A Heightened Sense of Presence

CANNES 2017. The hybrid installation "Separate Silences" combines sensory input and live-action VR to create an experience of slowly waking up after a coma. The work is on show in the NEXT section for creative cinema at the Cannes Film Market.

Separate Silences Cannes 2017

Theatre, VR and sensation combine in "Separate Silences," where the storyline revolves around two siblings in a coma.

"Separate Silences" is one of several virtual reality exhibitions taking part in NEXT, the section of the Cannes Film Market with a keen eye on creative business and new technologies. With a focus this year on cinematic experiences within Virtual Reality, NEXT invites film professionals to discover new ways of storytelling – and experience some of the latest works in the field.

"Separate Silences," taking place in a theatre-like environment, combines multiple points of view, physical stimulation and traditional film formats to achieve a heightened sense of presence.

The story revolves around two siblings, who are each in a coma, constantly floating between different perceptions of worlds within themselves and the hospital they are kept in. The viewer, wearing a VR headset, takes on the role of one of the two siblings, inhabiting his or her mind during the 21-minute performance. Through synchronised effects of touch and smell, sensations and visuals combine. What ever may happen to the virtual body will also happen to the corporal body. 

The VR installation is created by five film students from the Film & Transmedia programme at VIA University College in Aarhus, Denmark, as their graduation project. Two of the group members, Maria Herholdt Engermann and Signe Ungermand, have been specialising in VR and new media storytelling for the last couple of years. After graduating in January 2017, they founded the VR company MANND, who is distributing "Separate Silences."

Together with director David Wedel, Maria Herholdt Engermann and Signe Ungermand are present in Cannes to showcase their VR installation, which can be experienced from 17 to 21 May.

MANND has received support from the Danish Film Institute and the regional film and media center in Western Denmark, Filmby Aarhus, and VIA Business.

Read more about MANND

Also at NEXT 

Simon Lajboschitz' VR installation "I U WE" is part of a CPH:LAB work-in-progress presentation at NEXT. CPH:LAB is CPH:DOX' talent development programme which, from March 2017, widened its scope to include projects that make use of the benefits of new technologies and distribution methods. The event, taking place on 20 May, is moderated by Tine Fisher, head of CPH:DOX. Read more in the NEXT schedule.

Cannes Film Market NEXT 17-21 May


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