Virtual Cinema Program

Virtual Cinema Program

An iceberg is cracking, the ice flow is breathing and a sled dog is howling... Electronic music producer Molécule cuts himself off in a hunter village in Greenland. He records sounds of the Arctic to compose.
Inspired by his adventure, -22.7°C VR takes you on a sensory and introspective trip in the Far North. Exploring the sounds of the powerful but dangerous polar nature, you’ll fall into your inner world, where you will have to face your deep emotions and fears, until you reach a state of harmony.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


We seem to be caught up in a transitional phase, where mankind itself seems to be changing. Driven by a desire for enlightenment, we speed into the future, shaping our world on the wings of our imagination, together with our longtime and loyal friend, a horse!
Ahorse! is a titillating journey through the history of human imagination. Seated on a saddle stool, we duck headlong into the pixel soup of our visual culture before emerging again, refreshed and refuelled. Full of new ideas about life, its meaning, and the future. How can we successfully adjust, now that the modern technologies of imagination seem to be taking over? Ahorse! helps us to enjoy the ride, evoking happiness and curiosity.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Border Stories puts people along the US-Mexico border including the National Butterfly Center to experience real stories of the people affected by the border wall and then make their own volumetric pieces online using Emblematic Group's webVR platform REACH. REACH makes the immersive power of volumetric VR available to anyone. A simple drag-and-drop interface lets users place real people into high-res 3D environments, and then share the results online across multiple platforms. Created in coordination with the Texas Civil Rights Project, Border Stories explores the ongoing fight against the border wall and the pending impact to hundreds of landowners situated along the Rio Grande.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


José Joaquín Jiménez “Ximénez” (1915 - 1946), was one of the pioneers of the so-called “red chronic” in Colombia. His texts were distributed through different newspapers during the thirties and forties, portraying a Bogotá that did not reach 500,000 inhabitants. His chronicles full of details, describe the life of the streets, showing common stories, tragic and romantic events that reveal the beat of that vanished city. This project aims to tribute his work and Bogota of that time.

For two years we carried out an extensive process of research and classification of his texts, then we chose extracts from seven chronicles that we found interesting to explore in a virtual environment.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Cypher is a shape-shifting robotic sculpture that teleports the user between the physical and digital worlds. Through its interactive soft robotic skin and virtual reality interface, Cypher establishes a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, synchronizing a virtual reality simulation with human-robot interaction. Through a sensor array, the sculpture detects the proximity of the audience and change its shape. The tethered VR headset teleports the user to its interior, radically shifting the scale of experience from object to space, making Cypher the first art experience in the world where actions taken affect the physical and digital worlds simultaneously.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


In Die Fernweh Oper you will visit a perpetual opera performed by a star in the form of a 50 ft tall opera singer named Asteria, who sings especially for you and about your foolish love for her. Just as with the stars you see at night, she has already died light years ago and what you see of her is her last light that reaches your eyes.

Die Fernweh Oper consists of three scenes. Scene 1 will allow you to listen to Asteria sing for you. In scene 2 you will visit Asteria's abandoned dressing room in which small porcelain statues will sing a chorale for you. In scene 3 you will visit the the custodian whose job it is to replace the stars who have died, among which is Asteria.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


As part of a rescue team, you're sent in space to investigate the disappearance of a spaceship called Eclipse.
Eclipse is an immersive “hyper reality” collaborative experience, a glimpse of tomorrow's cinema.
Contrary to most VR experiences dedicated to Entertainment, Eclipse is not based on shooting.
It's a 4 players Sci-Fi interactive short movie that lasts around 40 minutes, enhanced by physical effects, full body awareness and total freedom of movements.

Based on Escape Game mechanics (People will have to solve enigmas and make actions to go through the story) and taking part of what VR best offers in term of immersion.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Set on the island planet of Kairos Linea, Eleven Eleven is a multi-linear narrative that places users in the center of the action as its inhabitants count down the final 11 minutes and 11 seconds to an extinction-level event. The only guarantee for survival is aboard a rescue ship that will launch just before the clock hits zero, transporting a lucky few to the safety of a floating ark in the sky. The narrative plays out in real-time and focuses on six main characters whose stories intersect as they try to make it to the ship, or face the reality of what could be their final moments.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


FOREST is an interactive experimental virtual reality experience that invites the user to get lost in a hand-drawn landscape of bristlecone pine trees, sculpted organic matter, and transmuted strains of earthy-electro sounds.

Following a trail of strange plants to the center of a mushroom ring, the viewer is transported into the forest. A timed, music scored, meditative experience begins as the user glides through the virtual space by swinging their arms with touch controllers as if walking. Viewers can move freely in and out of the sculptures and explore spatialized musical elements as they are gently guided through four abstract scenes.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


“I want girls to look at me and think they can achieve anything they want," says 17-year-old Rani, from Varanasi, India. Her family has been destined to wash clothing by the caste culture of their society. But growing up in a community that believes girls should stay at home, do chores, and get married, doesn't stop her. Rani is determined to finish school and go to college. As we follow Rani, she gives us an intimate glimpse of her hopes, frustrations, and dreams.

This project is part of the Oculus VR for Good Creators Lab program in partnership with Malala Fund.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


It’s 1983 on a cold night in Woodland City. Being a zombie is against the law. The undead have been around for almost a decade now, but peaceful coexistence with the “normal” people continues to fail. They hide in the forest, away from the dangerous zombie hunters. Nights are calm and quiet, but Gloomy still tries to stay out of sight. Hunters are a real threat, but this zombie is hiding from something else as
well...Truth is, he doesn’t feel too comfortable around others of his kind. Gloomy is not completely like other zombies. He has access to things we don’t see or understand. Nature knows he’s special.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Home After War is an interactive VR experience that takes you to Fallujah, a city that was under Islamic State control until recently. The war has ended, but the city is still unsafe. Booby trapped homes and IEDs in the neighbourhoods are looming fears for returning refugees. Ahmaied Hamad Khalaf and his family returned home after the fighting subsided to find that their home was no longer the same. In Home After War, Ahmaied shares his story and invites you into his home to experience for yourself what it's like to fear the home you once loved. This project is part of the Oculus VR for Good Creators Lab program in partnership with Geneva Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD).

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Sara’s been abroad for work, and the welcome home dinner her boyfriend Luis just surprised her with has ended with some passionate dessert between the sheets. When she admits that she’s going to have to go back to Paris for more meetings, Luis sees a window of opportunity. He gets a big confession off his chest... with a very peculiar motive.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Kaleidoscope is a private network for leaders in the immersive art and entertainment industry. Our Funding Showcase at SXSW will feature new projects currently in-development by some of the most artistically innovative and commercially successful XR creators. Come meet the artists, see work-in-progress, and help fund the next wave of great XR projects. Past projects backed by Kaleidoscope include last year’s breakout success SPHERES, starring Jessica Chastain and executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, and the VR animation BATTLESCAR, starring Rosario Dawson.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Director Lena Herzog, in collaboration with VR pioneer Nonny de la Peña and Emblematic Group, has created an immersive VR oratorio in three parts. Each part will be comprised of its own standalone VR experience and embody three distinct expressions that viscerally answer the question of how to tell an extinction whose form is silence. It is the first VR of it’s kind that transports audiences into a virtual landscape composed of the fabric of vanishing voices accompanied by original animation that poetically links image and sound. Last Whispers is co-presented by UNESCO, who, along with the UN General assembly, have declared 2019 The Year of Indigenous Languages.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Our team led a global challenge to imagine what Mars could be like if it were inhabited by one million people. The end product is the culmination of over 1,000 crowdsourced submissions that inspire creative thinking and innovation in transportation, education and architecture. Our groundbreaking story takes users through the Martian Community Onboarding Center upon arrival to the planet, showcasing the innovations that enabled humans to make the leap to Mars. Distributed exclusively on the Positron Voyager motion chair, Mars Home Planet elevates educational storytelling through the integration of motion, haptics, spatial sound, and 6 DoF virtual reality.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


In a sumptuous traditional Chinese hotel, an impressive wedding is about to take place. Mrs Song has finally managed to find a good match for her daughter Zhen-Zhen: the heir of the rich Zhang family. Always keen to be on the cutting edge of… everything, Mrs Song hires human-like androids to be a part of the wedding party (courtesy of Mrs. Zhang’s wallet). In the role of lead bridesmaid, Mrs. Song hires a beta model android: Ah-Hui, the newest generation female android. Delighted with their new distraction, Mrs. Song, and later, Mrs. Zhang, blithely play around with Ah-hui’s settings, unaware of the changes happening within Ah-hui’s nascent mind.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Our story begins with Edith, a 14-year-old who lives in the village of Centre Lobo with her parents and eight siblings. At the age of seven, Edith started to feel a pain in the side of her face. The pain eventually grew into a tumor on her lower right jaw the size of lemon. Edith is mocked and teased at school, and even accused of being the victim of witchcraft. Despite the hardships she faces, Edith is notably happy and playful.

We follow Edith as she travels by foot through the jungle for days in order to have a life-transforming surgery.

This project is part of the Oculus VR for Good Creators Lab program in partnership with Mercy Ships.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Juana, an 18 year-old girl bound to a wheelchair, is anxious to explore her sexuality. She is going on a blind date with Felipe, a guy she found on social media. She didn’t tell him about the wheelchair. After overcoming her fears, doubts, and an inaccessible city, she meets him. Together they will discover what their bodies feel.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Part artwork, part documentary, Nothing to be Written tells the stories behind ‘field postcards’ one of the few communication options WWI soldiers had with their families. Nothing was to be written on them as communication was only allowed through the prescribed phrases. Moving, haunting and emotive, the experience is a powerful and poignant exploration of the human stories beyond the edges of the postcards. This award-winning experience is set to an original score by composer Anna Meredith, commissioned by the BBC VR Hub and created by 59 Productions. This project is part of the Future Art and Culture programme at SXSW, presented by British Underground and supported by Arts Council England.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


RE-ANIMATED is a VR artwork that brings back to life the Kaui‘O’o bird, which went extinct in 1987. Using an audio recording of the last bird of its kind calling mournfully to a non-existent mate, the work re-imagines our relationship to natural history. Erratic Animist, a tech-art collective directed by Jakob Kudsk Steensen, hopes that by giving the bird new life in technology, its story will take on new dimensions, and further highlight threats to endangered species and our climate.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


This interactive dance experience takes the player on a journey of musical expression. Play along with the music of Wajatta in an intimate neighborhood record store and be transported to a retro-future dance party. Show off your moves on the dance floor alongside a troupe of dancers and Reggie Watts. Presented by Intel Studios.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Before a witness recantation led to his immediate exoneration and release, Rickey Jackson spent four decades in prison for a murder he did not commit. Despite the unforgivable circumstances and disorientation experienced in returning home, Rickey seized his second chance. Send Me Home invites participants to take a journey in 360°, as Rickey grants us entry into his private world, guiding us through time gone, family known and the spaces he lovingly embraces today. The 360° video transports participants into Rickey’s mindspace, urging them to reflect on the expanse of their own lives in relation to the time Rickey has lost.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


The Atomic Tree is a journey into the memories of one of the most revered trees in the world—a 400-year-old Japanese White Pine bonsai that witnessed —and survived—the atomic blast in Hiroshima. From Japan’s ancient cedar forests and Buddhist temples to the family home in Hiroshima where the pine was nurtured for five generations, this VR experience explores the unbroken chain of living stories held within the rings of this tree. The delicate shape of this bonsai contains sacred forests, human family, and deep time, inviting us to reflect on the living strands of kinship that are woven between human and non-human worlds.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


"The Making Of" will be centered around a 3D VR 360 camera and employ a pseudo-documentary format with a "film within a film" metacinema approach to portray the onsite filming and things that happen behind the scenes. When using 3D VR 360 to make films, the VR camera's viewing angle is divided into four areas or angles including front, rear, left, and right.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Traverse is a platform for spatial audio experiences. Using a mobile device and audio-driven AR technology, each Traverse experience takes an audio recording and makes it something you can physically move through. You can explore a sound field as you like. You can hear things from another perspective. You can walk towards or away from the singer, or the drummer, or the audio engineer. You can witness a mix morph and change around you as you move through it. You can go back in time or travel into another dimension. All this happens through powerful immersive audio – and from the comfort of wherever you are.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.



Primary Entry: Platinum Badge, Film Badge
Secondary Entry: Music Badge, Interactive Badge, Film Festival Wristband
Screening Section: Virtual Cinema Competition
Screening Format: Virtual Reality
Runtime: 420:00 mins