Imagine Expanded: The Body
In 2021, Imagine Film Festival invites you to explore the sensation of embodiment in VR in its most scary, sexy and emotional registers.

As film buffs, we’ve all been touched, scared or grossed out by cinema. Knives cutting through the fabric of the pitch-black darkness of the film theatres could certainly create an impact, but they could not physically penetrate the distance between the screen and our seats.

The virtual realities enabled by modern headsets no longer resemble this passive space of cinema, but are more like a full-contact sport where flying bullets force us to dodge, workouts make us sweat, and intimate encounters might have us squirm in pleasure and confusion over our sexual identities.

The appeal of that is evident as we get to perform whatever actions we please, wearing whatever bodies we like. However, as much as we can be aware of the fiction of the whole setup, our bodies often cannot tell the difference between reality and play.

Despite a widespread conviction, our minds and bodies are not separated. What is only seen might bring us physical pain or pleasure if we align our own bodies with the virtual ones, lending the sensory awareness of our skin to our virtual avatars. As a result, the impact of cutting through the pixels can be as severe as cutting through the flesh.

The future of our virtual presence is undoubtedly linked to embodiment, so take this opportunity and follow us into a rabbit hole where the reality is fantastic, but the bodies are real.

Level Up!

This year, Level Up goes International and Expanded. Next to the Dutch and Flemish game developers we know and love, this year we’ll feature two games from Indonesia and even an interactive installation, linking to our A.I. programme.

Join the Level Up panel to hear developers talk about their work and get insights on how interactive storytelling is pushing boundaries. From rogue A.I. in Flemish sci-fi game Rise of Humanity to Indonesian demons in platformer Rising Hell, this year’s Level Up covers more fantastic adversaries than ever. Thankfully there is also the sweet, dreamlike space of Dream Droplets, and the colour palettes of Without You, an installation that knows who you are… Maybe not so sweet, after all… Experience it all during Level Up!

DEVELOPING DIGITAL HUMANS WITH JOHN CANNING

Digital Domain has long been on a quest to design a perfect digital human. Perfecting MoCap techniques and combining them with AI, they are now incredibly close to beating the uncanny valley and creating 3D virtual avatars that can translate the gestures and mimicry of actors in real time

Masterclass
90min

LEVEL UP

This year, Level Up goes International and Expanded.

Talkshow
90min