Thursday, October 27, 2016
  • Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016
VR Selections Unveiled For Toronto International Film Festival
Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival (photo by George Pimentel, WireImage Getty, for TIFF)
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The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled its virtual reality selections for POP VR. Curated to create intimate immersive experiences, the five projects celebrate the evolution of storytelling through innovative and visionary works. From projects that explore the infinite strength of the human spirit to epic battles in mythical and future worlds, POP VR will awe, entertain, and captivate audiences.

“We continue to celebrate the evolution and progression of moving image works at the Festival with POP VR,” said Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “We are thrilled to share this curated virtual reality experience with our audiences and explore together where the future of storytelling will take us.”

POP VR’s five selections will play consecutively, allowing viewers to experience all the projects in one sitting. POP VR will take place from September 16 to 18 between 9am and 9pm.

The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2016.

Here's the POP VR lineup:

Ch’aak’ S’aagi (Eagle Bone) Tracy Rector, USA International Premiere
Unapologetically Indigenous in nature and theme, Ch’aak’ S’aagi (Eagle Bone) represents a collective step in a new direction for visual storytelling. Through freestyle spoken word and lush Pacific Northwest scenery, this raw, point-of-view documentary experience brings the viewer into a VR journey of remembrance and reflection on the lessons of the old ones — teachings that remind us we are all individual vessels of spirit and change, yet inextricably connected.

Invasion! Maureen Fan, Eric Darnell, Michael Hutchinson, USA Canadian Premiere
Directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar, Antz), Invasion! is an interactive animation in which Earth is overrun by malevolent aliens hellbent on destroying anything that stands in their way. Despite the aliens’ superior technology and firepower, two brave citizens of Earth rise up to defend our planet. But these Earthlings aren’t human. Rather, they are two of Earth’s meekest creatures — two adorable little white bunnies — and you are one of them! This exciting VR adventure is narrated by Ethan Hawke.

Jafri Michael Beets, Australia North American Premiere
Every Friday afternoon, an African Australian man can be found in the middle of Melbourne’s busiest intersection, standing silently yet challenging the beliefs of passersby. Jafri is a VR documentary that explores the man behind the signs as he guides us through his daily life and the intimate moments that have shaped his views on society and himself. This is not an activist piece, but rather an opportunity to observe a man who, like all of all us, is trying to find his place in our world.

KÀ The Battle Within Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, François Blouin, Canada World Premiere
Enter the world of KÀ The Battle Within, a gravity-defying VR saga of heroism and martial arts. Two rival clans from an ancient and mythical world confront one another in a furious clash of vertiginous acrobatics and breathtaking combat. The very fabric of reality is transcended, as the physical world is broken into horizontal and vertical choreographies. KÀ The Battle Within pushes the narrative and experiential boundaries of the universe of KÀ, the colossal theatrical production by Cirque du Soleil, to epic new heights.

Right to Pray Khushboo Ranka, India World Premiere
In the western Indian city of Trimbak, home of the ancient Hindu temple of Trimbakeshwar, a group of female activists fight against the regressive institutional forces of patriarchy and tradition that bar their entry into the shrine’s sanctum sanctorum and deny them the right to pray. This film documents one of many struggles as the women demand equality in the face of a 450-year-old tradition.