In Side – 3D stereoscopic short movie

In Side is a short puppet film made using stereoscopic techniques. It tells the story of Jan, trapped in a world of his own limitations. It is only the abstract world of the labyrinth, into which he finds himself as a result of enigmatic events, that forces him to truly confront himself, which becomes the seed of a new, real life.

The S3D Studio explores S3D technology and the incredible potential of stereoscopy, finding new artistic standards in the medium. In addition to the unique precision of registering 3D shots, the film also explores issues not previously raised in 3D films, including: the use of shift – tilt lenses, shooting through distorting objects, the possibilities of maximising the speed of editing while maintaining concern for the viewer’s perception, and many others.

Piotr Matysiak – head of the S3D Studio. A geography graduate. He started his adventure with film in 2006 as a director of the film “53:15 Berek”. In 2014 he graduated from the Art of Cinematography at the PWSFTviT in ?ód?. During his studies, he made more than a dozen etudes. He is currently completing his doctoral studies at the same university. Director and cinematographer of feature films, documentaries, animations, producer of dozens of commercials and TV programmes. Licensed diver and underwater cinematographer. His passion is stop-motion animation. He is a co-founder of the Visual Narration Laboratory, within which he runs the S3D Studio. He is the cinematographer of the film In Side and the cinematographer of the S3D Studio project.

In Side crew

In Side will premiere in 2023.

More information about the project. 

Subtotals by Mohammadreza Farzad – a meditation on the uncertainties of life

Do you keep a record of your gray hair?
The number of crushes you had on women?
The number of houses, you have owned or rented?
The number of kisses, you have exchanged?
The number of times, you’ve flown in your dreams?
Maybe you have counted, maybe not.
Anyway, does counting make a difference
in a life lived beyond numbers?

Subtotals (Majmouan) is a film about the aftermath that can never be applied to one’s life as a product. Inspired by a short story of the same title by Gregory Burnham and Autoportrait by Edouard Leve, composed fully of 8mm home movies of Iranian society, Subtotals is a meditation on the uncertainties of life that doesn’t hand out any bills.

Subtotals is the first project developed in the context of the Essay Film Studio of the vnLab in Lodz Film School. The world premiere of the essay took place at the IFF Berlinale 2022 as part of the prestigious Forum Expanded section, and the Polish premiere at the Millenium Docs Against Gravity festival. The film essay won the Golden Apricot award at the Yerevan International Film Festival.

Mohammadreza Farzad – was Born in 1978 in Iran, Teheran. He started his career as a poet and literary translator. Dozens of books have been published with his translations. His career as a documentary filmmaker started with Into Thin Air and Blames and Flames which premiered at Berlinale, Forum Expanded section. Farzad has been a PhD student at the Film Factory headed by the legendary Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr. His subsequent works premiered at dozens of national and international film festivals and gained numerous awards. Forget-Me-Not Egg (2013) was first shown at Thessaloniki Film Festival, Wedding: A Film (2015) premiered in the “Next Masters” section of the Leipzig Documentary film festival. He has been invited as a jury member to film festivals such as CPH: DOX, Jihlava, Pilsen, DokuBaku, Cinema Verite. He is currently working on his first feature film produced by Radovan Sibert of Pink Production. Majmaouan (Subtotals) is his third-time participation in Berlinale Forum Expanded.

Self – understanding the otherness

How does the mentally ill person feel? How does he or she see the world? Or does the distinction between healthy and mentally ill people not exist at all? For the creators of the project, their interest in creating photographic and cinematic images has for years gone hand in hand with an attempt to understand and be open to the world of mental issues.

“Self”, by design, is intended to be a powerful and memorable immersive experience for the viewer. From the experience, comes an understanding of otherness. Understanding, in turn, creates tolerance. The visual and aural stimuli of this project are merely a pathway, a tool to generate emotions in the viewer that are similar to the state of those affected by mental illness. The creators want to evoke a state of contemplation, melancholy and compassion in the viewer. “Self” deals with an extremely sensitive subject, which is why it has been created from the beginning with the participation of people who deal with mental health on a daily basis.

The story concept of ‘Self’ is based on a mosaic structure. The stories presented are memories from different stages of the healing process of former patients, and their real silhouettes are set in a minimalist 3D environment. The flashbacks materialise in the form of voice-over commentaries, and the use of ambisonic sound exposes the properties of the category that is cinematic VR.

Patryk Jordanowicz – cinematographer, director. Studied Film Studies at the Jagiellonian University and Film and Television Picture Production and Photography at WRiTV U?. Cinematographer of many documentaries and feature films, he has worked hundreds of hours on TV series, commercials, music videos. In 2016, together with director Jacek Naglowski, he shot one of Europe’s first 3D VR music videos in live action / CG technique for the band Loa Frida. In the following years, he was the cinematographer of acclaimed VR experiences, these include the music documentary Smolik/ Kev Fox on the road, directed by Pawe? Orwat, and the VR adaptation of the theatre play Biesy, directed by Natalia Korczakowska and VR adaptation by Jacek Nag?owski. In 2019, as part of the College Cinema Biennial as co-director and cinematographer, he produced the VR experience “Whispers” with Jacek Nag?owski, which premiered at the Venice Biennale and won the Special Award at the Cinergia festival for the best Polish VR in the documentary category. “Whispers” also received the Organisers’ Special Award at the Lublin Film Festival and the Open Frame Award at the goEast Film Festival 2020.

Tadeusz Chudy – cameraman, photographer. Studied philosophy and film theory at the Jagiellonian University and film and television image production and photography at the Radio and Television Faculty of the University of Silesia.

Close – immersion in jiutamai dance

Close is an attempt to confront the ambiguous position of contemporary traditional Japanese jiutamai dance. The Japanese dancer functions in the West as a visual object, deprived of subjectivity, closed in orientalising categories determined not only by the male gaze, but also by the White gaze. By creating the effect of intimate closeness and by giving the dancer/heroine a voice through which the intimate confession and the trauma of whole generations of women hidden in the dance can be expressed directly, Hana Umeda tries to regain both for herself and for the whole multigenerational community of jiutamai dancers the agency and subjectivity. The silent confession that is jiutamai dance is both a means of coping with trauma and a gag placed over the mouth; a means of self-expression and repression by a patriarchal society.    

Hana Umeda/Sada Hanasaki – performer, dancer, natori at Hanasaki-ryu jiutamai school. In 2020, she was the first non-Japanese to be officially accepted into the Hanasaki-ryu jiutamai school, and was given the authority to nurture and further pass on the tradition of Japanese traditional dance. A student of Master Hanasaki Tokijyo, head of the Hanasaki-ryu school in Tokyo, she is a cultural scholar. In 2018 she made her debut as a director and choreographer with the performance SadaYakko presented at Komuna Warsaw. In her artistic work she is interested in both exploring and extending the tradition of jiutamai dance, as well as processing and deconstructing this tradition in search of new forms of expression. As a dancer, performer and co-choreographer she has worked with Marta Zió?ek, Katarzyna Woli?ska and Jadwiga Rodowicz-Czechowska.   

Dorota Sosnowska, PhD, assistant professor at the Department of Theatre and Performance of the Institute of Polish Culture of the University of Warsaw; vice-president of the Propaganda Foundation which runs the Propaganda gallery in Warsaw (co-organiser of Warsaw Gallery Weekend). In her research she deals with the history and theory of theatre and performance, combining her interest in theatre and visual arts. She is the author of the book Królowe PRL. Scenic Images of Irena Eichlerówna, El?bieta Barszczewska and Nina Andrycz as Models of Femininity (WUW 2014). She is the editor of the journal ‘View. Theories and practices of visual culture’.   

The Cave – adaptation of a classical Platonic metaphor

The Cave is an interactive adaptation of a classical Platonic metaphor, preserving the meaning of the original but setting it in a new context. The essence of the image of the cave is the disruption of the obvious – what is known and universally respected turns out to be false. Although Plato places the story of the cave in the context of his own ontology, the metaphor itself is universal. Breaking out of what is familiar and safe is equally breakneck no matter what cave is our prison. It can be the Matrix, Paradisia, the Truman Show, an ideological, religious or political system. The cave can also be the ‘inside’ of a VR headset, although this can be treated as a metaphor within another metaphor. The contemporary reading of the cave metaphor also generates doubts: what if the cave has no boundaries? If, like a matrioshka doll, it is placed in another cave and that one in yet another, and so on without end? Or maybe the gnosis wandering actually has the shape of a loop? The creators transfer the philosophical text into VR and present an experience which requires not only mental, but also physical effort, in order to emphasise the experiential nature of philosophy.   

Adam ??d?o – audiovisual artist, graduate of the Faculty of Graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. Lecturer at the WH AGH in Cracow. He specialises in animation, computer games, photography and film. In his work, he combines the experience of working on a farm with scientific knowledge and the latest technologies. He actively supported scientific circles involved in constructing a cyborg and space exploration. Winner, finalist and participant of dozens of international festivals, competitions and exhibitions, including Sony World Photography Awards,, Nikon Photo Contest, ADOBE ADAA, Sitges IFF.   

Jowita Guja – philosopher and cultural studies scholar, PhD in Cultural and Religious Studies. Her research interests include virtual reality, philosophical anthropology and analysis of popular culture. Author of the books Soteriology of atheism as a new anthropology and The concept of faith in Karl Barth’s Römerbrief, as well as many articles on classical and contemporary philosophy, popular culture discourses and futuristic imagination. She works at the Department of Information Technology and Media at the Faculty of Humanities at AGH, where she teaches, among others, cognitive science, cultural theory, contemporary literature, and the design and use of VR and AR technologies. She has held scholarships and internships at Swansea University, Cambridge University, Leipzig Universität, Aalborg University and Carlos Universodad in Madrid. Co-founder of the EduVRLab Virtual Reality Research Laboratory at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. As of 2019, she serves as its manager.?  

Multiverse – a multi-layered world in VR installation

Multiverse is an interactive VR installation based on the concept of a multi-layered world. The experience begins in the space of a post-Soviet housing estate, from where we wander through dark crystalline corridors, vast luminous gardens and rubble levitating around us. The thematic layer refers to the phenomena of nostalgic remembrance of the past, unfettered joy of childhood imagination and destruction, bringing ambivalent reflections on human nature prone to destruction. We are accompanied on our meditative journey by a mysterious object which, held physically in our hands, also has a virtual representation linking the two worlds. It not only tells us the story of the visited spaces, but also supports in the experience the reflections, analyses and perceptual experiments of the immersive VR medium.   

Robert Mleczko – a graduate of animated film from the Academy of Fine Arts in Pozna? (now UAP) and the ?ód? Film School (PWSFTviT). Since 2001 he has been working as a cinematographer for feature and documentary films and films on the borderline of visual arts. In theatre – as a director of lights, creator of video projections and set designer. In Poland, he has collaborated with such artists as Krzysztof Garbaczewski, Hubert Czerepok, Karolina Bregu?a, Monika Strz?pka, Mariusz Grzegorzek, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Micha? Borczuch, and abroad with The Wooster Group in New York. Feature films and documentaries with his photography were presented at Polish and international festivals: 61st Berlinale, New Horizons, 16th Sofia International Film Festival and 41st 35th and 30th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. Since 2014, together with Hubert Czerepok, he has co-created the Chair of Experimental Film at the Faculty of Painting and New Media at the Academy of Art in Szczecin, where he currently runs the Studio of Immersive Film and VR Experiences.    

Radomir Majewski – student of the Academy of Art in Szczecin, majoring in experimental film. An interdisciplinary artist working mainly in new media.   

Endless VR segue – sensual essay-dream about identities in process

Since 2016, Wojciech Pu? has been making Endless – a sensual combination of image, light and sound that creates a poetic essay-dream about identities in process. The work has taken diverse forms – from cinematic fiction to cinematic performances and free situations. Its essence is an informal community of performers with different social backgrounds, gender identities, nationalities or migration statuses from Chile, France, Mexico, Poland and Ukraine. The tangle of their personal stories, together with fragments of literary works, film works, diaries and dream records, creates a mosaic warp, which Pu? situates in categories of queer abstraction. This aesthetic utopia entails a change in thinking about gender transformation, extending the experience of transformation to the most universal, existential experience of an individual.    

Wojciech Pu? – filmmaker, author of light installations and interactive objects, set designer. His post-emancipatory, analytical works refer to the sphere of queer spirituality and intimacy through their sublime cinematographic character. The artist’s works can be found, among others, in the collections of Filmoteka, the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Bunkier Sztuki in Krakow, as well as in private collections in Poland, Germany and Italy. His films have been presented at, among others, the New Horizons International Film Festival in Wroc?aw and the Artists’ Film Biennial at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. He is an assistant professor at the Cinematography Department of PWSFTViT in ?ód?.    

Wish You Were Here – an anti-documentary that breaks the rules of VR 

VR promises to take you ‘inside’, it seeks to create a sense of being ‘there’, to be able to enter someone’s life and even to simulate being someone else. This is what is known as immersive storytelling. But to what extent can we really look through someone else’s eyes, and above all, how much are we really prepared to see and feel? How much empathy and willingness to empathise do we have in ourselves? In Wish You Were Here, we meet Aneta, who is 36 years old and has been diagnosed with breast cancer. From the window of her house she can see a walnut orchard, which is slowly being replaced by a new housing estate made up of blocks of flats. Wish You Were Here is a classic documentary that, thanks to VR technology, allows you to look behind the scenes of the making of the film. It is both an anti-documentary and breaks the rules of VR, depriving the viewer of the illusion of intimate contact with the protagonist.???

The image is not intended to imitate, but to be treated as a tool to influence viewers’ physical reactions. A good example of this is the scene with the graphic ball. Its purpose is not to just present an image, but to move the body of the viewer, who will follow it with their eyes, and consequently their head, neck and whole body. Director Michal Stankiewicz is primarily interested in how images can affect the mobility of viewers’ bodies, and thus evoke emotional states. The narrator’s voice, which appears in the “experience”, is treated as framing the camera movement, but also as an opportunity to apply layers that are invisible to the eye. How the voice speaks and puts accents will also resonate in the viewer’s body.

The viewer is always a partner of the director’s, a co-creator. That’s why in his works he allows the viewer to observe himself, to focus on his feelings. In Somebody About You, this observation of impulses coming from the body is the essence of the experience, the content of Aneta’s transfer. The viewer’s body becomes the medium, the heart of the transfer, while the viewer’s individual perception is a random element characteristic of generative art. 

Micha? Stankiewicz – works in the field of performing and visual arts. He is inspired by performance, post-conceptual art, cognitive science research, but also magic and folk art. In designing experiences, he looks for random events and places that cannot be directed.  He has taken part in Polish and international festivals, including the Theatre Olympiad in India, AltoFest in Naples, Performance Arcade in New Zealand, CAOS in Turin, and the College Cinema VR Biennale in Venice. He likes to think of his work as preparing dinner for friends or stepping into an icy river together.   

Pilot 9/11 – the story about coming out of trauma

Pilot 9/11 presents the events of 11 September 2001 from the unique perspective of military aviators who followed the hijacked passenger planes to prevent the tragedy. The assessment from their point of view sheds new light on the perfectly familiar images. The cramped cockpit of the plane contrasting with the boundless expanse of New York is the perfect environment for VR recreation. Although we are almost in the centre of events, we remain locked in the cockpit, like powerless observers. How do you remain fully focused and decisive while seeing desperate pleas for rescue and watching – without being able to help – the horror of scenes taking place just a few hundred metres away? Yet what happened at the World Trade Center is not, despite appearances, the main focus. Pilot 9/11 is a twenty-minute story about coming out of trauma – the wider, national one, and the subjective, personal one.    

Norman Leto (born ?ukasz Banach) – painter, director, new media artist. His first solo exhibition took place at the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw in 2007. In 2009 and 2010, he completed his autobiographical novel Sailor and a full-length film under the same title. In 2012 Leto began work on Photon, his second feature film, which premiered at the international documentary film festivals CPH:DOX, Copenhagen 2017 and HotDocs, Toronto 2017, and had its Polish premiere at the 17th IFF T-Mobile New Horizons in the main competition. In 2017, Leto began work on the script for his new film Pilot 9/11, about the 9/11 terrorist attack as seen from the unique perspective of a real military pilot who tried to prevent the tragedy.   


Simple Songs about death – a technological meditation on death

Situated between a simulator and a virtual sculpture, the VR experience aims to break social taboos concerning the dead body. The creators present the process of dying in its natural cycle, transferring it from the real tabooed space to the synthesized virtual environment. During a technological meditation, they invite viewers to reflect on mortality and passing.   

Maciej Czuchryta and Marta Wieczorek – a duo involved in directing and designing virtual and theatrical scenery, level design. As artists, they are interested in issues related to the dematerialisation of stage design and the impact of new technologies on viewers’ perception, juxtaposing the latest technological trends with traditional stage design.