×

New York Film Festival Taps Into Transmedia

Fest's Convergence sidebar features projects that include multiple screens, social networking, audience participation

Transmedia may be a nouveau buzzword, but at the New York Film Festival the term sits alongside established genres like documentaries, retrospectives and restored masterpieces in the fest’s sidebar programming. The second festival outing for Convergence, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s initiative for multiplatform storytelling, features 15 events over a three-day span that dives into pretty much everything the word “transmedia” implies.

That encompasses an alternate reality game-cum-film-cum-social network (“The Cloud Chamber Mystery”), a 3D movie adaptation of an Off Broadway docu-play (“Charlie Victor Romeo”), and a found-footage doc narrated live and extemporaneously by audience members (“No More Road Trips?”). Panels with titles like Platform Agnostic, Brand Specific and keystone presentations by creatives including Cory McAbee (“Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club”) and Elaine McMillion (“Hollow”) round out the lineup.

“It’s an art form made up of all art forms,” enthuses NYFF’s Convergence co-programmer Matt Bolish. “It’s the most collaborative thing I’ve ever seen, and film is definitely the tie that binds it all together.”

NYFF isn’t alone in the inclusion of multiplatform works under its auspices. Earlier this year, the Tribeca Film Festival made transmedia programming (under the banner Storyscapes) an official part of its slate for the first time. The Film Society eventually hopes to incorporate such programming into its other tentpole fests, such as the Jewish Film Festival, as well.

The reasons behind the surge in festival interest for such fare are obvious. Moving images make up a significant component of all these projects, and more and more filmmakers are pushing the boundaries of form as digital tools become cheaper and easier to use.

“This is the direction that this business is moving toward,” Bolish says.

Besides, in following stories across multiple screens, devices and interactions, transmedia is beginning to look a lot like the way people encounter media every day. As NYFF programming director Kent Jones observes, “This is how an enormous span of the population engages with moving images now.”

Convergence Emergents

Charlie Victor Romeo

Immersive 3D film adaptation of a hit Off Broadway play

“The Empire Project”

Interactive work examining the legacy of Dutch colonialism

“48 Hour Games”

Choose-your-ownadventure doc about the Nordic Game Jam

“No More Road Trips?” (pictured)

Found-footage docu with live, extemporaneous narration

“The Cosmonaut”

Story unfolds comprising Web elements, music and social media

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Overall View of the Rose Bowl

    One Dead, One Injured in Rose Bowl Parking Lot Shooting

    One person was killed and another was injured Saturday night following a shooting in a Rose Bowl parking lot, the Pasadena police confirmed. According to a statement from the police department, police responded to reports of a physical altercation and shots fired at 11:22 p.m. near the area of Arroyo Boulevard and Seco Street, where [...]

  • Felicity Huffman

    Felicity Huffman Issues Apology After Receiving Prison Sentence: 'There Are No Excuses'

    Felicity Huffman issued a long statement of apology on Friday after receiving a two-week prison sentence for paying to illegally boost her daughter’s SAT score. In the statement, Huffman, in addition to saying  she accepts the court’s decision, acknowledges and apologizes to other parents fighting to get their children into college. Along with the prison [...]

  • Actress Felicity Huffman (C-L) and her

    Felicity Huffman Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison in SAT Cheating Case

    Felicity Huffman was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in prison for the crime of paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT score. Judge Indira Talwani also ordered her to serve 250 hours of community service and a year of probation, and pay a $30,000 fine. The sentence came as a surprise, as Talwani had [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER

    Rihanna Sings (Briefly), Pharrell and DJ Khaled Rock the Mic at Star-Studded Diamond Ball

    In just five years, Rihanna’s Diamond Ball has become one of the music industry’s biggest events of its kind, nearly on the level of the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. While there are several dazzling charity events with equal starpower and often-unique performances, what makes the Diamond Ball different is, obviously enough, Rihanna’s supernova aura and [...]

  • Amber Heard Seeks Info on Johnny

    Amber Heard Seeks Info on Johnny Depp's Arrests and Substance Abuse

    Amber Heard is asking Johnny Depp to turn over records related to his arrests and drug treatment, as her lawyers defend her from a $50 million defamation suit. Depp filed suit in March, accusing his ex-wife of tanking his career by writing a Washington Post op/ed alluding to her domestic violence allegations against him. Heard [...]

  • David Nevins, Chief Creative Officer, CBS

    David Nevins: CBS-Viacom Merger to Create 'Virtuous Eco-System' for Content

    CBS and Viacom leaders are looking for opportunities to create a “virtuous eco-system” for content that can prosper across the various platforms of the two companies that are set to merge by year’s end. That was the sentiment shared by David Nevins, chief creative officer of CBS and chairman-CEO of Showtime Networks, during a Q&A [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content