Panel discussion: Facing Virtual Realities

Jana Cisar, Marcus Lobbes, Niu Xiaoyu, Tytti Rantanen, Linnea Semmerling, Zhu Wenhui

We take a look at how festivals are changing, with them increasingly now presenting new digital formats. So what possibilities for the film experience does virtual reality (VR) hold? Is technological progress already having an influence on narrative modes and temporality? How can experimental forms be fostered?

We will be discussing these questions with guests from the film industry, but also with invitees from related disciplines such as theatre and the visual arts, as the digital influence on our artistic form is becoming visible across all fields. A collective exchange can help sharpen awareness of this and at the same time help us to find out which ideas and tools we should have at the ready for enhancing the digital arts.

Moderation: Vivien Buchhorn (curator IFFF Dortmund+Köln)

Jana Cisar

Jana Cisar is a film producer and production manager. Through her collaboration with directors such as Angela Schanelec, Paula Ďurinová and Volker Koepp, she has experience in various branches of the film industry. Since 2021 she has been a lecturer for the Dok.Art initiative and at ifs Cologne.

Marcus Lobbes

Marcus Lobbes is a director and set designer in musical and spoken theatre. He works in novel collective forms with ensembles and is in close contact with contemporary authors. Since 2019, he has been the director of the newly founded Academy for Theater and Digitality at the Theater Dortmund.

Regisseurin Niu Xiaoyu

Niu Xiaoyu

Niu Xiaoyu was born in the city of Hefei in the Chinese province Anhui. She graduated from Beijing Film Academy with a bachelor’s degree in animation and a master’s degree in experimental film. Her two short films Summer Fever (2013) and Summer Fever II (2017) were screened as part of the official selection at the 10th China Independent Film Festival (2013), the 26th Festival Côté court (2017) and the 12th FIRST International Film Festival (2017). Virgin Blue is her first feature film. It had its world premiere in Locarno in the Cineasti del presente competition in 2021 and premiered in Germany at the Filmfest Hamburg.

Films by Niu Xiaoyu
Summer Fever
2013 | Summer Fever II 2017

Tytti Rantanen

Tytti Rantanen has worked as a programme coordinator for AV-arkki, the Centre for Finnish Media Art, since 2016. She is one of the editors-in-chief of the philosophical quarterly niin & näin and a member of the editorial board of Filmihullu, the oldest Finnish film magazine.

Linnea Semmerling

Linnea Semmerling is director of the Inter Media Art Institute (IMAI) foundation. For her dissertation on the history of technology, Listening on Display: Exhibiting Sounding Artworks 1960s-now, she was awarded the Media Art Histories Emerging Researcher Award in 2019. She has worked on many exhibitions, including at ZKM Karlsruhe, the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe.

Zhu Wenhui

Zhu Wenhui is a producer and curator. Since graduated from USC, she had been leading Feature Film Lab in FIRST International Film Festival for 4 years, a long-term platform dedicated to help emerging filmmakers in development, directing and production. Virgin Blue is her first feature film production. Her producing credit include Long, Long Spring Days, Deadling and Cross Your Mind.