NFB VR Meeting Montréal How, in the context of mixed realities, can individuals be made to feel something real?

The NFB (Filmboard of Canada) has decided to implement gender parity in the creation of its works: from now on, half of all NFB projects will be carried out by women. And because it's 2016, the biggest thing in cinematographic creation is virtual reality. This immersion in an egalitarian future begins with a private workshop on the challenges of creation in virtual and mixed reality. The participants were an exceptional, exclusively female group of sixteen creators from the worlds of film, video-game design and multidisciplinary creation. 

Lava Lab was invited by NFB to join this all femlae VR private workshop and be part of the VR salon at MUTEK festival the week after, alongside expertmeetings with international expert in the field of mixed reality. It was a very inspiring and educative week, full of knowledge exchange and networking.

The workshop participants included Patricia Bergeron, interactive works programmer for the RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival and the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois; Moura Melondeau, game designer for Ubisoft Montreal, who is working on a virtual reality experience; and Brigitte Poupart, who appeared in Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lahzar and has presented her own documentary, Over My Dead Body, at MOMA in New York, Hot Docs in Toronto, and the Rendez-Vous du cinéma Québécois in Montreal.

The workshop, organized by the NFB in partnership with the MUTEK festival and the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, will encourage the participants to discuss, collaborate and create around the theme of displacement in an attempt to answer a number of questions: How, in the context of virtual, augmented, and mixed realities, can individuals be made to feel something real? How can these immersive individual experiences be used to create a collective experience? And how can people experience the public space when it is virtual?

The women who will be participating in the roundtable are no strangers to virtual reality. Sarah Rothberg works as a virtual reality experience director at the Samsung Accelerator. She also teaches a course in directing virtual reality at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has exhibited her own VR work, Memory/Place, at the Bitforms Gallery in New York. Celine Tricart, a VR filmmaker and founder of Lucid Dreams Productions, shot her first VR film, Marriage Equality, using a Nokia Ozo VR camera. She is currently producing her first VR experience on a game engine.

Eva Schindling is a creative technologist with Daily tous les jours, a studio that creates interactive experiences in the public space. Clara García Fraile works with Sam Pearson at the Me and the Machine collective, creating mixed-reality film and theatre projects.

The NFB wants to give today’s female creators all the tools they need to fashion the works that will be part of our everyday cultural landscape tomorrow.

ONF XP - Atelier de création VR from Office national du film on Vimeo.