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EVENT: FIVARS VR Festival Sept 13-15

Looking for something cool to do this weekend? Then you should check out the 5th year of FIVARS – Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories. Hosted by musician, actor and friend of EntertainmentTO, Keram Malicki-Sánchez.

A little bit about the 5th year of FIVARS:

FESTIVAL OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCES CELEBRATES 5 YEARS Featuring Dozens of Canadian and World Premieres Available For 3 Days Only 

Toronto, ON – The fifth annual Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories (FIVARS) is set for Sept.13-15 (the final weekend of TIFF) and will showcase a curated selection of experiences from around the world powered by Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, projection-mapping, and haptic devices. 

Since 2015, FIVARS has curated over 150 unforgettable stories powered by immersive media, including many Canadian and world premieres, that many will not have the opportunity to otherwise experience. 

This year’s final selections present a wide spectrum of themes and settings; from a 5.2k 3D documentary climbing to the top of Mount Everest to plunging into Manet’s famous painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, from Hollywood Rooftop, a new experimental melodrama by director Brett Leonard (Lawnmower Man, Virtuosity), to Pneumo Hacker, a hand-made cyberpunk piece from Taiwan that addresses a real and current concern for a world where natural resources are overexploited. 

The Toronto event will host local and international selections demonstrating that immersive media is evolving in dozens of countries simultaneously. 

“More than just a VR film festival,” says FIVARS Founder and Executive Director, Keram Malicki- Sánchez, “FIVARS has been a launchpad, an international forum, a discovery engine and a community builder for anyone interested in exploring how we can share stories in the dimensional, spatialized media of tomorrow. More than ever, now is the time to empower these diverse, independent spirits pushing the limits of revolutionary new media.” 

FIVARS features new worlds and old, transgressive, sublime, awe-inspiring, imagined and undiscovered, ancient and real-time experiences, all ready for you to explore! 

Keram Malicki- Sánchez (FIVARS Executive Director) is available for interviews 

FIVARS Information Where: Toronto Media Arts Centre (32 Lisgar St.) When: Sept. 13-15, 12 pm – 9 pm Tickets: Timed entry and walk-ups (if available), $42 (plus tax) 

For more information, visit http://fivars.net​or follow @fivarstories #FIVARS2019 on social 

About FIVARS FIVARS is a presentation of VRTO. The annual event seeks to change how the film industry and the content consuming public view what’s possible with VR technology. It is organized by Executive Director and Founder Keram Malicki-Sanchez. FIVARS is produced by VRTO (Virtual Reality, Toronto) and Constant Change Media Group Inc. 


For press matters, please contact: Stephanie Greenall | [email protected] | 416.910.5091 

FIVARS 2019 Programming Preview 

2nd Step, Director Joerg Courtial, Germany, 10m48s A soaring VR journey through space – accentuated with the beautiful music of Debussy and Ravel – in which the viewer gets an intense feeling of being in the middle of alien, undiscovered worlds while visiting some of the most thrilling settings of current and future space missions, presented in an unprecedented richness of detail! The film has been produced with expert advice of the European Space Agency. 

Everest: The VR Film Experience, Director Jonathan Griffith, France & United Kingdom, 11m On the 30th April 2017 world famous climber Ueli Steck died on Mount Nuptse whilst acclimatising for one of his biggest climbs yet – climbing both Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse without the use of bottled oxygen. A year later, Ueli’s close friends Jon Griffith and Sherpa Tenji attempted to finish off his project. 

Hollywood Rooftop, Director Brett Leonard, USA, 1 hr 40 m A group of young aspiring actors meet on a rooftop in Hollywood to share their dreams, loves, and challenges as they try to make it in ‘the industry’. 

Mother of the Forest, Director Kylie Caraway, Canada, 15m A Co-Production between CFC Media Lab, and OCAD University that explores a sequoia tree’s ecosystem through embodied perspectives of various species. Scientific information gathered from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks experts is articulated in a combination of 360 video, digital environment design, and interactivity and exhibit the hidden truth, beauty and precarity at play in this ecology. Through the illustration of symbiotic relationships, it asks users to contemplate their own role in intertwined ecologies impacted by human activity, resulting in biodiversity decline and climate change. 

Pneumo Hacker, Director Kuan Yuan Lai, Taiwan, 11m In a world where natural resources are overexploited, the severe air pollution is stuffed with hacker viruses, which makes people have an illusion of living in a virtual nature and being controlled by virus codes. The anti-hacker squad purify the environment, rescue the infected, an anti-virus war is about to begin… 

See Me, Director Alethea Root, USA, 4m52s ‘See Me’ is an exploration of women reclaiming their sexuality from the patriarchy. Experience the persistent barrage of verbal attack – cat calls to self-shaming – that women are exposed to daily. Watch as these women strip off those confines and emerge ready to truly be seen. 

Through Darcelle’s Eyes, Director Brad Gill, USA, 20m Since the beginning of her drag career in the late sixties, Darcelle XV has been a leading advocate for LGBTQ rights, using the power of drag and charity work as a force for good in her community. At 88 years young, she hasn’t slowed down one bit! Walk a mile in Darcelle’s glittery pumps and experience what life is really like for the world’s oldest drag queen. 

The Industry, Director Mirka Duijn, Netherlands, 8m The Netherlands is the drug capital of Europe. Marijuana is in the nation’s genes, coke enters the country through its harbors, and XTC is as Dutch as chocolate sprinkles. In the Industry VR, director Mirka Duijn introduces you to the world of illegal drugs in The Netherlands. 

State Power, Director Jeff stanzler, USA, 8m45s Some months from now, in a new ‘rule of law’ America, a remote prison camp brutally shackles together five inmates deemed enemies of the state. On the eve of their executions the Rebels forge a brazen and elaborate escape attempt. 

Stay Tuned For Additional Programming News 

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