#1095: Preview of Tribeca Immersive 2022 with Curator Ana Brzezinska

I get a preview of Tribeca Immersive 2022 with curator Ana Brzezinska.


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Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.412] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to the Voices of VR podcast. So I'm about to hop on a plane to go to New York City to cover the Tribeca Film Festival and to see all the different immersive stories that are there. They've actually also got a number of different experiences that are available online through the Museum of Other Realities. There's a DLC that you can download, and that's going to be available starting today, which is June 8th, 2022, and run through the next number of weeks. So the Tribeca Film Festival is featuring a number of different immersive stories And I had a chance to sit down with the immersive curator Anna Brzezinska To be able to get an overview of what's going to be happening at that festival So that's what we're covering on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast and just a quick programming note I have six out of the eight IEEE XR ethics podcasts posted when I get back from Tribeca I'll be posting the last two and then also I went up to go see Felix and Paul's The Infinite, which is now open in Seattle, and it's going to be traveling around to other cities as well. So I'll be having a full report on that as well when I get back from Tribeca. But this conversation with Anna happened on Thursday, May 26th, 2022. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:01:20.967] Ana Brzezinska: So my name is Anna Brzezinska. I am the immersive curator at Tribeca Festival. And this year I'm curating my first edition at Tribeca. So very excited to tell you a little bit more about what is it that we've been planning.

[00:01:36.930] Kent Bye: Awesome. And yeah, maybe you could give a bit more context as to your background and your journey into VR. I know we did a whole episode on that, but just for folks that may have not caught that, I'd love to hear a little bit about your journey into being a curator.

[00:01:50.018] Ana Brzezinska: Sure. So in the past almost two and a half years, I used to work with Renee Pennell at a company called Kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope was an immersive production studio and we've been co-producing immersive experiences, but we've been also focusing on producing and curating immersive exhibitions and immersive events. So we've been working with a number of different partners across the XR and digital stage. We collaborated very closely with the Museum of Other Realities, a Canadian virtual gallery. So we worked with festivals, we worked with Tribeca, we worked with Cannes, we worked with Vancouver Film Festival, Fram, but we also collaborated with Digital Catapult, we worked with Yahoo and Riot Studios in the UK. So, we've been involved in a number of very different and exciting virtual showcases. We've been also focusing on working a lot with emerging creators. So, we used to run and program development markets and labs and workshops. So, we've been busy working a lot with the creative community. And before that, I used to also curate and co-produce XR and film events in Europe. I'm originally Polish. I'm based in France. So I work with partners across the European Union. And for a number of years, I've been creative producer and director, television, documentary films, theater, opera. Yeah. So that's technically my background.

[00:03:30.520] Kent Bye: Yeah. And usually a curator would spend an entire year being able to, you know, get ready for the festival and everything. And I guess you coming in relatively soon as to when this is actually happening here in June and you starting there in January. So just a quick six months to be able to curate this year's festival, but here's to hear a little bit like an overview of what you're planning for this year's edition of Tribeca Immersive.

[00:03:55.937] Ana Brzezinska: Sure. Yes, it is true that it's been a very intense process. I started mid-January and we had a little bit of, I would say, three, three and a half months to put our program together. So what I suggested to Tribeca, and I'm very happy that they approved my ideas, was to rebuild a little bit the structure of the immersive showcase. We have new categories and we also introduced thematic curation this year. So the way it works is that from an industry standpoint, we have two in competition categories. So we have main competition and the winner of the competition will receive an award that we call Storyscapes Award. And we have new voices competition. I'm particularly excited about this new category because we decided to introduce a separate competition for first and second time XR creators. and to show this way that our industry is mature enough to celebrate a new generation of artists. But also we decided that we want to do this because we don't want first-time creators who are often independent developers or independent storytellers to compete with established studios and and massive production companies. So we have these two separate in-competition categories. And we have a category that I think is something that everybody from our industry will enjoy, which is called best of season. And it's an opportunity to present a small number of experiences that premiered last year. So we would not be able normally to include them in competition, but we still want to celebrate them because they're amazing stories and they bring something new to the industry. And not always people had an opportunity to see them. So this is also something that is a new part of our structure. And as I mentioned, we have a thematic curation. So for people who are not industry members, who are just festival goers and who are interested in our program, the way we invite them to explore our selections is by kind of following four key thematic areas. And these areas this year are nature, society and identity, art and memory, and the fourth very mysterious theme called tomorrow.

[00:06:15.318] Kent Bye: Interesting. So are each of those four themes and each of those competitions in terms of the new voices as well as the main competition then?

[00:06:22.381] Ana Brzezinska: Correct. So you can explore experiences that belong to one of the four thematic chapters in each of the three categories.

[00:06:33.397] Kent Bye: Okay. Yeah, that's interesting. I know that there's certainly different categories of the domains of human experience, and it sounds like you're starting to, in some ways, pick genres in some ways of what the overall theme of the piece is. So it'll be interesting to see how that plays out this year. Yeah. We usually also have a physical IRL version of the exhibition. And there's usually also have been, at least for the last couple of years, collaborations with the Museum of Other Realities to be able to show these experiences in the context of a virtual exhibition. And so it sounds like this is a first year to be able to do a hybrid exhibition of something that's going in physical reality, but also a virtual component. So maybe you could talk a bit about how that's split up for folks who may not be able to make it out to New York City for the physical installation.

[00:07:21.190] Ana Brzezinska: Yes. So the way we planned it this year, and this is something that I'm very excited about, is that we do have an in real life exhibition, a physical exhibition that is going to be very, very beautiful. I think it's a massive production effort and massive design effort from all the teams, all the presenting teams, but also from the Tribeca production team. And I really can't wait to see this come to life because I believe this is probably a version that is slightly larger and more elaborate than what we used to have in the past. So it will be an extremely exciting journey. We also decided to kind of rework a little bit the way we present the physical installations on the floor and in our gallery space at Spring Studios. So we're trying to make this experience really really open and very, I would say, content rich is probably not the right way to describe it. But the way I like to think about it is that every installation is like a mini embassy of the story world that those creators actually built. So it's not an embellishment to VR or AR experience, but it's It's a self-contained story. So the user journey and the physical exhibition will be extremely important. We're also making sure that design-wise, everything is really polished and we introduce a couple of new elements that people who used to come to Tobiko probably notice and hopefully appreciate. But an extension to that, we're building an original custom designed virtual world. And this is the part that will live at the Museum of Other Realities. It is slightly different from the past two editions that we produced together with the MORE team. So instead of having artist rooms in this kind of like geometrical exhibition space, we actually designed a virtual world. which is a space where you can just spend time and it's a space that tells its own story. And the world was designed and is being built by an absolutely outstanding VR artist, Danny Bittman. It's been a delight working with Danny because you will see, when you're going to see this world, you will realize how amazing and exciting that space is. It reflects the themes of our curation. It is an actual extension of the physical space, but it's a non-realistic virtual world with a lot of Easter eggs to discover. And inside that world, we have a selection of 12 experiences from the official selection, and also we have a gallery of 2D trailers of the experiences that we weren't able to present at the Museum of Other Realities. So I would say these two exhibitions, because we need to think about these two exhibitions as almost two separate productions, I think about them as siblings. and they coexist and together they create a very, I would say, wholesome experience. So our virtual exhibition is not something we built to replace the experience, the physical exhibition experience. It's actually something that is a continuation of that journey. but also a continuation of that journey in a way that I would say does justice to the possibilities that virtual reality offers and that we don't have in real life.

[00:10:56.925] Kent Bye: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to seeing both the installations in the physical exhibition, but also what Dani's been able to create in terms of that world, what her artistry has been able to exhibit there within that context. But it sounds like there's also about 21 experiences total in terms of the entire selection of the eight in the main competition, the nine within the new voices, and then the four that are within the best of season. So it sounds like there might be around 21 that's going to be in the physical installation. but then maybe about a dozen or so that are going to be available in the Museum of Other Realities. Is that correct?

[00:11:32.276] Ana Brzezinska: Yes. Technically, there are five experiences that you can only experience online. These experiences will live at the Museum of Other Realities, but also some of them will be available. This is an additional offering by Oculus CV and Oculus App Lab. We will provide access to different platforms to registered users. But in New York, we're going to have a presentation of... So in Spring Studios, we have 14 experiences. Outside of Spring Studios, we have two locations. And one is 120 Broadway, and this is where Evolver, the new experience by Marshmallow Laser Feast and Atlas Five will live. This is also a very exciting experience for us because we never had such a massive production outside of the main festival hub. So although this is just a couple of minutes walk from Spring Studios, it is really a huge effort from everyone involved to make this come to life because Marshmallow Laser Feast are building a custom gallery space for Volvo, but also in that space, you will be able to experience bits and pieces of their previous works. So if somebody is the fan of what MLF created in the past or would love to learn more about their art, that's definitely a very, very good opportunity to do so. And there will be an opportunity to spend a little bit more time with their art inside that space. And we will have one more experience that will be available in a public space. This is something that you need to experience by the water. This is a geolocated AR experience by Nancy Baker Cahill, an extraordinary digital and crypto artist. She's bringing a unique edition of her experience, Mushroom Cloud. This experience is specifically designed for New York City. It's only available at Pier 25. So you need to go to the pier, you need to download the app and you need to watch the experience there. But a second part of that experience, because it's a diptych is an NFT video that Nancy created exclusively for Tribeca. And this NFT will be minted and put on auction during the festival.

[00:13:48.401] Kent Bye: Okay. Okay. Yeah. Well, maybe it's a good time to dive into some of the individual experiences. We've started to talk about a couple of them already with Evolver and the Mushroom Cloud, NYC slash Rise. So maybe if we start in the main competition, we could just talk about some of the different themes. You already talked about the themes of nature, social identity, art, memory, and tomorrow. But maybe you could start to unpack the individual experiences and maybe give us a little bit of a sneak peek as folks are either going to be attending this virtually or in the physical exhibitions.

[00:14:21.425] Ana Brzezinska: Sure. So I think that we already spoke a little bit about Evolver, but I just want to emphasize that this is a very special premiere. This experience has been in development for many, many years. It is executive produced by Terence Malick and Edward Pressman and Nicole Shanahan. The creative team behind it is truly impressive. There's phenomenal music that was originally composed for Evolver. And I think it's a very important experience and how we think about virtual reality experiences that we can share with other people. And that could become this kind of new version of how we think about spatial digital art. Evolver is something that you experience with five other users. It's a free roaming experience. The VR component is, again, it's just a part of the journey. And the version we present in New York is an exclusive version that is a never before seen social VR experience. The idea is that Evolver brings you to a world that represents human body. So you can actually experience the magic of all the processes that happen inside ourselves. The way it's represented is also giving you the strong feeling of connection with the outside world, with nature, with everything that surrounds us. And it is an extremely contemplative, beautiful experience. I think it's something that people will appreciate a lot after three years of the pandemic. And I think it's also going to be an interesting offering for digital and immersive industry members, because this is such a groundbreaking effort that all those creators made to put this experience together and make it come to life. But obviously we have a number of world premieres and of experiences that have been designed and made specifically for Tribeca in terms of their physical representation. We have a new immersive audio experience from Darkfield in Trivine. It's a nonfiction story. It's a collaboration with Vancouver-based partners from Crackdown. And it's an audio experience about the overdose crisis, which is something that is a huge, huge topic across North America. And I believe that it will give people an opportunity to get an understanding of how this world looks from the inside. It is a very powerful experience and it's something that, of course, a dark field team will make you listen to in darkness, but there's also obviously going to be a continuation of that piece. And I believe that this is something that it's one of the examples of these untold stories that actually are burning social issues. I'm very much looking forward to seeing how our audience members will react to it because there's probably a lot of people that lives have been impacted by the overdose crisis and we should talk about this much more. And there's an experience that is also trying to tackle a similar challenge, an experience that was directed by an XR legend, Nani de la Peña. It's called Please Believe Me. It's a documentary about about Lyme disease, which is, again, another topic that is huge in the United States. It's huge across the world. There's been a number of stories about the fact that healthcare system is not really ready to face that problem, and it's a growing problem, and it's something that that really needs immediate reaction, systemic reaction. And obviously Nani's documentary is made in a way that gives you a deep dive into somebody's life, a life of a person who actually died from Lyme disease. And when you get to hear that story, it actually makes you understand how massive this problem is and you want to take action. So these two nonfiction stories, I think, are something that should definitely get a lot of attention. Another thing is that we have a number of experiences coming from creators exploring their cultural heritage, their roots, and stories of their communities that are often heartbreaking, but that are also something that we need to become a part of. if we want to live in a healthy society. I decided to present an experience from the National Film Board of Canada called This is Not a Ceremony. It had a world premiere at Sundance, but it was never presented in a physical environment. So this is going to be the first time when Colin and his team will actually present this story in a physical installation. I was extremely moved when I've seen it for the first time. And I really hope that our audience members will appreciate that story and the way Colin and his team are presenting it at New York. But we also present an AR experience that is called Emerging Radiance. And it is a beautiful multi-platform experience that is co-created by filmmaker Tani Ikeda and visual artist Michelle Kamada. And the way we present it in Spring Studios is that we display this massive hand-painted mural made by Michelle that you can augment with your mobile device to learn more about the story of Japanese immigrants in the United States. Tani and Michelle are a third generation of Japanese immigrants in the United States and from Bellevue. And they're telling a very moving and a very dark story of their community, but also the way they do it is extremely beautiful and tender. And it brings so much hope. There's a lot of things that will happen on site when you actually experience the piece, so I don't want to tell too much. You just need to come and see it for yourself. We will also have a special version at the Museum of Other Realities, where you will be able to see the very same mural in a slightly different form, but you will also be able to listen to the story of the Bellevue community told by Tom Ikeda, who is a historian. He's also Tani's father. And I think that it will be an extremely valuable introduction to the story that Tani and Michelle are bringing to New York. We have three new episodes of a series that already was presented at Tribeca, I believe twice, Missing Pictures. So we have episodes three, four, five, and I'm very happy that we will present the entire series in New York. Finally, all five episodes together. This is obviously a very beautifully animated series. made by filmmakers and with filmmakers telling stories of films that they never got to make. So for everybody who is coming from the film industry side, I believe this is going to be a very interesting adventure. We have a very beautiful animation made by Ha-Yoon Kwon called Kubo Walks the City. It's also going to be an exciting experience because you actually, the way the story works is that you go through the story by moving in the physical space. So it reminds me a little bit of Dogville when you think about it, but the way this experience is made is absolutely outstanding. It's a beautiful black and white animation. It's based on a story of a Korean writer who is walking through the city and the beginning of the 20th century. So, this is again, one of the stories where we're exploring the past and we're exploring the question of how our identity was defined and where are the mysteries of the past that still define who we are. When I saw it for the first time, for some reason, it made me think of James Joyce and Ulysses. The type of journey that Hyune actually managed to build in that story really has this amazing early 20th century flavor. So I do recommend everybody to see it. We also have a couple of very interesting AR experiences that you can both experience on site in Spring Studios, but you will be able to also try them at home. We have Reach You, which is an AR experience by Katrina and Jonah Goetz-Ido, and it is an augmented reality transmission from the future. It is a very contemplative, very, very beautiful, I would say, attempt to connect across time and space and I think it also has a lot of tenderness and kindness that we all need when we're facing a number of extremely challenging situations in the contemporary world. So it is a very beautiful augmented reality experience, and the team is working on an amazing physical installation. And then on the other side of the room, you are going to have Iago, the green-eyed monster, This is one of my favorite experiences because it is so full of energy. It's so well executed. It's a musical experience. The studio behind it is Freedar. It's the studio that made Gloomy Eyes and Paper Birds. So a team with massive, massive XR experience. amazing animation, amazing music. It's a story of Thiago, the villain from Othello, but it is being told by a woman. And it's a monologue and a contemplation of what jealousy and hate are. But there's also a lot of other things in that experience and it's super playful and just trying it makes you understand that we still have so much to learn about what AR is offering as a narrative tool. And I think this team is really pushing the boundaries of what narrative AR could be. Oh, and we have an experience that we only can present on site. It's a 3D documentary made for looking glass devices, 3D holographic screens called Zanzibar Trouble in Paradise. It's a short nonfiction story. of women who are trying to fight for their financial independence and Zanzibar who are facing also the consequences of climate change, but it's a very beautifully shot story. And I think the way people can interact with it without actually using a VR headset also shows how differently we can think about what immersion means. So definitely something to take a look at. The team behind that experience is Springbok Entertainment. In the past, they presented a very, very moving experience called The 100%. So again, a team with a lot of expertise in telling spatial stories. All right, okay. So another installation that I absolutely need to mention is the North American premiere of LGBTQ Plus VR Museum, an experience made by Antonia Forster and Thomas Terkelsen. And this is a version that the team produced specifically for Tribeca. It's a biometric installation where people will be able to see their own emotional reactions to stories presented inside the museum in VR on a display that will be a part of the installation. The idea is that not only people can interact with stories that are a part of the museum, this is the first VR gallery that is dedicated to stories and artworks of members of the LGBTQ plus community. But the idea is that by just being in that space, you actually learn more about your own reactions, your own emotions, and your own level of empathy. The fact that one of the team members is a researcher working a lot with the topic of empathy and emotional reactions and immersive worlds is very important here. I particularly am excited about the fact that it's not a narrative story. It's a virtual environment. It's a social space, but it's also a space that was designed with a mission. And I think that the fact that this is an experience that is growing and that is being filled with new stories and new components. is also another example of how virtual worlds can be developed and can become something more than what they were when we saw them for the first time. So it's an ongoing, developing, dynamic experience. we present a VR experience that belongs to the metaverse of Planet City. Planet City is really an extraordinary project because it's something that goes far beyond VR. Liam Young, the creator behind that experience, has been working on it for years. He's been working with an army of consultants and experts, scientists, sociologists, designers and other creators. He's building a concept of a fictional city of 10 billion people that allows the rest of the earth to breathe and to recover. It is obviously a very short and simplistic version of the vision that he's building, but it is a very ambitious and rich endeavor. There's a short film, there's a book There's a number of components inside that experience, but because there's also a virtual reality experience supported by live arts, we are presenting it also as part of our programming this year. And again, users will be able to not only see the VR piece, but they will also be able to explore other components of the Planet City story world. I am extremely curious to see the physical installation of Plastisapiens, another world premiere coming from the National Film Board of Canada, the Montreal studio. It is the debut of two female creators, Miri Cekanovic and Edith Joris. The piece was made by DPT and it's absolutely hilarious, a surrealist work of eco-fiction about how we evolve as a species. and about how the consumption of plastic changes us human beings and opens paths to a completely unexpected future. It is a very, very beautiful experience, very playful experience. The installation is absolutely spectacular. It's obviously all made of recyclable materials. It's handmade and it actually gives you a little bit of a feeling as if you were a part of that new, unexpected environment. So also, I definitely encourage everybody to see that piece. The Black Movement Library Movement Portraits is a stunning VR story from a young visual artist, LaJuné McMillian. LaJuné, again, has been developing that concept for a long time. There is a number of different components to the VR piece, La Jeunesse will also have a so-called midnight moment on Times Square during Tribeca. So anybody who goes to Times Square at midnight can see La Jeunesse's work and La Jeunesse's bits and pieces of the project that we present on screens across Times Square. We also will present, together with the VR piece, all five chapters of a film that Lajeunet made in the past that were actually the beginning of that project. So again, a lot of different things to explore. She is a New York based artist. She works with dancers and choreographers who tell the story of their artistic mission, but also their identity as black artists and members of black community. So an extremely engaging and beautiful encounter. We're also presenting, this is a part of our best of season selection, for the first time ever, a physical installation of the container. And the container is a very disturbing and very strong 180 video, something that is in between VR and installation art. that takes viewers on a journey about human slavery across ages. And the team premiered that experience during the COVID pandemic in Venice, but they never got to present the full installation on a festival. So this is the first time they will do it. And I am extremely proud that we will have a chance to host them and to present that experience the way it was initially designed.

[00:32:39.019] Kent Bye: I don't know if you wanted to mention any more about Nancy Baker Cahill's Mushroom Cloud. And then there's the three more of the best of season.

[00:32:47.382] Ana Brzezinska: Yeah, well, we have more than that because we still have the five experiences that are presented only in VR. So these experiences are Mescaform Hill. Then we have Exhibition A. Limbo Topia and Glimpse and End of Night. So these experiences are presented only in VR, but I think that, and Glimpse and End of Night are experiences that most of our industry members are familiar with because these are the experiences that have been already presented at festivals last year. Glimpse just, I think last week, won a major award at ConXR. So we're very, very happy that we're presenting it as part of our best of season programming. But what I would like to mention is Masquerform Hill, Limbo Topia, and Exhibition A. These are free experiences that we present only in VR. And Exhibition A is, again, it's a part of our best of season programming. It's an experience that I discovered that really moved me a lot because it's a piece that was made by a very dedicated and very mission-driven group of people during the pandemic period. And it was made out of a true necessity with no massive budget behind. And you can immediately see when you experience it, that you are being invited to become a part of their world. And you feel almost like you're sitting in their living room. And it has this amazing ability of just like putting you in touch with people that otherwise you would never meet. It's something that I really enjoyed and I hope that our audience members will have a chance to experience it. And you should experience it in real time with creators guiding you through that piece. So that's an important information, but I want to focus a little bit more just to wrap things up on Lumbootopia and Mescaform Hill, because these are, again, two experiences from first-time creators, two experiences that are very interesting VR animations with very distinct artistic style and a very clear message. Mescaform Hill is an animation made by Edward Matajamu. and the way he's using animation, color, perspective is absolutely, absolutely amazing. I haven't seen anything like this before. It is produced by Meta and it probably will be available on Oculus channels after the festival, but I do encourage everybody to see it. It will be available at the Museum of Other Realities, but we will also provide a link to Oculus TV in case somebody needs a quicker way to get to that experience. A very, very beautiful experience and very captivating emotional story. And Limbo-topia, it's also something that I discovered and was really attracted to because it comes from a very, very young first time Taiwanese VR director. It's a very dark experience and it's kind of trippy, but I would say for me, it is not only a very interesting artistic concept, but it also shows me a little bit more how young artists are approaching the most challenging topics of our times and how they also introduce bits and pieces of their own cultural heritage and popular culture and crafting a new language that they want to use to speak with their own voice about climate change, about all the crises that we are facing and their own anxieties and their own fear of the future. So yes, again, I really encourage you to jump into the Museum of Other Realities to see those works because there's a new generation of artists has a lot of very interesting things to offer.

[00:37:10.123] Kent Bye: Yeah, in the Mushroom Cloud NYC, you had mentioned before we started to do the unpacking the augmented reality piece by Nancy Baker Cahill and that, just from the cover image, I can only imagine the experience of being in New York City and seeing these simulated visions of a mushroom cloud over the water in the city there. just a lot of the larger discussions of nuclear proliferation. And on the morning you wake to the end of the world talking about the false ballistic missile alert in Hawaii, you know, the larger issue of nuclear proliferation seems to be very timely in terms of what's happening with Russia and the threats of nuclear war and annihilation, mutually assured destruction. So I can only imagine what that experience is going to feel like.

[00:37:54.481] Ana Brzezinska: Yes, we also had a lot of conversations about the context of what's currently happening in Eastern Europe. But what I want to emphasize, and this is the magic of not only augmented reality, but digital art per se, is that in a very short experience, because it's not a narrative story, it's really a work of art coming from a visual artist who is just using spatial tools. for her artistic creation. But what is really very strong is that the mushroom cloud begins as something that you read as an act of violence, but what it becomes afterwards is the opposite. And I think this is the true power of that story. And I know that Nancy is always trying to emphasize that this is not a story of violence. It's actually a story of collective efforts that can enable us to save the world that we have. And this whole experience is about that twist. Like, how do you switch from mode number one to mode number two? And I think that as a symbol, it just has a lot of weight today. And I hope that it will just become a starting point for people to think about that twist and that change. Because what I want to say is that, you know, everything that we present this year at Tribeca, the whole curation, the whole concept of these four themes and the way these experiences were selected, it's all about restoring our sense of agency. There is a meta story to that curation, of course. And this story is something that I managed to build based on what community gave me. So when I reached out to creators, when I went through all the submissions, I realized that there are certain patterns that artists are trying to tell us something. And I use that information to kind of channel this into like a meta story. So when you go through everything that creators are bringing and everything and the way we've put it together, I hope you will be able to read that message because it's a message of hope. And I think we need that. I think we are in a situation when we're leaving our homes after a long time and we're facing a world that we don't recognize anymore. So somebody has to help us to make the next step. And I really hope that our artists and this exhibition will be exactly that. So, yeah.

[00:40:25.158] Kent Bye: Yeah, just a couple of quick thoughts on End of Night, which won an award at Venice. It uses Depthkit, and for me it was such a great spatial journey that is about exile and escaping the Nazis during World War II, but just the way that they use the VR medium to take you through that journey of exile. And Glimpse was a piece that I actually really, really enjoyed as well, which felt heartbreak and relationships and recalling and remembering the course of a relationship, but really enjoyed how they used embodiment and interaction within that piece of ways that you are engaging with the story by different interactions that I felt like worked really quite well.

[00:41:03.977] Ana Brzezinska: That is true. And Glimpse also, I mean, what I particularly loved about Glimpse is the way they work with sounds and the way they use the voice of the lead actress. And then I think the level of intimacy they achieved is actually because of the way they work with sounds. And then the visual excellence obviously is important, but it starts with what you're hearing, I believe. And I really hope that people will enjoy that because it really is an example of outstanding quality where sound and vision are so balanced and then give you this absolutely wholesome journey for that little sweet story that probably everybody has been through in life at some point.

[00:41:48.560] Kent Bye: All right, well, I think we covered all the pieces. The 21 pieces are going to be featured at the Tribeca Immersive Exhibition that's coming up here in June. I'm looking forward to being there on site and seeing the experiences and then checking out the online version and the Museum of Other Realities. I guess as we wrap up here, what do you think the ultimate potential of immersive storytelling and these different types of immersive experiences might be and what they might be able to enable?

[00:42:15.655] Ana Brzezinska: That is a very, very good and very difficult question because I think, and this is just really my personal opinion, I think that we have built a truly outstanding industry. I think we have massive talent and I think we have a lot of expertise already. But I think this market is going to face massive challenges. I think we're looking at a period of real economic crisis. I'm not sure if we managed to find the business solutions that we were trying to find. So I don't know how this is going to turn out, but it should be a moment of self-reflection for us as an industry. Because on one hand, we have so much to offer and our creators are absolutely amazing and you know, everybody that I have a chance to work with is, is just like, it's a dream come true. But from a business perspective, there's so many question marks and these question marks might become a major obstacle for us. So yeah, that's how I see things currently.

[00:43:22.565] Kent Bye: Yeah. There was just a whole crafting a market for independent XR report that came out on May 25th. That kind of dives into some of those business aspects, but yeah. Games are certainly a no-brainer in terms of the distribution, but these different types of stories and supporting the wider industry, I think has been an ongoing open question for how to really move past that avant-garde phase and more into a proper business for all these folks.

[00:43:46.665] Ana Brzezinska: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I mean, at some point we, the industry will get there because technology will force us to, but I don't know what's going to happen, you know, before that moment actually arrives. And I think we were all expecting XR to become mainstream much sooner than it actually can happen. And there's been a lot of things that we just didn't foresee that are happening right now. So, yeah, I mean, I'm very curious to see if there are any any new scenarios on the horizon. And if people are thinking about new solutions, but I think the need for a sustainable and reliable business model is currently much larger than it was ever before.

[00:44:27.373] Kent Bye: Is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the broader immersive community?

[00:44:33.699] Ana Brzezinska: Yes, I want to say that if you have a chance, you should absolutely go and check out our game selections in the games gallery that will be happening in the same building in New York on the first floor. This is a selection that is curated by Casey Baltus, Tribeca's vice president, Games Inmersive. And this is the first time there is a physical exhibition for games. So that's going to be very exciting. If you're a gamer and you're also in love with XR, you should probably explore both these exhibitions. So that's something that is a new and exciting opportunity at Tribeca this year.

[00:45:14.418] Kent Bye: Awesome. Well, I'll be there from the 8th to the 14th in New York City and looking forward to seeing not only the immersive program, but hopefully checking out some of the games as well. I'm imagining there's going to be a lot of narrative games that kind of looking at the intersection between gaming and narrative and yeah, looking forward to checking out what I can there and also connecting to the artists that are going to be featured here within your program. So very much looking forward to what you've been able to put together and thanks for joining me today to be able to help unpack it all.

[00:45:42.351] Ana Brzezinska: Thank you, Kent. Pleasure as always.

[00:45:44.405] Kent Bye: So that was Anna Brzezinska. She's the immersive curator at the Tribeca Film Festival. So I have a number of different takeaways from this interview is that, first of all, well, you can get the Museum of Other Realities download now. It's now available. You can go download the DLC and you can see the amazing world created by Danny Bittman And there's a number of different immersive experiences there. But I think there's also going to be some on the Oculus. So some of the 360 videos may be better to show up on the Oculus, but they're not showing up quite yet. But there's also other immersive experiences that you can do. Some of them are fixed off. Some are just trailers that you have to go and. Get the actual experience to see so that's the remote that you can see some of those experiences And I'm about to go to Tribeca to see a lot of the other installations and other stuff. That's not going to be online So there's also going to be a lot of art installations that are going to be Setting a larger context for a lot of these immersive experiences and something that's going to be a little bit bigger than years past So I'm very curious to see what that's going to be like I guess the other thing to note is that there are a new competition programs there's the existing story scapes which is usually the premiere storytelling competition that is featuring a lot of people who are usually veterans in the industry, but there's a whole new voices section, so people who are relatively new to the industry. There's also a best-in-season, so doing a retrospective from other Experiences that may have shown at other festivals for folks to be able to see that so and there's a number of different augmented reality Experiences this year that are happening at either the Tribeca Locations or the one from Nancy pick your Cahill that you can go to peer 24 I think she said one of the peers in New York City to be able to see this mushroom cloud over in New York City and And there's the Evolver experience, which is by Mushroom Laser Feast, which is one of my favorite creators. So I'm very curious to see their latest experience, as well as a bit of a retrospective of some of their works over the years. So I'm really looking forward to that. Sounds like you might need to get a specific time to go see that. And it's also away from the other main locations at the Spring Studios there. on Varrick Street for where the main area for Tribeca is. drop by there and see me so those it sounded like that you needed to get a Reservation and a specific time for at least the press preview So I'm hoping that it can just kind of drop in and catch some of the stuff that might be available or if not Then I'll be just focusing on the immersive creators and lots of different events that are happening there in New York City. I So, that's all I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast, and if you enjoyed the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a less-than-supported podcast, and I do rely upon donations from people like yourself in order to continue bringing this coverage. So you can become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash voicesofvr.

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