Grand Jury Prize For Best VR Experience: “The Hangman at Home: An Immersive Single User Experience,” Michelle and Uri Kranot
What does the hangman think about when he goes home at night from work? The Hangman at Home is an interactive animated experience exploring themes surrounding acknowledgment and the awkward intimacy of humanness. Told in five interwoven stories; each situation presents a person or persons in a delicate moment: fragile, playful, terrified, contemplated, confused, curious. We are all very much alike in these moments - alerting us to question our own responsibility and responses. Based on the poem by the iconic Carl Sandburg from Smoke & Steel (1922).
The Hangman at home is an engaging poetic habitat: questioning the consequences of our actions and our inactions. It deals with witnessing and observation, then goes further to ask about implication and responsibility. It is a beautifully delicate and contemporary call for participation.
Best VR experience: “Finding Pandora X,” Kiira Benzing
With the passing of ages, the Gods of Mount Olympus have faded away until only two remain: Zeus and Hera. Now they are in danger of disappearing if they can’t recover the box of hope that Pandora removed. This modern take on an ancient myth shifts the perspective on a narrative that has long been misinterpreted.
The myth of Pandora rings deeply true today, but my studio and I had selected this story long before the pandemic. Our continued experiments in this time have focused on bringing live performance to digital and virtual audiences. Inside the virtual world watching actors perform, much of the sense of the human disappears. However virtual, they are embodying these avatars and characters and there is a true sense of liveness. Social VR gives us the ability to gather in a world that is forever changed. May this production bring hope to this current generation.
Best VR story: “Killing a Superstar,” Fan Fan
Lisa, an actress, has recently been caught in a scandal and even received death threats from some crazy fans. Lisa’s agent Bin invited the well-known host Shan to her villa for a live interview. Before the live show started, various threatening signals appeared, causing Lisa to become more uneasy but Shan insisted on continuing the show, aiming to take the chance of news hype. Unexpectedly, someone died at the scene at the beginning of the show. However, nobody else but Lisa’s colleagues and the show staff stayed in the villa. Was it an accident or a murder? Now it's up to you to find out the truth.
The film is inspired by the thought of today’s crazy fans culture and cyber violence. It aims to reveal some real aspects of the fans, media, and stars’ life by providing an extreme scene in which a murder is carried out. Ultimately the film suggests to the public that we should keep rational when we act as a star chaser