The film of the Shorts Virtual Reality 2019 section

After last years’ success, the 20th edition of ShorTS Film Festival will once again confirm ShorTS Virtual Reality; a whole section dedicated to shorts shot with VR technology, in collaboration with proEsof and the Trieste Observatory.

For 4 evenings from the 2nd-5th July, the Teatro Verdi foyer will hold viewings of the 13 works in competition: the surroundings of the theatre will be transformed into a cinematographic virtual room, where spectators can experiment with this new technology through a group viewing. Throughout the festival, it will also be possible to test out VR in Piazza della Borsa, where a virtual room will also be set up with 2 individual booths with headsets and viewing chairs.

Virtual Reality returns to Trieste. After last years’ success, the 20th edition of ShorTS International Film Festival, running from June 28th to July 6th, has reconfirmed the competitive section ShorTS Virtual Reality, a whole section dedicated to shorts shot with VR technology, in collaboration with proEsof and the Trieste Observatory.

The section is scheduled for 4 evenings between July 2nd and July 5th and will be held in the foyer of Teatro Verdi, where the 13 viewings of the works in competition will take place. The surroundings of the theatre will be transformed into a cinematographic virtual room, where spectators can experiment with this new technology through a group viewing, made possible with the technological assistance of IKON, a leading regional VR company and digital partner of the festival.

This year, the section will oversee 13 shorts in competition, carried out with VR technology in both monoscopic and stereoscopic versions. The winning short will be awarded with the Estenergy-Gruppo Hera prize of a 2000-euro sum. Also, up for grabs is the Rai Cinema Channel Prize which consists of purchasing the web rights to the short, with a sum of 3000 euros and distribution on the new app Rai Cinema Channel VR. New this year, there is also the premio del Pubblico from Trieste’s Piccolo Newspaper; media partner of the festival.

The 13 shorts come from France, Germany, Finland, the UK, Taiwan, Argentina, Turkey, Israel and of course, Italy, whilst the genres range from fictional shorts to the highly experimental, touching on great current themes, all done with VR technology, thanks to which the technology is fastly becoming a new means of artistic expression; offering to ShorTS’ spectators a new way of experiencing cinematographic art.

Thanks to this VR technology, it will be possible to live unimaginable and extraordinary experiences, such as the short Everest – The VR Film Experience by Jon Griffith, which will take the viewer all the way to the peak of the tallest mountain in the world. We also have the highly immersive work Wombsong by Hanna Vastislao, which thanks to this technology she is able to recreate the fascinating sensation of being inside the womb of a pregnant woman. There is also ‘Conscious existence’ by German Marc Zimmermann, which transports the viewer to the edges of the earth and universe.

Current themes are also greatly explored in the selected shorts, such as those confronted in Borderline by Assaf Machnes, previously shown at Biennale VR in Venice, which allows the spectator to experience first-hand the apprehensions of a young Israeli soldier stationed at the border. Paris Terror – The Hostages from the Hyper Cacher by Ricarda Saleh also touches on current themes; it rebuilds the attack on the Jewish shop Hyper Cacher in Paris, carried out two days after the Charlie Hebdo attack.

We also have 2 Italian shorts: Drumpossibile by Omar Rashid is a documentary-style short in which the drummer Fabio Vitiello reveals new ways of conceiving art, music, and by extension, reality itself. The other Italian short is Denoise by Giorgio Ferrero e Federico Biasin; a journey of words, sounds and shapes in which we lose ourselves, where VR allows the viewer to immerse themselves in an unthinkable world.

Moreover, this year in Piazza della Borsa, a space will be set up and dedicated to VR viewings: a virtual room in the heart of Trieste, where the spectators will be able to check out all of the shorts in competition.

Inside the virtual room, there will be 2 separate stations where the public will have the opportunity to see the shorts for free from 10am to 8pm. Each station will be equipped with a headset and a rotating chair that will allow you to envision the shorts in 360 degrees and put forward a new way of experiencing cinema.

For the shorts who aren’t in competition, we have In the Cave by the Gorizian director Ivan Gergolet along with the photography of Antonio Giacomin. It’s an immersive VR short which was presented at the 75 International Show of Cinematographic Art in the Venice Virtual Reality section. The short is born from the fascination for the world underground and the sense of beauty, danger, protection and loss in time and space that it produces. Exploring the metaphor of the cave as the maternal womb, In the Cave guides the spectator around the mysteries of life before life as we know it.

Friday 5th July, we have two panels scheduled which are dedicated to the relationship between VR and Astronomy, Speleology and Neuroscience. These two meetings will explore the possible scientific applications within this revolutionary technology, organized in collaboration with proESOF (EuroScience Open Forum), the most important European event focused on the debate between science, technology, society and politics.

The first panel, organized in collaboration with Trieste Observatory, will deal with the profondities of the Earth and space. From VR to speleology and space. During this panel, researchers, astronomers, speleologists and directors will discuss their ways of explaining and retelling their world; surfacing many overlapping points between speleology, space and VR.

The second event will be The mind and VR, in which psychologists, neuroscientists and researchers will discuss the relationship between the mind and experiences in VR; explaining how our brain reacts to VR stimuli and how it perceives VR narrations.

FILM IN COMPETITION IN THE ‘VIRTUAL REALITY’ SECTION 2019

The Dreams of Henry Rousseau by Thomas Auclair (France)
Paris Terror-The Hostages from the Hyper Cacher by Ricarda Saleh (Germany)
Everest-The VR Film Experience by Jon Griffith (UK)
Floodplain by Deniz Tortum (Turkey)
Tower of Babel by the sea by Feng Wei-jung (Taiwan)
Conscious existence by Marc Zimmermann (Germany)
Wombsong by Hanna Vastislao (Finland)
Borderline by Assaf Machnes (Israel, UK)
Half life VR – Short Version by Robert Connor (Sweden)
Rooms by Christian Zipfel (Germany)
Drumpossible by Omar Rashid (Italy)
Metro Veinte: Cita Ciega by Maria Belen Poncio (Argentina)
Denoise by Giorgio Ferrero, Federico Biasin (Italy, Swizerland, USA)

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