FILM XR
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FILM XR

Infinite Realities — The Open Frame Award at goEast 2020

In its third edition at goEast — Festival of Central and eastern European Film (Wiesbaden/Frankfurt) the Open Frame Award, a forum for virtual experiences, continues. This year the VR award for CEE creators goes virtual and makes both interactive and 360 line up accessible online!

As a competition for experimental 360° and interactive Virtual Reality projects, the Open Frame Award does not experience set-backs by curfews or travel warnings. Instead the competition itself dives deep into the future of virtual realities. Thus, the presentation of the projects in competition during the festival between May 5th to 11th 2020 will be held in a virtual recreation of goEast’s main venue Caligari FilmBühne.

Virtual Caligari created by Denis Semionov, background photosphere by AIRPANO

Russian VR artist and winner of 2018’s Open Frame Award, Denis Semionov, has “recreated” the 94-year-old cinema in virtual reality, together with curator Georgy Molodtsov. Another virtual space created for this year’s festival is the goEast VRoof Top Lounge, a meeting point for Open Frame Award nominees and festival guests, inspired by this year festival visual which was designed by Russian artist collective Vreditel_li. Vreditel_li’s works will also be demonstrated in virtual spaces.

Real Caligari vs Virtual Caligari made in Oculus Quill by Denis Semionov

On the last festival day the Open Frame Award will be handed out. The award, which comes with 5.000 Euros in prize money, is once again funded by BHF Bank Foundation and Adolf und Luisa Haeuser Stiftung für Kunst und Kulturpflege.

An international jury will decide about the winner of the Open Frame Award. This year the jury is composed of Mária Rakušanová, curator for the Raindance Film Festival and engaged with partnership and content acquisition at HTC Vive in Europe, Averie Timm, Producer at Facebook AR/VR (Oculus) as well as Akmyrat Tuyliyev, producer for the PBS documentary series POV Spark.

From left to right: Mária Rakušanová, Averie Timm, Akmyrat Tuyliyev

To make all this possible, goEast partnered with the social XR cultural hub VRrOOm — a broadcast platform dedicated to arts, entertainment and cultural events. Virtual venues, a 360° theatre, unique virtual theatrical performances, pitchings and the Open Frame Award Ceremony can be accessed through a XR VRrOOm world on the free platform VRChat.

For the best experience a VR headset as well as a PC system are recommended, but the event is also accessible by most users via PC, like any videogame.

Every evening, from 7 to 9 pm CET the festival team will be meeting guests and organize guided tours in the VRrOOM x goEast VRoof Top Lounge!

Overcoming time constraints to bring the festival online, goEast and VRrOOm were able to achieve a remarkable result, making the goEast’s 2020 edition become the world’s very first event to offer access to both 360° and Interactive Experiences to pre-registered guests.

How To Access goEast Festival’s Complete VR Lineup — https://vrroom.buzz/vr-news/immersive-arts/how-access-goeast-festivals-complete-vr-lineup

Public VRROOM x goEast Lounge at VRChat

Still for anyone without the hardware, there will be guided tours in the goEast VRoof Top Lounge and Caligari VR, that are streamed on the website of goEast. For this Schenker Technologies GmbH kindly provides laptop solutions for the team of goEast during the festival.

“The current Covid-19 situation hit the whole planet, on a bigger or smaller scale. But for the creative VR community it not only a strike, but also a chance to show the world what VR is capable of and how it might change reality. The space we developed is inspired by the creative freedom and expression we found in the nominated works of the Open Frame Award”, says Georgy Molodtsov, Curator of the Open Frame Award. “So it’s our job to give those works the exposure they deserve.”

Custom avatars for festival team and guests created by Anastasiia Vorobiova (Dream Adoption Society) for goEast Open Frame Award VR Edition

The selection for the Open Frame Award opens fantastic worlds and memories. Thus, the interactive animation film Wings (Moldova, 2019) by Dmitri Voloshin recreates almost forgotten childhood dreams and vaults the viewer into the far depths of space. Cat’s Winter Tale (Finland, Russia 2020) by Oleg Nikolaenko is told similarly fantastic, being a Christmas tale about the friendship between a tiger-cat and an angel. With Whispers (Poland, 2019) Jacek Naglowski and Patryk Jordanowicz employ a 360° documentary to present a faith healer, who is using the power of words, gestures and images. In Verinnerung VR (Germany, 2019) by Alexander Flatau different realities between a bank robbery and an innocent date intertwine. Psychosis (Russia, 2018) by the artist collective AES+F is similarly surreal. The mixed reality project is based on a text of the playwright Sarah Kane, she wrote shortly before taking her own life. Babyn Yar. Virtual Memory (Ukraine 2020) by Alona Stulii is an interactive experience processing the fate of numerous victims of mass executions during the Holocaust at that telling the events from the perspective of all involved. With Aporia. The City is the City (Poland, 2019) Krzysztof Garbaczewski creates different perspectives, even resulting in parallel worlds and an open space experience. At that a city in different worlds evolves in different directions. With The Rain that is falling now was also falling back then (Romania, Germany, 2019), Christian Zipfel takes the experience up to the very edge of Europe to Botoșani. There three men behind bars had a lot time to think and just before their release now raise the question of happiness.

More information about the festival and Open Frame Award VR Edition – https://www.filmfestival-goeast.de/en/goEast_online/online_ofa_en.php

Selection 2020:

APORIA. THE CITY IS THE CITY

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCEPOLAND, 2019, 20 MIN
DIRECTOR: Krzysztof Garbaczewski (Dream Adoption Society)
MUSIC: Jan Duszyński
PRODUCTION: Wojtek Markowski
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Dream Adoption Society, Shadow Architecture
DESIGN: Aleksandra Wasilkowska
VR DESIGN: Marta Nawrot, Jagoda Wójtowicz, Maciej Gniady

In Aporia, the participant learns what it feels like to be in two places at the same time. Two cities in which the inhabitants live in parallel worlds. Each place is doubled and evolving — often in different directions. Multifaceted structures that expand all the way to the peripheral zones permit a glimpse into the communities and rituals of those living there. The fulfilment of a utopian vision, in which cities constantly grow, forming ever-new connections as they spread out. An open spatial experience for the audience.

BABYN YAR. VIRTUAL MEMORY

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE
UKRAINE, 2020, 15 MIN
DIRECTOR: Alona Stulii
PRODUCTION: Kirill Pokutnyy, Sergey Tereshchenko (Sensorama)

The story begins on 19 September 1941, in Babyn Yar, the site where one of the largest mass executions of the Holocaust took place. This tragedy is told from the side of the victims and the perpetrators. The project offers insight into the fates of Jewish individuals, Roma, Ukrainian nationalists, war prisoners and many other groups that were murdered by the Nazis at Babyn Yar.

CAT’S WINTER TALE

3D 180° VIDEO, ANIMATION
FINLAND, RUSSIA 2020, 11 MIN
DIRECTOR: Oleg Nikolaenko
SCREENPLAY: Oleg Nikolaenko
PRODUCTION: Elli Niaria
PRODUCTION COMPANY: AXiiO VR Studio

This Christmas tale for children is about the friendship between a tiger-cat and an angel. The two meet in a tree and fly away together through the town. Classical music and a narrator’s voice guide the audience through this charming story.

PSYCHOSIS
VR INTERACTIVE / MIXED REALITY
RUSSIA, 2018, 18 MIN
DIRECTOR: AES+F
MUSIC: Dmitry Kourliandski

PSYCHOSIS is based on the text “4.48 Psychosis” by British playwright Sarah Kane (1971–1999), which she composed during a stay in a psychiatric hospital shortly before taking her own life. This work, originally conceived by the artist collective AES+F as an interactive piece for theatre, allows the audience to experience the surreal visions of Sarah Kane’s protagonists.

THE RAIN THAT IS FALLING NOW WAS ALSO FALLING BACK THEN

360° DOCUMENTARY
ROMANIA, GERMANY 2019, 38 MIN
DIRECTOR and SCREENPLAY: Chrisian Zipfel
CAMERA: Jonas Römmig, David-Simon Groß, Siri Klug, Christian Zipfel
EDITOR: Jonatan Lorincz
MUSIC: Christian Dellacher
SOUND: Fabian Koppri, Kevin Jahnel
PRODUCTION: Viktoria Janssen, Lisa Wischer
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, UNATC Bukarest

Botoșani, on the very edge of the external border of Europe. Cristian, Busliuc and Manix are sitting out their last days in jail. Behind bars, the three men have had a lot of time to think. What does it mean to be happy? The answers to this question have left their mark…

VERINNERUNG — VR

360° FICTION FILM
DIRECTOR and SCREENPLAY: Alexander Flatau
CAMERA: Nicolas Jansky
MUSIC: Nicolas Wohlleben
SOUND: Stefan Woidig, Jan Schulten
CAST: Idan Weiss, Jördis Trauer, Erdogan Kasimogli, Mathias Dunker, Holger Haas, Monika Franziska Giro
PRODUCTION: Alexander Flatau

Where does reality end and fiction begin? During a spontaneous date with Emma, Andrew gets wrapped up in a bank robbery. Blackout. The two awake strapped to a chair in an abandoned factory. What now?

WHISPERS

360° 3D DOCUMENTARY
POLAND, 2019, 21 MIN
DIRECTOR: Jacek Naglowski, Patryk Jordanowicz
SCREENPLAY: Jacek Naglowski
CAMERA: Patryk Jordanowicz
EDITOR: Maciej Gryzełko
MUSIC: Anna Ujma
SOUND: Pierre Carsalade, Anna Ujma, Marek Titow
CAST: Irina Kotelnikova
PRODUCTION: Jacek Naglowski
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Centrala Distribution
DISTRIBUTION: Wide Management

In the rural zone on the border between Poland and Ukraine lives the “Whisperer”, a faith healer. She uses the power of words, gestures and images to cure people. In her world, life and death are not only biological processes — they are energies that one can channel and use.

ARIPI — WINGS
INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE, 360° ANIMATION
DIRECTOR: Dmitri Voloshin
SCREENPLAY: Dmitri Voloshin, Sergiu Chirillov, Anastasia Berzoy
MUSIC: Elias Tadeus
PRODUCTION: Dmitri Voloshin
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Simpals

All children dream of flying — in WINGS this dream seems to have come true for the central character. An astronaut flies through outer space inside a tiny space capsule. Alas, then little problems inside the vehicle start to snowball, ending in a dramatic crash. The astronaut wants to spread his wings and fly once more — and return to his childhood dream.

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