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Escape into the Virtual: Maged Farrag’s “VRviving the Art” to Show at CIFF

The Cairo International Film Festival has expanded its virtual reality category to feature 20 new films.

VR Asser Yassin

Going to the cinema is an escape from the realities of daily life into someone else’s story. In this age of Science Fiction, virtual reality is quickly offering us another form of escape into an entire alternate existence. Film enthusiasts should brace themselves for a journey into the world of VR at the 41st Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF).

The growing interest in VR movies prompted CIFF to expand their VR film category, showing twenty VR films from around the world. Representing Egypt is Maged Farrag and his team at 5dVR, a VR/AR production studio who organized the VR category for this year and last year’s CIFF. Their submission, entitled 'VRviving the Art', features a performance by the AUC Alumni Folklore Group in which the audience member is virtually “placed” in the middle of the scene.

Farrag spoke to CairoScene about the local significance of VR, where he praised the numerous startups dedicated to its development. “I am passionate about emerging technologies, and I want to keep exploring how this type of emerging technology can be used in a local context,” Farrag said. “VR will take over in one way or another, whether we like it or not.”

According to Farrag, VR is perceived as the fourth wave of cinema and provides filmmakers with a new tool for imagination. As he explained to CairoScene, “Studios are venturing into VR and using it as a medium for virtual storytelling…it plays with the boundaries between the virtual and the real, leaving people forgetting which is which.” Virtual reality allows the audience to swim in the deep end of the unknown, which can be a refreshing break from their daily lives.

You can catch 'VRviving the Art' at CIFF, which will run from November 20th to November 29th. For more information, you can check CIFF's official website.


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