LFF Expanded

London Film Festival

October 7–18, 2020
October 9, 2020
London Film Festival Expanded: October 7–18, A new strand of XR and immersive art and virtual exhibition space

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LFF Expanded is BFI London Film Festival’s new dedicated strand of XR and immersive Art. Using cinema as a jumping off point, LFF Expanded features virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and live immersive performance work from bold, innovative creators from around the world, using a range of creative techniques to ensure audiences are not in front of a work of art, a film or a performance, but in the middle of it.

While plans beyond 2020 include a large scale physical installation, the festival has innovated in response to social distancing restrictions this year by commissioning a bespoke, dynamic new virtual exhibition space, The Expanse. This brand new virtual exhibition space houses the LFF Expanded programme curated by Ulrich Schrauth.

The Expanse features a virtual gallery for the LFF’s twenty 360 video and immersive works, plus an auditorium which will house a line-up of live talks and events across the Festival. Audiences will be able to access The Expanse, connect with one another and view the works, using tethered and non-tethered (Oculus Quest) headsets. For those that do not have a headset at home, the Festival will have a number of headsets available for use at the BFI Southbank for attendees to book and experience the platform in-person. There will also be a 2D browser version of the platform for those wishing to explore the virtual space at home. To view the works outside of the platform, attendees can access the Festival’s 360 video programme via Oculus TV and the dedicated LFF 360 Player via WebXR, viewable in mobile VR-headsets or web browser. For tethered headset users, attendees will be able to download the Expanse from Viveport.

LFF Expanded will present a number of original and thought-provoking panel discussions and talks around the medium of VR as well as some very special opportunities to meet the artists and explore pioneering new works including Future Rites & Chaotic Body 1, where acclaimed choreographer Alexander Whitley will give an insight into two of his upcoming immersive dance projects; Artist talk: Brave New World with the artists behind Agence (Anna West and David Callahan) and To Miss the Ending (Pietro Gagliano)—two very different projects dealing with the dystopian possibilities of Artificial Intelligence; explore Baff Akoto’s poetic work Leave The Edges in the virtual auditorium and listen to the artist talk about his artistic practice, which combines film and immersive technology and Anti-Gone by Theo Triantafyllidis, offering audiences the chance to experience a new way of hybrid virtual theatre-making.

On Saturday, October 10 London-based artist and designer Es Devlin will talk about her ground-breaking work in an LFF Expanded Screen Talk, and The Immersive Art Revolution sees Rufus Norris, Director and Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre, Nell Whitley, Executive Producer at Marshmallow Laser Feast and Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican, join BBC journalist and presenter Razia Iqbal to discuss the future of the immersive art sector.

As part of LFF Expanded, the LFF and StoryFutures Academy announced a new XR commission, Laika, directed by the Academy Award and BAFTA winning Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy, Diego Maradona). Telling the story of the first space dog, Laika is Asif Kapadia’s first foray into immersive and XR filmmaking, and is a collaboration with award winning animation studio Passion Pictures. Laika is due for final completion in 2021.

There will also be an opportunity to experience LFF Expanded at the BFI Southbank exhibition in London. This exhibition must be pre-booked—tickets are free, but limited. Click here to pre-book. LFF Expanded is open throughout the BFI London Film Festival (October 7–18, 2020).