FIVARS 2023: The Pinnacle of Virtual & Augmented Reality Storytelling Returns


Cleanbox at FIVARS 2023


TORONTO, ON , CANADA, September 6, 2023/ — As the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) enchants the city, another cinematic wonder enters the spotlight. The 11th edition of the Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories (FIVARS), in its impressive 9th year, makes a triumphant return in 2023. This year’s program is nothing short of groundbreaking, showcasing an array of new immersive experiences from more than 24 countries. The offerings span across various formats, including stereoscopic spherical video, live VR performances, stop-motion augmented reality, and awe-inspiring AI-powered installations with a paranormal twist.

Event Details:
In-Person Event: September 15-19, 2023
Online Extension: Until October 3, 2023
Venue: Studio idFK, 190 McCaul St., Toronto, ON, M5T 1W5
Tickets: Available via Eventbrite for specific 2-hour blocks.
Healthcare grade sterilization by Cleanbox for the VR headsets provided.

In-Person Viewing:
Discover storytelling’s future in Toronto’s Queen St. W arts district—no tech skills needed for exclusive, equipment-based experiences.

Online Experience:
Can’t attend in person? The custom-built award-winning Web3D theater brings the festival global through Oct 3rd, featuring 3D 6K videos with spatial audio and VR support, but also accessible via any newer mobile device.

FIVARS Features:
Personalized Experience: Enjoy a 2-hour tailored viewing guided by our expert docents.
Genre Spectrum: From documentaries in VR to interactive art in AR, FIVARS is a storytelling kaleidoscope.
Global Footprint: Showcasing artists from 22 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malawi, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Taiwan, Uganda, USA, the United Kingdom and Wales
Premieres Galore: Featuring 10 World Premieres, 11 North American Premieres, 9 Canadian Premieres.

Highlighted Selections:
A Signal Across Space / Arwydd Drwy’r Awyr (Wales, UK):
Directed by Tracy Spottiswoode
A mesmerizing bilingual VR film that explores the history, mythology, and nature surrounding Lavernock Point in Wales.

Ancestral Futurism (USA, Colombia):
Directed by Sadah Espii Proctor and Valentina Vargas
A metaverse gallery that centers around BIPOC women and non-binary voices in a cosmic exploration of culture and identity.

Night Creatures (Australia): North American Premiere
Directed by Isobel Knowles & Van Sowerwine
This AR experience celebrates cinema through animated fruit bats. Eight well-dressed stop-motion puppets engage in dialogues about their favorite films, subcultures, and personal cinema experiences.

The Carrier (USA): World Premiere
Directed by Andrew Cochrane
This interactive narrative unfolds through the innocent eyes of a baby in the back seat of a car. As external chaos rises, witness the tension and indecision of the parents as they navigate an undefined crisis.

The Leems Boyste (Canada): World Premiere
Directed by Daniel Blair
An interactive AI-powered experience that lets you communicate with ‘the beyond,’ potentially opening a portal to different time dimensions (and will print you a paper receipt in 16th-century English).

Words from Festival Director Keram Malicki-Sanchez:
“FIVARS is more than a festival; it’s a unique platform for cutting-edge storytelling in the age of spatial computing. We’re excited to spotlight emerging, culturally impactful creators from around the globe taking on the challenges and potential of this powerful new medium.”

For tickets and the complete list of selections, visit
Tickets available via Eventbrite at

Founded in Toronto in 2015, FIVARS has earned international acclaim as an award-winning annual festival that revolutionizes storytelling through Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies.

Aimee Reynolds
+1 323-963-4718
[email protected]
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FIVARS 2023 Trailer of Trailers!

Originally published at