Sundance Film Festival to Feature 18 VR & AR Experiences Next Month

Featuring projects from Eminem, Felix & Paul, Nonny de la Peña & more


Park City, Utah is already preparing for next month’s annual Sundance Film Festival, and this time around 18 AR & VR films and exhibitions are set to debut at the festival’s New Frontier program.

The New Frontier program is a curated collection of independent and experimental media works that festival organizers say “leverage[s] new technologies, visual aesthetics, social media cultures, immersive designs, game theory, transmedia activism and shifts in the boundaries of authorship.”

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 24th, 2019 through February 3rd, 2019 in Park City, Utah.

Here’s the full list of VR & AR projects coming to Sundance 2019, divided into ‘Exhibitions’ and ‘VR Cinema’:


Belle of the Ball (VR)

A VR journey into a futuristic reimagined utopia of queer + trans family and dance made in collaboration with members of New York’s ballroom scene.

Lead Artists: Ro Haber, Silas Howard, Pussykrew, Twiggy Pucci Garcon,

Key Collaborators: Renaldo Maurice, Kya Azeen Mizrahi, Rouge, Saschka Unseld, Jennifer Tiexiera, Jenna Velez

Cast: Renaldo Maurice Tisci, Kya Azeen Mizrahi, Rouge, Jack Mizrahi, Sinia Reed, Jonovia Chase.

Embody (VR)

Piloted by movement and whole body engagement and dialogue, this shared game of trading and transforming avatars aims to leave players with a deep feeling of physical embodiment, and surprise at their bodies’ forgotten potential.

Lead Artists: Melissa Painter, Thomas Wester, Siân Slawson

Key Collaborators: Joey Verbeke, Jordan Goldfarb, Ben Purdy, Peter Rubin, Eric Adrian Marshall

Emergence (VR)

Enter an open-world environment, expressing the primal desire to maintain your individual identity whilst being part of a crowd. Showing 5,000+ intelligent human behaviors, this powerful VR experience is made possible by advanced graphics technology. 

Lead Artist: Matt Pyke

Key Collaborators: Chris Mullany, Simon Pyke, Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin

Grisaille (VR)

In 2016, a young artist traded her paintbrushes for a headset and began inhabiting virtual reality more than the real world. In this VR installation, join her in a recursive exploration of the infinite self. When your body leaves the experience, your presence lives inside her ever-expanding virtual painting.

Lead Artist: Teek Mach

Key Collaborator: Joel Douek, Andrew Sales


A next-generation VR photobooth allowing attendees to step inside the story. Users can be captured in dimensionalized video, placed into one of several “walk around” environments and automatically create a volumetric VR experience that can be viewed on any device and shared online.

Lead Artists: Nonny de la Peña, Chaitanya Shah, Hannah Eaves, Cedric Gamelin

Key Collaborators: James Pallot, Sandra Persing, Charles Park, Roshail Tarar

Runnin’ (VR)

This interactive dance experience takes the player on a journey of musical expression. Play along with the music in an intimate neighborhood record store and be transported to a retro-future dance party. Show off your moves on the dance floor alongside a troupe of dancers.

Lead Artists: Reggie Watts, Kiira Benzing

Key Collaborators: John Tejada, Amy O’Neal, Ani Taj, Adam Rogers

Cast: Reggie Watts, John Tejada, Amy O’Neal, Ani Taj, Kate Berlant, Ben Schwartz

Traveling While Black (VR)

Confronting the way we understand and talk about race in America, this virtual reality documentary immerses the viewer in the long history of restriction of movement for black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities.

Lead Artists: Roger Ross Williams, Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Ayesha Nadarajah

Key Collaborators: Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, Stéphane Rituit, Ryan Horrigan

Cast: Sandra Butler-Truesdale, Virginia Ali, Courtland Cox, Samaria Rice


A woman smashes through the stone wall outside her family home. This visual tale unravels the formerly wealthy family’s emotional underbelly and what happened that fateful night, as seen from shifting perspectives. An interactive narrative combining Augmented Reality and Projection Mapping where you control time by moving your body.

Lead Artists: Peter Flaherty, Jesse Garrison, Trey Gilmore

Key Collaborators: Jake Sally, Sal Mannino, Ela Topcuoglu, Julia Bembenek, Brian Chasalow

Cast: Michael Gladis, Beth Grant, Jackie Hansen, Charlie McWade

The Seven Ages of Man (AR)

The Royal Shakespeare Company explores theatre’s future with Magic Leap technology in this sublime production of the “Seven Ages of Man” speech from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. This mixed reality experience featuring cutting-edge volumetric capture and an original musical score, turns the line “all the world’s a stage” literal.

Lead Artists: Royal Shakespeare Company, Magic Leap,

Key Collaborators: Jessica Curry, Gregory Doran [Royal Shakespeare Company],Andy Lanning, John Monos [Magic Leap])

Cast: Robert Gilbert

VR Cinema

4 Feet: Blind Date

Juana, an 18-year-old girl in a wheelchair, is anxious to explore her sexuality. She’s going on a blind date with guy she found on social media. She didn’t tell him about her disability. Overcoming fears and an inaccessible city, they meet. Together they discover what their bodies feel.

Lead Artists: Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Damian Turkieh, Ezequiel Lenardon

Key Collaborators: Guillermo Mena, Florencia Cossutta, Gonzalo Sierra, Martin Lopez Funes, Marcos Rostagno, Santiago Beltramo

Cast: Delfina Diaz Gavier, Cristobal Lopez Baena, Elisa Gagliano, Candelaria Tapia, Irene Gonet.

Ashe ’68

Fifty years before Colin Kaepernick there was Arthur Ashe. This VR experience immerses you in the tennis champion’s defining moment in 1968 as he becomes the first black man to win the US Open and uses his newfound celebrity to lift his voice against injustice.

Lead Artists: Brad Lichtenstein, Beth Hubbard, Jeff Fitzsimmons, Rex Miller

Key Collaborators: John Legend, Mike Jackson, Masha Vasilkovsky, Ruah Edelstein, Madeline Power, Vernon Reid

Cast: Chris Eubanks, Michael Cleary, Peter Begley, Andrew Panter, Alex LaCroix

Ghost Fleet VR

An immersive look at the true story of modern slavery in the Thai fishing industry, told through the experience of one man’s harrowing ordeal to escape a prison of water after 10 years at sea.

Lead Artists: Lucas Gath, Shannon Service

Cast: Tun Lin, Vithaya Pansringarm

Kaiju Confidential

Grigon’s not the toughest beast on the block, but he’s certainly the most neurotic. When he discovers the legendary Mega-Hydra rampaging on his turf, it becomes a stand-off of passive-aggressive proportions.

Lead Artists: Thomas O’Donnell, Ethan Shaftel, Piotr Karwas, Raul Dominguez

Key Collaborators: Eric Rosenthal, Corey Campodonico, Alex Bulkley, Matt Jenkins, Monica Mitchell, Ryan Franks

Cast: Blake Anderson, Paul F. Tompkins

Last Whispers: An Immersive Oratorio

At an unprecedented speed faster than the extinction of most endangered species, we are losing our linguistic diversity—and the very means by which we know ourselves. This immersive oratorio is an invocation of the languages that have gone extinct and an incantation of those that are endangered.

Lead Artists: Lena Herzog, Jonathan Yomayuza, Meghan McWilliams, Laura Dubuk

Key Collaborators: Nonny de la Peña, Mark Mangini, Amanda Tasse, Cedric Gamelin, Marilyn Simons, Mandana Seyfeddinipur

Live Stream from Yuki <3

Yuki live streams her love life as usual to a group of supportive netizens, though an uninvited guest crashes the party and strips her of her disguise. Can you see what is real and what is fallacious?

Lead Artist: Tsung-Han Tsai

Key Collaborators: Meng-Yin Yang, Inch Lin, Pu-Yuan Cheng

Cast: Jia-Yin Tsai

Marshall from Detroit

Growing up, Marshall Mathers dreamed of rapping his way out of Detroit. Years and fortunes later, he still hasn’t left. Join him on a night ride through his hometown, where the mirrored struggles of Eminem and the Motor City speak to the heart of what we call home.

Lead Artists: Caleb Slain, Felix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphael

Key Collaborators: Stephane Rituit, Ryan Horrigan, Paul Rosenberg, Eric Hahn

RocketMan 360

A few minutes before taking off to Mars on a dangerous, noble mission to colonize the planet, an astronaut receives a 360 video from his girlfriend.

Lead Artists: Millo Simulov, Gabriela Hirit

Key Collaborators: Filip Columbeanu, Andreea Serpe, Gabi Ranete

Cast: Monica Odagiu, Anghel Damian

The Tide: Episodes 1 & 2

Something strange is coming. Can we survive? One day, previously-unknown giant fish begin to appear among humans, who are escalating into conflict amid the worst drought ever. A disaster thriller about a new survival battle: human vs fish.

Lead Artists: Taekyung Yoo, Sanghyoun Lee

Key Collaborator: Seok Cho

Cast: Robert Joe, Lorne Oliver, Tracey Starck, John Michaels, Kristen Cho

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.

  • NooYawker

    I’ve only seen a few films in VR or 360 videos and they’re always weird. If they could find a way to make the people seems “normal” sized and not giants it would be much more immersive. I’m looking forward to seeing some of these films.