Atelier Grand Nord RV (AGN_RV 2017) organized by SODEC at the Phi Center in partnership with MUTEK, the second edition of the four-day AGN_RV 2017 offered the artisans of 10 selected projects across the Francophone world, plenary sessions and more than 120 very productive individual meetings with six experts in Montreal, Canada, from 8-14 November, 2017.

These meetings were devoted mainly to projects in the creation and production stage. Participants were also able to participate in a Think Tank on VR distribution during the Hub Montreal RV day and had the opportunity to meet individually with interactive VR decision makers in the community. This was part of Doc Circuit Montreal’s famous Face-to-face event.

World VR Forum represented Switzerland with the project iMultiply  and were invited by the Federal Office of Culture of Switzerland and Focal who sponsored Maria Guta, WVRF’s Content Manager and Salar Shahna, WVRF’s CEO who were also the project’s producers. During the week, 10 teams from francophone countries: iMultiply (CH), Hotspots (QC), IRIS – Carnets d’une achromate (QC), Margaret and Mina (QC / BR,), We are Anicinabe (QC), 22.7 ° (FR), Paris 2050 (FR), Umami (FR), I-transfert (Wallonia-Brussels); Human Resources (LUX) presented and discussed their 10 VR projects in development to each other and to a team of experts. The experts consisted of: Eloi Champagne from Office national du film du Canada (QC); Nicolas S. Roy from Dpt. (QC); Pierre Zandrowicz, author and director (FR); Nikolaus Roche-Kresse, scriptwriter, director and producer (FR); François Fripiat from Sonicville-360  (BE);  Guillaume Perreault-Roy, Interactive Designer from  Mixa Vision (QC) and their moderator: Audrey Pacart  (QC).

It was an amazing experience because several teams from French speaking countries, Belgium, Canada France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, all teams with projects in development also invited several experts, pitched our projects, they helped our projects evolve over the course of a very intense week were able to push our project forward as though we have worked 6 months on it,“ said Guta.

The event consisted of individual presentations of each project followed by questions and constructive discussions around the respective project. Following these daily presentations, Face-to-face meetings between the teams and experts or teams and other teams were organized at the Phi Centre, where the Atelier was hold. These meetings were extremely generous exchanges of opinions and advices and therefor very constructive for all the participants

With very intense impact, it was a great initiative for people with projects in development. Collaboration, to confront your ideas, to see each other’s strengths and weaknesses and a possibility to find potential co-producers, as we all can be co-producers of each other,” said Shahna.

There were also several talks, including two panels on VR distribution. As it is a very important topic and that didn’t get as much exposure as needed so far – the initiative of these panels was much appreciated, according to Guta. Shahna participated in the second panel – Distribution of VR: Where Are Our Audiences? which was part of the VR Day, the result of a collaboration between HUB Montreal, Doc Circuit Montreal (DCM) and MUTEK. Also as a result of the collaboration with Doc Circuit Montreal (DCM), all the participants at the Atelier Grand Nord had the opportunity to have one on one pitches with decision makers from all around the world during the last day of their staying in Montreal.

The event was supported by the Agence Wallonne à l’Exportation (AoWEX), the Embassy of Canada in Brussels, the Embassy of Canada in Paris, Brussels Invest & Export, the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée  (CNC), the Film Fund Luxembourg, La Fondation de formation continue pour le cinéma et l’audiovisuel (FOCAL), the Canada Media Fund, the Federal Office for Culture (Switzerland), screen.brussels, Téléfilm Canada, TV5 Québec Canada and Wallonie Bruxelles international with the participation of Air Canada, HUB Montréal, the Montréal International Documentary Festival-Doc Circuit Montréal (RIDM-DCM) and Sofitel Montréal le Carré Doré.