The FIVARS 2018 International Stories Festival Lineup – Toronto

FIVARS proudly presents the 2018 Official Selections. All are in competition and eligible for People’s Choice in Best Interactive or Passive Experience, Jury Prize and Impact Award.

360° Passive Experiences

700 SHARKSTitle: 700 Sharks (Toronto Premiere)
Director: Manuel Lefevre
Country: France | RT: 11m

Follow Laurent Ballesta, famous underwater specialist and marine biologist in the tiny Fakarava atoll, lost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Laurent is about to give a final answer to his quest: understanding the hunting behavior of the biggest shark pack in the world. You will experience being like a member of this exciting expedition and diving at night in the middle of the pack. ln 1975, mister Spielberg made us hate sharks, we’re pretty sure that ‘700 sharks’ will change the way you’ll look at them!

Acrobatic Conundrum at Toronto International VR FIlm Festival
Title: Acrobatic Conundrum (Toronto Premiere)
Director: Gary Yost
Country: USA | RT: 6m

Dancing in the Air…capturing the ineffable joy of flying in stereoscopic 360° at the San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival with six powerful dancers who defy gravity, accompanied by live violin. Five women and one man from the Acrobatic Conundrum dance company invite us to join them using special rigs to get the VR camera up in the air right next to the dancers and we experience the feeling of what it’s like to break the bonds of earth. Filmed in 3D at the Fort Mason Center with the most advanced 360° camera in the world… the Z CAM V1 and shown in 6K stereoscopic.

As It Is featured at Toronto International VR Film Festival
Title: as it is: A Grand Canyon Documentary (Canadian Premiere)
Director: Thomas Hayden
Country: USA | RT: 17m

Drop into the heart of the Grand Canyon, held sacred and protected for millennia, to meet the people fighting a tourism development that would change one of America’s most iconic landscapes forever.

Battlescar 16x9

Title: Battlescar
Director: Nico Casavecchia and Martin Allais
Country: USA, France | RT: 7m

New York City, 1978: When Lupe, a Puerto Rican-American teen, meets fellow runaway Debbie, the Bowery’s punk scene and the Lower East Side are their playground. This coming-of-age narrative explores identity through animation and immersive environments as Lupe’s handwritten journals guide users through her year.

Contravision At Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival
Title: Contravision (Canadian Premiere)
Director: Josh Gonsalves
Country: Canada | RT: 11m

In 2025 technology is almost too friendly; augmented reality is embedded in everyday life. Experience the future of technology through the eyes of Winston and his friends.

Deerbrook at FIVARS
Title: Deerbrook (Canadian Premiere)
Director: Grayson Moore
Country: Canada | RT: 14m56s

Two strangers show up at a family’s cottage claiming to have spent their childhood summers there, but their behaviour seems to be driven by something more sinister than nostalgia.

Filamu at Toronto International VR Film Festival
Title: Filamu (World Premiere)
Director: Maud Clavier
Country: France | RT: 15m

Two black Americans are asked to share their views on Africa by seeing 360° images filmed in Tanzania, as they are juries for a festival. It is the cultural irony that black Americans are primarily descendants of Africa that leads them to be chosen for this role. All this confusion will lead to a long debate full of authenticity and humor through a visually African but vocally American journey.

Fly Beyond Le Logis
Title: Fly Beyond Les Logis (World Premiere)
Director: Efraim Wizen
Country: Israel | RT: 8m11s

Reminiscent of Umbrellas of Cherbourg, this musical art experience mixes live action and animation, following a playful group of dancers as they whisked away by a mysterious host in Le Logis, 17th century castle and discover the “wonders of the Grey Goose ingredients.”

humanity at Toronto International VR Film Festival
Title: Humanity (World Premiere)
Director: Daniel Everitt-Lock
Country: Canada | RT: 4m

Based on true events, we see the British and German troops take to no man’s land in a historical recreation of the 24th – 26th December 1914.

The Great C Poster 16x9
Title: The Great C
Director: Steve Miller
Country: Canada | RT: 30m

Based on the sci-fi short story by Philip K. Dick, The Great C is a cinematic narrative featuring a thrilling storyline, stunning environments and a powerful soundtrack. The Great C is a sweeping 30+ minute experience, developed from the ground up to push the boundaries of storytelling in VR.

Going Home screenshot Poster - FIVARS 2018
Title: Going Home (World Premiere)
Director: David Beier
Country: Canada | RT: 8m

Going Home is a surreal glimpse into the mind of an elderly man suffering a massive heart attack. As doctors fight to keep him alive, the man’s life flashes before his eyes and the reality of his past and present begin to merge together in amazing ways.

The Hidden Toronto International VR film Festival
Title: The Hidden (World Premiere)
Director: Annie Lukowski
Country: USA | RT: 14m38s

Step into the shoes of an undocumented immigrant as you watch your daughter being grilled by two ICE officers while you hold your breath hiding.

Lionhearted at Toronto International Film Fest
Title: Lionhearted
Director: Ricarda Saleh
Country: Germany, Greece | RT: 12m

Rida is 8-years-old. The extroverted girl fled with her family from Pakistan to Europe. Now she lives in Hotel City Plaza, a self-organised refugee shelter in Athens. She tells us about her journey, the difficulties on the escape and the dark past overshadowed by the Taliban. ‘Lionhearted’ tackles the refugee crisis from a child’s perspective.

pierre et colombine at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Pierre et Columbine (World Premiere) 18+
Director: Marie Ellen Brokensha
Country: Australia | RT: 8m

A young bohemian couple in mid XXI century create their own universe. They invent their private “game”/ rules (only known to them). Watching VR is one of their favorite distractions; it’s often a sensual way to play together. Their “game” is based on an unspoken trust. In their microcosmic space Pierre et Colombine discover their unbridled fantasies.

Portal poster - FIVARS 2018
Title: Portal: An Extreme VR Experience (North American Premiere)
Director: Adrián Ruíz del Cerro
Country: Spain | RT: 5m

In this atmospheric take on a seance with a powerful psychic – the viewer is unexpectedly taken on a fearful encounter with the dead when a portal opens and spirits emerge. Directed by Adrián Ruíz del Cerro – this creepy VR experience is given an extra touch of haptic interactivity through the use of real world props while carefully composed binaural sound design amplifies the impending dread.

Second Date 360 at Toronto International VR Film Festival
Title: Second Date (Canadian Premiere) 18+
Director: Jennifer Lyon Bell
Country: Netherlands, USA | RT: 17m

Second Date is a lighthearted, unscripted Virtual Reality 3D 360° portrait of two young people fumbling towards ecstasy.

Unframed Intimacies at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Unframed (Canadian Premiere)
Director: Martin Charriere
Country: Switzerland | RT: 5m32s

In this moving and whimsical black and white illustrated animation, we hear from the spurned mistress of Swiss painter and avant-garde engraver Felix Valloton who writes to him a letter about love, marriage and consequences.

wahi at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Wahi (World Premiere)
Director: Almotaz Aljefri
Country: Saudi Arabia/USA | RT: 11m20s

A closer look at the grand mosque of Mecca from a new and unique perspective in order to deliver the Mecca experience to the audience.

William at at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: William (World Premiere)
Director: Sonia B. Boileau
Country: Canada | RT: 6m

William is a short dramatic virtual reality film that will immerse users in the shoes of William, a Canadian Aboriginal child, who was taken away from his home and parachuted into one of the former 139 residential schools in Canada.

Window to Our World 360 at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Window to Our World (North American Premiere)
Director: Ben Perry
Country: Spain | RT: 6m

In collaboration with the international director Ben Perry, Visyon created a deeply moving VR piece aimed at generating emotional proximity with the viewer and help future adoptive parents to find the courage to take the important step of finding children in need of love and support.

INTERACTIVE VR EXPERIENCES

A Curious Mind - FIVARS 2018
Title: A Curious Mind
Director: Andrew MacDonald
Country: Canada | RT: 7m20s

In the show, Dominic is the viewer’s guide as both explore mind-bending scientific concepts and the “big ideas” of the universe. In A Curious Mind, Dominic and the viewer make the journey together; manipulating time and space, pulling apart atoms and exploring/experiencing science as never before.

At Sea at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: At Sea (Canadian Premiere)
Director: Luke Snedecor
Country: USA | RT: 10m

Created at Chapman University’s Institute for Creative Reality, AT SEA is a third person narrative short VR experience, where the viewer has the ability to control where they are watching the story from. They can move above and below water, as well as rotate themselves toward, away from, and around the character to help a stranded survivor find something to eat among the dangers of the ocean.

Caliban Below at at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Caliban Below (Canadian Premiere)
Director: Michael Conelly
Country: USA | RT: 15m

A short interactive story for room-scale VR: Become Caliban, the scion of a broken lineage struggling to understand your dark inheritance. Explore the ruins of the family estate, and the incredible realm below seeking clues to your past, and to the events that severed you from your family long ago.

Ferris' Room VR at at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Ferris’s Room
Director: Ryan Mains
Country: Canada | RT: 15-20m

Like most teenagers, Ferris Bueller’s bedroom is much more than just a place to sleep. A sanctuary, laboratory, recording studio, office, and shrine to the bands he loves, Ferris’s bedroom is an extension of his larger-than-life personality, a place to explore his interests, and of course, to cook up schemes. Recreated by Canadian artist Sarah Keenlyside as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in Chicago in 2016, every inch of Ferris’s Room was photographed to create a 3D model, allowing you to visit and interact with the room in Virtual Reality.

From the earth at at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: From the Earth (World Premiere)
Director: Hyung-yun CHANG
Country: South Korea | RT: 10m

A journey to the space to find the heartwarming love between a father and a daughter.

help me at at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Help Me (North American Premiere)
Director: Tae-kyung Yoo
Country: South Korea | RT: 10m

In this cel-shaded visual novella for VR, you are asked, why didn’t you open the door back then, when you heard the ghostly knocking?

The Invisible Hours at FIVARS 2018
Title: The Invisible Hours
Director: Ral Rubio
Country: Spain | RT: 15-25m

The Invisible Hours is a complex murder mystery in which players freely explore an intricate web of interwoven stories within a sprawling mansion featuring Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, among others. But none of these people are what they seem. The player is invisible, with freedom to follow and observe anyone in the story, or to explore the mansion for hidden clues.

MADE THIS WAY at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Made This Way: Redefining Masculinity
Director: Irem Harnak, Elli Raynai
Country: Canada/USA | RT: 18m

Comprised of photographs and Virtual Reality volumetric testimonials, Made This Way: Redefining Masculinity is an interactive mixed-media documentary that explores how transgender men are challenging gender norms and redefining traditional masculinity. By exploring the photographic series, and by moving around the virtual space in which the subjects exist, Made This Way: Redefining Masculinity allows audiences to viscerally experience fluid masculinity.

Mel's Wake poster - at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Mel’s Wake (World Premiere)
Director: Luisa Valencia
Country: Canada/USA | RT: 15m

In this interactive, 15-minute, cinematic VR users will experience multi-branched storytelling and seamless interactive control. As the main protagonist, you ( the user ) embody the spirit of Mel, a recently deceased event planner. You explore your former existence by secretly observing the people from your life, eavesdropping on their conversations about you. Slowly you discover that you can hear their internal monologues as well, each revealing even more profound truths.

Museum of Symmetry at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Museum of Symmetry
Director: Paloma Dawkins
Country: Canada | RT: 20m

Using hand-drawn illustrated animations, the National Film Board of Canada’s “Museum of Symmetry” invites you to an “other-dimensional” VR adventure game that takes you on an absurdist mind-and-body romp through the highest clouds to the ocean deep.

Thalu at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Thalu: Dreamtime is Now (World Premiere)
Director: Tyson Mowarin
Country: Australia | RT: 18m

An indigenous mine site worker is transported to the spirit world, where he meets the spirits and custodians of the land and learns about how they are connected to humankind, even as their sacred sites are under threat by the modern human world.

Where Thoughts Go at Toronto International Virtual Reality Film Festival FIVARS
Title: Where Thoughts Go (Canadian Premiere)
Director: Lucas Rizzotto
Country: USA | RT: 24m

Where Thoughts Go is an intimate, interactive Virtual Reality narrative and magical world full of non-fictional, user generated stories. A new genre of narrative orchestrated by Award-winning Creator, Lucas Rizzotto, Where Thoughts Go takes you on an introspective journey as you explore personal audio-recordings left by other users in the form of sleeping creatures.

AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCES

Im Fine poster
Title: I’m Fine (Canadian Premiere) – Only Wristband Required
Director: Darius Safani
Country: USA | RT: 1m8s

Using Augmented Reality, this piece sheds a light on the inner thoughts of those suffering with anxiety.

Rewilding Poster
Title: Rewilding: The Interactive Holograms of Michael Carter (World Premiere) Only Wristband Required
Director: Michael Carter
Country: Canada

This interactive installation focuses on each learner of the VARK model (Visual, Audio, Reading, Kinesthetic), and allows users to learn about plants and animals via 3D holograms projected into the Looking Glass. Users are able to place 3D printed artifacts on an RFID reader that was created using two Arduinos, and spawn each model that corresponds to each unique artifact. Once the model has appeared, the user can visualize the model in a 3D space, listen to the environment that model is situated in, read about the model via a description window, and trigger an narrative audio file of that description.