VRTO (Virtual Reality, Toronto) presents FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories), established 2015 the first Canadian festival of its kind, showcasing content producers and storytellers pushing the boundaries of virtual reality and immersive 360 degree videos. FIVARS invites viewers to don a VR headset and connect with this state-of-the-art revolutionary narrative form.
FIVARS features the work of groundbreaking international artists dedicated to the innovation of VR, telling immersive stories that challenge, defy and transcend the status quo.
Among the 22 stories being presented, Festival highlights include:
- Filmed alongside the Nobel Peace Prize nominated Syrian Civil Defense teams of Aleppo, Chamsy Sarkis’ Nobel’s Nightmare delivers a poignant, never before seen look into a city ravaged by war.
- Sandy Smolan’s The Click Effect follows two renegade marine science researchers as they attempt to free-dive a hundred feet below the ocean’s surface in a single breath to capture the “click” communication of dolphins and sperm whales – the world’s largest predators.
- Starring Bruce Davison (X-Men, Those Who Kill) and Carl Weathers (Rocky, Predator), Randal Kleiser’s Defrost takes place in the not so distant future and depicts the bittersweet reunion of a patient and her family after a decade of cryogenic life extension.
- Nima Dehghani’s (Carnegie Mellon) Decompensation is a culturally relevant, multi-step recreation of the psychological stages experienced by refugees as they grapple with the reality of a new social context. This special installation is presented over five stations.
- A psychedelic meditation on imagination and the unknown, Jonathan Sims’ DREAMTIME employs the cinematic use of “deep dream” to create an uncanny atmosphere of bewilderment.
- Wild Things: The VR Experience takes the viewer to Bali, Indonesia with Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings, Lost) to assist a snake wrangler in capturing a King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world.
FIVARS runs from September 16 – 18 at MSMU Studio, 950 Dupont Street, 2nd Floor. To purchase tickets please visit: www.eventbrite.ca/FIVARS. Advance Tickets $25, At the Door $35. Tickets are sold for one hour blocks for a total 30 minutes of viewing.
**Featured image: The Click Effect