Celebrate Sundance with Six Stellar VR Films, Plus Baobab Studios and Tinker Studio to Debut New Work

Oculus Blog
January 25, 2021

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival kicks off this week, and we’re excited to share two new projects that are set to premiere: Namoo and Tinker. To celebrate, we’re showcasing some of our favorite official selections from years past with the Sundance Film Festival Highlights Collection on the Oculus Quest Platform.

The creators of INVASION!, Crow: The Legend, Baba Yaga, and more, award-winning Baobab Studios premieres its latest VR film, directed by Erick Oh. Namoo, which means “tree” in Korean, tells the story of a man’s life through a tree that reflects meaningful memories in its branches—from pacifiers and stuffed animals to books, typewriters, and mementos from past relationships. Created in VR with Quill, Namoo is launching later this year.

From Oculus Launch Pad and Oculus Start participant Lou Ward comes Tinker, a live, interactive theater experience about Alzheimer’s disease. You grow up alongside Grandfather in his workshop, tinkering, playing, and creating new memories together. Explore the value of connection and the importance of making new memories with our loved ones.

Whether or not you’re able to participate in Sundance this year, you can celebrate at home with our collection of six stellar titles from festivals past.

Painted entirely by hand inside of VR with Quill, Dear Angelica plays out in a series of memories that unfold around you. An immersive, illustrative short story starring Geena Davis and Mae Whitman, Dear Angelica premiered at Sundance in 2017 and is available on the Quest and Rift Platforms.

A cinematic VR experience that immerses the viewer in the long history of restriction of movement for black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities, Traveling While Black confronts the way we understand and talk about race in America. It premiered at Sundance in 2019 and is available on the Quest and Rift Platforms, as well as Oculus Go.

Narrated by Colin Farrell, Gloomy Eyes is an animated trilogy where fantastical dioramas twist and rotate around you. This Tim Burton-esque animated story of a zombie boy and a mortal girl is a playfully macabre tale of love forbidden love. Gloomy Eyes premiered at Sundance in 2019 and is available on the Quest and Rift Platforms.

Narrated by Millie Bobby Brown, Jessica Chastain, and Patti Smith, SPHERES brings together art and science in a feast of lights and sounds. With light interactivity, hand tracking enabled, and an intense original soundtrack, each chapter of SPHERES explores a particular phenomenon within our universe with an educational lens. SPHERES premiered at Sundance in 2018 and is available on the Quest and Rift Platforms.

The Under Presents blends immersive theater and virtual reality, letting you step into a world where you’ll interact with characters and other participants. It merges live actors and scripted performances with a narrative arc that centers on themes of time, fate, and free will. The Under Presents premiered at Sundance in 2019 and is now available on the Quest and Rift Platforms, including a free demo with over 30 minutes of single-player mysteries to uncover.

In 1983, after decades of steady deterioration, John Hull became totally blind. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began documenting his experiences on audio cassettes. These original diary recordings create the basis of Notes on Blindness, an interactive nonfiction narrative that shares a cognitive and emotional experience of blindness. Notes on Blindness premiered at Sundance in 2016 and is available on the Quest and Rift Platforms, as well as Oculus Go.

Which immersive film from the Sundance Film Festival Highlights Collection is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.