World VR Forum’s Co-Founder – Delphine Seitiée and Market and Partnerships Director – Ellen Kuo in collaboration with Culturunners and Misk Art Institute profited from Tribeca Film Festival and from the Immersive Festival which debuted with interactive projects and a focus on VR in New York City, NY, 18-22 April.
The selection of VR project premiers was very beautiful with a Virtual Arcade and Cinema 360° which has been there for many years. WVRF was at the side event at 144 Dweyne St. at Culturerunners studio in the evening attending the screening of Reframe Saudi produced by Matteo Lonardi and Culturerunners.
Tribeca Film Festival
Reframe Saudi which was also presented at Art Dubai in March, tells the story of several Saudi artists: Dana Awartani, Ahmad Angawi, Rashed Al Shashai, Ajlan Gharem, Jameela Mater, Ahaad Alamoudi, Fatima Jaber, Ali Mogawi, Ayman Yossri Daydban and Latifa Algosaibi. The VR documentary film explores Saudi Arabia from the perspectives of a new generation of contemporary artists. As Saudi Arabia enters a new phase socially and economically, Reframe Saudi transports the viewers to the artists’ studios where each reflects on a different aspect of this transformative time.
The invited public could watch Lonardi’s film and to follow a VR panel with speakers: Antoine Cayrol, Founder and Producer of Atlas V, Lily Baldwin – an independent filmmaker, Taylor Williams from Reel FX, Lonardi – Reframe Saudi’s producer, David Kaufman – moderator of the panel and Global Lifestyle Editor at Quartz. In general, it was a conversation on the state of VR today and briefly on the future in this field and its function in the art world.
"The panel was a big success bringing in full house with the public mostly consisting of people not familiar with VR who were very happy to have an introduction to this futuristic medium,” said Seitiée.
WVRF continues collaborating with Culturerunners and Reframe Saudi because Lonardi is an artist which we support from 2016, since his earlier VR film – Reframe Iran and help with development ideas for creation.
Prior to Tribeca, Misk Art Institute was proud to present the US premier of Reframe Saudi film, an exhibition and a panel at Phillips, also in Big Apple, 26-29 March, so New Yorkers had several chances to experience the Middle Eastern art scene.
The Misk Art Institute, part of the Misk Foundation, the non-profit foundation established by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud established to empower Saudi youth, has organized this event in collaboration with Culturunners, WVRF and Phillips.
The panel which took place on the 27th of March centred on the increasing role that VR plays in connecting the audience across geographical and ideological borders with cultural narratives that would otherwise be impossible to access. The panellists Rashed Al Shashai, Ahmad Angawi, and Lonardi discussed how Reframe Saudi as an immersive experience can awaken immediate social and cultural empathy, as VR artists are ahead of the game compared to other VR producers who are tethered to the technical aspect of the medium.
Interpersonal, imaginative, revolutionary and out of the box, Reframe Saudi made an everlasting impression on the city that never sleeps.