Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories

Virtual Reality Headset at FIVARS Festival

Immerse Yourself at FIVARS

FIVARS Festival Logo

Experience Stories From Around the World Powered By Virtual & Augmented Reality

The fourth annual Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories (FIVARS) is set for Sept. 14-16

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, August 30, 2018 — Toronto, ON – The fourth annual Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories (FIVARS) is set for Sept. 14-16 (the final weekend of TIFF) and will mark the launch of the newly renovated and rescued historic Matador Ballroom where everyone from Johnny Cash to Leonard Cohen has performed over its hundred-year history.

“When I walked in, owner Paul McCaughey, a tai chi master, said, ‘Look what happens when you walk into this space, how it opens up like a Kubrick film,’” recounts FIVARS founder and executive director Keram Malicki- Sánchez, a musician, actor and VR expert. “I said, ‘You’re going to love our festival because it’s about how to tell a story in a space. This medium lets you feel dimension, proximity, and intimacy.”
FIVARS is not your typical film festival. Patrons have a two-hour window to explore the content curated from providers from around the globe: Asia, North & South America, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. Inside the Matador will be holograms, projection mapping, and multi-user synchronized playback. One can view Virtual Reality experiences from the comfort of a swivel chair, or “room-scale” VR, which allows the user open space to move around and interact within Virtual Worlds.

“It’s a beautiful space designed for visual impact featuring many wonders and curiosities,” says Malicki- Sánchez, fully aware of the Instagram appeal, hence the large lighted FIVARS marquee sign at the entrance.
FIVARS distinguishes itself from other VR events by including dozens of World Premieres, exclusives, and, best of all, no line-ups. Wristbands also allow re-entry each day to the international content creators discussion from 4-5 p.m.

From the 30+ pieces having their world, Canadian, or Toronto premieres, the 2018 VR film line-up includes William, a first-person point of view of a young Indigenous boy’s experience in a residential school by Canadian director Sonia B. Boileau; Second Date, a lighthearted, unscripted portrait of a young couple fumbling towards ecstasy by award-winning erotic filmmaker Jennifer Lyon Bell; Filamu, featuring a pair of African-Americans invited to comment on a documentary about families living in Africa leading to a debate full of authenticity and humour through a visually African but vocally American journey, and an interactive experience that allows you to step inside the mind of one of the coolest teenagers ever with Ferris’s Room.

“The festival handles a spectrum of subject matter that is guaranteed to provoke real discussion and thought long after the lights have gone out,” says Malicki- Sánchez. “This year we continue to feature powerful voices with diverse perspectives from around the world that can also justify using this medium as the best way to deliver their impact.”

Keram Malicki- Sánchez (FIVARS Executive Director) is available for interviews

FIVARS details:
Where: Matador Ballroom (466 Dovercourt Rd.)
When: Sept. 14-16, noon – 9p.m.
Tickets: timed entry and walk-ups (if available), $42 (plus S.C.)


FIVARS is a presentation of VRTO. The annual event seeks to change how the film industry and the content consuming public view what’s possible with VR technology. It is organized by Executive Director and Founder Keram Malicki-Sanchez. FIVARS is produced by VRTO (Virtual Reality, Toronto) and Constant Change Media Group Inc.

For more information, visit http://fivars.net. Or download the Android app at http://bit.ly/fivarsapp.
Social: Twitter and Instagram @fivarstories


Stephanie Greenall
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