Storytellers Are Experimenting Beyond VR at Sundance 2019

April 22, 2019

Fay Ulrica Lee

Storytelling is central to human existence. We find meaning in stories and use them to make sense of the world. But how they are told has been unchanged for the past century and what’s happening now is that the tools for telling and experiencing these stories are exploding and it’s inspired innovation and experimentation among artists. People are now so involved and want to be part of the story. They want to be able to create their own stories. The dynamic revolution of film, art and technology that’s making its mark in international film festivals like, Sundance and Tribeca Film Festival  is a sign of the times.

The work presented at the New Frontier exhibition at Sundance 2019 saw a wide range of artists making use of interactive, emerging technologies and installation-based experiences that encompass AR, VR, MR and AI. What’s really obvious about this year’s lineup is that the human body is integrated into almost all the experiences. Among the projects that stood out for their level of experimentation, unique storytelling, interactivity and technology include Emergence by Matt Pyke, and Mica by John Monis and Alice Wroe.

Since 2007, the Sundance New Frontier umbrella has provided the highest level of curation and support in the revolution, incorporating fiction, non-fiction and mixed-media projects to showcase innovative storytelling, multi-media installations, performances and films. I’m already excited for next year’s showcase. The 2020 Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 23 to February 2, 2020.