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ANIMA 2019 Unveils New VR Competition

Festival programmers announce eight projects selected for their first animated virtual reality film competition, being held in Brussels March 1-10. 

For the first time, ANIMA, the Brussels International Animation Film Festival, taking place in Flagey, March 1-10, will include a competition devoted to virtual reality animated films, according to a festival announcement.

In small groups of eight, the general public will be able to "experience" these new films, including a European premiere screening. These short films, lasting between 2 and 20 minutes, will whisk spectators away into a total 360 immersion of incredible worlds: into the heart of famous paintings, little theatres or right into the middle of the ocean.

Anima is inviting the public and a jury of industry expects to decide the winners from the eight selected films:

  • François Fripiat has been a sound engineer for the past 10 years and has worked in different areas, including sound design or mixing. He was also sound supervisor for a number of animation films, features and documentaries. His ten-year passion for ambisonics led him to found Demute, a sound creation studio dedicated to new media (VR, AR, video games). The studio is also developing new technological tools to improve sound immersion.
  • Marine Haverland has been working in audiovisual since 2008. After a stint at Versus production, she founded the development and production structure for new media, Aura Films, in 2012. She also co-founded the Liège Web Fest, the first festival in Belgium devoted to transmedia, web series and virtual reality. She is currently in charge of new media, gaming and virtual reality at
  • Ioana Matei is head of VR project development at Procter & Gamble. As well as co-founding Women In Immersive Technologies Europe and Reality+ Productions, and an awarded filmmaker, she has taken an active part in the development of virtual reality while also remaining creative by making and producing films. Her latest feature, The Bellwether, will be released in the USA in February.

Here is the complete list of films selected for the VR competition:

  • Age of Sail - Director: John Kahrs, Production: Google Spotlight Stories, Country: USA, Running Time: 12min 30s: “An old sailor reluctantly saves young Lara, who has mysteriously fallen into the sea.” Shortlisted at the Oscars 2019 in the animated short film category.
  • Back to the Moon - Directors: Hélène Leroux and François-Xavier Goby, Production: Google Spotlight Stories & Nexus Studios, Country: USA / UK, Running Time: 2min 30s: “A tribute to Georges Méliès: A charming illusionist, an adventurous queen of hearts and an evil green man take a trip through cinema.”
  • A Bar at the Folies Bergère - Director: Gabrielle Lissot, Production: Iko & Arte France, Country: FR, Running Time: 5min 47s: “A dive into Manet's famous painting in 4 acts.”
  • Battlescar - Directors: Martin Allais and Nicolas Casavecchia, Production: Atlas V, Country: FR / USA, Running Time: 7min: “Birth of a friendship in a detention cell for minors set to punk music.”
  • The Scream - Directors: Sandra Paugam and Charles Ayats, Production: Cinétévé Experience & Arte France, Country: FR, Running Time: 15min: “A sensory-driven documentary into the thoughts and demons of the artist Edvard Munch.”
  • Extravaganza - Director: Ethan Shaftel, Production: Ethan Shaftel and Frank Stringini, Country: USA, Running Time: 5min 45s: “Trapped in the skin of a puppet, reflection on the effects of technology.”
  • Gloomy Eyes - Directors: Jorge Tereso and Fernando Maldonado, Production: Atlas V, 3DAR, Arte, Country: FR / AR, Running Time: 6min 42s: “A little boy living in a world without sun, tries to find light.” European premiere.
  • Museum of Symmetry - Director: Paloma Dawkins, Production: National Film Board & Casa Rara Studio, Country: CA, Running Time: 20min: “A vision of the world if life was a game without rules or risks.”

Source: ANIMA