The Film Society of Lincoln Center today announced the lineup for Convergence, its highly anticipated immersive storytelling program, which will run October 1–4 as part of the 54th New York Film Festival. It includes two U.S. premieres and one world premiere amongst the nine interactive works, as well as five panels from innovators of the field.
“The art of immersive storytelling is continually evolving,” said NYFF Convergence programmer Matt Bolish in a press release. “Our mission has been consistent from our first year to this, our fifth: bringing the best survey of interactive work to the NYFF audience.”
Virtual Reality highlights include the world premiere of acclaimed Indian work “Priya’s Mirror,” which fuses augmented reality with a comic book to tell the story of a rape survivor-turned-superhero. Returning for a second year is the audience favorite “Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things,” from Lance Weiler and Nick Fortugno, in which viewers must use their digital devices to solve a string of crimes across Lincoln Center’s campus.
The supplementary panel talks include a special preview of “Traveling While Black,” from Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams (“Music By Prudence”). Based on the “Green Book,” which was an essential tool for black travelers during the Jim Crow era, “Traveling While Black” is a suite of interactive experiences exploring issues related to restricted movement in contemporary America. Ross Williams presents a preview of the project’s first VR piece, as well as a live performance.
Indiewire has the full lineup exclusively.
Experiences and Installations
“Cardboard City,” Kiira Benzing, Stina Hamlin
Blending virtual reality, augmented reality and user-generated content, the piece is a hands-on interactive installation that uses these artists’ stories as a jumping-off point before inviting viewers to become creators and add buildings, memories and stories to an ever-evolving cityscape.
“EKO,” Interlude, Sandeep Parikh, Casey Donahue, Daniel Scheinert, Billy Chew
A series of shorts built on the new interactive platform EKO: “The Gleam,” an interactive documentary about a small town paper; “That Moment When,” a comedy that asks the viewer to navigate a battery of awkward conversations; and “Now/Then,” a “Rashomon”-inspired story focused on the various perspectives swirling around a relationship on the rocks.
“Giant,” Milica Zec, Winslow Turner Porter III
Transported to a basement shelter in an active war zone, the viewer must watch — and listen — as parents try to distract their daughter from the thunder of bombs in this VR film.
“Late Shift,” Baptiste Planche, Tobias Weber
In this audience-directed narrative feature, a parking attendant’s world is turned upside down when he’s forced to take part in a brazen heist, and the audience makes choices to shape the story via an app.
“Lives in Transit,” Global Lives Project
This long-form documentary focuses on 24 hours in the lives of 10 individuals who are responsible for moving products or people throughout the world in some way. World Premiere.
“Priya’s Mirror,” Ram Devineni, Dan Goldman, Paromita Vohra, Shubra Prakash, Vikas Menon
The second volume in the taboo-shattering story of a rape survivor turned superhero, which uses augmented reality to bring the 2D world of the comic to life.
“Ricerca VR,” Yo-Yo Lin, Will Cherry, Steve Dabal, Elle Callahan, Michael Matchen
In this VR re-imagining of a large-scale video installation piece, a man scours his memories for something lost, traversing a lush world rendered with a vibrant mix of 2D and stop-motion animation. “Ricerca VR” raises compelling questions about the future of VR’s relationship with the world of fine art.
Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things, Lance Weiler, Nick Fortugno
Since its launch, participants from 20 countries have taken part in this immersive storytelling experience that uses the emergent web of connected digital devices to investigate mysteries with the world’s favorite consulting detective.
“Sound Hunters,” François Le Gall, Nicolas Blies
In “Sound Hunters,” the audience makes music by recording and remixing the sounds of the world around them.
Hilmar Koch and Nick Rasmussen, ILMxLAB
Founded in 2015, ILMxLAB fuses the talents of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound to create a new, collaborative space to experiment with stories across all visual media platforms — those we know well and those just being established.
The Psychology of Storytelling: Lindsay Doran
Oscar-nominated producer and studio executive Lindsay Doran (“This is Spinal Tap”) brings more than 30 years of experience in the movie business to bear on this examination of what the field of Positive Psychology can teach us about the secrets of writing a satisfying movie.
The State of the (Interactive) Art: StoryCode’s Mike Knowlton, interactive theater director Michael Rau and filmmaker Ram Devineni
StoryCode is a community of creative professionals exploring interactive storytelling, founded the same year NYFF launched Convergence. Cofounder Mike Knowlton and a panel of key players from the New York interactive scene — Convergence veterans, game designers, immersive theater directors, virtual reality producers and interactive filmmakers — reflect on where they’ve been and where they’re headed.
Traveling While Black: Special Preview Event With Roger Ross Williams, Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, Lina Srivastava, Yasmin Elayat
A sneak peak of this highly anticipated immersive exploration of the issues related to restricted movement in modern-day America with a suite of experiences including a traveling museum exhibit, virtual-reality films and live events.
The full NYFF lineup can be found here.