28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Award for the Best Virtual Reality goes to Missing Pictures: Naomi Kawase

The international jury selected the best VR work from twelve 360° films and spacial installations presented at the 27th Ji.hlava IDFF. The jury was composed of experts in the VR field – Czech artist Vojtěch Radakulan, Hungarian expert from University of Debrecen Bujdosó Gyöngyi, and Krzysztof Pijarski from the Polish Lodz Film School.

Award for the Best Virtual Reality 2023

The Best VR project is Missing Pictures: Naomi Kawase by French director Clément Deneux. In the project, the renowned Japanese filmmaker explores self-acceptance through a bicycle trip love story. The project is a co-production of France, United Kingdom, Taiwan, South Korea, and Luxembourg.

Jury statement: As the jury we decided to give the main prize for VR experiences to a piece that uses the potential of the medium to it’s fullest: a real-time interactive experience that gives the viewer freedom of movement and a sense of participating in the story, that allows us to (re)imagine not only situations that we were not a part of, but also ones that never came to be. Documenting a feature film in the langue of animation with a playful use of scale as well as presence, “Missing Pictures: Naomi Kawase” by Clément Deneux allows us to imagine the characters, their development and moments of change, all in a story that is meticulously produced, well paced, and touching: on the one hand the imagined story appears in small scale, as a live world to peek into, but engulfing, and including the viewer at the moment of change, on the other hand the director/narrator appears in the story in well crafted volumetric capture. A fantastic addition to an already acclaimed series.

Special Mention

Special Mention: The project Flow VR by Adriaan Lokmaan (Netherlands, France) uses spatial imagery and sound to suggest fluidity, embodied by wind and sweeping air currents on a seemingly ordinary day.

Jury statement: We need to highlight an excellent VR video that shows how sensuous experiences, such as the caress of water on the skin, can be felt with just visuals and music in a documentary manner – this is Flow by Adriaan Lokman.

Special Mention: In The Man Who Couldn't Leave by Singing Chen (Taiwan), former political detainee A-Kuen, tells the stories of imprisonment and persecution that happened in the 1950s in Taiwan.

Jury statement: We award the honorable mention to a VR movie for pushing 360 video to its limits, in depicting historical events: The Man Who Couldn't Leave by Singing Chen.

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