Returning to ASFF, we re-launch the renowned Screen School VR Lab in partnership with London College of Communication – a platform for audiences to explore film like never before. Take your viewing experience into new dimensions and be immersed in some of the world’s most exciting new technologies.
Screenings are complemented by a series of panel discussions which truly delve into the making and realisation of VR and 360 film through the lens of ethics, production and storytelling. Questions are asked: What might the cinematic landscape look like in the future? What are the implications of working with immersive film?
Wednesday-Saturday 10:00-23:00 Sunday 10:00-18:00 The Keregan Room, York Theatre Royal
Lose yourself in the magic of 360 filmmaking and delve head first into bold and exciting stories that immerse you in centre of the action.
360 filmmaking offers the unique opportunity to experience the full potential of cinema, transporting viewers to new worlds and allowing them to consider different perspectives.
The 360 Cinema includes five curated screenings, showcasing the most exciting and innovative work from talented practitioners in new technologies, exploring the potential of fascinating documentary, groundbreaking experimental film and awe inspiring narratives.
Journey to the top of Mount Everest, explore a futuristic city scape, play witness to the Warsaw Uprising, Journey boldly into space or join the a dreamlike animated adventure. The 360 Cinema has it all.
360 screening sessions run for 45 minutes. Places are limited and must be booked at the festival hub upon arrival on the day of the event. Tickets for the day’s session will be released at 09:00 on the day and are available on a first come first served basis.
Immersive Experiences Lab
Wednesday-Saturday 10:00-21.00 Sunday 10:00-18:00 De Grey Rooms, Workshop 2
Bringing viewers ever closer to the action, the Immersive Experience Lab encourages audiences to step beyond the confides of traditional cinema, allowing viewers to interact with the action.
Join an epic Viking battle, explore the human stories and vast concrete structures of the Aylesbury Estate, risk life and limb in a Orwellian road race or experience first hand the growth and life of a tree from sapling to towering giant.
The Immersive Experience Lab is an opportunity to explore the potential of VR. Join ASFF in a celebration of innovation and technical triumph.
The Immersive Experience Lab is free for festival pass holders. Booking is not required but spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Running alongside the Screen School VR Lab, we invite industry professionals and practitioners to share their experiences of working with new technologies. In these relaxed discussions, our guests explore the practicalities and challenges of VR filmmaking, considering practical techniques as well as the potential of VR, its role in the future of cinema and its purpose beyond the realm of filmmaking.
Wednesday 6 November 13:00-14:00 Upper Foyer, York Theatre Royal
Immersing an audience in an environment opens up a wealth of storytelling possibilities. When we become a part of an experience – rather than simply being a viewer – what challenges does this present? What are the limitations? If a viewer’s gaze can’t be controlled, how does the narrative change? Analysing their own approaches to VR storytelling, a panel of creators examine how non-linear storylines can be made, shared and enjoyed in a 360 environment, focusing on new cinematic structures and audience interaction.
Thursday 7 November 13:00-14:00 Colonnade, York Theatre Royal
Traditional forms of journalism can often provide a barrier between subject and audience. But what happens if we immerse viewers in the action? VR journalism provides the opportunity to experience a situation like never before, challenging a viewer to question a story from another perspective and encouraging empathy. In this session, a panel of documentary and VR practitioners address the ways in which VR is changing how information is delivered, as well as considering what this means for factual formats and the role of the media.
Thursday 7 November 16:30-17:30 Colonnade, York Theatre Royal
Sound is crucial to any filmmaking. But with the rise of VR, what new challenges exist? Audiences are invited to explore the theoretical and practical issues surrounding immersive and interactive sound. Dr J Milo Taylor, Course Leader, Sound Arts and Design, outlines a creative methodology informed by practices including soundscape studies, game audio, film sound, installations and acousmatic/electroacoustic music. This session is a must-attend for anyone interested in how virtual worlds connect to soundscapes.
Friday 8 November 14:30-15:30 Upper Foyer, York Theatre Royal
In a world where 360 technology is readily available, anyone can be a creator, moving into new worlds of unprecedented possibility? But how does the process differ from traditional film formats? What approaches need to be taken to successfully capture an all-encircling environment? Sharing their knowledge of working with new technologies, a panel of pioneering filmmakers discuss their approaches to making seamless 360 content, highlighting the technical challenges as well as the possibilities.
Saturday 9 November 13:45-14:45 Colonnade, York Theatre Royal
As VR technologies continue to develop, users are invited into alternative worlds where they can be whoever they want and do whatever they like. But as we delve deeper into a new digital existence, what questions should we be asking about how this technology is being used? In this discussion, experts in the field tackle the consequences of life in VR, considering its effect on morality, trauma and user privacy as well as the illusions of choice in generated experiences. At what point do we cross the line ethically?
Sunday 10 November 14:30-15:30 Colonnade, York Theatre Royal
The film and gaming industries are already seeing huge benefits from VR and 360 applications. But these technologies are starting to move beyond entertainment. How can they be developed for positive implementation across medial care, rehabilitation, education and beyond? Will VR be applied to more destructive means such as military use, or will it be used for further surveillance in an ever more security conscious world? A panel of practitioners explore the potential for both positive and negative uses.
Senior Development Producer BBC Research & Development
Alia Sheikh is a director, producer, research scientist and a broadcast research engineer. Her work is focused on ensuring that the world’s oldest national broadcasting organisation understands the narrative potential of future immersive formats.
Ana is the Course Leader of the VR Master’s Programme at London College of Communication, where she also teaches VR content creation and immersive storytelling. She has a PhD in Human Computer Interaction for VR content design.
Andrew is a Co-Founder and Creative Director of studio Boom Clap Play. Andrew is an award winning designer with over 12 years of experience working at various studios, finding solutions for top clients including BBC, Channel 4 and Net-A-Porter.
Andy Sandham is Subject Leader in Game Design at the School of Art, Design & Computer Science at York St John University and is involved in a number of commercial and research based AR/VR and 360 film projects. He is also a Game Developer.
Ben Fredericks is a visual artist who works predominantly in moving image, producing artworks that are focused on concerns relating to ethics. His work is highly influenced by cinema and narrative structures in storytelling.
Programme Director London College of Communication
Dan Bartlett is Programme Director for Moving Image & Digital Arts at London College of Communication. Dan is an animation visual development artist exploring the duality of fundamental artistic principles and emergent digital technologies.
Darren Emerson is a director, producer and co-founder of production company East City Films, and its subsidiary VR City. He is a passionate advocate of VR story-telling and has been invited to speak at VR Labs and conferences around the world.
Elaine is a Programme Advisor for BFI London Film Festival and previews for Sheffield Doc/Fest and Underwire. She co-founded VR Distribution company Other Set in 2017, and currently works at the National Centre for Immersive Storytelling: StoryFutures Academy.
Director A Violated Dream: The Colombian No Man’s Land
Elliot leads Atlantic Productions’ Immersive and Digital content through Alchemy Immersive. As an immersive experience Director, he works across all XR technologies including augmented reality and AI empowered experiences.
Hanna Västinsalo has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Helsinki. She is currently directing a virtual reality animation for Helsinki City Museum. Her goal as an artist is to explore what questions yet remain unasked.
Marian is the Head of Interactive Media in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media at University of York. He is also the Research & Development Co-Director of XR Stories and Co-Director of the Digital Creativity Labs.
Milo Taylor is an artist, musician, producer and researcher, and is Course Leader for the BA Sound Arts and Design course at London College of Communication. He has taught Sound Art and Design for many years from a range of perspectives.
Richard Nockles has been at the cutting edge of VR innovation for the last eight years. Currently working as Creative Director at Sky VR, Richard has helped shape and accelerate the broadcaster’s output across sports, documentary and drama.
Sam’s credits include being the screenwriter for a Virtual Reality Experience for Ridley Scott Associates / The Viking Planet. Before screenwriting, he was a journalist for over a decade – writing for The Guardian and The Telegraph.
Dinosaur Lover. VR Pioneer. Awards Magnet. Samantha Kingston is Virtual Umbrella’s unstoppable CEO. Samantha and her team have been representing and supporting the UK VR industry for the last five years. Anonymous is her first 360 film.
Steve Jelley is an award-winning producer and creative entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in content production, distribution and technology innovation. He is co-founder and joint managing director of Hammerhead VR.
In Partnership with London College of Communication
For the second year running, we are proud to be working in partnership with London College of Communication’s Screen School Programme to bring VR and Immersive experiences to ASFF. Screen School goes beyond traditional academic models, designed instead to bring film and television together with the disciplines of games, animation, sound arts and design and live events.