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Animation, Immersive, and Games at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival

 Highlights from the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival

Animation, Immersive, Games, and COVID

Attending the  2022 Tribeca Film Festival in person was initially a great relief after two years of avoiding large crowds and fastidious masking . It was fantastic to feel like things were back to normal. COVID numbers have gone down in NYC, and vaccination / booster rates are up compared to the rest of the US. (I am fully vaccinated and I was boosted in the last 6 months.) Very few people were wearing a mask at the festival hub and I was also mask less. (I kept my double masks attached to my arm for public transit.) As festival attendees we put our faith in vaccine effectiveness and threw caution into the fan. Unfortunately the pandemic is not completely over. At some point, I felt a little off and took myself home. After my symptoms started I used a COVID home test and discovered I had contracted my first case of COVID. Luckily,  my symptoms were relatively mild but it still wasn’t fun. (It felt like my brain had been dipped in molasses.) The pandemic is not over just because we want it to be. (I’ve learned my lesson.) Please get vaccinated and boosted if you can and let’s wear masks to help keep each other safe.

On to the Talent!

Here are a few of my favorite experiences at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival for Animation, Immersive, and Games:

Feature Film


This masterful work by Signe Baumane will sweep you away on an adventure into the human condition. Winding musical numbers and neuroscience through a semi-auto-biographical story is both poignant and deeply funny in the way only the best films can be. This animated feature film is a must watch. 

Website: https://www.myloveaffairwithmarriagemovie.com/ 

Short Film

PHONOS by Gabriela Badillo 


This beautiful 2d hand drawn animation uses music to depict connection and control then loss and acceptance.

Film Website: https://holacombo.com/ 

TEHURA by Wei Li 


Tehura is a powerful short animated film about dance, tradition, and empowerment. 

YouTube Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvQuSUI9kP0 



This piece about the aftermath of genocide in Southeastern Congo uses minimal animation and nice design to tell an important story.

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt17219826/ 



THE ORIGINALS by Cristina Costantini and Alfie Koetter


The Originals is a stop motion / digital animated documentary about a block in South Brooklyn in the 1970s through the lens of first generation Italian Americans.

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt18088126/ 


Tribeca Immersive has been a destination for me every year since 2016 here are a few of my favorites from 2022:

Glimpse by Benjamin Cleary and Michael O'Connor

Glimpse is a beautiful VR 6DOF piece. It opens a viewport into the history of a first relationship. The sometimes limited animation is layered into the VR experience with expertise and love. This kind of care and talent is rarely seen in VR pieces and it should be celebrated. From the overlapping action of the hands to the hand poses on the guitar frets, there is a focus on quality animation which plays heartstrings. It makes you care. The piece would not be the same without this level of detail to animation. The use of environment, props, scaling, and animation all serve to give you a glimpse of a moment in time.  

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10855054/ 

Mescaform Hill: The Missing Five by Edward Madojemu and Adam Madojemu

Mescaform Hill is a graphic novel published in Quill. There are key moments of animation and frame layout which show how highly effective the platform can be at telling a compelling story. The artistry of the main drawings, keyed elements, and environment work very well. I look forward to seeing more.

Available on Oculus TV: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/media/519670149562311/ 

Kubo Walks The City by Hayoun Kwon

This VR 6DOF piece explores Korea under Japanese occupation.  The environment is expansive and the choices made for scale and interactivity create an immersive and interesting experience. 

Website: http://www.innerspacevr.com/kubo-walks-the-city 

Winner of the Tribeca Immersive Storyscapes Award

LGBTQ + VR Museum by Antonia Forster and Thomas Terkildsen

This LGBTQ+ VR 6DOF museum is well built and executed. Environment details are added with care and the mechanics and scale are thoughtfully employed. This high caliber gallery is meant to elevate the important testimonials exhibited within it. It is a successful piece.

Website: https://lgbtqvrmuseum.com/ 

Winner of the Tribeca Immersive New Voices Award

EVOLVER  by Marshmallow Laser Feast, Jonny Greenwood, Meredith Monk, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Howard Skempton

This multi user Immersive VR 6DOF Experience was located in a separate location from Spring Studios at 120 Broadway. The experience happened in three parts. The waiting room phase calms and opens your mind with a dark gallery environment of sample renders from previous work by Marshmallow Laser Feast as well as stills from EVOLVER. 

The next stage is an audio component. You choose a spot in a circle of bean bags and listen to a poetic recitation audio experience with noise canceling headphones. 

The third stage is the VR Immersive component with headsets. It’s a free roaming multi-user experience about macro and micro and our place in the world. Once wearing the HMD the floor disappears and you are floating in a space of pulsating particles which move and flow corresponding to your hand movements. The emerging objects are a million little particles which evolve into a replica of a human body. (The environment limited the experience to only a portion of the full EVOLVER piece.) The piece gives you the opportunity to see through the particles, between the particles, while blood rushes through the pulmonary system. The experience represents both the physical and ephemeral.

Evolver 2d Teaser Trailer: https://vimeo.com/718477724 

Winner of the Tribeca Immersive New Voices Award

Plastisapiens by Miri Chekhanovich and Édith Jorisch, Dpt.

Plastisapiens is an intellectual piece with a profound message about both our place in the scheme of things and what we are becoming. The effort in the on-site installation also made the piece special. I accepted edible plastic caviar (I think it was seaweed.) and both the taste of the added sensory element and the message of the piece both stayed with me all day. The animation, effects, and sound design are sophisticated for the Quest 2.

Website: https://mediamorfosis.net/en/espectaculo/plastisapiens/ 

Check out the full list of Immersive for Tribeca 2022 here.


Games are tricky to demo since I was only given about a 20 minute window to check out each selection. It’s not the best way to get a real sense of any project. There was an impressive list of titles this year. Here are a few projects which stood out to me the most, though I enjoyed the full lineup. (Make sure to check out the The Cub demo on Steam.)

The Cub by Demagog Studio

The Cub demo is a joy to play. The animated elements are beautifully realized and the story builds in bits and pieces as you navigate through this gorgeous futuristic post-apocalyptic platform game. The soundtrack is wonderful, too. Highly recommended.

Website: https://demagogstudio.com/The-Cub 

Play the Steam Demo: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1941410/The_Cub/ 

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals by Night School Studio

Enjoy mystery, exploration, monsters, the paranormal, “Time-tears” and text banter? This game is for you. Oxenfree II seems like another quality piece by Night School Studio. Sign me up.

Website: https://nightschoolstudio.com/oxenfree-ii/ 

American Arcadia by Tatiana Delgado

This puzzle based adventure game switches from 2.5D side scroller to 3D first person perspective during game play of this demo. The writing and puzzles seem fun and the “retro-futuristic” setting makes me want to explore a little more.

Website: https://www.americanarcadiagame.com/ 


As Dusk Falls is an interactive drama. The environments are beautifully designed and executed and the multiplayer aspect of the piece could be particularly fun for friends and couples. I longed for an animated interactive drama when I first saw the stills for As Dusk Falls but that is not what this is. There are animated elements but the interaction is more about story choice. It’s great fun especially when you play with a friend. Recommended.

Website: https://www.interiornight.com/asduskfalls 

I hope you’ve found these recommendations helpful. See you soon!

By Yvonne Grzenkowicz

Yvonne Grzenkowicz is a Contributor, Executive Director, and Co-Owner of AFA: Animation for Adults. She is also the Founder of Animation Nights New York (ANNY) & the ANNY Exchange Talent Connect Initiative.


About Animation Nights New York (ANNY)

We curate and connect. Animation Nights New York (ANNY)  is a monthly screening event and annual festival based in NYC. We present animated short films, games,  and virtual reality animation experiences from all around the world. https://animationnights.com 

ANNY Exchange connects creators to opportunity using our festival as a vehicle. https://annyexchange.com