08 Oct 2023

The VR Competition at Animest Will Turn You Into an Animated Movie Character

Oh, hey there! You like impactful stories, right? Even better if they’re animated, no? What about if you’re in them?!? 

This year’s international competition for tech-savvy creators reunites the most immersive animations crafted specifically for the unique world of virtual reality. Starting on the fourth day of the Animest International Animation Film Festival, between October 9 and 15, visit Amzei Creative Corner to experience some of the most innovative, memorable VR animations. From 12 noon and 8 PM, you can book a free viewing, during which you’ll watch two films of your choice from the available selection.

Select your preferred slot and films here.

The Animest VR Experience Selection

In From The Main Square, Pedro Harres shares the story of the rise and fall of a divided society: a civilization blossoms, with all its contradictions, only to become a danger to itself. Jean Bouthors’ Kidnapping in Vostok will transport you to the most remote scientific research station, in the middle of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. But will you be able to enjoy one of the only places to observe changes in the Earth's magnetosphere when you’re kidnapped and interrogated by a group of Russian scientists?

Jailbirds (directed by Thomas Villepoux) explores the concept of freedom by taking you into a “modern hell prison ruled by a vicious Chief Warden,” a place where gentle giant Felix is the only inmate who is happy and serene as he draws and meditates. Witness the Warden’s frenzied immersion into Felix’s mindset in this “expressionist experience [...] alternating between claustrophobic sequences within a prison and frenzied flights through beautiful landscapes.” Kindred (directed by Bambou Kenneth), based on the remarkable true story of one inspirational LGBTQ+ parent’s groundbreaking journey through the adoption process in the UK, we redefine and reaffirm the meaning of family. Don’t miss it!

Four musicians and two shrimp sing and dance in the ear of a lonely boy who grows up to be a hearing aid salesman in the Japanese animation My Inside Ear Quartet (directed by Koji Yamamura), and in Fish Wang’s Red Tail we’re waiting at a train station floating in the clouds, until a mysterious red tail catches the main character’s attention. Chasing the tail, the boy travels through countless magical places, runs into bizarre creatures, and discovers secrets that bring back important memories.

In the near future, the protagonist of Hish-Chien Huang’s Samsara escapes the planet after global nuclear destruction to find a new home in the universe. After a hundred years of space travel, we’ve reengineered our DNA and artificially evolved into a new life form. What happens next?

Rounding up the selection is Yoshiya Okoyama’s Shinigami, an interactive animated interpretation of the Shinigami rakugo (Japanese storytelling where one narrator plays all of the parts, from kids to adults to ghosts), where a lazy man who must make money quickly accidentally summons a shinigami, a creature that lures humans toward death in certain Japanese religions and cultural stories. Prepare for dark humor…

Jury of the VR Film Competition

Claudia Larcher is an Austrian artist renowned for her original exploration of video animation, collage, photography, and artificial intelligence, as she extracts fully-fledged narratives from seemingly nondescript places. She will be joined in presiding over the VR Competition by Ciprian Făcăeru – co-founder of Augmented and Research Assistant at CINETic, the International Center for Research and Education in Innovative and Creative Technologies, part of UNATC, The I.L. Caragiale National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest. The third member of the jury is multi-award winner Mihai Grecu, whose work was presented and praised at multiple film festivals such as Tribeca, Locarno, Rotterdam, and the Montreal Festival of New Cinema) and exhibitions (Dans la nuit, des images at the Grand Palais in France and Labyrinth of My Mind at Le Cube in Morocco).