The announcement of the 16 nominees of the Kaohsiung Film Festival XR Competition.
The first TTXC (Taiwan Technology X Culture Expo) is taking place in Kaohsiung, initiated by the Ministry of Culture and jointly created with the Kaohsiung City Government and the Ministry of Digital Affairs. It aims to establish a new brand in cultural technology, incorporating fields such as film, music, industry, and parties. As one of the main events of the expo, the Kaohsiung Film Festival's "XR Dreamland" will will be unveiled on 7th October at the TTXC main venue, the Kaohsiung Music Center's Coral Zone, featuring exciting performances.
TTXC Kaohsiung Film Festival's international XR competition announced its list of finalists on 1st September. There are 16 immersive experiences from 15 countries competing for four major global XR awards, including the "XR Golden Fireball Award," the "XR Immersive Experience Award," the "VR360 Narrative Award", and more.
Minister of Culture, Shih Che, mentioned that the Kaohsiung Film Festival's "XR Dreamland" is the largest XR exhibition in Asia. This year, it is being held in response to the inaugural TTXC in Kaohsiung, showcasing the world's best XR lineup of the year. This symbolizes the important role of the film and television industry in Taiwanese culture. Kaohsiung is an essential partner in the “1 plus 4－T-content plan”, and the TTXC in October is sure to shine brightly and gain recognition overseas.
Kaohsiung Mayor, Chen Chi-Mai stated that immersive experiences have become pioneers in exhibition formats. The Asia's largest immersive exhibition, the "XR Dreamland” competition unit, has attracted outstanding projects from various countries worldwide to compete. Many internationally renowned projects will have their international or Asian premieres in Kaohsiung. Additionally, this year's TTXC and the Kaohsiung Film Festival have introduced many interesting and meaningful interactive VR experiences. They invite everyone to come to Kaohsiung in October to experience the charm of cultural technology.
"Ready Player One" Virtual Reality: Highly Interactive and Immersive experiences
The 16 projects nominated for the TTXC Kaohsiung Film Festival's international XR Competition align with the trend of virtual reality entertainment, with several of them allowing multiple participants to immerse themselves in the virtual world as Ready Player One.
Ascenders from France is an interactive masterpiece where players must work together in teams to solve puzzles and compete to release lost souls in a world where giants are saving humanity.
Gaudi, the Atelier of the Divine, also featured at the Venice Film Festival, is a roaming VR experience that allows viewers to explore Antoni Gaudí's workshop and the Sagrada Família. Participants become art apprentices, wandering through the exquisite masterpiece of the architectural genius.
Consensus Gentium, which received the XR Experience Jury Award at the 2023 South by Southwest Film Festival, is an augmented reality (AR) experience where six viewers simultaneously enter a near-futuristic dystopian world. Through AI intelligence and government surveillance, the audience is fully immersed in the potential fears of a technology-driven society.
Directed by Chinese-American filmmaker Seeyam QUINE, Kristine Is Not Well takes viewers into the perfect world of a social media platform. As users keep liking, sending hearts, and leaving positive reviews, they gradually uncover the conspiracies of tech giants and algorithms beneath the seemingly idyllic virtual world.
Darkening by Czech director Ondřej Moravec is centered around the theme of depression, drawing from the director's personal experience with the condition. Audiences can make different sounds, hum, sing, and shout as they follow the narrative, allowing them to better understand and liberate themselves from the burdens of depression. It's an emotionally moving interactive experience.
Kabaret invites viewers to swing their hands enthusiastically, simulating a deep-sea exploration where they follow the path of a blue shrimp. This immersive journey takes them from the Milky Way to the ocean depths, swimming through the enchanting moonlight of blue coral reefs. It's a sensational and mesmerizing experience.
Voiced by Okada Masaki, Screenplay by Ogawa Yōko: A Heartwarming Japanese VR Experience
In addition to the interactive and multiplayer experiences among the nominated projects, there are also several stunning pieces that showcase animated aesthetics:
My Inner Ear Quartet features the voice acting of Okada Masaki from "Gintama" and brings together an impressive team, including Oscar-nominated director Koji Yamamura, award-winning writer Ogawa Yōko, and production by Kodansha VR Lab. The story revolves around a young boy who encounters a beautiful quartet inside his ear, leading viewers into the lonely world of childhood.
Jailbirds is a well-known VR experience that first debuted in 2021 and gained attention worldwide for its eerie prison story and dark poetic aesthetics. This year, it completes its full "Trilogy" and will be screened in its entirety at the festival.
Missing 10 Hours VR addresses the #MeToo wave and responds to the ongoing issues of drugging and sexual assault. The protagonist finds herself approaching a date crisis, and viewers must make various decisions throughout the story, with each choice affecting the girl's path to different outcomes.
Stay Alive, My Son Chapter 1 & 2 is adapted from the renowned memoir Stay Alive, My Son by Pin Yathay. It depicts the horrifying experiences during the Cambodian genocide. Viewers take on the perspective of Pin Yathay, playing the role of a genocide survivor and a grieving father who recalls the heart-wrenching journey of abandoning his 6-year-old son during their escape. Together, they embark on a journey of redemption and healing.
Five-Star Female Chef VR Culinary: An Unseen Documentary of Incredibly Delicious Food
All that Remains is the first VR project by Craig Quintero, the artistic director of the Riverbed Theatre. Last year, it was nominated alongside The Man Who Couldn't Leave and The Red Tails at the Venice Film Festival's XR Competition. All that Remains is a meditation that flows between dreams and reality, fear and desire. In 2011, Riverbed Theatre introduced The Just For You Project, an immersive theatre project which was transformed into VR in 2021, with "All that Remains" being the first installment.
Golden Horse Animated Short Film Director, WU De-chuen presents his first VR project Mirror, adapted from the novel of the same name by Xie Wenxian. The story is based on three identical tinplate dolls, each representing a generation of a family and take turns portraying the inevitable family conflicts. This experience is also one of the supported projects of the "Kaohsiung VR FILM LAB" by the Administration for Digital Industries.
Behind the Dish takes viewers deep into the culinary souls of three female five-star chefs, using VR to showcase exquisite dishes that will surely make your mouth water.
Flow is adapted from the director's animated short film of the same name. It allows viewers to explore the city through the intricate movements of air currents, immersing them in a world of shifting light and shadow.
Square Circles features a collaboration between director William Barton and renowned Australian virtuoso violist Stephen King. It combines traditional Indigenous music with symphony, offering a top-notch audiovisual experience.
You Destroy. We Create | The war on Ukraine's culture combines real-life footage with CG animation to guide viewers through the recent "counter-attack" for peace in Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, various cultural and art buildings and collections have been severely damaged. Artists and professionals have made great efforts to salvage what they can. This VR documentary showcases the consequences of war and promotes art as a form of resistance.
The TTXC, organized by the Ministry of Culture, Kaohsiung City Government, and the Ministry of Digital Affairs, will be held from 7th October to 22nd October in Kaohsiung. The Kaohsiung Film Festival's “XR Dreamland” is a key part of this event, highlighting the cultural and technological achievements of Kaohsiung. The Kaohsiung Film Festival will take place at various locations, including the Kaohsiung City Main Library, Kaohsiung Film Archive, Neiwei Arts Center, Kaohsiung VR Film Lab, and the Kaohsiung Music Center's Coral Zone. The festival pass and screening guide will be available on 16th September, and tickets will go on sale on 17th September at noon through the OPENTIX ticketing system.
The awards for the Kaohsiung Film Festival international XR Competition will be announced at the awards ceremony on 15th October. For more information about the film festival, please visit the official website (www.kff.tw/en) or follow their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.