The Sundance film festival, which is typically an in-person event, is being held via a virtual hub this year. While Sundance 2022, which runs through January 30th, was initially intended to include both in-person and virtual events, all in-person aspects of the event were cancelled. Those wishing to partake in the festivities can join online or go to satellite screenings at select arthouse cinemas.
Sundance’s New Frontier 2022 is “a showcase for dynamic, innovative work at the crossroads of film, art and technology,” according to the website. Users can experience the virtual festival via New Frontier’s platform, The Spaceship. The Spaceship is accessible via VR headset and traditional computing.
While Sundance is certainly doing its part to bring films to the virtual realm, it’s far from the only organization to do so. The Neos metaverse is hosting The MetaMovie, Alien Rescue, an immersive and interactive virtual movie experience.
Sundance 2022 Tech Spec Recommendations
Sundance suggests participants use either the Safari, Edge, or Opera internet browser to view films online. However, users must use Safari on Mac, or Edge on PC to view the movie in HD. To access New Frontier Spaceship is compatible with Firefox and Chrome along with the browsers mentioned above. Sundance recommends using the Meta Quest 2 VR headset when accessing The Spaceship. However, any VR headset that can run WebXR should work.
Though the festival is already underway, several of its highlights still have upcoming showings. ATUA is a project available on The Spaceship that re-envisions the realm of Pacific gods via AR sculptures. As described on the Sundance site, the project “claims space for gender-diverse identities impacted by colonial first contact and creates an intimate portal for users to see themselves reflected as vital to their cultural heritage and an intrinsic part of the cosmos.”
Another highlight is Cosmogony which showcases bio-digital dance performances. Cosmogony is a live dance performance utilizing motion capture technology to transfer the dancer’s movements to their avatar. Cosmogony has an upcoming show on January 26th, 2022, at 7 p.m. EST. For more information, visit the Sundance Film Festival Website.