Bell O Cinema app brings movie magic augmented reality to TIFF

TIFF is a big deal. Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors to Toronto, fans of movies, and general revellers pack into the streets to faun, snap and gape.

Bell, being a major sponsor of the event, is prominent in both the advertising of the festival, but also in a media capacity. A great example of the company’s contribution to the artistic endeavour of Toronto’s biggest film festival is this years O Cinema installation. In conjunction with an iPhone app, five artists are given murals to paint of film-related themes, and are filmed doing so. Going by names like Zek, Monkey and Bacon, the graffiti artists take around six hours to complete their project.

By downloading the app and holding up your phone to the completed installation, you get to see the process, beginning to end, in around 30 seconds. I got a chance to check it out after a screening of Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children and it was a simple, effective piece of entertainment that I’m going to remember for a long time. This is the best kind of implementation of augmented reality: quick, light and visual.

The installation is on King St. just west of Simcoe St., near Metro Hall. While the app is only available for iPhone and iPad, Bell should be applauded for backing a street-level art project with modern smartphone technology.

Download Bell O Cinema for iPhone and iPad.