×
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

  • Aquaman 2018

    'Aquaman' Crosses $250 Million at Foreign Box Office

    Things are going swimmingly at the box office for “Aquaman” as the Warner Bros.’ superhero flick hits another major milestone overseas. James Wan’s take on the ruler of the seven seas just passed $250 million internationally, and a weekend haul of $126.4 million from 43 territories brings its foreign tally to $261.3 million. “Aquaman” — [...]

  • Mortal Engines

    'Mortal Engines' to Lose More Than $100 Million at Box Office

    “Mortal Engines,” a steampunk fantasy adventure, is also an epic flop. With a budget of just over $100 million and tens of millions in global marketing costs, executives at rival studios estimate that the movie will lose upwards of $100 million. Some even project that number could float to more than $125 million. “Mortal Engines” [...]

  • Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Honored

    Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Named Honorary Argentine Academy Members

    BUENOS AIRES — In a ceremony just before Friday’s prize announcements at Ventana Sur, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Festival, were named honorary members of Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a new move for the Academy, out through by its new president, Bernardo [...]

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content