The New Frontiers section of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival will be presented both in person—at a new Park City venue—and remotely, via a VR platform, the Sundance Institute announced today.
Sundance’s new in-person venue, The Craft, will be free to access from the festival’s kick-off on January 20 through the 25th, hosting a series of special public events, and allowing artists to come together around the present and future of their practice. Returning virtual venue The Spaceship will be globally accessible via laptop or VR headset from January 20-28, allowing people signing on from all over the world to engage with the official New Frontier lineup. It will feature a Gallery, showcasing the complete lineup of XR (Extended Reality) work, along with a Cinema House and a virtual social space called Film Party, also hosting a programmed series of Artist Spotlights and film premiere parties, bringing filmmakers together with online audiences.
This year, Sundance and the creative studio Active Theory will unveil a number of upgrades to The Spaceship’s functionality and accessibility, which will allow those entering the space remotely to connect with those on the ground at the festival, via a human scale “Biodigital Bridge.” The Spaceship is accessible this year to all holders of the festival’s Explorer pass.
The Egyptian Theatre will also present certain New Frontier performances (simultaneously happening on The Spaceship) via live, hybrid events. Tickets are required, with packages available for purchase on December 17, and single tickets going on sale January 5.
“Since the earliest stages of planning ’22, we’ve centered access and learnings from past iterations. “After the ’21 festival, we realized that presenting the work online effectively took one of the hottest, hardest-to-access experiences of prior Festivals, and made it instantly and globally accessible to anyone with the right tech,” said Shari Frilot, Senior Programmer and New Frontier Chief Curator. “”New Frontier this year prioritizes biodigital design as a very adventurous endeavor, and one that speaks to the priorities of its creators, artists and audiences.”
Sundance’s New Frontier section launched 2007, and is dedicated to showcasing multimedia storytelling, art installations, and biodigital performances that make use of emerging technologies like virtual reality, haptic tech and AI, among other tools. The program is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Unity, Adobe, Dell Technologies, Rally, Metaplex Studios, and Canon USA, Inc.