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Interview: Loren Hammonds, Programmer of Immersive Films at Tribeca Film Festival

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”Remember: Remember”

’Remember: Remember’
Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

How does memory function when there is a world conspiring against those remembrances? Project Creator Kevin Cornish directs a dystopia of amazing realism and fear. You are a fellow traveler with the female protagonist, as she sits in jail cell trying to remember what she has forgotten. The pieces of that consequence start to come to life, highlighted by an alien invasion that is chilling in its presence. HIGHLIGHT: People waiting in line get to observe the reactions and contortions of the person experiencing “Remember: Remember.”


If You Were a ‘Tree,’ What Tree Would You Be?
Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

A perfect example of VR/Immersive used as environmental consciousness. The participant is a tree, from a seedling to destruction. Your arms become the branches, as wildlife settle upon them (out damned squirrel!). The freakiest experience is the emergence as a seed that breaks the earth and begins to grow. Additionally, project creators Milica Zec and Winslow Porter has added wind, heat and environment to your tree growing interaction. HIGHLIGHT: Once the bonds of earth are severed, the tree flies over the earth as if an angel.

”The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes”

’The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes’
Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

Another environmentally conscious presentation, facilitated by film director Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”) and Imraan Ismail, the participant goes on patrol with the rangers of Garamba National Park. Located in the Congo in Africa, the vast parklands are rife with ivory poachers, and the killing of elephants are a constant threat. The rangers are as vigilant as warriors, and as respectful of their job as saints. This is as terse and immersive as an experience can be. HIGHLIGHT: This is a great one to look all around your 360 degree view, especially as a helicopter comes to pick up you and the rangers. Congrats Kathryn B.

”Neurospeculative Afrofeminism”

Demonstrating a Confrontation Shield at the ‘Neurospeculative Afrofeminism’ Display
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

Social consciousness and justice has never been more entertainingly presented as a group of techies and artists have come together to address the prejudices of judgement and authoritarianism. You stare in a mirror at a virtual salon, but your makeover involves the situation of being the “other,” and understanding how stupid it is to be any kind of superior force (if you’re in that position, as I am as a white male). The passion in this project is its strength, as created by Hyphen-Labs, and project creators Ashley Baccus-Clark, Carmen Aquilar y Wedge, Ece Tankal and Nitzan Bartov. HIGHLIGHT: There was a presentation of devices at the kiosk that were designed to counteract protest confrontations.


Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival

The timing was right, with the recent passing of the composer of this ubiquitous song (Leonard Cohen), but the lack of creativity of picking this particular song, and the strange presentation – a single singer performs all the parts, and let’s just say I hope his mother has seen this, because she’ll love it to death – this is more of an experiment by project creators Zach Richter, Bobby Halvorson, Eames Kolar, “Within” and “Lytro.” There is an expansion by the end, but the overall experience, both in the odd choice of a song that won’t go away and the single shot of the singer, makes it less Immersive than the others. HIGHLIGHT: However, the reveal at the end is pretty darn spectacular.


Opening Night of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

Ron Howard Walks the Red Carpet for ‘Genius’

Anne Heche Walks the Red Carpet for ‘My Friend Dahmer’

Tracy Morgan & Sting on the Red Carpet for ‘The Clapper’

Burt Reynolds & Robert De Niro on the Red Carpet for ‘Dog Years’

2017 Tribeca Film Festival Honors ‘Keep the Change’ as Best U.S. Narrative Feature

The Films of the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival

The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival took place from April 19th through April 30th. For more general information on 2017 Tribeca, click here.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editorial Coordinator, Writer

© 2017 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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