The Immersive: All Around Cinema competition section of the 26th TiDF

The innovative Immersive: All around cinema competition section embraces works that make use of the most up-to-date technologies to showcase different views of an extended reality, paving new ways for the reception and interpretation of the moving images and the art of cinema as a whole. The Golden Alexander Immersive will be bestowed to the section’s best film, accompanied by a 2,000-euro cash prize. 

The 26th TiDF’s Immersive: All around cinema competition section includes 8 films that invite us on a journey from Ukraine to Los Angeles and from Mexico all the way to… the inside of the human brain. Immigration issues, the oppressive patriarchal structures, the passing of time and the human memory, as well as the work of one of the most influential erotica artists, are among the topics that set the tone in this year’s lineup. 

In addition, the art installation The Eye and I by the iconic music composer and electronic music legend Jean-Michel Jarre, who teamed up with Hsin-Chien Huang to confine us inside a digital prison, urging us to ponder on whether we truly possess and exercise the utmost gift of free will. 

Glass House (former Nursery School)

Pier Α, Port of Thessaloniki

Working hours: 13:00-21:00 

Ticket: 3 euros

The jury is composed of: 

Yannis Kantea-Papadopoulos (film critic)

Victoria Leshchenko (festival programmer and organizer)

Sara Ferro (producer, festival organizer)

Let’s take a glance at the Immersive: All around cinema films:

Draw for Change: We Exist, We Resist

Mariana Cadenas Sangronis 

Belgium, 2023, 15’

Enter the vibrant world of Maremoto, a young Mexican cartoonist who, through her drawings, empowers women and addresses the taboos of her society. In this uniquely liberating immersive and interactive VR experience, we become part of Maremoto’s ongoing search for her identity and drive through art.


Marion Burger, Ilan J. Cohen

France-Germany, 2023, 40’

An interactive and narrative experience in virtual reality, which invites the user to travel inside the brain of a father suffering from aphasia. It is the story of a man who’s lost his ability to speak, and of the daughter trying to communicate with him. It is the story of a woman, who wasn’t given the chance to know the man behind her father, now obscured by this illness. As she tries to piece together what remains of his language, she discovers that his relationship to words is connected to his memories. The memories of an entire lifetime... Α poetic experience of the loss of one’s faculties, of the passing of time, and of the bonds that, despite everything, remain.

Fresh Memories: The Look

Volodomyr Kolbasa, Ondřej Moravec

Czech Republic, 2023, 11’

Bombed houses, schools, hospitals, streets and many others. War in Ukraine from its beginning has taken away thousands of households and lives as well. Kharkiv was one of the towns which was hit in a massive way. In this immersive experience in virtual reality inspired by the famous Marina Abramovich performance The Artist Is Present, you look into the eyes of those who lost their homes or places closely connected with them. What can this simple look awake in us? Will it bring despair, grief, or hope?

Spots of Light

Adam Weingrod

Israel-Canada, 2023, 14’

After 25 years of blindness, Dan gets a chance to see his wife and children for the very first time. It may also be his last…

The Interview

Thom Vander Beken

Belgium-Germany, 2023, 40’

The Interview uses VR to put you in the role of a caseworker in an immigration office. You will interview asylum seekers. At the end of each interview, it is your job to decide who can stay and who should be asked to return to his/her country of origin. How easy is it to make that decision when the person is sitting in front of you?

The Matriarx

Julia Bruton

Germany-Canada, 2023, 12’

An immersive VR experience taking the heroine and hero into a world where matriarchal structures have endured. It is a parallel world in which people treat each other based on a different set of societal rules. This has an effect on social, economic, and political life. Family and love relationships function differently. This experience will attract everyone who is curious about societal change and is a first-timer in VR.

TOM House - The VR Experience

Carlos Marroquín, Márton Jelinkó

Finland, 2023, 30’

Tom of Finland (1920–1991) is arguably the world's most influential creator of queer-erotic art. Pioneer of homoerotic iconography in the previous century (both in the years of prohibition and in the era of acceptance and liberation), he contributed to decriminalization and shaping the identity and aesthetics of an entire movement. TOM House – The VR Experience welcomes visitors into the legendary Los Angeles residence of Tom. This immersive experience features three thematic documentary tours in the house, and a virtual art gallery which presents Tom’s work like never experienced before.

Turbulence: Jamais Vu

Ben Joseph Andrews, Emma Roberts

Australia, 2023, 10’

XR artist Ben Joseph Andrews lives with a chronic disability that often affects his experience of reality – a neurological phenomenon called “jamais vu.” This intimate, interactive docu-essay uses a VR headset and a depth camera to ask audiences to reflect on the fragility of perception and the beauty of our ever- moving world.

Out of competition:

The Eye And I

Jean-Michel Jarre, Hsin-Chien Huang

France-Taiwan, 2023, 55’ 

Conversing with the VR competition program in the Festival’s official selection, Immersive – All Around Cinema, a unique experience signed by a pioneer of contemporary electronic music is presented during this year’s edition as an interactive installation. In this enigmatic odyssey that tackles the relation between visual culture and our collective identity-making, the legendary composer and performer Jean-Michel Jarre and Hsin-Chien Huang lock us into a deconstructed digital prison system to question our free will. An experiential study and at the same time a wild adventure commenting on our modern societies of control.