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DIFFPress Releases 2017Experience The Latest in Cutting-Edge Cinema with DIFF’s Sensational Virtual Reality Showcase
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Experience The Latest in Cutting-Edge Cinema with DIFF’s Sensational Virtual Reality Showcase
Sun Dec 3, 2017
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Dubai, 03 December 2017: DIFF’s innovative Virtual Reality (VR) showcase ‘DIFFerent Reality’ returns to the Festival for its second year with another eclectic mix of unique experiences that challenge the boundaries of traditional film and take willing audiences on a journey of 360º, 3D, audio-visual cinema. Taking place throughout the 14th Festival, from 6 – 13 December, DIFF will present ten immersive in partnership with du, which will screen at the dedicated du VR Cinema, located within the Festival headquarters at the Madinat Jumeriah, Events & Conference Centre.

The first ground-breaking feature is ‘The Last Chair’ from directors Anke Teunissen, and Jessie van Vreden, a VR documentary about the final stages of life. With a mix of 360º video, audio and animation, audiences will be thrust into the shoes of two separate narratives; the first is the daily life of Fred, a terminally ill ex-hippie living a solitary existence in France, and the second is an elderly man whose life plays out from the chair in which he spends most of his time. Both immersive projects look back on a life lived and the impending demise of the two protagonists.

Set in the fictional town of Middleswick, a piece of England where everything is just perfect, ‘The Committee’ is a VR film from Czech director Mike Samir. After an elderly resident paints her house pink, the impeccable town invariably descends into chaos. Putting audiences at the centre of the film, ‘The Committee’ puts you in the shoes of a town committee member as tempers flare and hilarity ensues whilst debating the matter of the rebellious resident.

A real mind-bending journey into the conscious of an Artificial Intelligence (AI), ‘Dreams of Blue’ is a 360º stereoscopic immersive video experience from Italian director Valentina Piaggarin. The project exploits the amazing characteristics of a VR environment and shares a profound narrative, an AI that becomes self-conscious and self-aware, and reflects on the meaning of life using information extrapolated from the internet.

Jump into a marvellous and evocative universe of music and thrilling acrobatics with French director Leslie Levi’s ‘Leggenda’. Brought to life through the eyes of two circus performers and a piano-violin duo, this elegant, emotion-filled performance will capture the hearts of audiences with Levi’s Concert Digital 360-VR concept that shares music, dance and a vibrant spectacle in VR.

Independent filmmaker and journalist Emiliano Ruprah brings to DIFF his 360º war documentary for its world premiere, ‘War Tourist’, a first-hand look at the offensive to retake Mosul shot over the course of a few days during the heat of battle. Having previously directed and produced short VR films, Ruprah’s latest journey into the ‘DIFFerent’ world brings audiences face to face with the maelstrom of war through the eyes of a rookie journalist as he questions his own understanding of the conflict.

From ESEC film school graduate, Alexandre Perez, comes the VR short ‘Sergeant James’, which centres on the perennial battle between a child (James), his bedtime and the unknown under his bed. Is it just the harmless imagination of a young boy, or is there something more to James’ fear? Alexandre Perez explores the innocence of youth, the folly fear and the terrifying mystery that lurks in the shadows.

The risqué ten-minute VR film ‘Bloodless’ from Gina Kim, an experienced South Korean director with five feature-length films to credit, joins the ‘DIFFerent Reality’ showcase with a no-holds-barred approach to a poignant tale of a real-life sex worker murdered by a US soldier in 1992. Set in the Dungducheon Camptown in South Korea, the film traces the last living moments of the sex-worker and brings to light the ongoing experiences at the 96 camp towns around the US military bases.

In a concoction of animation and live-action footage ‘Extravaganza’, the latest work from Ethan Shaftel, combines the two elements in a bitingly funny satire that places you in the shoes of a puppet. Trapped in a seemingly endless cycle performing in an offensive show for a clueless executive, the short questions whether technology can change society for the better, or does it simply magnify our worst traits in all new ways?

‘Ray’ the VR short curated by filmmaker – and creative director of Future Lighthouse – Rafael Pavon, joins the ‘DIFFerent Reality’ lineup to tell the fairy-tale of a young girl, Lucy, with mighty dreams, and a nosy beam of light called Ray who comes to play with her. ‘Ray’ is an interactive experience that allows audiences to interact with the whimsical beam of light using voice recognition and gestures, a true a show of technological triumph and innovation.

Experienced Lebanese filmmaker and cinematographer Kamel Harb showcases his first VR project at DIFF 2017 for its world premiere. The short, ‘Lebanon on Wheels’, explores the perpetual sense of not belonging for a young man deprived of his homeland. However, in a turn of events, he regains his faith in life by connecting with others whose mutual pain cures their homesickness.

Abdulhamid Juma, DIFF’s Chairman, commented on the stellar VR lineup for its second year: “Each edition of DIFF, we strive to innovate and inspire, and with the inception of the VR showcase in 2016 it gave us a whole new avenue to explore. This year we are welcoming some truly incredible ‘DIFFerent’ films that will go beyond the wildest imaginations of our audiences. The state-of-the-art technology and filmmaking genius behind the creation of these films will make the Virtual Reality showcase a real crowd pleaser at this year’s Festival.”
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