VIFF Immersed XR Market

October 4–5, 2021

Presented By
Produced By
VIFF Immersed XR Market Platform

The VIFF Immersed XR Market connects top XR creators and industry leaders with their colleagues from around the globe; the aim is to foster production, financing, and distribution of story-driven immersive content. Hosted at the Museum of Other Realities, the Market features a showcase of live-action, documentary, and animated VR/AR content from the next wave of XR creators. Selected artists are given the opportunity to pitch their projects in front of investors, distributors, producers, and curators, as well as compete for the VIFF Immersed Grant. Supplementing the Market is a series of virtual networking opportunities and inspiring presentations, bringing together members of the XR community to discuss the power of XR technology as a dynamic vehicle for storytelling.

Take a look back at the 2021 VIFF Immersed XR Market

The Creators Panel

Presented By

What does it take to create immersive content that is both competition worthy and raises the bar for high value production and commercial viability? VIFF talks to 4 selections from this year’s slate: Animation, Cinematic, Augmented Reality Storytelling and the British Columbia Showcase Exhibition about what it takes to make phenomenal immersive content.

Session Participants

Juliana Loh is a creative producer whose background centres on branded entertainment, gaming, and instruction/training. She designed the VR world for Burning Man VR 2021 (BRCvr), has spoken at SXSW and LudoNarraCon, and offered workshops in empathy-building using 360 film and VR. An XR artist (tiltbrush) and in-world and brand designer (VR/AR), Juliana uses human-centric design to give structure, inspiration, and meaning to ideas, people, and places.

Asavari is a filmmaker & visual artist from India currently based in Los Angeles. She is the
co-founder of Supernova Design, an animation and design studio whose clients include Warner
Bros., Google, YouTube & Disney. Asavari’s award winning films and new media work have been
showcased at numerous festivals including Siggraph, Ottawa International Animation Festival and
Hollyshorts. Her projects have also been featured in Adobe Create Magazine, Cartoon Brew and
AWN. Drawn to cross-cultural narratives, Asavari uses character-driven storytelling to parse her
evolving cultural and political identity. Asavari holds an MFA in Experimental Animation from the
California Institute of the Arts.

Sngmoo Lee is a writer, director, producer working in immersive arts and traditional cinema.
His VR cinema, “Eyes in The Red Wind,” and “Rain Fruits” got invited to various film festivals
including Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes XR, and received a few awards.
His recent VR immersive theater piece “Scarecrow” premiered at Sundance New Frontier 2020 and reimagined social VR version “Scarecrow VRC” received the “Spirit of Rain dance award” at Raindance film festival.
Sngmoo also serves as the founding director of the Art and Technology Lab at Korea National University of Arts.

Ziad Touma is an award-winning director, producer and writer working in film, television and XR. His most recent interactive series, The Judas, an ARG that he directed and produced for Radio-Canada through his production company Couzin Films, in coproduction with Kngfu, won Canadian Digi and Boomerang Awards including Best interactive series and Best Online Game. Ziad also directed multiple Canadian documentary television series and produced six feature films, including Ghost Town Anthology by Denis Côté (Official Competition Berlinale) and The Sound of Trees by François Péloquin (Official Competition Karlovy Vary, Seattle, VIFF Award for Best Emerging Canadian Filmmaker). Ziad’s debut feature film Saved by the Belles was nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards and its interactive website won the Grand Boomerang Award for Best Cultural website and was nominated at the SXSW awards.

Caitlin Burns is a producer, strategist and specialist in emerging media. A pioneer of the concept of Transmedia Storytelling in Hollywood, she is best known for her work creating multi platform narratives strategies for major film franchises, AAA console games, television shows and global brands. In addition to supervising and coordinating these projects with global production teams, she produced original work on new platforms for these intellectual properties varying from theme parks, immersive cruise line experiences, social and digital media, interactive eBooks, XR, WebXR, currently focusing on experiences built using NFTs.

As Executive Producer at StoryTech® Immersive she has been producing VIFF Immersed since 2016’s first VR day and is dedicated to the development of sustainable business models for emerging experience types. She previously served on the Board of the Producers’ Guild of America’s New Media Council for 6 years, with 3 as Vice Chair.

Her past projects include Pirates of the Caribbean, Fairies, Descendants and Tron Legacy for Disney, James Cameron’s Avatar for Fox, Halo for Microsoft, Happiness Factory for The Coca-Cola Company, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Nickelodeon and Transformers for Hasbro, Dexter for Showtime, The Witch Who Came in From the Cold with Realm, Space Nation, and UNICEF Kid Power.
 

Future Immersive Storytelling Technology: The Rise and Importance Of Volumetric Filmmaking

Presented By

Immersive Storytelling literally takes on new dimensions through volumetric 3D scanning camera technology which turns characters and environments into spatial reality. The "presence" for the viewer is undeniable but what does this new tech in the storyteller’s toolbox truly mean for filmmakers and audiences? Moderator: Brian Seth Hurst, Chief Storyteller, StoryTech® Immersive.

Session Participants

Jenni Ogden is an award-winning creative producer and entrepreneur with three decades of experience in the entertainment industry. In 2020, she co-founded 4D Fun, which has an advanced, AI-driven volumetric stage available for productions of all kinds, and they are developing a platform for NFT’s and XR experience from VR to spatial computing. As president and executive producer at Eye Q Productions, her experience began with live theatre and 3D projection mapping for Disney, Universal, Norwegian, and others, as well as the exploration of immersive live experiences. Jenni also served as Vice-President of the Producers Guild of America.

Christina is the CEO of Metastage. Since its founding in 2018, Metastage has completed over 150 productions with major brands and award winning projects, including two Emmy nominations. Metastage is the first North American partner for the Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture technology. Prior to leading Metastage, Christina was the CEO of VR Playhouse, an immersive content company with immersive projects featured at SXSW, Sundance, and Festival de Cannes. She is a recipient of the Advanced Imaging Society's Distinguished Leadership in Technology Award and was named in the Huffington Post as one of 5 women changing the virtual reality scene. Her writing and research on volumetric video has been published in the textbook, Handbook of Research on the Global Impacts and Roles of Immersive Media (2019), and What is Augmented Reality? Everything You Wanted to Know Featuring Exclusive Interviews with Leaders of the AR Industry (2019).

Tobias Chen is a multidisciplinary media technologist from the University of Toronto, born and raised in Vancouver. He has been an immersive media consultant for various Fortune 500 companies such as a Netflix, National Geographic, Intel, IBM, Discovery Channel, Nike, Fox Sports, The Home Depot and he was also previously a Facebook Supplier, collaborating on various content creation solutions for Facebook, including custom VR Drones and Stereo 180 capture solutions. Tobias was the Technical Director of "Phone of the Wind VR", which is a recent 6DOF interactive documentary funded by Facebook. He was also the VR Supervisor for "Rose Colored" which was featured at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and recently won the 2018 Lumiere Award for Best Live Action VR. Currently Tobias and his team at Volumetric Camera Systems Inc are developing the highest quality volumetric capture systems in the world, using machine learning, over 250 synchronized 4K Sony sensor cameras and Leica laser scanners. The company is funded by Epic Games and supported by Nvidia, HP, and Maingear. Their past clients include Canon, National Geographic, US Embassy, and Neill Blomkamp.

Michael Mansouri has produced and directed several documentaries, most recently for the United Nations Geneva Summit for Human Rights. He is an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers and sits on the Advanced Imaging Society’s Board of Governors. He has won the Red Dot Award, Advanced Imaging Society’s Lumiere Award, AI Global’s Artificial Intelligence Award, Definition Magazine’s Tech Innovations Award, and the Mario Award, which recognizes significant technological breakthroughs. Mr. Mansouri’s efforts led to NASA / JPL’s 2018 Emmy win for Outstanding Original Interactive Program for Cassini’s Grand Finale, which was NASA’s first recognition in the film community.

A multi-disciplinary producer, writer and strategist, Brian Seth Hurst has spent his career at the forefront of innovation and storytelling. His work in theater, television, emerging and new media and now immersive media has enabled the building and extension of story worlds and brands.

As Chief Storyteller of StoryTech® Immersive, Hurst leads the company’s work in cinematic and Live VR as well as immersive events production. Credits include My Brother’s Keeper (VR, PBS, Digital Studios), The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth 360 (VR, Showtime) Gettysburg: A National Divided (MR, QuantumERA), The Rolling Loud Hip Hop Festival (Live 360 broadcast, LivexLive, SamsungVR) Super Splat Brothers E-sports Tournament (Live 360 broadcast, E-Sports Arena, SamsungVR), and Passport to Philadelphia (AR, QuantumERA). Currently he is Producer for the LegionM volumetric series “Icons.” Events have included Shanghai XR, NABShow, and VIFF Immersed.

Hurst has held leadership positions in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Board and Second Vice Chair), the Producers Guild of America (Board and Chairman, New Media Council) and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Digital Ambassador).

Hurst is also co-author with Olivia Newton-John of the best-selling children’s book “A Pig Tale” from Simon & Schuster and the book “WHOLE,” a collection of essays on life’s challenges. He is also “The Happenstance Chef” with a cooking channel on YouTube, hosts the weekly “Writers’ Room” on Clubhouse and YouTube channel “The Story Hour” with co-host Alison Norrington.

Market Pitching Session: 1

The VIFF XR Market features a showcase of live-action, documentary, and animated VR/AR content from the next wave of XR creators. Selected artists are given the opportunity to pitch their projects in front of investors, distributors, producers, and curators, as well as compete for the VIFF Immersed Grant. Supplementing the Market is a series of virtual networking opportunities and inspiring presentations, bringing together members of the XR community to discuss the power of XR technology as a dynamic vehicle for storytelling.

Director: Samuel Lepoil

Call Me Calamity has taken the challenge of telling the origins of the legend of Calamity Jane.Participants accompany Martha Jane Cannary on her adventures, eventually seeing her transformed into Calamity Jane. From Deadwood to Dora Dufran’s brothel, the young girl displays panache and humor in contrast to the harshness of the Western. As she tells her story, virtual reality allows her to change virtual environments, and put on new costumes with the snap of a finger.

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Director: Evan Jones

You play as Casey, searching for redemption and her missing father who disappeared in his obsessive hunt for Bigfoot. What Casey discovers is multi-layered: her father may have unearthed more than a monster with a family curse connecting them to this mountain for generations.

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Director: Nim Shapira

Director: Patricia Echeverria

a 3d virtual reality experience about a shrinking land, and a vanishing culture.

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Director: Reanna Cameron

Meet Howard Lovecraft, a boy who’s already battled Elder Gods and nameless horrors, who now must face his greatest challenge yet: college. Someday, Lovecraft will be a famous author, known for his terrifying books about cosmic monstrosities. Miskatonic is a follow-up to the very successful Howard Lovecraft trilogy. This time, Howard is in university, and you can join him on these magical, spooky adventures in the virtual reality world. You must help him complete a set of magical tasks in class and more!

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Director: Zeynep Abes

Memory Place is a mixed reality experience of three memories of my home, Istanbul. The visualizations are produced with point cloud data using photogrammetry to portray and preserve private and public recollections. A series of mobile or headset-based AR installations invite the viewer to walk inside these memories, creating an immersive experience of a fading past. The piece explores the alienation that arises from a socio-political climate that has changed the Turkey I grew up in forever.

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Director: Akmyrat Tuyliyev, Christina Elizabeth Borins

After the collapse in 1991, the people of the 15 countries that fell out of the USSR were nowhere ready to experience the calamities that were in the years to come. 30 years later, the people of the former Soviet Union haven’t had the chance to process and recover from the traumas of the transitional times buried deep inside them. In this room-scale VR documentary, the director delves into his father’s experiences as a composer after the collapse.

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Director: Jonathan Hagard

In the city of Gianyar Jaya, a couple of dancers and a gamelan musician clandestinely practice Wayang Topeng, an ancient form of art that has almost disappeared in Indonesia after 77 years of Islamic rule. This piece, a modified version of the legend of Panji, is gaining visibility on social media. Alternates depicts these two artists practicing their art despite severe repression and censorship from the religious authorities.

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Immersed XR Market Mixer at Museum of Other Realities

Meet the VIFF Immersed XR Market teams and artists in a breathtaking immersive space of the Museum of Other Realities. Discover sixteen XR experiences ready for distribution and in-development work looking for funding.



Watch the panel recordings

Immersive Content: What are Distributors Looking For?

Presented By

The commercial market for immersive storytelling is still in its nascence. The quality and level of production are rising. What are the qualities and the criteria that distributors are using for content selection and what do the current distribution deals offer creators and production companies? Moderator: Brian Seth Hurst, Chief Storyteller, StoryTech® Immersive.

Session Participants

Jane Huang is a producer and is the Head of Content Partnership and Acquisition at VeeR, overseeing all aspects of content collaborations including acquisition, financing, co-production, and managing strategic partnerships. Prior to pursuing a career in the XR industry, Jane had extensive experience in the entertainment industry.

Sarah Malkin leads the Media Content team at Facebook Reality Labs, which is responsible for creating and distributing general entertainment and narrative experiences across VR surfaces. Prior to joining Facebook, Sarah ran content divisions at a variety of emerging platforms: as Head of Content for Russell Wilson’s mobile app TraceMe (acquired by Nike), VP of Programming and Development for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s digital company New Form (acquired by Whistle), and in various roles including VP of Programming, GM of Lifestyle, and Head of Branded Entertainment at Maker Studios (acquired by Disney). Sarah has advised on partnerships and distribution for MasterClass, Paul Feig’s digital shop Powder Keg, and the non-profit Global Girl Media. She’s also taught at the New York Film Academy in NYC and Los Angeles. Sarah holds an MFA from Brown University and a BA from Pomona College.

INSEAD MBA Engineer, Marc worked 7 years in Supply Chain in Japan and France.
He then started his own company and worked 6 years as a professional tourist guide and interpret.
With his strong operational, technical and international background, Marc co-founds Diversion cinema in 2016 & manages its Operations and Business Development.
- Tutor for VR Biennale College Cinema for Venice’s Biennale since 2018.
- Jury for the 2019 Vancouver Intl Film Festival - VIFF Immersed.
- Tutor, Speaker & Panelists on VR distribution & operations at Sapienza University in Rome, DIXIT, VIFF Immersed, Rio Film Festival & Hyper VR Festival.
- Member of the Immersion & Real Time department of the French CST (Higher Technical Commission for Sound & Images).

Diversion cinema specializes in showcasing and distributing immersive experiences.
It creates and operates virtual reality spaces for companies and festivals.
In 2018, it launches a Distribution division and acts as an international sales agent for 360 videos, VR and interactive experiences, with the aim of bringing the best of XR to audiences worldwide.

With a presence at major international festivals and markets, we support production through additional funding and pre-sales, and offer solutions for monetization through location-based and online distribution strategies.

Agile and adaptable, Diversion cinema is always looking for new partners to exhibit VR, and ultimately help shape the emerging immersive content market.

A multi-disciplinary producer, writer and strategist, Brian Seth Hurst has spent his career at the forefront of innovation and storytelling. His work in theater, television, emerging and new media and now immersive media has enabled the building and extension of story worlds and brands.

As Chief Storyteller of StoryTech® Immersive, Hurst leads the company’s work in cinematic and Live VR as well as immersive events production. Credits include My Brother’s Keeper (VR, PBS, Digital Studios), The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth 360 (VR, Showtime) Gettysburg: A National Divided (MR, QuantumERA), The Rolling Loud Hip Hop Festival (Live 360 broadcast, LivexLive, SamsungVR) Super Splat Brothers E-sports Tournament (Live 360 broadcast, E-Sports Arena, SamsungVR), and Passport to Philadelphia (AR, QuantumERA). Currently he is Producer for the LegionM volumetric series “Icons.” Events have included Shanghai XR, NABShow, and VIFF Immersed.

Hurst has held leadership positions in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Board and Second Vice Chair), the Producers Guild of America (Board and Chairman, New Media Council) and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Digital Ambassador).

Hurst is also co-author with Olivia Newton-John of the best-selling children’s book “A Pig Tale” from Simon & Schuster and the book “WHOLE,” a collection of essays on life’s challenges. He is also “The Happenstance Chef” with a cooking channel on YouTube, hosts the weekly “Writers’ Room” on Clubhouse and YouTube channel “The Story Hour” with co-host Alison Norrington.

Market Pitching Session: 2

The VIFF XR Market features a showcase of live-action, documentary, and animated VR/AR content from the next wave of XR creators. Selected artists are given the opportunity to pitch their projects in front of investors, distributors, producers, and curators, as well as compete for the VIFF Immersed Grant. Supplementing the Market is a series of virtual networking opportunities and inspiring presentations, bringing together members of the XR community to discuss the power of XR technology as a dynamic vehicle for storytelling.

Director: Emilia Yang

In this VR experience, we take the audience through Nicaragua’s popular insurrection, affective moments, and introduce three of the victims. The user has agency to experience some of the decisions protesters made during the civic uprisings, in a safe house witnessing from afar or out on the streets where they can witness and assist the protesters. This interactive first-person narrative centers on the right to memory, to remember who the victims were, and how their families continue to build memory.

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Director: Michael Liebe

Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial is a riveting site that evokes a sprawling yet orderly graveyard. Unfortunately, most young people will not experience the Memorial: their associations with the Holocaust are limited to grainy black and white films from decades past, textbooks in classes, and the recollections of survivors. By recreating this physical experience with VR and infusing it with holographic survivor accounts, it meets young audiences in the space where their minds and imaginations are most active.

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Director: Tomas Espinosa

Continuum is a space to socialize, to reflect, and to understand the violence taken out upon the trans population or upon people of marginalized sexual orientations and gender identities, brought on by social structures and the armed conflict in Colombia. Continuum provides a space to understand all the ingredients that comprise the violence towards these communities. Continuum uses food, eating, and cooking as a strategy to socialize the conflict in order to understand the pain of the other person.

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Director: Pierre "Pyaré" Friquet

From the artist Pyaré, Astroport is a multi-sensory journey in two spaces. In Spaced Out, a visitor wearing a waterproof VR headset floats in a pool, experiencing the illusion of being immersed in space—like George Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon mixed with an Apollo 11 documentary. The Impossible Voyage is a satire of scientific exploration in which a group of tourists attempt a journey to the sun.

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Director: Takuro Ando

This film is a live-action cinematic VR, a story of love and imagination transcending the real world. In portraying the tale of this dualistic chasm, we thought live-action VR would be perfect with its limited freedom and cinematic vision compared to interactive or game-like VR. After a lot of trial and error, this piece has become a fascinating and never-before-seen work of art.

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Director: Leonardo Souza

Kites are a constant in the skies of Rio’s favelas, where Rabiola Tales takes place. The story opens in a kite shop in the northern part of Rio. Paulo, the old man who owns the store, welcomes us and starts telling us why he fell in love with the magic of flying kites. Afterwards, he invites us to fly a virtual kite and gives us simple instructions about how to use the VR controllers. The sky will be full of kites, and as you fly near them, it triggers quick stories from the neighborhood.

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Director: Palina Kamarova

Lunatic connects two worlds: the world of dreams, fantasies, fears, and guesses, and the world of receivers and users. She invites you to make your childhood dream come true: to hide in the cinema after closing, to start exploring the space in your own way, to listen lovingly to sounds that the movie hall brings out while breathing. What’s dreaming about us in these walls? Does the space that has been touched, photographed, dirtied, and cleaned for so many years start to live its own life when humans leave?

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Director: Juan Manuel Codó

Discover the basic concepts of the universe in a beautiful and fun way. By playing, interacting and experiencing science in a friendly environment. ASTRONOMY IS COOL AND FUN! #Educational #Children #Game #Youngergenerations #science

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Watch the panel recordings