Filmmakers Michelle and Uri Kranot’s multi-user experience “We Are at Home” won the Grand Prize at Paris’ NewImages festival on Friday evening, furthering a blockbuster festival run. Known as the Masque d’Or (the Golden Mask), the award comes with a €6,000 ($7,264) grant.
Adapted from Carl Sandburg’s 1922 poem, the project has taken shape in multiple, award-winning formats; the single-user experience, titled “The Hangman at Home VR,” won the Grand Jury Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival, while an animated version claimed the Golden Dragon at the Krakow Film Festival earlier this month.
The filmmakers are prepping a live performance version due to premiere later this year.
The NewImages jury – made up of filmmakers Claude Barras (“My Life as a Zucchini”) and Bertrand Mandico (“The Wild Boys”), musician Yael Naim and designer Selly Raby Kane – honored two films with a second place tie.
“Reeducated,” an animated doc about life in a Chinese internment camp produced by The New Yorker and U.S. agency Dirt Empire, and “Strands of Mind,” a hallucinatory trip into the beyond from director Adrian Meyer, will split the Special Jury Prize for VR, while Adrien M and Claire B’s interactive pop-up book “Acqua Alta – Crossing the Mirror” can now call itself winner of the Special Jury Prize for AR. All three projects will receive €3,000 ($3,633) in prize money.
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Awarded to French XR work with strong export potential, the deep-water sci-fi experience “Biolum” won the UniFrance prize to the tune of €1,000 ($1,211).
On the industry side, “Lights!,” a so-described “exploration of light through the ages, from the 16th-century candle lantern to the 21st-century LED” won the inaugural Best Pitch prize at the festival’s XR Financing Market. With it comes a grant for €1,000 ($1,211).
As part of its three year partnership with the Kaohsiung Film Festival and the French Office in Taipei, NewImages will send “Encounters” director Mathieu Pradat on a six-eight week residency program that will include support and coaching as well as funding to the tune of €10,000 ($12,106).
The fourth edition of NewImages kicked off on June 9 and will run until June 13.