The Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories focuses on curating the best immersive story-driven content from around the world with the aim of exploring and nurturing this platform for new narrative forms. FIVARS was the first Canadian festival of its kind featuring many world premieres and in our preview screenings and events, audience responses are consistently full of contemplation, surprise, delight, controversy and wonder. (FIVARS Wikipedia page)

As with the modern cinema experience, through Virtual Reality, we can explore truth, happiness, sadness, and the science fiction that will be tomorrow’s science fact. 

FIVARS 2018 crew

The difference is that, unlike modern cinema where you explore these worlds through a window, with Virtual Reality you can now transport into the center of the action, standing inside of the world you wish to explore. Just like real life, if you try to look away from what is in front of you, you will now see what is behind, below, above, to the right or left of you. 

The real-time response of your head’s movement creates a powerful sense of physical immersion that allows you or your intended audience to connect to the content on a deeper, more visceral level.

FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories) openly encourages viewers to enjoy and connect to stories in this newly emergent narrative form, while challenging content creators to showcase ideas that defy and transcend the status quo.

At the festival, there is also an opportunity to share conversations both with our team and other industry members in attendance to discuss how to take part in this snowballing revolution in tech, entertainment, research and information sharing.

FIVARS at Matador

The Festival is directed and curated by Keram Malicki-Sanchez ( IMDB, Wikipedia, LinkedIn). Stephanie Greenall manages community outreach, partnerships and event production and is a co-producer of the event. The executive administrator is Chrissy Aitchison. Josh Miles Joudrie covers audio-visual responsibilities. Melanie Smith handles personnel coordination. Will Rowe handles systems optimizations. Marika Woyzbun is our event liaison. Laura Bunce is alpha team leader and volunteer manager. Joseph Ellsworth is a technical advisor. Justin Baillegeron is doing a residence with the curation department, courtesy of York University. Tamer Al’Dakkak is a UX advisor and production aide. Kiisti Matsuo and Jason Spanu are on the production team. Christian Bobak is our event photographer.

FIVARS grew through the hard work of many people who volunteered their time. Some of those include Joseph Ellsworth, Jessy Blaze, Candace Steinberg, Meg D’acosta, Sarah Bradley, Elvira Sanchez de Malicki, Toya Sanchez Jankowski, Marek Malicki, Adriel Malicki-Sanchez, Gibrian Malicki-Sanchez, Corina Death, Rory Wicks, Yoka Makaewa, Jason Spanu, Adam Fimio, Jeffrey Lynn Damon, Laura Bunce, Sappho Hansen Smythe, Rachel Mackenzie, Rorik Henrickson, Michael Hoang, Flynn Dauntless, and our many wonderful partners and volunteers.

FIVARS 2019 Owl by Victoria Nieto

FIVARS 2018 Owl art created in VR by Vladimir Ilic. All rights reserved.

FIVARS is a presentation of VRTO – Toronto’s virtual reality meetup group and think tank.