IFFR PRO x VR 2018

After dipping its toe into the world of VR in 2017, CineMart is returning to the sector with a vengeance in 2018 with the IFFR PRO x VR Days programme during which four CineMart projects, two case studies and a keynote by Astrid Kahmke of the VR Creators Lab of the Bavarian Film Centre will be presented. 

Additionally three dynamic VR installations close to De Doelen are accessible by professionals and public alike. IFFR PRO x VR Day is run in partnership with the Amsterdam-based VR Days, which runs every October.

"Last year the VR presence at CineMart was fairly small, and it was attended mainly by people from the VR industry - it wasn't yet merged so much into the market," comments co-ordinator Jolinde den Haas. "But we realise that VR is the future of storytelling so we started this partnership with VR Days Europe in October 2016 to see if we could connect their technical world and our world of storytelling and narrative cinema. We wanted to try and merge those and see what kinds of projects are being made on both sides. So this year it is much more fully immersed into these four days."


The IFFR and VR Days Europe have joined forces in order to navigate the world of fictional VR in a first cooperative venture.

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Two of the four CineMart projects were first pitched at October’s VR Days. These were Ice Cave by Maja Friis (Denmark/Canada/France) and Kinshaha Now – Being a a Shégué by Marc-Henri Wajnberg (Belgium/DR Congo/Canada). Ice Cave is the story of a fearless Arctic explorer who takes shelter in an ice cave until he discovers, as he exhales, that the newly crystallized air makes the cave smaller and smaller. In Kinshasa Now, the viewer becomes a child witch and chased away from home, and then he or she must find ways to survive…

The other two VR projects were selected via open call, the Australian project by Aaron Wilson called I’m Not Comfortable in This Family (a story of struggle with identity and with finding a community), and Amrita by Rithy Pahn (FR/Cambodia/Neths/Germany), set in Angkor and depicting a dance about the wars between gods and demons. "This is the first time that the narrative filmmaker Rithy is turning to VR," explains Den Haas.

One of the case studies is a project selected for CineMart 2017, Scott McPherson’s The Illuminatus!, an adaptation of The Illuminatus Trilogy! by Robert Anton Wilson. "Now we want to see what happened, how it was developed, how he got the funding." The same questions will be asked of Jesper Dalgaard about his Doom Room, which is accessible during the festival at the WORM Slash Gallery. Dalgaard is also pitching the feature Moonblood at CineMart 2018. "This is the full circle for this producer/director and installation. It is something I would encourage people to see."

Den Haas is particularly looking forward to the key-note address by Astrid Kahmke. "She calls VR the third wave of technology that we are right now in, and she will talk about how the audience will now be part of this story, react within it, be creative within in it and have a much more immersive experience."

Photo in header: Jolinde den Haas