Virtual Reality Spotlight: ANNY


Animation Nights New York (ANNY) is a curated monthly animation screening and networking event held in the South Street Seaport area of NYC. Admission is free and monthly attendance is growing.

Yvonne Grzenkowicz, ANNY’s event director, approached Artella some months back in partnership with High Fidelity to tell us about a great project idea they wanted to embark upon; to create their physical meeting space into 3D where anyone in the world could participate and have a highly interactive experience. We’ve been excited to see the project evolve and it’s be fantastic to see how they’ve been using Artella to manage their animation production process and asset development needs.

Video by: Katelyn Marie Thomas & Eddy Garay  |  Music by: Joe Lazenby

Artella: What is ANNY all about and what is your mission?

ANNY: Animation Nights New York (ANNY) is a curated monthly screening and networking event held in the Seaport District of NYC at 180 Maiden Lane. We show animated short films and virtual reality animation experiences from all around the world. We have a beautiful crowd of over 500 people attending our regular monthly screening events.

In addition, the ANNY Best of Fest is an annual two day symposium held Sept 29-30 in the Seaport District of NYC featuring animation screenings, fine art installations (Anderson Contemporary), virtual reality animation experiences, professional panels, and industry events.

Besides our screening and festival events, ANNY Workshops are scheduled for this year in the South Street Seaport. The subjects of our intermediate to advanced lectures include: Cinematic VR 2.0, the History of Italian Animation, VR Pipeline, Story and AI in Games. We are also offering demos by Microsoft Hololens, Revrie Immersive Works, and Mass Ideation, among others.

In addition, we have a podcast! Animation Nights New York Animator Interviews is a podcast focusing on the lives and experiences of ANNY filmmakers. The series is a part of the Animation for Adults podcast channel. You can also watch video versions on our youtube channel which include artwork and film clips.

Our mission is to promote high caliber work, strengthen existing networks, create new connections, encourage exchange, and assist filmmakers with cross-platform distribution. We keep film submission free.

ANNY Event

All Photos in this article by: Eddy Garay 

Artella: Tell us about the project you are doing on Artella and what you aim to do with it.

ANNY: Animation Nights New York, High Fidelity, and New York Code + Design presented Virtual ANNY at 180 Maiden Lane during our ANNY screening event IRL. Early on, Animation Nights New York and High Fidelity had the idea to incorporate a film presentation in Virtual ANNY. A visitor would watch an animated short film in the ANNY Virtual Space and then port into the actual film, or into a scene from the film, and while having an exchange with the director in real time (avatar form). ANNY and High Fidelity had a working demo of this concept ready for the Animation Nights New York “April Animation” screening event; April 12th. I popped over to the Virtual ANNY demo to find a busy corner, every time, and folks approached me to share their experiences in Virtual ANNY. People are falling in love with the idea. Thank you to Abishek Gopal, Ozan Serim, and Jazmin Cano for their hard work! Thank you to Abishek Gopal for the use of your film, “Bardo”! Virtual ANNY in High Fidelity is a very exciting project. I look forward to sharing the next build!

Virtual ANNY

Artella: How can people who do not live in New York experience ANNY from home?

ANNY: We post online programs and event recaps, every month, on our site  ( Folks can also follow us on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Reddit.) Our virtual space is currently in development and IS open to the public. We had several people popping into  Virtual ANNY at our last screening event April 12.  We will also have attendees logging on to Virtual ANNY during the Best of Fest symposium Sept 29-30, all day. Feel free to join us!


Artella: What devices do people have to have in order to experience this?

ANNY: To check out the virtual space, download High Fidelity and navigate to ANNY on the places menu. High Fidelity works best with Oculus, HTC Vive, or Leap Motion, but you can also navigate the environment using your mac or pc. (Check out system requirements on the High Fidelity download page.)

ANNY in action part 2

Artella: How has Artella and the community helped bring your animation production needs to life?

ANNY: It’s inspiring that Artella exists! I’ve been looking forward to utilizing the platform since it was first announced. We are currently using Artella to help build our crew and assets. I’ve used the platform to reach out to animation directors about Animation Nights New York. (We are proudly screening, “DUEL”, Directed by Tim Rudder via Artella, this year.) There is SO MUCH TALENT out in the world and it’s incredible to get them all together in one place to make great things. 

If you would like to submit your short film to Animation Nights New York, you can find us on Film Freeway. We have rolling deadlines!

About Artella Staff

Creative crusader, CEO, animato, director & producer.