BSIFI should Include Virtual and Augmented Reality Pieces


For those who don’t know what BSIFI means, let’s help you out. The Black Star International film institute is a non-profit organisation which focuses on creating global connections through film thus helping bridge the gap between African cinema and the world. One key way they achieve this is through the annual celebration of the Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF).

Over the years, the festival has brought together an interesting selection of filmmakers, lovers, producers, directors and the likes and made some form of impact. However, there are few adjustments that need to be made in order to help this festival have even greater influence.

Take for instance the decision by New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival to include 20 virtual reality and augmented reality pieces in the Virtual Arcade, plus five that are part of the Storyscapes competition. BSIFF can and should include animations and games which tell a story that sticks close to the heart in its entries.

Cinema360 at Tribeca Film Festival

To further drive down the inclusion of Technology in TFF this year, the Tribeca Film festival is also adding something called Cinema360, a theatrical program where everyone experiences several VR pieces together. There are four separate tracks, bringing together up to three different works in one program – Virtual Reality (VR) for Good Creators Lab, This is Climate Change, It’s Right Behind You and the experimental Horizons.

Loren Hammonds, senior consultant at Tribeca Film Festival, said this is an attempt to break through the occasionally isolating effect of VR. Cinema360 won’t be quite the same thing as watching a movie in a crowded theatre because you’re getting your own experience on your own headset.  Tribeca Immersive will run at the Tribeca Festival Hub from April 20 to 28. You can see the full lineup on the Tribeca website.

Beyond curating films for the festival, BSIFF can expand its reach with the inclusion of games and animations. It sure will be exciting to have a VR/AR experience in this year’s BSIFF.

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