O Cinema ushers in a new age by serving as a South Florida hub for the next wave of immersive, mixed reality, and virtual reality storytelling. As with “This is Not a Ceremony,” which will be screened on Saturdays and Sundays this winter at O Cinema’s historic Art Deco site at 1130 Washington Avenue in Miami Beach, the arthouse cinema pioneers innovative, boundary-pushing forms of experiential art.
In 2022, “This is Not a Ceremony” made its world premiere at Sundance’s New Frontier Fest to rave reviews. Visitors don O Cinema VR headsets to enter a magnificent virtual reality film experience made by Ahnahktsipiitaa (Colin Van Loon), a writer and director from Niitsitapi.
The experience is available as part of O Cinema on the Go and includes a VR headset for $5 on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at O Cinema South Beach. The program fits well with O Cinema’s objective to bring art to a South Florida audience that would not otherwise have access to it.
Every last Friday of the month, O Cinema presents an international virtual reality event on AltSpace featuring selected short films. Visitors congregate in the privacy of their homes to watch short films chosen by the community in a virtual reality circus setting designed explicitly for O Cinema by JC Fractal.
The project’s director, originator, “protogeek,” and VR advocate is Vivian Marthell. As the co-founder and director of O Cinema, she is committed to encouraging creativity and community in Miami. She is enthusiastic about how VR can advance O Cinema’s goal of reaching different audiences with art and film.
“Since the advent of digital tech, storytelling has become more available to more people, and O Cinema is the home for that. Whether you are making or consuming stories, we want O Cinema to be the hub for how people in Miami participate in media,” Marthell said.
Kareem Tabsch, the other co-founder of O Cinema, steps down to focus exclusively on directing movies as part of the organization’s exciting new direction, and Marthell takes the company’s leadership. Tabsch and Marthell established O Cinema in 2008.
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