FilmGate Interactive Media Festival, a technology and film driven experimental showcase, calls itself the first conference in the nation to focus solely on interactive and immersive content.
The yearly conference, since 2012, returns to Friday through Sunday at University of Miami. The event strives to make a space where new media is redefined, explored, and even created.
FilmGate will feature panels, workshops and master classes for novice and experienced filmmakers, media members, inquiring attendees looking to hone their skills.
Co-founder and executive director Diliana Alexander said the festival will appeal to anyone interested in responsive media, including virtual reality, branding, and content, and storytelling from internet celebrities. She calls them “cewebities.”
“On the surface, FilmGate looks like something very niche and geared toward creators, but we have the interactive screenings at night and the virtual reality projects that are accessible to everyone, so we say it is open to the curious audience,” Alexander said.
Seven of the most influential and pioneering virtual reality projects will be on display, including a New York Times Pluto exploration using stitched photography, Alexander said.
FilmGate will also premiere “Notes On Blindness,” a traditional documentary with virtual reality interaction about a journalist who went blind and is exploring his new reality.
Alexander said it’s important for her and her team to keep FilmGate local, presenting a scene and giving exposure to some of Miami’s most talented filmmakers, who will mingle with other industry professionals.
FilmGate also presents a monthly film festival called “I’m Not Gonna Move To L.A.” or “NOLA,” allowing filmmakers to preview their movies with friends, family and strangers before the films are presented at other festivals.
“We’ve been doing this with the goal to create more South Florida stories visually and hopefully to export them into the world, so we have a voice as a state and as a region and have more films like ‘Moonlight,’” Alexander said.
Halsey Burgund, an audio artist who attended FilmGate previously, said the festival is essential to creatives in the city because getting their work “out there” is crucial and challenging.
Burgund said he found that participating in and contributing to events is a great way of getting exposed to a large and more diverse audience.
“In the case of FilmGate, I was able to not only present my work but also run a workshop on the approach, philosophy accompanying technology of my work,” Burgund said. “It was a really fun way to get feedback and see how people react.
“The attendees of FilmGate are very interesting and bouncing ideas off of them and hearing where they took some of my ideas was super inspiring,” he said. “It helps feed future work, both directly and indirectly.”