16.04. ‐ 21.04.2024

7th VR Storytelling Award - 2023

For the seventh time, the LICHTER Filmfest presents the VIRTUAL REALITY STORYTELLING AWARD. We are presenting 360° films selected from submissions from all over the world. One special change this year is that the most qualified jury of them all – you, our audience – will decide who gets to receive the highly coveted Bembel trophy!

Anyone participating in a VR screening (or borrowing VR glasses from our festival centre for an individual viewing) will subsequently have the chance to vote for their favourite film. The happy winner will be the film amassing the most votes. The prize will then be awarded during the Award Ceremony, the final event of the LICHTER Filmfest on Sunday, the 23rd of April 2023. Attendance will be worth it!

This year’s selection of experimental and documentary films will definitely make you want to vote: a surreal trip through the CASTLE OF UNKNOWING, the oral culture of memory of the Australian Noongar in GALUP, delicious and informative insights into the life of a Sushi master chef in THE SUSHI MASTER as well as a moving appeal to life and art from war-torn Ukraine: YOU DESTROY. WE CREATE - THE WAR ON UKRAINE’S CULTURE.

The VR screenings take place in the festival centre.

Sat, 22.04.2023 2 pm | 5 pm | 8 pm

Sun, 23.04.2023 2 pm | 4:30 pm

You can also borrow a headset for a fee (ballot included!) on the ground floor of our festival centre MASSIF CENTRAL at the accreditation counter from Wednesday, 19th April to Friday, 21st April and enjoy this year’s selection of VR films on your own time independently and comfortably on site!

The finalists for the 7th VR Storytelling Award are:

AU 2022, original language (English), length: 9 min., directors: Ian Wilkes & Poppy van Oorde-Grainger

The Sushi Master - Behind the Dishes
US/F 2022, original language (English), length: 12:18 min., director: Chloé Rochereuil

Castle of Unknowing
US 2022, length: 5:55 min., director: Damian Thorn-Hauswirth

You Destroy. We create | The war on Ukraine’s culture
D/UKR 2022, original language (English), length: 25:22 min., directors: Felix Gaedtke, Gayatri Parameswaran


    Galup // AU 2022, original language (English)// Runtime: 9 min.// Directors: Ian Wilkes & Poppy van Oorde-Grainger

    The picturesque Lake Monger, a popular destination near the Australian city of Perth – here a cruel massacre of the indigenous population of the Noongar occurred after the arrival of the first European settlers, more than 200 years ago. An event that is hardly familiar even to today’s inhabitants of Perth. But the history of the Noongar is passed on by the descendants from one generation to the next. In Galup, for the first time ever it is told in front of a camera by Doolann Leisha Eatts, whose grandmother survived the massacre. combined with 360°-footage of the lake and its surroundings, the film is an intimate examination of a place and its history and makes a long-lasting impression.

    Galup intends to make a contribution to the fight against erasure and to give descendants of the victims of this tragic event at Lake Monger a voice.

    ‘I have lived my whole life dreaming that this story would be told. It was my greatest desire, right from when I was 10 years old.’

    - Doolann Leisha Eatts

    About the Directors

    Ian Wilkes is a Noongar theatre-maker, dancer and performer. He has directed several plays including Yirra Yaakin’s Boodjar Kaatijin and Songbird and performed numerous lead roles including in Yirra Yaakin’s Hecate and Ochre’s Kwongan for Perth Festival, CO3’s The Line at State Theatre WA and Honey Spot at the Sydney Opera House.

    Ian is also a founding facilitator of Culture 2.0, Yirra Yaakin’s regional youth engagement program. He was a facilitating artist on Community Arts Network’s Burdiya Mob project and a Performer and Cultural Consultant on Beyond Empathy’s Excursions Project.

    Poppy van Oorde-Grainger is a filmmaker, artist and producer. Her work has been broadcast on Nickelodeon, SBS, and ABC and presented at international festivals and galleries including London International Festival of Theatre, Japan Media Arts Festival, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Poppy first gained national recognition as the winner of the Fremantle Print Award and then later the Australia Council Kirk Robson Award for leadership in Community Arts and Cultural Development.

    Poppy is a director and producer at Same Drum and was previously a director and producer on Community Arts Network’s Burdiya Mob and Ngaluk Waangkiny projects and Beyond Empathy’s Excursions Project.

    The Sushi Master - Behind the Dish // USA/Frankreich 2022, engl. OV // Director: Chloé Rochereuil // Runtime: 12:18 Min

    Immerse yourself in the world of high-class gastronomy. The Sushi Master is the second episode of the trilogy Behind the Dish, which offers short but intense insights into the culinary daily life of a chef. This episode tells the inspiring story of Yumi Chiba, one of the few female sushi masters in Japan. With the help of her traditional culinary techniques, she attempts to find herself and identify with tradition. This 360° documentary combines impressive nature shots with fascinating depictions of Yumi Chiba’s cooking skills elegantly. The 12-minute short invites a tour of discovery that leads from Mount Fuji to the wasabi fields to illustrate the roots of the typical dish “Edomae-Sushi.”

    About the Director

    Chloé Rouchereuil is an Emmy-nominated director and co-founder of TARGO, an award-winning virtual-reality studio that specializes in documentaries. Rochereuil is known as the director of documentaries such as “When We Stayed Home”, “Rebuilding Notre Dame” or “Surviving 9/11.”

    Castle of Unknowing // USA 2022 // Regie: Damian Thorn-Hauswirth // Dauer: 5:55 Min

    A surrealistic journey, sprinkled with motifs from the realm of fairy tales and science fiction - what you will experience here is highly subjective, as the film guides the audience's attention back to themselves and uses these feelings and associations as a projection screen. Pure immersion with fascinating visuals and atmospheric sound design.

    About the Director

    Damian Thorn Hauswirth is a Digital Artist and Senior Multimedia Designer from Orlando, Florida. He created Castle of Unknowing while pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Visual Effects and Animation at the University of Central Florida.

    You Destroy. We create | The war on Ukraine’s culture // Germany/Ukraine 2022, engl. OV // Directors: Felix Gaedtke, Gayatri Parameswaran // Runtime: 25:22 Min

    As of March 2023, UNESCO has confirmed the damage or destruction of 245 cultural sites - including museums, churches, and other buildings of historical relevance - since the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine began in February 2022. The war appears to threaten not only Ukraine's territorial sovereignty, but also aims to eradicate Ukrainian culture, the distinctiveness of which has always been denied by Kremlin narratives.

    Ukraine's remaining museums now stand empty - their cultural treasures safely tucked away in the hope that they will eventually be put back on display. How one museum director deals with this is shown in the documentary You Destroy. We Create. The film also accompanies a street artist who, despite the bombs, continues to try to strengthen the courage and hope of his fellow human beings with his works. And visits a musician who throws parties in the midst of war, exuberantly celebrating life - precisely now and even more so now.
    Shot in August 2022, the footage shows the impressive resilience of Ukrainian society and tells of people trying to protect and preserve their cultural identity - and rebuild it if necessary.

    About the Directors

    Felix Gaedtke lives in Berlin and works as a creative producer and video storyteller. He is co-founder of the storytelling studio NowHere, with which he and his colleague Gayatri Parameswaran aim to create a space for previously unheard voices. Gaedtke is primarily concerned with the intersection of different realities made possible by modern techniques such as VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality). His work has been presented at the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW, the UN and the HotDocs Festival.

    Gayatri Parameswaran is a journalist. She lives and works in Berlin. In the storytelling studio NowHere, founded with her colleague Felix Gaedtke, she uses VR and AR to realize projects about taboo topics such as abortion, war, or domestic violence. Her work has been presented at various events such as the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW, United Nations, HotDocs and the Center for Arts and Media. In 2019, she won the title of "Best Use of Immersive Arts" from SXSW.