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New York Film Festival 2013

  • Awards
  • Film Awards

NYFF Convergence Returns with Interactive Premieres and a Surprise

Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels and Karlyn Michelson’s Charlie Victor Romeo.

Transmedia returns to the New York Film Festival this year with the second edition of NYFF Convergence. Spotlighting the intersection of technology and storytelling, the program offers participants the opportunity to experience a curated selection of new immersive storytelling projects. This year’s edition will close with a “special secret event,” which will be unveiled by Film Society of Lincoln Center at a later date.

The three-day program, taking place September 28 – 30 in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and the Walter Reade Theater, examines the confluence of technology, content creation, and interaction and will present projects in three categories: Experiences, Panels and Keystone Presentations.

The Experiences component spotlights the interactive element of transmedia storytelling. Highlights include the World Premiere of Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill’s The Empire Project, an immersive documentary experience that examines the still-unfolding legacy of Dutch colonialism, while the New York debut of Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, and Karlyn Michelson’s Charlie Victor Romeo takes audience members into the cockpit with an airline pilot during an in-flight emergency. Nicolas Alcala’s The Cosmonaut travels back to the 1960s, allowing participant to experience “the space race” alongside two Russian cosmonauts trying to beat the U.S. to the moon. 48 Hour Games by Suvi Andrea Helminen is an interactive “choose your own adventure”-style documentary that was shot during the Nordic Game Jam, an event that annually brings together more than 300 game developers from all parts of Scandinavia. And Rick Prelinger’s No More Road Trips? takes to the highways and byways through thousands of home movies and amateur films and looks to the audience for its narration and soundtrack.

The World Premiere of Katerina Cizek’s A Short History of the High Rise is among the highlights of NYFF Convergence’s Keystone Presentations program. Produced by Op-Docs, the New York Times editorial department’s forum for short, opinionated documentaries, and the National Film Board of Canada, the project is an interactive documentary that explores the global history of vertical living and issues of social equality in an increasingly urbanized world via four short films and an interactive experience that incorporates the films allowing users to dig deeper into the project’s themes with additional archival materials, text, and micro-games. Musician, writer, director and actor Cory McAbee (Crazy & Thief, Indie Night ’12) will return to the Film Society with Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club featuring live music and video pieces from the project. McAbee will be on hand to share anecdotes from the piece, which is described as “an original experiment in collaborative art.”

Christian Fonnesbech and Frederik Øvlisen’s Cloud Chamber

Also taking part in the Convergence’s Keystone Presentations is Christian Fonnesbech and Frederik Øvlisen’s Cloud Chamber, a collaborative experience that is part alternate reality game, part film, part social network. Players are asked to work together via a single web portal to uncover the story of a young scientist who risked her sanity and betrayed her father in order to “save humanity from its most dangerous enemy: itself.”

Panels taking place during the weekend, which runs parallel with the opening weekend of the New York Film Festival, will delve into a cross-section of topics related to content and technological innovation. Crowdfunding, micro-finance, business models, and producing will be among the areas discussed in addition to “teams and tools” and the ins and outs of working on multiple platforms.

“The core of Convergence is interaction—audiences and creators coming together to explore, play, and debate the future of entertainment,” said NYFF Convergence co-programmer Matt Bolish. “We couldn’t be happier with the quality of the projects and the global reach of the line up for this year’s NYFF Convergence program, with creators from the U.S. sharing the stage with those from Denmark, Spain, and the Netherlands… and we can’t wait to reveal the details of our special closing event!”

A priority-access badge to the three days of NYFF Convergence programming is now on sale for just $99!

2013 NYFF Convergence categories and event descriptions follow.


Charlie Victor Romeo – New York Premiere
Directors:  Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels and Karlyn Michelson – (Appearing in Person)
Saturday, September 28 at 2:00PM, EBM Beale Theater
Derived in its entirety from black box recordings of true airline emergencies, Charlie Victor Romeo presents the sort of visceral experience that stays with audiences long after credits roll. Originally produced as a highly successful stage play in New York’s Lower East Side, the film makes startlingly effective use of a state-of-the-art 3D process to take us to a place few civilian eyes have ever been: the other side of the steel reinforced door that separates the public from the pilots. Directors Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels and Karlyn Michelson invite their audience to play silent witness to six high-tension dramatizations possessed with a raw intensity real enough to earn multiple citations from organizations such as the Air Force, West Point, and countless professional groups across the aviation community. In equal measure startling and uplifting, Charlie Victor Romeo is a project that demands our respect and attention.