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September 21st, 2020 | by

No borders for the 3rd edition of NewImages

from September 23 to 27 2020 (Paris, France) - Entirely dedicated to the digital and virtual worlds (VR, AR, mixed reality, mapping, binaural sound), NewImages Festival will celebrate digital and immersive creation for five days, for an edition without borders!

With this event, reinvented to be both on site and online, Forum des images stands up to the challenge presented by the current pandemic. The challenge to offer a rich program, for the public as much as for the professionals. It answers by inviting you to discover some of the most remarkable immersive experiences - coming from the United States or Taiwan, from the United Kingdom or Brazil, from France, Russia, Canada, or even China; with the participation of renowned creators and professionals invited to decrypt the new writings during the Industry Days, and by holding the XR Financing Market 100% online (coproduction market).

An unbroken ambition: to uncover, to unearth, to democratize

Free for the general public and open to all – the curious and the invested, school and community groups – this 3 rd edition gathers around thirty works in virtual or augmented reality, to live through all our senses. The festival spreads out on multiple venues, and in the respect of all sanitary measures: the spaces of Forum des images, La Canopée, and the surroundings of the Halles Forum’s Saint Eustache door, as well as the pool Espace Form Oberkampf (for the professionals).

Amongst what’s on offer, the world premiere of Flame, a dance performance blending in the real and the virtual, coproduced by NewImages Festival and VRrOOm (opening night); the aquatic VR experience, Spaced Out, unreleased in France, to be discovered while submerged in a pool in order to travel from Earth to the Moon (for professionals only); VR works produced by UBISOFT on disappeared worlds (Notre-Dame de Paris, Pompei…); more original devices around imaginary cities such as ATLAS, the result of the Taiwan VR Residency, and Heterotopia as well as the photo exhibition in augmented reality Potente, on the lives of a community of Columbian fishermen.

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Alain Damasio, the master of French SF, will give an exceptional masterclass around alternative imaginaries and will touch upon his latest projects including M.O.A – My Own Assistant. This augmented reality (AR) application, adapted from his book The Stealthies, dives in the urban universe of 2040, where surveillance and marketing have invaded public space. Selected in the XR competition of NewImages Festival, this is this work’s world premiere. (LBE).

At the heart of NewImages Festival…

The international XR competition will feature 15 immersive experiences (VR and AR), including numerous premieres, subjected to the eye of a prestigious jury presided by musician, composer and performer Jean Michel Jarre.

A pioneer of electro, renowned worldwide for his innovative approach to music and mise en scene, he will have talented and bold artists alongside him, with their own eclectic backgrounds: the filmmakers Julie Bertuccelli (Since Otar left, The Babel Tower), Jérémy Clapin (I Lost My Body), Alice Diop (Towards Tenderness, The Permanence) and actress Vimala Pons (The Rendez-Vous of Déjà-Vu, The Wild Boys) !

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Friday, September 25 (6pm), at the end of the Industry Days, the Jury will award the Golden Mask (Grand Prize, 6 000€) and the Jury Special Prizes (3 000€ each), one for VR and the other – key innovation of this 2020 edition – to distinguish the best AR experience.
During this ceremony, NewImages Festival will sign the 50/50 charter for equality and diversity in the cultural industry, hence cementing its constant concern for and commitment to parity.

The competition offers an exceptional digest of the diversity of genres and formats of XR creation. If animation dominates this year with very varied narrations, the documentary, the experimental and fiction are not far behind. From live picture shooting to photogrammetry, from VR360 to the multisensorial, the array of experiences and interactions for the spectator is at the measure of the stories’ diversity.

Quirky (Ajax All Powerful, Legends of Brush: The Girl and The Crane), dystopian Gravity VR, Great Hoax: The Moon Landing), blending in surrealism and historical vision (Bodyless), the narrations also tackle questions and aspects of our contemporary societies.

Besides, family stories The Book of Distance, Ferenj: A Graphic Memoir in VR), grief (Fragments, Minimum Mass), social interactions under control (M.O.A – My Own Assistant), interior voyages (The Passengers: HER & HIM) and love (The Line, Look at Me) are as always great sources of inspiration.

For film lovers, the documentary Missing Pictures: Birds of Prey is the occasion to discover with Abel Ferrara the matrix of his ghost movie while #Romanovs100 AR Photo Album, blending in documentary videos and augmented reality pictures to offer a journey at the heart of history.

The Industry Days and the XR Financing Market

Within the span of three editions, NewImages Festival has become a referential event for major actors of the XR industry, in France and abroad.
From September 23 to 25, its professional component will be able to tackle the issues of digital creation and immersive work production, in the presence of creators, producers, persons in charge of broadcasting venues and platforms, and technological experts from across the entire world.

This year, more than thirty speakers will share their experience, at Forum des images or through livestream, in the framework of 16 conferences and workshops on offer.
Amongst them, Fox Harrel from MIT will question the role of immersive technologies and digital media on our social identities; Asha Eaton (ImmerseUK) will analyze the setups of virtual exhibitions in museums and cultural venues in times of COVID-19; Marc Petit (Epic Games) will tackle video game technologies’ influence on the creation of immersive contents while Tony Parisi (Unity Technologies) will interrogate the impact of real time 3D. in today’s world.

The festival is also dedicating a round table discussion to the investment of women in the XR sector with Catherine Allen (Limina Immersive), Gabrielle Floquet (independent production) Ana Ribeiro (ARVORE), Ainslee Robson (director) and Oriane Hurard (Fresh Produce).

The list and the agenda of all speeches are to be consulted on the festival’s website: https://newimagesfestival.com/en/festival/line-up/pro-en/

Accessible during the festival for accredited professionals (on site or on the festival’s website), the conferences will then be put online for the general public

Successfully launched in 2019, the XR Financing Market is a financing and coproduction scheme under which international Decision Makers and immersive project creators are once again gathered this year, to look for funding and new partners. Unique in Europe in terms of the number of projects it puts forward each year, the XR Financing Market positions itself as a key event where future masterpieces of immersive and interactive art can be discovered and boosted.

It is open to all XR experiences (VR, AR, MR) under development, exploring new forms of narration through film, game, art or performance, and that regardless of the amount of funding secured or the mode of distribution.
The best project in development, pitched in the framework of the market will receive the XR Market Prize and will integrate the Kaleidoscope Slate Funding 2020 program.

NewImages Festival has received more than 100 projects this year. The selection committee chose 40 of them, pitched by new talents as well renowned artists such as Saschka Unseld (Dear Angelica) for Laika; Mathias Chelebourg (Doctor Who: The Runaway) for Return to Canterville; Asif Kapadia (Senna, Amy) for Laika, Michael Beets (The Unknown Patient) for Let Go, Hiroaki Higashi (Ghost in the Shell VR) for Hera. Those projects are also carried by international XR studios such as Atlas V (FR), Lucid Realities (FR), Passion Pictures (UK), Juvee Production (US), Zentropa (DK).

The list of selected projects can be consulted here: https://newimagesfestival.com/en/industrydays/selected-projects/

Amongst the thirty Decision Makers announced, the festival is thrilled by the participation of many leaders of the sector including Amy Seidenwurm (VR for Good Oculus / Facebook), Jake Sally (Ryot / Verizon Media), Jimmy Cheng (Iconic Engine / Digital Domain), Myriam Achard (Phi Center), René Pinnell (Kaleidoscope), Michael Masukawa (Secret Location) and Todd Shaiman (Google).

The list of Decision Makers can be found here: https://newimagesfestival.com/en/2020-editionpresentation/decision-makers/

Given the international sanitary situation; the XR Financing Market will take place online this year, in a new format of 8 thematic pitching sessions, followed by one-on-one meetings in video conference between Decision Makers and project creators.

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