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New Frontier

A look at the amazing work of the Sundance Film Festival's venue for experimental cinema and new media

by Greg Stefano
on 18 January 2013

Amid all the hubbub of film releases and elbow-rubbing that will happen at the Sundance Film Festival this week there is a lesser-known venue with enormous potential. New Frontier is a multimedia installation space featuring cutting edge work from some of the world's most interesting contemporary cinematic artists. Stepping outside the bounds of traditional cinema, New Frontier is a space that highlights experimentation, focusing on expanding cinema culture through film, art and new media technology. Below we've highlighted some of the projects that will be on display at New Frontier this year, followed by our interview with Shari Frilot, a senior programmer for the festival and the curator of New Frontier about this unique segment of the festival.

What's He Building in There?

Looking to a Tom Waits song for inspiration, Ricardo Rivera and the Klip Collective were given the chance to get creative with the New Frontier venue itself. Described as an "interactive, 3-D-projection-mapped parable," the piece will take over the outdoor lounge, guaranteeing an immersive artistic experience no matter where you end up in the space.

This fantastic HTML5 interactive music video from the extremely web-savvy rapper Yung Jake takes great advantage of augmented reality technology. Get Yung Jake's app, go to his site and then point your phone at the screen for an immediate and awesome interactive experience. A great way to experience an installation that will be on site in Park City from your home, Yung Jake's video will take over your web browser and give you a glimpse into the future of media.

Interior. Leather Bar.

One of New Frontier's films this year is a collaboration between directors Travis Mathews and the ever delightful James Franco. The film explores sexuality and creativity—inspired by lost S&M footage from "Cruising", a controversial 1980s thriller that starred Al Pacino.

Coral: Rekindling Venus

A truly fantastic piece of experimental installation cinema, Coral: Rekindling Venus is artist Lynette Wallworth's epically beautiful dedication to coral reefs. With stunning visuals, the installation will utilize augmented reality and a full planetarium dome to present a gripping look at life underwater. Beyond the festival the piece will be shown at other locations around the country so more can share in its enchanting picture of the thriving ocean ecosystem.

North of South, West of East

Meredith Danluck's film takes a more traditional approach to narrative storytelling but adds a twist with presentation. The dark comedy will play simultaneously on four separate channels, encompassing an entire room. The audience, placed in swivel chairs, will have to stay on their toes to follow the tale as the story shifts and evolves in the space, offering a unique viewing experience.

Interview: Shari Frilot

What is New Frontier?

In 2007 what used to be the Frontier section of the festival was re-inaguarated as New Frontier. So, in addition to showing films that kind of expanded and pushed the boundaries of storytelling, we took over a venue and created a space where you could expand the culture even further by engaging with cinematic practices that were happening in new media and the art world. Also with film experimentations that had nothing to do with the continuous format of film presentation.

Read the rest of out interview with Shari Frilot after the jump.

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