Hipsters vs. Dinosaurs in Caitlin Burns's McCarren Park.

Let's skip straight to the most important question: What can you expect from NYFF Convergence?

Expect to hear filmmakers like our keynote speaker Tommy Pallotta—the creative force that gave Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly its distinctive look, who has been pioneering multiplatform storytelling with his transmedia thriller Collapsus and the upcoming The Last Hijack.  Expect panels featuring the likes of two-time Academy Award-nominated animator Bill Plympton, producer Peter Saraf (Safety Not Guarenteed), and representatives from companies as diverse as Adult Swim/Cartoon Network, National Geographic, hit properties like 30 Rock and Transformers, and compelling presentations from the Producers Guild of America East, Writers Guild of America East, Digital Hollywood and  indie makers who are changing the way we interact with narrative one New York neighborhood at a time.

And that's just the beginning; more programs will be announced as we get closer to the event. What makes all of this even more exciting is that Convergence will only be open to a very limited number of guests, providing conference attendees the rare chance to interact and exchange ideas in an intimate and personal setting.

This year, the New York Film Festival is celebrating its golden anniversary, and part of that celebration involves exploring what the future of storytelling may look like in a world where technology is pervasive and at a time where audiences expect to interact with their media. Film Society’s immersive media initiative, Convergence, will offer two full days (September 29 & 30) of programs designed for and by the innovative minds driving the evolution in storytelling. The program will offer panel discussions, workshops, and specially curated immersive events that do more than describe the elements central to creating interactive stories, but offer audiences the chance to experience them first hand. Guests range from professional game designers to independent creators drawn from a host of disciplines including animation, application design, writers, dancers, directors, advertisers, and yes even a few people who might be best defined as mad scientists.

Immersive film experience Renga.

While our panel and workshop programming (outlined in the official press release) is stellar, we are very proud to welcome several immersive experiences to the NYFF audience. Renga, a film that completely places the control of the story in the hands of its audience via an innovative control system, will have attendees assume the role of colonists in a space-invaders inspired tale. Whispers in the Dark, a live-haunting 24-hour story created by experience designer Jeff Wirth, will play out in and around Lincoln Center. We will also play host to a two-part premiere presentation of Caitlin Burns's film McCarren Park, one part being a multiplatform epic that pits hipsters against hordes of bloodthirsty dinosaurs.

Convergence doesn’t seek to answer the question “what’s the next big thing?” To be perfectly honest, we have no idea. To take the name of the program literally, Convergence is about bringing people—audiences and creators, masters and novices, academics and superfans—together. If we are doing our jobs right participants will leave these events engaged in the debate about the future of story.  So whether you are an experienced transmedia storyteller or simply curious about what all the fuss is about we invite you to join us for two days exploration, innovation and perhaps a bit of fun.

Stay tuned for more announcements about NYFF Convergence programs. For information on purchasing passes to the two-day event, click here. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the New York Film Festival, you can become a Film Society Member for just $50! So don't wait… join now!