Pop-up VR Cinema
With virtual reality (VR) technology, the audience can now develop a completely new relationship with moving images. The images are now so close that audiences could almost grasp them with their finger tips. The whole "watching" experience is like having a one-on-one conversation with the narrative, so interactive and intimate. This year, ifva is presenting the first Pop-up VR Cinema in town. With the selected award-winning VR works from different regions of the world, audience will be able to experience how different image creators embrace technology to discover new ways of storytelling.
8/3 (Wed) – 19/3 (Sun) | 2-8pm | McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts Centre | Free Registration
Hsu Chih-yen (Taiwan)
2019 / VR360 / Col / 17'39" / In Mandarin and Taiwanese with Chinese and English subtitles
In a summer afternoon, the family gathers in the old house. They surround beside grandma to show their love, even she's no longer able to move, react or hear clearly. As people come and go, the television keeps replaying and the fan is still running in the peaceful old house, where lives grandma and her maid.
Red Tail
Fish Wang (Taiwan)
2022 / 6dof / Col / 20'00" / In Mandarin or English on demand with no subtitles
A boy is always chasing a red tail. After passing through many magical cities, extremely exhausted, he finds himself waking up in a gentleman's room. It turns out that the red tail is a fish, which is formed by the boy's own blood. The red tail reminds the boy that the fish is his own sadness that he tries to break loose from. In the end, his tears revive the fish and he makes peace with his own sadness.
Komez Alef O
Ioulia Isserlis (Germany)
2022 / VR 360 / Col / 18'00" / In English with English subtitles
Holocaust survivor Victor I. takes the viewer on a deeply personal VR journey through his memories of the Second World War: The trauma of the Holocaust, the trauma of war and the trauma of being forcefully uprooted from home. His story, told in his own voice, is one of despair and hope during the most terrifying time in modern history. The experience is guided by audio recordings of Victor's testimonies and supported by stylised visualisations of his memories that are both re-created through his recollections and reimagined through his daughter who grew up with and inherited his memories.
Silili & Tree
Polly Yeung (Hong Kong)
2021 / VR360 / Col / 12'00" / In Cantonese, English or Mandarin on demand with no subtitles
A mysterious island hovers in the sky. There grows the magical tree. We come to encounter Master Silili, who will guide us through the wonderful soul-searching journey. In the face of natural beauty one will fully immerse into this surrounding and be open to the wisdom taught by the Mother Nature
Chroma 11
Tsang Tsui-shan (Hong Kong)
2022 / 6dof / Col / 13'00" / In Cantonese & English with no subtitles
Chroma 11 is a virtual reality immersive experience based on the true story of lost love. As an extension of the dance documentary film Ward 11, which documented the heart-rending last days of dance artist Aaron Khek Ah-hock and his partner Ix Wong Thien-pau. The Chroma 11 project expands the boundaries of moving images with VR technology. Through clips of rearranged memories and volumetric video captured by DepthKit, the creative team strives to reconstruct a reunion of the parted souls in the form of a duo dance after life.
Mengtai Zhang, Lemon Guo(China)
VR experience / 30’00” / In Putonghua and English with English subtitles
In China, internet gaming is described as “electronic heroin” and many parents of suspected internet addicts send them to re-education camps. One of them was the director of this VR experience that places you at the centre of his haunting experiences.
The Man Who Couldn’t Leave
Singing Chen(Taiwan)
VR 360 / 35’00” / In Taiwanese and Mandarin with English subtitles
The Man Who Couldn’t Leave integrates the stories of numerous political victims of the White Terror and told through the form of an undelivered family letter. An immersive VR experience of hope, fear and camaraderie.
Supported by
“We Need to Talk about VR” Conversations
The two-day "We Need to Talk about VR" Conversations will feature international and local VR experts and creative practitioners in filmmaking, animation, media art and computer programming to talk about VR, not only as a new way of storytelling, but also the ethics and emotions involved in this newly embraced technology. For both days, the programme will be concluded by local case studies on how the storytelling and experiences of films and animations could be expanded and explored through the technology of VR.

Day 1 |  4/3 |  (Sat) | 2pm | McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts Centre | English | Free Registration

Filmmaker Max Sacker will talk about immersive storytelling, transmedia, photorealism and new media projects where cinema meets interactivity. Marc Lopato, co-founder of Paris-based Diversion Cinema will give an introduction on the potentials of VR film market and an overview of the wide range of VR films. Hong Kong directors Polly Yeung (Silili & Tree), Tsang Tsui-shan (Chroma 11) and Sharon Yeung (MADE: meet me at the end of the assembly line) have adapted VR technology for audiences to be immersed in animated adventure, dance and documentary experiences. They will be sharing on their vision of producing their VR film projects, from creative directions, the use of new technology to the works.
Creativity before Technology: From Filmmaking to Virtual Reality
Max Sacker
Max Sacker is an award-winning writer, director and producer in film, virtual reality, games and immersive new media. Past work has premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW and Tribeca Immersive. He has been a tutor at the Biennale College Cinema VR Lab and in 2016 he co-founded AnotherWorld VR where he is currently the studio's creative director. He is also art director and co-founder of Proof of Taste GmbH where he is helping to build and develop a VR music metaverse.
Vision of VR Industry: Bringing the Power of Immersive to Cinema
Marc Lopato
Marc Lopato, INSEAD MBA Engineer, has worked seven years in supply chain in Japan and France. He then started his own company and worked as a professional tourist guide and interpreter. With his operational, cultural and international background, he cofounded Diversion Cinema in 2016 and manages its operations and business development. Since 2018 serves as a tutor for Virtual Reality Biennale College Cinema for Venice's Biennale.
Female Creative Power from Hong Kong
Polly Yeung
Polly Yeung, cross-genre content creator. Yeung set up animation studio Point Five Creations with animation director Tommy Ng in 2019. She produced and wrote the animation Another World (2019) that garnered eminent international awards and acclaims. She produced and created animated VR project Silili & Tree in 2021. Yeung makes her directorial debut in documentary short film The Cloud Learner (2021/22) and produces Mexican documentary The Siren Song (to be released in 2023)
Tsang Tsui Shan Jessey
Tsang Tsui-shan , Best New Director of Hong Kong Film Award 2012. Her debut film Lovers On the Road (2008) won the Best Drama Award of the 8th South Taiwan Film Festival. Her second feature Big Blue Lake (2012) won the Jury Special Award of the Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival and the Asian New Talent Jury Prix of the Shanghai International Film Festival. Other films include the French-Hong Kong co-production documentary Flowing Stories (2014), feature film Scent (2014) and The Lady Improper (2019). Tsang's first VR project Chroma 11 had been selected by the 79th Venice International Film Festival, Venice immersive section.
Sharon Yeung
Sharon Yeung is a Hong Kong director-producer who makes documentaries in short, feature and immersive formats. Her recent works include MADE: meet me at the end of the assembly line, a VR documentary that follows an iPhone factory worker in China, and Create Your Own, an award-winning interactive documentary about creativity and young people's search for identity.
Panel Discussion: How VR can convince the skeptics that it is not just for fun?
Participating Artists:
Max Sacker | Iolanda Di Bonaventura | Ioulia Isserlis | Saverio Trapasso

Day 2 | 5/3 (Sun) | 2pm | McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts Centre | English | Free Registration

Italian visual artist and director Iolanda Di Bonaventura will discuss the questions on the ethics and empathy developed through VR experiences. Berlin-based VR producer and director of Komez Alef O Ioulia Isserlis will be sharing on how VR could be seen as an emotional and technical journey. Italy-based 3D artist and creative technologist Saverio Trapasso will walk through the full process of creating immersive VR as an unique medium for storytelling, which allows viewer to become an active protagonist of a narrative.
The Question of Ethics and Empathy in VR
Iolanda Di Bonaventura
Iolanda Di Bonaventura, is an Italian transmedia artist and XR director. Her artistic research is based on the investigation of human identity. Her projects have been exhibited in international contexts, such as the Venice VR Expanded of the Venice Film Festival and the PHI Center in Montreal, where the artist had a two-month residency in 2022.
VR as an Emotional and Technical Journey
Ioulia Isserlis

Ioulia Isserlis is a Berlin-based VR director, writer and producer, and is the co-founder and CEO of AnotherWorld VR. VR projects that she has directed, produced and/or written include Pagan Peak, Kobold, Bystanding and Komez Alef O, all premiered at internationally renowned festivals like Venice, Tribeca and SXSW.
A Creative Introduction to Future Skills
Saverio Trapasso
Saverio Trapasso, is an Italian Creative Technologist and XR producer. He is involved in professional training in the field of XR on an international level. Since 2018 he has been collaborating in the production and technical development of Iolanda Di Bonaventura's VR projects. He is currently working as a lead dev and 3D at a Montreal company specialising in the production of XR projects.
VR Studio | Storytelling in VR: Depths of Night as Case Study
Step C.
Step C. is an animation director, illustrator, educator and art director based in Hong Kong. Her latest animation Depths of Night (2021) was selected in more than 50 international festivals internationally, and have won awards at ifva and DigiCon6 Asia.
Responding Artists:
Max Sacker | Marc Lopato | Iolanda Di Bonaventura | Ioulia Isserlis | Saverio Trapasso
Supported by
The 28th ifva Awards
VR Special Prize
The forms and ways of film watching and making have never stopped evolving. From films, videos to digital images, from on-site shooting, CG to extended reality, creativity and imagination have always remained formless and boundless.
ifva joins forces with Meta to present the first VR Special Prize this year, to encourage local and Asian filmmakers, animators and media artists to bring new lights to traditional narratives through their creative minds and specialised techniques.
VR Speical Prize will be announced in March 2023. Winning works may have the chance to be shown at Pop-up VR Cinema.
Empowered by