Bij Imagine Expanded laten fantastische verhalen en werelden de verschillende platforms film, games en VR samenvloeien.
Imagine has been programming VR since 2017, and in 2019 games were added. This year we take a step further and will no longer look at the various media separately, but enhance imagination itself with a programme called Imagine Expanded. In this programme it’s not only the (film) screens that offer room for reflection, but the entire festival – including exhibition spaces, XR and game setups, workshops, performances and discussions. With Imagine Expanded, the various platforms are brought together by the fantastic stories and worlds.
The Imagine VR competition is entering its third year and is the biggest international VR competition in the Benelux. Around twenty titles compete for the Imagine VR award. Besides the regular 360-VR, we will be making even more space for interactive and roomscale VR this year. With titles like Kobold (horror) and Eleven Eleven (thematically related to Nature Strikes Back) we will bring film and game fans even closer together and give the Imagine audience the stories they love – more in-depth than ever.
In Level Up, Imagine showcases new Dutch fantastic interactive productions. A varied programme will present different games created by game developers ranging from beginning to experienced. All creators are present for commentary and audience questions. From cyberpunk-multiplayer to ocean-world-fantasy RPG and from VR goblins to desktop aliens – Level Up will show the creativity of game makers in all its facets.
Our panel this year will take a closer look at the cinematic aspects of VR games, with Colin Harvey as our main guest. Colin is a game designer, writer and scholar. He wrote a book about Transmedia Storytelling and a few years ago became lead writer at Sony Playstation VR London, responsible for hit games like Blood&Truth. Colin will be accompanied by David Prinsmel from Flemish game studio Happy Volcano and film director Samuel Faict, who are developing a VR game together. VR scholar Mirjam Vosmeer, specialised in VR storytelling, will also join the panel. Together they will discuss the technological and content-based challenges of creating story-heavy VR games, the influence of Hollywood and the future of VR films and games. Thanks to Playstation Benelux, Blood&Truth will be available to play for free in the festival cafe afterwards, as will be The Complex by our spotlight guest.
Imagine welcomes American screenwriter Lynn Renee Maxcy for a career talk. She is one of the writers on the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale and a true genre fan. She describes her own work as ‘futuristic sci-fi and girl-with-gun stories (and sometimes futuristic girl-with-time-machine-AND-gun stories, just to keep you on your toes)’. Recently she wrote the screenplay for the full motion videogame The Complex (Wales Interactive Studios), so we will definitely talk to her about the differences and similarities between writing interactive and non-interactive stories.
For Imagine 2020 we are happy to apply the idea of Expanded Cinema to ‘expand’ journalism as well, and to connect the skills of the film journalist and the game journalist. How do you look at games from a film journalistic perspective? And how exactly should you view interactive VR projects? In collaboration with Ronald Rovers (editor in chief of Filmkrant, film editor for Trouw), Aryeh Loeb (Dutch Game Garden) and Pim van den Berg (freelance game journalist), the Imagine Film Festival will organise a workshop to offer insight into the unique characteristics and narrative possibilities of games, which will then be examined by way of a writing assignment based on games from the Level Up showcase at the festival, the VR panel or the VR experiences.
Worldwide, companies are working on digital tools to create virtual environments for filmmakers to work in. In collaboration with VFX company Planet X, A-Post Lab and the Dutch Film Academy, we organise a virtual production workshop which takes a closer look at these new possibilities. In addition to a general introductory part, the workshop consists of two case studies. Using material from their work, Lodewijk Crijns and DOP Bert Pot will talk about their use of virtual production for Bumperkleef, and producer Maurice Schutte will use the scenario of The Occupant to show how virtual production can be applied to this film project. Finally, teams consisting of a director, a DOP and an editor will get the chance to try out the technology for themselves.
Imagine Expanded takes place all over Eye. Spatial design students at the HKU will decorate the building, inspired by the Nature Strikes Back theme, and game design students will develop digital and pervasive games around the same theme. In addition, there will be a special exhibition of dioramas from The Netherlands and elsewhere, some of them especially created for the festival. With these dioramas, which are all inspired by genre films and games, we will also showcase the non-virtual three-dimensional world of fantastic film.