21. ‐ 26.04.2020


The finalists have been selected in the second LICHTER VR STORYTELLING COMPETITION. Our expert Jury chose the best five films from more than 70 entries.

This year "I, Philip" by Pierre Zandrowicz was awarded. "By throwing the audience into the artificial reconstruction of the dead science fiction author Philip K. Dick, the film I, Philip skilfully avoids the limitation of the VR medium, which normally forces the viewer to passivity," explains juror Tomislav Bezmalinović in his laudatio. As artificial intelligence, Dick is revived in a laboratory. "The viewer is the observer, not the actor, and therefore not always the centre of attention. The more memories the artificial intelligence attains, the more the human Philip K. Dick reappears - until he finally merges with the viewer," adds Philipp Mehler, who again curated the program for LICHTER this year.

Together with our partner LITTLESTAR we will present all finale films to the end of the festival on Sunday in special cinema format. After the huge success of last year, LICHTER once again banks on watching and marvelling at the VR films together, with VR-glasses sponsored by our partner SAMSUNG – almost like normal cinema, but not quite.

© Philipp Kohler



VR SCREENINGS: Thursday, 5th of April – Sunday, 8th of April 2018 // Blauer Salon Festival centre

LICHTER VR LAB: Thursday, 5th of April 2018 // 11-18 Uhr // Naxoshalle and Naxoskino / Free entry

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Award Winner 2018

I, Philip 

Director: Pierre Zandrowicz

(Fiction film, F 2017, English language, Length: 12 Min.)   

The immersive short film I, Philip transports the audience into the mind of Science Fiction author Philip K. Dick, more specifically into the digital reconstructions of the late visionary, who has been brought to new life as an artificial intelligence in a laboratory – a sensation that garners great attention very soon. Dick’s digital clone bears all this with friendly serenity. But memories haunt him, broken pieces of his former life. How much Philip is in Philip? 

The elaborately produced film shines with outstanding actors and effects and, more importantly, uses the spatial possibilities of VR to achieve a unique atmospheric narrative.

The Other Finalists Of The VR Storytelling Competition 2018

Lake Baikal: Winter Spirit 

Director: Georgy Molodtsov

(Documentary, US/R 2016, English language, Length: 07 Min.)   

The short, immersive documentary Lake Baikal VR allows an impressive insight into the fascinating landscape and diverse life on and at the Siberian mountain lake that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sight. 

Whether it be ice swimming in the icy lengths of the frozen lake, a visit to a snowy village or staying within a group of Buddhist monks engaging in prayer recitals – the elaborate 3D footage puts the audience right into the place of action and achieves a strikingly real experience. Mercifully, you can’t freeze in it!

Your Spiritual Temple Sucks 

Director: John Hsu 

(Fiction film, TWN 2018, Taiwanese/English language, English subtitles, Length: 10 Min.)  

Mr. Chang goes to see his personal spiritual temple, a mystic place representing his fate. Soon it becomes clear, however, that this place suffers from chaos as much as Chang’s actual life. As a barely motivated guardian spirit tries to put order into Chang’s life, the disaster truly starts. 

In a wild mix of pop-culture references, far eastern mythology and bizarre humour, Your Spiritual Temple Sucks is on top of technological possibilities, as well as a 360° film that uses the medium’s potential to its full extent with playful ease.

The Long Road Home: Memories of War 

Director: Max Solomon 

(Documentary, US 2017, English language, Length: 06 Min.)  

US-Army veterans from the 2003 Iraq War chronicle their traumatising experiences and their fight to gain back normality after their return home. The project The Long Road Home, consisting of three episodes, employs the compelling immediacy of 360° films to tell the stories of its protagonists. 

LICHTER presents one of these episodes: Accompany Sergeant Carl Wild on his journey back to the day that is burned deep into his consciousness as “Black Sunday”. Live through the reconstructions of these defining events with him, always searching for the truth lying deep within his broken memories.

Blind Vaysha VR

Director: Theodore Ushev 

(Animation film, CDN 2017, English language, Length: 08 Min.)  

Vaysha was born cursed. With her left eye she can only see into the past, with the right one into the future. She stays blind to the present. She is forever imprisoned between visions of the beginning and demise of her world, of the birth and death of others. Vaysha decides to blind one of her eyes – but which one should she sacrifice? 

The hand painted animation film uses the stereoscopic properties of the VR headset to transport the audience into Vaysha’s situation. Each eye sees a different image and a different time. The viewer is also given the same choice: In which direction of time do they want to look?


For those who can’t get enough of the virtuality, the LICHTER VR LAB on Thursday offers another possibility to learn about trends and challenges of the young VR/AR scene first hand. In a series of lectures, the filmmakers of our VR-finalists talk of their experiences in the new medium 360° film, Vanessa Kincaid (Littlestar) presents the current developments in the market for VR films and Christian Steiner (senselab.io), the AR expert, offers insights on Augmented Reality technologies that try to add digital artefacts to our real lives. A hands-on experience can be had at the exhibition, at which regional producers like Frankfurt’s own animation experts Metric Minds or students of the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences present their VR products as well as offering them up for tests.

More details and the full schedule can be found here.

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