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Head to the Cannes Film Festival at the Libraries!

Ever notice that the carpets that the movie stars walk down are Wolfpack red? NC State’s Department Head of Art + Design Derek Ham likely did when he showed his latest VR title Barnstormers: Determined to Win—an immersive experience about Negro League Baseball—at the 2022 Cannes XR program in France.

Cannes XR, which showcases the world’s best immersive technologies and AR/VR content, selected 18 finalists from nearly 200 VR projects in genres including live-action, animation, interactive art, documentary, and narrative games. Although Ham’s Barnstormers didn’t garner a Palme D’Or, its choice as a finalist speaks to the quality and importance of the immersive work.

The Libraries is proud to host Barnstormers and the other Cannes XR finalist projects, as well as stream a virtual version of the festival, in the Hill Library AR/VR Studio from June 8-12, after which time Barnstormers will remain available in the space. The AR/VR Studio is open to the campus community.

In Barnstormers, users can step into the cleats of Negro League legends like Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige through an immersive experience. The project allows users to experience a time when Black players were forbidden in the Major Leagues. A video trailer of Barnstormers is available on YouTube here.

An early devotee of the Libraries’ AR/VR Studio, Ham did some of the development work for his award-winning I Am a Man, which takes users to the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike and assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in the space. Ham has also collaborated with the Libraries on the vMLK Project, a VR celebration of the late civil rights leader.


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