As mentioned in my interview with Franz the Bear, this year’s Sundance Film Festival not only featured films, documentaries, shorts, and memorable performances from established talent (John Hawkes) to breakout stars (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), it also brought an interactive element to Park City, UT. Bear 71 explored the line between technology and nature by looking to not only show people a documentary, but actually bring them into the experience. This was achieved through an interactive installation at the New Frontier that ran during the festival and not only utilized film and pictures, but also combined the use of webcams and social media to bring viewers into the world of Bear 71.
Bridging that gap between the standard practice of being told and shown something through a film, Bear 71 allowed viewers to actually go into the experience. Rather than just watching a documentary about a female grizzly bear (Bear 71) in her natural environment, the installation took things a step further and truly showed viewers how we coexist with wildlife in this day and age as our continued advances in technology actually allow us to distance ourselves from it.
For those unable to check it out at Sundance, you can now get a virtual walk-through of the installation and what it was like by checking out the new video after the break.
Installations like these show how Sundance is continuing to work at bringing festival goers a unique and inventive experience from filmmakers also working to the push boundaries of “normal” filmmaking. And if you find yourself in Salt Lake City between now and May 19th, you can experience the installation in person at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.
Snuggle up with the rest of our Sundance 2012 coverage