The VR pavilion of the Luxembourg City Film Festival returns again

– For the fifth consecutive year, the emblematic cultural center of Neumünster is honoring the crème de la crème of virtual reality

The Paris Ball by Bianca Li

Proudly worn by Luxembourg Cinema Fund and managed by the Montreal company Phi Center (under the direction of Myriam Achard), the initiative offers viewers of the 12 Luxembourg City Film Festival free access to a unique and immersive journey. The 360° works on the program come from all over the world, several of them having also been produced in the Grand Duchy or in co-production with the country.

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In 2022, the experiments turn out to be relatively long, exceeding the twenty-minute mark. This is the case of the work staged by the Franco-Spanish choreographer Bianca Li, The Paris Ball (Film Adict, Luxembourg), for example, which returns to a ball organized by the father of a young woman. Barry Gene Murphyit’s Goliath: playing with reality (international anagram/Floreal Films, UK/France), which was revealed in 2021 during the Venice Biennale (within the renowned Venice VR Expanded section, where it won the Grand Jury Prize), takes up more than the challenge of portraying the self- saying schizophrenia of a man who has been locked up for years in psychiatric institutions and whose only social contact comes from multi-player online games. He sees us following Goliath’s doubts and prevarications, plunging us into the character’s mental universe. Told by Tilda Swintonthe story promises to be breathtaking and explosive.

Another essential work is David AdlerThis is exceptional The end of the night (Makropol/Novelab, Denmark/France), which won Best VR Story at Venice 2021. Seated in a boat, viewers are guided by Josef (admirably played by Jens Jørn Spottag) which crosses the North Sea from Denmark to reach Nazi-occupied Sweden. Memories and faces collide as the story slowly unfolds. It is a gray and obscure work whose photographic aesthetic (the characters linked to memories take the form of fragile printed photographic negatives) is simply fascinating.

Favorite must-watch movies include re-educated by Sam Wolson (The New Yorker/Dirt Empire, USA), which won the VRHAM! Award at the Hamburg Festival in 2021 and which plunges us into the hell of a rehabilitation center for Muslims from Kazakhstan, located in Xinjiang in China. Based on hours of testimonies and hand-drawn animations, the film reconstructs the hellish daily life of prisoners. A moving film. On the Canadian side of things, there is The Book of Distances by Randall Okitaa work produced by the NFB, which is a sensitive and lyrical exploration of the author’s family past, his grandfather having left Japan in 1930 to start a new life on the Canadian prairies.

A VR cinema installed in the cloister will complete the experience (projection mainly Odyssey 1.4.9french director Francois Vautieris a tribute to 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick). The traditional VR day, meanwhile (which opened the event), brought together no less than 30 professionals around discussions around sectoral issues, covering the fields of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR ) and mixed reality (MR). Finally, at the end of the festival, an international jury will award a prize of 4,000 euros to the best work, made up of Polish artists. Ana Brzezinska (curator of the Immersive Tribeca sidebar of the Tribeca Festival), Monique Simard (chairman of the board of directors of the Quartier des spectacles de Montréal as well as of the Quebecor Fund) and of Mexico Tupac Martir (artist and founder of Satore Studio).

(Translated from French)

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