Elliot Page and Author, Hugh Ryan to Executive Produce the Immersive Series that Spotlight’s Brooklyn's Vibrant and Forgotten LGBTQIA+ History View in browser 

Award-Winning XR Entertainment Studio, New Canvas, Partners with MA Productions & Elliot Page & PAGEBOY Productions to Develop a VR Adaptation of Hugh Ryan’s Groundbreaking Book, When Brooklyn Was Queer

Elliot Page and Author, Hugh Ryan to Executive Produce the Immersive Series that Spotlight’s Brooklyn's Vibrant and Forgotten LGBTQIA+ History

[Hugh Ryan, Award-Winning Curator & Author, When Brooklyn Was Queer    //      PHOTO CREDIT: M. Sharkey]

BYRON BAY, NSW, AUSTRALIA AND LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, MARCH 5th, 2024New Canvas, a pioneering, XR entertainment studio that produces and publishes immersive entertainment with an unapologetic focus on stories with social impact for digital-first audiences, today announced that it was developing a VR series based on Hugh Ryan's acclaimed book, When Brooklyn Was Queer. Additionally, Academy Award®-nominated Elliot Page, a trailblazer in both the entertainment industry and LGBTQ+ advocacy and author Ryan have also both boarded the virtual reality series adaptation as executive producers. Matt Jordan Smith and Tuck Dowrey of PAGEBOY Productions and Emmy Award®-nominated Maor Azran and Dan Adler of MA Productions join New Canvas as executive producers. Aimed at delivering a unique immersive experience, the series celebrates identity, resilience and triumph against adversity. 

When Brooklyn Was Queer was hailed a “boisterous, motley new history” and “an entertaining and insightful chronicle” by the New York Times, who made it an Editor’s Pick in 2019. The book dives into Brooklyn's rich, yet underappreciated LGBTQIA+ history, spanning from the 1850s to the eve of Stonewall. Ryan's thorough exploration of this vibrant community, its evolution and challenges, not only sheds light on Brooklyn's queer legacy but also highlights stories of identity and victory. Through New Canvas' innovative lenses, stories inspired by Ryan's captivating work will come alive, offering audiences a vivid journey into the untold events of Brooklyn's LGBTQ+ past.

“It’s an honor to see Brooklyn’s queer history brought vividly into the 21st century by such an incredible team of artists and storytellers. Brooklyn has been at the forefront of queer culture for over 200 years, and now, people all over the world will get to experience our history firsthand,” said Ryan, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer.

Page, known for his outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry and his unwavering commitment to LGBTQ+ rights, brings a unique perspective and invaluable insights to the project. His involvement further cements the series as a compelling exploration of queer history.

“Our company’s mission is to tell elevated, entertaining, original intersectional and socially responsible stories that explore themes like generational queerness. As a creative company that pushes boundaries, it is exciting for us to work with New Canvas to bring queer stories into the world of XR for the first time,” said Page and fellow executive producer Matt Jordan Smith, Head of Development for PAGEBOY Productions. “We believe making quality art that portrays varied, authentic experiences elicits empathy, understanding and ultimately has the power to change hearts and minds. We are thrilled to partner with Hugh, a master curator, historian and writer, to unearth and spotlight these very real people and experiences from our community’s history that are still very relevant today.”

With a bold commitment to socially impactful storytelling for digital audiences, New Canvas’ reimagined, immersive VR series will transport viewers into Brooklyn's past, allowing them to witness the struggles, triumphs and unique experiences of the queer community during a pivotal time in history. By leveraging the power of mixed reality, the project aims to create an emotionally resonant and visually stunning journey that highlights the importance of inclusivity and representation, while connecting the past with the present.

"When Brooklyn Was Queer isn't just a book; it's a beacon for an extraordinary VR adaptation. We're thrilled to collaborate with Hugh, Maor, Dan, Matt, Tuck and Elliot to pioneer this timely and groundbreaking VR series. This project is a bridge between past and present and we’re able to elevate the storytelling and immerse audiences in a way that's never been done before," said Wadooah Wali, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Producer at New Canvas. "Not only is this team uniquely positioned to transform these profound stories inspired by real people and events into immersive experiences, but it’s also our shared commitment to creating opportunities for underserved communities to be seen and heard. It's both our joy and obligation to honor these historical truths and present them to the world in a dynamic new medium that transcends viewing formats beyond traditional flat screen entertainment."

Production for the VR series is set to commence later this year with a talented team of creatives, designers and technicians onboard to create a truly story-driven, immersive experience. Further announcements including talent, platform distribution partnerships, release dates will be made in due course.

This collaboration brings together the visionary minds and passions of three social impact driven creative houses to bring an inclusive, storytelling experience from pages to an immersive environment and drop them into a vibrant and transformative unseen era in Brooklyn's queer history as an important part of America’s collective history.

MA Productions is represented by CAA, Paradigm and Donaldson Callif Perez LLP. Page and PAGEBOY Productions are repped by UTA, VIE Entertainment and Morris Yorn Barnes; Ryan is repped by CAA and Smith is repped by Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson.

Stay in the know & sign up for updates: wbwq@newcanvas.co

About MA Productions

An Emmy Awards Nominee production company, our mission is to address global diversity challenges through the creation of high-concept stories across multiple platforms. Our aim is not only to entertain but also to provoke thought and foster conversations that transcend individual perspectives. We are dedicated to collaborating with young creatives, pushing boundaries, and striving for equal opportunities for minorities. Our primary focus is amplifying the voices of LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, disabled individuals, and women—championing their stories and providing a platform for their narratives. These are the stories we proudly tell. info@ma-productions.com

About PAGEBOY Productions:

PAGEBOY Productions endeavors to develop and produce entertaining, original, commercial and socially responsible stories. PAGEBOY actively seeks creators and content from underrepresented communities and uplifts collaborators denied equitable access to mainstream Hollywood. PAGEBOY will pursue storytelling that prioritizes safety, representation, and intersectional equity in all facets of making film and television; we believe that making quality art by and for intentionally marginalized voices is necessary to dismantle and redistribute power balances – within entertainment institutions and broader systems of oppression – and to push the boundaries of what we think subversive storytelling and representation can be and achieve

About New Canvas:

New Canvas is an award-winning, next-gen, XR media company at the forefront of innovative storytelling. With a focus on pushing the boundaries of virtual and augmented reality. We create immersive entertainment for breakthrough platforms that captivate and engage audiences around the world with story-driven experiences and blockchain-empowered communities that engage fans and generate value for creators with the content that we co-create. New Canvas is focused on developing content and formats to help drive mainstream adoption of immersive media and is a founding member of the Byron Bay XR Collective. We honour Australia’s First Nations Peoples, acknowledging the Arakwal, the traditional custodians of the Bundjalung Country, on which New Canvas was founded. For additional information, please visit: www.newcanvas.co.

New Canvas

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