As part of the 16th !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival on Feb. 16, !f Tomorrow for the first time invites participants to experience the exciting and fascinating world of virtual reality (VR). VR's influence on the arts and media, particularly the motion picture industry, has it being touted as an artistic field of the future.
The virtual reality exhibition, which was first organized for a film festival in Turkey last year at !f Istanbul, matures this year with the Samsung Gear VR experience bringing together viewers of !f Tomorrow. Curated by filmmaker and specialist at leading VR center MIT Media Lab, Deniz Tortum, the "Virtual Reality and Interactive Stories" exhibition unites 13 of the most exciting projects of recent years.
The "6X9" places the viewers in a virtual solitary confinement cell; "Annica" loosely adapts Ahmed Hilmi's novel "Amak-ı Hayal" in the form of a VR experience; "Firebird: La Peri," inspired by Walt Disney's "Fantasia," takes the viewers into an abstract experience of music and dance; "A Short History of the Gaze" tells with an original awareness how the meaning of viewing has changed in the evolutionary process from pre-Cambrian sea creatures to smart drones; "I am Istanbul" depicts the ever-changing flow of daily life in Istanbul throughout the 20th century via the lives of fictional characters; "September 1955" allows viewers to witness the events of September 6-7 from the perspective of an Istanbul shop owner; "The Fight for Falluja" is one of the first 360-degree VR experiences ever filmed in Falluja; "Nomads" transports viewers into the midst of various nomadic tribes and enables them to witness their daily lives; "In the Eyes of the Animal" lets viewers explore the forest through the eyes of four woodland species; "Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness" is a visual and auditory experience about the inner world of blindness; "Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel" puts the viewer in the middle of the Easter Rising in Ireland through the voice recordings of a young rebel, Willie McNeive; and "Zeki Müren Hotline," a cross-platform documentary that collects people's messages about Turkey's beloved pop star through a simple phone line and interactive web experience, expressing admiration for the deceased icon and nostalgia for Turkey's bygone days. All can be experienced during the festival at Alt Art Space in Bomontiada.
Workshops and panels will also be held as part of !f Tomorrow, with the key !f Tomorrow Forum, to take place on Feb. 19, offering participants the opportunity to listen to the experiences of the artists whose work will be featured in the exhibition. New communication and creativity channels will be discussed in the workshops "The Subtleties of Creating VR Experiences," moderated by Ersin Han Ersin and Ergin Şanal, and "Ways of Storytelling in An Interactive World," led by Nil Tuzcu and Beyza Boyacıoğlu. The workshops will serve as a meeting point where the creators will share their experiences and inspire participants with these new ways of storytelling.