Midnight Movies films, is on the next page.


Inaugural Presentation of NYFF CONVERGENCE


NYFF’s first Midnight Movies section will include Barry Levinson’s THE BAY, Peter Strickland’s BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO and Takashi Kitano’s OUTRAGE BEYOND

NEW YORK, August 24, 2012 —The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today the first presentation of NYFF Convergence on September 29 and 30 in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center as part of the historic 50th edition of NYFF. FSLC also announced three films as part of its first Midnight Movies presentation.

Serving as the crowning event for the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s year round programming commitment to transmedia, NYFF Convergence will be presented on Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30 at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center with two full days of panels, workshops and “immersive experiences” designed to be an intimate gathering for creators, designers, thinkers and fans.

Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Director of Digital Strategy, Eugene Hernandez, said, “The way stories are being told is changing, or rather expanding, thanks to new tools and technologies that allow storytellers to engage and involve an audience in new ways. With NYFF Convergence we’re focusing expressly on those artists and filmmakers rather than the technology.”

The inaugural event will include a Keynote Conversation between visionary storyteller Tommy Pallota (A SCANNER DARKLY, ”Collapsus”) and Hernandez. Pallotta was most recently responsible for the Emmy-Nominated transmedia thriller ‘Collapsus’. He first connected Richard Linklater with animation when he produced the award-winning feature film WAKING LIFE. He followed up with Philip K. Dick’s A SCANNER DARKLY, starring Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr. Pallotta is currently directing a hybrid documentary about Somali pirates and survival in a failed state called, THE LAST HIJACK.

Other special guests include Bill Plympton, Andrew Evans, Nick Bernadone, Andrea Phillips, Mark Harris, Caitlin Burns, Jeff Wirth, George Strayton, Amy Neswald, Steve Schultz, Laura Steritt, Jason DeMarco, Brian Fountain, Blaine Graboyes, Jamin Warren, Barry Alexander Brown, Michael Knowlton, Nina Lassam, Amanda Harvard, James Carter, Daniel Laikind, Lindsay Ellis, Jeremy Redleaf, Scott Newman, Garry Delfiner, Lina Srivistava, Pamela Vitale, and many more.

Highlights of the two-day event include immersive experiences for the attendees. The premiere of the film component of indie transmedia project MCCARREN PARK features an educational, multiplatform experience that pits Brooklyn hipsters against raging dinosaurs. RENGA, a feature length film in which the audience completely controls the Space Invaders-like action, surviving or perishing together.

TEDxUpperWestSide BREAK will be an exploration of what story means in the 21st Century all done in the signature TED style. TRANSMEDIA TEST KITCHEN will put the audience in the middle of a first-of-its-kind exhibition-style transmedia showdown between two competing storytelling teams, and WHISPERS IN THE DARK is an immersive fiction experience that plunges a non-actor participant into a ghost story that plays out over 24 hours in settings throughout New York City.

Panels announced will feature discussions with transmedia content innovators and a look at how the explosion of digital technologies have helped and hindered storytelling. Other topics that will be explored will include showing and sharing the similarities and differences in producing for multiple platforms, dynamic new opportunities for non-profits, and looking at how transmedia can provide different forms of artistic expression outside of the traditional record release format for musicians, among other topics.

Transmedia workshops will offer attendees a guide to producing cross-platform projects on a budget, offer pitching strategies, and instruction on developing story and structure for the aspiring transmedia producer in a world where the audiences can become the main characters.

Another “first” for the New York Film Festival will be the inclusion of a Midnight Movies sidebar section. Following the successful addition of a Midnight Movies series to the Film Society’s regular programming, NYFF will offer a trio of anticipated films for the genre and thriller audience. In THE BAY, Barry Levinson teams with PARANOMAL ACTIVITY’S Oren Peli to combine elements of the old-fashioned giant insect movie with the use of found-footage style storytelling. Peter Strickland’s BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO stars Toby Jones as a sound recording engineer that finds that cinema and reality have blurred and the sound effects he is helping create for a horror film may actually be real. Takeshi Kitano’s OUTRAGE BEYOND is a follow up to the director’s yakuza thriller OUTRAGE (2010), about a renegade cop coming between an inter-clan battle royale.

Associate Director of Programming, Scott Foundas, said, “While there have been occasional midnight screenings in past editions of NYFF, we’re thrilled to build on the momentum of our ongoing Midnight Movies series and its devoted audience by adding this official sidebar of witching-hour premieres.”

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Peña also includes: Melissa Anderson, Contributor, Village Voice; Scott Foundas, Associate Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center; Todd McCarthy, Chief Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight and Sound.

The New York Film Festival is generously sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, illy, HBO, Trump International Hotel and Tower, WABC, WNET, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts.

General Public tickets will be available September 9th. There will be an advance ticketing opportunity for Film Society of Lincoln Center Patrons and Members prior to that date. For more information visit www.Filmlinc.com/NYFF or call 212 875 5601.



BEST OF BREED Transmedia Content Innovators

Sunday, September 30 (12:00–1:00), BEALE

Presented in collaboration with Digital Hollywood

Guests: Daniel Laikind (Stickfigure Productions); Lindsay Ellis (Nostalgia Chick, Blip); Jeremy Redleaf (Brackets Creative):  Scott Newman (Revel In New York), Gary Delfiner (Popcornflix.com)

From web series, content applications, social media, and beyond, this panel of established creators will discuss the state-of-the art of transmedia, where it has been and where it is going in a lively debate-style presentation.


Saturday, September 29 (4:30-5:30) GILMAN

Speakers:  Mark Harris (THE LOST CHILDREN), Barry Alexander Brown (LAST LOOKS), Michael Knowlton (Murmur, Storycode)

The recent popularity of transmedia storytelling has been enabled by the explosion of digital technologies that most of us take for granted.  From the front lines of the movement – the creators, builders, and fans – new technologies are born everyday that may be useful tools in telling stories.  But these same elements that excite the core audience may very well be a barrier to entry for a broad portion of the population.  This panel will explore how we bring transmedia into more homes, free it from cult status, and create experiences designed for our moms.  Join filmmaker/technologist Mark Harris (creator of immersive film experience THE LOST CHILDREN), filmmaker Barry Alexander Brown (Editor on DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOM X, Creator of LAST LOOKS), and Mike Knowlton (Murmur Co, Co-founder of StoryCode) for what promises to be a lively discussion.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Place-based Storytelling
Saturday, September 29 (11:30-12:30); BEALE

Speakers: Steve Schultz, CEO Moveable Feast Media; Andrew Evans from National Geographic ; Bill Plympton, animator;  Casey Neistat, filmmaker

In this dynamic presentation, we will explore location as a backdrop for filmed entertainment and compelling narrative. In the first half of the presentation,  three leading-edge storytellers will present their “films”, each of which were created on the Moveable Feast Mobile Media platform for location-based storytelling.  These filmmakers will then join Steve Schultz, creator of Moveable Feast, to discuss the future of multimedia in a geo-tagged world. The panel will cover topics including immersion, curation, and the interplay between “online experiences” and “offline experiences”. The discussion will also explore the meaning of “relevance” as it relates to audiences who are fully mobile-enabled.


Saturday, September 29 (1:00-2:00) AMP

Presenter: Produced in Partnership with the Producer’s Guild of America, East.

Moderator: Blaine Graboyes

Guests: TBD

Today’s producers are working on every platform including film, TV, social, games, mobile, events, comics, ARGs, and more. This panel features members from The Producers Guild (PGA) who will share the intimate details on the past, present, and future of producing for multi-platform distribution. Each presenter will discuss a similarly sized project (approximately $1MM budget) with a focus on a specific platform. We will discuss the process, team, budget, tools, goals, metrics, marketing, audience, and business structure of each project, as well as push each producer to predict the future of their work and industry. Our goal is to show and share the similarities and differences in producing for multiple platforms and to get a sense of how these formats are blending to create new opportunities for producers and new experiences for viewers. This session will be accessible and relevant to all audiences, and will combine technical, business, and creative concepts to present a complete picture of producing for today’s platforms.


Sunday, September 30 (1:00-2:00) AMP

Guests: Lina Srivistava (Mod)

Immersive storytelling presents many new opportunities for traditional cultural institutions to engage new audiences.  After spending the day in intensive small group discussion, leaders from several New York institutions will engage in an open dialog about the collision of art, technology, and participatory culture.


Sunday, September 30 (10:00-11:00) BEALE

Presented in collaboration with Digital Hollywood

Guests: Nina Lassam; Amanda Harvard (SURVIVORS SERIES, IMMERSEDITION)

Authors and technologists discuss online publishing and the power of the tablet computer as a storytelling tool.  It’s a world of boundless possibilities, time for a deep dive!

WIN/WIN: Transmedia, Adult Swim, and it’s Musical Partnerships

Saturday, September 29 (11:00-12:00); AMP

Speakers: Laura Steritt, Writer: Starlight Runner, Founder: Transchordian; Jason DeMarco, Adult Swim/Cartoon Network

As the music industry changes, musicians and record labels must create new revenue streams and alternative avenues to potential fans. Transmedia storytelling can not only fulfill these needs, but also provide different forms of artistic expression outside of the traditional record release format.  Almost since its inception, the television network Adult Swim has established a powerful relationship with various musicians and independent record companies. With their classic bumps, music video production, original programming, and even their own label, Adult Swim has created innovative content that benefits all parties involved: the network, the musician, and the viewers.  This panel brings together Jason DeMarco, VP of Strategic Marketing & Promotions and overseer of all music programs, and two of his co-creators, [musician], and [record label head], to speak to the process and benefits of their creative partnerships.


Sunday, September 30 (10:30-11:30) GILMAN

Guests: James Carter, Cast of NY_HEARTS: LES

NY_Hearts blends love stories with a multimedia storytelling iPhone app, and the sights and sounds of New York City neighborhoods. Characters recall how they met and fell in love, leading listeners, like voyeurs, to sexy moments and special spots and receiving gifts from local small businesses along the way.  The first part of three tent pole stories, NY_Hearts neighborhood tales will spur an  online web series that ultimately focuses on a central character that features in a live, immersive theater event. Over the span of 20 months and multiple media platforms, the project explores themes of love, art, determinism and addiction.  Join creator James Carter for a conversation about the project, and meet participants who have taken NY_Hearts journey. Focusing on the current neighborhood, Park Slope, Brooklyn, hear about their experiences, ask questions, and learn what it takes to create this layered theatrical project.


Saturday, September 29 (3:00-4:00) AMP

Presenter: Presented in Partnership with Writer’s Guild of America, East

Guests: Nick Bernadone (30 ROCK); George Strayton (TRANSFORMERS)

Writing for open, interactive worlds is a wholly different enterprise than creating a typical screenplay.  This panel will feature writers from television, the web, and feature films and explore the creative process from the writer’s unique perspective.


Saturday, September 29 (12:30-1:30) – GILMAN

Presenter: Brian Fountain

The world of transmedia is a beautiful place to visit but telling your story there can get expensive quickly. Whether you are seasoned producer or a greenhorn looking to dip your toe into the water, this handy guide will show you how to affordably produce a compelling cross-platform project without compromising on quality.  Join tour guide Brian Fountain, and discover some of Transmedia’s best kept secrets. You’ll learn about emerging technologies that are affordable or free. Plus insider secrets on how to recruit top talent to your next project. All for the price of a Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiato per day.


Sunday, September (2:30-3:30), GILMAN

Presented by: Pamela Vitale, XYEYE

Engage yourself in our transmedia frenzy! Join the team from XYEYE as they present their nine step strategy mapping formula in a play-by-play demonstration with a real client during our multi-media presentation. Learn about our process, its origins, purpose and cycle from beginning to end and even become a part of the action, riffing with the XYEYE as they brainstorm live. Watch an idea grow into a concept and end as a strategic plan with blazing momentum.

YOU’RE SUCH A CHARACTER: New Roles for Audiences in Storytelling

Sunday, September 30 (11:00-12:00), AMP

Presenter: Andrea Phillips

Transmedia forms can turn the relationship between the audience and the story on its head. A compelling transmedia narrative can turn the audience from a collection of passive consumers into an active character in the story — a character whose actions are absolutely pivotal in driving the plot forward. That feeling of agency can make an already-great story into something even more amazing.  We’ll discuss how to structure a story so that the audience has a part to play, too, and explain why it can create a more intense experience for a player — and ultimately even lets a creator tap into a whole new range of emotions, like pride, frustration, and guilt.


MCCARREN PARK PART I: HIPSTER DINOS, TRANSMEDIA, and Producing Something for Nothing

Saturday, September 29 (2:00-3:00) BEALE

Presenters: Caitlin Burns

MCCARREN PARK PART II: HIPSTER DINOS, TRANSMEDIA, and How to Get Noticed Without Paying For It

Date: Saturday, September 29 (4:00-5:00) BEALE

Presenters: Caitlin Burns

“Nothing ruins a good party like a Velociraptor attack. And when a group of urban hipsters gets caught up in a whirlwind of Mesozoic fury, it’ll take more than PBR and vinyl records to get them out alive.”

McCarren Park is an interactive educational transmedia experience available on phones, the Internet and even a card game.  In this session, a selection of scenes in the first half of the narrative will be combined with lessons learned creating the feature for under $3500.00. How do you inspire collaborators to engage in your story world? What are some tactics that worked on this project and others to build and audience and to get that audience to add their own content into the story world? How do you create a story that can translate from one platform to another? How do you do that without a huge budget? Finally, what are the barriers to production on a miniscule budget and how can you overcome them?


Sunday, September 30 (12:30-2:00) GILMAN

Guests: Adam Russell & Jonathan Sear, Dir.

Renga is about finding a way home. Attacked and left for dead, our hero must carefully marshal their resources to build a new ship, confront their nemesis and finally return home. Only this hero isn’t visible on the screen – it’s the entire audience, working collectively to control the action using laser pointers directed at the screen. Turning the traditional hero’s journey on its head, Renga asks the question – what if the ultimate reward can only be grasped by many hands? The show combines real-time crowd interaction technology, retro videogame aesthetics and a wry sense of humour to bring the audience together and leave them feeling a deep sense of camaraderie. The title refers to a form of collaborative poetry with 100 verses that blossomed in 15th century Japan.

TEDxUpperWestSide BREAK

Saturday, September 29 (5:00-6:00), AMP

Presented by: TEDxUWS

Story is everywhere. In recounting to your friends over drinks, “You will not believe what happened on the subway,” in epic Hollywood style, even in 140 characters, we organize our lives around stories.
TEDxUWS will be an exploration of what story means in the 21st century. We’ll have screenwriters, technologists, scientists and more giving talks in the TED style — short, powerful and thought-provoking. Between talks you will have some of the most engaging discussions in recent memory.


Sunday, September 30 (3:00-4:00), AMP

Presented by: Brian Fountain and Matt Bolish

Two teams enter, but only one will leave victorious. Witness this first-of-its-kind exhibition-style transmedia showdown. Over the course of an hour, two teams of elite storytellers will conceive, build and pitch their best cross-media story. Not crazy enough for you? Wait! There’s more. In an unforeseen and dramatic twist, which you will already know about because you are reading this now, the teams learn they must also incorporate a secret ingredient. Spoiler Alert! The secret ingredient is you, the audience. That’s right you will be part of history. And who will decide the fate of these two teams? Some Ivy-league eggheads? Nope. Some B-list celebrities? Not happening! Those guys are way too expensive to book. In a stunning conflict of interest, you (yes you!) will be casting your vote to decide the outcome of this event. One team will be crowned victorious. The other will suffer the deep humility of having to watch the other team being crowned victorious.


Sunday, September 30 (2:00-3:00) BEALE

Presented by: Jeff Wirth

Whispers in the Dark is an immersive fiction experience in which a non-actor participant will become the lead character in a story that plays out over 24 hours in settings throughout New York City.  A young psychic spends the night investigating a room that has recently become haunted in Lincoln Center. Her encounter with the ghost sets her on a odyssey through the hidden worlds of New York City to uncover a dark secret.  A professional cast plays the characters that appear and engage with the participant in the real-world locations, while an invisible crew captures the entire experience in one extended 24-hour “take.” The experience culminates at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where highlights from the adventure will be screened on September, 29, 2012


THE BAY (2012) 84min
Director: Barry Levinson
Country: USA

Effectively doing for backyard swimming pools and tap water what PSYCHO did for showers and JAWS did for oceans, THE BAY is a genuinely terrifying eco-horror tale in which you aren’t what you eat, but rather what eats you. From the combined creative forces of producer Oren Peli (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY) and Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson (RAIN MAN, WAG THE DOG), THE BAY uses an ingenious assemblage of news reports, surveillance video, home movies and other purportedly user-generated video to expose the never-before-told story of what really happened in the idyllic small town of Claridge, Maryland over July 4 weekend, 2009, when an infestation of parasitic “isopods” made its way into the groundwater supply. Mixing elements of old-fashioned giant insect movies with the new wave of documentary-style horror fare, THE BAY will make you squirm, jump and cower in your seat as it takes humankind down a few pegs on the food chain. A Roadside Attractions release.

Director: Peter Strickland
Country: UK

For his second feature, the young British director Peter Strickland (KATALIN VARGA) has created an alternately cheerful and caustic valentine to the low-budget “giallo” horror films that populated Italian cinema throughout the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. The year is 1976 and a mild-mannered British sound engineer named Gilderoy (Toby Jones) arrives in Rome to work on the post-synchronized soundtrack to The Equestrian Vortex, a tale of witchcraft and murder set inside an all-girl riding academy. Instead of showing us any scenes from this lurid movie-within-the-movie, however, Strickland keeps his focus squarely on the mayhem within the sound studio itself, as Gilderoy and his team plunge carving knives into fruits and vegetables, actresses try out various shrieks and screams in the recording booth, and a pompous director struts about comparing his schlock to high art. Then, gradually, the line between cinema and reality blurs, and Gilderoy can no longer tell if he is merely working on this movie or is perhaps its very subject. Decked out in fastidious period detail and a keen appreciation for the suggestive power of sound, BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO is a creepy treat for cinephiles and horror fans alike.

OUTRAGE BEYOND (Autoreiji: Biyondo) (2012) 110min
Director: Takeshi Kitano
Country: Japan

When Japanese police dredge up a car containing the bodies of an assassinated cop and a nightclub hostess at the start of writer-director-star Takeshi Kitano’s OUTRAGE BEYOND, the evidence suggests that the powerful Sanno yakuza clan—last seen trying to rid itself of the competition in Kitano’s 2010 OUTRAGE—has gotten a little too big for its britches, or at least for the comfort level of corrupt anti-yakuza cop Kataoka (the wonderfully oily Fumiyo Kohinata). The callow young Sanno boss Kato (Tomokazu Miura) has no respect for the old ways of power-sharing and police glad-handing, and a power shift seems in order. So Kataoka calls upon a familiar face, the renegade yakuza Otomo (Kitano), believed dead but in fact just cooling his heels in prison, and before long a new inter-clan battle royale is brewing. In this superior sequel (which benefits from, but hardly requires, knowledge of its predecessor), the deadpan Kitano plays things relatively straight, laying out the action in sleek, elegant, widescreen master shots punctuated by sudden, merciless bursts of violence. The result is a first-rate yakuza picture by a master of the genre.

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