The BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, today announces the complete line-up for LFF Expanded, the Festival’s Immersive Art and Extended Realities strand, which runs from 5-16 October 2022.
Programmed by Ulrich Schrauth, the BFI’s Immersive Art and XR Curator, this year’s programme showcases a rich selection of works from creators working at the forefront of emerging technologies, including interactive virtual reality, screen-based installations, augmented reality, mixed reality, immersive audio experience and live performance. The programme will be presented in partnership with the National Theatre at multiple venues on London’s South Bank; 17 projects will be showcased at LFF Expanded @ 26 Leake Street, the award-winning venue located in the Leake Street graffiti tunnel, while additional projects will be presented at the National Theatre and at BFI Southbank.
The BFI London Film Festival is delighted to announce a World Premiere commissioned by the LFF, Guy Maddin’s Haunted Hotel: A Melodrama in Augmented Reality. Presented at BFI Southbank, this evocative, immersive exhibition transports the audience into a surreal paper world, created from an eclectic selection of clippings drawn from Maddin’s own personal archive, set to an intricate soundscape by acclaimed composer Magnus Fiennes.
We are thrilled to present this year’s LFF Expanded programme, featuring projects by creators from all over the world and a strong presence of excellent UK talent. LFF Expanded highlights the enormous diversity and vibrancy of the ever-growing international immersive and expanded realities scene, from high-profile international filmmakers who are experimenting with new technologies, to new works from some of the most exciting emerging talent in the field. This year’s programme considers pertinent issues of our time from a hugely diverse range of perspectives and art forms. Furthermore, we are delighted to have worked with legendary filmmaker Guy Maddin to present our first very own BFI London Film Festival commission – Haunted Hotel – a new Augmented Reality work that invites audiences to explore a vibrant tableau of desire, deception and death.Ulrich Schrauth, BFI London Film Festival’s Immersive Art and XR Curator
I’ve long told myself that collage-making is good for keeping my eye sharp for film shoots. After all, the snipper and gluer of papery things arranges those things in a frame, just like a director — pure mise-en-scène! But making collages in Augmented Reality truly is a brain-breaker, another experience completely, with its multiple layers of interest aspiring to draw the viewer ever inward, free-floating non-sequiturs that suggest causal connections and conceal vile secrets, the whole creating an atmosphere thick with uninhibited urges — lustful, homicidal, stupid! In short, collage-making in AR simply is filmmaking, and I’m so delighted to have worked with the BFI London Film Festival to bring this new work to life.Guy Maddin, Filmmaker
We’re electrified by the quality of the work being made for immersive and expanded reality platforms. This is a space where the film industry meets the creative storytelling worlds of art, dance, music, performance and digital design, a space that encourages experimentation, cross-pollination and collaboration. There is a particularly lively and vibrant scene for immersive art in the UK, and we are really excited to give audiences a chance to follow artists and filmmakers on these journeys.Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director
This year marks the third year of LFF Expanded at the BFI London Film Festival. Launched in 2020 as part of the Festival’s plans for development, this new showcase of Immersive and XR works sits alongside the 66 year-old Festival’s established film programme. It is also joined by a curated selection of new series and television, a refreshed industry programme and greater UK-wide and free access for audiences.
LFF Expanded 2022 brings together 20 projects from 17 countries across the world (Canada, China, Czechia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, Ukraine and USA). 12 works are from the UK (including co-productions), and 13 projects have lead artists that identify as women or with mixed gender production teams. This year’s programme also shines a light on some of the most urgent social and political issues of our time, with works exploring vital topics such as women’s reproductive rights, the climate emergency, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the nuclear threat and the opioid crisis.
The BFI is also proud to have supported two of the projects presented at LFF Expanded through the BFI Film Fund (awarding National Lottery funding), in line with the BFI’s ongoing commitment and ambition to engage with new forms of immersive storytelling. Presented in the Wolfson Gallery at the National Theatre, IN PURSUIT OF REPETITIVE BEATS is a multi-sensory, interactive virtual reality experience by award-winning filmmaker Darren Emerson, which places audiences inside the heart of the Acid House movement. ON THE MORNING YOU WAKE (TO THE END OF THE WORLD) is a powerful virtual reality documentary that combines innovative storytelling and virtual production techniques to recreate the lived experiences of the people of Hawai’i, who were forced to make impossible decisions in the face of impending nuclear violence.
Also presented at the National Theatre is the World Premiere of the fully immersive version of INTRAVENE, a project that is the result of a groundbreaking partnership between Darkfield, Brenda Longfellow and Crackdown – immersive and documentary artists and those working on the frontline of the drugs crisis. Set inside a shipping container on Theatre Square in front of the National Theatre, INTRAVENE uses binaural 360 degree sound to plunge listeners into the heart of the overdose crisis in Vancouver, giving voice to the people most affected by it: users and frontline workers.
A dedicated Immersive Art and XR Award will also be announced at a special virtual LFF Awards Ceremony event on Sunday 16 October on BFI YouTube and on social media.
A selection of works will be featured on the Oculus TV app as part of a LFF Expanded spotlight, available for users with Oculus headsets at home to watch for free from 5-23 October.
Guy Maddin’s Haunted Hotel will also remain at BFI Southbank until 30 October 2022, accompanied by special screenings of three of his best-loved works in late October.
LFF Expanded 2022 – Immersive Art & XR Programme
- On The Morning You Wake (To The End Of The World) (2022) France, United Kingdom
- The Choice (2021) Canada, Poland
- INTRAVENE ()
- Framerate: Pulse of the Earth (2022) United Kingdom
- Black Movement Library – Movement Portraits ()
- Missing Pictures 3: The Monkey Wrench Gang (2022) France, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, United States
- All Unsaved Progress Will Be Lost (2022) France
- Monoliths ()
- A Mighty Mass Emerges ()
- Planet City ()
- Apparatus Ludens ()
- As Mine Exactly ()
- Digital Motions ()
- Haunted Hotel – A Melodrama in AR ()
- The Infinite Library ()
- In Pursuit of Repetitive Beats ()
- The Last Time I Saw Snow ()
- Line Of Contact ()
- Pan + Tilt ()
- Walzer ()