Autodesk has partnered with one of Canada’s premiere documentary festivals, as sponsor and host of an eleven-day event featuring some of the best documentaries of 2018 and is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors to the city of Toronto. During Hot Docs 2018, eleven exciting virtual reality installations will be displayed at the Autodesk Technology Centre Toronto and open free for the public to come into our space and experience.
In conjunction with the curated VR exhibition called DocX, Autodesk will co-present a two-day Salon Series focused on discussions about human-machine interaction and sustainability in the context of technology’s role in mitigating the effects of climate change. The series is original Hot Docs programming, developed in partnership with Autodesk Technology Centre, and will be moderated by experts from Office of the CTO and Autodesk Foundation.
The collective effort to sponsor and host Hot Docs 2018 is a collaboration between Autodesk Technology Centre, Autodesk Foundation, Autodesk Corporate Strategy and our site leadership team and CREFTS.
This will be Autodesk’s first partnership with Hot Docs, but how fitting that the company is sponsoring a film festival. Autodesk Maya, which was originally developed in Toronto, is still regarded as the go-to computer graphics software for filmmakers in both the traditional format and for creating stories in alternative methods, such as virtual reality. ‘Tree’, one of the VR installations to be displayed at ATC Toronto during the festival was produced using Autodesk Maya to bring to life the stunning environmental visuals and the character animations. The 8-minute immersive documentary transports the viewer into a nature scene, transforming a physical body into a growing tree in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, from the roots to the leaves and branches. Maya was used to model the many nature elements and to add realism to the movements of the tree to mimic that of a human body.
The DocX VR installations will be open free to the public between Friday, April 27 to Friday, May 6, while the Salon Series will occur May 2 and 3. The festival, which will hold screenings and events around the city will run from April 26 to May 6.
About Hot Docs Salons co-presented with Autodesk
On May 2, Autodesk’s Director of R&D, Future of Storytelling, Hilmar Koch will moderate a curated panel to discuss the future of evolving technology, such as artificial intelligence and the human interaction with it. This will be a broader discussion around the featured film ‘More Human than Human: AI and Us', about our growing relationship with intelligent machines, our dependence on them, and dealing with the consequence of security, surveillance and safety.
Part two of the salon talks on May 3 will be moderated by Christine Stoner, Head of Partnership and Engagement at Autodesk Foundation. The wider discussion will be around the topics introduced in 'Anote’s Ark', a documentary that explores climate change and understanding technology’s role in mitigating the impact of it to find a path towards a solution. Expert panelists for the sustainable technology and climate change discussion will includes Dr. Blair Feltmate, a University of Waterloo academic recently appointed to chair of the Government of Canada expert panel on adapting to climate change.
Part of the mission of Autodesk Foundation is to support people and organizations using design and technology for positive social and environmental impacts.
About the DOCX at Autodesk
2018’s DOCX, an interdisciplinary section of the festival, in partnership with MaRS Discovery District, will provide attendees an experience into immersive documentary work outside of traditional formats. The 11 exhibits will be displayed inside the Autodesk Toronto Technology Centre community space and spill out into the MaRS atrium and will be on display during the entire the festival and be free to the public.
Here is the full list and information on the DocX VR exhibitions to be displayed at Autodesk:
Anote’s Ark: In this companion piece to the film Anote's Ark, take a deeper look into the sinking Pacific Island nation of Kiribati and the fate of a population whose entire country may disappear in less than a generation due to climate change.
Greenland Melting: Greenland's glaciers are melting at alarming rates. Through breathtaking 360° perspectives, track the relentless progress of climate change and immerse yourself in this beautiful corner of the world before it's too late.
Guardians of the Forest: Produced in association with the United Nations VR initiative, this experience follows the extraordinary Indigenous volunteer force that acts as the Amazon's last line of defense against illegal loggers.
Living with Jaguars: Experience the world of Brazil's wild jaguars through their own eyes and those of the people who live and work alongside them in this immersive look at the complex issues facing these amazing animals.
Made This Way: Redefining Masculinity: Surround yourself in an artistic rendering of identity and body consciousness as expressed through a deeply honest and personal story of gender transition.
Sanctuaries of Silence: Escape to Washington's sprawling Olympic National Park—one of North America's quietest locales and a rare haven from the pervasive and damaging effects of noise pollution.
Small Wonders: The VR Experience: Step inside the stunningly intricate details of a 500-year-old prayer bead, with its incredible hand-carved scenes from heaven and hell that are nearly impossible to see with the naked eye.
The Sun Ladies: Rise up with a remarkable female fighting force who escaped the Yazidi genocide and have now banded together to rescue kidnapped relatives and fight for the survival and dignity of their people.
Thank You for Playing: Through unvarnished accounts from gamblers, psychologists and neurologists, this interactive piece shows the underlying mechanisms of addiction and how quickly the human mind can get sucked into games of chance.
The Third Wheel: In this compassionate and enlightening VR experience, a high school gym class plays basketball entirely in wheelchairs to allow their classmates with muscular dystrophy to participate.
Tree: Connect with nature like never before in this gorgeously innovative work that transforms every part of your body into the roots, branches and leaves of a tree growing in the Amazon rainforest.
More about Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Going into its 25th year, Hot Docs is touted as one of North America’s biggest film festivals. Touching on a host of global issues, from technology, climate change, social issues, pop culture, politics, activism and more. For 2018, more than 246 documentaries and short films, representing 56 countries will be screened during the festival in Toronto. Approximately 250,000 people are expected to attend the festival and experience the many special presentations, art and photo exhibits.