At Sundance's New Frontier, VR and AR are poised to go epic and weird

CNET | 1/24/2019 | Joan E. Solsman
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This year's New Frontier program at Sundance is getting back to its roots. The film festival's high-tech art showcase is going to feel a bit like a party again -- only bigger.

"We're seeing work being done on a larger scale," New Frontier's chief curator, Shari Frilot, said in an interview Tuesday. Because creators are inventing their own tech to realize their visions, "This year, we're ... seeing more kinds of stories being made possible because of innovations."

Sundance - New - Frontier - Forms - Technology

Sundance's New Frontier, designed to foster new forms of storytelling using technology, is the year's first major pit stop for interactive storytellers to show off their latest work. The program underscores the growing influence of tech like virtual and augmented reality as new mediums for artists, at an event once solely devoted to traditional films. This time the program's scale is getting a boost as New Frontier moves to a new, expansive space, allowing for outsize projects to stretch imaginations.

Digital puppet demos will sprinkle New Frontier at Sundance this year.

Festivalgoers - Year - Multiroom - Mind-warping - VR

Festivalgoers this year can try a multiroom mind-warping VR fine dining installation. Or karaoke with a digital puppet modeled on a monstrosity from a Goya painting. There's an immersive theater piece that sounds like the characters from Crazy Rich Asians got caught up in an Agatha Christie mystery mashed together with Black Mirror.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is even building something like a miniature amphitheater here for a Magic Leap augmented reality play.

New - Frontier - Friday - Afternoon - Sundance

New Frontier kicks off Friday afternoon as the Sundance Film Festival 2019 opens its 10-day run in Park City, Utah. The New Frontier program has two locations: A large-scale venue called New Frontier Central hosts most of the exhibition, while a smaller space next door, in the basement of the Ray theater, features the rest of the projects along with a 40-seat...
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