Immersify - Innovative technologies for Virtual


(January 18, 2018) Virtual Reality (VR) has what it takes to be the next big game- changer in the media sector. In stark contrast to video, TV and the movies, VR applications promise experiences that are not only more intense but, above all, interactive and individual too. Be that as it may, a considerable amount of R&D work still needs to be done to haul VR out of the niches it’s been confined to and launch it on its way to a huge consumer market  share. That’s precisely the mission of Immersify, a European R&D consortium made up of the following partners: PSNC - Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (Poland), Spin Digital Video Technologies GmbH (Germany), Ars Electronica Futurelab (Austria), Marché  du Film - Festival de Cannes (France) and Visualization Center C (Sweden).  Immersify was set up in October 2017 and runs until March 2020. Funding is provided by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.

Immersify Focuses on Four Points

Immersify is concentrating on four challenges. First of all, what’s needed is a new technology for the video compression of data, which is virtually exploding due to higher resolutions, frame rates and constantly improving image formats. Second, media players and formats should be able to support as many different technical environments and devices as possible. Third, creative individuals working with high- quality videos, CGI in 2D and 3D, as well as interactive elements ought to have the option of combining them  with each  other so that users are in a position to enjoy totally customized experiences. Fourth, Immersify is definitely not to be developed behind closed doors; rather, the intention is to present the ongoing progress of R&D in the form of demos at the Ars Electronica Festival and the Marché du Film in Cannes, where specially developed content and innovative market-oriented products will showcase Immersify’s creative and technical capabilities.

R&D Partners in Five European Countries 

Five renowned institutions based in five European countries are collaborating on the Immersify R&D project: PSNC - Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (Poland) is affiliated to the

Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy  of Sciences (IBCH PAS) and is an active research and development center  specialized in new generation networking, high resolution and immersive media, scientific applications and visualization, clouds, digital libraries and cyber security, as well as technologies, applications and services for Information Society.

Spin Digital Video Technologies GmbH (Germany) develops high-performance video codecs for the next generation of high-quality video applications. Spin Digital codecs enable ultra-high quality video applications such as 4K and 8K UHD, immersive video projection and video walls, and next generation virtual reality and 360° video.

The Ars Electronica Futurelab (Linz, Austria) is a transdisciplinary media art lab that enjoys an international reputation as one of the leading non-university R&D facilities in the areas of media art, information aesthetics, interaction design, persuasive technologies, robotics and virtual environments. One of its many reference projects is the worldwide unique Deep Space 8K, which is to be further developed as part of Immersify.

The Marché  du Film - Festival de Cannes (France) is the film industry’s most important event, an annual gathering of more than 12,000 producers, buyers, distributors and representatives of film festivals. Marché  du Film is held annually during the Festival de Cannes since 1959. At NEXT, its innovation hub in the heart of the Marché, VR exhibitors and creators coming from the world over showcase their latest VR.

Visualization Center C (Sweden)  is a research and science center  in Norrköping, conducting a unique mix of leading visualization research and public outreach

activities. The center  hosts a digital science center  for public visits and events including media labs, interactive exhibitions and an immersive 3D fulldome theatre. The center’s production department creates public experiences based on real scientific data.


PSNC - Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center:

Spin Digital Video Technologies GmbH:

Ars Electronica Futurelab:

Marché  du Film – Festival de Cannes:

Visualization Center C:

Horizon 2020 Programme: and-innovation

eu 1282


This project has received funding from the
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and
innovation programme under grant
agreement No 7620799



KATOWICE: FNE spoke with producer  Michał Kwieciński who received the Border Gate Award at the International Co-Production Forum Regiofund, that took place in Katowice from 4 to 7 October 2017. The award ceremony was followed by a special screening of Panic Attack, directed by Pawel Maslona. a new film produced by Kwieciński’s company Akson Studio.

FNE: What does this award mean to you?

Michał Kwieciński: I am very touched and delighted, because it was the first time I got this kind of award. It is dedicated to me personally, not me as a company, as a producer, as Akson Studio and so on, this is a small difference, but very important for me. This is not a reward for the productions, which I have about 120, that is the reward for the producer.

FNE: What trends do you see in Polish film industry?

Michał Kwieciński: This year the Gdynia Film Festival proved that the young generation of directors and creators is coming, because 8 out of 14 films in the Main Competition were the debut films. The young generation of filmmakers is attacking our cinematography very strongly. In fact I saw all these debutant films and I think that the main prize for the debutant Potr Domalewski for Silent Night or films such as Panic Attack or Tower. A Bright Day, are very interesting proposals and it seems to me that in a few years our cinematography will belong to the younger generation, which is actually born at this time.

FNE: Are international co-productions the future of European film industry?

Michał Kwieciński: I think so, provided we come to some mutual self-respect. My main problem with co-production, especially with European co-productions is that most people think only about the financial side of the project, and not about the factual content. I hope this will change soon. That is how the so-called “Europuddings” appear. These are movies, where the influence of the many, often extremely different interests of the producers, has an impact on the final shape of the film. I am totally against this style of work, but of course I think we cannot generalize. There are many international co-productions that have deep sense, but there are so many films, that are created just to make the budget come together and not in order to create an important project.

FNE: What are your next plans?

My personal plans are very broad, for 3 years ahead. Currently I am making a Christmas movie called "Love is everywhere". This sounds banal, but the film is not banal at all. After that, I want to make a Bollywood-Polish movie, or even Eurobollywood this time. It will be based on the story of Miss India, arriving to Poland in the 70’s, because she falls in love with a Polish man. This story is authentic and they are living in Szczecin today. She was a princess, a Hindu princess who lived in a two-bedroom apartment in Szczecin for many years in the period of socialism. The last thing I am working on is an adaptation of Filip by Tyrmand, I have already bought the rights from the son of Mr. Tyrmand and I want this film to be completed in 2 years. This is a very ambitious production that no one expected me to make, but I'm dreaming about it, so I hope it will work out.

These are my plans, while Akson Studio, where my son works now, has five feature films planned with young artists. I also produce many TV series and have plans for 4 new shows, which I hope will be completed in 4 or 3 years. A lot is going on and nowadays, I also have this dream that for a while I’ll be more a director, than a producer.



Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival adds 153 films to its lineup, bringing the total number of films to 233, including 20 world and 24 international premieres and with the films originating from 70 different countries. The festival will be visited by more than 300 filmmakers and over 600 delegates have accredited for the Industry@Tallinn &; Baltic Event.

Unveiling the third competition programme of the festival, the Estonian Film Competition will include two world premieres, the previously announced The Manslayer / The Virgin / The Shadow that also competes in the Official Selection of the festival and Green Cats by director Andres Puustusmaa, that includes roles by the legendary Estonian actor Tõnu Kark and Russian actor Sergey Makovetski, winner of several Russian awards, including Nika and Golden Eagle.

The programme is rounded off by November, that won the Best Cinematography award in Tribeca, The Man Who Looks Like Me and The End of the Chain - both of which world premiered at Karlovy Vary.

In Forum - a section dedicated to strong autor films that represent original standpoints and disputed views, the festival screens the world premiere of Better Tomorrow Than Today, by debuting Korean filmmaker Jeon Haelim, who offers an insight into the difficult situation of the youth in low income families in modern South Korea.

In the same programme we find The End, an abstract drama directed by her father Jeon Kyu-hwan, who has a long history with the festival, being in the programme for the 6th time and having won the Best Director Award in 2012 with The Weight.

Another world premiere is River’s Edge, a poetic take on the sociopolitical extremes in Chinese society, directed by Wang Chao, a regular in different sections of Cannes, having won the Best Film award at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard with Luxury Car (2016).

Jason B. Kohl, a director whose films have screened at Locarno, SXSW and BFI London presents his latest film New Money that will also have its world premiere at Black Nights Film Festival. The films follows a couple (played by Louise Krause and Brendan Sexton III) kidnapping the demented father of the woman after an unfavorable inheritance decision.

Black Nights will also see a visit by director Denis Cote, a two-time Locarno Best Director award winner, who is presenting his body-builder-documentary A Skin So Soft.

In one of the biggest programmes of the festival - Panorama - that offers a wide specter of films that have mostly already screened at more than one other festival, the festival introduces the world premiere of the genre-blending Our Little Secret, the fifth film by director Yuri Seltzer, who is inspired by magical realism, studying the mysteries of childhood and the pains of growing up.

The section also includes Hannah, that won two awards in Venice (including Best Actress award for Charlotte Rampling), with director Andrea Pallaoro presenting his film in person.

Several favourites from the festival circuit such as  A Fantastic Woman, The Florida Project, A Gentle Creature, The Death of Stalin, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Happy End, The Killing of A Sacred Deer, Arrhythmiaand I Am Not a Witch will also screen in this section.

In the Screen International's Critics' Choice, a selection made by the critics of he eponymous magazine, 
we find, according to Screen's Chief Critic Fionnuala Halligan, 'a collection of eight films that 'are diverse in theme and approach yet collectively show the vitality that exists in the world of film in 2017.' The selection includes the Venice Golden Lion laureate The Shape of Water, the Sundance Director Award winner God's Own Country, Cannes' Golden Camera winner Montparnasse Bienvenueand Cannes' Jury Prize laureate Loveless.

The programme includes several other sections: DOC@PÖFF, Fashion Cinema, Finland 100: Finnish Cult Film Special - 48H.

Tickets for all the screenings of the festival and its two sub-festivals - children's and youth film festival Just Film and short and animation festival PÖFF Shorts - are now on sale.

Discover the full lineups:;

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival takes place from the 17th of November until the 3rd of December.


WARSAW: The Warsaw Industry Days, an industry event held at Warsaw Film Festival, showcased 10 upcoming projects including international coproductions and new films from Emir Baigazin, Mateusz Rakowicz and Maryna Vroda.

WARSAW: Four Polish projects currently in production and postproduction were showcased during the Warsaw Industry Days, an industry event held at the Warsaw Film Festival (13-22 October 2017). The list includes new projects by Ewa Bukowska, Maciek Bochniak, Klara Kochańska and Kasper Bajon, and Bartek Kik.

KATOWICE: FNE spoke with film producer and academic teacher from the Wajda School and the Faculty of Radio and Television Joanna Malicka who provided the "Young Producer Workshops" during the International Co-Production Forum Regiofund, that took place in Katowice from 4 to 7 October 2017.

Summary from Variety correspondent Nick Vivarelli

A group of 50 prominent European independent film industry execs assembled Thursday for the Locarno Festival’s StepIn think tank to discuss the timely topic of “The Theatrical Experience and the Future of Auteur Cinema in the Age of Global Streaming Platforms and Social Networks.” 

Judging from the attendees reaction, it was a huge success: "We are extremely proud of the high-level of participants and the quality of the discussion - states Nadia Dresti, Deputy Artistic Director of the festival - Our best reward is to hear industry professionals praising how useful and thought-provoking was for them to participate to these round tables. This is our ultimate goal: if we were able to inspire productive conversations and facilitate solutions and networking opportunities, it means we have done our job well."

Following the recent controversy in Cannes over Netflix’s stringent theatrical release policy, Locarno’s StepIn think tank provided a forum to take the discussion to a more constructive level. 

“Every once in a while there is someone who mourns the end of the theatrical experience,” said StepIn project manager Marcello Paolillo, in his introduction. “But while researching for this event I realised that, even though we are going through a challenging period, with seismic changes in the industry, the question is not if the theatrical experience will survive, but how it will evolve."

During the opening keynote Tim League, who is CEO of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain in the U.S. which operates some of the best movie theatres in the world, offered his perspective that, at least in the United States, the erosion of theatrical “is probably good in the long run” because it is forcing exhibition chains to re-invest to upgrade movie theatres so they can offer a top notch moviegoing experience.

Focus Features President Robert Walak, another keynote speaker, noted that one of the first films they greenlit under the new Focus, Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled,” was specifically conceived for theatrical in “The way it was shot; the way it was set up, it was just a cinematic experience. And that is our strength in terms of what we do at Focus.”

Bobby Allen, VP of Content at MUBI, the curated streaming platform available in more than 200 territories, which last year branched into theatrical distribution, also underlined that auteur cinema is “made to be seen on the big screen.” “The most important thing to us is to ensure these films have a life beyond the digital platform,” he noted.

After the keynote, participants were divided in round tables for a long session on specific topics.

During the wrap-up League’s point about the crucial need for movie theatre quality to be improved was picked up on by Marc Allenby, the CEO of the UK’s Trafalgar Releasing, who was one of the designated notetakers. Allenby pointed out that, similarly to the U.S., in Europe “Some operators have become lazy and exhibitors have abandoned their biggest asset - their relationship with their customers.” 

TrustNordisk head of sales Susan Wendt, also a note taker, pointed out that several European sales agents don't think Netflix should be allowed to put their films in competition at A-list film festivals. “As sales agents, we need those competition slots in order to sell our movies and put them in movie theatres. Why have a film in the competition that does not need that? The fact that when Netflix buys art movies in Europe they try to limit that film’s festival exposure was also bemoaned “Because this is a cultural loss for the public and also for the filmmaker,” said another note taker, Mexican producer Jaime Romandia.

StepIn was organized In partnership with Variety, in collaboration with Europa Cinemas, Europa Distribution and Europa International, and with the support of the Federal Office of Culture of Switzerland in the context of the compensatory measures Media.

The National Film Archive based in Prague, Czech Republic has launched the website, the first result of the extensive research project Laterna magika* looking to preserve, document and present this phenomenon of world significance to the international public.

Why research Laterna magika? 

Laterna magika is the first multimedia theatre in the world. Due to its experimental character, combination of film projection, movement of dancers and original scenography, interconnection of art and development of new technologies (primarily projection ones), and collaboration between numerous personalities, it has become an exceptional cultural phenomenon in the context of Czech and world art.

It was established as a representative cultural and promotional programme of Czechoslovakia for the international exhibition Expo 58 where it met with enormous interest of the audiences and won the Gold Medal along with other period art projects. The combination of a multi-genre theatre performance and film projection onto several screens placed on the stage garnered unprecedented acclaim: “All the theatres presented in the individual pavilions at Expo were hit by a real bomb and blown to pieces. The bomb came flying from Prague. Last night, Czechoslovakia opened its cultural hall and introduced a theatre unique for its originality. We saw circoramas and other cineramas, Kinopanoramas, Kongoramas etc. We believed that we had reached the top, that the seventh art had revealed all its secrets; until we saw the non-stop-revue, or Laterna magika,” wrote Brussels’ Drapeau Rouge journal on May 13, 1958.

Thanks to its great international acclaim, the unique project travelled to other countries in and outside of Europe, where it became popular both with audiences and period critics. The new artistic possibilities of communication between the film medium, the theatre stage and the dancers were most embodied in the invention of a new type of projection system called the polyecran; which, for the first time ever, presented a simultaneous projection controlled by a set of film projectors and slides, conducted on several projection surfaces and accompanied by multi-channel sound.

A period edition of Variety wrote about Laterna magika’s American tour: “We had to travel behind the Iron Curtain to discover a completely new kind of scenic film design, practically unknown to Americans...  Laterna magika is not only a technological innovation but also a form that gives the creative artist a new way of expression, a new language. In its idiom, statistics meet poetry, static images, live actors and reproduced music. The new poetic force of this expression is based on its ability to view reality from several perspectives, from several time levels, and to combine facts that are in fact unrelated. Laterna magika is able to show the modern world in all its dynamic force and in all mutually connected relations.” (Howard Pearl, July 17, 1963)

When touring the North American continent, the theatre also met with great success in Canada; during the international cultural showcase Expo 67, exactly 50 years ago, it staged a performance where the unique polyecran projection system played the main role.

In the second half of the 20th century, the theatre gradually became an internationally acclaimed artistic brand whose quality and innovation were appreciated over decades of successful world tours by viewers in the United Kingdom, where British dramatist Wolf Mankowitz labelled it as “the most revolutionary technology in entertainment since the introduction of cinema,” in the Netherlands, USSR, France, Austria, Spain as well as Syria, Egypt and Israel. The very first programme, whose earliest performance Wonderful Circus is still staged today and has celebrated its 40th anniversary since its launch this year, was a joint collaboration of directors Emil and Alfréd Radoks and scenographer Josef Svoboda, who were later joined by directors Ján Roháč, Vladimír Svitáček, Ladislav Rychman, Miloš Forman as well as other distinguished film and music makers including Evald Schorm, Jan Švankmajer, Radúz Činčera, Jiří Šlitr and Zdeněk Liška.

What are the components of the Laterna magika research project? 

The research project Laterna Magika. Past and Present, Documentation, Preservation and Presentation represents an interdisciplinary challenge combining historical research, preservation and digitization of film material, construction of a new archive infrastructure and creation of experimental multimedia data. In the field of historical research, it includes collecting archives from private and public collections and extensive interviews with more than 70 contemporaries of various professions. The special processing of film footage capturing the individual theatre performances as well as film screenings and technological tests includes primarily the preservation, description and digitization of those parts of the film heritage that were selected by curators after being handed over to the National Film Archive by the National Theatre in 2010.

The historical and cinematic research fields are supplemented with the creation of new multimedia data consisting primarily of experimental recording and animation of the movement of the dancers and 3D visualizations of the stage of Laterna magika performances. The multidisciplinary character of Laterna magika’s work is also reflected in the composition of the research team comprising experts in humanities as well as technical disciplines. Four academic and technological institutions collaborate on the successful execution of the research conducted between 2016 and 2019: the National Film Archive in Prague, the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague, Czech Technical University in Prague and CESNET association.

What is the goal of the research project? 

The main goal of the project is to save and preserve historical and film data, supplemented with new multimedia data, in a safe online archive environment and take care of these on a long-term basis in terms of data preservation as well as by curating the collection that has thus arisen.

The first results of the project, consisting of interviews with contemporaries, a sample of archive materials and interviews with the members of the research team, are now available in English at

The second key goal of the project consists in preparing an exhibition which will present the interpretation of Laterna magika as a multimedia audiovisual work to the general public and bring its digitized elements into lively communication with the language of contemporary visual artists. The exhibition, to be held in Brno in the spring of 2019 and in Prague in the fall of the same year, will be accompanied by a detailed monograph in the Czech and English language. We are also negotiating its international reruns.

Last but not least, the research team focuses on publishing expert studies in professional periodicals and establishing active collaboration with leading international partners and research institutions.

For more information, please, see the project’s website:

The research is funded by the Applied Research and Development of National and Cultural Identity (NAKI II) programme of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.


Professional inquiries:

Andrea Průchová
Head of the project NAKI II Laterna magika
Národní filmový archiv
Malešická 12
130 00 Praha 3
T: +420 737 804 449
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Press materials:

Jana Ulipová
PR Manager
Národní filmový archiv
Malešická 12
130 00 Praha 3
T: +420 778 522 709
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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