Tribeca’s immersive program highlights cinematic and cutting-edge virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and participatory experiences. A highly-curated program is announced for 2023.
The annual Tribeca Festival will celebrate its 22nd year from June 7–18, 2023 in New York City, and Tribeca Immersive, which celebrates its 11th year, is back with a selection of works from top artists who push the boundaries of creative and emotional storytelling. Yes, the classic lineup of films is also present, but this is all about XR and other new ways of storytelling.
According to the organizers of the festival, “this year kicks off the first-ever Games & Immersive Experience, which is held exclusively in-person at Tribeca Festival’s hub, Spring Studios (50 Varick Street). It celebrates the emergence of new forms of entertainment: games that can be played at home, on the street, or in modern-day galleries, alongside the latest 3D works from world-renowned artists who demonstrate how immersive technology can leverage thought-provoking social statements.”
Tribeca Immersive’s highly-curated program presents a wide spectrum of what contemporary storytelling has to offer, including impact-driven stories from acclaimed artists, groundbreaking experiences that explore different types of technological intervention, and best-in-class XR games pioneering a new generation of interactive entertainment. A total of 13 author-driven extended reality experiences are included in the program for the 2023 edition of Tribeca Immersive.
Featured experiences include The Fury by Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat, a captivating 360-degree experience and video installation that explores the sexual exploitation of female political prisoners; Colored from Novaya and Centre Pompidou, a mixed-reality installation adapted from Tania de Montaigne’s award-winning biographical essay on15-year-old Claudette Colvin who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus to a white passenger in the 1950s; Maya: The Birth (Chapter 1), a virtual reality animation from a multi-awarded studio Floréal and directed by renowned photographer and women’s rights activist Poulomi Basu; Kinfolk: Black Lands from Idris Brewster, an AR experience that monumentalizes the past, present, and future of the Black communities that have built New York City; and Pixel Ripped 1978, the newest title in the nostalgia-fueled Pixel Ripped virtual reality game-within-a-game series, created by Emmy-winning VR studio ARVORE and Atari.
The coalescence of XR and games
Tribeca Immersive, running June 9-17, is divided into two categories of selections this year: Main Competition and New Voices. Main Competition projects are eligible for the juried Storyscapes Award, which honors artists who bridge the gap between technology and storytelling. The New Voices Award is awarded to a first- or second-time XR creator who brings new perspectives and artistic languages to immersive storytelling.
“The range of immersive experiences is a much broader landscape than when we started 11 years ago,” said Tribeca Vice President of Games & Immersive Casey Baltes. “Tribeca Festival’s immersive program reflects the widest range of methods — from AI, AR, MR, and VR to live performance — we have ever showcased. All of the experiences bring to life stories that will resonate deeply with audiences in unexpected ways.”
“This year’s selection focuses on two key areas: the coalescence of XR and games, and the rise of a new genre of immersive games that users can play on their phones or through next-gen mixed reality devices,” said Tribeca Immersive Curator Ana Brzezińska. “Secondly, we celebrate artists and activists who choose AI and immersive technology to convey important social messages or introduce unexpected new qualities to fine arts, theater, and film. I’m also proud to share that most of our selections are written, directed, or produced by women, which shows that female leadership in immersive is becoming a reality.”
The Tribeca Festival is curated by Festival Director and VP of Programming Cara Cusumano, Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer; VP of Programming Sharon Badal and VP of Shorts Programming Ben Thompson; Senior Programmers Liza Domnitz, Faridah Gbadamosi, and Jarod Neece; Programmers José F. Rodriguez, Casey Baron, Jason Gutierrez, and Jonathan Penner; VP of Games and Immersive Casey Baltes and Immersive Curator Ana Brzezińska; Curator of Audio Storytelling Davy Gardner; Music Programmer Vincent Cassous; and Chief Content Officer Paula Weinstein, along with a team of associate programmers.
The 2023 Tribeca Festival is presented by OKX and with the support of the festival partners: AT&T, Audible, Black Women on Boards, Canva, CHANEL, City National Bank, Diageo, Easterseals Disability Services, Expensify, Indeed, NBC4 and Telemundo 47, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, National CineMedia, Novartis, ServiceNow, Spring Studios New York, The Wall Street Journal, Tubi, and Variety.
For the latest updates on programming follow @Tribeca and #Tribeca2023 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and to purchase passes and ticket packages for the 2023 Tribeca Festival, go to tribecafilm.com/festival.
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