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58th TIFF: New VR Section // Alexander Payne & Jean-Marc Barr attend (10/18/2017)

58th THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
November 2-12, 2017
ALEXANDER PAYNE & JEAN-MARC BARR IN THE 58th TIFF
VIRTUAL REALITY FILMS COMPETITION SECTION: A new cinema experience
 
Alexander Payne & Jean-Marc Barr in the 58th TIFF
Two more special guests will attend the 58th Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
 
Greek-born award-winning filmmaker Alexander Payne returns to Thessaloniki to present his latest work Downsizing, a surreal social satire about over-population, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, who shrink themselves thanks to a promising discovery and move to a new downsized community; a choice that triggers life-changing adventures.
 
In addition, French-American actor Jean-Marc Barr will accompany two films screened in the 58th TIFF: Lefteris Haritos’ documentary Dolphin Man and Semih Kaplanoğlu’s Grain, where he participates as narrator and protagonist respectively. Dolphin Man unfolds the life story of legendary free-diver Jacques Mayol, who became the inspiration for Luc Besson's cult-movie Le Grand Bleu, where Barr starred as Mayol. Grain, Semih Kaplanoğlu’s English-language debut, is a science fiction film about the odyssey of a genetics professor played by Barr.
 
Virtual Reality Films Competition section: A new cinema experience
The 58th TIFF has the pleasure to welcome you to the exciting world of Virtual Reality / VR, inviting you to immerse into this new innovative technology and experience cinema as never before. TIFF launches for the first time in Greece and the Balkans, a Competition section with 10 VR films that will be screened for the audience and film professionals in INVR-Virtual Reality Thessaloniki, a new venue located in the centre of the city (Aristotelous Str. 6, Thessaloniki).   
 
The jury of the VR Films Competition section is comprised of Emma Boa (project manager, Edinburgh Film Festival, UK), Aliki Tsirliagou (art historian, director of Nitra Gallery, Greece) and Aris Dimokidis (Editor-in-chief of website Lifo.gr, Greece). The jury will bestow an award for Best Film that amounts to 3,000 euro, sponsored by the Film Centre Serbia.
 
TIFF’s VR initiative will be further expanded in the upcoming 20th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, inviting the audience to a unique cinematic experience.
 
*The films will be screened with English subtitles. Ticket price: 5 euro per screening.

The films that participate in the VR Competition section of the 58th TIFF are:

Bloodless by Gina Kim (South Korea, 2017, 12’)
A horrific murder was committed by an American soldier in South Korea in 1992; the victim was a sex worker in a camp town for US army. The film traces the last hours of this woman, one of the many casualties of similar attacks since the 1950s.
 
Dolphin Man VR by Benoit Lichté (France, 2017, 10’) 
As a companion of Lefteris Charitos’ documentary Dolphin Man about the pioneer freediver Jacques Mayol, Lichté’s VR film provides a rare insight into the oceans of our planet and our relationship with the sea, through the breathtaking testimonies of three accomplished contemporary free divers.
 
EWA, Out Of Body by Johan Knattrup Jensen (Denmark, 2016, 8’)
The viewer "becomes" Ewa, the film’s heroine, looking at the world through her eyes and experiencing her life through her body, from childhood to adulthood, both dominated by the fragile relationship with her mother.
 
Kinoscope by Clement Léotard & Philippe Collin (France, 2017, 9’)
From Méliès and Chaplin to Kubrick and Tarantino, the history of cinema unfolds vividly in the film, through some of the most iconic moments of the big screen, narrated by the celebrated Hollywood production designer Dean Tavoularis.
 
Lifeline by Victor Michelot (France, 2017, 6’)
Time freezes the moment you fall in love. There is no past, no present, nor future, but one unique sphere out of space and time within which feelings, memories and desires are mingled. The film captures this magic moment in VR format.
 
Notes on Blindness by James Spinney & Peter Middleton (France – UK, 2016, 20’)
Unfolding like an unexpected, emotionally charged journey from darkness to light, the film recalls the audio diaries of writer and theologian John Hull: a compelling and intimate account of the experience of going blind.
 
On Sight by Pablo Mahave Fernandez (USA, 2016, 5’)
Three Afghan brothers flee their home Afghanistan to escape political retribution. They arrive on a boat at the Greek island of Lesvos and seek asylum in Greece. The film follows their Odyssey; an unknown path, full of doubt.
 
Proxima by Mathieu Pradat (France, 2017, 9’)
Trapped between birth and death, we chase the elusive answer to the question of why we exist. Is it all an illusion or the need for life? As an echo of Baudelaire’s poem Abyss, the film introduces us to the depths of human existence.
 
Sergent James by Alexandre Perez (France, 2017, 7’)
It’s bedtime for Leo, but he thinks there is something under his bed. A child’s imagination, the fear of the unknown and the toys that come to life only in nighttime, set the tone in this beautifully crafted ode to childhood. 
 
We Who Remain by Sam Wolson & Trevor Snapp (Sudan-USA, 2017, 12’)
An unknown civil war still rages at the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where people are helpless and cut off from the rest of the world. Four of them confess on camera how they survive a brutal conflict with no end in sight.

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