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Kaleidoscope Returns with Launch of VR World Tour

Kaleidoscope Hero Image
The traveling VR festival will hit 10 cities across the world starting in March.

Last year we couldn’t help but smile attending multiple city stops of the Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival. The festival was a first-of-its-kind film event, visiting 10 cities across North America and introducing thousands of curious attendees to the world of virtual reality. It was a bit weird seeing people lined up in chairs all watching a variety of VR videos, but with so many individuals walking away excited and enthusiastic about what they just experienced – it was contagious. You couldn’t help but feel like you were witnessing VR history being made.

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Now Kaleidoscope is coming back for another tour this year and they’re taking it to the next level. Showcasing VR filmmaking and storytelling, Kaleidoscope is going international with their 2016 World Tour and they are partnering up with WIRED and Wevr to make this one event you probably don’t want to miss.

The festival will launch on March 1st in Paris, France, and will make its way to nine additional cities across multiple continents.

The festival will also make stops in London, England; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Cologne, Germany; Berlin, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Tel Aviv, Israel; Melbourne, Australia; Pangyo, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan. Projects in the 2016 lineup will be sourced from VR creators all over the world.  Audiences will have the opportunity to enjoy the full lineup of experiences on Gear VR equipment supplied by Samsung, as well as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets.  In addition, experiences will be exhibited using the newly launched Wevr Transport platform. Festival events will also include talks and demos from top VR creators and industry members.

The festival’s lineup includes a diverse selection of over 30 VR experiences including quite a few world premieres and international debuts of some of our favorite films. Kaleidoscope is bringing back Arjan van Meerten’s SURGE, which received the Audience Choice Award at last year’s Kaleidoscope Festival, and special screenings of Penrose Studio’s ROSE & I, Wevr Studio’s theBLU: ENCOUNTER and a sneak peek of Baobab Studio’s upcoming INVASION!, as well as a featured demonstration of Google’s TILT BRUSH, a breathtaking experience that allows you to paint in 3D space.

Kaleidoscope was founded in May 2015 by entrepreneur René Pinnell and former Industrial Light & Magic technical director Michael Breymann. The startup’s mission is to empower independent VR artists by promoting their work, producing original content, fostering new talent and raising the visibility of VR as the new frontier of film and entertainment. The Kaleidoscope World Tour will highlight this rapidly developing sector of the entertainment industry and the global community of skilled and innovative artists behind it.

Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival Los Angeles

“We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm around the inaugural Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival and can’t wait to bring it to a global audience in 2016,” said Kaleidoscope co-founder René Pinnell.

Attendees will also get a look at the Nokia OZO VR camera at each stop of the tour, which we checked out at the LA launch event.

To purchase tickets for all festival stops and for further information on the Kaleidoscope World Tour please visit KaleidoVR.com

Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival Los Angeles

DATES FOR THE 2016 KALEIDOSCOPE WORLD TOUR

Paris, France – Tuesday, March 1st (La Gaîté lyrique)

Tel Aviv, Israel – Saturday, March 5th (Amiad Center)

London, England – Tuesday, March 8th (Studio Spaces E1)

Stockholm, Sweden – Saturday, March 12th (The Brewery Conference Center Stockholm)

Cologne, Germany – Friday, March 18 (Flora Köln, Am Botanischen Garten 1a)

Berlin, Germany – Tuesday, March 22nd (Jewish Museum of Berlin)

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Friday, March 25th (The EYE Film Museum)

Pangyo, South Korea – Thursday, March 31st (Center for Creative Economy & Innovation (CCEI))

Tokyo, Japan – Wednesday, April 6th (Terratoria)

Melbourne, Australia – Wednesday, April 12th (Melbourne Meat Market)

VR LINEUP FOR 2016 KALEIDOSCOPE WORLD TOUR

Kaleidoscope has curated over thirty (30) of the best virtual reality films and experiences. These projects were selected for their craftsmanship, originality, and contribution to the art of virtual reality storytelling.

GRAND PRIZE COMPETITION:
Six (6) projects have been nominated for the Kaleidoscope Grand Prize for excellence in virtual reality storytelling.

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JET LAG (World Premiere)
FR & IN, Director: Pierre Friquet
Due to her expiring visa, Ju, a 30-year long Brazilian woman, leaves India. Hence she leaves behind her lover, Tanushree, a young Indian woman. Separated by continents they start exchanging audio messages. To express their love in the absence of each other, Ju performs an Indian classical dance and Tanushree, a capoeira dance. Via these physical forms they find a temporary union. When Tanushree’s rational side arises, she questions the relationship, sending Ju diving in a poetic world…

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LA PÉRI: A PRELUDE (World Premiere)
FR, Director: Balthazar Auxietre
Inspired by Walt Disney’s Fantasia, La Péri is a visually stunning pas de deux between two dancers, one played by you!  On the stage, you are Iskender, a dying prince, in search of “the flower of immortality”. Finally, when reaching the coveted artifact, you face a guardian spirit, “La Péri” who gradually turns into a beautiful ballerina that bewitches you to prevent you from taking possession of the flower.

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MAD GOD (World Premiere)
U.S., Director: Phil Tippett
Produced by Wevr
A stop-motion animation of delightfully grotesque characters, straight from the twisted mind of Academy Award Winning director Phil Tippett.

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THE MARCHLAND (International Premiere)
NL, Director: Daniël Ernst
The Marchland is the third installment in Dutch artist Daniël Ernst’s ongoing Diorama series. For Marchland Ernst puts the viewer inside a toll booth where the unseen passes by. Using motion controllers the viewer can interact with the beautifully handpainted environment. Spectres of cars only visible by drops of rain drive through the toll barrier. Are these apparitions, or has the viewer become a ghost?

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NOTES ON BLINDNESS (International Premiere)
FR & UK, Directors: Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton, & James Spinney
After losing his sight in 1983, John Hull began recording an audio-diary documenting his discovery of “a world beyond sight.” John’s original recordings form the basis of this interactive experience, which uses real time 3D, virtual reality, and binaural sound to explore the interior world of blindness.

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OLD FRIEND (International Premiere)
U.S., Director: Tyler Hurd
Produced by Wevr
Lose yourself in a vibrant psychedelic dance party brimming with joyful insanity. VR creator Tyler Hurd and WEVR present a fun animated VR music video experience for OLD FRIEND by Future Islands. Gaze upon the elegant dance routines and enjoy the blissful absurdity. Unhinge yourself, feel the ridiculousness and dance like everyone is watching.

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TANA PURA (International Premiere)
UK, Director: Mike Tucker
What is it like to die? That is the question at the heart of TANA PURA, an audio-visual exploration of the moments following death and the soul’s transition into the afterlife. With original music composed by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, TANA PURA draws inspiration from The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Psychedelic Experience.

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
Kaleidoscope has also curated twenty (20) projects that represent the best virtual reality experiences made by independent artists around the world.

BLOCKED IN
NL, Director: Daniël Ernst
Blocked In was the first diorama released by Dutch artists Daniël Ernst and offered a place in which the visitor could experience an immersive room and the surreal sight of Tetris blocks falling from the sky. It also coined the term diorama for these kind of experiences. The room you visit was hand-painted on top of 3D geometry. Every inch of the room is unique, every scratch on the table top, every letter of the handwritten message, every pixel of a tetris block.

BRIGHT SHADOWS (International Premiere)
U.S., Director: Michael Catalano
Inspired by the Visual Music artists of the early 20th century, BRIGHT SHADOWS is an 11-minute animation of dynamic, colorful abstractions choreographed to instrumental music.

BUTTS (International Premiere)
U.S., Director: Tyler Hurd
Widely credited as the first animated cartoon for virtual reality, BUTTS is a story about anxiety, depression, and lots and lots of jiggling posteriors.

CLOUDS
U.S., Director: James George & Jonathan Minard
CLOUDS is an interactive documentary portrait of a community of digital pioneers, explored through the lens of code. The project asks questions about the future of creativity at a time when algorithms play an important role in shaping culture. In its hybrid format, somewhere between a documentary, a video game, and data visualization, CLOUDS allows viewers to navigate a web of ideas. It uses a data-driven Story Engine to present an endless ever-changing conversation, where artists co-exist with their code, presented through real-time interactive visual systems and lush 3D environments.

COLOSSE (International Premiere)
Israel, Director: Eran Hilleli
COLOSSE is a real-time virtual reality storytelling experience, with a stylized, character-focused visual language. While the viewer has no direct control over the action, the progression of the narrative will be gaze-based. The viewer’s gaze – things they pay the most attention to – will direct the experience around them, giving them a subtle influence over events as they unfold. The story of the long lost Great Spirits known as the COLOSSE explores themes of fear, power and respect.

THE CROSSING
US, Director: Tyson Sadler
RYOT and The Huffington Post present “The Crossing,” a virtual reality film and immersive reporting series hosted by Susan Sarandon chronicling the refugee crisis as it unfolds in Greece. The shores of the Mediterranean see thousands of refugees every day who arrive on small boats, evidence for which is seen everywhere in massive piles of discarded life vests. Most of the arrivals are fleeing from Syria and Afghanistan in search of safety, economic stability, and a better life.

THE FUTURE OF VR (World Premiere)
DE, Director: Philipp Wenning
Meet the real pioneers of virtual reality — creators who have been working in the field of VR for more than two decades. THE FUTURE OF VR is an interactive interview capsule that takes you through the history of the technology as well as a glimpse of its future in a 360° Esher-like space. Interview subjects include Paul Raphael (Co-Founder of Felix & Paul Studios), Marc Bolas (Director for Mixed Reality Research, USC Institute for Creative Technologies), Eric Joris (Artistic Director for Crew), Kern Perlin (Professor of Computer Science, NYU Media Research Lab), John Root (Co-Founder Magic Leap), Mona Hamdy (Project Lead, Worldbuilding Institute), and Cory Strassburger (Co-Founder of Kite & Lightning).

DER GROSSE GOTTLIEB
NL, Director: Daniël Ernst
The fabled DER GROSSE GOTTLIEB, the greatest acrobat of his generation, will perform his final amazing trick. After building a tower of chairs thrice the size of the Eiffel Tower, he will now built a tower of mythical proportions, high enough to knock on heaven’s door to visit the stars! Der Grosse Gottlieb is the second Diorama in Dutch artist Daniël Ernst ongoing series.

HARD WORLD FOR SMALL THINGS
U.S., Director: Janicza Bravo
This remarkable live-action VR transports you to a day in the life of a tight-knit community in South Central Los Angeles.

I AM YOU
CAN, Director: Elli Raynai
Experience the intimate story like never before – through the eyes of the characters. Follow a young couple who discover a new crowd-funded app that allows them to swap consciousnesses and feel what it’s like to be in each other’s body.

IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE: PROLOGUE
U.S., Director: Ben Vance
This breathtaking, animated cosmic environment inspires an intimate connection to the possibilities and wonders of space, where mysterious phenomena, hidden beauty, and the infinite await.

IN THE EYES OF THE ANIMAL
UK, Director: Marshmallow Laser Feast
A 360-degree generative virtual reality film experience, this work is an artistic interpretation of the sensory perspectives of three species natural to British woods. Audiences are invited to come and immerse themselves, tread carefully and step into the sensory world of the creatures. From the forest floor to the tops of the trees, come and observe through the eyes of the animal.

LOVR
UK, Director: Aaron Bradbury
More than 100,000 chemical reactions happen in your brain every second. So what about the moment you saw the girl of your dreams, and she saw you? If we could capture those few seconds what would the data look like? LOVR is a document of this moment. A story of love, told through neural activity captured over 4 seconds. As chemicals are released and areas of the brain activated, a form of poetry is revealed within the data. The heart beats, the iris dilates and time stands still as two lovers see each other for the first time.

LUCID TRIPS (International Premiere)
DE, Director: Sara Lisa Vogl & Nico Uthe
Lucid Trips is a Virtual Reality experience which takes places in a planetary dream world. Explore an artistically designed world with an innovative navigation system built specifically for virtual reality. Walk, jump, climb, swim and and even fly as a bodiless consciousness in a constantly expanding universe of dreams.

MODERAT: Reminder (World Premiere)
DE, Director: Mate Steinforth
An interactive VR music video for Reminder — the new single from upcoming album MODERAT III produced by Monkeytown Records. A rebellious teenager slaves away in a dystopian world, harvesting crystals from a vast grey landscape. This sparkling bounty is brought as an offering to a tribal deity, who resides in a shrine guarded by sentinels with green glowing masks, where he is constantly under attack from an army of drones.

THE NIGHT CAFÉ 
U.S., Director: Mac Cauley
THE NIGHT CAFÉ is an immersive VR environment that allows you to explore the world of Vincent van Gogh first hand. Take a moment to enjoy his iconic sunflowers in 3 dimensions or walk around the chair he painted in his bedroom to see it from another angle. Step into the vivid colors straight from his palette.

REAL (World Premiere)
U.S., Director: Connor Hair
Consumed by Virtual Reality addiction, a woman clings to the digitally reconstructed memory of her dead husband. As the lines of reality blur, she begins to question which world is real. The film is shot partially in 3D 180 degree view and partially in 2D. The format dynamically switches from 2D to 3D when the main character puts on her virtual reality goggles. Allowing the viewer to see the virtual world through her eyes and creating a one of a kind cinematic experience. The film is also accompanied by a 360 interactive menu that puts you in the main characters dilapidated apartment.

REFRAME IRAN (World Premiere)
U.S., Director: João Inada
Reframe Iran is a virtual reality experience taking place in eight Iranian artist studios throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. With a Gear VR headset, the user will be up close and personal with internationally acclaimed artists such as Shirin Neshat and Parviz Tanavoli. The narration and music for this experience are both minimal, allowing the user to feel like they are dropping in on some of the artists’ most intimate moments– while they are working – or behind the scenes of a conversation with our team. While the user visually investigates these studios, a cohesive story emerges through narration and interviews about Iranian identity and the heavy burden these artists carry to represent Iran while living simultaneously in exile from their country.

SURGE
NL, Director: Arjan Van Meerten
Virtual reality music video SURGE is an abstract meditation on the evolutionary process and its relentless march towards complexity. Built with Unreal by artist Arjan van Meerten, SURGE was produced over the course of a year with Arjan creating all of the music, animation and code himself. With thousands of downloads, Surge is currently the highest rated experience on Oculus Share.

WAVES
U.S., Director: Benjamin Dickinson
Burning with originality, intelligence, and a deft use of the medium, Reggie Watts weaves a virtual reality story that is a dream-within-a-dream meta-ride down the rabbit hole, where the only constants seem to be his philosophical musings, comedic insights, and musical genius.

WITNESS 360: 7/7
UK, Director: Darren Emerson
On the 7th July 2005 Jacqui Putnam stepped on to a Circle Line train in London on her way to work; a journey she had taken many times before.  At 08:50am Mohammad Sidique Khan would detonate a bomb in the carriage next to hers.  This is the story of her day, the immediate aftermath of the explosion and her road to recovery.  The film combines personal testimony, reconstruction, and abstract imagery to take the viewer on a powerful multi-sensory journey into the heart of one survivor’s extraordinary story.

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SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS:
In addition to projects in the Official Selection and Grand Prize Competition, Kaleidoscope has curated a program of virtual reality films and experiences from major VR studios and companies.  

theBLU: ENCOUNTER
Wevr Studio |  U.S. |  Director: Jake Rowell
This astonishing photo-realistic animated project lets you encounter an 80-foot blue whale while enjoying the awe, wonder, and majesty of underwater habitats that are designed as beautiful moments in passing or a collection of memories.

EDGE OF SPACE (World Premiere)
Koncept VR  |  U.S.  |  Director: Thomas Wallner
Directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Thomas Wallner, Edge of Space is virtual reality documentary about the launch of one of the largest stratospheric balloons. A collaboration between DEEP Inc., Koncept VR, The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the French Space Agency (CNES), Edge of Space tells the unique story of this historical flight that reached an altitude of 40km and captured the first cinematic VR images of the earth shot in the upper stratosphere.

INVASION! (Sneak Peek)
Baobab Studio  |  U.S. |  Director: Eric Darnell
Advanced aliens arrive on Earth to claim it as their own — and destroy anything that tries to stop them!  However, despite the Aliens’ vast intellect, superior technology and horrific firepower, the citizens of Earth rise up and, against all odds, bravely square off against these ruthless invaders.  But these citizens of Earth are not members of the human race, as might be expected.  Instead, they are two of the cutest, sweetest, cuddliest and meekest creatures of our planet, creatures that easily perish — two adorable little white bunnies.

THE ROSE AND I
Penrose Studio  |  U.S.  |  Director: Eugene Chung
An immersive, animated VR film crafted by the artists, hackers and storytellers of Penrose Studios, The Rose and I is about loneliness, friendship, love, and loss. Come meet a lonely Rose living in the unlikeliest of places, and be transported into a brand new universe.

TILT BRUSH by GOOGLE
Google  |  U.S.  |  Creators: Patrick Hackett & Drew Skillman
Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless. Paint life-size three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. Experience painting as you have never before.

To purchase tickets for all festival stops and for further information on the Kaleidoscope World Tour please visit KaleidoVR.com

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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