The 63rd Sydney Film Festival announced their new Beyond Cinema programme this week, including three free immersive film experiences combining cutting edge screen culture with new technologies designed to challenge and inspire.
At the heart of the programme, in Sydney’s Lower Town Hall, the virtual reality installation Down the Rabbit Hole will screen nine virtual reality (VR) films, including works by four Australian filmmakers.
Filmgoers will put VR headsets from Samsung and Facebook to the test, in an immersive and challenging experience that includes going on stage with the Sydney Dance Company dancers in Stuck in the Middle with You, experiencing the world of one of Australia’s top saddle bronco riders in Warwick Gold – Australian Rodeo, losing your sight in Notes On Blindness: Into Darkness and experiencing the first ever fully hand-drawn VR experience in Drawing Room plus many more.
Festival-goers keen to know more about immersive story modes can also check out the free panel discussion, Diving Down the Rabbit Hole, featuring writer Mike Jones and a selection of the VR filmmakers who have works screening at The Hub.
The festival’s Beyond Cinema programme also includes a collaboration with the University of New South Wales, screening two interactive experimental films at the university’s world-leading iCinema: a 360-degree 3D cinema.
The university’s iCinema will screen the world premiere of two experimental interactive films: Deluge, dealing with devastating cyclone Yasi, and Nebula, a dream work exploring relationships between the human and natural worlds.
Finally, in association with Carriageworks, Beyond Cinema will present HOSSEIN VALAMANESH: CHAR SOO, a four-sided video installation placing viewers at the intersection of an Iranian bazaar to contemplate movement, human interaction and the passing of time.
Beyond Cinema will run as a part of The 63rd Sydney Film Festival from 8 – 19 June. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.sff.org.au.