Between September 24 – October 7, VIFF Immersed Exhibition, set up by Vancouver International Film Festival, will showcase the world’s leading story-driven XR projects – animation, live-action, fiction or documentary. 12 finalists are from the International VIFF Immersed Competition, and there is also XR content produced in the province of British Columbia, home to the 2nd largest XR ecosystem in the world.
On September 28 and 29, VIFF Immersed Volumetric Market, curated and produced by Kaleidoscope features talks, networking, and an exhibition of volumetric films available to fund and distribute (completed projects and in-development work looking for funding) XR creators will pitch their projects to investors, licensees, and distributors, and are eligible for prizes sponsored by Microsoft, EF EVE and Sense of Space.
The projects from the main competitons are:
The Book Of Distance (Directed by Randall Okita-Canada)
In 1935, Yonezo Okita left his home in Hiroshima, Japan, and began a new life in Canada. Then war and state-sanctioned racism changed everything–he became the enemy. Three generations later, his grandson, artist Randall Okita, leads us on an interactive virtual pilgrimage through an emotional geography of immigration and family to recover what was lost.
By the Waters of Babylon (Directed by: Kristen Lauth Shaeffer, Andrew Halasz-USA)
By the Waters of Babylon takes viewers on an immersive journey into the world of composers silenced by the Holocaust. Viewers begin the experience situated with the Clarion Quartet as they perform a work by Viktor Ullmann, a composer who suffered under Nazi oppression. We then shift to interweaved images of the past and the present as we experience the story of the “Entartete Musik” composers and the Quartet’s mission to shine light on music silenced by oppression.
Dustnet (Directed by: Neilson Koerner-Safrata – Canada)
DUSTNET is a multiplayer video game installation that explores the death and afterlife of the virtual spaces we play in. The audience navigates a deconstructed version of the Counter-Strike (2000) map file de_dust2 that can be experienced on computer, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality platforms. Together, users play on the corrupted server, building user-generated structures and leaving messages that persist for future players.
Ecosphere: Raja Ampat (Directed by:Joseph Purdam – Australia)
Immerse yourself in the wildest places on earth and meet the humans protecting our most precious wildlife. Explore the great savannahs of Kenya, discover the ancient jungles of Borneo, and dive into the rich coral reefs of Raja Ampat. Encounter elephants, orangutans, manta rays, and some incredible humans, all in stunning, cinematic Virtual Reality.
Full Circle(Directed by: Naomi Condo, Craig Commanda – Canada)
Naomi Condo, a member of Gesgapegiag First Nation, uses the circular frame as a device to connect the past and the present. Her collaborator Craig Commanda, a musician and filmmaker from Kitigan Zibi First Nation, composed original music for this piece, in which a young woman begins her day with a smudging ceremony to honour her great-grandparents, and then asks questions about what might have been different if her ancestors had been allowed to perform these ceremonies rather than have them suppressed.
GEIMU (Directed by: Dorian Goto Stone – Japan )
Geimu is a live-action 3D VR180 sci-fi/action film which takes place in a living room, and inside an RPG video game world set in medieval Japan. Emi, a gamer, and her pal Hiroshi hack together her gaming console with her AI device so that they can play inside an AI-created virtual reality game world. Once in the game, we experience the world and the action firsthand, as Emi battles ninjas, meets mythical creatures, and fights off zombies…
Hiraeth (Directed by: Yao Wang – Canada )
HIRAETH is a hand-drawn immersive experience with spatial audio and an ambisonic score featuring 12 world instruments. Drawn in the style of Chinese water painting, it is the first of its kind, and it pushes the artistic limits of VR. “Hiraeth” is a Welsh word that means “a homesickness for a place of your ancestry that you have never been and may never return to again.” It describes the feelings of many children of immigrants, who have lost touch with their ancestral roots, yet remain curious…
In the Land of Flabby Schnook (Directed by: Francis Gélinas – Canada)
A little brother asks his big sister how she managed to stop being afraid of the dark. She draws him into a succession of dreamlike tableaus in which everything comes alive, and through which the little brother learns to confront his own fears. In the Land of the Flabby Schnook is a contemplative film in which the viewer discovers a magical place through the eyes of the protagonists.
Inside Lieutenant Gustl (Directed by: Sebastian Brauneis – Austria)
Witness a young and disoriented Officer’s stream of consciousness as he drifts through a sleepless night in search of escape; with daybreak comes the hour of truth, and with it, the time of his death. Inside Lieutenant Gustl is more than a nostalgic reminiscence of long gone days, for a hundred years later we find ourselves in a similar situation: in desperate need to frame our own identity, we long for authenticity and a binding reference system in the face of the overwhelming possibilities of the present.
Kowloon Forest (Directed by: Alexey Marfin/ Hong-Kong/China)
A journey through the private lives of five strangers in Hong Kong. A VR film about finding intimacy in a city of density.
Legends of the Brush: The Girl and the Crane (Directed by: SUTU -USA)
When Hermanio, an arrogant fashion designer, hits rock bottom, a chance encounter with an injured crane sets his life on a new path.
Orders of Magnitude (Directed by: Filip Vesely – Canada)
Have you ever wondered what the entire universe looks like–with its myriad galaxies, including our Milky Way, containing billions of stars, and our own solar system? See the Earth from above, including the International Space Station and an astronaut in orbit. What does his brain look like? Have you seen what lies at even smaller scales? Orders of Magnitude is an immersive educational Virtual Reality application. Each player can explore all the known scales in our universe by zooming in or out.
Orpheus (Directed by: Debi Wong – Canada )
Orpheus is an operatic VR experience that immerses you in the world of Orpheus and Eurydice. This interactive take on an iconic myth plays like a choose-your-own-adventure story, with branching narratives and dynamic music that responds to your choices. Playing the role of Fate, you orchestrate the future for Orpheus and Eurydice, deciding whether to fulfill an archaic prophecy that condemns Eurydice to an eternity in the underworld or compose a new saga about love, death, gods, and demons.
VR Hero Sakura – Forbidden Code(Directed by: Kazuaki Kashimag – Japan)
Sakura is a level-max game-geek high school girl. When she is playing a VR game for her father’s job, its last boss, the Devil, suddenly materializes in the real world! Can VR hero Sakura rescue her father, whom the Devil has kidnapped–and can she save the world from ruin?
With the Wind and the Stars (Directed By Rachel Bracker-USA)
With the Wind and the Stars is a 360/VR docu-series that takes you on an adventure into the lives of women who fly. Episode One features Teara Fraser, a pilot, mother, and proud Métis woman setting out to launch her own airline.