27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Ji.hlava awarded the best VR

Award for the Best Virtual Reality 2022

Missing Pictures Episode 2: Tsai Ming-Liang, The Seven-Story Building
Kuan-Yuan Lai, Clement Deneux, France, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, South Korea, Taiwan, 2021, 12 min.

Missing Pictures is a 5-part documentary that gives directors a chance to tell the story that would otherwise never be told. Tsai Ming-Liang, the Taiwanese maestro of slow cinema, doesn’t have a real “missing picture”, but what he does have are childhood memories, so vivid that it is impossible for him to film. The filmmaker seizes the medium of virtual reality to go back to the Malaysia of his childhood, when his grandparents took him to see two movies every night. Rather than telling us about an unmade film, Tsai Ming-Liang transforms the exercise into a making-of of his entire film career.

Jury statement: The jury recognizes the way in which the piece manages to capture an emotionally charged personal story, gently inviting the viewer to be a part of a well-crafted, immersive VR experience. With specific poetry, the work recreates a lost childhood landscape and brings us into the sensorial space of the author's early meetings with cinema.

Special Mention

From the Main Square
Pedro Harres, Germany, 2022, 19 min.

Encircling a central square, a new town emerges in all its diversity. A crossroad of stories, buildings, hopes, and conflicts. Social ties and cultures take root. People nurture sympathy and care for their equals, but also animosity towards those who are different. It doesn't take long for an “us versus them” atmosphere to take over. From the Main Square is an interactive VR experience that invites the viewer to witness the rise and fall of a divided society. A civilization blossoms, with all its contradictions, only to become a danger to itself.

Jury statement: The jury recognizes the great craftsmanship and original aesthetical approach behind this work that deals with heavy topics with an almost uncanny easiness.

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