Virtual Reality

Saturday & Sunday, January 28 & 29, 2023
FIAF Haskell Library

Throughout the festival, the FIAF Library will be free and open to the public to experience video games and virtual reality films from French studios and distributors.

There will be four VR experiences: The Starry Sand Beach (NY premiere), Seven Grams, All Unsaved Progress Will Be Lost (U.S. premiere), and Glimpse.

Virtual Reality

  • The Starry Sand Beach (La Plage de sable étoilé), Dir. Nina Barbier, Hsin-Chien Huang; 15 min; Ages 12+
    • NY Premiere

      In competition, 2021 Venice International Film Festival
      Best VR Film, 2022 Tokyo International Short Film Festival
      In competition for Cannes XR, 2022 Cannes Film Festival

      Have you ever heard of starry grains of sand called the foraminifera? In this immersive three-part experience, you’ll encounter the legend, the underwater forest, and the exploration of the Earth’s ancient geological memory, back to the birth of the Foraminifera 400 million years ago. All throughout the experience, you’ll witness signs of the many threats to the marine and coral microorganisms, embodied by a sea serpent symbolizing the acidification of the oceans. Finally, travel from the sea to the sky, and witness how small humanity is amidst the stars. The starry sands and skies are the poetic vehicles which will take users from the bottom of the ocean to the depths of space in an ecological adventure.

      Dir. Nina Barbier, Hsin-Chien Huang, France, Taipei, color, 15 min.

      Not recommended to pregnant women

  • Seven Grams, Dir. Karim Ben Khelifa; 22 min
    • Official Selection, 2022 Sundance Film Festival

      Although we use our smartphones countless times each day, we are largely disconnected from the places and human realities from which their base materials were taken. In Seven Grams, use augmented reality to viscerally experience the connection between the smartphones app you are holding and the exploitation linked to mineral extraction in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through detailed AR animations, app users are first introduced to the inner workings of their smartphones and the minerals powering them, before AR isometric cartography traces these minerals back to their source: the mines of the DRC, where laborers including children work in dangerous and life-threatening conditions.

      Dir. Karim Ben Khelifa, France, United States, Great Britain, color. 22 min.

  • All Unsaved Progress Will Be Lost, Dir. Mélanie Courtinat; 10 min
    • US Premiere

      In competition, 2022 Venice International Film Festival

      All Unsaved Progress Will Be Lost is a melancholic journey through a ghost town made of concrete and fog, based on the testimony of a woman who refused to evacuate her hometown village after a terrible disaster.

      Dir. Mélanie Courtinat, France, color. 10 min.

  • Glimpse, Dir. Benjamin Cleary, Michael O'Connor; 22 min
    • In competition, 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival & 2022 Tribeca Film Festival

      Academy award-winning filmmakers Benjamin Cleary and Michael O’Connor present their new VR animated short, Glimpse. Glimpse is set in the imaginative mind of a heartbroken panda, Herbie (Taron Egerton), who has recently broken up with his deer girlfriend, Rice (Lucy Boynton). Herbie is an illustrator and through his art we delve back through his memories, from the beautiful beginning to the heart-breaking end.

      Dir. Benjamin Cleary, Michael O’Connor, Great Britain, France, Ireland, color. 22 min.

Related Exhibition: Video Games

This year’s selection of video game includes a first look at the Dordogne prototype, and A Plague Tale: Requiem, amongst others.

Learn More