Beyond the Frame Festival

Beyond the Frame Festival


  • Jay KimXR Curator at the BIFAN, Beyond Reality

    Jay Kim

    Jay Kim, the XR curator of the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN), introduced virtual reality (VR) content at BIFAN, in 2016 for the first time among Korean film festival. He has now been in charge of BIFAN's XR program for seven years. In 2019, he established the BIFAN Beyond Reality section and has introduced a variety of new media content to the audience. Since he started working in the XR industry, Jay has produced many XR projects, which have been selected in multiple international festivals like Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW and IDFA, among others. Jay founded GiiOii studio in 2020 and which is currently focusing on expanding the new media content ecosystem in South Korea.

    General comments

    The selection for this year's Beyond the Frame Festival was a good indication of the quality and trends in XR content around the world. As a number of monumental works proved, this medium is still capable of delivering impressive performances for the documentary genre. There are certain qualities of the medium that allow it to reach areas that conventional 2D screen-based documentaries cannot, and the XR documentaries in this year's selection were certainly capable of doing just that.
    The selected works also demonstrate a high level of aesthetic maturity, both technically and stylistically. It's safe to say that many creators now have a good grasp on the literacy of the XR medium. They have made great strides in many areas, such as multi-user experience, creating various interactions, and improving image quality through optimisation.
    It's unfortunate that limited space prevents many audiences from experiencing all of these works, but we hope that the Beyond the Frame festival will inspire the next generation of creators and audiences hungry for new storytelling.

    JFK Memento

    The Grand Prize winner was Targo studio's JFK Memento: A Chronicle of the assassination, directed by Chloé Rochereuil. Chloé's work has always utilized existing sources to tell stories in stunning spatial environments, and with this film, she has reached a new level of aesthetic excellence. It is a historical fact that everyone is familiar with, but Chloé's use of the medium to bring the viewer's perspective to the historical scene and help them understand the full story of the event in a more vivid way was appreciated. The film's utilization of the medium and its effective storytelling is considered to be an excellent example of the values of the BTFF.

    The Imaginary Friend

    The Imaginary Friend, by Dutch creator Steye Hallema, is a creative take on the age-old challenge of XR content. Audiences wearing head-mount devices are often confused about their identity, as many of the things they consider to be "me" in real life are not reflected in the work, or they find it difficult to identify with the characters in the work. For this reason, XR works that have pursued full immersion of the audience have often failed to bring strangeness to the audience, paradoxically. However, The Imaginary Friend creatively overcomes this problem by setting the audience as the imaginary friend of a heartbroken child. The audience enters a stage of 'A brief suspension of disbelief' that is pleasurable. We felt that the film achieved a depth of storytelling that was different from the way legacy media tells stories, making it a worthy winner of this year's BTFF.

    GAUDI, The Atelier Of The Divine

    It's safe to say that one of the conditions for audiences to feel realistic in a digitally represented virtual world is to feel that they are not the only ones in the space at the same time. One of the trends in recent XR work is the pursuit of a multi-user experience, and the sense of multiple audiences being in the same space at the same time, and being able to physically walk around and follow the storytelling, is a way to immerse the audience more strongly than any technical setup. If the audience is fully engaged, you can eliminate unnecessary interactivity that can interrupt the flow of the storytelling.

  • Mitsuko OkamotoProducer / Professor (Vice President for Digital Strategy), Graduate School of Film and New Media / Department of Animation, Tokyo University of the Arts

    Mitsuko Okamoto

    Producer of numerous programs, videos and events. Chief producer of "2355" and "0655" (2010-, broadcast Monday-Friday) and "Jiyu Kenkyu 55" on NHK E-Television. Producer of "Techne: Classroom of Videos" (2011-) on NHK E-Television. Jury member of the Mainichi Film Contest Animation Division (2019, 2020), General Director of Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Exhibition (Animation Division) (2018-2022). Served as a member of the selection jury for the Award for Fine Arts in 2022.

    General comments

    "JFK Memento," the Grand Prix selection, and "GAUDI, The Atelier Of The Divine," the XR Experience Award selection, truly presented new methods for documentaries. "Midnight Story" and "My Inner Ear Quartet" showed that a sense of immersion in fiction further draws out emotion. Conversely, "Immersive Criminology Episode 1: LOST," with its motif of marionettes from a folk performing art, the Taiwanese work "Wonder of Life," which enables an experience in a world of bird-and-flower paintings, and "Kristine Is Not Well," which expresses the social media world, showed that the potential for XR can be extended not only to images such as movies and animation but also to performing arts, painting, and other genres.
    Beyond the Frame Festival 2023 was a festival truly worthy of the words "XR expands existing expression."

    JFK memento

    If a documentary is a visual representation of the process of learning truth through the accumulation of facts, then this work can be seen as presenting new a method for documentaries.
    This work shows the utility of augmenting items normally used as "facts" (testimonies, photographs, movies, etc.) through XR technologies, to use the "spaces" in which the facts occurred, and the entirety of the buildings, people, and other presences in those spaces, as facts.
    Through reproduction of the entirety of the space in which an event occurred, the truth that emerges is a remarkably vivid one, imprinted in our minds as images accompanied by time and space. This is truly a work that expands the possibilities of documentaries.

    The Imaginary Friend

    This work powerfully impressed me with the message that the world inside the heart is a lively world accompanied by time and space, impervious to negation by anything from a real-world perspective.
    Through the words of the protagonist Daniel, the storytelling method in which Daniel and the player cooperate to advance the story is matched to XR technology and succeeds in enhancing the sympathy felt by the player. Combining a world of computer-animated images with the live-action real world, it wonderfully depicts the complexity of humans who live in two worlds along with the mentality that swings in the balance between those worlds.
    Perhaps I'm not the only one who felt a pride in myself as Daniel's imaginary friend after viewing the work.

    GAUDI, The Atelier of The Divine

    I and three other players experienced being taken entirely out of real space and dropped into the atelier of Gaudi, reproduced in 4K from reference materials. The expressions of light and shadow in the space and the design of its size and layout matched the real-world space, somehow creating a feeling of reality despite its existence as a VR world. This is partly due to the massive amount of information used, with even matière such as objets d'art and fixtures faithfully recreated. The multiplayer production, in which the other three players are always viewed in the garb of Gaudi's disciples, also contributes immensely to the reality of the virtual space.
    Under Gaudi's concept of learning from nature, the cut in which natural trees become the pillars of the Sagrada Familia was very beautiful and majestic, making me feel as if I'd touched the reference for nature that the architect always embraced.

  • Hiroaki HigashiVisual Director/CEO of STOICSENSE Co., Ltd.

    Hiroaki Higashi

    Engages in creative projects that utilize immersive media experiences, such as VR, projection mapping, and fulldome films. Director and CG Producer for two VR Ghost in the Shell films, which garnered global acclaim and were invited for screening in the VR category at several film festivals, including the Venice International Film Festival and the Sitges International Film Festival in 2018 and 2019. Other activities include directing music videos for prominent Japanese artists and comprehensive production of fulldome films. Actively contributes as a speaker at VR conferences both nationally and internationally. Accolades include Excellence Awards at VFX-JAPAN (2017-2019), jury’s Prizes at the Japan Media Arts Festival (2011, 2013), awards in three categories at the PROMAX-BDA awards (2010), and an invitation to onedotzero (2009).

    General comments

    I experienced a total of 20 works in 3DoF and 6DoF, and in each, I looked for new expressions through the original approach of the creator. I found the judging to be very difficult. The 6DoF works incorporated physical interactions such as voice and gesture. In them, I felt a trend toward expanding the experience. At the same time, in the 3DoF works, I felt that more sophisticated works are starting to emerge under the constraint of non-interaction. While surprised by the contrast in approaches, I sensed entirely new possibilities in both.

    JFK Memento

    As a documentary for a new era, this work provided a sense of presence that lets the viewer personally relive past events as if they had occurred just now. It even had me thinking that new facts might be discovered through the experience. The work leaves me with the premonition that VR will archive the events of the present and the history of the past in the form of spaces, becoming a medium that conveys these to the future. Through the outstanding composition and seamless transitions, the experience participant is drawn into the work. The extremely high production quality gives this work the feel of a professional job.

    The Imaginary Friend

    The realism of Daniel, a boy driven by volumetric technology, was incredible. Seeing him listening to and delighted by my voice, I felt as if our hearts were communicating. The interaction in this VR work seemed naturally connected to the story, with each moment deepening the bond with the boy. After the viewing, I felt a sense of satisfaction and at the same time a regret over leaving the work, a lingering sensation more akin to that of a movie than any of the other works.

    GAUDI, The Atelier Of The Divine

    In a VR experience, participants feel a desire to walk around the space that unfolds ahead. This work is a wonderful example of satisfying that wish. While presenting the possibilities of free-roaming VR to the experience participants, it also excels as a model for the educational value of VR.


  • JFK Memento
    Grand Prix

    “JFK Memento”

    directed by Chloé Rochereuil

  • The Imaginary Friend
    XR Story Award

    “The Imaginary Friend“

    directed by Steye Hallema

  • GAUDI, The Atelier Of The Divine
    XR Experience Award

    ”GAUDI, The Atelier Of The Divine”

    directed by Stéphane Landowski, Gaël Cabouat

  • Organizer
  • Co-Host
  • Supported by​​
    Arts Council Tokyo

    Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture

  • French Collaboration Support
  • Planning Corporation​​
  • Planning, Production and Operation
  • Art Production
  • Platform for Industry Academia Collaboration Workshop