FIVARS International Immersive Stories Festival Returns For Its 10th Show – With Special In-Person Dates In Toronto
Experience Exclusive Canadian and World Premieres in Unique VR Environments
Toronto, ON – The 10th Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories (FIVARS) comes to stackt market – North America’s largest marketplace designed entirely out of shipping containers – as a 3-day pop-up event in Toronto from Oct 28th-30th featuring exclusive content and world premieres via two-hour ticketed viewing blocks.
With final selections from 13 countries including Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Israel, India, North Africa, Indonesia, Australia, the United States, and Canada, the possibilities are endless.
For those who can’t attend in-person the festival also offers a wide variety of immersive video content in a 5.7K 3D stereoscopic (360-degree) virtual theatre in Web3D (only a browser is required with VR headset optional) and live virtual performances, creator talks and networking on the private Discord server and special events online from Oct 28th to November 16th.
Feel the terrifying thrill of free-climbing with adventurer Alex Honnold in “The Soloist”, based on the Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo.”
Solve puzzles with Haru, a fictional shrine maiden from a parallel world (“The Tale of Onogoro”). Journey back 3.5 billion years with David Attenborough and witness the origins of life on our planet (“David Attenborough’s First Life”).
In the early 1980s, computers were new and making images with them was an experimental image maker’s dream. Premiering at FIVARS, “When Pixels were precious” is an immersive exhibit from bona fide VR pioneer Jacki Morie, that offers a nostalgic look at image-making with this new technological tool.
Live Virtual Performances
All tickets include access to four special performance works, including two virtual reality real-time adventures with live actors (“Offrail”, an early glimpse of the theme parks of the future, and “MetaMovie: Alien Rescue”, a sci-fi adventure where the audience plays a starring role).
Other special performances include a live one-on-one telephone conversation experience with Sylvia Plath, as performed by director Stepy Kamei (“We Should Meet in Air”), and a guided tour from Academy Award-winning VFX artist Kevin Mack through his psychedelic visionary world of living AI-driven entities (“Namuanki”).
Online attendees are also invited to create their own custom-styled avatars to meet other creatives from around the world using FIVARS’ multi-user virtual environment.*
“More than ever, now is the time to empower these diverse, independent spirits pushing the limits of revolutionary new media,” says FIVARS Founder and Executive Director, Keram Malicki-Sánchez. “FIVARS has been a launchpad, an international forum, a discovery engine and a community builder for anyone interested in exploring how we can share stories in the dimensional, spatialized media of tomorrow.”
Since 2015, FIVARS has curated more than 350 original experiences from more than 45 countries powered by virtual and augmented reality, projection mapping, and haptic devices to showcase the world’s best in interactive media. Nominated for 3 Poly Awards in 2022, FIVARS is the original and longest-running festival wholly dedicated to Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories.
* powered by a customized deployment of JanusXR on AWS, with integrated Eventbrite ticket registration and Ready Player Me avatar integration.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at https://bit.ly/fifall2022tix.
Where: The Solarium at stackt market (28 Bathurst St.) and online
- In-person: Oct 28-30, 11am – 8 pm
- Online: Oct 28-Nov 16
- In-person, timed entry: CAD$85 plus tax (includes full access to all online events, content and virtual live performances)
- Online only: CAD$40 plus tax
FIVARS 2022 Programming Preview
Available and/or optimized for In-Person only:
Blood Relations (Canada, Israel)
Director: Analee Weinberger with Dpt.
In collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada – Blood Relations is Analee Weinberger’s whimsical interactive VR documentary about an adopted child and a quest to solve an ancestral mystery.
David Attenborough’s First Life (United Kingdom, United States)
Directors: Elliot Graves, Matthew Baker-Jones
Runtime: 11m 18s
Journey back 3.5 billion years with David Attenborough and witness the origins of life on our planet in Virtual Reality. With world-leading paleontological research and breakthroughs in CGI technology, First Life presents a new milestone for beautiful natural history storytelling while raising the bar for quality in mobile VR headsets.
Diagnosia (United States)
Directors: Mengtai Zhang, Lemon Guo
In China, internet gaming is described as “electronic heroin” and many parents of suspected internet addicts send them to re-education camps. One of them was the director of this VR experience that places you at the center of his haunting experiences.
Kingdom of Plants with David Attenborough (United Kingdom, United States)
Director: Iona McEwan
Runtime: 4m 45s
Welcome to the Kingdom of Plants; a 3-part VR 180 series that lets you immerse yourself in the otherwise hidden lives of plants. Follow David Attenborough deep into this savage world and witness together the desperate battles, beauty, and sacrifices plants make to ensure the survival of their species.
Director: Ryan Griffen
Runtime: 32m 30s
Life is hard. Life after death is harder. An animated 4 part interactive experience that can be explored from up to four concurrent perspectives.
The Tale of Onogoro (Japan)
Director: Hiromichi Takahashi, Hiroyo Matsuyama, Tetsuya Watanabe
“Save the world with Haru, a shrine maiden who quells “Kami!” Haru has summoned you to Onogoro Island, a floating island in a parallel world. Together, you must solve sprawling puzzles and defeat giant beasts called “Kami” that are blocking your path. The Tale of Onogoro was created by producer/director Hiromichi Takahashi and the development team behind the VR Escape-the-Room game Last Labyrinth.
Threshold (United States)
Director: Malia Bruker
Runtime: 11m 20s
Starting as isolated individuals grappling with the effects of trauma, dancers create a ritual space to move together in solidarity.
Reimagined Volume I: Nyssa (United States)
Director: Julie Cavaliere
After losing her best friend/broom, a precocious young witch is guided by her familiar spirit through the depths of the dark migration where she must learn about fear and how to harness it in order to protect her village from the wrath of the evil Teemencaag.
Star-Stuff: a way for the universe to know itself (Canada)
Director: John Desnoyers-Stewart
Star-Stuff: a way for the universe to know itself is an immersive experience that transforms you into constellations and lets you play with the stars with another galaxy. Experience and sublime interactive galaxy spawning experience alone or with a partner.
Stories of Home (United States)
Director: Parul Wadhwa
Runtime: 10m 5s
Stories of Home VR depicts three unique personal narratives of “home” as place, memory, object and experience told by three immigrant and refugee women. These are narratives of stories of hope, resilience, and belonging in the United States.
All of the following are available online at in-person showcase:
A Greenwood Mass/ Offeren Y Llywn (United Kingdom)
Director: Tracy Spottiswoode
Runtime: 16m 20s
You are invited to a strange and surreal ceremony in an ancient church on the coast of south Wales, but is this liminal Gothic fairytale ritual a wedding or a funeral – or something in between?
Alex Honnold: The Soloist VR (United Kingdom, France)
Director: Jonathan Griffith
Join renowned rock climber, Alex Honnold, as he takes you on a tour of his soloing grounds in the US and new objectives in Europe who starred in the documentary Free Solo which won the Oscar for Best Documentary.
Antigones of the Pandemic (Netherlands)
Directors: Miranda Lakerveld, Siavash, Naghshbandi
Runtime: 51m 5s
A three-part opera, with chapters from India, Indonesia, and MENA (the Middle East/North Africa) shot in beautiful 360-degree video about the heroes that fought for dignified burials.
Beyond the Milky Way (Australia)
Director: Briege Whitehead
Runtime: 26m 35s
Experience the greatest scientific endeavour in history as you step onto Australia’s future site for the incredible SKA telescope and journey to the edges of the Universe in spectacular 360° virtual reality.
Castle of Unknowing (United States)
Director: Damian Thorn-Hauswirth
Runtime: 5m 55s
Enter into a virtual reality surrealist allegory, where the viewer explores themes of suffering and transformation.
Cosmic•Atomic (United States)
Director: Christopher Boulton
An immersive trip across time and space that compresses sixty years of scientific imagination and invites you to feel them all at once.
Flowing with Fire (United States)
Directors: Michael Gabriele, Morgan Jenkins
Runtime: 8m 15s
Los Angeles Flow Artists spin fire to make deeper connections with themselves and the world around them.
Iago: The Green Eyed Monster (United States) – requires Android device for Augmented Reality
Directors: Josh Nelson Youssef, Mary Chieffo, Camila Morturano, Julian Dorado
An original 4-minute high-energy musical prequel to a futuristic take on Shakespeare’s Othello that explores the psychology and origin story of the notorious villain Iago reimagined as a woman.
Ion (Germany) – Virtual Dome Theater
Director: Marek Slipek
Runtime: 5m 36s
This visual feast as a dome experience describes the processing procedure of a digital machine condensed into rhythmic patterns.
Munich 72 (Germany) – requires VR Headset and understanding of VRChat to use remotely
Director: Matthias Leitner; Eva Deinert
A documentary experience in virtual reality on the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Games and their tragic events․
Director: Carly Lave
An immersive dance experience split between dual bodies and theaters.
Tearless (South Korea)
Director: Gina Kim
Runtime: 12m 30s
Move through the haunting spaces of “Monkey House,” a medical prison established to isolate US military comfort women with STDs in South Korea.
The Fortune Teller (United States)
Director: Brian Thomas Abraham (Director), Chris Orsi (Director of Photography)
Runtime: 4m 31s
A fortune teller who’s down on her luck mistakenly summons the ghost of her ex-husband, revealing the secrets that spell her doom.
The Home Within (United States)
Director: David Smith
Runtime: 14m 26s
An Appalachian VR experience about movement, music and place.
Tricycle Bicycle Cycle “Out of Context” (United States)
Director: Ryan Schmal Murray
Runtime: 3m 27s
Made up of multiple fragmented and collaged clips filmed during the recording of their new EP, this psychedelic 360 music video captures the garage rock spirit of indie band Tricycle Bicycle Cycle.
Webby’s Wonder World (France)
Director: Nataliya Velykanova
Runtime: 16m 40s
An artistic journey into the eccentric virtual world: an immersive and fun game-like experience for newbies and young generations about ethical issues on the internet and in the metaverse.
When Pixels Were Precious (United States)– requires VR Headset and understanding of VRChat to use remotely
Director: Jacquelyn Morie
A nostalgic look at the early experimental days of computer graphics made on an Apple II computer as related by the creator.
Live Performances: (requires additional signup):
We Should Meet in Air (United States)
Director: Stepy Kamei, Erik Blair
An interactive conversation with poet Sylvia Plath on her 30th (last) birthday.
Namuanki (United States)
Director: Kevin Mack
This mind-blowing shader showcase by Oscar-winning VFX artist Kevin Mack takes you into an ancient aquatic oasis from the distant future, powered by VRChat.
OffRail (United States)
Director: Ari Tarr
“The AI Theme Park of the Future, where nothing can go wrong.” A live virtual performance featuring some of today’s biggest pioneers and stars of virtual performancedom.
The MetaMovie Presents: Alien Rescue (United States)
Director: Jason Moore
Runtime: 1h 15m
Alien Rescue is a live virtual reality experience where you play a role in an interactive movie.