The VR Arles Festival jury, headed by british actress Charlotte Rampling, rewarded four experiences from the VR Arles Festival’s Official Selection.
All members of the jury, creators Mélodie Mousset, Jan Kounen and Jakob Kudsk Steensen, as well as the mayor of Arles, Hervé Schiavetti, Sam Stourdzé from Rencontres d’Arles, Benoît Baume de Fisheye, Bertrand Cizeau from BNP Paribas, Valérie Bernet of EDF and the SanDisk team (associated to the Jury Prize) were present.

Fictions Prize: 7 Lives

DIRECTION: JAN KOUNEN / PRODUCTION: RED CORNER, FRANCE TÉLÉVISION, A-BAHN, FRAKAS PRODUCTION / 2019 / FRANCE, LUXEMBOURG, BELGIUM / 20-25 MIN / FRENCH AND ENGLISH

The immersive fiction 7 Lives performed by Charles Ayats, Sabrina Calvo and Jan Kounen wins the fictions prize. A Red Corner production, France Télévisions, a_BAHN and Frakas Productions.

A teenage girl jumps in front of a subway train. Her soul rises from the tracks. On the platform, the witnesses to the scene are in a state of shock. It has awoken a traumatic memory in each of them. A painful memory, that plays out again and again. To end its wandering, the soul must pass into each of their minds, delve into their memories, and help them find peace…

Versions Prize: Traveling While Black

DIRECTION: ROGER ROSS WILLIAMS, AYESHA NADARAJAH, FÉLIX LAJEUNESSE ET PAUL RAPHAEL / PRODUCTION: FELIX & PAUL STUDIOS, TRAVELING WHILE BLACK INC, OCULUS STUDIOS / 2018 / CANADA / 21 MIN / ENGLISH

Confronting the way we understand and talk about race in America, this virtual reality documentary immerses the viewer in the long history of restriction of movement for black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities.

Visions Prize: HanaHana Multi-Bloom

LEAD ARTIST: MÉLODIE MOUSSET / 2019 / SWITZERLAND / MULTI-USERS

Immersed in an otherworldly desert and haunting soundscape, the player experiences a call to adventure and creativity using his life force to seed the landscape with giant hands which bloom and unfurl like flowers. He or she can cultivate this bizarre wilderness and create the most unexpected hallucinatory constructions limited only by one’s imagination. Unleash your creativity in a unique and poignant collaborative art-piece where virtual reality merges with the subconscious for a thrilling and disturbing journey into your mind, body and senses.

Jury Prize: RE-ANIMATED

LEAD ARTIST: JAKOB KUDSK STEENSEN / PRODUCTION: ERRATIC ANIMIST
2018 / UNITED STATES / 15 MIN / ENGLISH

RE-ANIMATED is based on the last Kauai’O’o bird, whose 1987 death marked the extinction of its species. In 2009, its mating call was uploaded to YouTube. Since then, the song of the Kauai’O’o calling hopelessly to a mate has been played almost a million times. RE-ANIMATED is a reimagining of the bird and its song, which here inhabit a distorted reconstruction of the bird’s original habitat. The experience provokes fresh perspectives on our ecological future, which is now at odds with our present reality.