ArtPower and Qualcomm Institute Announce Third Annual Filmatic Festival

Tickets to attend the Filmatic Festival go on sale February 29.

San Diego, February 17, 2016  — The 2016 Filmatic Festival will explore next-generation filmgoing through the worlds of virtual reality and immersive experiences/storytelling. According to The Wrap, “virtual reality is the fastest-growing medium in entertainment and Hollywood studios are scrambling to stay one step ahead of the competition.” Part of ArtPower’s multi-arts season of music, dance, and film—Filmatic Festival aims to explore the art of science and cinema through over 20 demonstrations, presentations, and performances by virtual reality industry leaders and international artists, as well as UC San Diego faculty and students. The festival takes place on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Atkinson Hall, the headquarters of the Qualcomm Institute on the UC San Diego campus.

Led by ArtPower film curator and Filmatic Festival founder Rebecca Webb, the 2016 festival will showcase multimedia works to immerse audiences in an engaging world of storytelling and scientific research. Explains Webb: “This year, Filmatic is right at the heart of this exciting movement—uniquely positioned to present some of the top virtual reality research in the world and showcase the latest cinematic adventures in virtual reality.

The festival will be hosted by Qualcomm Institute for the third year in a row. "The Qualcomm Institute's collaboration with the Filmatic Festival is a natural evolution of our institute's focus on new media arts, virtual reality and technology-enabled design,” said Ramesh Rao, director of the Qualcomm Institute, the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). “The institute's state-of-the-art audio-visual and virtual reality technologies provide the filmgoing experience of the future, and our affiliated artists and researchers provide the content that keep this type of visual storytelling alive. We are pleased to be a part of this collaboration, which will allow us to showcase the capabilities of both our venue and our researchers.” Filmatic will kick off will a presentation by Calit2 director Larry Smarr, the astrophysicist-turned-computer science professor who is a leader in the scientific computing, supercomputer applications, and Internet infrastructure.

Students play with personal VR systems at Filmatic 2015.

Other highlights include the California premiere of Collision, created by acclaimed artist Lynette Wallworth. Recently premiered at the World Economic Forum and Sundance Film Festival, the film tells the story of Aboriginal elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan in the remote desert of Western Australia. Through the close interplay of artistic and technological innovation, virtual reality industry leaders Felix & Paul will showcase four cinematic virtual storytelling adventures—Strangers with Patrick Watson; Nomads: Herders; Wild: The Experience; and Jurassic World: Apatosaurus. Multisensory Systems (MSS) will bring its sensory vehicle, Journey 2–G chair with AromaComposerTM, which provides new VR experience through programmed sound, motion, and aroma. Virtual reality artist Ben Vance will present Irrational Exuberance, an interactive art experience that gives the viewer an intimate connection to the possibilities and wonders of space (see details on these and other offerings below). 

Tickets on sale February  29

Tickets for Filmatic Festival goes on sale February 29. Half Day/Morning (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) $20 Regular; $5 UCSD students Half Day/Evening (5–10 p.m.) $20 Regular; $5 UCSD students Includes screenings of: Deriving Worlds and Making the Past Present All Day Pass, including screenings of: $35 Regular; $10 UCSD students Deriving Worlds and Making the Past Present Tickets can be purchased by phone at 858.534.TIXS; online at; or in person at the UC San Diego Box Office, Price Center Plaza, Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Closed Saturday and Sunday). 

List of Presentations, Installations, Performances Subject to Change 

Assembly Cognogensis is a shared virtual reality environment where two users collaborate within an artificial life world to cultivate the symbiotic relationship between imagination and the evolving environmental system.

Audio Spatialization Lab Demos Get immersed in virtual acoustic space at the state-of-the-art spatial sound lab at Calit2. The realtime acoustic simulations will transport virtual reality experiences to the next level. You won’t believe your ears!

Cinematic Virtual Reality Experience film like never before by fully immersing yourself in a new cinematic virtual storytelling adventure created by industry leaders Felix & Paul.

Atkinson Hall, the headquarters of the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, will be the primary venue for Filmatic Festival 2016.

Collisions (California Premiere) Created by acclaimed artist Lynette Wallworth, Collision transports audience via virtual reality to a remote desert in western Australia to witness the conflict between the Aboriginal and western culture through the story of indigenous leader Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and the Martu tribe.

Deriving Worlds (California Premiere) Can images be heard? Can sounds be seen? Experience the familiar in unexpected ways through musical compositions inspired by Chinese ink paintings and digitally animated calligraphy created by composer Lei Liang along with cinematographer and editor Keita Funakawa.

Figuratively Speaking is a virtual environment for exploration and contemplation. In Margaret Dolinsky’s made believe world—bulbous faces are bobbing up and down on hillsides as they are overlooking the water. The friendly little buoyant bodies speak in metaphorical tones. Their dialogue, musical yet undecipherable, leads the visitor through a world of fantasy where they live in play, confrontation and worship.

Ingress Gaming Meetup Join Flint Dille, creative lead of Ingress, to play the augmented reality game and meet other players at this official Ingress event that will explore UC San Diego monuments and landmarks including the Stuart Collection.

Instagram Wall Be a social media rock star as Filmatic features your photos on a live Instagram feed and have fun engaging with your fellow festival goers. #filmaticfestival2016 #filmatic2016

Irrational Exuberance (California Premiere) Uniquely designed for room-scale VR by artist Ben Vance with collaborators Sam Bird and Joel Corelitz, Irrational Exuberance is an interactive art experience that gives the viewer an intimate connection to the possibilities and wonders of space—where mysterious phenomena, hidden beauty, and the infinite await.

It’s a Visual Revolution! We are in deep in the midst of a visual revolution. Join our panel of experts from across industries and disciplines as they explore the world of cinema, advertising, cinema, social media through the lens of virtual/augmented reality and cinematic visual effects, and discuss their visions of cinema in the 22nd century.

Journeyer 2-G and AromaComposer Never leave your chair as you travel far and wide in an immersive outer space experience that utilizes all your senses. Created by Multisensory Systems (MSS), the Journeyer 2-G and AromaComposer provide dramatic new sensory experiences combining programmed sound, motion, and aroma.

Line A video projection-mapped sculpture, Line is a structure inspired by the iconographic lifeguard towers found on every San Diego beach.

Making the Past Present  Explore the power of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) through the lens of next generation digital cinema and literally walk into the arena of scientific discovery and story telling.

Quantum Imagination (California Premiere) Enter a world where the invisible is visible, and explore the infinitesimal particles and processes that make up existence. It isn’t an alternate reality; this nanoscale world is your own. Audience members will be able to design their own nano world using software platform 1nano by NanoVR.

Rhodopsin for Filmatic Especially designed for Filmatic, this reenvisioned installation employs film, light, and sound to encourage visitors to think about the process of perception.

Solarium (California Premiere) is a large-scale, immersive, and site-specific 4K digital video installation of the sun, using images captured by NASA spacecraft Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). With images that are eight times the resolution as an HDTV, SDO watches ultraviolet light invisible to the naked eye to track how material dances through the solar atmosphere.

Ursa Major (California Premiere) A three channel video projection-mapped universe created by visual artist Gareth Walsh, Ursa Major will transform Tim Hawkinson’s 180-tonBear sculpture into a galactic spectacle of light, optical illusion, and movement.

Sonar (California Premiere) is a new kind of cinematic entertainment—striking a balance between traditional movie making and interactive media. This short film is a fully immersive, slow-paced, 360° computer-generated experience created for various virtual reality headsets.

Stonemilker (California Premiere) A virtual reality collaboration between creator Andrew Thomas Huang and artist Björk, Stonemilker explores the possibilities that VR holds for performance platforms outside of the traditional music video world.

Tunnel of Lights Bliss out when you traverse the tunnel of lights that lead up to the Filmatic Festival at the Qualcomm Institute.

UC San Diego Virtual Reality Club Demonstrations UC San Diego’s first VR club is open to all students—artists, scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts alike. Check out some of the innovative 3D user interaction projects the club has been working on all year.

Related Links

Filmatic Festival 2016

Media Contacts

Joanna Szu/ArtPower, 858-822-3199, or Doug Ramsey/Qualcomm Institute, 858-822-5825,