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FESTIVALS France

Digital creation and virtual worlds at the NewImages Festival

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- The best of current VR production will be showcased in Paris from June 19 to 23 and 40 projects under development at the first XR Financing Market

Digital creation and virtual worlds at the NewImages Festival
Norwegian project Norn, the 9 Daughters of RAN, selected at the first XR Financing Market

New forms of storytelling, new images and immersion in multiple realities: the second edition of the NewImages Festival, an event entirely dedicated to digital creation and virtual worlds, will take place in Paris (more specifically at the Forum des Images) from June 19 to 23, and will give the public a chance to experience exclusive previews of the most innovative creations, using the entire range of immersive technologies.

A competition selection, comprising 12 immersive and/or interactive works and open to all genres (fiction, animation, video games, experimental work), will notably feature Romanian production RocketMan 360, by Millo Simulov; Moldavian title Aripi, from Dmitri Voloshin; and four French creations, including two directed by Jan Kounen (Franco-Luxembourger production Ayahuasca, which he put together alone, and 7 Lives, co-directed with Charles Ayats and Sabrina Calvo). The competition will also include the video game A Fisherman’s Tale, from duo Balthazar AuxietreAlexis Moroz, and the animated fantasy tale Gloomy Eyes, from Jorge Tereso and Fernando Maldonado (which brings together France, Argentina, the United States, and Taiwan). The jury, which will give the Golden Mask 2019 award, is headed by American director Colin Trevorrow, supported by choreographer and director Bianca Li, American producer Katie Calhoon (who had worked on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s installation Carne y Arena), and Taiwanese director and creator Hsin-Chien Huang (whose collaborations with Laurie Anderson were presented at the latest Directors’ Fortnight selection of the Cannes Film Festival).

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Among the other events on the menu, the Interactive Narrations section stands out, featuring hybrid formats (outside XR) made for the screens of computers or mobile phones. Other highlights include a Focus on Taiwanese digital creation, many talks (one with philosopher-biologist Henri Atlan, among others), masterclasses (one of which will reunite Molécule and Jan Kounen, and will be preceded by a screening of the documentary -22.7°C), and concerts in Saint Eustache church (including a show from JB Dunckel – from the band Air — who will be improvising on top of images from the French National Audiovisual Institute).

A big addition this year is the decision from the NewImages Festival to create an official professional component and to launch their first co-production and financing market: the XR Financing Market. From June 20 to 22, the Industry Days will be punctuated by keynote speeches, case studies and roundtables with, among other guests, Vicki Dobbs Beck (ILMxLAB, which is developing a VR trilogy around Star Wars as part of LucasFilm), René Pinnell (Kaleidoscope), Dan Lehrich (Magic Leap), Sally Reynolds (The Millet), Kristine Severson (HTC Vive) and Denise Wu (VeeR VR).

The only financing and co-production market entirely dedicated to immersive works, the brand new XR Financing Market has selected 40 projects under development (see details here) from 17 countries including France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway, Holland, and Switzerland. In order to optimise their financing chances, project proponents will individually meet the company directors leading the XR industry and present in Paris: online distributors (“location-based”), museum curators, television channels, public or private funding organisations, and technological actors. It is worth noting that the best project in the market will be integrated to Kaleidoscope Slate Funding 2019, a financing program whose previous edition allowed the collection of $14M, and which aims to promote 10 innovating VR or AR works with budgets varying between $100,000 and $1M.

(Translated from French)

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