×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

European VR Pioneers Join Forces to Launch New Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

Atlas V will have two entries in Sundance's New Frontier section

Some of Europe’s pioneers in VR – creators of the high-profile, award-winning “I, Philip,” “Notes on Blindness” and “Alteration” – are banding together to launch Atlas V, an immersive entertainment studio that’s kicking off with two experiences to be showcased at Sundance’s New Frontier.

Founded by Antoine Cayrol and Pierre Zandrowicz from Okio Studio (“I, Philip,” “Alteration”), Arnaud Colinart from Agat Films (“Notes on Blindness”), and Fred Volhuer from Shuttershades.io, Atlas V will roll out at Sundance with Nico Casavecchia and Martin Allais’s “Battlescar” (pictured) and Eliza McNitt’s “Spheres.”

“Sphere” is an interactive journey inspired by the iconic image of “Pale Blue Dot,” which transports viewers into the deepest pockets of the universe to bring to life interactive visions of future worlds. It is being made in collaboration with Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel. Atlas V is producing with Crimes of Curiosity and Novelab.

“Battlescar” is a coming-of-age animated narrative experience taking place in the burgeoning New York City punk scene of the 1970s, featuring Rosario Dawson. Atlas V is producing with 1st Ave Machine, Fauns and Arte France.

“Joining forces will allow us to combine our respective expertise in narrative, live-action VR, which Antoine and Pierre did at Okio, and animation VR using video game technology, which I did at Agat Films,” said Colinart, whose “Notes on Blindness” played at Sundance in 2016, won Tribeca’s Storyscapes Award that same year, and was a finalist at SXSW in 2017.

The eclectic slate of Atlas V includes “Mirror,” a sci-fi experience directed by Zandrowicz, who had previously directed “I, Philip”; “Lights,” which is directed by Julien Mokrani and lensed with Silicon Valley light-field tech pioneer Lytro; and an experiment by Gaspar Noe (“Irréversible,” “Enter the Void”).

“At Atlas V we will aim at crafting immersive entertainment experiences of all kinds, from virtual, augmented and mixed reality, and we’ll weave French storytelling heritage with the most advanced video-game workflows,” said Zandrowicz, who also cited an immersive theater project that will take place at the Odeon Theater in Paris.

Zandrowicz said he was greatly inspired by Alejandro Iñárritu’s VR installation “Carne y Arena,” which was shown at Cannes this year, and is looking forward to creating live, immersive installations that will be showcased at festivals.

“We have an ambitious festival strategy because it’s a crucial step, especially when you’re working in immersive entertainment, to gain the recognition of your peers in France and abroad, as well as gain access to top talent and filmmakers,” said Colinart. He cited Noe and Jan Kounen, who are currently working on projects set up at Atlas V.

“Atlas V will also strive to create films that can be accessible enough to reach wide audiences with either big IPs, strong cast or well-known directors – or all three,” said Cayrol, who founded Okio Studio with Zandrowicz and Lorenzo Benedetti in 2014.

The founders said North America was a key market for their new joint venture. “In North America, a lot of resources are being injected in hardware, but very little on content development and creation. In Europe, and especially in France, it’s the opposite, in parts because we are backed by public institutions, regional funds, and we have great schools like the Gobelins,” Cayrol said.

The trio said they wanted to create a production pipeline between North America and Europe, and to start working with daring, independent VR filmmakers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Altas V boasts offices in Paris, New York, Los Angeles and in Lyon, France, the birthplace of cinema and home to the rich cultural heritage of the Lumiere brothers.

More Film

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as a reliable box office draw. Even so, “La Llorona” and [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content