At its 4th edition, which took place from June 9–13, 2021, the NewImages Festival—one of the first events to have the chance be held physically at the Forum des images in Paris—presented four awards in its XR Competition, three of which were given to French works!
Hurray! The festival jury, composed of Yael Naim, Bertrand Mandico, Claude Barras, and Selly Raby Kane gave the Masque d’Or award, which comes with a €6000 prize, to We Are at Home, directed by Michelle and Uri Kranot, and produced by Floréal, Miyu Productions, Late Love Production, and ONF. Inspired by a poem by Carl Sandburg, this multi-form project tells the story of a hangman: What does he think about when he goes home after a day's work? During the 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, its directors and producers took part in a roundtable organized by UniFrance, in which they discussed the genesis of the work and their production process. This discussion can be viewed free online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkrmEegHHfU
Last but not least, in an exciting new innovation this year, Unifrance was in attendance at this festival of digital creations to present a grant: the UniFrance/NewImages Festival Export Grant. Chosen by the jury, one of the French directors in competition received a €1000 grant to help promote their work internationally in the coming year. The jury selected Biolum, produced by IKO and directed by Abel Kohen. It is an interactive sci-fi experience in virtual reality that immerses the user in the breathtaking beauty of the depths of the ocean, on a dive that won't go as planned. This work is currently in competition at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
UniFrance wishes to express our sincere congratulations to all of the prizewinners, and we commend the growing success of this annual event devoted to immersive works.
The date has already been set for next year's edition of the festival: June 8–12, 2022.