63rd Sydney Film Festival spotlights the cutting edge in Beyond Cinema sidebar

04 May, 2016 by Staff Writer

Stuck in the Middle with You at ACMI.


This year's Sydney Film Festival will feature three free 'immersive experiences' in a sidebar titled Beyond Cinema.

“The Festival’s new immersive program expands the Sydney Film Festival experience by presenting three new ways of creating and experiencing film, art and storytelling,” said SFF Director Nashen Moodley. 

“From virtual reality, to 360-degree 3D cinema, to a four-sided video art installation, the festival encourages audiences to explore new worlds, new perspectives and new ways to enjoy film,” he said.

Down the Rabbit Hole – Virtual Reality, at Sydney Town Hall's Hub, will screen nine virtual reality films from four Australian and five international filmmakers, programmed by Mathieu Ravier and presented in association with Jumpgate VR. Audiences will get a chance to roadtest Samsung Gear VR and Facebook’s new Oculus Rift.

These works will take take the viewer to the streets of Havana (A History of Cuban Dance), onto a stage with the Sydney Dance Company (Stuck in the Middle with You), inside the world of a cattle farmer and one of Australia's top saddle bronco riders (Warwick Gold – Australian Rodeo), into a Lewis Carroll-inspired music video (Fabulous Wonder.Land), an asylum (Madeleine), and into an animated encounter with a lonely rose (The Rose and I).

There will also be a free panel discussion, Diving Down the VR Rabbit Hole (June 11), featuring writer Mike Jones and a selection of the VR filmmakers who have works screening at The Hub. 

The festival’s second Beyond Cinema experience is co-presented with the University of New South Wales at the University’s 360-degree 3D iCinema.  

Two interactive experimental films will have their world premiere: Deluge, dealing with devastating cyclone Yasi (QLD 2011), and Nebula, a dream work exploring relationships between the human and natural worlds, created by Dennis Del Favero, Australian playwright Stephen Sewell and others.

The final Beyond Cinema experience is presented in association with Carriageworks and is a four-sided video installation entitled Hossein Valamanesh: Char Soo, which places viewers at the intersection of an Iranian bazaar to contemplate movement, human interaction and the passing of time.

The full SFF program will be announced May 11.