Beyond the Frame Festival 2023- Line Up

by paradoxig

The first XR (VR, AR, MR) festival in Japan, brings together immersive works from all over the word! This year’s theme is “Connecting the world through XR”.

For more than a century since the creation of film, artists have passionately used different expression techniques to connect with the audience and elaborate fascinating works. Visual art is continuously transforming from its traditional 2D form, into immersive formats such as 360 and 180. Artists are now combining new technologies (VR, AR, AI, etc.) to create innovative and expressive artworks. The Beyond the Frame Festival shows international outstanding projects that take on new challenges, transcending the conventional artistic forms and leading the development of visual culture. The festival is a unique space for creators for showing their work and sharing their experience worldwide.


Behind the Dish
Behind the Dish is a virtual reality docu-series that lets viewers step inside the fascinating world of gastronomy. Through three 10-minute episodes in 360° film, meet three extraordinary female chefs revolutionizing the food industry. Thanks to VR, you are shrunk to the size of ingredients and discover XXL chef-made dishes in super-sized macro 3D like never before! The series sheds light on the unique life trajectories of daring women chefs reshaping a male-dominated industry. Meet 6-Michelin-star French Chef Hélène Darroze, African-American lesbian Soul Food Chef Deborah VanTrece, and one of the rare Japanese women Sushi Masters, Yumi Chiba.
Director:Chloé Rochereuil

Read also TechvangArt interview with director Chloé Rochereuil:

Over The Rainbow
It is human nature to long for something different, something that lies “somewhere over the rainbow.” At times, this aspirational dreaming leads to improvements, but more often than not, this attitude leads to a sense of discontent with our own lot, an unquenchable thirst for what is just beyond our reach. “Over the Rainbow” explores this precarious balance between desire and happiness, fantasy and familiarity.
Director:Craig Quintero

Read also TechvangArt interview with director Craig Quintero:

The Reflected City
Following the expedition team, who discovers that in the reflection of the dark industrial city there is a stream of pure and intriguing energy. And what is secrets are hidden in the reflected city?

Director:Kuan-Yuan LAI

Fresh Memories: The Look
Bombed houses, schools, hospitals, streets and many others. War in Ukraine from its beginning has taken away thousands of households and lifes as well. Kharkiv was one of the towns which was hit in a massive way. In this immersive experience in virtual reality you look into the eyes of those who lost their homes or places closely connected with them. What can this simple look awake in us? Will it bring despair, grief or hope?

Director:Ondrej Moravec, Volodymyr Kolbasa

Sorella’s Story
Sorella’s Story transforms the story behind a single smuggled 1941 photograph, buried by history, into an unforgettable 15-minute immersive experience. Inside a VR headset, the viewer is transported to a 360 snowy landscape with 10-year-old girl Sorella Epstein. Tragically, Sorella and almost 4,000 Latvian Jewish women and children were ordered to undress in freezing temperatures prior to a mass execution on a beach in Liepāja, Latvia during the Holocaust. Sorella’s Story is a visceral reminder and warning of how prejudice can escalate to devastating tragedy. This impactful story invites the viewer to accompany Sorella and some of the women as they embark on their last journey, so that we never forget.

Director:Peter Hegedus

Reimagined Volume II: Mahal
Inspired by Philippine mythology, the story focuses on Apolaki, Mayari, Tala, and Hanan, the four immortal children of the recently passed creator god, Bathala. As each of these deities wrestles with the grief of losing Bathala, their all-powerful actions create ripples throughout the universe. As a noun, mahal is the Tagalog word for love but as an adjective, it transforms into the Tagalog word for costly or expensive. Dedicated to the director’s late father, MAHAL is a story of how love comes at a cost.

Director:Michaela Ternasky-Holland

Immersive Criminology Episode 1: LOST
The Chinese marionette play in Taiwan is designed in accordance with traditional funeral customs. The User will experience a marionette troupe piece, a folk art which will soon to be lost. Watching closely an exquisite marionette play and interact with the puppet. Arriving on the seventh night, you realize the story of the little girl and feel being part of the play, on an empty stage.

Director:YI-CHUN KAO

Midnight Story
An old lady is waiting for the last coach in a sad station. Looking for distraction, she starts observing the lonely travellers. Suddenly the pigeons manage to create a connection between them all.

Director:Antonin Niclass

JFK Memento
Sixty years after President Kennedy’s assassination, “JFK Memento” chronicles the events of November 22, 1963, and the investigation that followed. Across two parts narrated by the last living witnesses, journalists, and investigators who lived through the events, this documentary is a historically accurate record of these 48 hours that changed the world. Dive into the defining moments of the investigation as archive photos and films come to life, re-mastered in 3D, and re-projected onto the historic sites as they were back in 1963. Produced in collaboration with the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas and with the support of Meta Immersive Learning, “JFK Memento” is a narrative learning experience.

Director:Chloé Rochereuil

Fukushima – The Home That Once Was
Meet the former residents of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident’s Exclusion Zone, who share their experiences of the loss of home and community, and the fragility of memories. Walk freely in 3d-scanned villages and choose your story.

Director:Timo Wright

“Samul,” translating to “four percussions” in Korean, signifies a tradition deeply ingrained in the fabric of Korean society. Historically, these rhythmic performances served as a balm to soothe laboring hardships, bolster soldiers’ morale in wartime, and provide comfort at funerals to those in mourning. The four percussions of Samul – each representing the natural elements of Thunder, Wind, Cloud, and Rain – have echoed throughout the life and death experiences of Koreans for over a thousand years. In our immersive presentation, audiences will witness the cosmic dance between these elements, brought to life by the skilled rhythms of the Samul master performers. This piece resonates with the ebb and flow of life itself, translating the primal energies of nature into an unforgettable rhythmic symphony.

Director:Sngmoo Lee, Ark Park

My Inner Ear Quartet
“Four musicians and two shrimps live in the lonely boy’s ear, playing and dancing in response to his tears. As appreciation, he shook his cookie tin with the objects he collected inside. The boy grew up and learned to control his tears…
As an adult, the boy became a salesman, fascinated by a bird brooch found in a Japanese American internment camp that he saw on the TV news, he sets off again on a journey to collect lonely voices.
This is a literary VR, written by Akutagawa Award-winning author Yoko Ogawa, directed by Academy Award-nominated artist Koji Yamamura, and produced by Kodansha VR Lab.”

Director:Koji Yamamura

The Imaginary Friend
“Eight-year-old Daniel has recently lost his mother… Afraid to forget her, his vivid imagination has stirred up his fears. The Kill Ghosts are out to get his happy memories with her! To fight them off, he thinks up YOU, the player. Finally having someone to talk to, he excitedly begins to share his world with you. However, the more Daniel engages with you, the more the world around begins to question his sanity. Is he talking to himself? Bullied by his classmates, Daniel retreats further into his imagination. A worried father tries to intervene, taking Daniel to the ‘head-fixers’!
After the visit to the hospital Daniel isn’t quite sure any more about what’s real and what’s imagined. He forcefully attempts to remove you from his mind. However, as soon as the Kill Ghosts attack again, you return. When the monsters get the upper hand, you and Daniel take flight. The words of Daniel’s mother give strength, helping Daniel realise he himself is in control of his imagination.”

Director:Steye Hallema

How is the world perceived by someone with depression? The short animated documentary uses virtual reality to address depression and the ways to cope with it. Director and protagonist Ondřej guides us through diverse landscapes associating the story of his struggle with depression since puberty. He finds out that his tool to get the illness under control is his voice. He uses humming, singing and even shouting as a calming and relieving technique.

Director:Ondřej Moravec

GAUDI, The Atelier Of The Divine

1926.Feeling death approaching, a weakened Gaudí invites his new disciples to visit his Atelier, where they will gain a deeper understanding of his work and contribute to bringing his vision to life. Slipping into the costume of a disciple and guided by the voice of Gaudí himself, the user will be immersed in the architect’s extraordinary mind, his revolutionary working method and his abundant universe. Visitors will understand Gaudi and, eventually, be able to continue his work and pursue his dream of completing the monument to which he dedicated his life: the Sagrada Familia.Gaudí, the Atelier of the Divine takes the user into the mind of the famous architect. Through the exceptional reconstruction of the atelier, which disappeared in 1926, visitors can embark on a narrative journey into the unique psyche of the Catalan master.
Gaudí, the Atelier of the Divine is a collective VR experience for a group of 6 participants simultaneously.
Co-production NHK Gedeon Programmes Small Creative
ⒸFoundation Junta Constructora del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia

Director:Stéphane Landowski, Gaël Cabouat

Ink & Fire
Mixing the real rock art and geologic formations from Brazil’s Serra da Capivara National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with a whimsical narrative, Ink & Fire transcends the line between documentary and fiction. We begin our journey in a futuristic natural history museum, where we meet a friendly robotic guide that tells us about life 15.000 years ago. After briefly learning about our ancestors’ art in a high-res holographic exhibit, a magical glitch takes us eons ago into the prehistoric environment where those peoples lived. In stunning natural settings lit by firelight, we are then introduced to the ancient shadows of a child, a shaman and a hunter, who teach us to paint as we have done for millennia. Our journey peaks in an epic hunt for a giant sloth, enabling us to feel the drama of our ancestors’ lives and opening an emotional doorway to our distant past.

Director:Francisco Almendra, Nelson Porto

Kabaret is an interactive VR experience about synchronized coral spawning, and a singing shrimp’s worries about the future. It’s a playful and explorative journey from the edge of our galaxy to the depths of our oceans. We strum out a chime on glowing phytoplankton, swim trough a portal of seafood aspic – the titular “Kabaret”, a dish once popular in Norway – and are carried by the moon to a coral reef in mating season. But all is not well here. Can we help save the coral’s yearly spawning? Kabaret is part musical, part documentary and invites us to indulge our curiosity of the natural world, and reflect on our relationship to it.

Director:Gina Thorstensen

Wonder of Life
What is life? It’s the veins on a lotus leaf. It’s the transient resting and then fly-away of a dragonfly. It’s ripples waving through the water surface and disappearing. Life lies within every little wonder and mystery of nature in the lotus pond at dawn.

Director:Wen-Chieh Chang

Kristine Is Not Well
Memes vs. Algorithm in metaverse inspired by real rebellion stories Kristine is Not Well is a 20-minute animated VR social media simulation that highlights the resistance of online activists against algorithmic surveillance and censorship.

Director:Seeyam Quine

Ed n’Ocean Augmented
For this new creation, the Ed n’Robot studio brings its Stop Motion universe into Augmented Reality. This innovative experience populated by robots and creatures made of cut paper, questions with 2 worlds (16 AR posters), some major issues of society: marine pollution and social networks. A light and humorous tone, wacky and ingenious robots, all the necessary ingredients to immerse us in this “”Augmented Robolity””!

Director:Thibault Joyeux, Julien Kadouri

Flow invites you to float with the wind on what seems at first glance, to be a day like any other, with its turbulence: a night in the life of a woman, painted by the ebb and flow of air currents. Smells, heat, breathing, natural and artificial gusts of wind, the air currents, affected by invisible presences, make the imperceptible perceptible. They reveal to us a series of events in which the woman – that we are invited to follow during her wanderings – takes part. They immerse us in a world entirely made of air.
But when the storm calms down, and the woman wakes up from what turns out to have been a dream, the world is no longer the same.

Director:Adriaan Lokman

Explore the evolution of Odakyu Romance Car from the 1960s to the present, enjoy the diverse cityscapes and landscapes from the different car windows.

Director:Jonathan Hagard

In the Japanese tea room, the audience will unravel their relationship with the world as the spirit of tea, “SEN,” born from the tea bowl in their hands. Through interaction with other beings, he learns about the world and finds joy in its own existence. Gradually, he becomes self-centered in its relationships with others. One day, the world is suddenly destroyed by an inferno. Having lost everything, he falls into the tea bowl and dissolves into particles wandering the universe. Just as “SEN” realize he is one with all living things in this world, they are whisked back to the calm tea house.

Director:Keisuke Itoh

Read also TechvangART review about Sen:

The story begins when you write your interpretation of your frequency in a sketchbook with a yellow marker handed to you by the protagonist, Anne. You are placed inside the world of a painting, as you travel with Anne through her story of becoming a painter and discovering the beauty of our individual uniqueness along the way. The journey overlays Anne’s coming of age story as she discovers her “life purpose” through tackling various struggles at different stages of her life. You will experience through Anne’s life journey that we are constantly surrounded by a diverse variety of frequencies, in addition to the joy of celebrating our differences in place of suppressing them. The immersive environment transforms into a visual representation of you and Anne’s enlightenment when the Theory of Frequency is introduced in the story. Through her paintings, Anne depicts the frequencies around her, which she has just discovered with you. The question is posed: What do you feel when you are immersed in Anne’s paintings? How would you describe your frequency? In the finale, the participant is once again offered to express themselves, their own unique frequency with a yellow marker.

Director:Ellie Omiya

An MR multiplayer experience about anxious eggs where users merge the digital with the physical.

Director:German Heller


Jay Kim
XR Curator at the BIFAN, Beyond Reality
Jay Kim, the XR curator of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN), introduced virtual reality (VR) content at BIFAN, in 2016 for the first time among Korean film festival. He has now been in charge of BIFAN’s XR program for seven years. In 2019, he established the BIFAN Beyond Reality section and has introduced a variety of new media content to the audience. Since he started working in the XR industry, Jay has produced many XR projects, which have been selected in multiple international festivals like Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW and IDFA, among others. Jay founded GiiOii studio in 2020 and which is currently focusing on expanding the new media content ecosystem in South Korea.

Mitsuko Okamoto
Producer / Professor (Vice President for Digital Strategy), Graduate School of Film and New Media / Department of Animation, Tokyo University of the Arts.

Producer of numerous programs, videos and events. Chief producer of “2355” and “0655” (2010-, broadcast Monday-Friday) and “Jiyu Kenkyu 55” on NHK E-Television. Producer of “Techne: Classroom of Videos” (2011-) on NHK E-Television. Jury member of the Mainichi Film Contest Animation Division (2019, 2020), General Director of Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Exhibition (Animation Division) (2018-2022). Served as a member of the selection jury for the Award for Fine Arts in 2022.

Hiroaki Higashi
Visual Director/CEO of STOICSENSE Co., Ltd.

Engages in creative projects that utilize immersive media experiences, such as VR, projection mapping, and fulldome films. Director and CG Producer for two VR Ghost in the Shell films, which garnered global acclaim and were invited for screening in the VR category at several film festivals, including the Venice International Film Festival and the Sitges International Film Festival in 2018 and 2019. Other activities include directing music videos for prominent Japanese artists and comprehensive production of fulldome films. Actively contributes as a speaker at VR conferences both nationally and internationally. Accolades include Excellence Awards at VFX-JAPAN (2017-2019), jury’s Prizes at the Japan Media Arts Festival (2011, 2013), awards in three categories at the PROMAX-BDA awards (2010), and an invitation to onedotzero (2009).

Side-Events and discussions for the XR ecosystem:

Envisioning the future of XR and broadcasting cutting-edge content internationally, from the experience of the award-winning studio Atlas V and the outstanding French festival NewImages.
・Michele Ziegler (Director at NewImages)
・Arnaud Colinart (Co-founder and producer at Atlas V)
・Kenji Ishimaru (Kodansha VR Lab, Ltd. President/CEO Executive Producer)

Asia Alliance – The Future of XR Film Festivals in Asian Countries
・Jay Kim (XR Curator at the BIFAN, Beyond Reality)
・Eddie (CEO / Founder of Sandman Studios & Sandbox Immersive Festival (SIF))
・HUANG, Hao-Jie (Director of Kaohsiung Film Festival)
・Katsutoshi Machiba (Festival Director at Beyond the Frame Festival / Board Member and Executive Producer of Cinema Leap Inc. / Part-time lecturer at Tokyo University of the Arts)

Related to the program, ticket reservations, screening and registration for the events, please follow the official page of the Festival:

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