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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Digital playground returns to TIFF

The fifth annual digiPlaySpace exhibition gives kids the power to control the Elements, draw their own videogames, use virtual reality to travel under the Arctic Ocean,  program robots, play hockey on the big screen and more
Sensory Imaging, Artist: Adrian Sas
Flippaper, Artist: Jérémie Cortial and Roman Miletitch
Elements, Artist: Design I/O
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TORONTO — TIFF® will bring families on an interactive adventure this spring with the fifth edition of the award-winning digiPlaySpace™ exhibition. This engaging and educational digital playground invites kids and families to learn through play with a diverse range of the latest interactive installations, including multi-player videogames, virtual reality, Olympic-sized stop-motion sports, green screen escapades, robotic and circuit building activities in a DIY maker space, and more from acclaimed Canadian and international artists. Opening just ahead of March Break due to popular demand, digiPlaySpace runs for an extended seven weeks at TIFF Bell Lightbox, from March 5 to April 24, 2016.

“Creative play makes learning fun and enjoyable,” said Elizabeth Muskala, Director, TIFF Kids. “The world of digital media is evolving so rapidly, and opening up so many new possibilities, that exposure to these kinds of innovative experiences is becoming a necessary part of the learning process in kids becoming media literate in our ever-changing landscape. Fostering a sense of wonder and imagination in the critical-thinking process is vital to inspiring future innovators to pursue careers and interests in the arts, technology, math and engineering.”“With more innovative installations than ever for kids to touch, play and engage with, digiPlaySpace 2016 is the can’t-miss event for families this spring,” added Nick Pagee, Curator, digiPlaySpace. “This year’s theme of ‘Immersion’ invites children to dive into a magical environment where physical and digital media converge and the imaginary springs into real life around them as they experience the latest creative technologies that are as educational as they are exciting.”

The fifth edition of digiPlaySpace is bigger than ever, expanding onto the TIFF Bell Lightbox atrium wall with Happy Hockey, from Germany-based artists Johannes Kristmann and Alexander Pieper, a multiplayer hockey videogame that anyone in the building can join with their smartphone; and Marshmallow Clouds, a unique and magical interactive light-up cloudscape that ascends the title wall of the exhibition, from Vancouver-based Tangible Interaction in partnership with the New Media program at Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media and TIFF.

Internationally acclaimed and award-winning interactive studio Design I/O returns to digiPlaySpace with the North American premiere of Elements. Children are immersed in a dynamic environment where they can control the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) through body movement. Co-commissioned by TIFF and Cinekid Festival Amsterdam, Elements premiered to audiences in Amsterdam at Cinekid MediaLab in October 2015.

Other highlights include the world premiere of LOLympics, Toronto-based fine-arts duo Catshrine’s sports-themed stop-motion animation installation; TheBluVR, an immersive underwater tour of ocean life from virtual reality studio Wevr; the Canadian premiere of Thymio, a small programmable and educational robot for kids; the Canadian premiere of Line Wobbler, an award-winning and novel game with a unique and fun controller made out of a door-stopper spring and an LED strip, from U.K.-based independent game developer Robin Baumgarten; local game designers Laundry Bear Games’ Trackoons, a competitive multiplayer game where raccoons face off in a hurdles race in downtown Toronto; the Augmented Reality Sandbox, where kids can dig, sculpt and sift through real sand to create a topographic environment, augmented in real time by an elevation colour map; and the Canadian premiere of Sensory Imaging, an interactive installation by artist Adrian Sas designed to engage children with sensory processing disorders in an immersive experience encouraging sensory exploration.

Six games featured at digiPlaySpace 2016 will join its international exhibition tour, including the North American premiere of Jérémie Cortial and Roman Miletitch’s Flippaper, where users draw their own playable pinball games with special paint markers, and five short arcade-style games featured in the TIFF Kids Animal Arcade: Trackoons, Wanderment: A Curious Commute, SimAntics: Realistic Anteater Simulator, Digital Bird Playground and Pugs Sniffin’ Pugs by SpaceBeagles (A TIFF Kids Exclusive). Following its successful three-city tour in China, the digiPlaySpace touring package continues on to the Minnesota Children's Museum in Saint Paul, Minnesota, from May 22 to September 4, 2016.

digiPlaySpace 2016 is organized into three main areas, all promoting new avenues and opportunities to learn, create, tell stories and connect. Design is by Mason Studio and aftermodern.lab, who have collaborated to create a dynamic exhibition space that enhances and encourages an immersion with the digital programmes. For full lineup, click here.

About TIFF 
TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.
TIFF is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC, L'Oréal Paris and Visa, and Major Supporters the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto

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