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The Veldt, TFF's Virtual Reality Studio

The Veldt is the Tacoma Film Festival's VR/360 film studio at the Tacoma Film Festival which debuted in 2016. The Veldt features VR films, interactive experiences, workshops, panels, and filmmaker meet & greets over the first weekend of TFF. Curated by Wondertek Labs and hosted by King's Books, The Veldt is free and open to the public October 7 - 8, 11 AM - 7 PM. 

Why Is it Called The Veldt?

We were inspired by Ray Bradbury's classic 1950 story of two children who explore the mystery of a virtual African plain, Bradbury foresaw that entertainment technology could hold both amazing promise and unforeseen consequences. As a festival obsessed with the interaction of film, literature, and media, we wanted our VR project to evoke the wonder and anxiety that Bradbury captured over 65 years ago.


2017 Preview Party

October 6, 9 PM: Join us at King's Books on Friday, October 6 to be the first to experience this year's VR media at a party with Landmark DJ, Wondertek Labs, FabLab Tacoma, Southern Kitchen, Bona Fide Potents, en Rama, and Google Daydream. Learn More


The Veldt is free and open to the public the weekend of TFF 2017. Stop by Saturday or Sunday October 7 & 8 from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM to experience new 360 degree media on state of the art equipment. 


October 7, starting at 11 AM: Join FabLab Tacoma for a 360 video workshop and video booth: explore tech and equipment, make a short video, and upload it online. Workshops accomodate 6 participants at a time and start at 11AM, 12 PM, 1 PM, and 2 PM


October 8, 4 PM: Moderated by Malia Probst of VRScout, meet Christine T. Berg (Wonder Buffalo), Michaella Vu (Meta-Dimensional), and Jess Kantor (Love!), hear about their journey and process, and explore what's next for virtual reality. This panel is free and open to the public, but space is limited, we recommend arriving early. 

2017 VR Films & Immersive Experiences

AFTER SOLITARY, directed by Cassandra Herrman
After Solitary” is a groundbreaking virtual reality experience that places the viewer physically and emotionally inside an otherwise inaccessible world. Marrying cutting edge photogrammetry technology that places users inside of two photorealistic 3D scanned environments, including a solitary confinement cell, with videogrammetry capture that allows users to meet an actual former inmate, the experience pushes the boundaries of immersive storytelling, while exploring what virtual reality can bring to journalism. It was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW 2017 for best room scale VR, as well as the top prize at the World VR Forum. 

BEHIND THE FENCE, directed by Lindsay Branham and Jonathan Olinger
The Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar must survive a Buddhist-led campaign to eliminate them. Behind the Fence looks inside the 5x5 square mile camp that imprisons the Rohingya muslim minority in Myanmar, and investigates the extremist Buddhists who propagate virulent anti-Muslim sentiment across the country. Behind the Fence profiles Abul, a husband who does everything he can to try to help his sick wife, Barbulu, a twelve-year-old boy whose future is diminished due to the constraints of living in this open air prison, and U Wirathu, the Buddhist leader of the 969 movement who stokes public support for restrictive laws that have rendered the Rohingya stateless in their own land. This camp is home to the most persecuted people on earth.

COLLISIONS, directed by Lynette Wallworth
Collisions is a virtual reality journey to the land of indigenous elder Nyarri Morgan and the Martu tribe in the remote Western Australian desert. Nyarri’s first contact with Western culture came in the 1950’s via a dramatic collision between his traditional world view and the cutting edge of Western science and technology. 65 years later Wallworth carried cutting edge video technology into the desert so Mr. Morgan could share his story. Reflecting on the event, in this most magical of immersive experiences, Nyarri offers to viewers his experience of the impact of destructive technology and the Martu perspective on caring for the planet for future generations.

EAGLE BONE, directed by Tracy Rector
One of the first VR pieces ever created by a Native American filmmaker, "Eagle Bone" ("Ch'aak' S'aagi") is a collective step in a new direction of visual storytelling rooted in being unapologetically Indigenous. Through freestyle spoken word and lush Pacific Northwest scenes, we enter into a VR journey of remembrance and reflection on the lessons of the old ones.

HOODOO, directed by Catherine Salkeld
A short VR Adventure on VIVE where we follow the adventures of Claw a simple cat exploring a mysterious fragment of a forgotten world. With the help of the audience, will Claw get through his journey in one piece?

IF YOU GO AWAY (Ne me quitte pas), directed by Soheila Golestani
Because of war, a couple has to immigrate to utopia. Difficult conditions separated them to each other, but the young woman fights for her destiny. 

LOVE! Directed by Jessica Kantor
Love! is 360 dance piece that explores heartbreak. 

META DIMENSIONAL PART 1 & 2, directed by Michaella Vu
After the death of their secretly brilliant father, two erratic sister’s discover a headset that allows them to dimensionally travel discovering their mysterious past. 

This meta-story web series spans a 360 video that leads into the immersive web where one can explore the virtually built sets in 6 degrees of freedom or in any browser through the url. This narrative takes the experiencer on a journey from flat two dimensional space to three dimensional space by combining a symphony of video footage and virtual three dimensional assets, all which were built in the web as well as shot live. 

ONE WAY TRIP, directed by James Kingstone and Sean Ronan
One Way Trip brings you into the middle of a heist gone wrong. Produced in Seattle by Vancouver-based Hammer & Tong in association with Zebra VR.

POI360 - TAKAWIRIHANGA, directed by Lanita Ririnui-Ryan
From the beautiful shore of Lake Okataina in Rotorua, comes the creation story of poi. The contemporary POI360 item is performed by Kahurangi Maxwell, Tiria Waitai and Talei Morrison. Follow the girls and their beautiful performance as you move through and around them. This is the first 360 performance of its kind. Choreographed to showcase the single short poi, double mid-length poi and all the long poi (single, double, quadruple), it tells the story of poi in Te Reo M?ori and its genealogy linking back to the beginning of time, and is the very first interactive digital documentary home for the poi. 

SAY OUR NAME, directed by Stina Hamlin
This immersive hip-hop dance piece was filmed on the streets of New York City, engaging the viewer to look into the eyes of the people that brutality is happening to everyday on streets throughout America. We must remember and say these names.

SILENT RESONANCE, produced by Pixvana
Silent Resonance brings you inside the mind of a dancer. Produced by Pixvana, it is the first virtual reality dance experience from Pacific Northwest Ballet. Silent Resonance captures the exquisite performances of PNB dancers Emma Love Suddarth and Miles Pertl, with choreography by PNB Company dancer Price Suddarth.

THE GIANT, directed by Mike Anderson and New Media LTD
A young girl grows endlessly, stumbles upon a liquid that releases the darkest sides of herself, and eventually dissolves into the music of the universe.

THE TOWN THAT BLEW AWAY directed by Sarah Jones
An artistic virtual reality experience that explores a ghost town in Glenrio, Texas. It has an original immersive composition that transports you back to a time and a place. The film serves as a reminder of what happens when people are in too much of a hurry to get to their destination, without stopping to observe the moment. This short contributes to research defining a new category of film called immersive experiential film. There is no directed narrative and it instead allows you to observe another place and define your own experience. 

U-TURN, created by Nathalie Mathe, Ryan Lynch, and Justin Chin
What happens when a young female coder joins a male-dominated floundering startup that’s deep in an identity crisis? UTURN is an immersive live-action VR comedy where viewers get to experience both sides of the gender divide in tech. UTURN innovates by placing the viewer in the middle of two intertwined stories, one told from a female character POV and the other one from a male character POV. At any time during the experience viewers can choose which character to embody and which side of the story to follow by simply turning around. Only the scene being looked at will be heard through a unique spatial sound design. Whatever they miss changes their perspective on the overall story.

WALK WITH PENGUINS, produced and directed by teams at BirdLife and Visualise.
For the first time, you can instantly transport yourself to a sub-antarctic penguin colony and immerse in the lives of Southern Rockhopper, King, Magellanic, and Gentoo Penguins. Watch in full HD as the penguins return from challenging journeys back to their colonies of fuzzy chicks. The world’s largest nature conservation partnership, BirdLife International, has worked with London-based virtual reality and post-production specialist, Visualise, to create Walk with Penguins, an engaging 3D 360 short nature film used to connect audiences with penguin protection.

WE WHO REMAIN, directed by Trevor Snapp and Sam Wolson
"We Who Remain" is an immersive VR film that takes us into the heart of a forgotten conflict in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. The region is cut off from the world with no humanitarian access, and almost no media coverage. The lives of four characters are woven together to give a deep portrait of the students, mothers, journalists and rebels struggling to make their lives better in a war that shows no sign of ending. It will be the first character-driven VR film shot in an active conflict zone. The film is a co-production of Emblematic group and Nuba Reports in collaboration with the NYT VR, Arte, and AJ+.

WONDER BUFFALO, directed by Christine T. Berg
Ann, 16, a Thai-American teen coping with body dysmorphia and an overbearing mother, struggles to own her place in the world. In search of freedom, she embraces cosplay and ultimately finds a hero. Herself. But only after countless years of pressure from her own mother to lose weight. By exploring Ann's eccentricity and unlocking her six strength objects you transform Ann's room into a cosmic comic book kaleidoscope and ultimately unleash Ann as her own superhero character, Wonder Buffalo.

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