Paris NewImages Festival has unveiled the XR competition lineup for its 3rd edition, running at Forum des Images in Paris from Sept. 23-27. Sixteen VR or AR projects, including six world premieres, have been selected from the 130 submitted to compete for the Masque d’Or and two Special Jury Prizes.
One of the world premieres is “Missing Pictures Ep. 1 – Birds of Prey,” produced by France’s Atlas V, Arte France, and Albyon Studio, and Britain’s BBC. The documentary series gives film directors a chance to tell the story they were never able to bring to the screen and explains why it had to be given up. In episode one, U.S. director Abel Ferrara brings to life his story for “Birds of Prey” with animations based on his original film’s preproduction material.
“Legends of the Brush: The Girl and the Crane” (pictured) was selected to world premiere at SXSW, and after the physical event was canceled it featured in the virtual version. In September NewImages gives the work its world premieres at a physical event. The VR animation project, produced by RYOT in the U.S., presents a collection of fables created by digital artist Sutu. The first tale is about a disgraced fashion designer’s deal with an injured crane.
Also among the world premieres is “Gravity VR,” which takes place in a surreal universe where everything is forever falling. The Brazil-Peru animated project, created by Fabito Rychter and Amir Admoni, is produced by Delirium XR.
Animated VR experience “Great Hoax: The Moon Landing,” produced by Taiwan’s Serendipity and Argentina’s 3DAR, is another world premiere. John Hsu and Marco Lococo’s project follows the creation of a hoax video of Taiwan’s first Moon landing mission.
The fifth world premiere is France’s “MOA – My Own Assistant,” an augmented reality application for smartphones. Adapted from the novel “Les Furtifs” by Alain Damasio, it lets the user delve into the futuristic urban world the novelist imagined. It’s 2040: the urban architecture hasn’t changed, it’s the augmented reality overlay that transforms the city. Public space is overrun with surveillance and marketing. But a personal assistant is there to help the user navigate it all.
The final world premiere is “Les Passagers: Elle & Lui,” a French-Canadian co-production in which the user enters the thoughts of one of the passengers traveling on a train, and helps them face a pivotal moment in their lives.
In her early 40s, a woman tries to answer her boyfriend’s question. Will she find the courage to speak to him freely? Opposite, a young man is infatuated with the woman seated in front of him and must overcome his shyness to talk to her.
The interactive VR experience is designed for one or two synchronized users, in which their gaze and voice influence the story.