CONVERGENCE CULTURE’s Henry Jenkins announced for 2014 NYFF Convergence; 1st 3 selections announced

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Posted by on 8.5.2014

THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER Announces Convergence Culture’s Henry Jenkins to make Keynote Address for 2014 NYFF CONVERGENCE

First three selections announced include the North American Premiere of the interactive presentation of Tommy Pallotta & Femke Wolting’s The Last Hijack, a presentation of ITVS’s online series Futurestates, and a 30th anniversary screening of Diego Echeverria’s Living Los Sures

New York, NY (August 5, 2014) – The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that USC’s Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture, will make the Keynote Address for the 2014 NYFF Convergence, which takes place September 27-28). The initial three selections for NYFF Convergence were also unveiled.

NYFF Convergence Programmer Matt Bolish said, “The exciting thing about this form of storytelling is that it’s constantly evolving, changing, morphing, and being remixed. These three projects represent some of the most compelling immersive material we’ve seen to date.”

Focusing on the intersection of technology and storytelling, NYFF Convergence offers audiences and creators the unique opportunity to experience a curated selection of some of the most exciting immersive storytelling projects being produced today. Jenkins will focus his address (“A Brief History of Transmedia Worlds”) on world-building in the contemporary entertainment landscape, as it applies to film, as well as exploring the worlds of games, online content, books, etc.

Previewing the address, Jenkins said, “Today's films, television series, games, comics, novels, and even documentaries and journalism rely heavily on the concepts of world-building and world-mapping. In this talk, I will provide a conceptual map for understanding what we mean by ‘worlds,’ what roles they are playing in the production and consumption of popular media, how thinking in terms of worlds involves a shift from more traditional focuses on character and narrative, and why this concept has gained such traction in an era of networked communication and transmedia entertainment.”

Henry Jenkins is the Provost's Professor of Communication Journalism and Cinematic Arts at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He joined USC from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was Peter de Florez Professor in the Humanities and directed MIT's Comparative Media Studies graduate degree program from 1993-2009, setting an innovative research agenda during a time of fundamental change in communication, journalism, and entertainment. As one of the first media scholars to chart the changing role of the audience in an environment of increasingly pervasive digital content, Jenkins has been at the forefront of understanding the effects of participatory media on society, politics and culture. His research gives key insight into the success of social-networking websites, networked computer games, online fan communities, and other advocacy organizations and emerging news media outlets. Jenkins has also played a central role in demonstrating the importance of new media technologies in educational settings. He has worked closely with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to shape a media literacy program designed to explore the effects of participatory media on young people, and reveal potential new pathways for education through emerging digital media. He is Principal Investigator on the Media Activism Participatory Politics project. His most recent books include Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the Literature Classroom (with Wyn Kelley, Katie Clinton, Jenna McWilliams, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley, and Erin Reilly) and Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Society (with Sam Ford and Joshua Green).

The first three selections announced for NYFF Convergence include the North American Premiere of the interactive presentation of Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting’s The Last Hijack, which combines documentary footage, animation, and an online transmedia experience to explore contemporary piracy from the point of view of a Somali man contemplating one final hijacking attempt; and a 30th Anniversary screening (of a restored 16mm print) of Diego Echeverria’s 1984 documentary Living Los Sures about the challenges and struggles of living in Brooklyn’s Los Sures neighborhood at that time. Nearly lost, the restored, reframed, and remixed documentary is now part of a multi-platform participatory media project of Brooklyn-based UnionDocs. For the third selection, NYFF Convergence will play host to a creator-guided tour of Futurestates, the compelling ITVS series that imagines the impact of technology on humanity in the not-so-distant future.

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Kent Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Marian Masone, FSLC Senior Programming Advisor; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound.

NYFF previously announced Gone Girl as the Opening Night selection and Inherent Vice as the Centerpiece, the retrospective Joseph L. Mankiewicz: The Essential Iconoclast, as well as initial selections in the Revivals section, including Burroughs: The Movie, The Color of Pomegranates, Hiroshima Mon Amour, and Once Upon a Time in America.  

Tickets for the 52nd New York Film Festival will go on sale to the general public at noon on Sunday, September 7. For information about purchasing Subscription Packages and VIP Passes, go to To find out how to become a Film Society member, visit


Los Sures
Diego Echeverria, USA, 1984, 16mm, 66m

Diego Echeverria’s Los Sures skillfully represents the challenges of its time: drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources in Brooklyn’s Los Sures neighborhood. Yet Echeverria’s portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Nearly lost, this 16mm film has been restored, reframed, and remixed by Southside based UnionDocs just in time for the 30th anniversary of its premiere at the New York Film Festival.
Saturday, July 27

Living Los Sures (Interactive Presentation)
Produced by UnionDocs, 2014

Using Escheverria’s 1984 documentary Los Sures as a starting point, Southside-based UnionDocs has created Living Los Sures, a massive mixed-media project that defies easy categorization. Composed over the course of four years and pulling on the talents of over 30 different artists, Living Los Sures paints a picture of a neighborhood from street level, an ever-evolving mosaic of people and places captured through film, audio, and now an online participatory experience.  With the premiere of two new elements—Eighty-Nine Steps, a continuation of the story of one of the original characters from Los Sures, and Shot by Shot—that invite people to share their personal stories inspired by the shots and locations of the original film, the UnionDocs team will take audiences through the process of building this unique documentary storyworld.
Saturday, July 27

The Last Hijack
Tommy Pallotta & Femke Wolting, Netherlands, 2014, DCP, 83m

Mohamed is your average middle-aged man trying to make ends meet in his homeland: the failed state of Somalia. One of the country’s most experienced pirates, he is faced with constant pressure—from his fiancée, family, and friends—to get out of his dangerous profession. Far from the romantic figures of movies and literature, piracy is coming under increasing scrutiny from global forces and communities within Somalia. Sensing the end of an era, Mohamed must decide if he should risk everything and do one last hijack. As he wrestles with these very real problems, a dramatic tail of survival unfolds. How did Mohamed come to live this brutal and dangerous existence and is it possible to walk away? The Last Hijack is both a feature-length film, combining documentary footage and animation, and an online transmedia experience, allowing viewers a unique and original way to explore the story of Somali piracy from different perspectives.
Sunday, September 28

North American Premiere
The Last Hijack (Interactive Presentation)
Tommy Pallotta & Femke Wolting

Join directors Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting as they explore the immersive online components of The Last Hijack. The creators will offer a bird’s-eye view of the online elements of their documentary that investigates modern-day piracy.  Using data visualizations, animation, live footage, and audio, the online experiences paint a picture not of perpetrators of crimes and their victims but of real people whose actions have an effect on the world around them.
Sunday, September 28

Futurestates (Interactive Presentation)
Produced by ITVS, USA, 2014, 90m

What will America look like in 10, 15, even 20 years? Futurestates, the revolutionary series produced by ITVS, has been proposing answers to those questions since 2010. For its fifth and final season, Futurestates is presented as an immersive online video experience featuring short films that imagine robots with feelings, what education looks like in a wired world, and the future of prisons and our penal system. The central question at the heart of Futurestates is how technologies we may take for granted have a profound effect on our capacity to feel, create, live... and be human.
Sunday, September 28


Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year’s most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Latinbeat, New Directors/New Films, NewFest, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema and Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment magazine, The Film Society recognizes an artist's unique achievement in film with the prestigious Chaplin Award. The Film Society’s state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, HBO®, the Kobal Collection, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Row NYC Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Support for the New York Film Festival is also generously provided by KIND Bars, Portage World Wide Inc., WABC-7, and WNET New York Public Media.

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