Developer Tomáš Mariančík (aka Frooxius), developer of the excellent virtual reality experience Sightline: The Chair has been awarded the first ever Jury Prize at the Kaleidoscope VR Film festival in association with VRIDEO.
A firm favourite of Road to VR‘s, Sightline: The Chair remains one of the best ‘starter’ or introductory experiences for anyone who hasn’t tried VR. It’s a kind of ‘best of’ compilation of transitioning VR experiences, all of which will play with your perception of virtual environments and at the same time demonstrate VR’s unique power to gently toy with your brain. The experience’s core idea is taken from Mariančík’s 2013 Indiecade / Oculus VR Jam entry, then simply called Sightline, which played with VR’s inherently intuitive head tracking and movement to subtly (or not so subtly) change the virtual environment when you looked around the space.
Now, the experience’s developer Tomáš Mariančík of Solirax, has been awarded the very first Jury’s prize by startup Kaleidoscope as part of their VR Film Festival (KVRFF), which has run for the last few months.
We reached out to Mariančík for a reaction to the news of his win. He told us “It was a complete surprise to me, as I haven’t designed SightLine specifically with film in mind, but rather as interactive world where the laws of physics got ‘broken’, so it lacks the classical cinematic moments and storytelling that other VR projects have and it’s quite [a lot] older than other projects in the Kaleidoscope Festival. But I’m of course very happy and grateful that it was even chosen for the Kaleidoscope festival, let alone won the grand award, especially if it leads even more people to experience the immense possibilities of VR to inhabit worlds from our imagination and get hooked for life. :)”
Presented by Vrideo, KVRFF is a multi-city tour showcasing some of the best in virtual reality (VR) filmmaking from around the world. Launched on August 22, 2015 in Portland, OR, the festival traveled to 10 different cities across North America. The Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival is a premiere event series exclusively featuring virtual reality films made by independent artists.
The jury featured six notable figures in the field of motion picture entertainment: Ramin Bahrani, (Filmmaker, 99 Homes), Victor Moyers (President, Production, Broad Green Pictures), Shari Frilot (Chief Curator, New Frontiers, Sundance Film Festival), Carolyn Giardina, (Contributing Editor, Tech, The Hollywood Reporter), and Lucy Walker,(Filmmaker, Buena Vista Social Club: Adios).
Just as deserving was Arjan van Meerten’s VR music video SURGE, which received the 2015 Audience Award. In each city, attendees voted for their favorite film, which was tallied to this year’s overall winner.
“To bring virtual reality to new audiences across North America has been an incredible experience and we are thrilled with the success of our inaugural year,” said René Pinnell, co-founder of Kaleidoscope and KVRFF. “We were honored to include over 20 outstanding films in this year’s program. Sightline: The Chair and Surge exemplify the cinematic achievements possible in this new frontier of filmmaking. We thank Broad Green and all of the jury members for their support and partnership.”