Transmedia Programming Converges for 2013 New York Film Festival

World premiere interactive docs, New York bows of multiplatform projects lined up for NYFF's Convergence slate

The word premieres of two interactive doc projects and the New York debuts of a handful of multiplatform titles — including “Charlie Victor Romeo,” the hit Off Broadway docu-play recently turned into a 3D film — are among the offerings on tap for Convergence, the New York Film Festival’s second annual slate of transmedia programming.

Driven by tech innovation and the proliferation of digital possibilities, transmedia storytelling has become an increasingly prominent component of film festivals as a growing number of filmmakers begin to explore multiplatform projects. Earlier this year the Tribeca Film Festival officially incorporated transmedia offerings into its festival lineup, while Film Society of Lincoln Center, which presents NYFF, launched its year-round Convergence initiative last year, a festival component of which kicked off as part of the 2012 fest.

Among the world premieres on the 2013 Convergence festival docket are “The Empire Project,” Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill’s video and installation offering about the ongoing legacy of Dutch colonialism, and “A Short History of the Highrise,” Katerina Cizek’s interactive doc about skyscrapers and urban living.

Like the 2013 festival’s sidebar film programming, events in this year’s Convergence series are subdivided into three categories. Under the header “Experiences” are “Empire Project” as well as New York bows of titles including “Charlie Victor Romeo,” 3 Legged Dog’s high-tech adaptation of the stage show that re-enacts “black box” transcripts from airplanes facing real-life emergencies; “The Cosmonaut,” Nicholas Alcala’s multiplatform look at the Russian space program; “No More Road Trips?,” Rick Prelinger’s participatory take on the highways of the past; and “48 Hour Games,” Suvi Andrea Helminen’s choose-your-own-adventure doc about the Nordic Game Jam.

“Highrise,” co-created and co-produced by the New York Times, is listed as one of Convergence’s “Keystone Presentations,” as are “The Cloud Chamber Mystery” (pictured, above), Christian Fonnesbech and Frederik Ovlisen’s “online mystery community,” and “Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club,” Cory McAbee’s collaborative, crowdsourced look at the experience of transporting and preserving Abraham Lincoln’s dead body on its Civil War-era journey from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Ill. McAbee, like many of the creatives involved in Convergence titles, will present the work, while Elaine McMillion will offer a look at her web-based investigation of small-town America, “Hollow.”

Convergence programming also will host public talks under the heading “Panels,” with titles of individual events including “Producing Convergence: A History of Multiplatform Collaboration” and “Transmedia Storytelling and Documentary Film.”

The three-day Convergence block of the 2013 NYFF runs Sept. 28-Sept. 30 as part for the festival’s 17-day sked Sept. 27-Oct. 13.

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