August 10, 2016 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
They’ve been featured at festivals around the world―and now six new National Film Board of Canada (NFB) virtual reality (VR) and immersive productions are coming to Toronto from August 19 to 21 at POP 03, the third and final pop-up installation showcasing new approaches in storytelling at TIFF Bell Lightbox, presented by the Toronto International Film Festival in collaboration with the NFB.
Five VR projects
The NFB’s trailblazing work in virtual reality will be on display with five VR experiences:
Way to Go offers users an astonishing journey, combining hand-made animation, 360-degree video capture, music, dreaming and code to create an immersive walk in the woods that’s filled with mystery and discovery. Created by Vincent Morisset, Philippe Lambert, Édouard Lanctôt-Benoit and Caroline Robert of the AATOAA studio, Way to Go was produced by Hugues Sweeney for the NFB’s French-language Interactive Studio in Montreal and by Boris Razon for France Télévisions. Winner of three Webby Awards, Way to Go is Morisset’s second collaboration with the NFB, following his 2011 Webby winner, the interactive animated film for computer BLA BLA.
Created by Loïc Suty (Turbulent) and co-produced by Turbulent and the NFB, The Unknown Photographer is a surreal plunge into the fragmented memories of a WWI photographer, whose work was discovered in an abandoned barn north of Montreal. A documentary/fiction hybrid, The Unknown Photographer gives new life to more than 260 long-lost images as participants stroll through a vivid dreamscape of otherworldly structures and allegorical characters. The Unknown Photographer is co-produced by Claire Buffet (Turbulent) and Louis-Richard Tremblay (NFB), with executive producers Marc Beaudet and Benoit Beauséjour (Turbulent) and Hugues Sweeney (NFB).
Previewing in Beta form, Cardboard Crash is an immersive VR experiment created by Vincent McCurley and the NFB’s Digital Studio in Vancouver. In a world of AI and self-driving cars, who determines the ethics algorithm to handle emergency situations? In Cardboard Crash, the user is slowed down to “bullet time,” becoming the computer, and forced to confront a hard decision where there is plenty of data, but no easy answer. Cardboard Crash is produced and executive produced by Loc Dao, now the NFB’s chief digital officer.
Munro Ferguson’s VR animated film Minotaur takes a journey through seven stages: birth, childhood, mission, labyrinth, monster, battle and death/rebirth. Through abstract moving images, Minotaur conveys corresponding emotional states: calm, love, joy, surprise, fear, anger/hate, and death/rebirth, leading again to calm. Renowned Canadian composer Kid Koala’s haunting score accentuates the hero’s quest for redemption. Winner of a Genie Award for his 3D animated short Falling in Love Again, Ferguson is a leader in developing new creative applications for IMAX’s Sandde hand-drawn stereoscopic animation system. The VR producer of Minotaur is Jelena Popovic, with Michael Fukushima as executive producer for the NFB’s Animation Studio.
Cut-Off is an immersive 360-degree VR documentary experience that places the viewer in the middle of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s historic visit to Shoal Lake 40, a First Nation in Canada without access to clean water. In this 10-minute work, we also visit Cross Lake, where a state of emergency was declared after a wave of youth suicides. Cut-Off was created by VICE, Occupied VR, the NFB and the Canadian Film Centre, and is hosted by Sarain Carson-Fox, with J. Lee Williams as creative director. The producers are Matt Gallagher, Janine Steele (NFB) and Ana Serrano (CFC Media Lab). The executive producers are Patrick McGuire, Michael Gruzuk, Nina Sudra and Michael Kronish (VICE); Loc Dao (NFB); Sean Evans (Occupied VR); and Ana Serrano (CFC Media Lab).
A one-of-a-kind cinematic séance
Torontonians can experience a groundbreaking foray into data-driven storytelling with the film-generating installation Seances. Created by iconoclastic filmmaker Guy Maddin, co-creators Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson, and the NFB, Seances dynamically assembles reimagined lost films in never-to-be-repeated configurations. This installation lets participants conjure up their films by selecting ghostly text fragments floating on an interactive 55-inch touch-screen table, until a story is summoned to life. Participants then take their seats for a one-time-only film experience, one that will cease to exist after their viewing. Seances is the latest work to emerge from a cinematic story-world that includes the Seances online experience and the acclaimed 2015 film The Forbidden Room, named to TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten list. Maddin and the brothers Johnson will be in Toronto to attend POP 03―so you never know where they’ll materialize!
Seances is a collaboration between the NFB’s North West Studio and Digital Studio, and is produced for the NFB by Alicia Smith and Dana Dansereau, with David Christensen and Loc Dao as executive producers.
POP 03 features the best new virtual reality and immersive works as well as a chance to meet with and hear from creators about what’s next in storytelling innovation. For more information, including details about showtimes and admission, visit http://tiff.net/pop03.
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Toronto International Film Festival
Canadian Film Centre
Online Screening Room: NFB.ca