Two new National Film Board of Canada (NFB) virtual reality works will be presented at the Sundance Film Festival from Jan. 23-Feb. 2, along with an award-winning short doc set in British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii.
Recognizing creators who push the boundaries of storytelling with new and immersive technologies, New Frontiers is featuring the world premiere of The Book of Distance, the first VR work by acclaimed Toronto-based artist and filmmaker Randall Okita, as well as a prologue to the AI project Chomsky vs. Chomsky: First Encounter, created by Montreal-based creative director, filmmaker, Sandra Rodriguez.
Presented in the festival’s Short Film section, Now Is the Time is the latest work by award-winning Vancouver-based Haida director, animator and illustrator Christopher Auchter, which had its world premiere earlier this year at TIFF.
The Book of Distance
In 1935, Yonezo Okita left his home in Hiroshima, Japan, for Canada. Then war and racism changed everything. Three generations later, his grandson Randall leads us on an interactive pilgrimage through an emotional geography of immigration and family to recover what was lost.
Chomsky vs. Chomsky: First Encounter
A prologue to a timely conversation on AI’s biggest promises and pitfalls. Lured by the possibility of emulating one of today’s most famous minds, we meet and engage with CHOMSKY_AI, an entity under construction, evolving from the arsenal of digital traces professor Noam Chomsky has left behind.
Now Is the Time (16 min.)
When internationally renowned Haida carver Robert Davidson was only 22 years old, he carved the first new totem pole on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii in almost a century. On the 50th anniversary of the pole’s raising, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter steps easily through history to revisit that day in August 1969, when the entire village of Old Massett gathered to celebrate the event that would signal the rebirth of the Haida spirit.
More information about the Sundance Film Festival can be found at sundance.org/festival/sundance-film-festival.