CFC and NFB Debut Interactive Film
Earlier this week I watched a sneak peak of Late Fragment, North America's first interactive dramatic feature film. Co-produced for $1.3 million by Toronto's Canadian Film Centre and the National Film Board of Canada, Late Fragment would be an excellent film if it were a traditional, linear, passive experience; but the fact it can be experienced in a seemingly infinite number of ways at the whim of the individual viewer makes it simply amazing, if not a cinematic breakthrough.
To understand exactly what is meant by interactive film, it's important to think beyond something as simple and familiar as Choose Your Own Adventure or Meanwhile, a project created over a year ago by students of the CFC Media Lab (previous coverage).
Late Fragment, which at its roots is a story about three strangers whose lives are fractured by thoughts and acts of seething violence, brings with it its own language about what an interactive film is and can be. There are 3 acts, 9 chapters, 3 endings, 139 scenes, 380 components, 10 loops and 10 rabbit holes. In one chapter alone, there are 3.26 billion story trajectories along which audiences can go.
The full running time of the film is 168 minutes and the sneak peak I saw was about 40 minutes which means I have lots of unanswered questions and can't wait to see the final product when it debuts during this year's Toronto International Film Festival.
The FREE screenings will take place at Camera Bar (1028 Queen Street West). There will be six two hour performative screenings, meaning that the interactive elements will be determined by the producers so audience members simply sit back and watch the film. These take place on September 10th and 12th at 7, 9 and 11pm. Personal viewing stations will also be available where individuals can interact with and play their own version of the film.
Unfortunately, it's unlikely the film will ever be screened outside of film festivals but a DVD will be available around November of this year.
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