Virtual reality artists and creators are being recognised for the first time with a new prize at this year’s goEast Festival of Central and Eastern European Film.
Eight experimental VR and 360̊ projects from across the continent will be fighting to impress a three-member jury and claim the inaugural Open Frame Award— as well as 5,000 euros in prize money.
Festival organisers say that embracing new technology allows smaller studios to compete alongside larger Hollywood rivals.
“With the inclusion of virtual reality we are embarking on totally new approaches to storytelling,” says Georgy Molodtsov, the curator of this year’s Open Frame Award exhibition. “The beautiful thing is: we’re all starting from square one! So the projects are not only being developed in the big film studios, they’re also being made on shoestring budgets, in countries with tiny film industries. In a nutshell: virtual reality is a fresh start!”
This year marks the 18th edition of the goEast festival in the German city of Wiesbaden, which is set to screen more than 100 films from 35 countries.
With a host of New East nations celebrating 100 years of independence, 2018 has given directors a chance to reflect on identity and belonging — including the chance to confront uncomfortable chapters of their histories, said festival director Heleen Gerritsen. A special festival programme will be dedicated to the Baltic States, all of which celebrated the 100th anniversary of their independence this year.
“[These centenaries are] a cause for celebration, but also invites us to take stock of current circumstances. Especially in the Baltic States the history of independence is a very complicated one and the search for identity is far from resolved,” said Gerritsen.
The 18th edition of goEast – Festival of Central and Eastern European Film kicks off on 18 April. For more information, visit the festival website by clicking here.