Sunday, October 27, 2019

NFB, CFC Media Lab and the Ford Foundation launch VR doc lab OPEN IMMERSION II

By Native News Online Staff - October 27, 2019 at 12:00AM

Published October 27, 2019

An immersive VR lab and residency for Indigenous artists from across Turtle Island

TORONTO, Canada — The National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) and JustFilms | Ford Foundation have come together to launch OPEN IMMERSION II, a documentary VR lab for Indigenous creators. This project follows the success of the inaugural OPEN IMMERSION lab in 2016, which supported knowledge exchange between diverse artists from Canada and the United States. OPEN IMMERSION II will include cutting-edge technical training, pitching and mentorship opportunities, and develop strategies for enhanced dissemination of Indigenous-helmed VR work.

OPEN IMMERSION II will bring together Indigenous artists working in VR from across Turtle Island (Canada, the United States and Mexico). The lab will run throughout 2020. Selected candidates will participate in an intensive residency in Toronto, followed by a longer-term virtual lab that will include mentorship, skills-development and prototyping support. Inter-program collaborations will unfold throughout the lab, which will culminate in a forum at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in October 2020, where participants will share their findings.

One of the project’s overarching goals is to better understand existing VR ecosystems and bridge key relationships between Indigenous artists and international institutions and organizations. To this end, lab research will be compiled into a report to be presented at the imagineNATIVE festival. Taking inspiration from the 2019 imagineNATIVE On Screen Protocols & Pathways publication, the OPEN IMMERSION II document will present a set of VR-specific protocols that reflect aesthetic, ethical and access considerations.

More info and details to come in 2020.

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