Atlas V, the thriving French VR company with three films premiering in Annecy’s inaugural VR competition lineup, has enlisted Tahar Rahim (“Looming Towers”) and Zita Hanrot (“Plan Coeur”) for Jorge Tereso and Fernando Maldonado’s animated “Gloomy Eyes” and Pierre Zandrowicz’s sci-fi experience “Mirror,” respectively.
“Mirror,” which is being presented at the Annecy Film Festival in the work-in-progress section, marks Zandrowicz’s follow up to “I, Philip.” “Mirror” is an English-language narrative VR short in the veins of “Under The Skin,” “Annihilation” and “Solaris,” said Zandrowicz who wrote the script with Remi Giordano, his co-scribe on “I, Philip,” and Nicolas Peufaillit, the co-writer of Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet.”
“Mirror” takes place thirty years from now and stars Hanrot as a young woman, Claris, whose trip into space unravels, leading her to have hallucinations bringing back some painful memories. “The psychological drama allows us to follow the characters’s emotional journey from the standpoint of another planet and a virtual relationship is established between us and Claris’s character,” explained Zandrowicz.
Unlike most VR films which solely use video game softwares, “Mirror” mixes motion and performance capture techniques, as well as an animation pipeline, said Antoine Cayrol, the co-founder of Atlas V which is producing with Fauns. Cayrol is in Annecy with his partner Arnaud Colinart to present the first 8 minutes of the film in the work-in-progress sidebar.
Zandrowicz said the tools used on “Mirror” gives him the possibility to capture every facets of Hanrot’s performance. The rising young actress won a Cesar award for best female newcomer in 2016 for her role in Philippe Faucon’s “Fatima.” She’s also the star of Netflix’s French romantic comedy series “Plan Coeur.”
Rahim, meanwhile, is on board to narrate “Gloomy Eyes,” a three-part animated VR series whose first episode is premiering in competition at the Annecy Film Festival. “Gloomy Eyes” tells the story of a young human girl and a zombie boy whose love transcends the boundaries in a world where zombies are considered outlaws.
“Gloomy Eyes” is Rahim’s first VR project. The popular French actor is currently shooting Damian Chazelle’s Paris-set musical series “The Eddy.”
Colin Farrell (“The Lobster”) narrated the English version of the series whose first episode premiered in the New Frontier section at the Sundance Film Festival.
Besides “Gloomy Eyes,” Atlas V also has Pedro Casavecchia’s animated short “Pulsion” and Jan Kounen’s spiritual film “Ayahuasca – KosmiK Journey” playing in competition at Annecy. “Pulsion” (pictured) marks Atlas V’s first non-immersive production.